Startup News Digest 2/8/19

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The Big Story: White House tees up AI, 5G work. The White House will take steps in the coming weeks to boost the U.S.’s competitiveness in the fields of artificial intelligence and 5G, the next generation wireless network, according to reports out this week. Those specific tech policy areas are ones where policymakers have expressed concerns about losing out to other countries, including China.

The reports came days after Trump delivered this year’s State of the Union address. While the speech avoided all of the tech policy issues that sometimes pop up in State of the Union addresses, Trump made a passing reference to “investments in the cutting-edge industries of the future." An administration official elaborated that the “industries of the future” comment reflects “Trump’s commitment to American leadership in artificial intelligence, 5G wireless, quantum science, and advanced manufacturing.”

Policy Roundup:

Net neutrality heats up. This week, members of the House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on communications and technology debated net neutrality, with several questions about the inability of small businesses and startups to compete on a level playing field in the wake of the FCC’s repeal of the 2015 net neutrality rules.

A social media task force? Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham said this week that he’s planning to create a task force to look into issues with social media platforms, including alleged bias against conservative accounts.

Figuring out 5G. The Senate Commerce Committee held a hearing this week on the future of next-generation, or 5G, wireless networks, where lawmakers repeatedly discussed the risk that China will beat the U.S. to the punch. At a separate event, lawmakers discussed the need for quick, bipartisan action to encourage 5G buildout.

Intellectual property report out. The Trump Administration’s Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator released an annual report laying out the administration’s strategy to protect American intellectual property.

Australian backdoor bill already in use. A new law in Australia—which passed in December and allows law enforcement to force companies to create ways for law enforcement to access encrypted data—is already in use, and law enforcement is writing a framework to guide companies’ compliance with the law.


Startup Roundup:

Encouraging Entrepreneurship. Aliza Sir is AARP Foundation’s Social Entrepreneur in Residence, and this week she’s on our blog talking about how the organization is supporting entrepreneurship in Americans over 50.