Now that Democrats are taking over the executive branch, expect Congressional Republicans to shift gears on tech policy. Instead of trying to rewrite key internet legislation, the GOP will likely focus instead on stopping Democrats from doing anything at all. A prime example of this dynamic is the maneuvering around the Federal Communications Commission.
The Federal Communications Commission is expected to move to restore net neutrality rules after President-elect Joe Biden takes office, undoing the agency’s deregulation of the broadband industry during the Trump administration. The key regulatory underpinning would be a reclassification of broadband as a service under Title II of the Communications Act. That reclassification would enable the agency to reinstate rules requiring that companies like AT&T Inc. and Comcast Corp.
Four Federal Communications Commission veterans -- including former Commissioner Mignon Clyburn, have been tapped for President-elect Joe Biden’s agency transition team. [Editor's note: Mignon Clyburn also sits on the Board of Directors of the Benton Institute.] The team is led by John Williams who is Senior Counsel and Parliamentarian at the House Judiciary Committee and former Senior Counselor and Senior Agency Official for Privacy at the FCC's Office of the General Counsel.
The chairman of the Federal Trade Commission said antitrust enforcers need to be worried about dominant companies buying startups that are emerging competitive threats -- highlighting one of the main issues in the agency’s investigation of Facebook. Chairman Joe Simons said that takeovers of nascent competitors can be harmful to consumers and said that enforcers need to be ready to step in to stop such deals.
Bill Russo, a Biden campaign spokesman, lashed out at Facebook, alleging that the social media giant is “shredding the fabric of our democracy” in the aftermath of the election. “In the days after Election Day, Facebook is flooded with thousands of calls for violence,” Russo said in a tweet. “Some of them are taken down, but many are left up for hours, if not days.” Russo also cited theories about a fraudulent U.S.