Other Developments, Further Reading, and Coming Events (15 June 2021)

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Other Developments

  • President Joe Biden signed an executive order on “Protecting Americans’ Sensitive Data from Foreign Adversaries.” The White House explained:
    • The Biden Administration is committed to promoting an open, interoperable, reliable and secure Internet; protecting human rights online and offline; and supporting a vibrant, global digital economy. Certain countries, including the People’s Republic of China (PRC), do not share these values and seek to leverage digital technologies and Americans’ data in ways that present unacceptable national security risks while advancing authoritarian controls and interests.  
    • Today, President Biden signed an Executive Order (E.O.) to further address the ongoing national emergency declared in E.O. 13873 of May 15, 2019 with respect to the threat posed to the United States’ information and communications technology and services (ICTS) supply chain. President Biden revoked and replaced three E.O.s that aimed to prohibit transactions with TikTok, WeChat, and eight other communications and financial technology software applications; two of these E.O.s are subject to litigation. In their place, this E.O. directs the use of a criteria-based decision framework and rigorous, evidence-based analysis to address the risks posed by ICTS transactions involving software applications that are designed, developed, manufactured, or supplied by persons that are owned or controlled by, or subject to the jurisdiction of a foreign adversary, including the People’s Republic of China, that may present an undue or unacceptable risk to the national security of the United States and the American people.
    • Specifically, the E.O. the President signed today:
      • Enables the U.S. to take strong steps to protect Americans’ sensitive data: This E.O. revokes and replaces E.O.s 13942, 13943, and 13971. The new E.O. directs the Department of Commerce to instead evaluate foreign adversary connected software applications under the rules published to implement E.O. 13873 and take action, as appropriate.
      • Provides criteria for identifying software applications that may pose unacceptable risk: This E.O. provides criteria for consideration, consistent with the criteria set forth in E.O. 13873 and the implementing regulations, for identifying and evaluating ICTS transactions involving foreign adversary connected software applications that may pose an unacceptable risk to U.S. national security and the American people. For example, ICTS transactions involving software applications may present a heightened risk when the transactions involve applications that are owned, controlled, or managed by persons that support foreign adversary military or intelligence activities, or are involved in malicious cyber activities, or involve applications that collect sensitive personal data.
      • Develops further options to protect sensitive personal data and address the potential threat from certain connected software applications: This E.O. directs the Department of Commerce, in consultation with other U.S. departments and agencies, to make recommendations to protect against harm from the sale, transfer of, or access to sensitive personal data, including personally identifiable information and genetic information – to include large data repositories – to persons owned or controlled by, or subject to the jurisdiction or direction of, foreign adversaries. Additionally, the Department of Commerce will make recommendations for additional executive and legislative actions to further address the risk associated with foreign adversary connected software applications.
  • Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost has filed suit “asking the court to declare Google a public utility, reining in the ways the powerful search engine provides search results to Ohioans.” Yost asserted:
    • The lawsuit, filed in Delaware County Court, asserts two causes of action against Google:
      • It seeks a legal declaration that Google is a common carrier (or public utility) subject to proper government regulation.
      • It says Google has a duty to offer sources or competitors rights equal to its own, meaning it should not prioritize the placement of its own products, services and websites on search results pages. Those equal rights should extend to advertisements, enhancements, knowledge boxes, integrated specialized searches, direct answers and other features.
    • The lawsuit does not seek money damages.
    • In plain terms, Yost argues Ohioans are harmed by Google because they cannot make the best choices if they don’t get all of the information. For example, if someone searches for a flight and Google returns its own presentation of search results to steer the person to Google Flights, the person doesn’t see offers from competitors such as Orbitz and Travelocity.
    • This is the second anti-competition lawsuit Yost has filed against Google. In December he joined 37 other attorneys general in a federal lawsuit against Google for conduct that violates Section 2 of the Sherman Act.
  • The United Nations (UN) Group of Governmental Experts  (GGE) issued their report “on Advancing responsible State behaviour in cyberspace in the context of international security.” The GGE stated:
    • The report builds upon and reaffirms the assessments and recommendations of the 2010, 2013 and 2015 consensus reports of the United Nations Groups of Governmental Experts (GGEs) on existing and emerging threats, norms, rules and principles of responsible State behaviour, international law, confidence-building and international cooperation and capacity-building, which together represent a cumulative and evolving framework for the responsible behaviour of States in their use of ICTs. The Group welcomes the adoption of the consensus report of the United Nations Open-ended Working Group (OEWG) on developments in the field of information and telecommunications in the context of international security, established pursuant to General Assembly resolution 73/27, which reaffirms and builds upon this framework
    • As States become increasingly dependent on ICTs, adhering to a common framework of responsible State behaviour in the use of ICTs in the context of international security is essential for all States to benefit from the technologies and protect against and respond to their misuse.
    • Focusing its efforts on promoting common understandings and effective implementation and building on the recommendations of previous reports, the Group identified and provided greater clarity and guidance on the approaches States can take to ensure that cooperative measures effectively address existing and potential threats in the sphere of ICT security. These approaches are clearly outlined in the report’s sections on norms, rules and principles of responsible State behaviour; international law; confidence-building; and international cooperation and capacity-building, each of which takes forward the essential elements of responsible State behaviour developed in previous GGE reports.
    • The Group also identified potential areas for future work, which include but are not limited to:
      • Increased cooperation at the bilateral, regional and multilateral levels to foster common understandings on existing and emerging threats and the potential risks to international peace and security posed by the malicious use of ICTs, and on the security of ICT-enabled infrastructure.
      • Further sharing and exchanging of views on norms, rules and principles for responsible State behaviour and national and regional practices in norm and CBM implementation; and on how international law applies to the use of ICTs by States, including by identifying specific topics of international law for further in-depth discussion.
      • Further strengthening international cooperation and capacity-building on the assessments and recommendations in this report in order to ensure all States can contribute to the maintenance of international peace and security, taking into consideration paragraph 90 above.
      • Identifying mechanisms that facilitate the engagement of other essential stakeholders, including the private sector, academia, civil society and the technical community in efforts to implement the framework of responsible behaviour, where appropriate.
      • Requesting UNIDIR, which serves all Member States, and encouraging other appropriate think-tanks and research institutions to undertake relevant studies on the topics discussed in this report.
  • Vice President Kamala Harris, Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo, and Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland announced “the availability of nearly $1 billion in U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) grants to expand broadband access and adoption on Tribal land.” The NTIA added:
    • The Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program was established by the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021. Grants will be made available to eligible Native American, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian entities for broadband deployment as well as for digital inclusion, workforce development, telehealth and distance learning.
    • NTIA is seeking infrastructure projects that expand the availability of broadband services on Tribal lands and prioritize deploying broadband infrastructure to unserved households, as required by the Act. The program also invites proposals that address the digital divide on Tribal lands, including broadband and digital inclusion planning, telehealth, education, training staff and Tribal community members, and providing technical support and capacity building for Tribal institutions.
    • More information about the program, including requirements for grant applications, can be found in the Notice of Funding Opportunity published today on grants.gov. NTIA is also holding a series of webinars to further inform the public about the program. The next Tribal Broadband Connectivity webinars will be held on June 16 and 17.
    • Read the Fact Sheet on the announcement online.
  • The European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) released a case law digest on personal data transfers to third countries, the aim of which is “is to:
    • clarify the structure of the analysis carried out by the CJEU in judgments concerning the transfer of personal data to third countries, highlighting the logic/steps followed and the jurisprudential acquis in relevant case law (See Part 3 of the Case Law Digest entitled Sources);
    • provide the reader the possibility to explore the key issues relating to international transfers of personal data: by selecting one or more “Questions” on page 4, the reader can visualise relevant paragraphs of the judgments of the CJEU relating to this issue in one place (See Part 4 of the Case Law Digest entitled Replies to Questions).
  • Australia’s Productivity Commission issued its draft report on its right to repair inquiry. The commission made these key points:
    • This report finds that there are barriers to repair for some products and that there is scope to reduce these barriers. The proposed reforms would improve consumers’ right to repair, without the uncertainty and costs associated with more forceful policy interventions.
    • A ‘right to repair’ is the ability of consumers to have their products repaired at a competitive price using a repairer of their choice. Realising this aspiration in a practical way involves a range of policies, including consumer and competition law, intellectual property protections, product design and labelling standards, and environmental and resource management.
    • Consumers already have considerable rights to have their products repaired, replaced or refunded under guarantees in Australian Consumer Law. These guarantees are comprehensive and generally work well, but they could be improved by:
      • the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) providing guidance on the reasonable period of product durability for common household products, so that consumers and manufacturers can better understand when consumer guarantees apply
      • providing regulators with alternative dispute resolution processes to assist consumers to resolve their claims, and enabling designated consumer groups to lodge ‘super complaints’ about consumer guarantees, with these fast tracked by the ACCC
      • the inclusion of text in manufacturer warranties that prominently states that consumers are not required to use the repairers or spare parts specified by the product’s manufacturer to access their rights to a guarantee under consumer law.
    • The Commission is seeking further evidence on other reforms that could help consumers obtain repairs and make more informed purchase choices. These potential reforms involve:
      • requiring manufacturers to provide software updates for a reasonable period
      • amending copyright laws to enable third‑party repairers to copy and share repair manuals, and access repair data hidden behind digital locks
      • prohibiting manufacturer warranties from being voided if consumers do not use the repairers and spare parts specified by the manufacturer
      • developing a product durability or repairability labelling scheme to help consumers identify products that best meet their needs.
    • There is also scope to improve the way products are managed when they become ‘e-waste’ by amending regulated product stewardship schemes to remove current incentives that focus solely on product recycling, rather than repair and reuse. Global positioning system (GPS) trackers should also be used to improve monitoring of e-waste.
    • The Commission is seeking evidence on the net benefits of a more extensive right to repair policy through a ‘positive obligation’ that would require manufacturers to provide third‑party access to repair information and supplies.
      • The Commission’s preliminary analysis suggests that restrictions on third‑party repair supplies could be harming consumers in repair markets for agricultural machinery and mobile phones and tablets. However, the evidence base on the magnitude of repair barriers in these markets is patchy and largely anecdotal, preventing a rigorous assessment of whether additional policies would provide net benefits to the community.
      • At a minimum, a review of the policy landscape in the coming years would be warranted, supported by an evaluation of the proposed mandatory scheme for the sharing of motor vehicle service and repair information, once it has been in operation for at least three years.
  • Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI) “led a group of 20 senators in calling on the leaders of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to share data to identify communities without high-speed internet access and work together to improve broadband connectivity.” In the letter to Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Marcia Fudge, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, and Acting Chair Federal Communications Commission Jessica Rosenworcel, Schatz and his colleagues asked “that your agencies share data on existing Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and Department of Agriculture (USDA) programs with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to improve broadband connectivity, and that you collaborate with each other to better promote the Lifeline universal service program.” The Senators asserted:
    • HUD and USDA currently collect data that may be valuable in identifying neighborhoods where broadband is and is not available, or affordable for, low-income Americans. For example, HUD has important data on the locations of federally-assisted housing communities, and USDA has location information for communities that are receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and Rural Rental Housing programs. As we focus on closing the connectivity gap, your agencies should work together to determine how USDA and HUD data could help target resources to increase broadband connectivity to low-income families residing in federally-assisted housing communities that don’t already have it, including whether this data could be incorporated in the FCC’s broadband maps required by the Broadband DATA Act of 2020 (Public Law 116-130). Accordingly, please identify data that your agencies collect that could guide resource allocation for expanding broadband connectivity in low-income communities. Please also indicate whether and how such data can be shared with the FCC to complement its broadband mapping tool.
    • HUD and USDA could also help inform low-income families about the FCC’s Lifeline program.  As you may know, the Lifeline program offers a monthly benefit of $9.25 towards phone or internet services for eligible subscribers, and this amount goes up to $34.25 for those living on Tribal or Native lands. The Lifeline enrollment process uses participation in HUD and USDA programs to determine eligibility, and so many of the same people who receive HUD and USDA support are eligible for Lifeline.
    • Unfortunately, the Lifeline program is always undersubscribed, due in part, to lack of awareness about the benefits. Accordingly, we urge HUD and USDA to use their resources to help promote the Lifeline program through existing outreach to public housing agencies and schools. HUD, USDA, and the FCC should also collaborate on what additional information they could share with each other to make enrollment in the Lifeline program easier.
  • The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is asking for comments on “Draft NIST Special Publication (SP) 800-216, Recommendations for Federal Vulnerability Disclosure Guidelines, which establishes a flexible, unified framework for establishing policies and implementing procedures for reporting, assessing, and managing vulnerability disclosures for systems within the Federal Government.” NIST stated:
    • Per the Internet of Things Cybersecurity Improvement Act of 2020, Public Law 116-207, and in alignment with ISO/IEC 29147 and ISO/IEC30111, these guidelines address:
      • The establishment of a federal vulnerability disclosure framework, including the Federal Coordination Board (FCB) and Vulnerability Disclosure Program Offices (VDPOs)
      • The receipt of information about potential security vulnerabilities in information systems owned or controlled by a government agency
      • The dissemination of information about security vulnerability resolutions to government agencies and the public
    • NIST is leading this government-wide effort in coordination with other agencies, including the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the Department of Defense (DOD), and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
    • A public comment period for this document is open through August 9, 2021. See the publication details for a copy of the draft publication and instructions for submitting comments using the comment template provided.
  • The United Kingdom’s (UK) National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) updated an alert regarding ransomware attacks on the UK education sector. The agency explained:
    • The NCSC has previously highlighted an increase in ransomware attacks on the UK education sector during August/September 2020 and again in February 2021.
    • As of late May/June 2021, the NCSC is investigating another increase in ransomware attacks against schools, colleges and universities in the UK.
    • This recent campaign emphasises again the need for organisations in the sector to protect their networks to prevent ransomware attacks. The NCSC urges all organisations to follow our guidance on ‘Mitigating malware and ransomware.’ This advice was updated in March 2021 and details a number of steps organisations can take to disrupt ransomware attack vectors and enable effective recovery from ransomware attacks.
    • The NCSC is also encouraging organisations in the sector to sign up to our Early Warning service. This free NCSC service uses a range of information feeds to notify organisations of malicious activity on submitted domains and IPs. More information, including how to sign up, is on our website at ncsc.gov.uk/earlywarning
  • The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (OPC) published its “Special Report to Parliament related to an investigation under the Privacy Act of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police’s (RCMP) use of Clearview AI’s facial recognition technology (FRT).” The OPC found “[t]he RCMP’s use of FRT to conduct hundreds of searches of a database compiled illegally by a commercial enterprise is a violation of the Privacy Act.” The OPC “along with its provincial and territorial counterparts, also announced the launch of a public consultation to help establish clearer rules and consider whether new laws are desirable.” The OPC claimed:
    • Clearview AI was found to have violated Canada’s federal private sector privacy law by creating a databank of more than three billion images scraped from internet websites without users’ consent. Clearview users, such as the RCMP, could match photographs of people against the photographs in the databank.
    • The RCMP is no longer using Clearview AI as the company ceased to offer its services in Canada last summer in the wake of our then ongoing investigation. However, the OPC remains concerned that the RCMP did not agree with its conclusion that it contravened the Privacy Act.
    • While the OPC maintains the onus was on the RCMP to ensure the database it was using was compiled legally, the RCMP argued doing so would create an unreasonable obligation and that the law does not expressly impose a duty to confirm the legal basis for the collection of personal information by its private sector partners.
    • In an effort to provide some clarity to police agencies that are increasingly looking to FRT to solve crime or find missing persons, the OPC, along with its provincial and territorial privacy counterparts, have also issued draft guidance to assist police in ensuring any use of FRT complies with the law, minimizes privacy risks and respects privacy rights.
    • The draft guidance emphasizes that police agencies must have lawful authority for the proposed use of the technology and the importance of applying privacy protective standards that are proportionate to the potential harms involved.
  • The United Kingdom’s Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham said in a press release “I welcome the decision to delay the launch of the General Practice Data for Planning and Research (GPDPR) data collection scheme.” Denham stated:
    • The appropriate use of health data is an important part of health and care research and planning in England, and better sharing of health data could offer substantial benefits. However, it is clear that there remains considerable confusion regarding the scope and nature of the GPDPR, among both healthcare practitioners and the general public. This includes how data protection rights can be exercised in practice. It is sensible for NHS Digital to take more time to engage with its stakeholders, and consider the feedback it is receiving about its plans.
    • The success of any project will rely on people trusting and having confidence in how their personal data will be used. Data Protection law enables organisations to share data safely and, when it comes to using health information there are particular safeguards that must be put in place to protect people’s privacy and ensure effective transparency. This ensures people’s data isn’t used or shared in ways they wouldn’t expect.
    • We look forward to continuing to engage with NHS Digital regarding this important project.
  • New Zealand’s Office of the Privacy Commission (OPC) published an FAQ on model cross-border contract clauses. The OPC explained:
    • As part of the discussion, Mr Edwards was asked to also speak about New Zealand’s model contract clauses with respect to our new information privacy principle 12 (IPP 12). Like many New Zealand businesses and organisations, people have been curious about the model cross-border contract and how it works.
    • IPP 12 is a new principle in the Privacy Act 2020 which sets certain rules around sending personal information to organisations or people outside New Zealand. In short, if you want to disclose personal information to a foreign person or entity, you must believe on reasonable grounds that the personal information will be subject to comparable safeguards to those in the New Zealand Privacy Act.
    • One way for you to ensure that you are meeting your obligations under IPP 12 is for you and the foreign person or entity to enter into an agreement which sets out those safeguards. We commissioned the law firm Chapman Tripp to develop a set of plain English model contract clauses which are tailored to the requirements of the New Zealand Privacy Act. We also developed an online model contract builder which you can use to generate an agreement which incorporates those clauses. You can view those here.
    • We’ve answered some of your frequently asked questions about the contract so that you’re not left in the dark about your obligations when disclosing information overseas. Check out the FAQs.

Further Reading

  • Twitter Calls on Indian Government to Respect Free Speech” By Karan Deep Singh — The New York Times. Twitter pushed back on Thursday against India’s increasingly heavy-handed efforts to control online speech, calling on the government to respect freedom of expression and criticizing what it called “intimidation tactics” by the country’s police. The statement comes as the Indian government under Prime Minister Narendra Modi faces mounting pressure for its handling of a devastating second wave of the coronavirus. Many of those complaints have been aired on Twitter and elsewhere online.
  • AT&T/Verizon lobby keeps claiming that home-Internet prices are dropping” By Jon Brodkin — Ars Technica. US government data shows that home-Internet customers pay more each year and that average broadband expenditures are rising faster than inflation, but cable and telecom lobbies keep claiming that broadband prices are getting lower. The latest example came Wednesday from USTelecom, which represents AT&T, Verizon, CenturyLink/Lumen, Frontier, and other DSL and fiber Internet providers. In a post titled “No Fluke: American Broadband Prices Continue Decline in 2021,” the group unveiled the latest version of its Broadband Pricing Index [BPI] that measures prices for residential Internet service.
  • Apple isn’t just a walled garden, it’s a carrier” By Dieter Bohn — The Verge. As we await the beginning of Apple’s latest WWDC keynote and all of the new software products it will unveil, let’s talk about metaphors. Specifically, the metaphors we use to talk about Apple’s ecosystem. The go-to for years has been that it’s a “walled garden” — here’s Joanna Stern at The Wall Street Journal making that case in a literal walled garden — but I’m not sure that’s the best one anymore. It’s worth kicking around some different ways of describing Apple’s ecosystem in this moment because of the nature of keynotes — even online-only keynotes. Apple is the master of crafting narratives around its products that become an organizing principle for understanding what those products are. Those narratives aren’t intellectual exercises, they’re stories told to change how you feel about Apple and its products.
  • Apple’s Tim Cook Kicks Off WWDC by Doubling Down on Privacy” By Tim Higgins — The Wall Street Journal. A year after angering software developers with new privacy features aimed at making it harder to track iPhone users’ digital footprints, Apple Inc. on Monday doubled down with even more changes that will roil the digital-advertising industry.  Among the many updates to popular apps, such as Maps, Wallet and Weather, the Cupertino, Calif., technology company said it would introduce later this year additional features to help users control how their online data is used by third-parties.
  • Amazon is about to share your Internet connection with neighbors. Here’s how to turn it off.” By Geoffrey Fowler — The Washington Post. There’s an eyebrow-raising technology buried inside millions of Amazon Echo smart speakers and Ring security cameras. They have the ability to make a new kind of wireless network called Sidewalk that shares a slice of your home Internet connection with your neighbors’ devices. And on Tuesday, Amazon is switching Sidewalk on — for everyone.
  • Trump’s Failed Blog Proves He Was Just Howling Into the Void” By Phillip Napoli — WIRED. Former president and former “king of social media” Donald Trump decided this week to shut down his month-old blog, due to abysmal readership. According to an analysis by The Washington Post, Twitter and Facebook engagements with the blog, From the Desk of Donald J. Trump, plummeted from a first-day peak of a modest 159,000 interactions to fewer than 30,000 on the second day, and haven’t exceeded 15,000 interactions on any day since. Trump is reported to have decided to shut down the blog because he believes that the low readership has made him look small and irrelevant.
  • The FBI is trying to get IP addresses and phone numbers of people who read a USA Today article” By Mitchell Clark — The Verge. The FBI is trying to get a list of IP addresses, phone numbers, and other information on people who read a USA Today article about the deaths of two of its agents (via Politico). The subpoena (PDF) says it relates to a criminal investigation, and is seeking the information of readers who accessed the article in a specific 35-minute timespan, but it’s unclear who or what the Bureau is trying to track down. USA Today is fighting back against handing over the information, calling the request unconstitutional. “We were surprised to receive this subpoena particularly in light of President Biden’s recent statements in support of press freedom. The subpoena is also contrary to the Justice Department’s own guidelines concerning the narrow circumstances in which subpoenas can be issued to the news media,” USA Today publisher Maribel Perez Wadsworth said in a statement emailed to The Verge.
  • President Biden Ends Infrastructure Talks With Senate GOP Group” By Andrew Duehren, Sabrina Siddiqui and Kristina Peterson — The Wall Street Journal. President Biden called off an effort to reach an infrastructure compromise with several Senate Republicans after progress stalled, shifting his focus to a separate set of negotiations with a group of Republicans and Democrats in an effort to salvage a bipartisan deal on the issue. At the same time, Senate Democrats signaled they were preparing to move at least part of an infrastructure package forward through a process relying on only Democratic support.
  • Biden Ends Infrastructure Talks With Republicans, Falling Short of a Deal” By Emily Cochrane — The New York Times. President Biden on Tuesday ended a weekslong effort to reach a deal with Senate Republicans on an expansive infrastructure plan, cutting off negotiations that had failed to persuade them to embrace his bid to pour $1 trillion into the nation’s aging public works system and safety-net programs. It was a major setback to Mr. Biden’s effort to attract Republican support for his top domestic priority, which had always faced long odds over the size, scope and financing of the package. Most Republicans have made it clear they are willing to spend only a fraction of what Democrats want on a much narrower initiative, and balked at any tax increases to pay for it.
  • What caused the internet outage that brought down Amazon, Reddit and Gov.uk?” By Alex Hern — The Guardian. For 45 minutes in the UK morning, a significant chunk of the web did not work. People trying to visit a huge array of websites, from the Guardian through Gov.uk to Reddit, Hulu and the White House, received a blank white page and an error message telling them the connection was unavailable. The errors were focused on large websites with substantial traffic, but weren’t universal: users in some places, such as Berlin, Germany, reported no problems throughout the outage.
  • Chip shortage will pose a ‘daily challenge’ for next year, Commerce Secretary Raimondo says” By Kevin Breuninger — CNBC. A global shortage of semiconductors will continue to strain markets for months to come, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said Monday. “For the next year or so, this will be a daily challenge,” Raimondo said on CNBC’s “Closing Bell.”
  • New Tax Regime Won’t Push Big Tech Companies Out of Ireland” By Ivan Levingston and Siddharth Vikram Philip — Bloomberg. Big tech companies and other industries that have bunkered down in Europe’s tax havens are unlikely to shift their bases under the proposed global minimum tax regime as markets like Ireland still offer more corporate perks than wealthier neighbors. While the 15% tax rate proposed by the Group of Seven rich nations is higher than Ireland’s current 12.5% levy for businesses, it’s still below the 20% or more companies would face in countries like the U.S. or France. The country also has tax treaties with other nations that allow multinational businesses to pay a lower rate and incentives to compensate companies for research and development spending. If new legislation doesn’t address the other perks tax havens offer big tech companies, they could maintain a lot of their advantages.

Coming Events

  • The House Financial Services Committee’s Financial Technology Task Force will hold a 15 June hearing titled “Digitizing the Dollar: Investigating the Technological Infrastructure, Privacy, and Financial Inclusion Implications of Central Bank Digital Currencies.”
  • On 15 June, the House Homeland Security Committee’s Transportation & Maritime Security  and Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, & Innovation Subcommittees will hold a joint hearing titled “Cyber Threats in the Pipeline: Lessons from the Federal Response to the Colonial Pipeline Ransomware Attack” with these witnesses:
    • Eric Goldstein, Executive Assistant Director for Cybersecurity, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), U.S. Department of Homeland Security
    • Sonya Proctor, Assistant Administrator for Surface Operations, Transportation Security Administration (TSA), U.S. Department of Homeland Security
  • On 16 June, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee will consider the nominations of Robin Carnahan to be Administrator of General Services, Jen Easterly to be Director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, Department of Homeland Security, and Chris Inglis to be National Cyber Director.
  • On 17 June, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee’s Emerging Threats and Spending Oversight Subcommittee will hold a hearing titled “Addressing Emerging Cybersecurity Threats to State and Local Government.”
  • On 17 June the Senate Appropriations Committee will hold a hearing on the Department of Defense’s FY 2022 budget request.
  • The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will hold its June meeting on 17 June with this tentative agenda:
    • Protecting Against National Security Threats to the Communications Supply Chain through the Equipment Authorization and Competitive Bidding Programs.
      The Commission will consider a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Notice of Inquiry seeking comments on steps it could take to secure the nation’s critical communications networks through its equipment authorization and competitive bidding programs. (ET Docket No. 21-232; EA Docket No. 21-233)
    • Allowing Earlier Equipment Marketing and Importation Opportunities. The Commission will consider a Report and Order that would adopt changes to the equipment authorization rules to allow expanded marketing and importation of radiofrequency devices prior to certification, with conditions. (ET Docket No. 20-382)
    • Improving the Emergency Alert System and Wireless Emergency Alerts. The Commission will consider a Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to implement section 9201 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021, which is intended to improve the way the public receives emergency alerts on their mobile phones, televisions, and radios. (PS Docket Nos. 15-94, 15-91)
    • Improving Robocall and Spoofing Input from Private Entities. The Commission will consider a Report and Order to implement Section 10(a) of the TRACED Act by adopting a streamlined process that will allow private entities to alert the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau about suspected unlawful robocalls and spoofed caller ID. (EB Docket No. 20-374)
    • Promoting Telehealth for Low-Income Consumers. The Commission will consider a Second Report and Order that would provide guidance on the administration of the Connected Care Pilot Program and further instructions to program participants. (WC Docket No. 18-213)
    • Exploring Spectrum Options for Devices Used to Mark Fishing Equipment. The Commission will consider a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that would satisfy the Commission’s statutory obligation in Section 8416 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021 to initiate a rulemaking proceeding to explore whether to authorize devices that can be used to mark fishing equipment for use on Automatic Identification System (AIS) channels consistent with the core purpose of the AIS to prevent maritime accidents. (WT Docket No. 21-230)
    • Improving Low Power FM Radio. The Commission will consider an Order on Reconsideration of a proceeding to modernize the LPFM technical rules. (MB Docket No. 19-193)
    • Enforcement Bureau Action. The Commission will consider an enforcement action.
  • On 27 July, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) will hold PrivacyCon 2021.

© Michael Kans, Michael Kans Blog and michaelkans.blog, 2019-2021. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Michael Kans, Michael Kans Blog, and michaelkans.blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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