At a glance.

  • Kazahh cyberbullying law receives pushback.
  • New law prevents retired US spies from working in other countries. 
  • FCC requests more funding for “rip and replace” program.

Kazahh cyberbullying law receives pushback.

In Kazakhstan, a new law allows authorities to block social media and messaging websites to prevent cyberbullying. The bill was initiated by lawmakers Aidos Sarym and Dinara Zakiev and endorsed by President Qasym-Zhomart Toqaev in May, despite criticism from internet experts and activists that the legislation would give the government too much control over web content. Diana Okremova, chairwoman of the internet rights group Legal Media Center, told RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty the law is unclear on what constitutes “distribution of dangerous information” and could be abused to silence government dissent. The law also requires foreign platforms to set up offices in Kazakhstan and register for authorization to operate in the country. 

New law prevents retired US spies from working in other countries. 

In the US, President Joe Biden last week signed a law prohibiting former US spies from working for foreign governments for thirty months after retirement. The measure, which was part of a larger spending bill, will “prohibit U.S. intelligence officials with knowledge of spycraft and national security secrets from selling their services to other countries for 30 months after retiring.” The Daily Bill notes that the bill was proposed by Representative Joaquin Castro of Texas after a Reuters investigation found that ex-National Security Agency staffers used their knowledge to help the United Arab Emirates to spy on Americans. “We don’t want our best-trained intel officers going straight into the hands of foreign governments for the sake of money,” Representative Castro explained.

FCC requests more funding for “rip and replace” program.

Reuters reports that the cost of the US’s “rip and replace” reimbursement program continues to climb. Jessica Rosenworcel, chairperson of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), on Friday submitted a letter to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation stating that an additional $3 billion would be needed to finance the removal of equipment made by Chinese telecoms Huawei and ZTE. The request would bring the total cost to more than $4.9 billion. Congress passed a law in 2019 stating that US telecoms carriers that receive federal subsidies would have to eliminate equipment that poses a national security risk. The FCC designated leading equipment manufacturers Huawei and ZTE as threats, and pledged to reimburse US carriers for the removal of their equipment, but many experts felt the initial $1.9 billion Congress designated for the program would not be enough. Rosenworcel’s letter explains that reimbursement allocations are expected to be issued soon, and “Absent an additional appropriation, the Commission will apply the prioritization scheme Congress specified.”