Startup News Digest 4/05/19

The Big Story: Net neutrality bill gaining momentum. The House Energy and Commerce Committee voted to advance the Save the Internet Act, legislation to reinstate the FCC’s 2015 net neutrality protections, which kept the Internet a level playing field for startups. A vote by the full House is expected next week.

We are asking startups to voice their support for the Save The Internet Act by signing on to a letter calling for the implementation of strong net neutrality protections. You can view the letter here and sign on here. Please add your startup to the list of organizations that support strong net neutrality protections that allow companies of all sizes to grow and succeed. The deadline to sign on is the end of the day today.

Earlier this week, Engine also joined 90 public interest organizations in calling for Congress to pass a clean version of the Save the Internet Act.

Policy Roundup:

Facebook data exposure comes after call for new regulations. Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg penned an opinion piece calling for “a more active role for governments and regulators” in policing tech companies, including implementing new regulations to address privacy, data portability, harmful content, and election integrity. Zuckerberg's embrace of new privacy regulations was published before reports emerged that 540 million records from Facebook users—including account names, comments, and reactions—were exposed by a third-party company after they were publicly posted on an Amazon cloud computing server.

Bill targets tech execs for data breaches. Massachusetts Senator and Democratic presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren introduced legislation that would make it easier to bring criminal charges against company executives when they fail to adequately protect consumers’ personal information.

Congress to examine online speech. The House Judiciary Committee is scheduled to hold an April 9 hearing to examine how social media companies can combat online hate speech and white nationalist propaganda, while the Senate Judiciary subcommittee on the Constitution is planning to hold an April 10 hearing to discuss technology censorship and the public discourse.

SEC issues new crypto guidelines. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission issued guidelines to help determine whether digital assets qualify as securities under federal law and need to be registered with the agency.

FTC chairman says agency needs more resources. Federal Trade Commission Chairman Joseph Simons told congressional leaders in a letter that the agency only has 40 full-time employees overseeing internet privacy and data security concerns, and requested that Congress provide the FTC with additional resources to help bolster its watchdog responsibilities.

Startup Roundup:

#StartupsEverywhere. New Orleans, La. Brandon Davenport, business development manager for Servato, said the firm’s active battery management systems are critical for helping to increase broadband access and reliability in often overlooked corners of the country. Increasing application-based funding for rural broadband access is one of the issues at the top of Brandon’s policy wishlist.