Appeals Court Revives Texas Law Targeting Social Media Companies
Texas has passed a law that targets social media companies such as Twitter and Facebook that remove political speech. The law applies to social platforms and prevents the removal of posts from conservatives or others. The law also allows users or the state's attorney general to sue online platforms that remove posts because of the beliefs they express. The Fifth Circuit has recently ruled that the state of Texas can enforce the law, overruling the lower court's decision. This law is part of a larger debate on balancing free speech to promote online safety and limiting misinformation.
Biden Administration Launches Bipartisan Infrastructure Law's $505 Million Initiative to Bood Development and Cut Costs of Increase Long Duration Energy Storage
President Biden has created the new "Long Duration Energy Storage for Everyone, Everywhere Initiative". The initiative was created to increase the availability and delivery of clean electricity by increasing the availability and lowering the cost of energy storage resources. This effort is said to help the Biden administration reach its goal of 100 percent clean energy by 2035. The initiative will be led through the DOE's new Office of Clean Energy Demonstration. Additionally, 505 million dollars over four years will be invested to create long-term energy storage technologies and enhance the capabilities of communities to integrate this grid storage effectively. The DOE will create three energy storage demo projects to help achieve the initiative's goals.
California Governor Issues Executive Order Fostering Use and Regulation of Blockchain and Crypto
California's Governor signed an executive order to create a regulatory approach for cryptocurrency companies and to determine how to use blockchain technology for state and public institutions. The executive order lays out seven priorities for regulating cryptocurrency and using blockchain in California. The executive order emphasizes the need for state agencies to work alongside federal agencies when it comes to regulating cryptocurrency companies. The order also allows the state to facilitate and encourage the use of blockchain technologies by state agencies through vendor companies. The overall goal of this executive order is to establish a comprehensive and efficient regulatory and business environment for crypto assets.
Tech Antitrust Bill Stokes Lawmaker Content-Moderation Worries
Members of both parties are working on various bills to promote competition, protect consumers, and hold companies accountable for spreading misinformation. One of the most significant bills being proposed is to stop companies from giving preference to their products by having them be placed at the top of search results. Additionally, the “American Innovation and Choice Online Act” would stop companies from restricting data generated by their competitors. Lawmakers are united over the need to rein in big technology companies. However, many tech companies view this law as limiting their ability to demote or remove other businesses from their site, which would interfere with efforts to limit harmful misinformation. Those in Congress are debating these arguments by large tech companies.
Supreme Court's potential Roe v. Wade ruling sparks concerns over abortion rights, data privacy
A leaked draft opinion of the Supreme Court suggests that Roe v. Wade will be overturned, and as a result, states could move to make abortions illegal. Texas last year created one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the country. Many fear that those who seek abortions could be outed by tech companies handing over personal data to governments and law enforcement. The loose restriction that tech companies have over personal user data is said to put those who are seeking an abortion at risk. Groups fear that laws that encourage citizens to find and report people seeking abortions could use online data such as social media posts to report individuals.
NIST Releases Guidance on Supply Chain Security
The National Institutes of Science and Technology (NIST) released guidance titled "Software Supply Chain Security Guidance. " This Guidance was made in response to President Biden's executive order created to improve national cybersecurity. The guidance provides recommendations, tools, and standards to address software supply chain security issues.
Ohio lawmakers attempted to bail out nuclear power plants with a law to make utility customers pay more than 1 billion in subsidies for those former plants. The subsidies were repealed, but lawmakers are pushing legislation to help private companies develop the next-gen nuclear technology. The House bill in Ohio would not include direct funding for this next-generation technological development. Still, it would create a state nuclear development authority to attract federal research contracts. The research would also be eligible for state economic development funding. Some favor the bill, but others are worried it is an attempt to favor a particular form of power generation. It is still unclear how much money this initiative would cost if the bill were passed.