At a glance.

  • Industry coalition urges Indian lawmakers to rethink social media appeals panel.
  • American Data Privacy and Protection Act advances in committee.
  • USICA bill provides funding to support US chip manufacturers.

Industry coalition urges Indian lawmakers to rethink social media appeals panel.

Last month Indian lawmakers proposed amendments to the country’s IT rules that would establish an appeals panel with the power to reverse the decisions of social media content moderators. As India is the world’s second-largest internet market, industry leaders are worried that such a body, without adequate limitations, would take on a quasi-judicial role in restricting social media content. TechCrunch reports that the Asia Internet Coalition, which represents tech giants Apple, Meta, Google, Amazon, Twitter, and Spotify, says that lawmakers’ current plan lacks clarity on the appeals panel’s powers, and that “the proposed amendments do not contain adequate restrictions to prevent the GAC from acting as a judicial or quasi-judicial body with wide-ranging authority.” Lobby groups the US-India Business Council and US-India Strategic Partnership Forum have expressed similar concerns. The Coalition instead recommends the implementation of a self-regulatory grievance redressal mechanism, and they’ve also asked the Indian Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology to maintain the complaint response window of fifteen days, instead of decreasing it to seventy-two hours as proposed. 

American Data Privacy and Protection Act advances in committee.

Yesterday the US House Energy and Commerce Committee advanced the American Data Privacy and Protection Act (ADPPA), a comprehensive data privacy bill focused around setting a national standard for how tech companies handle Americans’ data. The Hill explains that the 53-2 decision comes after years of struggling to reach a bipartisan agreement, but even with the passage of the ADDPA, not all lawmakers are on board. California Representatives Anna Eshoo and Nanette Diaz Barragán cast the two votes against advancing the bill, and several lawmakers from California are worried the federal bill could meddle with the state’s data privacy law. Eshoo stated, “I recognize that this law would be an improvement for much of the country, but I can’t say the same for my constituents and all Californians.” As an alternative, Eshoo suggested an amendment that would set the federal standard as a minimum, allowing states to put forth additional regulations for their residents, but the idea did not receive sufficient support to be included. 

USICA bill provides funding to support US chip manufacturers.

US lawmakers burned the midnight oil on Tuesday night to negotiate a bipartisan bill subsidizing domestic semiconductor production. Passed with a 64-34 vote, the legislation, dubbed USICA, would provide approximately $52 billion in subsidies to promote chip manufacturing in the US, a critical national security need, and sets the stage for a larger package that would provide additional funding for scientific research. 

Seeing the vote as an indicator of Republican support for further funding, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer stated, “This will be a test vote, and the outcome will decide whether the science portion of USICA is included.” The Wall Street Journal explains that the “science portion” would cover research on using technology in water systems, technology and behavioral health, precision agriculture and other sectors, as well as provide funding to improve technology education. There was urgency to pass the bill, as early disagreement among lawmakers had semiconductor manufacturers threatening to cancel proposed US chip-making sites.