capitol hill

July 15, 2018

Sens. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) expressed concern that the technology can be tracking user behavior without a consumer knowing, in a letter to FTC Chairman Joseph Simons.

June 24, 2018

The new head of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) wants to review how the consumer protection and antitrust agency polices companies like major tech platforms, promising “vigorous enforcement” of Silicon Valley. Joseph Simons, who was sworn in as FTC chairman last month, on Wednesday announced that he would convene a series of public hearings later this year to examine whether changes in the economy prompted by the rise of tech giants might necessitate changes in how regulators carry out enforcement.

June 19, 2018

In April, the Congressional Budget Office reported the U.S. annual budget deficit will reach $1 trillion by 2020. That’s a troubling trajectory, but no one in Washington seems to care enough to stop spending money. I only see one answer. Washington needs to spend more money. Spending in one area now might actually help avert a fiscal apocalypse later.

May 22, 2018

In a pair of hearings before Senate and House panels, NASA’s manager in charge of human spaceflight activities, the agency’s inspector general, and independent experts testified on the future of the International Space Station, and the White House’s plans to discontinue government funding of the orbiting research laboratory.

April 25, 2018

The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday gave its stamp of approval to a government review process prized by high technology companies as an easy and cheap way to combat “patent trolls” and others that bring patent infringement lawsuits. The justices ruled 7-2 that a type of in-house patent review at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office does not violate a defendant’s right under the U.S. Constitution to have a case adjudicated by a federal court and jury.

April 11, 2018

What the first day of the Zuckerberg hearings made clear is that many American lawmakers are illiterate when it comes to 21st century technology. As a result, the issue that was supposed to be the focus of the hearing -- "social media privacy and the use and abuse of data," as Sen. Chuck Grassley put it -- was but one among many. And at the moment when the country needed a smart conversation about privacy, what it got was meandering questions and misfires.

April 05, 2018

"This is the first approval of a U.S.-licensed satellite constellation to provide broadband services using a new generation of low-Earth orbit satellite technologies," the Federal Communications Commission said in a statement. The system proposed by privately held SpaceX, as Space Exploration Holdings is known, will use 4,425 satellites, the FCC said.

April 01, 2018

Junk science is no longer welcome at the Environmental Protection Agency. Administrator Scott Pruitt has declared war on what he calls “secret science” - the process whereby EPA regulators have been able to craft rules using non-publicly-available science data.

March 23, 2018

The drumbeat to regulate Big Tech began pounding long before the Cambridge Analytica scandal rocked Facebook--six long years ago, the Obama administration pushed a “Privacy Bill of Rights” that, like most other legislative attempts to safeguard your data online, went nowhere. But this time, as they say, feels different. Thanks to repeated lapses from not just Facebook but all corners of Silicon Valley, some sort of regulation seems not only plausible but imminent.

March 07, 2018

To celebrate Women’s History Month and to honor the contributions women have historically made in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), Congressman Jerry McNerney (CA-09) introduced a bill to expand opportunities for young women to pursue careers in STEM, and ensure the nation can continue to compete in the global economy.

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