This Week in Washington IP: America’s Innovation Leadership, Facebook’s Financial Industry Impact and Personal Data Ownership
Oct. 21, 2019
This week in tech and innovation hearings in Washington D.C., the House of Representatives explores issues related to emerging cyber threats, Facebook’s cryptocurrency and its impact on the financial sector, space weather research and supporting clean automobile developments. House committees will also hold two field hearings outside of D.C. on improving Internet connectivity in rural communities and community initiatives in smart mobility programs. In the Senate, committee hearings will focus on ownership of personal data, international energy efficiency efforts and the reauthorization of compulsory copyright licenses for satellite broadcasts under STELAR. Elsewhere, Cato Institute will host an event looking at advances to space technology encouraged by the private sector, while the week closes out with an event at The Heritage Foundation discussing the effect of data surveillance on Fourth Amendment protections.
Monday, October 21
House Subcommittee on Rural Development, Agriculture, Trade, and Entrepreneurship
At 1:00 PM on Monday at Adams County Agricultural and Natural Resources Center, 670 Old Harrisburg Road, Gettysburg, PA 17325.
While large urban communities can leverage economies of scale to spread out the costs of deploying Internet infrastructure, smaller rural communities often rely on federal assistance to meet their networking needs. This field hearing in Gettysburg, PA, will explore what steps Congress can take to support these communities as it debates the current infrastructure bill. The witness panel for this hearing will include Brandon Carson, Director, Planning & Community Development Division, Southern Alleghenies Planning & Development Commission; Michael Ross, EDP, President, FCADC; Anthony Angelini, Social Studies Teacher, New Oxford Middle School, Conewago Valley School District; and Brock Widerman, President, Adams County Farm Bureau.
Tuesday, October 22
Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources
At 10:00 AM on Tuesday in 366 Dirksen Senate Office Building.
In September, the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) issued a research report indicating that the United States can decrease both energy use and greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent by scaling up government environmental programs and policies. The witness panel for this hearing includes Daniel Bresette, Executive Director, Environmental and Energy Study Institute; Jennifer Layke, Global Director for Energy, World Resources Institute; Dr. Brian Motherway, Head of Energy Efficiency, International Energy Agency; and W. Scott Tew, Executive Director, Center for Energy Efficiency and Sustainability, Ingersoll Rand.
House Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, and Innovation
At 2:00 PM on Tuesday in 310 Cannon House Office Building.
A recent House Armed Services Subcommittee hearing revealed that the U.S. Department of Defense has yet to complete an extensive review of its cybersecurity vulnerabilities at various facilities around the world, leading lawmakers to call on the U.S. government to be more proactive in its assessment of cyber risks. The witness panel for this hearing will include Ken Durbin, Senior Strategist, Symantec Corporation; Robert Knake, Senior Research Scientist, Global Resilience Institute, Northeastern University, and Senior Fellow, The Council on Foreign Relations; Niloofar Razi Howe, Senior Fellow, Cybersecurity Initiative, New America; and Ben Buchanan, Ph.D, Senior Faculty Fellow, Center for Security and Emerging Technology, Mortara Center, Assistant Teaching Professor, Georgetown University.
Senate Subcommittee on Science, Oceans, Fisheries, and Weather
At 2:15 PM on Tuesday in 562 Dirksen.
A recent report from the Task Force on American Innovation noted that, while the United States enjoys global leadership in science and technology, the nation’s global share of research and development investment has been diminishing over the past few years. The witness panel for this hearing includes Dr. Rebecca Blank, Chancellor, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Dr. Sethuraman Panchanathan, Executive Vice President, Arizona State University Knowledge Enterprise; Dr. David Shaw, Provost and Executive Vice President, Mississippi State University; Dr. Diane Souvaine, Chair, National Science Board.
Wednesday, October 23
Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation
At 10:00 AM on Wednesday in 216 Hart Senate Office Building.
Over the past few months, the U.S. Copyright Office has been asking lawmakers on Capitol Hill to let the Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act Reauthorization (STELAR) to expire this year, ending the Section 119 satellite compulsory copyright license. The witness panel for this hearing will include Emily Barr, President and CEO, The Graham Media Group and Chairwoman, Television Board, National Association of Broadcasters; Denny Law, CEO and General Manager, Golden West Communications; Robert Thun, Senior Vice President of Content and Programming, AT&T; and J.C. Watts, Chairman and Co-Founder, The Black News Channel.
House Committee on Financial Services
At 10:00 AM on Wednesday in 2128 Rayburn House Office Building.
After Facebook announced the development of its Libra cryptocurrency this summer, House Financial Services Committee Chairwoman Maxine Waters and Democrats on the committee requested a moratorium on the release of Libra pending a committee hearing on the subject. This will be the second hearing on Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency following an earlier hearing convened by the House Financial Services Committee in July. The sole witness at this hearing will be Mark Zuckerberg, CEO, Facebook.
House Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor, and PensionsHouse Subcommittee on Workforce Protections
At 10:15 AM on Wednesday in 2175 Rayburn.
Emerging technologies pose many concerns for America’s current labor force not just in terms of jobs that can be obviated by automated technologies but also artificial intelligence tools for monitoring employees in a way that’s not contemplated by current U.S. labor law. The witness panel for this hearing has yet to be announced.
House Subcommittee on Energy and CommerceHouse Subcommittee on Environment and Climate Change
At 10:30 AM on Wednesday in 2322 Rayburn.
State governments have increasingly focused on the transportation industry as a sector where reduced fuel emissions can be achieved. A coalition of 12 eastern states have established a Transportation and Climate Initiative to create a regional policy for providing cleaner mobility options to citizens while California has recently approved a $95 million investment plan to expedite zero-emission automobiles. The witness panel for this hearing has yet to be announced.
House Committee on Science, Space and Technology
At 2:00 PM on Wednesday in 2318 Rayburn.
On October 10, NASA launched the Ionospheric Connection Explorer (ICON) spacecraft which will help the agency study the Earth’s ionosphere and the link between space weather and terrestrial weather. In early November, a mandate from the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) will require the United States’ Space Weather Prediction Center and other international space weather agencies to issue global advisories related to disruptions in satellite communications and high-frequency radio communications. The witness panel for this hearing will include Bill Murtagh, Program Coordinator, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Space Weather Prediction Center; Dr. Nicola Fox, Heliophysics Division Director, National Aeronautics and Space Administration; Dr. Conrad Lautenbacher, Jr., VADM USN (Ret.), CEO of GeoOptics, Inc., and Former Under-Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Administrator; and Dr. Harlan Spence, Director, Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans, and Space, and Professor of Physics and Astronomy, University of New Hampshire.
At 6:00 PM on Wednesday at Cato Institute, Hayek Auditorium, 1000 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Washington, D.C. 20001.
The Case for Space, the recent book by Robert Zubrin, Founder and President of The Mars Society, explores the ways in which private-sector space exploration has led to advances in related technologies. This event will include a presentation from Zubrin as well as comments by Berin Szóka, President, TechFreedom. The event will be moderated by Chelsea Follett, Policy Analyst, Cato Institute, and Managing Editor, HumanProgress.org.
Thursday, October 24
Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs
At 10:00 AM on Thursday in 538 Dirksen.
Market intelligence firm IDC reports that, by 2025, the world’s combined data will reach 175 zettabytes (one zettabyte equals one quadrillion megabytes). The witness panel for this hearing will include Jeffrey Ritter, Founding Chair, American Bar Association Committee on Cyberspace Law, External Lecturer; Chad Marlow, Senior Advocacy and Policy Counsel, American Civil Liberties Union; Will Rinehart, Director of Technology and Innovation Policy, American Action Forum; and Michelle Dennedy, CEO, DrumWave Inc.
Friday, October 25
The Brookings Institution
At 10:00 AM on Friday at The Brookings Institution, Falk Auditorium, 1775 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Washington, D.C. 20036.
Allegations of bias in policing across the country has led to the increased use of technology such as body-worn cameras to increase transparency and virtual reality technology to improve police officer decision making. This event will feature a discussion with a panel including Captain Perri Johnson, Commander, District Six, Metropolitan Police Department, City of St. Louis; Rashawn Ray, David M. Rubenstein Fellow, Governance Studies; Nancy La Vigne, Vice President, Justice Policy, Urban Institute; and moderated by Vanessa Williamson, Senior Fellow, Governance Studies, Senior Fellow, Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center.
House Subcommittee on Research and Technology
At 10:00 AM on Friday at Livonia City Hall, 33000 Civic Center Dr., Livonia, MI 48154.
Smart mobility initiatives in urban settings have the potential to improve commute times, reduce air pollution and improve citizens’ quality of life in cities with growing populations. The witness panel for this hearing, which will take place in Livonia, MI, has yet to be announced.
The Heritage Foundation
At 12:00 PM on Friday at The Heritage Foundation, Allison Auditorium, 214 Massachusetts Ave NE, Washington, D.C., 20002.
Advances in digital technologies and the associated increase in data creation has caused a strain on Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable searches and seizures. This event will include a discussion with a panel including Jamil Jaffer, Founder and Executive Director, National Security Institute, and Assistant Professor of Law and Director of the National Security Law & Policy Program, Antonin Scalia Law School; Arif Alikhan, Director of Constitutional Policing and Policy, Los Angeles Police Department; Klon Kitchen, Senior Research Fellow, Technology; and moderated by Charles “Cully” Stimson, Senior Legal Fellow & Manager, National Security Law Program.