Federal Communications Commissioner Brendan Carr called publicly for the Federal Trade Commission to open an investigation into the nonprofit Crisis Text Line (CTL) over the suicide hotline’s former data-sharing practices with for-profit spinoff Loris.ai.
President Biden has yet to announce his pick for inspector general for the Federal Communications Commission. That position, which is meant to audit FCC spending and investigate potential fraud and abuse, is set to assume new significance, with billions of dollars in pandemic relief and infrastructure cash now flowing into the agency.
Senate Democrats likely won’t be setting up floor votes this week on President Biden’s long-pending Federal Trade Commission and Federal Communications Commission nominees, according to Senate Commerce Chair Maria Cantwell (D-WA). “We’re missing a few people,” she said, citing the absence of Sen Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) due to COVID-19, as well as a few other Democrats.
President Biden's Supreme Court nominee Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson weighs in on antitrust and Section 230
President Biden's Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson hinted she may be open to a more expansive reading of antitrust laws during her confirmation hearing in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee on March 23.
In a series of confirmation hearings starting March 21, members of the Senate Judiciary Committee will question Ketanji Brown Jackson, President Biden’s pick to replace Justice Stephen Breyer on the Supreme Court — and while tech policy is not expected to be a major area of focus for either party, two issues in particular could come up. Critics of the tech industry’s treasured liability shield often claim judges have interpreted Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act too broadly.
House Republicans’ “Big Tech Censorship and Data Task Force” presented its preliminary proposals to rein in major tech companies on March 16 — and a significant antitrust overhaul is not particularly high on the agenda. The task force, established in 2021 by Rep Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and led by Rep Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), is developing proposals on Section 230 reform and privacy for the GOP to mobilize around if the party takes back the lower chamber in November 2022.
As the Kremlin moves to block or throttle more foreign websites and Russian citizens rush to deploy workarounds such as virtual private networks, concern is growing that Moscow plans to recreate Beijing’s tough restrictions — known collectively as the “Great Firewall” — that shield Chinese citizens from much of the broader internet. But Russia likely possesses neither the infrastructure nor the technical capabilities to mirror China’s relative success in walling off its citizens from the web.
Four trade groups and advocacy organizations representing the major tech companies spent roughly $2 million on Facebook advertisements opposing tech-related antitrust bills since the start of 2022. That number, which comes courtesy of an analysis of Facebook’s ad archives by Politico, will likely only increase as legislation to rein in the power of the tech giants moves through the House and Senate. Ad buys from tech trade group NetChoice made up the bulk of that spending.
Democrats reintroduced in both chambers a bill to examine the impact the first-ever law revamping Section 230 has had on marginalized sex workers, suggesting new efforts to reform the tech industry’s liability shield may face sustained headwinds from progressives. The reintroduced bill comes less than a month after senators advanced the EARN IT Act (