On Monday, the Biden administration said that a Federal Communications Commission initiative designed to increase access to high-speed internet recently hit a significant milestone. Ten million households have enrolled in the FCC’s Affordable Connectivity Program.
The President himself told county officials that money they received from last year’s American Rescue Plan should be used in part to lay the groundwork for projects that could be pursued under future rounds of funding through the more recent infrastructure spending plan. So far, local governments have used the money to cover a wide range of programs, including IT, cybersecurity, and broadband upgrades. Both of those are from StateScoop.
More pushback to facial recognition – several lawmakers have asked the Department of Labor to ensure state unemployment programs use secure methods to verify applicants without using biometric software. Senators too have introduced new legislation designed to increase tech talent regardless of nationality or visa status, intended to keep international students graduating with at least a master’s degree in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics in the United States.
The Senators appear to be very busy – although this happened back in April of 2021 and was just declassified. The CIA relied on a form of mass surveillance activity that involved the collection of an unknown data set and included the gathering of some records belonging to Americans, revealed in that letter. The details of the program have been kept from the public as well as some lawmakers.
And with all the talk of regulation…. Americans make support data regulation. In a poll by bipartisan advocacy group the Future of tech,
- 78% of Americans believe consumers should have to “opt-in” before their personal data is shared.
- 76% of those surveyed say companies should not collect and use personal data beyond what’s necessary for the service being provided.
- 75% said they support prohibiting companies from collecting personal data on anybody 16 or under.
Why do we care?
There’s a lot of money out there for localities. That’s a lot of small business-style government projects. There is a lot to care about for those local government-focused providers and opportunities in the communities to use those investments in broadband.
I wanted to observe the alignment between sentiment and lawmaking here. There is a solid desire for consumer rights around technology and government action on both sides of the aisle here. Trapped in the middle are technology companies themselves, and while much of the focus is on Big Tech, I believe that much of the movement will be broader than that. Envision a set of privacy regulations, and regardless of size, they’ll hit anyone collecting data.
And with the CIA under fire too for hoovering up data, winter most definitely is coming.