Yesterday, the federal non-jury trial between Microsoft and the Federal Trade Commission concluded. U.S. District Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley will determine whether to issue a temporary injunction that will prevent Microsoft from completing its acquisition of video game company Activision Blizzard—at least until further proceedings in the FTC’s in-house court are completed. A ruling on the temporary injunction is expected in the coming weeks.
Also this week, the White House announced how nearly $42.5 billion will be divided among U.S. states and territories for broadband expansion. VFI has been supporting policies to expand broadband access since 2017.
Enjoy your Fourth of July! Our roundup of tech policy news and a featured podcast appear below. Thank you for reading.
This Week in Washington
- Nextgov: The Cybersecurity Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) is developing a new resource center to help federal agencies access tools to address compliance issues associated with cyber supply chain management and software security mandates.
- FedScoop: A bipartisan group of legislators introduced the National AI Commission Act that will help the U.S. make progress toward governing the growing technology. This commission would consider how AI regulation can mitigate the risks and harms of the technology and protect U.S. leadership in AI innovation and the opportunities it will bring.
- Politico: Congress is using the annual National Defense Authorization Act and other military-related bills and committee positions to apply pressure on the Pentagon around AI and other technology. Letters to Department of Defense leaders and provisions in upcoming legislation seek to speed up and change how the military purchases, develops, and uses AI and other cutting-edge software, and evaluate how the government and military are keeping up with other countries.
- Nextgov: Democrats on the House Committee on Energy and Commerce wrote a letter to YouTube criticizing the platform for rolling back the election misinformation policies they had in place ahead of the 2024 election, calling the move extremely irresponsible.
- CyberScoop: The Office of Management and Budget and the Office of the National Cyber Director outlined the cybersecurity budget priorities for federal departments and agencies for the fiscal year 2025. The two agencies will also collaborate to identify gaps in agencies’ budgets along with potential solutions to fill them.
- Bloomberg Law: The union-friendly stance of Microsoft has opened up the door for organizing among online gaming studios nationwide, accelerating a wider trend of unionization where labor has historically struggled.
- The New York Times and Oregon Live: With Montana set to ban TikTok in the state, TikTok creators filed a lawsuit claiming that the ban violates their First Amendment rights and TikTok is footing the bill. Meanwhile, legislators in Oregon passed and sent to Governor Tina Kotek’s desk a bill that would ban TikTok and other China- and Russia-based company’s apps and software, including WeChat and Kaspersky Labs tools, from state government devices. If signed into law, Montana and Oregon would join more than 30 states that have passed similar bans.
- The Washington Post: Gen-Z – the youngest people making their way into the workforce – may be the best equipped and prepared to champion and use generative AI, which is being heavily integrated into workplace tools.
- Axios: With schools often struggling to safeguard their computer systems, they easily become targets for ransomware hackers. Their inability to keep up is causing many school IT leaders to revisit their cybersecurity strategies.
- The Hill: Australia is following in the European Union’s footsteps by introducing legislation that would implement fines against social media companies that fail to remove dis- and misinformation from their platforms.
- Reuters: Internet giant Meta is removing news on their platforms Facebook and Instagram in Canada after the Canadian Parliament passed a law that would require them, and other major players, to pay publishers.
The Wall Street Journal
- WSJ Tech News Briefing
Snapchat launched an AI chatbot recently. And as users flooded to the feature, CEO Evan Spiegel says he discovered users’ embrace of AI could improve targeted advertising. Spiegel spoke at the WSJ’s Journal House during the Cannes Lions International Festival this week. We bring you highlights from that conversation. (AI Could Improve Ads on Social Media, Snap CEO Says – June 22, 2023)