June 3 2022

This Week in Washington 

POLITICO Revised tech antitrust bill attempts to address privacy, cybersecurity concerns
A revised version of the American Innovation and Choice Online Act would firm up the bill’s cybersecurity and privacy protections — but not in any way that appeased the big tech companies lobbying against the effort. Last week, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) released the new draft of the legislation, an antitrust bill that aims to prohibit the biggest tech companies from discriminating against their rivals. While the bill as a whole remains largely unchanged, Klobuchar’s office worked to address some of the concerns that lawmakers have raised about it hitting companies outside of the tech industry and protecting user data.

Telecomputer FCC Launches Broadband Data Collection Help Center
The FCC is offering an online help center that includes tutorials and other resources to help Internet service providers as they prepare to submit broadband availability data into the new broadband data collection system developed for that purpose. The filing window is from June 30 to September 1 for the project, whose goal is to update and improve the broadband maps. These maps are key tools in the allocation of tens of billions of dollars in federal funding.

The Hill Authorities seize domain names after probe into sales of stolen personal information
Federal authorities have seized the internet domain names of numerous websites amid an investigation into the sale of stolen personal information online and cyberattacks for hire. In a Department of Justice (DOJ) statement on Wednesday, authorities said that the websites were seized. According to court documents, authorities said that weleakinfo.to had obtained more than 10,000 data breaches containing 7 billion indexed records, which included names, email addresses, usernames, phone numbers and passwords for various online accounts.

CyberScoop Former Marine, cyber exec Nate Fick selected as State’s inaugural cyber ambassador
The cybersecurity executive, former Marine and author Nathaniel Fick has been selected as the State Department’s inaugural Ambassador-at-Large for Cyberspace and Digital Policy, three sources with knowledge of the decision told CyberScoop. Fick would lead the State Department’s Bureau of Cyberspace and Digital Policy, launched in April, to focus on enhancing the Biden administration’s effort to provide digital aid to allies as well as American leadership in setting global cyber standards.

CNN Supreme Court temporarily blocks Texas’s social media moderation law
The Supreme Court of the United States temporarily blocked a sweeping Texas law on Tuesday that restricts the ability of Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to moderate content on their platforms. By a 5-4 vote, the justices granted an emergency request from the tech industry to block a lower court order that would have allowed the law to take hold, pending legal challenges.

Article Summary

Wall Street Journal Cyber Defense Confidence Ebbs as Ransomware Attacks Multiply
Despite Washington’s recent attempts to expand cybersecurity rules and disrupt hacking gangs, ransomware continues to proliferate and executives report unease about their companies’ ability to ward off the threat. The number of ransomware attacks against U.S. businesses has continued to increase this year, cybersecurity experts say, while some lawmakers warn the government has limited visibility of such hacks. Companies that rapidly digitized their operations during the pandemic are spending more time and effort navigating a fast-changing and treacherous ransomware landscape.

The Dallas Morning News Texas expanding broadband, but focus on sustainability key
A newly established state broadband office is on the cusp of publishing a plan that will show how Texas can offer more internet access to families in need. Students in rural and low-income neighborhoods have been without internet at home for years, but it wasn’t until the pandemic started that Texas focused on how to expand access. Now the state’s new broadband office could potentially tap into an estimated $4 billion in federal dollars to build infrastructure in unserved areas and improve coverage elsewhere.

Wyoming News Now FCC Commissioner Brenden Carr discusses Rural Broadband Accountability Plan
The Rural Broadband Accountability Plan is in its beginning stages to help bring broadband internet coverage to rural and remote areas in 32 different states across the country. On Tuesday May 31, one of the Commissioners from the Federal Communications Commission, Brendan Carr, visited Casper, Wyoming, to get a better understanding of what will need to take place to get started with the plan to help update parts of the state.

StateScoop Email breach costs Portland, Ore., $1.4 million
Officials in Portland, Oregon, said last week that the city recently lost $1.4 million to fraudulent activity when a malicious actor gained access to a government email account. The city’s Office of Management and Finance said Friday that the “fraudulent financial transaction” occurred in late April, but was only detected May 17 when the same account attempted another transfer of funds. While officials have said little else about the incident, they said it appears to stem from an email scam.

National Law Review FTC Issues Policy Statement Emphasizing to the Ed Tech Industry That Children Shouldn’t Have To Surrender Their Privacy Rights To Learn
As technology becomes increasingly a part of student learning, education technology (ed tech) companies, parents, and educators should stay abreast of children’s privacy rights under the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). To help with this, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently issued a Policy Statement regarding online learning. It also issued a warning that it plans to crack down on companies that illegally surveil children on online platforms.

Fierce Telecom Tribal communities are about to get a $2B broadband funding boost
Tribal communities are set to get their own dedicated influx of broadband funding, with money expected to flow in the coming months. Specifically, the IIJA calls for $2 billion in funding to be distributed through the existing Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program. Established in December 2020 via the passage of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, the program is run by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and launched with an initial allocation of $980 million.

Editor and Publisher Microsoft, Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas launch digital storytelling online course for next generation of Latinx journalists
Microsoft and the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas have announced their collaboration to create an online course that aims to reach Latinx Gen Z and Millennial storytellers. According to the Government Accountability Office, Latinxs continue to be severely underrepresented in the media industry and have made few gains in newsrooms, film or television in the last decade. Latinx made up between 11%-12% of the media industry workforce from 2014 to 2019, and in 2019, only 8% of newspaper and publishing staff were of Hispanic origins. Through this collaboration, the online course will look to help support and empower Latinx talent to be present and thrive in the industry.

Tech Podcast of the Week 

The Information Management 360 podcast

  • Data Security Outlook for 2022 and Beyond
    Michael Sampson, Senior Analyst, Osterman Industry Research discusses the recently published Zero Trust white paper. This podcast will cover the differences in infrastructure security and data security which have been brought to the forefront over the last several years due to the rise in cyber attacks, ransomware and the newer more dangerous extortion wear variants. In this episode we also discuss the effects that COVID-19 has had on much of the remove workforce with less secure technology capabilities than in-person offices. (Episode 24: Data Security Outlook for 2022 and Beyond – May 11, 2022)