With help from John Hendel and Leah Nylen
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— Trust busting: An antitrust package from House Democrats could land as soon as this week, posing the most significant threat yet to Silicon Valley’s power.
— America first: As President Joe Biden readies for privacy talks in Europe, he’s getting increased pressure to put more attention on a federal privacy law at home — even from groups in Europe.
— Policy alert: Governments need to push for the adoption of quantum-safe encryption before current standards become vulnerabilities, the IBM Policy Lab warns.
IT’S THURSDAY! MORNING TECH IS HERE FOR YOU. I’m your host, Benjamin Din. Fun fact: I downed a whole jug of orange juice on Wednesday because I wasn’t feeling well, and now I’m feeling a little better. Was that the reason why, or does correlation not equal causation? If you’ve got any trusted home remedies for pesky illnesses, please let me know!
SEE YOU THERE! A national privacy law seemed well within reach this Congress, but those efforts have hit a roadblock. Today, Alex will ask Sens. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) what needs to be done to push legislation forward, especially at a time when privacy concerns are front and center. Register to watch the POLITICO Live editorial panel this afternoon.
Got a news tip? Got thoughts on quantum issues? Email [email protected]. Got an event for our calendar? Send details to [email protected]. Anything else? Team info below. And don’t forget: Add @MorningTech and @PoliticoPro on Twitter.
HOT ANTITRUST SUMMER — Democrats on the House Judiciary antitrust panel circulated five antitrust bills among potential cosponsors this week, Leah reports for Pros. The bills offer a window into the newest phase of Congress’ push for an antitrust overhaul, the first real test of what lawmakers can actually do to Silicon Valley beyond summoning its company’s CEOs to the Hill.
Here are some MT superlatives:
— Most likely to pass: the draft bill to increase merger filing fees, sponsored by Rep. Joe Neguse (D-Colo.). Sound familiar? That’s because it’s identical to the legislation championed by Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) that passed earlier this week as part of the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act.
— Most controversial: the draft bill by Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) that would allow the Justice Department or the FTC to sue to break up platforms with an “irreconcilable conflict of interest.” (This would affect companies that, for instance, operate a dominant platform and promote their own goods or services on it.) Don’t hold your breath waiting for much, if any, Republican support on this one, which outright bars companies from engaging in certain types of business.
— Honorable mentions: Another bill, sponsored by Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.), would block platforms from acquiring potential rivals, such as Facebook’s acquisitions of Instagram and WhatsApp. As for the other two bills — one from Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.) to prohibit platforms from giving their own products or services an advantage over others, and one sponsored by Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon (D-Penn.) that would require platforms to create user interfaces that allow users easily transfer their data to other services — they’ll likely get some GOP traction. (Pros can read the draft bills here.)
EVERYONE WANTS PRIVACY, BUT WHERE FIRST? — While the tech industry is eager to see progress on a transatlantic data transfer deal, civil society groups from the U.S. and the EU are demanding today that Biden pause those talks until there’s a federal U.S. privacy law passed — an effort that has stalled in part due to his lack of urgency.
“The United States’ failure to ensure meaningful privacy protections for personal data is the reason that a growing number of countries are concerned about trans-border data flows,” the groups said in a letter. “The only way to fully address these issues and enter into a lasting transatlantic agreement is to harmonize data protection standards between the European Union and the United States.”
— Tech keeps its eyes on Europe: Tech companies and the groups that represent them have clamored for a deal between the U.S. and the EU after a European court invalidated a vital transatlantic data agreement last year. U.S. tech players are hoping to see both governments agree to move forward on a deal next week, when Biden will meet with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in Brussels.
BSA | The Software Alliance and a related industry coalition sent a letter Wednesday to the two presidents, saying a deal would support “privacy and economic opportunity for both EU and US citizens.” Earlier this week, Facebook released a report arguing the restriction of data transfers would cost European consumers and businesses billions of euros.
— And while Biden was in the air, the White House made moves on another privacy front: China. The administration rescinded former President Donald Trump’s executive orders targeting Chinese-owned apps TikTok and WeChat. In its place, Biden will issue new guidelines to assess apps’ potential risks to U.S. data, Cristiano reports. Republicans criticized the move, and Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.) called it a “big mistake.” But Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) said Biden’s executive order was “risk-based, transparent, and comprehensive,” compared to Trump’s “uncoordinated approach.”
Asked about the reversal at a roundtable, Huawei’s global cyber security and privacy officer, John Suffolk, said: “I don’t know about you, I’m not sure there’s a great deal of sensitive data in TikTok. … I’m not convinced that this has much to do with sensitive data, rather than just restrictive practices to try and limit the growth of other applications in other countries.”
IBM WARNS OF LOOMING QUANTUM THREAT — As quantum computing advances, malicious actors could someday use the technology to target critical infrastructure like power grids and highways, the IBM Policy Lab said in a policy brief out today.
— The biggest threat: Quantum computers will one day have the ability to break encryption standards now in use. Researchers have already discovered ways to resist attacks from quantum computers, but there needs to be widespread adoption of those encryption methods, IBM said.
“To prepare for what comes next, policymakers and industry need to look to mitigate against these risks by future-proofing in the present,” the brief’s authors write. “We must act now.”
— Policy takeaways: Governments need to start pushing for the adoption of quantum-safe cryptography, according to the paper, in order to protect current encrypted data from future threats. Government agencies (notorious for their legacy IT systems) also need to be early adopters. Agencies like the National Institute of Standards and Technology should work with global partners to establish appropriate standards, and government, academia and industry should work together.
— Endless Frontier angle: Quantum computing would be one of the focus areas for a new National Science Foundation tech directorate established under USICA (formerly the Endless Frontier Act). Also attached to that bill: the Quantum Network Infrastructure and Workforce Development Act, S. 1161 (117), introduced by Sens. John Thune (R-S.D.) and Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.). But it still faces a steep climb in the House.
FIRST IN MT: BROADBAND FUNDING NOT ENOUGH, CABLE GROUP SAYS — A trade group of small cable operators, ACA Connects, unveiled a report today that says policymakers may be kicking around internet connectivity funding numbers too low for their ambitions. The report, by consulting firm Cartesian and paid for by ACA Connects, said that building “future-proof” networks in all unserved locations currently lacking 100 Megabits/second download and upload speeds would cost up to $179 billion, and no less than $106 billion — numbers that attempt to capture some of the households not included in subpar FCC mapping and also emphasize broadband affordability challenges.
— Between the lines: Plenty of internet service providers would welcome the Biden administration paring down the potential super-fast internet speed benchmarks favored by Democrats. The cable-commissioned report argues that with $61-118 billion (a number more in line with what lawmakers are haggling over), Washington could hook up all areas that currently get less than 100/20 Mbps service with gigabit speeds. A lot of internet providers would much rather define what counts as an “underserved household” using a benchmark along those lines, with its drastically lower upload threshold that won’t pit government-subsidized competitors directly against them.
Julius West is joining Uber’s lobbying team. He was previously chief of staff for Rep. Robin Kelly (D-Ill.) and a senior adviser to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. … Zoom joins BSA as a global member, and Zoom COO Aparna Bawa joins the coalition’s board of directors. Blackberry and Dropbox are joining the group as regional members in Europe. … Carolyn Everson, Facebook ads chief, is leaving the company after 10 years. … Mimi Alemayehou is joining Twitter’s board as an independent director. Jesse Cohn is stepping down. … Sally Aman and Teresa Chaurand are joining GPS Impact. Aman will be chief comms officer and previously was SVP of comms and public affairs at USTelecom and is an Al Gore alum. Chaurand will be principal and senior adviser and most recently was a volunteer on the Biden-Harris transition team and is currently working to advance representation of Latinos in the Biden administration. … Carter Clark Page joins quantitative investment firm Two Sigma as head of data engineering. He was previously a director of engineering at Google. … Cat Zakrzewski has been named a technology policy reporter for the Washington Post.
From our friends at POLITICO Influence: Chipmaker Qualcomm retained a team from Capitol Tax Partners at the beginning of last month to lobby on international tax issues, according to disclosures filed Tuesday.
Watch this: On Sept. 5, 2006, Facebook launched the News Feed. It changed how we interacted with the internet forever, from NYT Opinion.
About-face: “Pipeline Investigation Upends Idea That Bitcoin Is Untraceable,” via NYT.
Nope: A judge denied REX’s request for a preliminary injunction for immediate relief in its federal antitrust suit against Zillow, Trulia and the National Association of Realtors.
Shut ‘em down: Record labels Universal, Sony and Warner are suing Frontier Communications, demanding it cut service to users with alleged copyright violations, Ars Technica reports.
It’s a date: FCC acting Chair Jessica Rosenworcel has laid the groundwork for an auction of mid-band spectrum to start Oct. 5.
Tips, comments, suggestions? Send them along via email to our team: Bob King ([email protected]), Heidi Vogt ([email protected]), John Hendel ([email protected]), Cristiano Lima ([email protected]), Alexandra S. Levine ([email protected]), Leah Nylen ([email protected]), Emily Birnbaum ([email protected]), and Benjamin Din ([email protected]). Got an event for our calendar? Send details to [email protected]. And don’t forget: Add @MorningTech and @PoliticoPro on Twitter.
SEE YOU TOMORROW!
Forget summer. Antitrust season is here. Source link Forget summer. Antitrust season is here.