Tech giants have skirted regulation because of how monopolies are defined by law. Democrats now want to rewrite those laws.



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Jeff Bezos standing in front of a television: Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos testifies via video conference during the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial and Administrative Law hearing on Online Platforms and Market Power in the Rayburn House office Building, July 29, 2020. Graeme Jennings-Pool/Getty Images


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Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos testifies via video conference during the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial and Administrative Law hearing on Online Platforms and Market Power in the Rayburn House office Building, July 29, 2020. Graeme Jennings-Pool/Getty Images

  • Now that House Democrats have completed a sweeping antitrust investigation into Facebook, Apple, Amazon, and Google, they’re prepared to introduce new laws to curb the tech giants’ power.
  • The 449-page report published by the House Antitrust Subcommittee on Tuesday, as well as public statements by Democrats on the heels of the report, signal how they might go about changing the laws.
  • Antitrust court decisions in recent decades have focused on consumer welfare, but Democrats say laws need to be updated given that many tech companies don’t charge consumers for their products and have wide-ranging impacts on workers and other businesses.
  • Meanwhile, Republicans
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‘Self-eating rocket’ tech snags funding from UK government

The U.K. government aims to spur the development of rockets that gobble themselves up on the way to orbit.



a field of grass: Artist's illustration of the planned spaceport in Sutherland, Scotland, that will be used for vertically launched rockets. Some of those rockets may consume themselves as they fly, if development of a "self-eating" rocket engine goes well.


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Artist’s illustration of the planned spaceport in Sutherland, Scotland, that will be used for vertically launched rockets. Some of those rockets may consume themselves as they fly, if development of a “self-eating” rocket engine goes well.

The Ministry of Defence’s Defence & Security Accelerator (DASA) has pledged £90,000 — about $117,000 USD at current exchange rates — for the continued development of the “autophage” rocket engine, which is being built by researchers at the University of Glasgow in Scotland.

The tech is a great fit for small rockets “because scaling down a rocket reduces the mass of the propellant more than it reduces the mass of all the other components, including the tanks that hold the propellant itself,” Patrick Harkness, of the University of Glasgow’s James Watt

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This is How the Government Can Ramp Up Climate Tech Investment

(Bloomberg) — The last couple of weeks have brought a steady stream of new pledges to achieve net-zero carbon emissions within the next handful of decades. China committed to it; so did Walmart Inc. And yet a report released last month by the International Energy Agency, which advises governments on energy policy, estimated that roughly half of the technologies that will be needed to get us to net zero globally by 2050 aren’t even commercially available yet. Yikes.



Equipment installed as part of the Petra Nova Carbon Capture Project stands at the NRG Energy Inc. WA Parish generating station in Thompsons, Texas, U.S., on Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017. The project, a joint venture between NRG Energy and JX Nippon Oil & Gas Exploration Corp., reportedly captures and repurposes more than 90% of its own Co2 emissions.


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Equipment installed as part of the Petra Nova Carbon Capture Project stands at the NRG Energy Inc. WA Parish generating station in Thompsons, Texas, U.S., on Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017. The project, a joint venture between NRG Energy and JX Nippon Oil & Gas Exploration Corp., reportedly captures and repurposes more than 90% of its own Co2 emissions.

The dirty secret of deep decarbonization is that it won’t occur from

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Best practices for tech transformation in government

The pandemic has exposed the importance of technology transformation as a fundamental pillar for reforming the overall workings of government. Governments across the globe more than ever rely on modern technology to manage their priorities like more citizen engagement, improved government productivity, and higher economic growth. 

Moreover, technology transformation will enable governments to do more with fewer investments. 

Technology transformation is about more than selecting, rolling out, and operating the latest technology. It’s as much about process and service design, corporate culture, and regulation. Just making customer experience (CX) more digital does not necessarily improve CX. What makes CX better is making it easier, more compelling, and more effective. This means that: 

  • Government digitization depends on more than technology transformation. In addition to tackling technology transformation, governments must devise the right digital strategy and governance model, attract the right talent, and design more flexible organizational structures. 
  • Technology transformation requires a
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Big Tech hearing gives clues on future of antitrust law

In the last of seven hearings to investigate concerns that Google parent Alphabet (GOOG, GOOGL), Facebook (FB), Amazon (AMZN) and Apple (AAPL) are operating as illegal monopolies, witnesses before the House Antitrust Subcommittee Thursday clashed on whether Congress should overhaul U.S. antitrust law.

Proposals from witnesses before the committee, including several antitrust experts, could be a clue to changes forthcoming from the committee. They ranged from introducing legislation that would break up Big Tech companies and overturn judicial precedent to increased funding for antitrust law enforcers to maintaining status quo. 

‘Quintessentially a congressional job’

Zephyr Teachout, associate professor of law at Fordham University School of Law, told the subcommittee on Thursday that Congress, not the Supreme Court, should regulate Big Tech. “It is quintessentially a congressional job to respond to this threat,” Teachout said, calling for “significant” new legislation.

NEW YORK, NY, UNITED STATES - 2018/09/13: Zephyr Teachout seen speaking on phone during her campaign for Attorney General. (Photo by Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY, UNITED STATES – 2018/09/13: Zephyr Teachout seen speaking
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Tech Firms Accused Of Improper Data Handling

A new report indicates that US tech giants like Facebook and Netflix are failing to handle US-EU data transfers legally – but the US government is claiming that it shouldn’t be cause for concern.

Austrian privacy campaigner Max Schrems made use of his legal right to ask 33 companies how they handle personal data transfers such as which countries customer data is sent to and on what legal basis.

“The responses ranged from detailed explanations, to admissions that these companies have no clue what is happening, to shockingly aggressive denials of the law,” says Schrems.

Some companies, including Airbnb, Netflix, and WhatsApp didn’t reply to requests for information, while others simply redirected researchers to their privacy policies. Microsoft, says Schrems, answered every question – but claimed it could transfer personal data to the US under Standard Contractual Clauses, despite clearly providing data to the US government under FISA702.

“Overall,

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A Different And Larger Role For The U.S. Government In The Tech Industry

If there ever was an instance of the proverbial handwriting on the wall, this week provided it.  From the TikTok and WeChat affairs to IBM’s filing on facial recognition and the semiconductor industry’s call for government support, the signs are unmistakable: the 40-year old U.S. policy of hands-off tech is coming to an end.  These developments also reveal the rough outlines of the new industrial policy for tech that is beginning to take shape.

The Administration’s approach to TikTok and WeChat is to exclude them from the U.S. market, unless their technology can be separated from the control of Chinese companies.  The concern is not over the companies themselves or their commercial data privacy practices, but the possibility that the data could be obtained by the Chinese government and used in some fashion to harm U.S. national security interests.  In addition, the Administration is concerned that hidden algorithms might allow

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