As China’s wealth has grown, so has its sophistication at currying favor in Washington and among the American elite. Both the Chinese government and Chinese companies, often with close state ties, have retained lobbying and public-relations firms in the Beltway, in some cases hiring former U.S. officials as personal lobbyists.
It's completely understandable why you might overlook the news that the Federal Communications Commission will conduct a pair of high-band frequency spectrum auctions later this year. But if you are among the 77 percent of Americans who own a smartphone or you wish your home broadband speeds were faster, this is an important development.
Sens. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) expressed concern that the technology can be tracking user behavior without a consumer knowing, in a letter to FTC Chairman Joseph Simons.
The new head of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) wants to review how the consumer protection and antitrust agency polices companies like major tech platforms, promising “vigorous enforcement” of Silicon Valley. Joseph Simons, who was sworn in as FTC chairman last month, on Wednesday announced that he would convene a series of public hearings later this year to examine whether changes in the economy prompted by the rise of tech giants might necessitate changes in how regulators carry out enforcement.
In April, the Congressional Budget Office reported the U.S. annual budget deficit will reach $1 trillion by 2020. That’s a troubling trajectory, but no one in Washington seems to care enough to stop spending money. I only see one answer. Washington needs to spend more money. Spending in one area now might actually help avert a fiscal apocalypse later.
In a pair of hearings before Senate and House panels, NASA’s manager in charge of human spaceflight activities, the agency’s inspector general, and independent experts testified on the future of the International Space Station, and the White House’s plans to discontinue government funding of the orbiting research laboratory.
The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday gave its stamp of approval to a government review process prized by high technology companies as an easy and cheap way to combat “patent trolls” and others that bring patent infringement lawsuits. The justices ruled 7-2 that a type of in-house patent review at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office does not violate a defendant’s right under the U.S. Constitution to have a case adjudicated by a federal court and jury.
What the first day of the Zuckerberg hearings made clear is that many American lawmakers are illiterate when it comes to 21st century technology. As a result, the issue that was supposed to be the focus of the hearing -- "social media privacy and the use and abuse of data," as Sen. Chuck Grassley put it -- was but one among many. And at the moment when the country needed a smart conversation about privacy, what it got was meandering questions and misfires.
"This is the first approval of a U.S.-licensed satellite constellation to provide broadband services using a new generation of low-Earth orbit satellite technologies," the Federal Communications Commission said in a statement. The system proposed by privately held SpaceX, as Space Exploration Holdings is known, will use 4,425 satellites, the FCC said.
Junk science is no longer welcome at the Environmental Protection Agency. Administrator Scott Pruitt has declared war on what he calls “secret science” - the process whereby EPA regulators have been able to craft rules using non-publicly-available science data.