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House Judiciary Committee members wrapped up a marathon markup Thursday afternoon, advancing six antitrust bills that target the largest tech companies in the country. The two-day affair highlighted divisions in each party, with some California lawmakers on both sides of the aisle opposing the bills and previewing future hurdles for the legislation going forward.
Off Capitol Hill, Google announced Thursday that it would delay the removal of third-party cookies — which track user activity — from its web browser until 2023 and a federal appeals court ruled that an aerial surveillance program used by the Baltimore Police Department was unconstitutional.
NOW GO GET SOME SLEEP: The House Judiciary Committee advanced six antitrust bills targeting the biggest tech companies in the country during a markup that stretched into the early hours Thursday morning.
Although the bills had bipartisan support, they also drew criticism from Democrats and Republicans, highlighting the uphill battle they’ll face as they head to a full floor vote.
Before adjourning Thursday morning, the committee voted to advance one of the most controversial measures, which aims to prohibit dominant platforms from self-preferring their own products and services.
The committee also voted to advance a bill that would prohibit tech giants from acquiring competitors.
California ties: Democratic lawmakers from California on the House Judiciary Committee, particularly those representing tech-heavy Bay Area districts, voted against the majority of their colleagues over the past two days on five of antitrust bills.
The stiff opposition from the California delegation may cause further hurdles as the legislation heads to the House floor, with moderate and progressive Democrats, as well as prominent Republicans, voicing concern over the bills.
Democratic Reps. Zoe LofgrenZoe Ellen LofgrenBiden to raise refugee cap to 125,000 in October Republicans keep distance from 'Justice for J6' rally Spotlight turns to GOP's McCarthy in Jan. 6 probe MORE, Eric SwalwellEric Michael SwalwellOvernight Defense & National Security — Milley becomes lightning rod The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by National Industries for the Blind - Schumer: Dem unity will happen eventually; Newsom prevails How lawmakers aided the Afghan evacuation MORE and Lou CorreaJose (Lou) Luis CorreaThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Alibaba - Government shutdown fears increase as leaders dig in Drug companies on verge of sinking longtime Democratic priority Failed drug vote points to bigger challenges for Democrats MORE — all from California — voted against advancing nearly every bill the committee marked up Wednesday and Thursday.
After the marathon two-day markup, they issued a joint statement with California Republican Reps. Tom McClintockThomas (Tom) Milller McClintockVaccine mandate backlash sparks concerns of other health crises The right fire to fight fire — why limiting prescribed burning is short-sighted Hillicon Valley: House advances six bills targeting Big Tech after overnight slugfest | Google to delay cookie phase out until 2023 | Appeals court rules against Baltimore Police Department aerial surveillance program MORE and Darrell IssaDarrell Edward IssaHow lawmakers aided the Afghan evacuation Dozens of Sacramento students remain in Afghanistan after US pullout, district says Seven San Diego-area families evacuated from Afghanistan after summer trip abroad MORE criticizing the legislation that stemmed from a lengthy investigation by a House Judiciary subcommittee.
DELAYED: Google announced Thursday that it will delay the removal of third-party cookies from its Chrome web browser after resistance from regulators and the advertising industry.
Google will now phase out the user tracking technology over a three-month period in mid-2023, the company said in a blog post, nearly two years later than its initial timeline.
THAT’S A NO: A federal appeals court on Thursday said that a previous aerial surveillance program operated by the Baltimore Police Department was unconstitutional, ordering city law enforcement to stop using data collected from the since-ended program.
Writing for the majority, the chief judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, Roger Gregory, said that the use of data collected from the Aerial Investigation Research (AIR) program launched in early May 2020 amounted to a “warrantless operation” and search in violation of the Fourth Amendment.
The case erupted from a lawsuit initially filed in Maryland District Court last April by the ACLU on behalf of Leaders of A Beautiful Struggle, a grassroots think tank in Baltimore advancing the interests of Black community members.
CYBER MAKES THE CUT: The bipartisan infrastructure deal the White House signed off on Thursday includes investments in key climate provisions President BidenJoe BidenUkraine's president compares UN to 'a retired superhero' Biden touts 'progress' during 'candid' meetings on .5T plan Biden to tap law professor who wants to 'end banking as we know it' as OCC chief: reports MORE has pushed for, but scales down investment in them.
The deal includes funding for electric vehicles (EV), the power grid and resilience, but it appears to put less money toward the programs than the president’s American Jobs Plan called for.
The plan also works to protect critical infrastructure from both cyber and physical threats, an issue that experts pushed to be included following increased cybersecurity threats, including ransomware attacks.
BE AWARE: A group of bipartisan House lawmakers on Thursday introduced legislation to step up cybersecurity literacy and increase awareness among the American public amid a spike in cyber threats against critical infrastructure.
The American Cybersecurity Literacy Act would require the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to establish a cyber literacy campaign to help promote understanding of how to stay safe online and prevent successful cyberattacks.
The legislation is led by Rep. Adam KinzingerAdam Daniel KinzingerDemocratic leaders racing toward Monday infrastructure vote House GOP to whip against bipartisan infrastructure bill WHIP LIST: How House Democrats say they'll vote on infrastructure bill MORE (R-Ill.) and co-sponsored by Reps. Anna EshooAnna Georges EshooTime for Congress to make a down payment to prevent future pandemic tragedies Hillicon Valley: US has made progress on cyber but more needed, report says | Democrat urges changes for 'problematic' crypto language in infrastructure bill | Facebook may be forced to unwind Giphy acquisition Eshoo urges Pelosi to amend infrastructure bill's 'problematic' crypto regulation language MORE (D-Calif.), Gus Bilirakis (R-Fla.), Marc VeaseyMarc Allison VeaseyOvernight Energy & Environment — Presented by Climate Power — Manchin: key energy provision of spending package 'makes no sense' Six moderate Democrats raise concerns about spending bill's energy measures House panel approves B boost for defense budget MORE (D-Texas) and Chrissy Houlahan (D-Pa.).
The bill comes in the wake of several major debilitating cyberattacks aimed at the U.S. in recent months.
On tap next week:
-A House Armed Service Committee subcommittee is holding a hearing June 29 on the Department of Defense’s information technology and cybersecurity outlook over the upcoming year.
-The House Energy and Commerce Committee will hold a hearing June 30 on securing wireless networks and supply chains, during which lawmakers will consider multiple pieces of legislation
An op-ed to chew on: Now comes the hard part: correctly implementing science funding
Lighter click: No 420 clues in sight
NOTABLE LINKS FROM AROUND THE WEB:
Lord of the Roths: How Tech Mogul Peter Thiel Turned a Retirement Account for the Middle Class Into a $5 Billion Tax-Free Piggy Bank (ProPublica / Justin Elliott, Patricia Callahan and James Bandler)
App Taps Unwitting Users Abroad to Gather Open-Source Intelligence (Wall Street Journal / Byron Tau)
After pandemic free-for-all, parents struggle to reinstate screen time rules (The Washington Post / Heather Kelly)