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Tech Brief: Week in Review & What’s Ahead


Week in Review

Autonomous vehicle development moving forward

  • The House of Representatives passed legislation that would speed up the development and deployment of autonomous vehicles, the first major push by Congress to pave the way for automakers to clear regulatory hurdles hindering production of self-driving cars.
  • The House bill now moves to the Senate, where a bipartisan trio of lawmakers — Sens. John Thune (R-S.D), Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) and Gary Peters (D-Mich.) — is working to pass their own autonomous vehicle measure.

Equifax data breach 

  • Equifax Inc., a credit reporting firm, said a data breach potentially affected 143 million consumers across the United States. Equifax said the hack, which it discovered on July 29, included names, birth dates, Social Security numbers, addresses and some driver’s license numbers.

Social media and Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election

  • Facebook Inc. disclosed that it had identified roughly 3,000 political ads focused on divisive social issues — such as race, gun control and immigration — that ran from June 2015 to May 2017 and were connected to fake accounts created by a Russian company linked to the Kremlin. Facebook indicated that it shared its findings with federal investigators, including Special Counsel Robert Mueller, and briefed the House and Senate intelligence committees.
  • Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said he expects officials from Twitter Inc. to brief the panel on any election-related Russian activity that occurred on the social media site leading up to the 2016 presidential contest. The committee is probing Kremlin-directed interference that may have occurred during the campaign.

What’s Ahead

  • Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao is expected to unveil revised guidelines this week that respond to automakers’ calls to eliminate legal barriers blocking the rollout of autonomous vehicles.
  • The Senate Commerce Committee plans to hold a hearing Wednesday on the future of self-driving commercial vehicles.
  • The House Energy and Commerce Committee announced plans to hold a markup on legislation reauthorizing the Federal Communications Commission before the end of the month. The Senate Commerce Committee has announced similar plans to move forward with legislation reauthorizing the FCC, although the panel has not yet announced when it intends to do so.
  • The Federal Communications Commission rescheduled the date of its planned September open meeting. The hearing will now take place Sept. 26.

Events Calendar (All Times Local)

Monday
NATOA annual conference 8 a.m.
GSMA Mobile World Congress Americas 8 a.m.
FCC workshop on 911 outage best practices 9:15 a.m.
FCC webinar on proposed Connect America Fund Phase II auction process 11 a.m.
Tuesday
GSMA Mobile World Congress Americas 7:30 a.m.
NATOA annual conference 8 a.m.
NTSB vote on likely cause of Tesla Autopilot crash 9:30 a.m.
NTIA meeting on IoT security upgradeability 10 a.m.
House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee hearing on 21st century trade barriers 10:15 a.m.
Wednesday
GSMA Mobile World Congress Americas 7:30 a.m.
NATOA annual conference 8 a.m.
FirstNet board and committees meet 9 a.m.
Senate Commerce Committee hearing on automated trucks 10 a.m.
FCBA Wireline Committee brown bag lunch 12:15 p.m.
Thursday
NATOA annual conference 8 a.m.
GSMA Mobile World Congress Americas 9 a.m.
FirstNet board and committees meet 9 a.m.
Senate Homeland Security Committee hearing on Lifeline program 10 a.m.
FCBA CLE on FCC and FTC enforcement priorities 3 p.m.
Friday
Newseum event on the future of online speech 9 a.m.
Seminar Group event on autonomous vehicles regulation 9 a.m.
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