President Donald Trump has been vocal to criticize those he deems political opponents. However, these criticisms often extend to threats of legal action, particularly against the Jeff Bezos-owned Washington Post and Amazon. Trump has set aside decades of precedent and involved himself directly in a number of enforcement actions, often in ways that would benefit him or his political allies. How lawful is this kind of intervention? And how can the rest of the government resist inappropriate political meddling? Justin Florence, Legal Director for Protect Democracy, and TechFreedom President Berin Szóka join the show to discuss. For more, see their joint op-ed in the Seattle Times, and Protect Democracy’s filing in the antitrust case against the AT&T/Time Warner merger.
In recent decades, Congress has struggled to enact laws that keep up with the breakneck pace technological innovation. This pace shows no signs of slowing, and with major implications for healthcare, transportation, privacy and other key social and economic issues, it’s more important than ever for Congress to be properly informed on tech issues. We’re joined by the R Street Institute’s Zach Graves and Kevin Kosar, who argue in their recent paper “Bring in the Nerds,” that reviving the Office of Technology Assessment — an expert advisory agency that gave guidance to Congress in shaping tech policy until it was shuttered in 1995 — could help bridge this gap.
Earlier this month, IEE Spectrum broke the story that Silicon Valley startup Swarm Technologies had launched several experimental satellites through the commercial arm of India’s space agency, despite being denied authorization by the FCC. The case illustrates the complexity of the licensing process for satellites, both in the US and internationally. Space lawyer Jim Dunstan joins the show to discuss the ramifications of this launch, and how the process could be improved. For more, see part 1, part 2, and part 3 of our series on space law with Jim.