#172: Future of Internet Regulation (w/ FCC Chairman Ajit Pai)

April 27, 2017

Yesterday, at the Newseum in Washington, DC, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai outlined his vision for the future of Internet regulation, including a plan to undo "Title II." In 2015, Pai's predecessor, Tom Wheeler, reclassified broadband Internet as a "common carrier" service under Title II of the 1934 Communications Act. Net neutrality activists say that public utility regulations are necessary to have a free and open Internet. Critics of Title II, including Pai, argue that the rules are outdated and depress investment and innovation. Does the answer lie somewhere in between? What role might Congress and the Supreme Court play? Evan and Berin discuss all that and more with Chairman Pai.

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#171: Tech and Immigration

April 24, 2017

How does immigration impact the tech sector? Recently, President Trump ordered federal agencies to review the H-1B visa program, which is used by many tech companies to fill roles they claim can't be filled by Americans. As a candidate, Trump took tough stances on immigration. Should tech companies be worried? Could the review actually improve the program by rooting out fraud and abuse? What role should Congress play? Evan is joined by Michael Hayes, Senior Manager for government affairs at the Consumer Technology Association.

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#170: Tech and Tax Reform

April 20, 2017

Congress and the White House tried, and failed, to repeal and replace Obamacare. Since then, their focus has shifted to other priorities — in particular, reforming America’s tax code. It’s been decades since Congress did any significant reform, but there’s generally widespread agreement that our tax code is too long, too complicated, and riddled with loopholes. What would a lower corporate tax rate mean for tech companies and consumers? Will the proposed “border adjustment tax” mean a big adjustment for tech? Will there be winners and losers? How would reform impact domestic firms versus multinationals? Evan is joined by James Lucier, Managing Director at Capital Alpha Partners, a Washington-DC based policy research firm.

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#169: The Future of Tech Policy

April 14, 2017

Is tech policy stuck in the past? Does innovation move faster than government’s ability to keep up? Are we fighting over what to do with last year’s products, when we should be planning for what lies ahead? Evan is pleased to welcome to the show Austin Carson, Executive Director at TechFreedom. Previously, he worked in Congress on a variety of tech policy issues, including encryption, cybersecurity, and intellectual property. He discusses lessons learned from his time on the Hill, where the future of tech policy is headed, and how think tanks like TechFreedom can help foster bipartisan dialogue and implement solutions to seemingly intractable problems.

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#168: FBI and Facial Recognition

April 10, 2017

Would you agree to stand in a police line-up if you never committed a crime? Probably not. But if you have a drivers’ license, you might be in a perpetual, digital line-up. 18 states allow the FBI to scan your license photo, and many states allow local law enforcement to do the same. One in two American adults — that’s about 125 million people —  are in the FBI’s facial recognition database, and most, if not all, searches are conducted without a warrant.

Evan is joined by Alvaro Bedoya, Executive Director of the Center on Privacy & Technology, Georgetown Law, who testified at a recent hearing in Congress on the FBI’s use of facial recognition technologies (FRTs). They discuss the state of FRTs, how they impact different communities, and how policymakers can balance the needs of law enforcement with civil liberties and due process. For more, check out https://www.perpetuallineup.org/.

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