John McKinnon

California Advances Net-Neutrality Rules in Rebuke to Trump FCC

California moved to reinstate Obama-era open-internet rules, challenging Trump administration rollback efforts and setting the state on a path to have the strongest net-neutrality rules in the nation. The California bill would forbid internet service providers from blocking websites, intentionally slowing down a website or app, or accepting payments to make online services go faster.

Trump Administration Weighs Building US 5G Network to Counter China

Some White House officials view next-generation 5G wireless service as a “key area of competition,” and they say that the threat from China, in particular, justifies a “moonshot” government effort like the construction of the interstate highway system. A National Security Council memo urges the Trump administration to consider extraordinary efforts to clear the way for the new technology or even to help build it in order to counter the growing economic and political threat from China’s aggressive efforts to develop 5G. 

Elon Musk’s Twitter Takeover Triggers Partisan Clash on Government’s Role

Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter is fueling a partisan clash in Washington, as Democrats raise concerns about the platform’s security and Republicans counter that the criticism is a thinly veiled attempt to stamp out conservative voices on the site.

FTC Launches Effort to Expand Online Privacy Protections

The Federal Trade Commission will consider new federal rules to expand online privacy protections by targeting online surveillance and lax data-security practices by technology companies. The FTC will examine a range of concerns about the online environment, including the widespread use of algorithms to manipulate and leverage data, security practices that leave data vulnerable to hackers, and the growing evidence that some platforms might be “addictive to children and lead to a wide variety of mental health and social harms.” The FTC also will examine possible discrim

Federal Trade Commission Expected to Launch Effort to Expand Online Privacy Protection

Apparently, the Federal Trade Commission is expected to begin writing federal rules to expand online privacy protections as soon as August 11. If adopted, the rules could impose significant new responsibilities on businesses that handle consumer data, including potentially barring certain kinds of data collection practices. The new FTC rules could take years to enact, and the commission could follow several different paths. One option would be to declare certain data collection practices unfair or deceptive, using its authority to police such conduct.

Senate Advances $280 Billion Bill Subsidizing Chip Manufacturing, Technology

The Senate voted 64 to 32 to advance a $280 billion package of subsidies and research funding to boost US competitiveness in semiconductors and advanced technology.

Online Privacy Bill Gains Momentum, but Hurdles Remain

Bipartisan legislation to bolster consumers’ online privacy rights gained momentum at a House hearing June 14, even as some tech industry representatives raised concerns that could slow its progress.

Senate Advances Alvaro Bedoya Nomination to Federal Trade Commission

Senate Democrats used a parliamentary maneuver to advance President Biden’s nomination of Georgetown University law professor Alvaro Bedoya to the Federal Trade Commission, setting the stage for Democrats to gain a 3-2 majority on the panel.

Democrats Weigh Tactic to Break Stalemate on President Biden's FTC and FCC Nominees

Under pressure from progressive activists, Democrats are considering employing a rarely used parliamentary maneuver to push through President Biden’s nominees for the Federal Trade Commission and Federal Communications Commission. Republicans on the Senate Commerce Committee have so far blocked the nominations of Georgetown University law professor Alvaro Bedoya to the FTC and Gigi Sohn [Senior Fellow and Public Advocate at the Benton Institute for Broadband & Society] to the FCC, largely on grounds that they are too partisan.

Google, Facebook Pressure Falls Short as Antitrust Measures Advance in House Committee

The House Judiciary Committee approved far-reaching legislation to curb the market dominance of tech giants, including Google and Facebook, but much of the effort faced intensive lobbying by affected firms that slowed the committee’s work and foreshadowed a pitched battle in the Senate. The centerpiece of the six-bill package, a measure to bar big tech companies from favoring their own products in a range of circumstances on their platforms, was ap