September 10 2021

This Week in Washington

Roll Call Congress seeks to compel infrastructure operators to report cyberattacks
Congress is moving to compel companies that operate critical infrastructure to inform federal officials of cyberattacks after years of relying on a patchy — and voluntary — reporting system that often left U.S. agencies in the dark. Some lawmakers want banks, oil and gas companies, tech providers, utilities and others to tell the top cybersecurity agency when an attack has occurred.

Axios Exclusive: FCC will study cost of landlords’ broadband deals
The Federal Communications Commission wants to learn whether deals between landlords and internet service providers raise prices for apartment dwellers as part of the Biden administration’s push on increasing competition in the economy. Why it matters: Despite cities having more competition among broadband providers, those in apartment buildings can be stuck with one provider because of the arrangements.

The Hill DOJ reportedly preparing new Google antitrust case
The Department of Justice is readying an antitrust lawsuit against Google aimed at the search giant’s role in the ad tech market, multiple outlets have reported. While a filing is not imminent, according to a Politico report, the agency could move forward with the case before President Biden’s pick to run the DOJ’s antitrust team makes it through the Senate.

The Washington Post Where are President Biden’s telecom picks?
President Biden has been historically slow to appoint officials to the federal government’s top telecommunications agencies, and advocacy groups say the vacancies are preventing the administration from carrying out key agenda items, such as reinstating net neutrality rules killed during the Trump administration. Nearly eight months into his presidency, Biden has yet to pick permanent leaders for the Federal Communications Commission and the Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration.

Article Summary

Fast Company Brad Smith: What it was like inside Microsoft during the worst cyberattack in history
While the KGB may have collapsed with the Soviet Union in 1991, its long shadow still quietly serves its homeland through new 21st­-century digital forms and tactics, especially in cyberspace. When the Communist Bloc splintered, so did the KGB. Two new agencies were born: the Foreign Intelligence Service of the Russian Federation (SVR), a spy agency tasked with gathering intelligence, and the enforcement arm, the Federal Security Service (FSB), which is charged with security. Both conduct espionage and counter­intelligence.

New York Times The State of Consumer Data Privacy Laws in the US (And Why It Matters)
The data collected by the vast majority of products people use every day isn’t regulated. Since there are no federal privacy laws regulating many companies, they’re pretty much free to do what they want with the data, unless a state has its own data privacy law (more on that below).

Axios Inside the response to the massive Russian SolarWinds hack
Seizing upon a flaw in software from SolarWinds, Russian hackers spent months leisurely probing the computer systems of dozens of businesses and government agencies. By contrast, when the intrusion was detected, tech companies and government agencies had to scramble to close the hole, assess damage and try to learn techniques to block future attacks.

NBC 4 Governor introduces grant program to end Ohio’s ‘digital divide’
Governor Mike DeWine is launching a grant program designed to bring high-speed internet to underserved areas of Ohio. DeWine announced the formation of the Ohio Residential Broadband Expansion Grant on Friday and said the program will begin accepting online applications beginning Monday, Sept. 6. The program will award $250 million to internet service providers throughout the state; the companies will then use the money to build high-speed broadband networks.

IR Magazine Cyber-attacks are biggest threat to company growth prospects, say CEOs
Cyber-threats have fast become a major source of anxiety for nearly half (47 percent) of global CEOs, according to a new survey from PwC. This figure is a jump from last year’s survey where one third (33 percent) of global CEOs cited cyber-threats as a concern. The concern is greatest among CEOs of companies in North America, where more than two thirds (69 percent) cite cyber as the largest threat to their organization’s growth – a 19 percentage-point increase on last year.

Mashable SpaceX produces only 5,000 Starlink dishes per week
SpaceX is reportedly churning out only 5,000 Starlink dishes each week for the satellite internet service. But the company is preparing to boost manufacturing later this year to help meet the massive consumer demand. SpaceX CFO Bret Johnsen revealed the manufacturing numbers during Tuesday’s Satellite 2021 conference in Maryland, according to reporters in attendance.

Note: Voices for Innovation regularly shares a range of opinion articles and press releases from organizations in and publications covering tech policy. These pieces are meant to educate our audience, not to endorse specific platforms or bills.