On Monday, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) filed suit against Microsoft in federal court seeking a temporary restraining order (TRO) and preliminary injunction (PI) to prevent the company from closing its acquisition of video game maker Activision Blizzard until the FTC can conduct an administrative trial. Microsoft Vice Chair and President Brad Smith said, “We welcome the opportunity to present our case in federal court. We believe accelerating the legal process in the U.S. will ultimately bring more choice and competition to the market.”
A federal judge issued the TRO late Tuesday, which temporarily blocks the deal from closing. A hearing on the PI request takes place next week. We will continue to provide updates on this issue.
Enjoy the start of your summer. Here is our roundup of tech policy news and a featured podcast. Thank you.
This Week in Washington
- Nextgov: Lawmakers have introduced the Cybersecurity Awareness Act, a bipartisan bill that will require the Cybersecurity Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) to launch a new private-public campaign to promote cybersecurity best practices. This bill aims to assist small businesses and vulnerable populations who are facing more cyber threats.
- StateScoop and Fierce Telecom: The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced a new round of grants totaling $714 million, providing 19 states with the resources to fund 33 new rural broadband projects. This announcement comes as Recon Analytics discovered that nine out of 10 of the unhappiest broadband counties are rural, with the same number of happiest counties also being rural creating a juxtaposition that comes down to effort by local groups fighting for broadband.
- CyberScoop: As the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) confronts several data collection issues facing customers of U.S. telecoms, the agency announced its first-ever privacy and data protection task force that will crack down on SIM swapping and address broader data privacy concerns.
- Nextgov: A bipartisan group of lawmakers reintroduced legislation known as the Protecting Americans’ Data from Foreign Surveillance Act, which would restrict the export of Americans’ data to hostile nations and prevent foreign-owned companies from accessing that data from abroad.
- FedScoop: As bad actors aim for certain classes of networks to gain unrestricted access to organizational networks, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) is ordering agencies to disconnect the devices they use to manage networks from the internet.
- Cleveland.com: Ohio is the latest state to consider regulations for children online. Governor Mike DeWine and Lieutenant Governor Jon Husted are rounding up state legislators to adopt their new proposed rule for children under 16 to obtain parental permission before joining social media sites.
- Texas Tribune: To pull ahead in the microchip manufacturing race, Governor Greg Abbott approved the Texas CHIPS Act, which will create the Texas Semiconductor Innovation Fund, subsidizing companies that manufacture chips in Texas and provide matching funds to colleges, universities, and other state entities that invest in chip design and manufacturing.
- CNN: The European Union took major steps towards regulating how companies can use AI by introducing the EU AI Act, which seeks to promote the uptake of human-centric and trustworthy AI and ensure a high level of protection.
- Daily Tech News Show
The European Union’s European Parliament passed a draft law known as the AI Act – the first step toward a finalized law. Here are its main provisions. This year’s Reuters Institute Digital News Report shows that when it comes to news content, more than ever is being consumed through platforms… such as TikTok… over “legacy” media like newspapers and television. (AI Dangers Remain Unknown – June 14, 2023)