Explain to Shane

Explain to Shane

Technology has become increasingly important to policy debates, but these debates won’t be productive without an understanding of how the technology in question works. AEI Visiting Fellow Shane Tews interviews tech industry experts to explain how the apps, services, and structures of today’s information technology systems work, and how they shape our social and economic life.

Episodes

December 7, 2021 29 min

The extent to which lawyers, corporate executives, and government officials focus on cybersecurity fluctuates with the threat level posed by malicious cyber actors. In light of numerous ransomware attacks on critical industries, lawmakers are looking at more regulatory obligations to mitigate the risks these threats pose. Companies, meanwhile, are working to comply with a chaotic patchwork of rules and regulations. The field of cyb...

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How can children enjoy the groundbreaking innovations of the digital age with sufficient guardrails around their personal data? What existing laws and regulations aim to protect children online, and what steps must businesses of all sizes take to comply with them?  

On this episode of “Explain to Shane,” Shane sits down with Rick Lane, founder and CEO of Iggy Ventures, to discuss why his firm chose to advise and invest in Rego Digit...

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For several years, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has been working to modernize the use of key sections of spectrum airwaves — known as C-band — for commercial deployment. Through a series of auctions, the FCC sold the license rights to C-band airwaves to commercial 5G mobile telecommunications providers, unleashing a massive wave of private investment to enable 5G deployment. But the Federal Aviation Administration (F...

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Congress passed Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act in 1996 when the internet was just coming onto the horizon for commercial use, and there was a need to protect nascent platforms from liability for user-generated content. Often coined “the 26 words that created the internet,” Section 230 is widely credited for fostering the innovative ecosystem that created today’s successful social media firms. But a continued controve...

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With five bills introduced to the House Judiciary Committee in June of this year, Congress is moving swiftly to rein in what it sees as the market power and abusive business practices of “Big Tech” firms — namely Apple, Amazon, Facebook, and Alphabet Inc.’s Google. What is behind Congress’ push for new antitrust laws targeted at these companies, and how would these laws impact consumers?

On this episode, Shane and AEI co-host Mark ...

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Under Chairwoman Lina Khan’s leadership, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is undergoing a number of process reforms that are poised to make the commission less democratic by allocating more power to the chair herself. If successful, what impact will these reforms have on the future of the commission — and on the laws it’s tasked with enforcing?

In the second episode of a two-part discussion, Shane and AEI Nonresident Senior Fello...

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Under Chairwoman Lina Khan’s leadership, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is undergoing a number of process reforms that are poised to make the commission less democratic by allocating more power to the chair herself. If successful, what impact will these reforms have on the future of the commission — and on the laws it’s tasked with enforcing?

In the first episode of a two-part discussion, Shane and AEI Nonresident Senior Fellow...

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Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act shields online intermediaries such as social media platforms from civil liability for content users post — and reply comments — but also allows them to moderate illegal, lewd, or otherwise  harmful content as they see fit. These dual protections afforded to internet-based companies by Section 230 have been credited for the innovation and growth of social media companies, but the law is ...

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As countries impose new requirements on data collection and governance, the flow of consumer data between countries and business entities is more restricted than ever. For companies that need to comply with these new regulations, it can be challenging to build compliance tools around a patchwork of national laws without upending their fundamental business models. What does the regulatory landscape of today’s data governance world l...

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Today, technology companies are facing some of their largest security, supply chain, and regulatory threats ever. Members of Congress, the administration, and Federal Trade Commission are trying to require that firms allow anyone, anywhere to repair their consumer devices — at a high cost to product quality and individual security. Meanwhile, cyberattacks and data breaches are on the rise, and while trying to get next-generation 5G...

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The potential for a fragmented, decentralized global internet (or “splinternet”) is a concern on many levels. Two aspects of internet governance are at play here: the technical aspects of connectivity (or lack thereof), and content delivery — in essence, what material is permitted, censored, or filtered. As China, Russia, and authoritarian-leaning regimes advance top-down visions of the internet that reflect their national interest...

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Efforts to legislate data protection (or “privacy”) have become a top priority in the US and Europe. But the real issue at hand is data governance — namely the collection, storage, and deletion of data that companies collect about customers. These companies, especially those whose mobile digital applications collect location data, contacts, and other personal information, now face a patchwork of potential legislation to regulate da...

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Intellectual property (IP) has been a hot topic due to the Biden administration’s support of a proposal to waive the World Trade Organization’s Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) for COVID-19 vaccines and treatments. Some argue IP protections incentivized vaccine manufacturers to produce what are now the world’s antidotes to the pandemic. But others say these protections are slowing down global vaccinatio...

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Due to their ability to calculate multiple complex variables at the same time, quantum computers are poised to permanently change how technology exists in society. But with the advent of quantum computing comes several risks to the US across a range of fields, including national security. How can the US sufficiently advance its quantum computing capabilities and manage the risks that come with them?

On this episode, Shane is joined ...

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Trust is a binding agent for society, but the internet was not designed with trust or user safety in mind. And today, trust in the online ecosystem seems to be at a low. How can we reverse this trend? 

Many tech companies have trust and safety professionals working behind the scenes on complex issues like content moderation, disinformation, and user privacy. To help unify these efforts and establish best practices, Clara Tsao co-fou...

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Following a wave of recent attacks, cyber and supply chain security are high on the United States’ policy agenda. Software “nutrition labels” are one solution cyber experts are considering; what do these “labels” look like, and how can government and industry work together to ensure their effectiveness? 

On this episode, Shane is joined by Allan Friedman, director of cybersecurity initiatives at the National Telecommunications and I...

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As the pandemic has shifted work, education, and entertainment online, there is a growing appetite in Washington to enhance broadband access across the country. However, some members of Congress and the current administration have advocated for ramping up broadband speeds to a symmetrical 100 megabits per second both upstream and downstream (known as 100/100). Where is the push for this new standard coming from, and what would it m...

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Autonomous vehicles (AVs) are gaining traction in states where regulations encourage advanced technology to ride alongside traditional transportation. But in areas where AVs are in everyday traffic, issues like driver safety and data collection are being watched by policymakers. For both innovators and lawmakers, there remain many lessons to be learned about the opportunities and challenges posed by this new technological twist on ...

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In December 2020, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking regarding the feasibility of allowing commercial operations — both satellite and terrestrial — in the 12.2–12.7 GHz spectrum band. Doing so could expand broadband access and expedite mobile 5G network buildouts; however, incumbents worry that additional commercial activity in the band could potentially interfere with their satell...

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Facing a new law requiring social media firms to pay Australian news providers for their content, Facebook and Google had notably different responses. After expressing brief opposition to the new policy, Google was willing to comply; on the other hand, Facebook blocked all news content on its Australian platform for two days — though later reached a compromise with the government. Why did the two companies approach the issue so dif...

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