In 2020, lawmakers have lots of ideas about how to regulate tech companies. New bills are introduced every day, creating a sea of regulatory threats that’s difficult to keep straight as time goes on. A majority of these measures will never make their way into a committee hearing, and even fewer will be signed into law. But taken as a whole, they give us a sense of what a major tech regulation bill might look like this Congress. And as the 2020 election season takes off, that picture is more urgent than ever.
If you use Firefox, your web browsing habits will become a bit more mysterious to your internet provider. Mozilla, the non-profit developer of the Firefox web browser, will make this happen by switching US desktop Firefox users to an encrypted form of the directory assistance behind all internet navigation. This change involves the Domain Name Service, which lets you get anywhere online by translating your request for a site into the numeric Internet Protocol, or IP, address matching the computer that will deliver the web page in question.
The Federal Communications Commission proposed fines against the nation’s four largest wireless carriers for apparently selling access to their customers’ location information without taking reasonable measures to protect against unauthorized access to that information. As a result, T-Mobile faces a proposed fine of more than $91 million; AT&T faces a proposed fine of more than $57 million; Verizon faces a proposed fine of more than $48 million; and Sprint faces a proposed fine of more than $12 million.
Apparently, the Federal Communications Commission is seeking hundreds of millions of dollars in fines from the country’s top cellphone carriers after officials found the companies failed to safeguard information about customers’ real-time locations. The FCC informed AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon of pending notices of apparent liability. Such notices aren’t final, and the companies can still argue they aren’t liable or should pay less. It would ultimately fall on the Justice Department to collect any penalties.
The Justice Department has essentially given up hope that tech companies will voluntarily build into their products a special way for law enforcement to access encrypted communications to help track terrorists and criminals. Instead, the department is focusing on getting legislation that forces companies to cooperate – and is hoping encryption-limiting laws in Australia and the United Kingdom will ease the path for a similar law in the US, said John Demers, assistant attorney general for national security. “If there were a proposal from tech companies or a desire to talk about this issue t
It’ll be years before most people have 5G phones and a super-fast network to connect them, but the future of mobile technology is shaping up right now. Behind the promises lie some big government decisions about what to prioritize, how to compete, and how fast to move. As citizens and consumers, whether they know it or not, people are being asked to weigh convenience against privacy, national competitiveness against national security, and speed against price.
Inrupt, the start-up company founded by Sir Tim Berners-Lee to redesign the way the web works, is expanding its operational team and launching pilot projects in its quest to develop a “massively scalable, production-quality technology platform.” Berners-Lee said there had been a “rush of interest” from open source developers, entrepreneurs, tech company executives, and government officials to support Inrupt’s mission to decentralise the web and hand power back to users. But Inrupt now had to focus on the complexities of turning its underlying Solid technology into a scalable platform.
Overturning the Federal Communications Commission’s opt-in privacy rule resulted in lower prices for wired and wireless Internet service. Both these declines are about $40 per subscriber over the life of the subscription, which is similar to independent estimates of the per-subscriber cost of obtaining personal data consent from retail customers that are the basis for our quantitative analysis. By removing vertical pricing regulations, the Trump Administration’s “Restoring Internet Freedom” order will increase real incomes by more than $50 billion per year and consumer welfare by almost $40
The broadband industry is suing Maine to stop a Web-browsing privacy law similar to the one killed by Congress and President Donald Trump in 2017. Industry groups claim the state law violates First Amendment protections on free speech and the Supremacy Clause of the US Constitution. The Maine law was signed by Gov Janet Mills (D-ME) in June 2019 and is scheduled to take effect on July 1, 2020.
I’m introducing new legislation to create a Data Protection Agency and bring the protection of your privacy and freedom into the digital age. The US must make an effort to take the lead and do something about data protection. The Data Protection Act would address this head-on. My legislation would establish an independent federal agency, the Data Protection Agency, that would serve as a “referee” to define, arbitrate, and enforce rules to defend the protection of our personal data. This agency would have three core missions: