Congress is running out of time for a clear technology agenda.

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Welcome! There’s nothing like a four-day work week to cure the end-of-summer blues. As usual, send news tips to cristiano.lima@washpost.com.

Below: Cloudflare cuts across kiwifruit farms, and the report highlights Twitter’s challenge in responding to misinformation. first:

Congress is running out of time for a clear technology agenda.

Entering the year, hopes were high among industry critics that Congress could turn years of frustration at the behavior of Silicon Valley giants into legislative action. But so far, those wishes have largely been unfulfilled.

Now, as Congress returns from recess, it faces a narrowing window to overcome the main hurdles to passage of big tech deals — securing privacy and antitrust laws and key federal regulators.

Here’s what lawmakers will see as they head into the critical legislative process:

A new goal post for lawmakers’ tech antitrust package

Lawmakers have set early summer as an informal deadline for years-long efforts by the tech giants to investigate the claims of the Craftsman Act, which aims to address the problem.

“I hope we get the opportunity this month, not after the August break, not next month,” Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.), one of the lawmakers leading the push; He said in early June A vote on the Senate floor is likely to yield a few high-profile proposals.

“We all know what happens after the August break,” he added. After the August recess, before the election, and after the election, we need to clean things up before the end of this Congress.

That timeline has come and gone, and to this point neither the House nor the Senate have taken up the bills — the American Innovation and Choice Online Act (S.2992) and the Open App Markets Act (S.2710) — for a floor vote. That means lawmakers must juggle a list of priorities, including top voting, when trying to make changes on the bill.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (DN.Y.) has pledged to vote on the bill in early August, the New York Post reported. But he personally erred by saying he didn’t think the proposals would have the 60 votes needed to pass, according to Bloomberg News, and his office is still working with Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) to gather enough support. That leaves the fate of the effort up in the air.

And while the effort is bipartisan, the bills are dead if Republicans retake the House. “The antitrust bills we’re currently considering are not moving forward under Republican leadership, and that’s a very clear signal,” Buck said in March.

The growing push for privacy hits a familiar wall.

Earlier this year, an unexpected breakthrough in negotiations on federal privacy legislation has sparked discussions on Capitol Hill like never before, as a key House panel proposed the so-called Comprehensive Data Privacy Act for the first time.

But strong pressure from two key Democratic leaders put the effort on life support.

Senate Commerce Chairman Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) expressed deep concerns that the House Bill 53-2 of the US Data Privacy and Protection Act (DPA) has major enforcement gaps. .

“I don’t even think. Nancy Pelosi He has a plan to take it off, so he’s sure we’re not going to take it off,” Cantwell told me in July.

Instead, the Cantwell panel passed the Green Light Act to advance a privacy bill that would cover all American consumers and instead expand data protections for children and youth.

Even that campaign now faces major roadblocks at home. Pelosi, the House’s top Democrat and the most powerful Californian, echoed concerns raised by her colleagues that the ADPPA would overturn state laws such as California’s Consumer Privacy Act.

After months of staying mum on the topic, Pelosi released a statement last week saying, “It’s important that California continues to offer and uphold the nation’s strongest privacy rights.”

The comments dealt another blow to the negotiations, with Pelosi now demanding the same changes that Republicans rejected during their talks.

Republic Cathy McMorris Rogers (Wash.), the top Republican on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said in a statement, “California … should not lead the rest of the country on privacy and data security laws.”

A key candidate in limbo, with more to come

For the entirety of President Biden’s tenure, the Federal Communications Commission has operated without full commissioners and a Democratic majority, as the former agency staff. Gigi boyThe appointment has been stuck for a year amid partisan gridlock.

That has left FCC Democrats unable to carry out key agenda items, including restoring Obama-era net neutrality rules.

It’s unclear whether there will be a vote among Democrats to clear Son from the House. If Republicans recapture the Senate in this year’s midterm elections, a prospect that looks increasingly unlikely, the next several months will be critical.

At the Federal Trade Commission, a Republican commissioner Noah Phillips A Democratic commissioner is set to leave the agency this fall. Rebecca Kelly SlaughterThe term of service is about to expire. That means the agency will soon be operating again in a limited capacity.

The security company Cloudflare has taken down Kiwi Farm’s website

Cloudflare’s move represents a reversal of the company’s approach, which has previously ensured the protection of kiwifruit farms. Joseph Men And Taylor Lawrence Report it. Kiwi Farm is best known for its use by participants to organize real-world harassment, as well as online hacking and harassment.

“As Kiwi farms felt more threatened, they responded by threatening more,” Cloudflare’s CEO said. Matthew Prince he told the Post. “We think there is an imminent threat and we don’t think law enforcement is quick enough to respond to those threats.” The forum contributors posted the home addresses of what they considered to be enemies and demanded that they be shot, Prince said.

Last week, Cloudflare faced pressure to drop Kiwi Farms. Organizations and influencers have joined. Clara SorrentiA trans Canadian Twitch streamer known online as Keffals is calling for Kiwi Farms to be removed from Cloudflare’s service. Sorrenti launched the #DropKiwiFarms campaign after being targeted by forum users for months. Forum users doxed Sorrenti and her family, and also called the police to come to her home with “swatting” attacks.

Cloudflare isn’t the only firm to cut Kiwi farms. DDoS-Guard, a Russian service that protects websites from cyberattacks, led Kiwi Farms after Clodflare shut down. But that didn’t last long. On Monday, the company said it was suspending services to kiwi farms after receiving reports that the platform violated its policies. “After examining the content of the site, we decided to terminate DDoS protection services for kiwifarms.ru. We thank everyone who reported this incident to us,” the organization said.

Twitter does not have the resources to combat major threats such as fake news

Twitter’s former head of security Peter “Mudge” ZatkoIt ordered an external audit of the company’s anti-disinformation capabilities, which found the company faced a sophisticated disinformation campaign and lacked resources. Elizabeth Dvoskin, Joseph Men And Cat Zakrzewski Report it. The audit was included in a whistleblower complaint by notorious hacker Zatco.

“While Zatco’s Twitter security breach allegations, first reported last month by the Post and CNN, have received widespread attention, the audit of the misinformation has gone largely unreported,” my colleagues said. , despite its role as a host for business executives and journalists, Twitter has not been able to build a defense commensurate with the platform’s massive social impact.

Twitter disputes much of the report, which says the company was understaffed, silent and unresponsive to threats. Alethea Group, which is behind the report, declined to comment.

The European regulator fined Instagram $400 million for child privacy violations

It’s the second-largest fine a European regulator has hit a tech giant for violating Europe’s privacy regulation, GDPR, Politico Europe’s. Vincent Manancourt Reports. The Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC) is conducting at least half a dozen other investigations into companies owned by Instagram parent Meta, according to Manancourt.

The Instagram investigation focused on 13- to 17-year-old users of the app who may run business accounts that publish contact information such as phone numbers and email addresses, Reuters reported.

Instagram plans to appeal the fine, a Meta spokesperson told Reuters. A Meta spokesperson told Politico Europe: “This question is about old settings that we updated a year ago, and since then we’ve rolled out a lot of new features to help keep teens safe and private.” “When anyone under 18 joins Instagram, they set their account to private. So only people they know can see what they post, and adults can’t send messages to teens who don’t follow them. We’ve been fully engaged with the DPC during their inquiry, and we’re carefully reviewing their final decision.”

Apple plans to double its digital advertising business (Financial Times)

Amazon Care is dead, but the tech giant’s healthcare ambitions live on (Caroline O’Donovan)

4,000 Google cafeteria workers quietly unionize during pandemic (Jerit de Vink and Lauren Kaori Gurley)

FTC Digs into Amazon’s Robot Deal (Politico)

Biden cracks down on Chinese tech with new executive order (Semaphore)

He used AI to win an art competition. Was it a scam? (Drew Harwell)

  • Chief Technology Officer of the CIA Nand Mulchandani and retired Lt. Gen Jack Shanahan Discuss software-defined warfare at a Center for Strategic and International Studies event on Wednesday at 2:00 p.m.
  • CSIS will host a disinformation and disinformation event on Wednesday at 3 p.m.

ThatThank you so much for joining us today – everyone! Make sure you tell others to subscribe of Technology 202 over here. Get in touch with tips, feedback or greetings Twitter Or email.



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