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WashingTECH Tech Policy Podcast with Joe Miller

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Now displaying: January, 2019
Jan 29, 2019

techpolicypodcast_washingtech_alicia mazzara

 
https://techpolicypodcast.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/alicia_mazzara-500x500-e1548763637485.jpg

 

Alicia Mazzara: Mapping How a Housing Vouchers Loophole Furthers Segregation (Ep. 171)

Landlords across the U.S. are refusing to rent to prospective tenants with housing vouchers. As a result, demand for voucher-eligible housing units in low-income areas greatly exceeds supply. But in high income areas, the opposite is true.

Bio

Alicia Mazzara is a Research Analyst in the Housing Division at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. She works on issues related to federal low-income housing policy.

Prior to joining the Center in 2015, Mazzara was a Policy Advisor in Third Way’s Economic Program where her research centered on income inequality, labor market dynamics, and workforce development. She has also spent time working in the federal government and as a Research Associate at the Pew Charitable Trusts.

Mazzara has a Bachelor’s Degree in political science and international relations from Carleton College and a Master of Public Policy from George Washington University.

Resources

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

Interactive Map: Where Voucher Households Live in the 50 Largest Metropolitan Areas by Alicia Mazzara, Brian Knudsen, and Nick Kasprak (Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 2019).

Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond

News Roundup

AOC and Pingree call out tech firms for sponsoring event featuring climate-change deniers

Democratic Congresswomen Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Chellie Pingree called out Google, Facebook, and Microsoft last week for sponsoring an event put on by the CO2 Coalition, an organization that opposes policies that are designed to address climate change. Through company spokespeople, all three companies sought to distance themselves from the views expressed at the event by saying they support organizations across the political spectrum and highlighting their substantial investments to address climate change. After those companies released statements, Ocasio-Cortez and Pingree pushed back even further saying the climate-change crisis is too great for the companies to permit themselves to undermine their leadership by associating with propagandistic organizations like the CO2 Coalition.

U.S. Charges Huawei

The Department of Justice has indicted several affiliates, subsidiaries and executives of Chinese telecommunications firm Huawei. The company is accused of  stealing intellectual property from T-Mobile and violating U.S. sanctions against Iran. U.S. officials say Huawei’s alleged theft of intellectual property from T-Mobile gave the Chinese government backdoor access to technology from a U.S.-based telecommunications company thereby endangering U.S. national security interests. The U.S. is also in the process of extraditing Huawei’s Chief Financial Officer Meng Wengzhou from Vancouver in order to face charges that she worked to circumvent U.S. trade sanctions against Iran.

Big Tech Increased Lobbying in 2018

Google, Facebook and Amazon increased their lobbying spending in 2018 over the previous year during increased scrutiny from Congress regarding how the companies use personal data. Google’s lobbying expenditures jumped from $18 to 21 million. Amazon spent $14.2 million, up from $12.8 million in 2017. Facebook spent $13 million—a million-and—half more than the previous year. All three companies concentrated a fair share of that spending in the fourth quarter.

Netflix joins MPAA

Netflix has joined the Motion Picture Association of America which, since 1922, has been the trade association for the six major film studios. The announcement came the same day Netflix received its first-ever Best Picture nomination for ‘Roma’.

Advocacy groups call on FTC to breakup Facebook

Several advocacy groups, including the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Color of Change, are calling on the Federal Trade Commission to break up Facebook, according to a Wall Street Journal report on a draft letter it obtained. In addition to Facebook, Facebook also owns Instagram and WhatsApp. Many advocates and civil rights groups, including the NAACP, have taken aim at Facebook following the Cambridge Analytica debacle for how the company traffics in its users’ data. It’s not clear what authority the FTC would have to break up Facebook. However, the agency is assessing whether Facebook violated the terms of a consent decree the company signed back in 2011 when it allowed Cambridge Analytica to access the data of some 87 million Facebook users when Cambridge Analytica allegedly handled most of the analytics that went into the Trump 2016 presidential campaign.

US Labor Department sues Oracle for discrimination

The U.S. Labor Department filed a federal complaint against Oracle last week claiming the company owes some $400 million in lost wages to women and people of color. The Labor Department says only 11 of 500 people hired into technical jobs over a four-year period were African American or Hispanic and that 5,000 women and 11,000 Asian employees were also underpaid by as much as 20% compared to their white male counterparts.

MIT report says Amazon’s facial recognition technology is biased

A new MIT study says that Amazon’s facial recognition technology is biased against women and people of color. The study found that Amazon’s Rekognition classified a disproportionate number of women as men.

Mignon Clyburn appointed to new Artificial Intelligence advisory group

The Secretaries of Defense and Commerce and top Republicans and Democrats in Congress appointed former FCC Chairman and Commissioner Mignon Clyburn to serve on the newly-created National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence, which will advise the U.S. government on national security and competition issues related to artificial intelligence. Former Alphabet CEO Eric Schmidt will Chair the Commission and Clyburn will serve with Oracle CEO Safra Catz and executives from Google and Microsoft among others. The Commission was created by the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act and has a $10 million budget through 2020.

Jan 22, 2019

 

Bio

Lauren Rhue is an Assistant Professor of Information Systems and Analytics at the Wake Forest School of Business where she’s also an Exxon-Wayne Calloway Rising Faculty Fellow. Her research uses empirical and econometric methods to explore the economic and social implications of technology. Dr. Rhue is also interested in investigating the economic implications of technology platforms for traditionally disadvantaged populations. She earned her Bachelor’s in Management Science and Engineering from Stanford and her Ph.D. in Information Systems from NYU’s Stern School of Business.

Resources

Wake Forest University School of Business

Racial Influence on Automated Perceptions of Emotions by Lauren Rhue (Wake Forest University School of Business, 2018)

Click Here to Kill Everybody: Security and Survival in a Hyper-connected World by Bruce Schneier

Jan 15, 2019

techpolicypodcast_washingtech_claire brown

 

H. Claire Brown: How an FDA Algorithm is Killing Bodegas (Ep. 169)

The New Food Economy’s Claire Brown joined Joe Miller to discuss how an FDA algorithm is killing bodegas by flagging otherwise legal transactions as fraud.

Bio

H. Claire Brown (@hclaire_brown) is a staff writer for The New Food Economy focusing on food policy and the environment. Her reporting has won awards from the Newswomen’s Club of New York and the New York Press Club. She is based in Brooklyn.

Resources

New Food Economy

How an Algorithm kicks small businesses out of the food stamp program on dubious fraud charges by Claire Brown

Good and Mad: The Revolutionary Power of Women’s Anger by Rebecca Traister

News Roundup

Federal officials worry about shutdown’s effect on cyber security

Federal security officials are worried about the short and long-term harm to the nation’s cybersecurity during the shutdown. They’re worried about losing furloughed talent and about criminals and foreign actors taking advantage of the shutdown to launch cyberattacks.

Illinois Congresswoman Robin Kelly issued a strong rebuke against Trump for the shutdown saying it’s immoral and unnecessary. She noted that when she served as the ranking member of the IT subcommittee in the last session of Congress, the subcommittee repeatedly discussed the federal government’s inability to attract top IT and tech talent. She said the shutdown makes federal IT jobs seem even less attractive than they were before.

Motherboard paid $300 to a bounty hunter to access customer location info from carriers

Remember in 2017 when the Republican-controlled Congress repealed the Obama-FCC’s privacy rules that would have required carriers to obtain opt-in consent from customers before sharing their data? Well, Motherboard’s Joseph Cox reported last week that he paid just 300 bucks to a bounty hunter to identify the location of a phone. This is exactly the kind of harm the privacy rules were designed to prevent. The Motherboard investigation found that all the bounty hunter had to do was purchase the location data that ultimately came from T-Mobile, AT&T, and Sprint and voilá – here’s your phone … or the phone of that person you’re stalking …

So House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Frank Pallone demanded an emergency briefing from FCC Chairman Ajit Pai … Pai declined, citing the shutdown --- claiming that the issue wasn’t a “threat to the safety of human life or property.”

AG nominee Barr to recuse himself from AT&T/Time Warner merger appeal

Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar announced last week that Trump’s attorney general nominee William Barr assured her in a private meeting that he would recuse himself from the AT&T/Time Warner Merger. The Justice Department is appealing a lower court’s decision to approve the $85 billion merger of the two companies. Barr’s Senate confirmation hearing takes place today, Tuesday, January 15.

Google shareholder sues for $90 million Andy Rubin payout

Google shareholder James Martin filed a lawsuit against the company last week for its $90 million payout to former executive Andy Rubin after he left the company amidst sexual harassment allegations. The complaint alleges a “multi-year scheme to cover up sexual harassment and discrimination at Alphabet” and claims the board, including Sergey Brin, Larry Page and Eric Schmidt, breached their fiduciary duties as board members and as executives who set the internal tone that enabled extramarital affairs at the company.

Thune/Wicker switch roles on the Senate Commerce Committee

South Dakota Republican John Thune has stepped down as Chair of the Senate Commerce Committee and now heads up the Communications Subcommittee. Mississippi Republican Roger Wicker now Chairs the full committee.

Trump administration proposes to allow drones to fly at night

The Federal Aviation Administration issued proposed rules Monday that would allow small commercial drones to fly over cities at night.  Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao says she’s keenly aware of the safety concerns.

 

Jan 15, 2019

techpolicypodcast_washingtech_claire brown

 

H. Claire Brown: How an FDA Algorithm is Killing Bodegas (Ep. 169)

The New Food Economy’s Claire Brown joined Joe Miller to discuss how an FDA algorithm is killing bodegas by flagging otherwise legal transactions as fraud.

Bio

H. Claire Brown (@hclaire_brown) is a staff writer for The New Food Economy focusing on food policy and the environment. Her reporting has won awards from the Newswomen’s Club of New York and the New York Press Club. She is based in Brooklyn.

Resources

New Food Economy

How an Algorithm kicks small businesses out of the food stamp program on dubious fraud charges by Claire Brown

Good and Mad: The Revolutionary Power of Women’s Anger by Rebecca Traister

News Roundup

Federal officials worry about shutdown’s effect on cyber security

Federal security officials are worried about the short and long-term harm to the nation’s cybersecurity during the shutdown. They’re worried about losing furloughed talent and about criminals and foreign actors taking advantage of the shutdown to launch cyberattacks.

Illinois Congresswoman Robin Kelly issued a strong rebuke against Trump for the shutdown saying it’s immoral and unnecessary. She noted that when she served as the ranking member of the IT subcommittee in the last session of Congress, the subcommittee repeatedly discussed the federal government’s inability to attract top IT and tech talent. She said the shutdown makes federal IT jobs seem even less attractive than they were before.

Motherboard paid $300 to a bounty hunter to access customer location info from carriers

Remember in 2017 when the Republican-controlled Congress repealed the Obama-FCC’s privacy rules that would have required carriers to obtain opt-in consent from customers before sharing their data? Well, Motherboard’s Joseph Cox reported last week that he paid just 300 bucks to a bounty hunter to identify the location of a phone. This is exactly the kind of harm the privacy rules were designed to prevent. The Motherboard investigation found that all the bounty hunter had to do was purchase the location data that ultimately came from T-Mobile, AT&T, and Sprint and voilá – here’s your phone … or the phone of that person you’re stalking …

So House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Frank Pallone demanded an emergency briefing from FCC Chairman Ajit Pai … Pai declined, citing the shutdown --- claiming that the issue wasn’t a “threat to the safety of human life or property.”

AG nominee Barr to recuse himself from AT&T/Time Warner merger appeal

Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar announced last week that Trump’s attorney general nominee William Barr assured her in a private meeting that he would recuse himself from the AT&T/Time Warner Merger. The Justice Department is appealing a lower court’s decision to approve the $85 billion merger of the two companies. Barr’s Senate confirmation hearing takes place today, Tuesday, January 15.

Google shareholder sues for $90 million Andy Rubin payout

Google shareholder James Martin filed a lawsuit against the company last week for its $90 million payout to former executive Andy Rubin after he left the company amidst sexual harassment allegations. The complaint alleges a “multi-year scheme to cover up sexual harassment and discrimination at Alphabet” and claims the board, including Sergey Brin, Larry Page and Eric Schmidt, breached their fiduciary duties as board members and as executives who set the internal tone that enabled extramarital affairs at the company.

Thune/Wicker switch roles on the Senate Commerce Committee

South Dakota Republican John Thune has stepped down as Chair of the Senate Commerce Committee and now heads up the Communications Subcommittee. Mississippi Republican Roger Wicker now Chairs the full committee.

Trump administration proposes to allow drones to fly at night

The Federal Aviation Administration issued proposed rules Monday that would allow small commercial drones to fly over cities at night.  Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao says she’s keenly aware of the safety concerns.

 

Jan 8, 2019

Bio

Kimberly Tignor (@Kim_Tignor) is the Public Policy Director for the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. Ms. Tignor manages a portfolio that includes education, voting rights, employment discrimination, fair housing, affirmative action, criminal justice, and immigration. In addition, she manages the Judicial Diversity Program of the Lawyers’ Committee.

Ms. Tignor has spent her career immersed in the most pressing of legal issues surrounding underprivileged persons and advancing the causes of equality and social justice. She is particularly well-versed in working across multicultural issues and topics of key interest to people of color. Her impressive legal experience spans from directing policy at the National Bar Association, the nation’s oldest and largest national network of African American legal professionals, to coordinating state and national level pipeline and advocacy efforts for Presidential judicial nominees at the VENG Group, the leading government affairs firm consulting group representing Presidential nominees to the federal judiciary. During her time with the Georgetown Law Juvenile Justice Clinic, Ms. Tignor studied the impact of laws on adolescents and advocated for a higher quality of rehabilitation services within the justice system.

Ms. Tignor Chairs the National Bar Association Judicial Evaluations Committee and is an active member of the organization’s Civil Rights Law and Legislative Affairs Sections. In her local community, she is a board member of the DC Ward 4 Democrats, a member of the Potomac (VA) Chapter of The Links, Incorporated, and the DC Lawyers for Youth. Ms. Tignor has been a guest speaker for numerous panels including C-Span’s After Words, the American Bar Association Commission of Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the profession, and the Washington Bar Association. Ms. Tignor was recently recognized by On Being a Lawyer of Color as one of the country’s top lawyers under the age of 40.

Kimberly Tignor is a proud Washington DC native. She received her JD from Georgetown University, and an undergraduate degree in Economics and Information Technology from the College of William and Mary.

Resources

Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law

Creative Control

News Roundup

Outgoing Congress fails to reinstate net neutrality

The House of Representatives failed to vote on a Senate-passed resolution that would have reinstated the 2015 open internet rules the FCC repealed after Trump took office. A lawsuit from consumer advocates and state attorneys general is still pending in the DC Circuit, with oral arguments set for next month. The FCC says the lawsuits are moot since they’ve already repealed the rules.

Apple lowers revenue forecast

Apple lowered its revenue forecast last week citing uncertainty about tensions with China. Apple CEO Tim Cook revised the company’s first quarter forecast down by some $9 billion. The report sent stocks down early last week. But the market was up 700 points at the end of the week after reports of strong unemployment numbers.

FCC back up to 5 commissioners

The FCC is back up to 5 commissioners after the Senate confirmed Democrat Jeffrey Starks and re-confirmed Republican Brendan Carr.

Airbnb blocks New York City host identity lawsuit

Airbnb has won a legal victory in a federal lawsuit it brought against the City of New York for a law requiring the homesharing company to disclose the names and addresses of hosts to the Mayor’s Office of Special Enforcement. The court issued a preliminary injunction against the new law which was supposed to go into effect in February.

Warner/Rubio propose new White House cyber office

Senators Mark Warner and Marco Rubio proposed bi-partisan legislation last week that seeks to establish a new White House office of Critical Technology and Security. The new office would be tasked with dealing with increasing cyberthreats from China.

Marriott: Hackers accessed 5 million passport numbers

Marriott reported last week that its November data breach allowed hackers to access some 5 million unencrypted passport numbers. Over twenty million total passport numbers were swiped, including encrypted ones. Marriott also claims that 117 million fewer guests were affected by the breach. It now says 383 million guests had their data breached—that’s down from the 500 million it claimed back in November.

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