Government

Mon
21
Jun
John Lister's picture

Gov't Proposes Curbing the Reach of Big Tech

The House of Representatives will examine five different proposals for curbing the power of big tech companies. The bills take very different approaches to the task, though it's unclear if any but the least dramatic has a shot at becoming law. There ... could be a couple of reasons why lawmakers have thrown out so many ideas. One is simply a numbers game with the hope that more attempts means more chance of something becoming law. Another is to present some more drastic measures that get rejected in the hope that the "weaker" bills then look more reasonable and balanced. The five bills, as ... (view more)

Fri
11
Jun
John Lister's picture

TikTok Ban Unites Senators

A bill to boost US technology has received rare bipartisan support in the Senate. The proposed law includes measures on drones, computer chips and video app TikTok. While the "Endless Frontier Act" includes many measures targeted at the US, it also ... includes several that directly target China. They are intended to address fears not just of tech competition but also security threats. The bill passed the Senate by 68 votes to 32. President Biden has indicated he would back the bill, though it's not yet certain it will pass the House of Representatives in its current form. Some critics who are on ... (view more)

Fri
28
May
John Lister's picture

$100B Gov't Broadband Expansion to be Cut Back

President Biden has offered to reduce his proposed spending on improving broadband provision by a third. It's an attempt to reach a consensus with political opponents, but the debate seems to be as much about the principle as the sums involved. Back ... in March , the White House announced plans for broadband to be a key part of a proposed infrastructure spending program. The idea was to treat it in the same way as water and electricity supplies where public money has at various times paid for extending availability to areas that private providers didn't yet serve. Budget Cut Would Slow Expansion ... (view more)

Wed
26
May
John Lister's picture

Florida Bans FB, Twitter From Banning Politicians

Florida has banned tech sites from banning politicians from posting. The law takes effect on July 1st, 2021, but seems destined for the Supreme Court. The law was first proposed in February, shortly after Facebook and Twitter banned then-President ... Donald Trump. It's now passed the legislature and has been signed into law by the state's governor. Under the law, sites can still remove specific posts. They can also suspend a user for up to 14 days for violating its policies. No Permanent Bans However, the law bans longer suspensions or permanent bans for anyone known to be a candidate for ... (view more)

Tue
04
May
John Lister's picture

EU Forces Web Hosts to Take Down Terror Content

Internet hosting providers will have just one hour to remove terrorist content after a government request under new European laws. It's raised fears some sites may get caught up potentially faulty content filters. The law is a European Union ... regulation that will take effect in Spring 2022. It will automatically apply in all European Union countries and will be based on where a website is hosted rather than where its operators are based. A press release announcing the regulation says it covers any content (both text and audio or video) that will "that incite, solicit or contribute to terrorist ... (view more)

Thu
15
Apr
John Lister's picture

Use of AI Could Be Banned or Restricted

Proposed laws in Europe would ban some forms of artificial intelligence while restricting others. But critics say the proposals are too vague to be workable in practice. The proposals, expected to be formally published in the next few weeks, come ... from the European Commission. If approved by the European Parliament they could become a regulation that takes immediate legal effect across all European Union countries. It's not yet clear if and how the rules would extend to businesses in other countries as happens with data protection rules. Under the proposals, only AI used by the military or for ... (view more)

Tue
06
Apr
John Lister's picture

US to Spend $100B to Expand Broadband

The US government plans to spend $100 billion to expand broadband availability in the US. The goal is that all Americans should have access to "affordable" high-speed broadband by 2029. The spending is part of a planned infrastructure bill, so it's ... possible the broadband measures may not survive the legislative process. It's a clear sign that the government views Internet access as a key utility, with the broadband measures coming alongside spending to upgrade water networks and electricity grids. Indeed, a White House explanation directly compares the broadband move to the 1936 Rural ... (view more)

Tue
23
Mar
John Lister's picture

Robocallers Fined $225M; May be Blocked by Carriers

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has fined two telemarketers a record $225 million for unlawful automated "robocalls." The offenders, who used names including JSquared Telecom and Rising Eagle, made around a billion such calls in a ... five-month period. The fine isn't just a record for robocalls, but is also the largest ever issued by the FCC for any reason. (Source: cnbc.com ) The calls claimed to offer health insurance plans from well-known legitimate providers. In fact the calls were made on behalf of several companies, at least one of which has already been sued for its own ... (view more)

Fri
12
Mar
John Lister's picture

Report Details Government Internet Shutdowns

29 countries intentionally disrupted Internet access for their citizens at some point in 2020 according to a new report. Of a total 155 shutdowns, 28 were "full Internet blackouts." While many were authoritative states, the most disruptions by far ... came in India, which is officially at least a democracy. It used more than 100 Internet shutdowns to prevent communication by protestors against a controversial law. Those shutdowns have now been judged illegal by the country's Supreme Court. Mobile Speeds Slowed The report, from Access Now, found the overall number of shutdowns around the world was ... (view more)

Thu
25
Feb
John Lister's picture

Proposed Law Would Bar State-Run Broadband

A proposed US law would ban states and local governments from offering broadband services. Supporters of the bill say "municipal broadband" crowds out commercial providers, while critics say such services only exist to fill the gap left by the ... commercial market. If passed, the bill would become law as the CONNECT (Communities Overregulating Networks Need Economic Competition Today) Act. It would ban any state or political subdivision (such as a city) from starting to provide "retail or wholesale broadband Internet access service." (Source: house.gov ) This would apply whether it was provided ... (view more)

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Government