Looking Ahead at Tech Policy; Help Us Grow

This week’s historic delay in selecting a Speaker of the House temporarily prevents Congress from moving forward. But once a Speaker is selected—hopefully within days—House members will be sworn in, and the work of legislating will begin. We will be looking for progress on several key tech policy issues, such as establishing federal data privacy rules and strengthening cybersecurity for the long term. Many state legislatures will also be considering their own data privacy bills in the coming months. We will also be watching the rollout of state broadband programs.
As always, VFI welcomes new voices. Help us start the new year by encouraging your tech colleagues and networks to join and participate in VFI.
Thank you—and now here’s our roundup of tech policy news and a featured podcast.

This Week in Washington 

  • FedScoop: President Biden has signed new legislation that will require the Department of Veterans Affairs to obtain an independent audit of its IT systems and cybersecurity programs.
  • The Hill: At the end of 2022, President Biden signed the sprawling $1.7 trillion spending package to fund the government into next fall, wrapping up a year of several bipartisan legislative accomplishments for the president.
  • POLITICO: The official CES lineup this year is laden with appearances from policymakers and wonks, including Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm, Sens. Mark Warner (D-Va.) and Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), and a slew of policy assistants and members of the House.
  • The Wall Street Journal: The Federal Trade Commission on Thursday issued a proposal to ban the use of noncompete clauses, a move that would allow workers to take jobs with rival companies or start competing businesses without the threat of being sued by their employers.
  • StateScoop: The National Telecommunications and Information Administration announced last Friday that it has now awarded preliminary grants from its $45 billion “Internet for All” program to all 50 states, following the delivery of $6 million to Massachusetts

Article Summary

Featured Podcast

WSJ Tech News Briefing

  • Could Underwater Data Centers Make Cloud Computing Greener?
    Cloud storage centers suck up a lot of energy. But when Microsoft tried putting data centers underwater a couple of years ago, it found the strategy greatly reduced energy use and improved performance. Now a U.S. startup called Subsea Cloud is pushing forward with similar plans. How much could underwater data centers do to alleviate emissions from our cloud usage? And what are the hurdles to getting there? Zoe Thomas hosts the first in Tech News Briefing’s four-part series on emerging climate technologies. (Could Underwater Data Centers Make Cloud Computing Greener? – December 27, 2022)