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OpenMarket: Tech and Telecom

  • FinCEN Files Shows Regulatory and Privacy Concerns with the Bank Secrecy Act and the Necessity for Reform or Repeal

    October 16, 2020
    Last month, BuzzFeed News published a report that alleged that banks sat on their hands while criminals laundered trillions of dollars over two decades. In the wake of the scandal, commentators have contended that reform is needed. While reform is needed, the report suggests the banks followed the letter of the law—that law being the Bank Secrecy Act and its respective regulations.
  • FCC Approves More Critical Mid-Band Spectrum for 5G

    September 30, 2020
    Today, the Federal Communications Commission held a meeting where the commissioners voted to adopt two orders that will make more spectrum available for speedy 5G wireless broadband. Once mobile carriers gain access to this spectrum, they will use it to make available to U.S. consumers affordable, fast Internet connectivity on the go—and at home.
  • House Oversight Subcommittee Holds Climate Policy Hearing

    September 25, 2020
    On September 24, 2020, the House Oversight Subcommittee on Environment held a hearing titled “Climate Change Part IV: Moving Towards a Sustainable Future.” The written statements of the four majority witnesses are posted on the Subcommittee’s website but not the written statement of Heritage Foundation statistician and data scientist Dr. Kevin Dayaratna. It is available here.
  • SAFE DATA Act a Risk for Consumers

    September 22, 2020
    Republican members of the Senate Commerce Committee recently introduced the SAFE DATA Act. While the bill includes much needed federal preemption of state privacy laws, it also creates regulations that would threaten innovation and ultimately harm consumers more than it helps them.
  • Don’t Panic Over Ad Tech

    September 14, 2020
    The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold an antitrust hearing on September 15 to examine Google’s 90 percent market share in online advertising. Senators who would normally support competition should remember that antitrust regulation is government regulation that replaces the judgment of the marketplace with the whims of government officials and courts.
  • No Market Failure, No New Regulations

    September 9, 2020
    The Senate is about to consider federally regulating transportation network companies for the first time. But proof of market failure should always be a prerequisite for imposing new regulationsThis bar is not met for the regulations proposed by Sami’s Law. Born out of a tragedy and good intentions, the law seeks to make mandatory what’s already happening in the marketplace.
  • FCC Chairman Pai Proposes More Spectrum for 5G

    September 9, 2020
    Yesterday, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai announced that at the agency’s upcoming September meeting, the FCC will vote on two proposals to expand the availability of mid-band spectrum for wireless 5G broadband. If adopted, these measures will help Americans get affordable, speedy Internet connectivity at home and on the go.
  • INFORM Me When It’s Over

    September 3, 2020
    Among other depressing developments, 2020 saw the introduction of the Integrity, Notification, and Fairness in Online Retail Marketplaces for Consumers Act (INFORM) in both houses of Congress. The bill seeks to thwart sales of counterfeit and stolen items online by third parties, but platforms are already working to solve those problems for consumers. Regulations would likely do more harm than good.
  • Observations from the Tech Antitrust Hearing

    July 30, 2020
    This post collects some observations from yesterday’s lengthy House Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial, and Administrative Law hearings with the chief executives of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google. In short, committee members addressed a lot of things they shouldn’t have, and did not address some things they perhaps should have.
  • Tech Antitrust Hearing as Political Theater

    July 29, 2020
    Large, innovative tech companies have been invaluable during the COVID-19 crisis, helping to ease the burden of millions of Americans and businesses under quarantine. But that won’t stop the House Antitrust Subcommittee from dragging the CEOs of Apple, Amazon, Facebook, and Google before it today. The investigation will have a difficult time meeting the U.S. standard for antitrust: consumer harm.

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