i2Coalition November 2023 Legislative Brief
Your brief update on important Internet policy issues
Congress avoided a federal government shutdown by passing a Continuing Resolution (CR) in mid-November to extend funding temporarily until early 2024, which President Biden quickly signed into law. The CR was “laddered” to extend funding until January 19 in four areas (Agriculture, Energy-Water, Military Construction, and Transportation) while the remaining spending bills were given more negotiating time with an extension until February 2. Passage of this short-term federal government funding CR allowed Congress to shift its focus to negotiations on a supplementary funding package for Israel, Ukraine, Taiwan, and U.S. border security. Several other legislative measures remain on the agenda for potential action before the end of the year, including finalizing the FY 2024 Appropriations, FAA reauthorization, NDAA, FISA reauthorization, and a potential year-end tax package.
TECH POLICY PRIORITIES
Section 230/Intermediary Liability/Content Moderation. The Senate Judiciary Committee plans to hold a January 31 hearing on children’s online safety at which it will hear testimony from CEO-level witnesses. The filing of legal briefs by the parties and by amicus is underway in the U.S. Supreme Court in the case the Justices will hear next year addressing whether laws enacted in Texas and Florida restricting social media platforms violate the First Amendment.
Federal Privacy. Efforts to accelerate a Senate floor vote on the children’s online privacy and safety bills approved by the Senate Commerce Committee earlier this year have reportedly slowed as bill sponsors try to overcome opposition and concerns raised by privacy and LGBTQ+ advocacy groups. The House Energy and Commerce Committee is continuing its series of subcommittee hearings on the impact of artificial intelligence, during which the need for a federal comprehensive consumer privacy and data security law has been raised.
Copyright/IP. The FTC filed comments with the U.S. Copyright Office in its AI Notice of Inquiry proceeding to express the agency’s concerns regarding the impact of generative AI on competition and consumer protection. The Copyright Office extended the deadline for filing reply comments in the AI NOI to December 6.
Antitrust/Competition. The U.S. Department of Justice completed presenting its case in the federal lawsuit against Google in which the government alleges that Google’s search engine business practices violated antitrust law. A ruling in the case is expected sometime in 2024 after the parties present their closing arguments.
Broadband. The FCC is accepting initial public comments in its Open Internet Notice of Proposed Rulemaking proceeding on December 14, with reply comments due on January 17. The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology scheduled an FCC oversight hearing for November 30 to address the FCC’s broadband policies, regulations, and programs. The Biden Administration released a National Spectrum Strategy about which the NTIA seeks public comments by January 2. Congress is still working on the reauthorization of the lapsed FCC spectrum auction authority.
Find Out More…
For more in-depth updates on Internet policy, including issues that specifically impact your organization, please contact us about joining the i2Coalition.