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CES 2023: Tech laws is shifting from antitrust focus to broadband, cybersecurity

By Jon Swartz

Is know-how sector laws in a holding sample?

Apparently not, primarily based on what US federal legal professionals needed to say at CES this week. Regardless of a giant whiff on antitrust payments within the final session of Congress, representatives within the Senate and Home, in addition to Biden Administration officers, plan an bold slate — simply not one primarily based on anti-competitive enterprise practices.

What regulatory stress is being utilized got here from the Federal Commerce Fee, which launched a rule Thursday that might block corporations from limiting their workers’ capacity to leap to a rival.

See: FTC’s proposed ban on noncompete agreements might have greatest impression on tech trade

For now, Congressional members are shifting their legislative focus, primarily based on the CES panels Friday and Saturday. However payments should be handed into legislation — no positive wager the previous 20 years — whereas maintaining tempo with blur-fast adjustments in tech.

Inexpensive broadband, cybersecurity within the growth of healthcare techniques, and know-how competitors with China head the to-do listing in 2023, Sen. Mark R. Warner, D-Va., chairman of the Senate Choose Committee on Intelligence, mentioned throughout a panel on Congressional tech priorities late Friday at CES.

“This has been glory days of funding, with the federal infrastructure invoice that features funding for electrical automobiles, the chips invoice, and the inflation discount act, and its impression on vitality trade,” Warner added.

Warner, a former tech entrepreneur and enterprise capitalist who’s the writer of bipartisan laws to strengthen US competitiveness with China by investing billions of {dollars} in home semiconductor manufacturing. He additionally helped safe $65 billion to increase broadband entry and affordability as a part of the bipartisan infrastructure invoice.

However he acknowledged what did not occur in 2022. “We’ve got failed miserably in placing guard rails on social media, going again to Russian affect in our elections,” Warner mentioned.

“We’ve got completed nothing concerning privateness, promoting oversight. It has been goose eggs,” he added. “We’ve got to take a look at what [more aggressive] Europe and California [regulators] are doing. We have to deal with privateness, Part 230 [of the Communications Decency Act, which provides website platforms immunity from third-party content]self-preference [of app stores]. The nation is anticipating that. There may be a number of good out of social media, however there’s a darkish underbelly.”

Sen. Jacky Rosen, D-Nev., a former pc programmer who moderated the panel, hammered dwelling the significance of cybersecurity with broadband, and its impression on telemedicine and distant work. She is pushing laws that might require the US Meals and Drug Administration to evaluation and replace medical machine cybersecurity tips to guard them from hacking and cyber assaults.

A Congressional panel on tech and innovation coverage, scheduled for early Saturday, was canceled because the Home went deep into Saturday morning to elect Republican Kevin McCarthy of California as Speaker of the Home.

Immersive applied sciences reminiscent of synthetic intelligence and the metaverse which are dominating the highlight at CES this week underscore the reliance on private information in an period the place there was no substantial tech privacy-rights laws within the US for greater than 20 years.

Warner mentioned AI, quantum computing and different applied sciences might require a stage of federal funding a la the chips invoice. “Our failure to go nationwide privateness laws and default to our European and state mates is an actual problem, and an actual mistake. My hope is there nonetheless is a bipartisan effort on this space.”

Certainly, the more and more data-dependent financial system has put a premium on the interdependence of AI, cloud computing and cybersecurity, Efram Slen, vp and head of index analysis at Nasdaq, advised MarketWatch.

“With how a lot information is being put on the market, it’s important to make sure the administration and safety of it,” Slen mentioned. A chink within the course of, he warned, might exacerbate the chance of compromised data and hacks.

What’s extra, the creation of unregulated metaverse, the place folks enter digital worlds to share experiences and doubtlessly store, pose new authorized challenges, in keeping with Meridith Rojas, chief model officer at on-line advertising platform Captiv8.

“The metaverse requires some form of oversight on this wild, wild west,” Rojas advised MarketWatch. “Governance has not been put into play in any respect.”

What little federal oversight that has occurred the previous 12 months has come from the FTC, which is suing Fb guardian firm Meta Platforms Inc. (META) in federal courtroom to dam its acquisition of health app maker Inside.

Late Thursday, the FTC proposed a rule that might ban so-called noncompete agreements that forestall employees from leaving for a competitor or beginning a competing enterprise for months or years after their employment.

-Jon Swartz


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

01-09-23 0758ET

Copyright (c) 2023 Dow Jones & Firm, Inc.

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