Cristiano Lima

At White House’s urging, Republican Senators launch anti-tech blitz ahead of election

Apparently, the Trump administration is pressuring Republican Senators to ratchet up scrutiny of social media companies it sees as biased against conservatives in the run-up to the Nov 2020 election. In recent weeks, the White House has pressed Senate Republican leaders on key committees to hold public hearings on the law that protects Facebook, Twitter and other internet companies from lawsuits over how they treat user posts. And action is following.

Tech's 'Nightmare Scenario' for 2020

Social media companies say they’re preparing for a protracted battle against online misinformation come Election Day, particularly given there may not be an immediate winner. Yoel Roth, Twitter’s head of site integrity, said his nightmare scenario for the election is that bad actors use any delays in the outcome to stoke “fear, uncertainty and doubt” online. Unprecedented problems for an unprecedented election: “When we talk about the election, we talk about the leadup to election night, we talk about election day as a pivotal moment. This year is different,” Roth said.

Tech World Closely Watching Markey's Primary Bout

Consumer advocates say they worry about the future of kids’ online safety advocacy if Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) loses his contentious Massachusetts Democratic primary to challenger Rep. Joe Kennedy (D-MA).

Chairman Pai to Congress: Let FCC Lead on Broadband

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai is offering a suggestion to lawmakers: Perhaps forget about loading the Department of Agriculture with cash to subsidize broadband buildout and supply the FCC with those funds instead?

FCC Under Pressure on Controversial 5G Bid

All eyes are on Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai on whether he’s about to unveil a potential order to approve a long-pending application from Virginia-based satellite company Ligado Networks, which wants to light up 5G operations in some airwaves it currently holds. Lawmakers have nudged him for months to make a call on this industry request, but the Pentagon and other parts of the Trump administration have cried foul and said Ligado’s plans would disrupt their own critical operations in nearby airwaves — charges Ligado disputes.

Google and Apple's COVID-19 Plans Under the Microscope

Google and Apple’s plan to team up to create new contact tracing technology to combat the coronavirus is already raising eyebrows among key policymakers in Washington.

Berin Szóka to step down after "poetic justice" tweet

Berin Szóka, president of Washington-based think tank TechFreedom, is stepping down as its president after tweeting that it would be “poetic justice” if President Donald Trump died from the coronavirus. He will take an indefinite sabbatical to write a book on tech policy. Shane Tews, a longtime member of the group's board, will lead the organization in his stead. The move deals a blow to one of the tech industry’s staunchest defenders in Washington, where Szóka has served as its combative and outspoken leader for nearly a decade.

How do you solve a problem like 8chan?

President Donald Trump’s vow to scour “the dark recesses of the internet” came as deadly gun violence provoked ire over fringe online platforms like 8chan, an anonymous message board that has hosted a racist manifesto linked to Aug 3's deadly shooting in El Paso (TX). But any effort to curb dangerous extremism online will run into a host of obstacles:

FCC USF Cap Pushback

Count Federal Communications Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel and Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) as critics of a proposal from FCC Chairman Ajit Pai to explore a spending cap on telecommunications subsidies to expand telephone and broadband access. “Any effort that could harm classroom learning, broadband deployment, rural health opportunities, or connecting more individuals should be shelved and never considered again,” said Markey said of the FCC proposal, which would target Universal Service Fund programs.

Tech takeaways from the Mueller report

Here’s what you need to know about Attorney General Barr’s summary of the special counsel investigation into Russian election interference in 2016 — and what it said about social media: