Over the last few years Public Knowledge has hosted various iterations of Emerging Tech DC (#ETDC). This event has served as a platform for tech policy advocates and tech entrepreneurs to have fruitful discussions about artificial intelligence, virtual reality, internet of things, and 3D printing. This year, in recognition of diversity of thought, experiences, and needs of people who use this technology, Public Knowledge will host this event with twist -- Emerging Tech for Social Change. At Public Knowledge, we understand that tech policy impacts communities, specifically marginalized communities, in different ways and there must be debates now and in the future that actively include those communities. Our goal for Emerging Tech for Social Change is to center voices at the margins in hopes that policy debates and panelist participation in said debates reflect our values as an organization and the public interest community as a whole.
Last week, the New York Times reported that Facebook has decided to integrate the back-end infrastructures of its three fully-owned messaging products: Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and Instagram. At Public Knowledge, aware of the different nature, features, and conditions of use of these three services, we are carefully following the possible privacy and security and competition implications of this market-changing move.
In December 2017, the Federal Communications Commission under Chairman Ajit Pai voted to repeal net neutrality rules enacted two years earlier. While 83 percent of Americans support net neutrality and opposed the reversal, broadband providers unsurprisingly supported it. Many said they would not use the repeal as an opportunity to discriminate among internet content -- but now there are no rules stopping them from doing exactly that.
If you follow global tech policy, you probably know that the European Union is in the process of adopting a Copyright Directive to update its copyright framework. The Copyright Directive is infamous on this side of the Atlantic because of the mandate for automated web filters contained in Article 13 of the same. Elsewhere, we’ve written about the harmful effects for free expression that Article 13 would have.
Last year, we published a white paper recommending stakeholders improve cybersecurity and foster innovation by drawing upon time-tested principles from sustainability management. The paper observed that transitioning to a sustainable approach to cybersecurity embraces the principles of shared responsibility and collective action, frames business costs associated with improved security as an investment in the internet ecosystem, encourages broad adoption of risk-management practices, and supports consumer engagement.