Platforms

Our working definition of a digital platform (with a hat tip to Harold Feld of Public Knowledge) is an online service that operates as a two-sided or multi-sided market with at least one side that is “open” to the mass market

FCC Chairman Pai says he does not intend to move forward with a rule-making on Section 230

For the bulk of his tenure, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai has avoided wading into the relentless controversies that defined President Trump's presidency.

Georgia election results sweep away tech's regulatory logjam

Georgia's election results handing Senate control to Democratic lawmakers mean the incoming Biden administration can fill key seats at the agencies that regulate tech.

Democrats are poised to take the Senate. Here’s what it means for tech.

Here are the top reforms and nominations that could stand a chance in the new Congress assuming — as now seems likely — Democrats control both chambers and the White House.

FCC Commissioner Nathan Simington said it is uncertain if he could participate in any Section 230 proceeding

The office of Federal Communications Commissioner Nathan Simington said it is uncertain if he could participate in any Section 230 proceeding. Simington’s office said FCC ethics counsel advised “as there is no currently-pending Section 230 matter before the commission to be discussed with specificity, it could not comprehensively rule out potential recusal in the future. However, no grounds were identified for recusal on this topic at this time.”

What to Expect from the 117th Congress on Tech

The new Congress just gaveled in Jan 3, but top lawmakers are already hashing out their priorities on tech policy. There’s bipartisan appetite for more broadband moves. Lawmakers made increasing broadband access a priority in the latest round of COVID-19 relief talks, allocating billions for the effort, but their work might not be through. Rep. Bob Latta (R-OH) said one of his top priorities will be to “keep expanding rural broadband.” “It's so essential to make sure that we have it across the entire country,” he said.

Time Running Out for FCC to Take Up Trump Attack on Social Media

The Federal Communications Commission has run low on time to adopt an order trimming a liability shield for social media companies, leaving the fate of a request from President Donald Trump in doubt. On Dec 22, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai let slip a deadline for setting a vote on the proposal at the next monthly meeting of the agency, which is scheduled for Jan. 13 and is the last before he leaves the commission a week later. FCC proposals not adopted at meetings can be passed with a vote by commissioners behind closed doors.

President Trump vetoes $740 Billion defense bill, citing “failure to terminate” Section 230

President Donald Trump has vetoed funding for the US military because the massive defense spending bill did not include a provision to repeal Section 230 which grants Internet service providers, including online platforms, broad immunity from being held legally liable for content third-party users share and grants those same services legal immunity from the decisions they make around content moderation. The National Defense Authorization Act would have authorized $740 billion in defense spending for the upcoming government fisc

Google, Facebook Agreed to Team Up Against Possible Antitrust Action, Draft Lawsuit Says

Facebook and Google agreed to “cooperate and assist one another” if they ever faced an investigation into their pact to work together in online advertising, according to an unredacted version of a lawsuit filed by 10 states against Google. Ten Republican attorneys general, led by Texas, are alleging that the two companies cut a deal in September 2018 in which Facebook agreed not to compete with Google’s online advertising tools in return for special treatment

Facebook Shares New 2020 Election Report With Biden, Trump Teams

Facebook told lawmakers it blocked or removed 265,000 posts for violating the social network’s policies against voter interference and rejected 3.3 million ad submissions as part of its effort to protect the recent US elections against misinformation and foreign influence. The action was cited in a 22-page report summarizing the company’s election work that was distributed Dec 18 to a wide array of members of Congress as well as officials in the outgoing Trump administration and incoming team of President-elect Joe Biden.

Google’s Legal Peril Grows in Face of Third Antitrust Suit

More than 30 states added to Google’s mushrooming legal woes, accusing the company of illegally arranging its search results to push out smaller rivals. The bipartisan group of state prosecutors said in a lawsuit that Google downplayed websites that let users search for information in specialized areas like home repair services and travel reviews. The prosecutors also accused the company of using exclusive deals with phone makers like Apple to prioritize Google’s search service over rivals like Firefox and DuckDuckGo.