This Week in Washington IP: Hearings for New FCC Commissioner, Securing U.S. Cyberspace, and the Future of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act

1 month ago

This week in Washington IP news, the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation begins hearings on the nomination of Gigi B. Sohn to be a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Commissioner, and the Senate Committee on Finance discusses eliminating counterfeits. Also, the Brookings Institute holds a panel discussion on the upcoming Supreme Court oral hearings for Gonzalez v. Google that will impact the future of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.

Monday, February 13

U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources

Federal Energy Production Supports Local Communities

At 3:00 PM Monday, University of Texas Permian Basin Midland Campus and online livestream

In this oversight hearing, the House Committee on Natural Resources will examine the impact of onshore federal oil and natural gas production on local communities and state economies. Committee members and witnesses will also evaluate the number of jobs these industries bring to local communities.

Tuesday, February 14

U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation

Nomination Hearing for Gigi B. Sohn to be a Commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission

At 10:00 AM Tuesday, Committee Hearing Room, Russell 253 and online livestream

Gigi B. Sohn’s nomination to FCC Commissioner has been held up by partisan disagreement since Sohn was nominated by President Biden on October 26, 2021. The previous Senate passed on confirming her nomination, however, President Biden seems persistent to nominate Sohn to the position. She is a proponent of net neutrality and her nomination would be a thorn in the side of big telecommunications companies. Sohn’s appointment would break the 2-2 Democrat-Republican deadlock in the FCC.

Hudson Institute

Securing Cyberspace: Hardening America’s Software against Foreign Digital Sabotage

Software is an increasingly important economic and geopolitical consideration, and the U.S. government has taken steps to compete with other countries in the realm of hardware including computer chips. This event will look at how the United States can strengthen its software supply chains and protect national interests against cyberattacks. U.S. Rep. Tony Gonzales will be among the four panelists speaking on this topic.

Brookings Institute

Gonzalez v. Google and the fate of Section 230

At 11:00 AM Tuesday, online video webinar

This talk will be held in anticipation of the Supreme Court hearing oral arguments in the case Gonzalez v. Google on February 21. The case is the first time that the Supreme Court has considered Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which protects websites from liability for content posted by third parties. The case mainly focuses on whether recommendations from algorithms fall under Section 230 protection. Several Brookings fellows and professors will hold a panel discussion about the implications of the case.

Wednesday, February 15

Center for Strategic and International Studies

U.S.-UK Trade Agreement: Now is the Time

At 1:30 PM Wednesday, online video webinar

Since Brexit, the United States and the United Kingdom have yet to broker a new free trade agreement. The Biden Administration has looked elsewhere for trade agreements and has been reluctant to finalize a deal with the United Kingdom. In this event, CSIS will talk with Rep. Adrian Smith, the Chair of the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Trade to discuss his mandate and plans in regard to trade with the United Kingdom. Three other speakers will also contribute including David J. Salmonsen, Senior Director of the American Farm Bureau Federation.

Thursday, February 16

U.S. Senate Committee on Finance

Ending Trade that Cheats American Workers By Modernizing Trade Laws and Enforcement, Fighting Forced Labor, Eliminating Counterfeits, and Leveling the Playing Field

At 10:30 AM Thursday, 215 Dirksen Senate Office Building and online livestream

This senate committee is holding a wide-ranging hearing on the state of economic competition between the United States and various trading partners. The committee will hear from a variety of witnesses including labor union presidents, workers’ rights advocates, and business executives.

United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)

Patents for Humanity COVID-19 awards ceremony

At 1:00 PM Thursday, online video webinar

The USPTO is holding this awards ceremony to recognize innovators of technology that helped the world through the COVID-19 pandemic. The five winners were announced in December 2022, and USPTO Director Kathi Vidal will present the awards to the five winners during this live event.



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