Home What's Brewing? Techspresso Shots Heard Round the World: Politics and Foes

Techspresso Shots Heard Round the World: Politics and Foes

Facebook Silence Does Not Sit Well with Cantwell

Washington’s U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell has publicly criticized Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg for his silence during Facebook’s user data scandal.

“There’s a lot of people I’d like to hear from on this thing, writ large,” Cantwell said, in response to a question about Cambridge Analytica. “I think that Mr. Zuckerberg should make himself available to discuss where technology is going in the future and discuss the challenges that we face in this realm and add to the debate, not be silent on it.”

Cantwell is demanding answers from Zuckerberg, adding her voice alongside other lawmaker, including Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon who remarked, “The ease with which Cambridge Analytica was able to exploit Facebook’s default privacy settings for profit and political gain” raises serious questions about “Facebook’s business practices and the dangers of monetizing consumers’ private information.” [24×7]

Washington State Upholds Its Net Neutrality

On March 6, Gov. Jay Inslee signed a bill that restored a set of protections for Internet users in the state that had been repealed by the Trump administration’s FCC agency.

The new law prohibits broadband providers from slowing or blocking traffic to particular websites and Internet services. For consumer protection advocates and other net neutrality supporters, the bill’s passage represents a move toward preserving a “free and open Internet.”

According to the new state law, Internet service providers (ISPs) in Washington are required to “publicly disclose information regarding the network management practices, performance characteristics, and commercial terms of its broadband Internet access services.” While a large number of U.S. states have put forth bills to restore net neutrality where they live, Washington became the first state to enact its own protections. The Washington law will officially go into effect in June.

Supporters of net neutrality argue that giving special treatment to particular ISPs could inhibit the rise of future Internet giants. Without net neutrality rules in place, an upstart social network may be forced into paying higher Internet usage fees than those paid by Facebook or Instagram in their early days, thwarting innovation.

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson, along with attorneys general from 21 other states and the District of Columbia, reportedly plan to sue over the FCC’s repeal of net neutrality rules.

Washington could also face lawsuits from companies providing broadband in the state. Verizon, Comcast, and AT&T, have argued they should have the ability to manage traffic on the networks they operate, and are likely to oppose the Washington law. [24×7]