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WashingTECH Tech Policy Podcast with Joe Miller

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Now displaying: June, 2019
Jun 25, 2019

 

Bio

Dr. Safiya Umoja Noble (@safiyanoble) is an Associate Professor at UCLA in the Departments of Information Studies and African American Studies, and a visiting faculty member to the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School of Communication. Previously, she was an Assistant Professor in Department of Media and Cinema Studies and the Institute for Communications Research at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. 

She is the author of a best-selling book on racist and sexist algorithmic bias in commercial search engines, entitled Algorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism (NYU Press), which has been widely-reviewed in journals and periodicals including the Los Angeles Review of Books, featured in the New York Public Library 2018 Best Books for Adults (non-fiction), and recognized by Bustle magazine as one of 10 Books about Race to Read Instead of Asking a Person of Color to Explain Things to You.

Safiya is the recipient of a Hellman Fellowship and the UCLA Early Career Award. Her academic research focuses on the design of digital media platforms on the internet and their impact on society. Her work is both sociological and interdisciplinary, marking the ways that digital media impacts and intersects with issues of race, gender, culture, and technology. She is regularly quoted for her expertise on issues of algorithmic discrimination and technology bias by national and international press including The Guardian, the BBC, CNN InternationalUSA TodayWired, Time, Full Frontal with Samantha BeeThe New York Times, and Virginia Public Radio, and a host of local news and podcasts, including Science Friction, and Science Friday to name a few. Recently, she was named in the “Top 25  Doers, Dreamers, and Drivers of 2019” by Government Technology magazine. 

Dr. Noble is the co-editor of two edited volumes: The Intersectional Internet: Race, Sex, Culture and Class Online and Emotions, Technology & Design. She currently serves as an Associate Editor for the Journal of Critical Library and Information Studies, and is the co-editor of the Commentary & Criticism section of the Journal of Feminist Media Studies. She is a member of several academic journal and advisory boards, including Taboo: The Journal of Culture and Education. She holds a Ph.D. and M.S. in Library & Information Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and a B.A. in Sociology from California State University, Fresno where she was recently awarded the Distinguished Alumni Award for 2018. 

 

Resources 

Safiya U. Noble

Algorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism by Safiya U. Noble (NYU Press: 2019)

Behind the Screen: Content Moderation in the Shadows of Social Media by Sarah T. Roberts (Yale University Press: 2019)

 

News Roundup

 

FTC is investigating YouTube over children’s privacy

The Federal Trade Commission is investigating YouTube over children’s privacy concerns, according to the Washington Post. The Alphabet subsidiary faces steep fines if it’s found to have violated the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), which prohibits tracking and targeting children under 13. The FTC and YouTube both declined to comment.

 

Lawmakers divided over election security

The Hill reports that GOP lawmakers are divided over election security, with some, including Mitch McConnell, who think additional legislation is unnecessary to deal with the challenges posed by technology. Other Republicans, like Lindsay Graham think there’s more we can do.

  

Facebook plans cryptocurrency, Maxine Waters resists

We reported last week that Facebook announced plans to launch its own cryptocurrency called Libra. But House Financial Services Committee Chair Maxine Waters is pushing back. Waters asked Facebook to place a moratorium on the release of its cryptocurrency until after Congress has had a chance to review it. Virginia Senator Mark Warner agreed. Both lawmakers said the company’s troubled past is a warning sign. Waters has scheduled a hearing for July 17.

  

DHS moving global biometric data to Amazon Cloud

The Department of Homeland Security stated in request for information it released last week that it would be moving the data of hundreds of millions of people around the globe to Amazon Web Services. The DHS is moving the data to a Homeland Advanced Recognition Technology (HART) System, hosted by AWS, which will upgrade the agency’s ability to link biometric and biographical data to DNA. The system is designed to quickly identify anyone who’s in the database such as suspected criminals, immigration violators, terrorists and, frankly, you, if you’re in the database.

 

Google’s board rejects shareholder proposals to fight sexual harassment and boost diversity

The Guardian reports that Google parent Alphabet’s board of directors voted down thirteen shareholder proposals that would have ended forced arbitration for sexual harassment claims by contract workers, addressed ethical concerns stemming from AI and China, and several other social concerns. The board voted against the proposals despite a protest happening outside the company’s headquarters during the vote.

 

Apple CEO Tim Cook calls out big tech

Apple CEO Tim Cook called out big tech at a Stanford Commencement speech last week. He said tech companies need to accept responsibility for the chaos they create and that “Lately it seems this industry is becoming better known for a less noble innovation – the belief you can claim credit without accepting responsibility … We see it every day now with every data breach, every privacy violation, every blind eye turned to hate speech, fake news poisoning out national conversation, the false miracles in exchange for a single drop of your blood.”

 

Members call on tech companies to address law firm diversity concerns

In a letter penned by Missouri Representative Emanuel Cleaver, members of the House of Representatives are calling on tech companies to diversify the ranks of outside counsel the companies use. Currently, tech companies retain large law firms notorious for their dismal diversity records and segregating lawyers of color into contractor roles. Congressman Cleaver, along with Representatives Robin Kelly, G.K. Butterfield, and Barbara Lee sent the letter to Apple, Amazon, Alphabet, Microsoft, IBM, Dell, Intel, HP, Cisco and Facebook.

 

Fairfax County gets first state funding for autonomous vehicles

Fairfax County Virginia and Dominion Energy landed a $250,000 grant from the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation for an autonomous electric shuttle in Merrifield. The pilot will be part of a larger potential effort to build a largescale autonomous transportation system in Virginia. This first pilot will connect the Dunn Loring MetroRail Station with the Mosaic district. Under the deal, Dominion will purchase or lease the vehicle and Fairfax County will handle operations.

 

Events

 

Tues., 6/25

Senate Commerce Committee, Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, Innovation, and the Internet

Optimizing for Engagement: Understanding the Use of Persuasive Technology on Internet Platforms

10AM

Hart 216

 

House Committee on Homeland Security: Subcommittee on Intelligence and Counterterrorism

Artificial Intelligence and Counterterrorism: Possibilities and Limitations

10AM

Cannon 310

 

House Committee on Small Business: Subcommittee on Contracting and Infrastructure

Broadband Mapping: Small Carrier Perspectives on a Path Forward

10AM

Rayburn 2360

 

House Energy & Commerce Committee: Subcommittee on Communications and Technology

Stopping Bad Robocalls Act

2PM

Rayburn 2123

 

House Committee on Financial Services

Task Force on Financial Technology: Overseeing the Fintech Revolution: Domestic and International Perspectives on Fintech Regulation

2PM

Rayburn 2128

 

House Committee on Homeland Security: Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, and Innovation                                                  Cybersecurity Challenges for State and Local Governments: Assessing How the Federal Government Can Help

2PM

Cannon 310

 

House Committee on the Judiciary: Subcommittee on Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties

Continuing Challenges to the Voting Rights Act Since Shelby County v. Holder

2PM

Rayburn 2141

   

House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology: Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight

Election Security: Voting Technology Vulnerabilities

2PM

Rayburn 2318

 

 

 

Transformative Technology of DC

How the Future of Work and STEM are impacting social wellbeing, digital transformation and mindset growth through tech

6:30 PM – 8:30 PM EDT

District Offices

10 G Street Northeast

 

GEICO Data Science

Tech Talk & Open House

5:00 PM – 7:00 PM EDT

5260 Western Avenue

Bethesda, MD 20815

 

Wed., 6/26

 

House Committee on Homeland Security

Examining Social Media Companies' Efforts to Counter Online Terror Content and Misinformation

10AM

Cannon 310

 

House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology

Artificial Intelligence: Societal and Ethical Implications

10AM

Rayburn 2318

 

House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology: Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics

NASA’s Aeronautics Mission: Enabling the Transformation of Aviation

2PM

Rayburn 2318

 

Wine Wednesday

Founding Farmers

5:00 PM – 8:00 PM EDT

Founding Farmers, Reston

1904 Reston Metro Plaza

 

Thurs., 6/27

 

Federal Trade Commission

PrivacyCon

8:15AM-5PM

FTC Constitution Center

400 7th ST., SW

 

Ford Motor Company Fund

 HERImpact Entrepreneurship Summit

9:30AM-4PM

Georgetown University, McDonough School of Business
3700 O St NW

 

General Assembly

Inside the Minds of Brilliant Designers

6:30-8:30PM

General Assembly, 509 7th Street NW, 3rd Floor 

 

 

Fri., 6/28

 

Federal Communications Commission

Workshop on Promoting Multilingual Alerting

9AM-2:30PM

FCC

 

Tues., 7/2

 

Universal Service Administrative Company

Lifeline Program Consumer Support Training for caseworkers, service agents, and support professionals

9:30AM-12PM

Universal Service Administrative Company

700 12th St., NW

Jun 18, 2019

Bio

Monica Anderson (@MonicaRAnders) is a senior researcher at Pew Research Center primarily studying internet and technology issues. Much of her recent work has focused on the impact of the digital divide, the role of technology in the lives of teenagers, and activism in the age of social media. She has a master’s degree in media studies from Georgetown University, where her work focused on the intersection of race, politics and media.

Resources

Pew Research Center

Teens’ Social Media Habits and Experiences by Monica R. Anderson (Pew Research Center, 2018)

News Roundup

Elizabeth Warren demands Assistant AG recuses himself from tech antitrust investigation

U.S. Presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren is demanding that Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim recuse himself from the DOJ’s antitrust investigation of Google and Apple. In the past, Delrahim lobbied on behalf of both companies. Senator Warren wrote directly to the Assistant Attorney General saying that not recusing himself would create the appearance of a conflict of interest.

CBP announces data breach

U.S. Customs and Border Protection reported a data breach last week. The agency says thieves obtained traveler photos and license plate numbers via a malicious cyberattack to a subcontractor’s network. The hackers did not directly access CBP’s database.

Zuckerberg may have been aware of shady privacy practices

The Wall Street Journal reports that internal documents may show that Facebook knew about shady data practices happening at the company. Sources say internal emails in which executives are seen grappling with how to comply with the requirements of an FTC consent decree included silence by Zuckerberg as to the implications of an app that had the ability to reveal Facebook user data on its own site, irrespective of the users’ privacy settings on Facebook.

OTI, Free Press, and Georgetown Law Center file FCC complaint against wireless carriers for selling location data

New America’s Open Technology Institute, Free Press and Georgetown Law Center’s Center on Privacy and Technology lodged a complaint at the FCC Friday, claiming that AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint & Verizon have threatened public safety by enabling stalkers, people posing as police officers, debt collectors, and others by disclosing subscribers’ location data to bounty hunters.

Facebook’s cryptocurrency gains major backers

The Wall Street Journal reports that Visa, Mastercard, Uber and Paypal will each be investing around $10 million in Facebook’s new cryptocurrency called Libra, which Facebook’s planning to announce this week. Facebook’s been largely quiet about the currency but the Wall Street Journal reports that it would be a currency that’s pegged to government-backed cryptocurrencies and allow users to use the digital coin to make purchases across the internet. Some experts are worried about money laundering.

Sweetgreen acquires delivery startup

DC-founded Sweetgreen—the salad giant—is stepping up its delivery game. Even though Sweetgreen is now headquarted in LA, it announced its acquisition of Galley Foods last week, also a DC-based company, to handle delivery logistics. This is Sweetgreen’s first acquisition.

Events

Tues., 6/18

Senate Finance Committee

The President’s 2019 Trade Policy Agenda and the U.S.-Canada-Mexico Agreement

10:15AM

215 Dirksen

Wed., 6/19

House Ways & Means Committee

The 2019 Trade Policy Agenda: Negotiations with China, Japan, the EU, and UK; New NAFTA/USMCA; U.S. Participation in the WTO; and Other Matters

9:30AM

1100 Longworth

National Telecommunications and Information Administration

Building Smart Cities and Communities at the Regional Level

2PM-3PM

Department of Commerce

Demos at Dusk

5:30-8PM

General Assembly

509 7th St., NW

Thurs., 6/20

House Small Business Committee

The Importance of Accurate Census Data to Small Business Formation and Growth

10AM

Rayburn 236-

House Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress

Cultivating Diversity and Improving Retention Among Congressional Staff

2PM

Rayburn, 2253

Kora Research Center

Broccoli Talk: Bridging the Gap Between Artists & Tech

5-8PM

Broccoli City Bar

1817 7th St., NW

Sat., 6/22

Black Girls Code DC Chapter

 A Virtual Reality Experience

10AM-4PM

Howard University School of Business

2600 6th St., NW

Mon., 6/24

Federal Communications Commission

Advisory Committee on Diversity & Digital Empowerment

10AM

FCC

Jun 11, 2019

Bio

Alfred Mathewson (@hubisoninthe505) is the former Emeritus Professor of Law and Henry Weihofen Chair of Law at the University of New Mexico School of Law. He joined the UNM law faculty in 1983 after working as a corporate, securities and banking lawyer in Denver. He was named the Director of the Africana Studies Program in 2013 after having served as Acting or Interim Director since 2009. From 1997 through 2002, he was Associate Dean of Academics. In that position, he oversaw the curriculum, clinical law program, faculty appointments, the faculty promotion and tenure process, library, faculty development and related issues. Professor Mathewson served as a Co-Dean of the law school from 2015 to 2018.

Mathewson's teaching and research focuses on antitrust law, business planning, sports law, minority business enterprises and corporate governance. He frequently supervises in the Business and Tax law Clinic and has served occasionally as Acting Director of the Clinical Law Program during the summer. He recently added Transactional Negotiations to his teaching portfolio. He has published numerous articles and given speeches in these areas and he brings this expertise to his teaching.

He is a member of the American Bar Association and the American Law Institute. He has served on several ABA accreditation inspection teams. He is a member of the AALS Section on Law and Sports Law, of which he has previously served as chair. He currently is serving another stint as chair of the UNM Athletic Council. He serves as the faculty adviser of the UNM Chapter of the Black Law Students Association.

He is active in various community organizations, including the Albuquerque Council on International Visitors. He has served as the president of the New Mexico Black Lawyers Association and the Sam Cary Bar Association (Denver).

His recent publications include The Bowl Championship Series, Conference Realignment and the Major College Football Oligopoly: Revolution Not Reform, 1 Miss. Sports L. Rev. (2012) and Remediating Discrimination Against African American Females at the Intersection of Title IX and Title VI, 2 Wake Forest J. L. & Policy (2012). He presented “Times Have Changed: A New Bargain for Sharing the Revenue Stream in Intercollegiate Athletics with Student Athletes,” a paper prepared for panel at AALS 2014 Annual Meeting Section on Law and Sports program entitled, “O'Bannon v. NCAA: Is There An Unprecedented Change To Intercollegiate Sports Just Over The Horizon?”

Resources

Race in Ordinary Course: Utilizing the Racial Background in Antitrust and Corporate Law Courses by Alfred Mathewson, 23 St. John’s J. Legal Comment 667 (2008).

Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom by David W. Blight

Civil Rights and the Anti-trust Laws by Philip Marcus

Race, Markets and Hollywood’s Perpetual Dilemma by Hosea R. Harvey

Amazon Antitrust Paradox by Lina M. Khan

News Roundup

Google walkout organizer leaves the company

Claire Stapleton, one of the organizers of last year’s global walkout at Google following revelations that the company allegedly hid sexual harassment allegations against Android developer Andy Rubin, has left the company, saying she was retaliated against. She wrote in an internal document, later posted on Medium by Google Walkout for Real Change, “These past few months have been unbearably stressful and confusing. But they’ve been eye-opening, too: the more I spoke up about what I was experiencing, the more I heard, and the more I understood how universal these issues are.” Stapleton said she’s leaving the company because she’s having a baby. Google has refuted the allegations.

Maine signs robust privacy bill

The State of Maine’s governor, Janet Mills, signed a new privacy bill into law last week requiringcarriers to get consumers’ permission before selling their data to third parties. It specifically prohibits ISPs from retaliating against consumers for refusing to allow their data to be sold.  

 

YouTube Revokes Steven Crowder’s Ads

 

YouTube shifted gears and revoked the ads of far-right commentator Steven Crowder over Crowder’s use of homophobic language. The company backtracked following outcry over the company’s initial defense of Crowder. But the ban isn’t permanent. Crowder simply must remove the offensive content, including the homophobic t-shirts he was selling in his online store.

 

FCC permits carriers to block more robocalls

 

The FCC allowed carriers last week to ban even more robocalls by allowing them to stop calls on behalf of subscribers.  The order had bipartisan support, but Democrat Jessica Rosenworcel said it opens the door for carriers to charge for the service since the order doesn’t contain any language to prevent that from happening.

 

Pew reports lagging tech adoption in rural

 

Pew reports that rural communities lag the rest of the country when it comes to tech adoption. At 63%, rural households are 10 points lower than the rest of the country. Smartphone penetration, at 67%, is also 10 points lower. Tablet penetration and the number of households with desktop computers also lags.

 

Congress kills bill provision preventing IRS from setting up free filing service

 

Finally, it looks like you’re going to have an alternative to Turbo Tax. The tax preparation service is facing some competition from the IRS itself. Congress has killed a provision of the Taxpayer First Act that would have prevented the IRS from creating its own, free online tax filing service.

 

Events

 

Tues., 6/11

 

NCTA/Rural Broadband Caucus

Trailblazing a Path for Rural Broadband

11:30AM-1:00PM

 

Uber

Elevate Summit 2019

Reagan International Center

Today & Tomorrow

 

Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood & Color of Change

Digital Privacy Briefing

Rayburn 2322

3:30-5:00pm

 

Entertainment Software Association

ES3

LA Convention Center

Today through Wednesday

 

House Judiciary Committee

Hearing on Online Platforms and Market Power, Part 1: The Free and Diverse Press

Rayburn 2141

2PM

 

Wed., 6/12

 

Federal Communications Commission

Tribal Workshop

Riverwind Casino in Oklahoma

Wed. and Thurs.

Jun 4, 2019

 

Bio

Chris Jones (@cjones2002) is the Chief Marketing Officer of Dragonchain and Co-founder of the Blockchain Seattle Conference. He’s a long-time entrepreneur and an expert in strategy, product marketing and user acquisition. He is adept at translating complex, technical features and functionalities into easy to understand concepts. Previously Chris held executive roles with Adidas America, Mattel and Boost Mobile. Chris is an evangelist for blockchain technology and the people and projects.  In addition, he consults to other blockchain & technology companies including Storm, a gamified microtasks platform and Sirqul, a leader in the IoT space. He attended Georgetown University as an undergraduate and earned an MBA from Northwestern University.

Resources

Dragonchain

Dragonchain

Free Blockchain Project Planning Guide

Blockchain Use Cases

Blockchain Blog Articles

Gartner Report

News Roundup

Amazon considering purchasing Boost from T-Mobile

Reuters reports that Amazon is considering purchasing Boost from T-Mobile. The report comes as the Department of Justice has called for Sprint and T-Mobile to spin off some property to ensure their proposed merger maintains at least 4 mobile competitors.

U.S. to require social media profiles from visa applicants

The New York Times reports that visa applicants planning to enter the U.S. will need provide their social media profiles from the last 5 years. They implemented the policy on Friday. The crackdown comes amidst a staggering anti-immigration posture that largely targets Muslims and people of color, China, and Mexico.

Markets rattled as antitrust investigations of tech loom

Tech shares tumbled Monday following reports that the DOJ, FTC and Congress will begin investigations against Google parent Alphabet, Facebook, Amazon and Apple. The New York Times reported that the DOJ has an investigation of Alphabet and Apple teed up. And the Federal Trade Commission will investigate Amazon and Facebook, according to sources. House Judiciary Chair Jerry Nadler also announced his committee will conduct its own investigation. The Nasdaq was down 1.6% and tech stocks in indexes around the world rode the rollercoaster in Monday’s trading. 

FCC broadband report ridiculed by policy experts

The FCC released its broadband report last week, concluding that carriers are building high speed internet service in a reasonable and timely fashion. This is even though some 23 million Americans lack access to broadband. FCC Commissioner Starks said the report’s findings are “fundamentally at odds with reality”. For example, in DC, some 9,000 people lack access to high speed internet service defined as 25mbps download speed. DC concentrates most of those lacking broadband internet in Wards 5, 7, and 8.

Airbnb host in NYC calls black guests ‘monkeys’ and calls the police

An New York City Airbnb host—an Asian woman—called her black guests monkeys and criminals and then called the police. The guests ended up leaving and staying in a hotel. You can find the link to the Instagram video in the show notes.

Events

Tues., June 4th

Committee on Oversight & Reform

Facial Recognition Technology (Part II): Ensuring Transparency in Government Use

10:00AM

2154 Rayburn

 

House Energy & Commerce Committee

Hearing: STELAR Review: Protecting Consumers in an Evolving Media Marketplace

10:30AM

Rayburn 2322

 

House Committee on Small Business

Hearing: Mind the Skills Gap: Apprenticeships and Training Programs

11:30AM

2361 Rayburn

Wed., June 5th

Senate Commerce Committee

The State of the Television and Video Marketplace

10:00AM

Dirksen G50

 

New America

Speech Police: The Global Struggle to Govern the Internet

11:45AM-1:00PM

New America, 740 15th St., NW

Epic.org

AI and Human Rights: The Future of AI Policy in the US

National Press Club

1PM-3PM

 

Thurs., June 6th

 Federal Communications Commission

Open Commission Meeting

10:30AM-12:30pm

445 12th St., SW

1