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Jul 23, 2019

techpolicypodcast_washingtech_lauren mccarty


5G Broadband Beyond Faster Speeds with Lauren McCarty (Ep. 194)

Nokia's Lauren McCarty joined Joe Miller to discuss the potential for 5G beyond faster speeds on Ep. 194 of the WashingTECH Tech Policy Podcast.


News Roundup


 FaceApp Terms of Service Prompt Angst Among Lawmakers


FaceApp, a viral app created by Russian firm Wireless Lab sparked privacy concerns and angst among law makers last week. Faceapp allows users to upload selfies and lets users see what they’d look like if they swapped genders or what they’re likely to look like 50 years from now.


The app’s terms of service, though, which few of us actually reads, leaves it within Faceapp’s sole discretion to terminate your access to its services, even if losing access causes you loss or harm. The terms also reserve FaceApp’s right to store your pictures, even after you remove them, to “including and without limitation” comply with certain U.S. and foreign regulations, which could be those of any government in the world, including the Russian government.  The terms acknowledge that Faceapp uses an artificial intelligence algorithm that enables its ability to alter your photos.


Senator Chuck Schumer called for the FBI and FTC to investigate, saying in a letter to the agencies that the app could pose “national security and privacy risks for millions of U.S. citizens”.


Senate passes bill to criminalize voting systems hacking


Partially in response to the domestic hacking of election systems, and partially in response to Russia’s hacking of the 2016 presidential election that was alleged in the Mueller report, the Senate has passed a bill which would criminalize the hacking of voter machines to gain access to voter data. The Defending the Integrity of Voting Systems Act passed by unanimous consent on Wednesday night. Senators Whitehouse,  Blumenthal, and Graham introduced the legislation earlier this year.




President’s plea to Trump supporters on the fence: download the app


The Washington Post reported last week that Trump’s re-election campaign is trying to shore up support via a new app that campaign officials say will be released in the coming weeks. The mobile will allow Trump supports to organize in their local communities and register to vote.


Feinstein targets social media bots spreading misinformation

Social media bots are widely seen to have played a decisive role in spreading misinformation in advance of the 2016 U.S. presidential election. In fact Symantec released a report in June showing that Russia’s propaganda program in that election cycle was even more extensive than was originally thought. So Senator Dianne Feinstein has introduced legislation to prohibit campaigns from using these spam bots to “subvert future elections”.  It’s called the Bot Disclosure and Accountability Act.


Maxine Waters, Senate Banking Committee, Trump, Mnuchin all highly skeptical of Facebook’s Libra

Powerful lawmakers including Maxine Waters and most of the Senate Banking Committee, as well as administration officials including the president and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, are all highly skeptical of Facebook’s new cryptocurrency, Libra. Senator Sherrod Brown on the Senate Banking Committee was especially vocal in his opposition to the currency during a hearing in which Facebook’s lead for the project, David Marcus, testified. Brown was incredulous that after Facebook which “moved fast and broke our political discourse … broke journalism,  helped incite a genocide and … undermin[ed] our democracy” now wants to have a global cryptocurrency available to its 2 billion+ users that would be a global, commercial version of the Federal Reserve. Republicans on the panel also expressed opposition including Banking Commission Chairman Mike Crapo, who suggested the creation of a separate regulatory agency to deal with cryptocurrency.


In the House, Maxine Waters announced that she will be calling Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in to testify.


Amazon hires Trump ally to bolster lobbying on Pentagon contract

Amazon has hired Trump ally Jeff Miller to lobby on behalf of the company to win approval to work on a $10 billion “war cloud” contract for the Pentagon. Earlier in the week, Trump had expressed opposition to the contract. Republicans are also urging the president not to thwart the contract.


Sanders, Omar urge investigation into working conditions at Amazon warehouse


Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and Minnesota Representative Ilhan Omar were joined by 10 other members of Congress in a letter to the Department of Labor asking the agency to investigate working conditions at an Amazon warehouse in Minnesota where workers protested about working conditions.


Real Estate Agent Tanya Gersh scores $14m victory against Daily Stormer Founder Andrew Anglin

A magistrate judge in the Federal District of Montana, Missoula Division recommended that Chief Judge Dana Christensen enter a default judgement of $14 million in damages against the founder of a neo-Nazi website. Daily Stormer founder Andrew Anglin had twice failed to appear for his deposition in the case brought by the Southern Poverty Law Center on behalf of Ms. Gersh back in 2017. The suit contends that Anglin initiated a “troll storm” against real estate agent Tanya Gersh after Gersh advised the mother of alt-right figure Richard Spencer to denounce her sons views in order to sell her property. Judge Christensen has already ruled in favor Gersh, finding that the First Amendment doesn’t protect harassing speech, so now it’s just a question of whether Judge Christensen will sign off on the magistrate judge’s damages recommendation.





Tues., July 23

American Federation for Children

Parents and Students Share their Vision for Twenty-First Century Education in America

11:45pm – 1pm

Senate Visitors Center, Room 202


Congressional Caucus on Smart Cities

Smart Campuses 101: Introduction to the Future


Rayburn House Office Building, Rm. 2044


Population Association of America

Drawing a Line: How We Measure Poverty and Why it Matters


Rayburn, 2043

Wed., July 24

U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom

Anti-Semitism: The World’s Oldest Hatred – New Again


Rayburn House Office Building Rm. 2168


Girls in Tech

Venture Capital 101



1301 K St., NW


Girl Scouts of America

Ready for Takeoff: Girl Scouts and Space Science


Rayburn, 2325


Government Affairs Industry Network

Career Transitions:  Expectations v. Reality


Covington & Burling

850 10th St., NW


Leader Schumer+Senate

Diversity Ice Cream Social


Hart Senate Office Building, 902


U.S. Department of Energy

Modernizing the Grid for American Security, Innovation, and Economic Growth


Rayburn, 2253



Mon., July 29


Public Opinion Strategies

What’s Next for Patient Experience Measurement?


Dirksen Senate Office Building, G50