Our weekly take on some of the biggest stories in startup and tech policy. To receive this weekly digest in your inbox, sign up at http://engine.is/digest
The Big Story: Net neutrality gains momentum. Net neutrality advocates and lawmakers are preparing for a vote this month that could undo the FCC’s December move to repeal 2015 net neutrality rules. The vote, on a Congressional Review Act resolution to reverse the FCC’s repeal, is expected in the Senate later this month. Ahead of the vote, public interest groups and companies that support net neutrality are doing a public push to drive attention to the issue.
In California, a net neutrality bill is headed for consideration in a third state Senate committee. The bill, SB 822 from Sen. Scott Wiener that would restore the 2015 net neutrality protections and ensure ISPs can’t violate those protections at interconnection points or through zero-rating programs. If you’re a startup in California, sign onto Engine’s letter in support of the bill to reinstate net neutrality protections and keep the Internet a level playing field for companies of all sizes in California.
Protecting innovators in NAFTA. Rachel and Mike Masnick teamed up to explain why the U.S. should protect Internet entrepreneurs of all types, including startups, if it wants to ensure the continuing success of the digital economy.
Digital vigilantes. The New Yorker has a deep dive into the fight over the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and whether victims of cyber crime should be allowed to “hack back.”
Will they, won’t they? After years of intermittent merger negotiations between T-Mobile and Sprint, the two companies announced their proposed merger last weekend.
China’s tech strategy. The New York Times looks at China’s efforts to harness the potential of tech companies after years of suspicion about the flow of information online.
Pushing tech on diversity. Members of the Congressional Black Caucus visited Silicon Valley this week, where they encouraged companies to do more to increase diversity in the tech workforce.
Cambridge Analytica shuts down. The company accused of misusing Facebook data to influence the 2016 elections announced this week that it would be shutting down, but some fear that the company is planning to reopen under a different name.
#StartupsEverywhere: Jackson, Mississippi. The “Hospitality State” of Mississippi is home to a network of innovators and entrepreneurs who are working to build a high-growth startup ecosystem there. This week we spoke with Christopher Lomax, one of the individuals driving the development of the digital economy in Jackson. Christopher cited Net Neutrality protections, tax incentives to retain Mississippi's top talent, and pro-STEM education reform as policies that could carry forward the progress the state has witnessed in recent years.