A flurry of bills moving through the system now, including multiple round Big tech. A new one around taxing those companies to support broadband in rural areas, libraries, and hospitals is getting Republican support too. On top of that, six bills in total were approved out of committee, covering a package of tech related issues. They’re headed to the House floor for a vote. One of those was a vote to require Big Tech platforms to choose between running a platform and competing on it, wrapping up two days of votes that saw the approval of four measures directly aimed at reining in the power of some of the country’s most successful companies.
How about the internet sex trafficking law FOSTA-SESTA.. .. turns out it’s almost never used. The mandated report three years in shows just one case. This law is a specific carve out over Section 230, the internet speech law under constant scrutiny.
Legislation that paves the way for a reciprocal cross-border data access regime between Australia and the United States has passed the Australian federal parliament despite lingering privacy concerns.
In the UK, new guidance from the government on social media and private messaging – which includes a suggestion that those messaging services should “prevent” the use of end-to-end encryption on child accounts. The UK has also proposed the Online Safety Bill, which is designed to protect users from “harmful” content and would “modify” a code of practice to ensure it “reflects government policy”. Critics say those powers would undermine the regulator’s independence – as the Culture Secretary is a political appointee.
And in the midst of all of this legal action… Microsoft and Google have ended their truce, where they had previously agreed not to use their lobbying efforts against each other. That agreement lapsed in April… and does not appear to be scheduled for renewal.
Why do we care?
The big picture here is that technology legislation is changing fast, and I keep harping on the fact this is now a role within any IT services company. You had better be tracking the ones that matter to you.
There’s probably a lot here that listeners are upset about. Overreach on laws? Underreach? Too many? Not enough. The reason I’m talking about all of this is because I find colleagues focused on IT services are not talking about it enough, if at all. Microsoft and Google have armies of lobbysts, and are clearly gearing up. Who speaks for you? And what are you doing about that?