The long-brewing battle over software between Google and Oracle took a turn this week that could harm innovation and cost Google billions.
The Big Story: Congress passes funding bill with several tech provisions. Narrowly avoiding a government shutdown, Congress passed and President Donald Trump signed into law this week a $1.3 trillion government funding bill that included a whole host of tech-related provisions.
The House this week passed a bill that would undermine platform protections that companies rely on to host user content and to police that content themselves without fear of meritless litigation.
Infrastructure was the buzzword of the week, which kicked off with the Trump administration unveiling its infrastructure plan.
This week a bipartisan, bicameral coalition of lawmakers unveiled a bill that could make it easier for Internet companies to comply with varying, and often conflicting, international rules over government requests for user data. The bill—the Clarifying Overseas Use of Data, or CLOUD, Act—is aimed at boosting international cooperation and helping the U.S. government enter into bilateral agreements governing cross-border requests for data.
The startup voice calling for strong net neutrality protections is louder than ever, as our new startup map—featuring stories from startups who depend on net neutrality protections—shows.
The Senate passed a bill on Thursday that renews a controversial online government surveillance power. With a vote of 65-34, the bill is now headed to President Donald Trump’s desk.
The House voted 256-164 this week to approve a bill that expands and extends online spying under Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. The bill, which already has formal support from the White House and is now headed to the Senate, continues surveillance program that could harm U.S. companies' reputation abroad, which will disproportionately affect startups that rely on streamlined international agreements for legally processing and storing foreigners’ data.
At the end of last year, the FCC approved a plan from Republican Chairman Ajit Pai that repealed the agency’s 2015 net neutrality rules, which kept ISPs from blocking or slowing access to certain websites and online services. The repeal is a blow to many, especially startups who aren’t able to afford to compete with established companies and pay ISPs for better access to users. Now that the FCC has voted and published the order, it’s up to the courts and Congress to reestablish net neutrality protections.
Congress averts funding, and spying, shutdown. Late Thursday, Congress passed a bill to fund the government through January 19, averting a government shutdown this week.
The Big Story: The next phase of the net neutrality fight. While most people were preparing for Thanksgiving last week, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai released his plan to roll back the 2015 net neutrality rules, teeing up an agency vote on the order in mid-December, where he’s expected to get the necessary support from the commission’s other two Republicans to pass the proposal.
The Big Story: Tax bill sheds bad stock options provision. After a massive backlash from 600 startups, innovators, and investors, the Senate has dropped from its sweeping tax reform proposal a measure that would have taxed employees’ stock options when they’re vested instead of when they’re exercised.
The Big Story: Senate moves on SESTA. The Senate Commerce Committee will consider legislation next week that would change protections for Internet platforms that host users’ content.
The Big Story: 702 Moves on the Hill. Congress began the process of reauthorizing Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, a controversial spying authority that the U.S. government says justifies the sweeping collection of online communications.