US Senate

House passes Kennedy bill to require FCC to expand 5G access to rural Americans by releasing previously auctioned spectrum

On December 11, 2023, the House of Representatives passed Sen. John Kennedy’s (R-LA) 5G Spectrum Authority Licensing Enforcement (SALE) Act. The bill would require the Federal Communications Commission to release previously auctioned spectrum in order to expand broadband access to rural communities. The US Senate passed Kennedy’s legislation in September 2023. The 5G SALE Act would temporarily grant the FCC auction authority it needs to complete spectrum transfers, which would allow broadband services to provide greater 5G network coverage to Americans in rural areas.

Letter from Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) to US Attorney General Merrick Garland

I urge the Department of Justice (DOJ) to permit Apple and Google to inform their customers and the general public about demands for smartphone app notification records. In the spring of 2022, my office received a tip that government agencies in foreign countries were demanding smartphone “push” notification records from Google and Apple. My staff have been investigating this tip for the past year, which included contacting Apple and Google.

Senators Markey (D-MA) and Blackburn (R-TN) Send Letter To FCC On 12 Gigahertz Proceeding

Senators Edward J. Markey (D-MA) and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) urged the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to act expeditiously in its proceeding regarding the 12.2-12.7 GHz spectrum band while continuing to maintain an evidence-based approach.  With the 12.2-12.7 GHz band, the FCC has a unique near-term opportunity to expand broadband access, improve the distribution of spectrum resources, and put our spectrum to its most efficient use, especially in rural areas of the country.

Sen Cortez Masto Introduces Bills to Protect Americans' Data Online

Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) reintroduced three bills to strengthen data privacy protections and safeguard Americans’ personal information. The U.S. currently has no comprehensive data privacy laws and with the rise of AI and other technologies, consumers are vulnerable to fraud, security breaches, and predatory behavior online. 

Reps Mullin, Kelly, and Crapo Author Bill to Lower Broadband Costs and Boost Connectivity

Sens Markwayne Mullin (R-OK), Mark Kelly (D-AZ), and Mike Crapo (R-ID) introduced the Lowering Broadband Costs for Consumers Act of 2023 to direct the FCC to require proper contributions to the Universal Service Fund (USF) from edge providers and broadband providers. Requiring edge providers to cover associated costs for rural fiber networks will reduce the financial burden on consumers and rural providers while strengthening broadband connectivity throughout rural America. Specifically, the Lowering Broadband Costs for Consumers Act would:

Sen. Lee Reintroduces the SCREEN Act to Protect Children Online

Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) introduced the Shielding Children's Retinas from Egregious Exposure on the Net (SCREEN) Act, a step toward safeguarding minors from the pervasive threat of online pornographic content. Despite Congress's ongoing efforts over the past three decades to shield children from online pornography, prior legislative measures have been challenged and overturned by the Supreme Court on the grounds of not meeting the least restrictive means test. Nonetheless, the Court acknowledged the government's compelling interest to protect children.

Sens Thune (R-SD) and Klobuchar (D-MN) Lead Commerce Committee Colleagues in Introducing Bipartisan AI Bill to Boost Innovation and Strengthen Accountability

Sens John Thune (R-SD), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Roger Wicker (R-MS), John Hickenlooper (D-CO, Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), and Ben Ray Luján (D-NM) introduced the Artificial Intelligence (AI) Research, Innovation, and Accountability Act of 2023.