The WashingTECH Policy Podcast is your resource for media and tech law and policy news. Each week, the WashingTECH Policy Podcast gives you the latest developments in media and tech law & policy, as well as an interview with an influencer in the media and technology sectors, whether they be policyma…
Hey everybody, I'm Joe Miller and here's what's going on in the world of tech law & policy this week. Alfred Ng over at Politico reports that the police can obtain Ring camera footage without your permission. All they need is a warrant. But don't worry – they will be nice. They will call you instead of knocking on your door. If you don't give them the footage, Ring will also contact you. If you still don't give them the footage, well, I don't know about you but I wouldn't want to find out what happens after that! And getting a warrant is the least intrusive way to gain access. San Francisco recently passed an ordinance allowing police access to live Ring camera footage. – Should the U.S. ban TikTok in the U.S.? The younger you are, the more likely you are to say, “No.” But lawmakers across the aisle want the app banned, citing security and propaganda concerns about the fact that its parent company, ByteDance, is based in China, and China has way more control over its corporations than the U.S. But in yet another deadlock in Washington, the Biden administration hasn't acted, the Commerce Department hasn't acted, and neither has Congress. The Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. (CFIUS) has engaged nine agencies in an investigation, but it has taken years to get that completed. Neither Democrats nor Republicans want to be the ones to anger GenZ and suburban moms. And a ton of TikTok accounts are run by politicians. There's been discussion about Oracle handling all U.S. TikTok data in the U.S. But engineers in Beijing will still have access. – House Republicans are lining up in support of Elon Musk, as Cat Zakrzewski reports in the Washington Post. House Judiciary Committee Chair Jim Jordan released an 18-page report attacking the Federal Trade Commission's investigation of the platform, calling it a “harassment campaign” against Elon Musk.. The FTC began re-investigating Twitter last year, before Musk acquired Twitter, about a possible breach of its 2011 consent decree to improve privacy practices. The privacy loophole in your doorbell Police were investigating his neighbor. A judge gave officers access to all his security-camera footage, including inside his home. politico.com VIEW MORE As Washington wavers on TikTok, Beijing exerts control TikTok's link to China has sparked fears over propaganda and privacy. It's also exposed America's failure to safeguard the web. washingtonpost.com VIEW MORE House Republicans defend Musk from FTC's ‘harassment campaign' The FTC's Twitter probe has earned the ire of House Republicans, who argue the agency is trying to thwart Musk's absolutist vision of free speech on Twitter. washingtonpost.com VIEW MORE Biden Seeks $100 Million Boost for Justice's Antitrust Muscle President Joe Biden is asking for a $100 million increase in the fiscal year 2024 budget for the Justice Department's antitrust division, underscoring his focus on enforcing against companies' anticompetitive conduct. news.bloomberglaw.com VIEW MORE CFPB and NLRB Announce Information Sharing Agreement to Protect American Consumers and Workers from Illegal Practices | Consumer Financial Protection Bureau The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) today signed an information sharing agreement, creating a formal partnership between the two agencies to better protect American families and to address practices that harm workers in the “gig economy” and other labor markets. consumerfinance.gov VIEW MORE Warren Urges DOJ Review of Thoma Bravo Rental Software Unit A group of Democratic senators is urging the US Justice Department to scrutinize whether Thoma Bravo LLC's rental software company RealPage Inc. is fomenting rising rents across the US through its rental pricing software. bloomberg.com VIEW MORE Biden FCC nominee withdraws after a bruising lobbying battle Gigi Sohn's decision leaves the agency deadlocked -- and Biden's internet promises in limbo washingtonpost.com VIEW MORE
The internet can be a minefield of financial scams, but you don't have to navigate it alone. Arm yourself with knowledge and stay protected from online fraud. Bio LinkedIn Instagram Sean Davis is a privacy lawyer based in Washington, D.C. and Senior Analyst at the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF). Previously, he was with Engine.org, the small business advocate, where he served as Policy Manager. Prior to that Sean was with Wikimedia Foundation and Public Knowledge. He earned his JD from George Washington University School of Law and his Bachelor's in English from Mount St. Mary's. Resources Staff, the P.N.O. and Nguyen, S.T. (2023) New FTC data show consumers reported losing nearly $8.8 billion to scams in 2022, Federal Trade Commission. Available at: https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/news/press-releases/2023/02/new-ftc-data-show-consumers-reported-losing-nearly-88-billion-scams-2022 (Accessed: March 6, 2023).
Characterizing the popular TikTok app as a modern-day “Trojan Horse” because its parent company, ByteDance, is based in China, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman, Michal McCaul, aa Texas Republican, introduced the “Deterring America's Foreign Adversaries Act, which would ban TikTok in the United States. Democrats oppose the bill, saying it would go too far in abridging the Freedom of Speech. The American Civil Liberties Union is also pushing back against the bill. Federal courts have previously held that blocking TikTok would violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, which limits the president's ability to block informational and personal communications. In the coming weeks, TikTok is expected to release a new feature that notifies kids when they have been using the app over a specified period of time, after which kids can decide if they want to stay logged in. For kids under 13, they'll need a password from mom and dad to keep using TikTok after the allotted time has passed. Critics of these measures say they are meaningless since kids can still claim to be adults when they set up TikTok accounts. A new initiative from the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children has a new app called ‘Take it Down' that helps kids confidentially remove nude images of themselves that exist online, shared when they were minors. The app is available for download at https://takeitdown.ncmec.org/. It doesn't work with TikTok yet. However, it does work with Facebook, Instagram, OnlyFans, and PornHub. The White House last week released what it is calling a New Initial Blueprint to address online harassment and abuse. The Executive Summary, prepared by a Task Force the Biden Harris Administration established last year, includes provisions for preventing online harassment and abuse, supporting victims, conducting research, and holding platforms accountable. And as prosecutors in states in which abortion has become illegal continue to push for more access to reproductive health data from women seeking abortions, some lawmakers are seeking privacy legislation more suited for our post-Roe v. Wade world. One bill, introduced by Democratic Representative Sara Jacobs from California – the SAFER Health Act – would require patients to provide consent to permit healthcare providers to share data about abortions or miscarriages, even if the data are being sought via court order. And democratic senators Mazie Hirono, Amy Klobuchar, and Elizabeth Warren also introduced a bill – the Upholding Protections for Health and Online Location Data (UPHOLD) Privacy Act - that would also restrict access to patient location data. The new bill comes amid a decision by Walgreens –America's second-largest pharmacy chain – to stop selling abortion prescriptions throughout the United States, even where abortion remains legal. The decision dealt a blow to abortion rights activists. The Federal Trade Commission has proposed a $7.5 million settlement to mental health app BetterHealth for sharing patients' data with marketers even after telling the patients Betterhealth would protect the data. The FTC has also commenced looking into how landlords may use algorithms to screen tenants. In other news … The Inspector General's Office of the Department of Homeland Security issued a report showing federal law enforcement officials with Immigrations & Customs Enforcement, as well as other federal agencies, didn't follow established protocols for using cell-site simulators – or Stingrays – to pursue subjects. Police in the Commonwealth of Virginia are back to using facial recognition software – but the data collection is limited to certain circumstances, which don't include scanning faces in real-time. Algorithms are starting to decide which employees to lay off. And Google has released its civil rights review. House Committee Advances Bill To Ban TikTok "If it's too dangerous to be on our phones, it's also too dangerous to be on our children's phones," Rep. Michael McCaul said at a hearing Tuesday. mediapost.com VIEW MORE TikTok isn't really limiting kids' time on its app Teens can still click right on through the new screen time limit. vox.com VIEW MORE Take It Down This service is one step you can take to help remove online nude, partially nude, or sexually explicit photos and videos taken before you were 18. takeitdown.ncmec.org VIEW MORE EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Initial Blueprint for the White House Task Force to Address Online Harassment and Abuse | The White House Online harassment and abuse is increasingly widespread in today's digitally connected world. This can include online threats and intimidation as well as various forms of technology-facilitated gender-based violence (GBV), such as the non-consensual distribution of intimate images, cyberstalking, and sextortion. Women, girls, and LGBTQI+ individuals are disproportionately affected. Survivors of online harassment and abuse—especially image-based… whitehouse.gov VIEW MORE Post-Roe, prosecutors can seek unprotected reproductive health data Health privacy in the post-Roe digital age is fraught as prosecutors seeking to enforce anti-abortion laws are free to go after reproductive health data in mobile apps. axios.com VIEW MORE FTC says online counseling service BetterHelp pushed people into handing over health information – and broke its privacy promises In the hierarchy of confidential data, health information ranks right up there. ftc.gov VIEW MORE Democrats' New Bill Could Be the First Real US Privacy Law Did you know there are basically no privacy laws at the federal level? Even HIPAA, the US's big medical privacy rule, lets companies buy and sell your health secrets. The Democrats want to change that with a bill that would protect health and location data. gizmodo.com VIEW MORE AI is starting to pick who gets laid off As layoffs rave the tech industry, algorithms once used to help hire could now be helping to lay people off. washingtonpost.com VIEW MORE Tenant screening practices: the FTC wants to learn more consumer.ftc.gov VIEW MORE Police use of facial recognition tech resumes with guardrails Critics argue the law governing its use is still too broad. vpm.org VIEW MORE Report: ICE and the Secret Service Conducted Illegal Surveillance of Cell Phones The Department of Homeland Security's Inspector General has released a troubling new report detailing how federal agencies like Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and the Secret Service have conducted surveillance using cell-site simulators (CSS)... eff.org VIEW MORE Home Depot, Ring, others allegedly record website visitors' online communications Consumers recently filed multiple class action lawsuits against companies accused of unlawfully recording the online communications of their website visitors. topclassactions.com VIEW MORE Google releases civil rights review, caving to years of pressure Advocacy groups have long called on the tech giant to follow companies such as Meta and Apple and vet its products for racial biases. washingtonpost.com VIEW MORE
In this episode of the Tech Policy Leaders podcast, Meredith Broussard discusses her new book ‘More Than a Glitch,' which takes a critical look at algorithms and the people who create them. Bio Website LinkedIn @MerBroussard Data journalist Meredith Broussard is an associate professor at the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute of New York University, research director at the NYU Alliance for Public Interest Technology, and the author of several books, including “Artificial Unintelligence: How Computers Misunderstand the World” and “More Than a Glitch: Confronting Race, Gender, and Ability Bias in Tech.” Her academic research focuses on artificial intelligence in investigative reporting and ethical AI, with a particular interest in using data analysis for social good. She appeared in the 2020 documentary Coded Bias, an official selection of the Sundance Film Festival that was nominated for an Emmy Award and an NAACP Image Award. Resources (2022) More Than a Glitch: Confronting Race, Gender, and Ability Bias in Tech. Available at: https://bookshop.org/p/books/more-than-a-glitch-confronting-race-gender-and-ability-bias-in-tech-meredith-broussard/18634652?ean=9780262047654 (Accessed: February 27, 2023).
Hey everybody, I'm Joe Miller and here's what's going on in the world of tech law & policy this week. Somehow, a U.S. government server running on Microsoft's Azure government cloud was unsecured, exposing U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) data, including sensitive personnel information. Security researcher Anurag Sen discovered the breach last week, and the Department of Defense patched it up after spilling data for 2 weeks. USSOCOM told TechCrunch that no data breach occurred. Thirty-eight months – that's all Garret Miller got for assaulting officers and tweeting a threat at Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez saying “assassinate AOC” during the January 6th 2021 Capitol Riot. Miller, a 36-year-old from Texas, was sentenced to 38 months for assaulting officers and threatening Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, tweeting at her the words “assassinate AOC,” and running around with rope and grappling hooks. Vice reports that ICE's $22 million contract with LexisNexis gives the agency unfettered, warrantless access to millions of data points. LexisNexis also links public records between agencies, including the Secret Service. 80 civil society and immigration advocacy groups have urged the Department of Homeland Security not to renew LexisNexis' contract when it expires on February 28th. Thirty-year-old Sam Bankman-Fried may be safe living at home with his parents, while he's out on bail, but the charges against him following the implosion of the FTX crypto currency exchange he founded are piling up. Federal prosecutors allege Mr. Bankman-Fried used “straw donors” to evade campaign contribution limits, hundreds of times, using money from FTX customer accounts. Stat reports that machine learning models to predict stroke risk are mediocre – not much better than simpler algorithms – and they're even worse at predicting risk for Black men and women compared to White patients. Researchers proposed connecting electronic health records with local community data. The Markup reports that Kroger, the supermarket chain that includes Harris Teeter, reports your data to countless brands including General Mills. We're talking 2,000 variables about you times the billions of other transactions from customers just like you over the years.. They're collecting facial recognition data, they get your household data every time you enter your phone number at the cash register, they're tracking your online shopping cart and making all sorts of predictions about you, when all you were trying to do was buy a bag of mandarin oranges. And the Markup says the problem will get worse if Kroger & Albertson's $24.6 billion merger goes through. Also … The Wall Street Journal reported that federal law enforcement arrested Ozy Media CEO Carlos Watson for misleading potential investors, misreporting audience numbers and who the other investors were. The Verge reports that video game maker Valve has cracked down on cheaters, banning 40,000 users for accessing a cheat “honeypot” in Dota 2. And a science fiction magazine had to cut off submissions after being bombarded with AI-generated content To go deeper, you can find links to all of these stories in the show notes. Stay safe, stay informed, have a great week. Ciao. Sensitive US military emails spill online A security researcher told TechCrunch that a government server was exposing military emails to the internet because no password was set. techcrunch.com VIEW MORE Capitol rioter who tweeted threat to Rep. Ocasio-Cortez sentenced to 38 months in prison | CNN Politics A Texas man was sentenced to more than three years in prison Wednesday for assaulting police officers during the US Capitol riot and threatening Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Twitter shortly after the attack. cnn.com VIEW MORE Immigration Advocates Urge DHS to Drop ICE's LexisNexis Contract ICE has queried LexisNexis' data more than a million times, and leadership encouraged officials to use the tool for finding non-citizens. vice.com VIEW MORE Bankman-Fried charged with hundreds of illegal campaign donations The FTX co-founder is accused of "flooding the political system with tens of millions of dollars in illegal contributions," according to a new indictment. nbcnews.com VIEW MORE Tools to predict stroke risk work less well for Black patients, study finds Stroke risk prediction tools are meant to guide how doctors approach a potentially deadly condition. But a new analysis finds several work less well for Black patients. statnews.com VIEW MORE Forget Milk and Eggs: Supermarkets Are Having a Fire Sale on Data About You – The Markup When you use supermarket discount cards, you are sharing much more than what is in your cart—and grocery chains like Kroger are reaping huge profits selling this data to brands and advertisers themarkup.org VIEW MORE Ozy Media CEO Carlos Watson arrested on fraud charges Prosecutors allege Watson misled potential investors about their revenue and business projections to the company's audience numbers and the identities of its investors. nbcnews.com VIEW MORE Dota 2 bans 40,000 cheaters after laying ‘honeypot' trap Valve caught players red-handed while patching a known exploit. theverge.com VIEW MORE A sci-fi magazine has cut off submissions after a flood of AI-generated stories The science fiction and fantasy magazine Clarkesworld says it has been bombarded with AI-mage stories. Its publisher says it's part of a rise of side hustle culture online. npr.org VIEW MORE
ChatGPT is an artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot written in natural language processing (NLP) technology that can interact with its users on a variety of different topics and respond in meaningful ways. AI-driven tools are emerging as powerful new tools in the legal industry, especially when it comes to streamlining mundane tasks, assisting with research and enhancing customer service functions. In this episode, I interviewed ChatGPT and input its responses into a text to speech generator. We took a dive into the ethics of AI, the limitations of its capabilities, and some of the philosophical questions about the nature of how it “thinks,” using the use of AI in the legal profession as a case study. Bio Website ChatGPT (Chat Generative Pre-trained Transformer) is a chatbot developed by Open AI and launched in November 2022. In January, Microsoft announced a $10 billion investment in Open AI, which includes ChatGPT as well as DALL-E, another Open AI generative AI platform that creates artwork based on user queries. Obviously, ChatGPT is text-based so I put the answers it gave me into a text-to-speech reader. I used a platform called Speechify, which gave me a 3-day free trial to do this, so thank you Speechify. And I think this particular voice is based on Sir David Attenborough's, which made it kind of fun. I hope you enjoy it too. And thank you David Attenborough! How do I get you on the show? I guess this will have to suffice. Resources OpenAI
Folks, kids are having a really hard time, and a lot of it has to do with what's happening on the internet. Some lawmakers appear to be trying to do the right thing, but it seems like all they're really capable of doing is introducing legislation – legislation that doesn't get anywhere. The CDC released a report Monday finding teens, especially girls, are in a bad place right now with some 57% of the 17,000 high school girls surveyed persistently feeling bad or hopeless. Some twenty percent of these girls report experiencing sexual violence. And a third of boys also report feeling persistently sad or depressed. One young person in Washington State is working to get a bill passed to protect images their parents shared on parenting blogs that went viral. And here in DC, the Senate Judiciary Committee heard brutal testimony from victims of addiction, cyberbullying, sexual abuse, and suicides spurred by social media and the internet. Committee Chair Dick Durbin notes that we often warn kids about strangers in public, but obv iously aren't doing enough to protect kids. So Senate Democrats introduced legislation on Monday, the Clean Slate for Kids Online Act, that would give kids the ability to have content removed that depicts them before they turned 13. Another bill, the EARN IT Act, which would establish a National Commission on Online Child Sexual Exploitation Prevention, has been floundering in Congress since 2020. On the House side, the Judiciary Committee Chair Jim Jordan subpoenaed Google, Alphabet, Apple, Amazon, Facebook, and Microsoft for documents regarding their content moderation practices. The House is currently investigating the platforms for harboring anti-conservative bias. — Down in Florida, Polk County arrested 200, charging 89 of them with soliciting a prostitute, after a week-long investigation. 111 of the suspects were arrested for prostitution, of which 24 actually turned out to be human trafficking victims. Separately, the U.S. denied a tourist visa to a UK-based VRChat user who goes by the name of “Hex.” She does sex shows on the platform. The reason for the passport denial? Prostitution. —- Don't be surprised if the healthcare platforms you rely on are selling your information to marketers. The only privacy bill specifically for healthcare is the Health Insurance Privacy & Portability Act (HIPPA), which contains no provisions regarding your health data in the U.S. An anonymous plaintiff filed a class action lawsuit in Loa Angeles this week alleging Microsoft Bing, Google, and Meta rec eived data from Cedars-Sinai Health System and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center via a tracking code. And a new Duke study found data brokers can sell lists containing personally-identifiable information on thousands of depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, PTSD, and OCD patients. – Bao Fan has disappeared in China. The American-educated and outspoken billionaire investment banker has stakes in massive Chinese companies like Alibaba & Tencent. Chinese president Xi Jinping, as Daisuke Wakabayashi of the New York Times reports, has been cracking down on business titans there. Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma disappeared from public view as well back in 2020 for being too vocal about China's fiscal policies. As were several other prominent Chinese billionaires, one of which, Xiao Jianhua, who was born in China, was arrested at the Hong Kong Four Seasons and got 13 years in the slammer for embezzlement and bribery. —- Elon Musk says he'll eventually step down as Twitter CEO once he gets the company financially stable – he's aiming for the end of this year. Earlier this week, Casey Newton reported on Platformer that Musk was forcing engineers – firing one of them – for not getting Musk's content to the top of the feed. Musk responded with a meme of a woman force-feeding another woman from a bottle of milk. Then he claimed that Newton's source was a disgruntled former employee. Also, Twitter is allowing weed advertisers on the platform now. Musk was high last year when he announced plans to acquire the company. Also, Podcaster Joe Rogan got deepaked by someone – they made him look like he was endorsing a testosterone supplement. Voice Actors are calling folks out for using their voices to create AI models without their consent Microsoft's Chatbot has gone haywire, telling one reporter to leave his wife. And the EU is investigating Amazon for acquiring iRobot To go deeper, you can find links to all of these stories in the show notes. Stay safe, stay informed, have a great week. Ciao. Addiction, Suicide, Cyberbullies: Senate Confronts Kids' Online Horror At a hearing on Tuesday, congress heard from victims and experts about the horrific effects of social media creates on children, including cyberbullying, internet addiction, sexual abuse, and suicide. It's one of the rare issues with bipartisan agreement. gizmodo.com VIEW MORE Teen Girls Are Sadder Than Ever, But Schools Can Make "A Profound Difference" New data from the CDC shows that teen girls are experiencing record levels of sadness. romper.com VIEW MORE How one teen is urging legislators in Washington state to help protect kids from being exploited on vlogs State legislators held a public hearing about a bill that would protect "the interests of minor children featured on for-profit family vlogs." nbcnews.com VIEW MORE House Republicans subpoena Apple, Facebook and Google over content moderation Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, chair of the Judiciary Committee, also sent subpoenas to the CEOs of Amazon and Microsoft. nbcnews.com VIEW MORE Undercover human trafficking bust in Florida leads to over 200 arrests, rescue of 24 suspected victims The Polk County Sheriff's Office in Florida announced that a weeklong human trafficking operation has resulted in the arrests of 213 individuals and the rescue of 24 victims. foxnews.com VIEW MORE VRChat Sex Worker Denied Entry To US Over ‘Prostitution' UK-based Hex wanted to visit friends in the U.S. but was barred from entering due to her virtual work kotaku.com VIEW MORE Lawsuit accuses Cedars-Sinai hospital's website of sharing data with Meta, Google A proposed class action lawsuit alleges Cedars-Sinai hospital in Los Angeles shared sensitive patient data to companies such as Meta and Google for targeted advertising. abcnews.go.com VIEW MORE Data Brokers Are Selling Long Lists of People With Depression A new study finds data brokers selling lists of people with anxiety, depression, PTSD, and more for as little as $0.20. Privacy laws like HIPAA don't cover much of the internet, and there's a mental health data buffet for anyone who wants to know your secrets. gizmodo.com VIEW MORE Star Banker Vanishes in China, Stoking Fears of Renewed Beijing Crackdown Bao Fan is the latest businessman in China to disappear, raising concerns that Beijing's crackdown on the technology and financial industries will continue. nytimes.com VIEW MORE Elon Says He'll Finally Step Down as Twitter CEO, Just Give Him a Year The billionaire Twitter owner promised that he would hand over the reins after a Twitter poll overwhelmingly showed users wanted him gone. gizmodo.com VIEW MORE From 404 to 420: Twitter Now Allows Weed Advertising It's no secret Elon Musk's social media platform has been struggling financially. Maybe cannabis ads could be the green boost the company needs. gizmodo.com VIEW MORE Elon Musk's Tweets Are All Over Twitter's 'For You' Feeds After throwing a hissy fit because his tweets weren't getting seen, Musk's tweets flooded some users' 'For You' feeds on Monday. gizmodo.com VIEW MORE AI Joe Rogan promotes libido booster for men in deepfake video A deepfake video showing Joe Rogan and guest Andrew D. Huberman on The Joe Rogan Experience podcast promote a male enhancement that can be bought on Amazon. dailymail.co.uk VIEW MORE Your Favorite Voice Actors Call Out AI Sites Copying Voices Without Consent Voice actors like Jennifer Hale, Steve Blum, and SungWon Cho ask fans to support real actors, not AI kotaku.com VIEW MORE Creepy Microsoft Bing Chatbot Urges Tech Columnist To Leave His Wife The AI chatbot "Sydney" declared it loved New York Times journalist Kevin Roose and that it wanted to be human. huffpost.com VIEW MORE Amazon Subject of Investigation Over iRobot Acquisition The upcoming EU antitrust probe will also reportedly look at privacy concerns related to how the autonomous vacuum cleaner can take pictures around a home. gizmodo.com VIEW MORE
Ahmad Thomas: A Glimpse Into a Shifting World - Examining the Purpose of Corporate Social Responsibility in a Turbulent Environment Corporate social responsibility (CSR) has become an increasingly important part of business practices. Companies are ostensibly thinking more proactively and creatively about how they can contribute to the world around them and make a positive impact on society. But what does this mean for tech policy in a tumultuous world? In this episode of Tech Policy Leaders, you'll learn from Ahmad Thomas, CEO of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group. After listening to this episode, you'll understand more about: 1. The current state of corporate social responsibility 2. Ahmad Thomas' definition of CSR 3. Why corporations should care about CSR 4. How to implement CSR in your business 5. The benefits of CSR 6. Challenges faced by businesses when implementing CSR Ahmad Thomas Silicon Valley Leadership Group Twitter LinkedIn Bio Ahmad Thomas is the CEO of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, the region's most dynamic business association. As a change agent and next-generation business leader, Thomas partners with the organization's 350+ member companies to promote entrepreneurial solutions to strengthen Silicon Valley business competitiveness, bolster its innovation ecosystem, and create shared economic value throughout the greater Bay Area. Resources The White House. The United States Government. Available at: https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2022/08/09/fact-sheet-chips-and-science-act-will-lower-costs-create-jobs-strengthen-supply-chains-and-counter-china/ (Accessed: February 13, 2023) Inflation reduction act of 2022 (no date) Internal Revenue Service. Available at: https://www.irs.gov/inflation-reduction-act-of-2022 (Accessed: February 13, 2023). (no date) Broadbandusa. Available at: https://broadbandusa.ntia.doc.gov/news/latest-news/ntias-role-implementing-broadband-provisions-2021-infrastructure-investment-and (Accessed: February 13, 2023).
China was caught floating a spy balloon over Montana. Like no one was going to see it. What else is there to do in Montana except look up at the sky? According to the Washington Post, a defense official said, “It loitered overhead for an extended period of time.” Come on guys, when are we going to get serious? What other shenanigans do we have here … Oh! The European Union is warning Elon Musk that they’re going to hit him with a can of you-know-what if he doesn’t comply with their Digital Services Act. The Act prohibits hate speech. We don’t have a hate speech ban in the U.S. But EU’s law influences Twitter content in the U.S., since managing U.S. policy and EU policy would be more expensive. And the Republican-controlled House is going to grill former Twitter staff at a hearing next week. They want to know more about why the company suppressed stories about Hunter Biden. What else? Oh – Harvard’s Kennedy School is shutting down its Technology & Social Change project after just 5 years. Prominent scholar Joan Donovan led the institute focused on misinformation. Harvard says the landscape has changed drastically and that the mission is no longer relevant. That’s the public version of the story. Donovan didn’t comment to the Washington Post. And the other piece to this is that Elon has now blocked access to Twitter's API, so researchets can no longer access it. Tech Policy Press & Justin Hendrix released a podcast episode last week giving the Indigenous perspective on Generative AI and the need to publish more work by Indigenous peoples. New York Attorney General Letitia James wants answers from Madison Square Garden and Radio City Music Hall about reports the venues used facial recognition technology to ban the lawyers opposing them from entering the venues. Thousands of lawyers were affected. James is investigating whether this practice violated New York’s Civil Rights laws. Finally, Google CEO Sundar Pichai is promising new chat features to compete with ChatGPT. Meanwhile, the company just laid off 12,000 people.
Hey everybody, I'm Joe Miller and here's what's going on in the world of tech law & policy this week. So the White House confirmed earlier this afternoon that it had shot down another object floating 40,000 ft. above Alaska. No word yet on whether it's part of China's balloon festival, but this one was much smaller than the one they shot down last week. Feds are investigating. Americans want privacy legislation but – as Colorado Attorney General Phill Weiser noted to the Washington Post with quite a bit of frustration – there doesn't really seem to be a lot of governance coming from Congress. A new study from the University of Pennsylvania's Annenberg School found most Americans simply do not understand how companies use their data. I'd venture to guess that many tech companies want to keep it that way. For example, eighty-two percent of those Americans surveyed reported that they had no idea that the Health Insurance Privacy and Portability Act (HIPPA). I didn't even know that, if I'm being honest with you. And TSA is collecting facial data at more and more airports – with the Washington Post reporting that some 16 major U.S. airports collect facial recognition data. At Tuesday's State of the Union, President Biden ardently called for action from Congress to do more to protect kids online, as the current minimum age to advertise to kids is currently just 13. And the U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy said that 13 is too young. Republican Senator Josh Hawley is calling for 16 to become the minimum age for kids to be allowed to join social media networks. Meanwhile, over at Twitter, Elon Musk says cleaning up the platform of child abuse content is his top priority. But plenty of that material is still showing up, according to a New York Times exposé. This coincides with these repulsive individuals who were once banned, now being reinstated. And the Center for Digital Hate released a report saying these accounts spreading vile hate speech make millions for the company. And major brands' advertisements are still showing up next to hate speech – with Fiverr, NFL, Amazon, & Apple TV among them. The University of Exeter reports an Eight-fold increase of misogynistic, dehumanizing content posted by incels on Twitter. Incels, as you may recall, are men who are “involuntarily celibate” and are furious at women for not genuflecting before them. Ofcom, the communications oversight agency in the UK is calling for amending the online safety bill to further protect women by putting a code of practice in place. This is happening as women struggle with defending themselves against all sorts of monsters on the internet creating deepfake porn using their likenesses. And a new Pew report on online dating found that some 38% of online daters, mostly women, reported receiving unwanted, sexually explicit material. And the New York Times reports that a District Court in Louisiana is now considering whether the government should have any discretion at all when it comes to putting any measures in place to combat disinformation. It is Republicans who primarily oppose any government intervention to combat harmful information, even though former Twitter employees reported that that company kept Republicans' requests to remove progressive speech, including requests from former President Trump, whom Meta reinstated to Facebook and Instagram last week. In Turkey, victims of the horrifying earthquake that killed10s of thousands of people weren't able to get on Twitter at all to ask for help. That's because the Turkish government has a long history of blocking access to Twitter. So that's what's going on! It is astonishing how much has changed in only the last few weeks. To go deeper, you can find links to all of these stories in the show notes. Stay safe, stay informed, and have a great week. Ciao.
[Encore Episode -- originally recorded 1/17/2017] Bio Tiffany Cross (@tifcrossmyheart) is brings 20 years of relationships, outreach, and storytelling to The Beat, Washington's inclusive political pulse. Having spent significant time working in newsrooms, covering Capitol Hill, managing in-house corporate public affairs, working on campaigns, and navigating communities of color, she brings a unique set of skills that casts a wide net of influence. Understanding the intersection of press, partnerships, politics, and policy, Tiffany has a proven record of excellent relationships in the private and public sectors, media, the entertainment industry, and civic and social justice organizations. Most recently, Tiffany served as a Senior Advisor for the National Education Association (NEA) and its three million members. In this capacity, she liaised with the public sector, traditional and niche media markets, constituency groups, and civic and social justice organizations. She worked with NEA leadership on branding and positioning and was responsible for forging strategic partnerships, internal and external messaging, conducting scans on grassroots and grasstop organizations, and engaging communities in bilateral conversations on education, labor, and civic and social justice issues. Before joining the NEA, Tiffany served as the Manager of News & Public Affairs and the Liaison to the Executive Branch for Black Entertainment Television (BET) Networks. Her work at BET included coordinating with the Democratic National Convention and Republican National Convention in 2008, executing the network's participation in the 2008 Presidential election, brand enhancement for the network, and advising on BET's political and social agenda. Tiffany's broad experience includes guest booking for CNN's Reliable Sources with Howard Kurtz, covering Capitol Hill for Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer, and working as an Associate Producer for Capital Gang. She was also a former Producer at America's Most Wanted and Director of Communications for Brilliant Corners Research & Strategies where she worked on the Obama for America Presidential Campaign and secured high-level visibility for company president Cornell Belcher. In this episode, we discussed: how Tiffany's personal journey has informed her approach to creating value for her network. Tiffany's key strategies and mindset hacks for building powerful professional relationships in Washington. how 'The Beat' is helping policy professionals in Washington stay on top of what's happening and find relevant networking opportunities. Resources: The Beat (send news leads to: firstname.lastname@example.org) The Raben Group Task Rabbit The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver NEWS ROUNDUP Donald Trump named former New York City Mayor and early Trump supporter Rudy Giuliani as an informal cybersecurity advisor. He'll head the President-elect's cybersecurity working group. Abby Phillip in the Washington Post writes that, since leaving the New York City Mayorship, Giuliani has started his own cybersecurity consulting firm-Giuliani Partners. Now a bunch of people are saying, "What the hell does Guiliani know about cybsecurity?" Well, Motherboard's Jason Koebler and Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchierai looked into it and found some folks familiar with Giuliani and Partners' work ... It turns out their expertise is more along the lines of telling companies how to legally cover their asses if they're the victim of cyberbreach, as opposed to advising on actual cybersecurity solutions. So it's looking like this job is more of a thank you for to Giuliani for his help during the campaign. It also turns out, as Rob Price at Business Insider found, that Giuliani's company website--giulianisecurity.com--is replete with vulnerabilities. -- You've heard all about Trump's dossier--people calling him PEEOTUS and things like that on Twitter, so we won't go into all the details on that--especially since the dossier is still largely unsubstantiated. But Scott Shane put together a nice summary just in case you don't want to sit there all day trying to figure out what's going on with this. Basically, this all started when the Republicans retained a company called Fusion GPS to look into Trump to figure out how to hurt him politically. Then, when it turned out he was going to be the Republican nominee, the Clinton campaign took over and retained Fusion to continue the investigation. The dossier has been floating around Washington for quite sometime, but the President and President-elect were briefed on it, and that's when it made its way to the public via BuzzFeed and other sites. Mr. Trump says the entire dossier is a total fabrication. But if it's a total fabrication--it's pretty detailed, so someone must have had a lot of time on their hands. In any case, the FBI is investigating the claims ... although no one knows if Trump will authorize that investigation to continue. Some are also wondering why FBI Director James Comey was so interested in Hillary Clinton's email but not this. So this issue isn't going away anytime soon, basically, is the takeaway here. -- Matt Hamilton at the LA Times reports that BackPage--the classified ad website -- shut down its adult section last week after the U.S. Senate released a scathing report accusing the company of hiding targeted search terms related to prostitution and child abuse. BackPage Founders Michael Lacey and and James Larkin were scheduled to testify before the Senate Committee on Homeland and Governmental Affairs' subcommittee on investigations. The committee's report alleges that its review of some 1.1 million documents revealed evidence that the company facilitated sex trafficking and child abuse. Testimony from a BackPage site moderator seems to show the company actively removed search terms so they wouldn't lose ad revenue, but still keep the ads posted without actively promoting crimes. But BackPage says it adheres to the the Communications Decency Act which provides immunity to websites that host content by third parties. The company also claimed the government investigation was an violation of its First Amendment Rights One children's advocate--Lois Lee--founder of Children of the Night--even said the site has actually helped law enforcement identify predators and locate missing children. But Senators Bob Portman--the Republican from Ohio and as Democratic Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill--both of who led the bi-partisan investigation-- say BackPages's decision to shut down the adult section shows how damning the evidence they uncovered was. -- Congress has selected its leadership for its communications and tech-related committees. Senate Commerce Committee Chair John Tune announced that Mississippi Republican Senator Roger Wicker will lead the Senate Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, Innovation and the Internet. House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Greg Walden announced Tennessee Republican Marsha Blackburn, who opposes net neutrality and prevented efforts to build municipal broadband networks, will lead the House Communications and Technology subcommittee. Jon Brodkin reports in Ars Technica. -- Aaron Smith at Pew reports that a record number of Americans have smartphones and access to broadband at home. Seventy-seven percent of Americans have smartphones, with explosive growth among adults over age 50. Americans with access to broadband at home increased 6 points to 73%. Also, Seventy percent of Americans use social media and half own a tablet. -- iPhone app purchasers may sue Apple for not allowing them to purchase apps outside of the Apple store, according to the 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, overturning the lower court's ruling. The decision doesn't affect the merits of the case brought against Apple, but if the plaintiff's win, it could open the door for more competition in the app market. Stephen Nells and Dan Levine have the story in Reuters. -- The independent prosecutor in South Korea investigating the corruption scandal that has led to the suspension of the country's first female president -- Park Geun-hye -- has asked a local court to issue an arrest warrant for Lee Jae--yong--the head of Samsung. The prosecutors allege Lee used corporate money to bribe Park for favors. The court is expected to review the request on Wednesday. Anna Fifield has more at the Washington Post. -- Finally, The Email Privacy Act is alive again, after passing unanimously in the House and dying in the Senate last year. The bill would require authorities to get warrants for emails as well as social media data, including data older than 180 days. It would also allow providers to notify their customers that their information was requested. The bill was introduced by Rep. Kevin Yoder (R-Kan.) and Jared Polis (D-Colo.). John Eggerton has the story in Multichannel News.
Viewpoint diversity is essential for having meaningful dialogue and achieving true understanding. It allows people to be exposed to different perspectives and consider all sides of an issue without judgment. Viewpoint diversity can lead to better solutions, deeper insights into current problems, and improved collaboration between individuals with vastly different backgrounds and opinions. Without it, the conversation becomes stagnant and limited, ultimately limiting progress. Historically, the telecommunications, media, and tech policy bar has failed to reflect the racial and ethnic diversity of the population as a whole. Until now. Barry joined Joe on the podcast to discuss how FCBA -- The Tech Bar (Federal Communications Bar Association) fosters viewpoint diversity via its new curriculum to certify underrepresented voices in this practice area. Bio LinkedIn Barry J. Ohlson serves as Vice President of Regulatory Affairs at Cox Enterprises, Inc. and currently serves as President of FCBA -- The Tech Bar (Federal Communications Bar Association). Mr. Ohlson's practice focuses on the wireless, telecommunications, and broadband sectors, with an emphasis on assessing the strategic and regulatory implications of advanced technologies and new telecommunications services. He has nearly 30 years of government, corporate, and legal experience in telecommunications, media, and tech law & policy, and he has been intimately involved in the complex regulatory and legal issues impacting businesses and stakeholders. Resources FCBA -- The Tech Bar (Federal Communications Bar Association)
Hey everybody, I’m Joe Miller and here’s what’s going on in the world of tech law & policy this week. ChatGPT is still at the top of headlines this week with Buzzfeed announcing that it’s going to use generative AI to produce “select” content. Buzzfeed’s CEO Jonah Peretti says he wants BuzzFeed to lead the future of AI-powered content. This comes only days after CNET faced scrutiny for using AI to produce content for years. And a lot of writers and journalists are worried about their jobs, as they should be. Prominent BuzzFeed journalist Max Collins told Peretti to “get f*cked.” But shareholders loved the news, rose by just over 85 percent at today’s closing bell to $3.87 per share. And on the education front, NPR reports that a University of Pennsylvania Wharton professor, Ethan Mollick, told them that “everyone is cheating.” This comes after ChatGPT aced an MBA exam earlier last week.. But Mollick decided to go ahead and make using ChatGPT a course requirement. But prominent science journals like Elsevier and Springer Nature are prohibitting ChatGPT from being listed as a co-author. And Google has text to music AI that makes songwriting a cinch with just one or two word prompts. What else? Trump’s back on Facebook. Meta made the decision to reinstate Trump because a company Global Affairs Exec Nick Clegg says enough time has passed since the January 6th insurrection at the US Capitol. On the medical mis and disinformation front, a California judge has blocked the state’s new law that prohibits doctors from giving COVID-19 misinformation. The judge rules that the misinformation standard is too vague.
Hi everybody - Just a quick, solo episode this week, and then we're Audi 5,000 to get some rest and relaxation, spending time with friends and family for the holidays, etc. It has been such a crazy year, hasn't it? But I feel like we say that every year – In any case … I've put together some predictions for you, for whatever they're worth – First off, SBF - Sam Bankman Fried, the former billionaire and founder of the now bankrupt crypto exchange, FTX – gets convicted. I don't see him getting out of this one. I still remember Enron – actually as a young lawyer I worked on that fiasco in New York – it was a meas. And I think we're going to see a lot of others pulled into this. Every few years, someone has to be the case study for financial regulation – 5 years after Enron we had the global financial crisis and now it's SBF's turn. Next– I see children's online privacy and safety legislation finally succeeding and signed into law – we'll have the minimum age for marketing to children raised to 16. We may even see a federal standard for what schools do with kids' data and what they're going to have to do to monitor compliance from companies providing services in the classroom. Third – I think we'll see some impetus start to grow for copyright reform. We're coming up on 25 years since the Digital Millennium Colyright took effect, and I think AI-generated content is going to call for some new protocols, and at least a bit more chatter about DMCA. I don't predict comprehensive copyright reform – such as a rewriting of the entire Copyright Act – but I do see a call for an update. It's too early to tell how Open AI is going to change content – but that's where creativity comes into play. So we won't know where those pressure points are until we see what kinds of things people and companies end up creating with it. Fourth, as far as Section 230 is concerned, the Supreme Court is considering 2 cases from the 9th Circuit expected to have widespread implications for the extent to which internet platforms should be held liable for harms caused by content posted by third party users. In the first – Gonzalez v. Google – the Supreme Court will rule in favor of the petitioners – the Gonzalez family – holding that when Google recommended terror-related videos to would-be terrorists who participated in the Paris terror attacks 2015 – I see the Court ruling that by recommending content, Google went beyond the protections afforded by Section 230, stepping into the role of content creator. It will be interesting to see how far back into the common law the Court's conservative majority ventures this time – because in Dobbs it went way back to the 14th century. So maybe we'll go back to Athens or Sumer or something. As for the Twitter case, I see a positive outcome for Twitter … In that case, a terrorist attack in Istanbul killed a Jordanian citizen, and the family in that case says Twitter aided and abetted the attack by hosting terrorist-related content. I see the Court ruling that Twitter can enjoy Section 230 protection in that case, since it didn't recommend content. And, finally, antitrust. I think with a conservative House, it's going to be very difficult to get a bill passed but we've seen glimmers of bipartisanship in the context of children's online safety. But as far as competition legislation in general, I don't see it. Because the same competition policy would have to apply to all industries, I think, not just tech, and I just don't envision lawmakers wanting to end up on the wrong side of things as they take contributions from corporations heading into the 2024 presidential election season. So that's what I've got for you today as we head into the holidays. Short and sweet. We'll have new episodes for you in 2023. But until then, I'll be getting some r&r, and I encourage you to do the same after a year of completely random developments. Enjoy!
Conservatives target online ‘trafficking’ of abortion pills The Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs has thrown abortion law into disarray and conservatives say there isn’t enough enforcement. The Washington Post reports that conservatives in states like Texas, where abortions are now banned, want internet providers to treat websites selling abortion pills the same way they treat child pornography. Bankman-Fried arrested; SEC charges him with fraud Responding to a US federal government request, police in the Bahamas arrested Sam Bankman-Fried, otherwise known as SBF, earlier this week, and he now faces fraud charges brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission. The crypto exchange SBF founded – FTX, which imploded last month and wasn’t able to handle billions in customer withdrawal requests. The Markup: Health apps share your intimate data with advertisers The Markup reports that health apps are sharing your personal, intimate health data with advertisers. In a joint study, the Markup and STAT found that 49 out of 50 telehealth websites sell your data, with Amazon Clinic being the only hold out. Immigrants sue ICE for collecting wire transfer data Immigrants are suing ICE for working with Western Union to get their wire transfer data. The lawsuit states that immigrants send some $30 billion from the US to Mexico each year. The database – the Transaction Record Analysis Center – has some 145 million records containing detailed information on who’s transferring money to Mexico. Senate passes bill banning TikTok from government devices The US Senate passed a bill this week banning government employees from installing TikTok on their devices. US Officials worry that China is using TikTok, a subsidiary of its China-based parent, ByteDance, to collect sensitive information. Facebook’s Trump ban expires Jan. 7th and Democrats are trying to extend it Initially, Facebook had said that it would ban Trump from using the platform forever. Then it back-tracked and said the ban would only last 2-years. That 2-year period ends on January 7th and Democratic lawmakers in Congress are pushing back to extend the ban.
Bio Zeve Sanderson is the founding Executive Director of NYU's Center for Social Media and Politics. His research interests focus on measuring the diffusion and impacts of harmful online speech, as well as empirically testing the efficacy of interventions. He regularly writes for and speaks to academic, media, and government audiences. He is finishing his dissertation at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. Website LinkedIn Instagram Resources https://thehill.com/opinion/technology/3727234-musks-twitter-shake-up-could-deliver-a-critical-blow-to-social-media-research/ Intimacies by Katie Kitamura 'You Resemble Me – a film by Dina Amer
Groups file flurry of Section 230 briefs with the Supreme Court What's going on? Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act shields platforms like Google and Twitter from liability for content posted by internet users. Republicans and Democrats want the rule changed. It's important to note that Section 230 protects only publishers of information. The central question here is – at which point do platforms lose their status as publishers and actually become creators of content? Once they're deemed to be creators, they would lose protection under Section 230. Generally, Republicans like Josh Hawley say platform liability should be a state issue because they think tech companies lean progressive and that seeking to ban harmful content discriminates against conservatives. Democrats argue that Section 230 doesn't hold platforms accountable enough, especially in the context of how marketers target children. How are politicians trying to change the law? The Supreme Court is set to decide Gonzalez v. Google in which the family of a young woman killed in the 2015 Paris Terror Attacks argues that Google should be liable for aiding and abetting the attack by hosting terror-related videos on YouTube. There are 2 parts to this – one is whether Google should be held liable for merely hosting terror-related videos the family alleges groomed terrorists involved. Google is arguing that hosting the videos simply makes them publishers and thus they would still be entitled to protection under Section 230. The other is whether recommending content – converts platforms to content creators – in which case the Gonzalez family argues Google should be held liable since Section 230 wouldn't apply to instances in which people predisposed to terrorism-related content puts Google in the position of being a content creator, in which case Google wouldn't be shielded from liability under Section 230. How does this affect you? Keep an eye on what your state is doing to change the way content platforms moderate content. For example, Texas and Florida passed statutes preventing platforms from discriminating against so-called “anti-conservative bias.” This has a direct impact on what people see and hear, which directly impacts elections since a scourge of harmful content, such as Trump's tweets leading up to the Capitol Hill insurrection, have dominated our politics for many years. Big name advertisers are showing up in white nationalists' Twitter feeds again Why are white nationalists on Twitter? Elon Musk fired Twitter's entire content moderation team and reinstated the accounts of white nationalists. Which companies showed up in white nationalist's accounts? Ads for Uber, Amazon, Snap, and even the US Department of Health and Human Services showed up in these accounts. But the Washington Post reports that it saw some 40 advertisers showing up next to content posted by reinstated white nationalists. What are the policy implications? White supremacist content is an example of the type of content Republicans in states like Texas and Florida think internet platforms shouldn't be allowed to ban. Right now, only advertisers have the ability to discipline Twitter by removing their ads on the platform. What are the real-world effects of white supremacists online? The Department of Homeland Security issued a report in late November expressing urgent concern about the fact that antisemitism online, and in the real world, are reinforcing each other, leading to an increase in hate crimes. DC Attorney General is suing Amazon over driver tips What's going on? DC Attorney General Karl Racine filed a consumer lawsuit on Wednesday alleging that Amazon basically stole tips from its Flex drivers by hiding from drivers the amounts they were getting in tips and pocketing them. And then Amazon hid the fact that they were doing this from its customers. What is Amazon saying? Amazon is saying it built the tips into drivers' hourly compensation, which it says is above DC's minimum wage of $16.10 per hour. What happens next? We'll see. The DC Circuit Court of Appeals will review Racine's complaint and that process will start early next year. – In other tech law & policy news … Women are suing Elon Musk for discrimination against them in layoffs. Staten Island Union organizer lost his lawsuit against Amazon for race discrimination. The court says he was fired for exposing co-workers to COVID during the pandemic lockdowns. The Senate Banking Committee appears likely to subpoena Sam Bankman-Fried after he ignored a request to testify regarding the implosion of crypto-currency exchange FTX. The FTC is suing to prevent Microsoft's acquisition of Activision, the maker of Modern Warfare and Candy Crush, as well as Facebook's acquisition of virtual reality firm Within. Apple announced that it will fully encrypt iCloud data, raising alarm from law enforcement officials. States are now joining the federal government in banning government employees from downloading TikTok on their phones because TikTok's parent company, ByteDance, is based in China. Officials are concerned China will gain access to sensitive data.
Bio Vilas Dhar is the President of the Patrick J. McGovern Foundation. An entrepreneur, technologist and human rights advocate, Vilas serves on the Advisory Council at the Stanford Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence, as a Trustee of the Christensen Fund, Co-Chair of the World Economic Forum Global AI Action Alliance, and an Expert Contributor to OECD.AI. LinkedIn Website Resources Last Mile Education Fund Education Design Fund AIEDU Dall-E The Age of AI and Our Human Future by Henry Kissinger, Eric Schmidt, et al. In AI We Trust Podcast by Miriam Vogle
Hey everybody, I'm Joe Miller and here's what's going on in the world of tech law & policy this week. The Federal Election Commission has adopted rules to regulate political advertising online. Why is it important? For years, the FEC has required certain disclosures for political advertisements appearing in on broadcast media outlets. The updated rules will apply the same rules to online advertising. What doesn't it cover? These new rules do not cover social media posts promoted for a fee. Who supports the new rules? This measure is bipartisan and passed the Federal Election Commission unanimously. What are advocates saying? Some are saying the rules were rushed through and that not including the provision covering promoted posts creates a loophole. Others say the rules aren't clear. But either way, most seem to think some rules applying to political advertisements on social media are necessary. China cracks down on Tiktok posts about protests over President Xi Jinping's COVID lockdowns. Why is China involved in telling Tiktok what to do? TikTok is owned by ByteDance – a company based in China and, unlike in the United States, government officials have seats on company boards and more discretion to direct corporate activities. What does this mean for US-based users? The answer isn't clear but U.S. officials have long been concerned about potential data collection by the Chinese government about what U.S.-based TikTok users do on the platform. This could help China make insights about how to run propaganda campaigns like we saw during the 2016 and 2020 presidential elections. What does this mean for public policy? Well, president Biden met with President Xi in mid-November amidst growing concerns in the administration about China's aggression towards Taiwan and other issues the U.S. finds threatening to democracy in the region. President Xi's new oversight over what's happening on TikTok indicates he isn't really all that interested in loosening his grip over Chinese citizens and the global media ecosystem. The Justice Department considers rules barring companies from using messaging apps. Why? The Justice Department and Securities and Exchange Commission are the two federal agencies that have expressed the most concern regarding what companies are doing to engage in required monitoring of company communications. External apps with disappearing messages features, like WhatsApp, may be tempting to corporate executives looking to break the law without leaving a paper trail. Musk and Republicans fight Apple over its alleged threats to pull Twitter from its app store. What's happening? Elon Musk went on a tirade against Apple for allegedly threatening to remove Twitter from the app store. Republicans, who have expressed concerns over an alleged “anti-conservative bias” on Twitter, have teamed up with Musk to fight what they call Google and Apple's app store duo poly. Where does the dispute stand? On Wednesday, according to the Washington Post, Musk met with Apple CEO Tim Cook on Wednesday where they apparently had a chance to clear the air. Musk tweeted that there had been a simple misunderstanding and that Apple hadn't actually been planning to remove Twitter from the app store. What's next? Well, Republicans will have control over the House in the next Congress so it's foreseeable that there will be some sort of antitrust measure to prohibit app stores from favoring certain apps or requiring developers to use Apple or Google's payment systems. But what's less clear is how a Democratic-controlled Senate would receive those proposals. – In other tech law & policy news … San Francisco's Board of Supervisors approved a measure that would allow robots to kill suspects. Advocates say this will have a disparate impact on communities of color. A group of female truck drivers has filed a discrimination charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission against Facebook, Instagram, and WhatApp's parent company, Meta. The group alleges that Meta discriminates against them because they say the company shows most ads for trucking jobs to men. Twitter has lifted its ban on COVID-related mis- and disinformation.
Adam Kovacevich: Balancing Tech, Business & Progressive Policymaking Bio Adam Kovacevich (Kuh-VACK-uh-VITCH) is the Founder and CEO of Chamber of Progress, a new centre-left tech industry policy coalition promoting technology's progressive future. Before starting the Chamber of Progress, Adam served as Head of North America and Asia Pacific Government Relations for Lime, the shared scooter mobility company. Prior to that, Adam led Google's U.S. policy strategy and external affairs team. In that role, he drove Google's U.S. public policy campaigns on privacy, security, antitrust, intellectual property, intermediary liability, telecommunications, advertising, taxation and workforce issues. Adam lives in Arlington, Virginia with his family. LinkedIn Twitter Website Resources http://progresschamber.org/
Ashkhen Kazaryan: Tech Policy, the New Congress, and the Supreme Court Bio Ashkhen Kazaryan is a tech policy expert. She manages and develops policy projects on free speech, content moderation, surveillance reform and the intersection of constitutional rights and technology. Ashkhen joined Facebook in November of 2020 as Content Policy Manager on the Content Regulation team for two years. Before that she was the Director of civil liberties at TechFreedom from July 2016 till November 2020. At TechFreedom she also managed outreach and coalition building for the organization and hosted The Tech Policy Podcast. Ashkhen is regularly featured as an expert commentator in news outlets across television, radio, podcasts, and print and digital publications including CNBC, BBC, FOX DC, Newsy, Politico, Axios, The Information, Protocol, The Washington Examiner and many others. Twitter LinkedIn Resources Ashkhen Kazaryan
Hey everybody, I'm Joe Miller and here's what's going on in the world of tech law & policy this week. It's a lot. Where should we start? Let's start with Twitter - which continues to meltdown after Elon Musk's acquisition of the company last month to the tune of $44 billion. Employees are fleeing the company in droves after Elon challenged them with the ultimatum of taking either a three-month severage package or staying with the new “hard core” version of the company, whatever that means. As of Friday afternoon, Twitter workers were still heading for the exit doors. Also, Senators Blumental, Menendez, Booker, Markey, Lujan, and Feinstein sent a letter to Federal Trade Commission Chair Lina Kahn, expressing concern that Twitter may already have violated the agency's consent decrees for privacy violations. These lawmakers urged the FTC to step up enforcement of the decrees. And Twitter has also suspended its roll out of verified blue checks because it and outside researchers found that a high number of them are pornographers, crypto scammers, and right-wingers. – Color of Change released a report card on politicians' performance on civil rights-related tech issues like discriminatory surveillance. Anna G. Eshoo (Calif.), Cori Bush (Mo.), Jamie Raskin (Md.), Pramila Jayapal (Wash.) and Yvette Clarke (N.Y.) and Sens. Cory Booker (N.J.), Edward J. Markey (Mass.), and Elizabeth Warren (Mass.) – all got perfect scores. More than 40 Republicans, though, got zeros. – The Senate released a report showing social media's ongoing failure at curbing extremism happening online. Most of that is coming from white supremacists, according to the FBI, DHS. So the Senate, which will remain under democratic control, is investigating why social media companies have been so slow to respond. – And the fallout from the FTX crypto exchange debacle is expanding, with a hearing scheduled for next month before the House Financial Services Committee. —- A coalition of parents whose children have died from suicides, using drugs purchased online, and viral challenges, wrote a joint letter to Congressional leaders under the auspices of Fair Play, Parents Together Action, and the Eating Disorders Coalition. They're pushing Congress to pass both the Children and Teens' Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA 2.0) and the Kids Online Safety Act. Some hope for a markup by the end of this year. —- Also Brutal caste discrimination in India against gig workers. Attackers are going after Muslims and Dalits in particular. Privacy advocates including the Electronic Frontier Foundation and American Civil Liverties Union are suing San Francisco Mayor London Breed for allowing the San Francisco Police Department to gain essentially unfettered access to live surveillance cameras. People under house arrest in Chicago are getting erroneous messages from their ankle bracelets saying they may end up back in jail. Scientific American highlights concerns about mental health apps. Some 85 industry-funded studies didn't explore potential harms of these platforms. To go deeper, you can find links to all of these stories in the show notes. Stay safe, stay informed, have a great week. Ciao.
Bio Chuck is one of the country's foremost experts on all aspects of federal and state universal service programs. Chuck had a leadership role at the FCC in the implementation of the universal service provisions of the Telecommunications Act of 1996. Since joining WBK in 2001, he has helped clients craft policy recommendations in every universal service rulemaking at the FCC and in several states. He also fields compliance questions from clients on universal service contribution requirements, E-rate funding, Connect America Fund (“CAF”), Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (“RDOF”), as well as recent broadband deployment affordability programs including NTIA's Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (“BEAD”) program and the Affordable Connectivity Program (“ACP”). Innovative companies operating on the ever-evolving line between communications services and technology also come to Chuck for help in ascertaining whether and how FCC and state communications regulatory requirements affect their businesses. Chuck is an active member of the Federal Communications Bar Association and has served as a Co-Chair of its Wireline Practice Committee and State and Local Practice Committee. He serves on the Board of the LGBT Technology Partnership. He also represents several clients on a pro bono basis in political asylum cases on referral from Whitman Walker Legal Services of Washington, DC. Facebook LinkedIn Twitter Website Resources Wilkson Barker Knauer
Hey everybody, I'm Joe Miller and here's what's going on in the world of tech law & policy this week. Regulators concerned about Twitter implosion The Federal Trade Commission has expressed “deep concern” over Twitter's implosion since Elon Musk took over the company last month. More key executives departed the company this week, leaving it with little to no institutional knowledge on staff that knows how Twitter's underlying technology works. Among the resignations was Yoel Roth, Twitter's Head of Moderation & Safety, who many have seen as something of a voice of reason for the company since Musk took over. Mr. Roth had appeared the day before his resignation at a Twitter Spaces event during which he and Mr. Musk attempted to allay advertisers' fears that their brands would appear next to harmful content like hate speech. Lea Kissner, Twitter's Chief Information Security Officer, has also left the company, as well as its Chief Compliance and Chief Privacy Officers. But Twitter is subject to two consent decrees of over $150 million imposed by the FTC in 2011 and 2022 for repeated privacy violations. By some estimates, the FTC could fine Twitter to the tune of billions of dollars if it fails to comply with the consent decrees. Crypto shaken by FTX implosion Crypto exchange FTX also imploded last week following massive sell-offs by its customers after its 30-year-old CEO Sam Bankman-Fried announced the company used some $10 billion customers' holdings to fund Almeda, FTX's sister company also founded by Mr. Bankman-Fried. FTX competitor Binance initially tried to step in and takeover FTX but then concluded after reviewing FTX's financials that it wouldn't be able to rescue FTX, which may now declare bankruptcy. Both the Securities and Exchange Commission and Federal Trade Commission are investigating as FTX is unable to honor customer withdrawals, which aren't secured by the federal government. Crypto has billed itself as an alternative to regulated currency. US and EU regulators skeptical about Microsoft's Activision/Blizzard acquisition The European Commission announced its preliminary review of Microsoft's $69 billion bid to acquire Activision/Blizzard – the competing video game owner of the Call of Duty video game franchise. The US Federal Trade Commission has also expressed significant concerns after a staff-level review. Regulators are especially concerned about what the acquisition would mean for Playstation's ability to carry Call of Duty. To go deeper, you can find links to all of these stories in the show notes. Stay safe, stay informed, have a great week. Ciao.
One-size-fits-all research approaches are no longer sufficient to effectively address content moderation, fulfill the content preferences of each user, and prevent harmful, false information from undermining democracy. Researchers like Michal Luria are beginning to understand how complex human behaviors should be taken into account in UX design and incorporated into the policymaking process. Bio Dr. Michal Luria is a researcher at the Center for Democracy & Technology. Her work makes use of immersive and human-centered design research methods to envision and critique interactions with emerging technologies. In her work she translates research insights into thought-provoking interactions and necessary discussions of ethics and policy. Website Google Scholar LinkedIn Instagram Resources "This is transparency to me" Center for Democracy and Technology, https://cdt.org/insights/this-is-transparency-to-me-research-prototypes/ (last visited Oct 31, 2022)
The telecommunications, media, and technology sectors are exciting fields, but if you work in public policy, one must constantly adapt. Anisa Green shares with Joe how she built her career and how to find a team that values your presence at work. Anisa Green Anisa Green is Director of Federal Regulatory at AT&T, where she also serves as Chief of Staff for the Executive Vice President and Chief Regulatory Officer in AT&T's DC office. Anisa has over 24 years of expertise in regulatory, legal and advocacy work. She is currently working on universal service regulatory issues, with a focus on consumer broadband affordability, digital equity, and rural healthcare matters. In addition to serving as a Trustee of the Federal Communications Bar Association Foundation, Anisa champions various organizations focused on empowering, encouraging and educating youth, women, and marginalized communities. Hailing from Brooklyn, NY, with roots in the West Indies, Anisa holds a BA in Philosophy and Communication from the George Washington University, is a certified paralegal, and has taken numerous continuing legal education credits to further her knowledge. When she is not running after her children and caring for her family, she takes advantage of a few stolen moments by shopping, reading a book, catching a movie, or taking a long walk or ride. Resources Anisa on LinkedIn FCBA – The Tech Bar
Technology is transforming every sector of society and the economy. For example, think about how e-commerce has disrupted retail, artificial intelligence is changing healthcare, and autonomous vehicles will reshape transportation. In an increasingly digital world, technology companies are aggressively lobbying policymakers to advance their interests. This means that tech policy needs social innovation rather than just a new set of policies that favor the interests of a few well-connected tech titans. Unfortunately, many tech policy debates have been framed as if there are only two options: Either support the interests of big tech corporations or lose out on the economic benefits that come with technological innovation. But what if there's a third way? We need policies that encourage broad adoption of beneficial technologies without favoring one company over another or creating anti-competitive market conditions. In other words, we need social innovation in tech policy. Shahed Amanullah Website Twitter LinkedIn Shahed Amanullah serves as Global VP of Customer Experience at growth strategy consulting firm Frost & Sullivan. He is also Managing Director of Frost Capital, a Palo Alto-based private equity fund manager that acquired Affinis Labs, an award-winning social innovation firm he co-founded. Shahed also founded Zakatify, a social impact fintech startup, and Zabihah, the world's first global Halal restaurant guide. Resources Home, Frost & Sullivan (2022), https://www.frost.com/ (last visited Oct 14, 2022).
Hey everybody, I'm Joe Miller and here's what's going on in the world of tech law & policy this week. New coalition pushes to make DMs safe Let's face it, DM's, whether they're encrypted or not, are no longer safe – if they ever were. Now, following the Supreme Court's decision in Dobbs overturning Roe v. Wade, law enforcement in states in which abortion is now illegal have been obtaining search warrants that require social media companies, like Facebook which recently gave police a Nebraska teen's personal conversation she'd had with her mom on WhatsApp regarding an abortion the teen allegedly had. There's an open letter you can sign that's hosted by the Fight for the Future Education Fund, which you can find in the show notes — it's a petition for social media companies to set end-to-end encryption on messaging apps as the default, rather than leaving them open to virtual surveillance not envisioned by the framers when they drafted the Fourth Amendment. Virtual surveillance is out of control And virtual, commercial surveillance is out of control across-the-board, which is likely the reason why the Federal Trade Commission extended the comment period for its advanced notice of proposed ruling on commercial surveillance. Should the FTC write new rules governing cybersecurity and surveillance? Well, you can weigh in until November 21st. And what's an example of commercial surveillance that advocates and the FTC are concerned about? One example is the way in which customers can now surveil delivery workers in ways that weren't possible before, which Data & Society argues in a new report has turned porches and front door steps into workplaces. And we have a link to that report in the show notes as well. Labor Department moves to prevent misclassifying gig workers And the Labor Department has announced a proposed rule designed to limit the extent to which companies may classify gig workers as independent contractors. Many of these workers are doing gig work as their primary source of income, which effectively makes them full-time employees – they are contractors in name only. The proposed Labor Department rule sets forth a new test for determining whether a gig worker is a contractor or employee – namely whether the worker is in business for themselves, or whether the employee's work is “integral” to the company's business. So under the proposed rule, a company like Uber would need to classify drivers as full-time employees rather than independent contractors so these workers can avail themselves of the health and other benefits companies often reserve only for their full-time employees. AP poll: majority of public thinks misinformation is harmful Finally, a new AP poll finds that most Americans are finding it more difficult to know what they should believe. We're talking about 91% of adults finding misinformation to be a problem – with 80% of Democrats and 70% of Republicans finding that misinformation contributes to political polarization. And the Texas representative for San Antonio Joaquin Castro, along with several Hispanic groups, including the National Hispanic Media Coalition, are warning about rampant misinformation targeting Latino communities that's often disseminated on chat apps like WhatsApp. This is happening amidst a new Washington Post-Ipsos poll that found Latinos, while 63% overall still support Democrats – that number is actually declining because Democrats now hold only a 27 point lead over Republicans, compared to 40 percent in the years leading up to President Biden's election. To go deeper, you can find links to all of these stories in the show notes. Stay safe, stay informed, have a great week. Ciao.
Roger Quiles: How to Stay Safe in the E-sports World If you're a fan of video games or an avid Twitch viewer, you may have heard of E-sports. The E-sports scene is booming, with several competitions now taking place worldwide. However, with this expansion comes new challenges. Players face online harassment and can be targets for criminals. Entrepreneurs looking to enter this exciting industry face a complex law & policy landscape. These challenges make E-sports a viable practice area for lawyers. Leading E-sports attorney Roger Quiles joined Joe Miller to shed light on these issues and more. Roger Quiles, Esq. Website Twitter LinkedIn Roger Quiles is one of the world's first esports and gaming attorneys, beginning to serve the industry exclusively in 2015. His work services all stakeholders in the industry, worldwide. Roger also sits on the Board of Latinx in Gaming, a nonprofit dedicated to elevating the Latinx community in the videogame industry.
Hey everybody, I'm Joe Miller and here's what's going on in the world of tech law & policy this week. White House Proposes Tech ‘Bill of Rights' The White House's Office of Science and Technology Policy proposed a new Tech ‘Bill of Rights' Friday targeting harms caused by artificial intelligence and biometric technology. Comments are due on January 15th. The Request for Information seeks details on how companies use these technologies and what interventions the federal government should make to defend the Constitution as things like facial recognition, voice recognition, keystroke analysis, and other tactics that infiltrate every aspect of our lives take hold. Abortion advocates push back against license plate reader company, Flock Abortion advocates are fighting against a fast-growing company called Flock, which aims to provide law enforcement with advanced license plate-reader surveillance technology. In the wake of the Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, 13 states now criminalize abortion procedures. Supreme Court to determine limits of Section 230 The Supreme Court will decide whether Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act shields social media companies from liability for content posted by alleged terrorists. The family of one of the victims of the 2015 Islamic State terrorist attack in Paris sued YouTube for aiding and abetting terrorists by recommending the extremist group's content. Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act grants websites blanket immunity for content posted by third-party users. Many on both sides of the aisle have been advocating to reform the provision. Spotify acquires content moderation platform, Kinzen As Spotify continues to grapple with hateful content and misinformation bypassing the music streaming giant's content moderation protocols, the company has decided to bring more content moderation capacity in house. It announced last week that it has acquired Dublin-based Kinzen to more effectively deal with harmful content in real–time. Google to pay State of Arizona $85 Million to settle user-tracking suit Google has settled with State of Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich's office regarding a claim that the tech giant continued to collect users' location data after users indicated they wanted location tracking turned off. Google will pay the state of Arizona $85 million. A separate multi–state lawsuit against Google is pending in the US District of the Southern District of New York which alleges that Google abuses its market dominance in online advertising. New Democrats push for federal privacy law that's currently stalled in the House Finally, a centrist coalition of Democrats led by State of Washington Representative Suzan DelBene is pushing for passage of the American Data and Privacy Protection Act (ADPPA), which has been stalled in the House since it passed committee over the summer. The Electronic Frontier Foundation says the bill offers a lower privacy standard than the one adopted by several states. To go deeper, you can find links to all of these stories in the show notes. Stay safe, stay informed, have a great week. Ciao.
The major societal challenge posed by artificial intelligence (AI) is that its algorithms are often trained on biased data. This fundamental problem has enormous implications in our criminal justice system, workplaces, schools, healthcare industry, and housing sector. The persistence of racism, sexism, ableism, and other forms of discrimination demonstrates the tendency of AI systems to reflect the biases of the people who built them. Critical deficiencies in algorithmic surveillance technologies reproduce the same inequities that we have seen evolve decade-after-decade. AI systems having the same biases as the people who built them. Lydia X. Z. Brown of the Center for Democracy & Technology joins to recommend policy and systemic solutions to address these critically important challenges. Bio Lydia X. Z. Brown is a Policy Counsel with CDT's Privacy and Data Project, focused on disability rights and algorithmic fairness and justice. Their work has investigated algorithmic harm and injustice in public benefits determinations, hiring algorithms, and algorithmic surveillance that disproportionately impact disabled people, particularly multiply-marginalized disabled people. Website Twitter LinkedIn Resources Ableism And Disability Discrimination In New Surveillance Technologies: How new surveillance technologies in education, policing, health care, and the workplace disproportionately harm disabled people, Center for Democracy and Technology (2022), https://cdt.org/insights/ableism-and-disability-discrimination-in-new-surveillance-technologies-how-new-surveillance-technologies-in-education-policing-health-care-and-the-workplace-disproportionately-harm-disabled-people/ (last visited Sep 30, 2022).
Mark Brennan: Sephora (Privacy Case Study) In late August, the California Attorney General's office issued its first public, monetary penalty against cosmetics giant Sephora, for violating the California Privacy and Protection Act (CCPA), which went into effect in 2018 and is one of several state-level privacy laws that have been cropping up across the country. Mark Brennan joined Joe to talk about what happened in this case and the lessons learned for retailers as U.S. privacy laws become more complex. Bio Mark Brennan (@MWBrennanDC) is a Partner at Hogan Lovells and leads their global Technology and Telecommunications industry sector group. He has a truly unique global regulatory and policy practice and advises clients on data protection, artificial intelligence, biometric data and facial recognition, Internet of things, and other technology and consumer protection matters. LinkedIn Resources California Attorney General settles with Sephora in first CCPA fine, Engage.hoganlovells.com (2022)(last visited Sep 26, 2022).
Hey everybody, I'm Joe Miller and here's what's going on in the world of tech law & policy. ADL Report: Spotify has a white supremacist problem References to Hitler, Pepe the Frog, Tucker Carlson talking about the “great replacement” anti-immigration theory — it looks like songs that contain them are totally fine for Spotify, which the Anti Defamation League finds in a new report has verified at least 40 bands and musicians with hateful lyrics and imagery on their album covers. Also, it's super-easy to get verified on Spotify, even though the company claims to have a handle on this stuff. The Washington Post has the full report. Trump appears to nod to QAnon The Washington Post's Technology 202 newsletter reports that Donald Trump appears to be showing increased support for QAnon, the conspiracy theory movement that accuses high profile democrats are running some kind of a pedophilia ring in which they drink the blood of children. The Post notes that this conspiracy theory has moved from the fringes to the mainstream political discourse and underscores the inefficacy of social media platforms to catch subtle references to disinformation campaigns. At an Ohio rally on Saturday, Trump took the stage to music that sounded a lot like music associated with QAnon, which many see as a “wink and a nod” to QAnon supporters. Trump has subtly endorsed QAnon on social media, but took a more explicit approach on his own social media platform – Truth Social – by including an image of himself wearing a QAnon lapel pin. Center for Countering Digital Hate: Incel movement is growing online Another movement that appears to be becoming more mainstream is the so-called incel, or “involuntary celibate” movement is growing online according to a report from the Center for Countering Digital Hate , which also names Google, YouTube and Cloudflare for facilitating the channel, which has 2.6 million monthly site visits and over a million posts. Lots of conversations going on there about mass murder and sexually assaulting pre-pubescent girls. And the Washington Post also reports that a cop was convicted in India