Have you ever tried buying a ticket online to a popular event? Maybe you got up early or stayed up late so you could grab a ticket right as they went on sale, only to find out they sold out almost instantly? Of course you could probably get one on StubHub or from another scalper, but that can be expensive. Who is to blame for this travesty? According to your elected officials, it’s the robots. That’s why Congress recently passed the BOTS Act, which would ban robotic scalpers in hopes of lowering ticket prices. It sounds good, in theory, but will it actually work? What are the unintended consequences? Joining Evan to discuss this is Anne Hobson, Technology Policy Fellow at the R Street Institute. For more, you can read her her op-ed here.
Chicago’s crackdown on Airbnb, HomeAway, and other online home-sharing platforms has sparked a lawsuit. In June, the city council passed a law that heavily restricts property rights and places significant burdens on homeowners. Is this regulation needed to protect consumers and preserve affordable housing? Or is this another giveaway to the hotel industry, seeking to insulate itself from competition? What does it mean for Chicago consumers? Evan is joined by Christina Sandefur, Executive Vice President of the Goldwater Institute, which has filed a legal challenge to the Chicago law.
The move from 4G to 5G will help move you from HD to 4K and from augmented to virtual reality. But the implications of 5G stretch far beyond your smartphone and tablet. The technology has the potential to support autonomous cars, healthcare, and connected homes. Will 5G bring about the “Internet of everything?” What sorts of regulatory challenges lie in the way? Can our aging infrastructure support the next generation of wireless? Evan is joined by Bret Swanson, President of Entropy Economics LLC and Visiting Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.
With all eyes on the Trump transition, what does the president-elect’s victory mean for the Federal Communications Commission? The Obama-era FCC has been very active on Internet regulation, passing controversial rules on net neutrality, broadband privacy, and more. Since these regulations were largely passed on 3-2 party-line votes under a Democrat FCC, most observers expect a GOP-controlled agency to reverse Chairman Wheeler’s agenda. What does this mean for consumers? Will net neutrality be repealed and replaced? Will the FCC’s authority be rolled back? Do we even need an FCC at all? Evan and Berin are joined by Tom Struble, Policy Counsel at TechFreedom.
Fake news has gotten a lot of media attention since the election. After Trump’s surprise victory, many disgruntled Clinton supporters are pointing the finger at Facebook and Twitter for allowing false information to circulate on their platforms. Is this just sour grapes, or should the companies and government be doing more to combat fake news? What are the implications for free speech? In related news, Trump recently criticized Saturday Night Live for political bias. Will the next FCC bring back the “Fairness Doctrine,” long-extinct rules requiring equal time for opposing views on controversial topics? Evan and Berin discuss.
The election of Donald Trump raises many questions on the future of tech policy. While the GOP platform and Trump’s campaign didn’t offer many details on tech, Silicon Valley and the President-elect have clashed on high-profile issues like immigration and trade. Aside from a few outliers, the tech community was banking on a Clinton victory. With the campaign over, is there room for common ground on issues like regulation, net neutrality, and high-tech infrastructure? Will pro-tech Republicans be able to bridge the gap between Trump and the Left Coast? Evan is joined by Michael Petricone, Senior VP for Government Affairs, Consumer Technology Association.
The European Union (EU) and the United States have a lot in common. We share many of the same values, including free speech and the right to privacy. But despite our similarities, America and Europe often take different approaches to regulating technology. Does the EU prize privacy over free speech? Is the US too permissive when it comes to regulating Big Data? Does NSA surveillance pose a threat to the free flow of data across the Atlantic? What can the US learn from the EU, and vice versa? Evan is joined by Dimitar Dimitrov, EU Policy Director for Wikimedia in Brussels, and John Weitzmann, Legal and Policy Advisor for Wikimedia Germany.
Since 1973, supersonic flight over land has been illegal in the US. In those days, supersonic planes were loud, gas-guzzling, and inefficient beasts, propped up by government subsidies. Today, however, new technologies have made supersonic flights quieter, more efficient, and more affordable. Is it time to lift the ban? How should supersonic flight be regulated? What role will NIMBYism play in the debate? Eli Dourado, Research Fellow at the Mercatus Center, joins the show. For more, see his report here.
New York has dealt a major blow to Airbnb, HomeAway and other short-term rental platforms. Recently, Governor Cuomo signed a law banning platforms from advertising whole apartments that rent for fewer than 30 days. The bill’s supporters have claimed that the short-term rental ban is necessary to maintain housing affordability and quality of life. But is that really what’s going on? Is this just another giveaway to the hotel industry and labor unions, which have long held sway in New York politics? Is Airbnb really to blame for high rents in New York? Are there better ways to address legitimate concerns over short-term rentals? Joining Evan is Jared Meyer, research fellow at the Manhattan Institute. For more, see his op-ed in the NY Post.
Under decades of communist rule, Cuba lagged far behind much of the world in technology and digital connectivity. In 2014, less than 30 percent of Cubans had Internet access. Yet in recent years, Cuba has made significant strides — more public Wi-Fi hotspots are being deployed, and the U.S. and Cuban governments are normalizing relations. What does Cuba’s digital future look like? What does this mean for Cuban-Americans and tech entrepreneurs? Evan is joined by Adelina Bryant and Michael Maisel from the Engage Cuba coalition and Lydia Beyoud, senior tech and telecom reporter for Bloomberg BNA. For more, see www.engagecuba.org.