Tech Policy Leaders features the best minds in tech law & policy keeping you informed about the latest trends in privacy, free speech, and media law & policy throughout the world.
Ashkhen Kazaryan: Tech Policy, the New Congress, and the Supreme Court
20:17Ashkhen Kazaryan: Tech Policy, the New Congress, and the Supreme Court Bio Ashkhen Kazaryan is a tech policy expert. She manages and develops policy projects on free speech, content moderation, surveillance reform and the intersection of constitutional rights and technology. Ashkhen joined Facebook in November of 2020 as Content Policy Manager on the Content Regulation team for two years. Before that she was the Director of civil liberties at TechFreedom from July 2016 till November 2020. At TechFreedom she also managed outreach and coalition building for the organization and hosted The Tech Policy Podcast. Ashkhen is regularly featured as an expert commentator in news outlets across television, radio, podcasts, and print and digital publications including CNBC, BBC, FOX DC, Newsy, Politico, Axios, The Information, Protocol, The Washington Examiner and many others. Twitter LinkedIn Resources Ashkhen Kazaryan
Twitter is fading fast; Brutal caste discrimination against Indian gig workers -- Tech Law & Policy This Week
4:01Hey everybody, I’m Joe Miller and here’s what’s going on in the world of tech law & policy this week. It’s a lot. Where should we start? Let’s start with Twitter - which continues to meltdown after Elon Musk’s acquisition of the company last month to the tune of $44 billion. Employees are fleeing the company in droves after Elon challenged them with the ultimatum of taking either a three-month severage package or staying with the new “hard core” version of the company, whatever that means. As of Friday afternoon, Twitter workers were still heading for the exit doors. Also, Senators Blumental, Menendez, Booker, Markey, Lujan, and Feinstein sent a letter to Federal Trade Commission Chair Lina Kahn, expressing concern that Twitter may already have violated the agency’s consent decrees for privacy violations. These lawmakers urged the FTC to step up enforcement of the decrees. And Twitter has also suspended its roll out of verified blue checks because it and outside researchers found that a high number of them are pornographers, crypto scammers, and right-wingers. – Color of Change released a report card on politicians’ performance on civil rights-related tech issues like discriminatory surveillance. Anna G. Eshoo (Calif.), Cori Bush (Mo.), Jamie Raskin (Md.), Pramila Jayapal (Wash.) and Yvette Clarke (N.Y.) and Sens. Cory Booker (N.J.), Edward J. Markey (Mass.), and Elizabeth Warren (Mass.) – all got perfect scores. More than 40 Republicans, though, got zeros. – The Senate released a report showing social media’s ongoing failure at curbing extremism happening online. Most of that is coming from white supremacists, according to the FBI, DHS. So the Senate, which will remain under democratic control, is investigating why social media companies have been so slow to respond. – And the fallout from the FTX crypto exchange debacle is expanding, with a hearing scheduled for next month before the House Financial Services Committee. —- A coalition of parents whose children have died from suicides, using drugs purchased online, and viral challenges, wrote a joint letter to Congressional leaders under the auspices of Fair Play, Parents Together Action, and the Eating Disorders Coalition. They’re pushing Congress to pass both the Children and Teens’ Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA 2.0) and the Kids Online Safety Act. Some hope for a markup by the end of this year. —- Also Brutal caste discrimination in India against gig workers. Attackers are going after Muslims and Dalits in particular. Privacy advocates including the Electronic Frontier Foundation and American Civil Liverties Union are suing San Francisco Mayor London Breed for allowing the San Francisco Police Department to gain essentially unfettered access to live surveillance cameras. People under house arrest in Chicago are getting erroneous messages from their ankle bracelets saying they may end up back in jail. Scientific American highlights concerns about mental health apps. Some 85 industry-funded studies didn’t explore potential harms of these platforms. To go deeper, you can find links to all of these stories in the show notes. Stay safe, stay informed, have a great week. Ciao.
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Chuck Keller: How to Get Faster Internet Speeds with USF
18:10Bio Chuck is one of the country’s foremost experts on all aspects of federal and state universal service programs. Chuck had a leadership role at the FCC in the implementation of the universal service provisions of the Telecommunications Act of 1996. Since joining WBK in 2001, he has helped clients craft policy recommendations in every universal service rulemaking at the FCC and in several states. He also fields compliance questions from clients on universal service contribution requirements, E-rate funding, Connect America Fund (“CAF”), Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (“RDOF”), as well as recent broadband deployment affordability programs including NTIA’s Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (“BEAD”) program and the Affordable Connectivity Program (“ACP”). Innovative companies operating on the ever-evolving line between communications services and technology also come to Chuck for help in ascertaining whether and how FCC and state communications regulatory requirements affect their businesses. Chuck is an active member of the Federal Communications Bar Association and has served as a Co-Chair of its Wireline Practice Committee and State and Local Practice Committee. He serves on the Board of the LGBT Technology Partnership. He also represents several clients on a pro bono basis in political asylum cases on referral from Whitman Walker Legal Services of Washington, DC. Facebook LinkedIn Twitter Website Resources Wilkson Barker Knauer
Musk floats possible Twitter bankruptcy; Crypto uncertainty after FTX implosion -- Tech Law & Policy This Week
3:23Hey everybody, I’m Joe Miller and here’s what’s going on in the world of tech law & policy this week. Regulators concerned about Twitter implosion The Federal Trade Commission has expressed “deep concern” over Twitter’s implosion since Elon Musk took over the company last month. More key executives departed the company this week, leaving it with little to no institutional knowledge on staff that knows how Twitter’s underlying technology works. Among the resignations was Yoel Roth, Twitter’s Head of Moderation & Safety, who many have seen as something of a voice of reason for the company since Musk took over. Mr. Roth had appeared the day before his resignation at a Twitter Spaces event during which he and Mr. Musk attempted to allay advertisers’ fears that their brands would appear next to harmful content like hate speech. Lea Kissner, Twitter’s Chief Information Security Officer, has also left the company, as well as its Chief Compliance and Chief Privacy Officers. But Twitter is subject to two consent decrees of over $150 million imposed by the FTC in 2011 and 2022 for repeated privacy violations. By some estimates, the FTC could fine Twitter to the tune of billions of dollars if it fails to comply with the consent decrees. Crypto shaken by FTX implosion Crypto exchange FTX also imploded last week following massive sell-offs by its customers after its 30-year-old CEO Sam Bankman-Fried announced the company used some $10 billion customers’ holdings to fund Almeda, FTX’s sister company also founded by Mr. Bankman-Fried. FTX competitor Binance initially tried to step in and takeover FTX but then concluded after reviewing FTX’s financials that it wouldn’t be able to rescue FTX, which may now declare bankruptcy. Both the Securities and Exchange Commission and Federal Trade Commission are investigating as FTX is unable to honor customer withdrawals, which aren’t secured by the federal government. Crypto has billed itself as an alternative to regulated currency. US and EU regulators skeptical about Microsoft’s Activision/Blizzard acquisition The European Commission announced its preliminary review of Microsoft’s $69 billion bid to acquire Activision/Blizzard – the competing video game owner of the Call of Duty video game franchise. The US Federal Trade Commission has also expressed significant concerns after a staff-level review. Regulators are especially concerned about what the acquisition would mean for Playstation’s ability to carry Call of Duty. To go deeper, you can find links to all of these stories in the show notes. Stay safe, stay informed, have a great week. Ciao.
Dr. Michal Luria: Adaptive Research Design for Policymakers
19:40One-size-fits-all research approaches are no longer sufficient to effectively address content moderation, fulfill the content preferences of each user, and prevent harmful, false information from undermining democracy. Researchers like Michal Luria are beginning to understand how complex human behaviors should be taken into account in UX design and incorporated into the policymaking process. Bio Dr. Michal Luria is a researcher at the Center for Democracy & Technology. Her work makes use of immersive and human-centered design research methods to envision and critique interactions with emerging technologies. In her work she translates research insights into thought-provoking interactions and necessary discussions of ethics and policy. Website Google Scholar LinkedIn Instagram Resources "This is transparency to me" Center for Democracy and Technology, https://cdt.org/insights/this-is-transparency-to-me-research-prototypes/ (last visited Oct 31, 2022)
Anisa F. Green: How to Navigate a Tech Law & Policy Career
10:52The telecommunications, media, and technology sectors are exciting fields, but if you work in public policy, one must constantly adapt. Anisa Green shares with Joe how she built her career and how to find a team that values your presence at work. Anisa Green Anisa Green is Director of Federal Regulatory at AT&T, where she also serves as Chief of Staff for the Executive Vice President and Chief Regulatory Officer in AT&T’s DC office. Anisa has over 24 years of expertise in regulatory, legal and advocacy work. She is currently working on universal service regulatory issues, with a focus on consumer broadband affordability, digital equity, and rural healthcare matters. In addition to serving as a Trustee of the Federal Communications Bar Association Foundation, Anisa champions various organizations focused on empowering, encouraging and educating youth, women, and marginalized communities. Hailing from Brooklyn, NY, with roots in the West Indies, Anisa holds a BA in Philosophy and Communication from the George Washington University, is a certified paralegal, and has taken numerous continuing legal education credits to further her knowledge. When she is not running after her children and caring for her family, she takes advantage of a few stolen moments by shopping, reading a book, catching a movie, or taking a long walk or ride. Resources Anisa on LinkedIn FCBA – The Tech Bar
Shahed Amanullah: Why Tech Policy Needs Social Innovation
18:48Technology is transforming every sector of society and the economy. For example, think about how e-commerce has disrupted retail, artificial intelligence is changing healthcare, and autonomous vehicles will reshape transportation. In an increasingly digital world, technology companies are aggressively lobbying policymakers to advance their interests. This means that tech policy needs social innovation rather than just a new set of policies that favor the interests of a few well-connected tech titans. Unfortunately, many tech policy debates have been framed as if there are only two options: Either support the interests of big tech corporations or lose out on the economic benefits that come with technological innovation. But what if there’s a third way? We need policies that encourage broad adoption of beneficial technologies without favoring one company over another or creating anti-competitive market conditions. In other words, we need social innovation in tech policy. Shahed Amanullah Website Twitter LinkedIn Shahed Amanullah serves as Global VP of Customer Experience at growth strategy consulting firm Frost & Sullivan. He is also Managing Director of Frost Capital, a Palo Alto-based private equity fund manager that acquired Affinis Labs, an award-winning social innovation firm he co-founded. Shahed also founded Zakatify, a social impact fintech startup, and Zabihah, the world's first global Halal restaurant guide. Resources Home, Frost & Sullivan (2022), https://www.frost.com/ (last visited Oct 14, 2022).
AP: Majority Americans think misinfo is harmful; Latino leaders warn about misinformation and disinformation targeting Latino communities -- Tech Law & Policy This Week
4:38Hey everybody, I’m Joe Miller and here’s what’s going on in the world of tech law & policy this week. New coalition pushes to make DMs safe Let’s face it, DM’s, whether they’re encrypted or not, are no longer safe – if they ever were. Now, following the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs overturning Roe v. Wade, law enforcement in states in which abortion is now illegal have been obtaining search warrants that require social media companies, like Facebook which recently gave police a Nebraska teen’s personal conversation she’d had with her mom on WhatsApp regarding an abortion the teen allegedly had. There’s an open letter you can sign that’s hosted by the Fight for the Future Education Fund, which you can find in the show notes — it’s a petition for social media companies to set end-to-end encryption on messaging apps as the default, rather than leaving them open to virtual surveillance not envisioned by the framers when they drafted the Fourth Amendment. Virtual surveillance is out of control And virtual, commercial surveillance is out of control across-the-board, which is likely the reason why the Federal Trade Commission extended the comment period for its advanced notice of proposed ruling on commercial surveillance. Should the FTC write new rules governing cybersecurity and surveillance? Well, you can weigh in until November 21st. And what’s an example of commercial surveillance that advocates and the FTC are concerned about? One example is the way in which customers can now surveil delivery workers in ways that weren’t possible before, which Data & Society argues in a new report has turned porches and front door steps into workplaces. And we have a link to that report in the show notes as well. Labor Department moves to prevent misclassifying gig workers And the Labor Department has announced a proposed rule designed to limit the extent to which companies may classify gig workers as independent contractors. Many of these workers are doing gig work as their primary source of income, which effectively makes them full-time employees – they are contractors in name only. The proposed Labor Department rule sets forth a new test for determining whether a gig worker is a contractor or employee – namely whether the worker is in business for themselves, or whether the employee’s work is “integral” to the company’s business. So under the proposed rule, a company like Uber would need to classify drivers as full-time employees rather than independent contractors so these workers can avail themselves of the health and other benefits companies often reserve only for their full-time employees. AP poll: majority of public thinks misinformation is harmful Finally, a new AP poll finds that most Americans are finding it more difficult to know what they should believe. We’re talking about 91% of adults finding misinformation to be a problem – with 80% of Democrats and 70% of Republicans finding that misinformation contributes to political polarization. And the Texas representative for San Antonio Joaquin Castro, along with several Hispanic groups, including the National Hispanic Media Coalition, are warning about rampant misinformation targeting Latino communities that’s often disseminated on chat apps like WhatsApp. This is happening amidst a new Washington Post-Ipsos poll that found Latinos, while 63% overall still support Democrats – that number is actually declining because Democrats now hold only a 27 point lead over Republicans, compared to 40 percent in the years leading up to President Biden’s election. To go deeper, you can find links to all of these stories in the show notes. Stay safe, stay informed, have a great week. Ciao.
Roger Quiles: How to Stay Safe in the E-sports World
20:19Roger Quiles: How to Stay Safe in the E-sports World If you’re a fan of video games or an avid Twitch viewer, you may have heard of E-sports. The E-sports scene is booming, with several competitions now taking place worldwide. However, with this expansion comes new challenges. Players face online harassment and can be targets for criminals. Entrepreneurs looking to enter this exciting industry face a complex law & policy landscape. These challenges make E-sports a viable practice area for lawyers. Leading E-sports attorney Roger Quiles joined Joe Miller to shed light on these issues and more. Roger Quiles, Esq. Website Twitter LinkedIn Roger Quiles is one of the world’s first esports and gaming attorneys, beginning to serve the industry exclusively in 2015. His work services all stakeholders in the industry, worldwide. Roger also sits on the Board of Latinx in Gaming, a nonprofit dedicated to elevating the Latinx community in the videogame industry.