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Hillicon Valley: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube execs to testify at Senate hearing on algorithms | Five big players to watch in Big Tech's antitrust fight

Hillicon Valley: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube execs to testify at Senate hearing on algorithms | Five big players to watch in Big Tech's antitrust fight
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Welcome to Hillicon Valley, The Hill's newsletter detailing all you need to know about the tech and cyber news from Capitol Hill to Silicon Valley. If you don’t already, be sure to sign up for our newsletter by clicking HERE. 

Welcome! Follow our cyber reporter, Maggie Miller (@magmill95), and tech team, Chris Mills Rodrigo (@chrisismills) and Rebecca Klar (@rebeccaklar_), for more coverage.

Washington is ramping up efforts to rein in the market power of the largest tech companies in the United States, and some members of Congress and some of President BidenJoe BidenWarren calls for US to support ceasefire between Israel and Hamas UN secretary general 'deeply disturbed' by Israeli strike on high rise that housed media outlets Nation's largest nurses union condemns new CDC guidance on masks MORE's nominees are set to play a big role. Meanwhile, Congress is also examining the impact of social media platforms’ algorithms, and executives from Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are set to testify at a Senate hearing next week. 

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BACK IN THE HOT SEAT: Executives from Facebook, YouTube and Twitter will testify next week at a Senate Judiciary subcommittee hearing on social media algorithms and amplification, the panel announced Friday.

The hearing will feature Monika Bickert, Facebook’s vice president of content policy, Alexandra Veitch, YouTube’s director of government affairs and public policy for the Americas and emerging markets, and Lauren Culbertson, Twitter’s head of U.S. public policy. 

Along with the executives, Tristan Harris, co-founder and president of the Center for Humane Technology, and Joan Donovan, research director at Harvard’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy, will testify at the hearing. 

The Senate subcommittee on Privacy, Technology and the Law will look into the impact of the design of social media platforms. 

Read more here

 

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BIG PLAYERS TAKING ON BIG TECH: Although President Biden has remained fairly quiet on any antitrust action since assuming office, he has nominated and appointed two critics of Big Tech to key enforcement and advisory positions. 

And on Capitol Hill, lawmakers from both sides of the aisle have been pressing the tech CEOs and proposing legislation to revamp antitrust laws. 

Here are five big players to watch going forward:

Lina Khan: Khan, an influential antitrust scholar who was boosted by progressive critics of big tech, is known for her “Amazon’s Antitrust Paradox” paper, which she wrote as a student at Yale.

Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy Klobuchar Klobuchar offers tribute to her father, who died Wednesday The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Cheney poised to be ousted; Biden to host big meeting Senate panel deadlocks in vote on sweeping elections bill MORE (D-Minn.): Klobuchar, a former presidential candidate who had a good relationship with Biden, is a key Democratic lawmaker to watch in the coming battle.

Sen. Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeOvernight Energy: Colonial Pipeline says it has restored full service | Biden urges people not to panic about gasoline shortages | EPA rescinds Trump-era cost-benefit rule Senate panel advances Biden's deputy Interior pick Hillicon Valley: Global cybersecurity leaders say they feel unprepared for attack | Senate Commerce Committee advances Biden's FTC nominee Lina Khan | Senate panel approves bill that would invest billions in tech MORE (R-Utah): Lee, the ranking member of the Senate Judiciary antitrust subcommittee, is also focused on Big Tech, though sometimes from a slightly different perspective than Klobuchar.

Rep. David CicillineDavid CicillineRomney: Capitol riot was 'an insurrection against the Constitution' Democrat moves to censure three Republicans for downplaying Jan. 6 Democrats reintroduce legislation to ban 'ghost guns' MORE (D-R.I.): Cicilline has used his perch at the top of the House Judiciary subcommittee on antitrust to lead and shape Democrats’ approach to Big Tech.

Rep. Ken BuckKenneth (Ken) Robert BuckGOP votes to replace Cheney with Stefanik after backing from Trump Cheney to any Trump-backed challenger: 'Bring it on' Pelosi: GOP in Cheney ouster declared 'courage, patriotism and integrity' not welcome MORE (R-Colo.): Cicilline’s counterpart on the antitrust subcommittee, Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.) is set to play a pivotal role in marshaling Republican support behind any proposal.

Read more about all 5 here

 

CRITICAL PROTECTIONS: Sens. Maggie HassanMargaret (Maggie) HassanDC statehood bill picks up Senate holdout Overnight Health Care: Biden announces 1M have enrolled in special ObamaCare sign-up period | Rand Paul clashes with Fauci over coronavirus origins | Biden vows to get 'more aggressive' on lifestyle benefits of vaccines Biden health official says COVID-19 vaccine booster shots will be free MORE (D-N.H.) and Ben SasseBen SasseRomney: Capitol riot was 'an insurrection against the Constitution' Overnight Energy: 5 takeaways from the Colonial Pipeline attack | Colonial aims to 'substantially' restore pipeline operations by end of week | Three questions about Biden's conservation goals Hillicon Valley: Colonial Pipeline attack underscores US energy's vulnerabilities | Biden leading 'whole-of-government' response to hack | Attorneys general urge Facebook to scrap Instagram for kids MORE (R-Neb.) on Friday introduced legislation intended to protect critical infrastructure from cyberattacks and other national security threats. 

The National Risk Management Act would require the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) to conduct a five-year national risk management cycle. This would involve CISA identifying and compiling the major risks to critical infrastructure in a report sent to the president and Congress, with the president then detailing to Congress how the administration was tackling these threats. 

Hassan emphasized the need to focus on emerging threats such as those from foreign hackers, which have escalated during the past year. 

Sasse, who is a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, stressed in a separate statement the need to protect critical systems due to the changing nature of attacks. 

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Read more about the legislation here.

 

READY FOR TAKEOFF: SpaceX on Friday successfully launched four astronauts en route to the International Space Station.

The Falcon 9 launched at 5:49 a.m. Friday from the NASA Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The crew is expected to reach the International Space Station Saturday at 5:10 a.m.

Flying in the craft were Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur of the U.S., Japanese astronaut Akihiko Hoshide and Thomas Pesquet of France.

Read more about the launch

 

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NOTABLE LINKS FROM AROUND THE WEB: 

Mike Lee’s strange new respect for ‘hipster antitrust’ (National Journal / Brendan Bordelon)

Donald TrumpDonald TrumpSunday shows preview: House GOP removes Cheney from leadership position; CDC issues new guidance for fully vaccinated Americans Navajo Nation president on Arizona's new voting restrictions: An 'assault' on our rights The Memo: Lawmakers on edge after Greene's spat with Ocasio-Cortez MORE Is Gone, But QAnon’s Sex Trafficking Conspiracies Are Here To Stay (BuzzFeed News / Otillia Steadman)

Rep. Khanna on Congress’s $100 billion bet to take on China (Protocol / Issie Lapowsky)