Tech Policy Roundup

April 2023

VFI is a Microsoft-supported advocacy community that empowers technology professionals and everyday Americans to engage in discussions about the most important tech policy issues of the day. VFI champions public policies that foster innovation, support business growth, and enable technology to address societal challenges.

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Here are three key issues on VFI’s radar:

National Cybersecurity Strategy

On March 2, the White House released its National Cybersecurity Strategy, which underscores that “robust collaboration, particularly between the public and private sectors, is essential to securing cyberspace.” The Strategy includes five pillars to strengthen our nation’s cybersecurity focused on defending critical infrastructure, disrupting threat actors, and fostering a collaborative cybersecurity ecosystem.

Tom Burt, Corporate Vice President of Customer Security and Trust at Microsoft, underscores the importance of partnerships in his latest blog, “Collaboration is crucial to strengthening cybersecurity.” Burt notes that threat actors are working together in a “dynamic cybercrime economy,” which makes it all the more important for government, industry, and other stakeholders to outmatch them.

Evolving Intellectual Property (IP) Rules for the Greater Good

A new discussion is emerging in Washington, DC, and elsewhere about intellectual property (IP) in the age of AI. Microsoft General Counsel Hossein Nowbar contributed to this discussion with a recent blog laying out five key principles for policymakers and the intellectual property community to consider as IP rules evolve for this new era of technology. He writes, “[W]e need an IP system that promotes pragmatic and practical mechanisms with a focus on how the system can enable innovation, not impede it.” Technology has great potential to help address critical environmental, health, economic, and other societal challenges, and our IP system “can play a critical role in removing friction to innovation.”

Congress Examines AI

On March 8, the House Oversight Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Information Technology, and Government Innovation held a hearing titled, “Advances in AI: Are We Ready for a Tech Revolution?” On the other side of Capitol Hill, the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs held its own AI hearing, “Artificial Intelligence: Risks and Opportunities.”

AI has captured public and media attention in recent months—and justifiably the attention of lawmakers. A general theme of these congressional hearings was that guardrails are needed for this powerful area of technology. The Washington Post editorialized (registration required) that Congress should also provide new AI models with temporary liability protections: “[AI] products can’t hope to offer a vast variety of answers on a vast variety of subjects, in a vast variety of applications—which is what we should want them to do—without legal protections.”


Thank you for reading. We’ll be back again next month with more tech policy highlights. To participate in VFI’s activities, please sign up today.