Hillicon Valley – Biden budget boosts antitrust funding
Today is Monday. Welcome to Hillicon Valley, detailing all you need to know about tech and cyber news from Capitol Hill to Silicon Valley. Subscribe here.
Federal antitrust enforcement agencies would get a combined $227 million boost under President Biden’s budget proposal. The boost comes as the agencies take on cases against the top tech companies.
Let’s get to it.
A proposed $227M increase for antitrust
Biden’s 2023 budget would increase the DOJ’s antitrust division funding by $88 million and the FTC’s by $139 million.
The White House called it a “historic” increase in a fact sheet, saying it “reflects the Administration’s commitment to vigorous marketplace competition through robust enforcement of antitrust law.”
The requests to increase the funding come as the DOJ and FTC push forward with antitrust cases against tech giants, including Google and Facebook parent company Meta.
What is cyberwarfare?
Recent White House warnings urging the private sector to shore up its cyber defenses have experts questioning why U.S. officials haven’t already defined what constitutes cyberwarfare.
Although the experts praised the warnings, they said that the Biden administration should also prioritize defining what the thresholds are for retaliating against a major cyberattack.
“We have to set up rules of engagement that are absolute, saying any cyberattack that is associated with a [hacking group] loosely tied with the Russian government or the Chinese government will immediately trigger the following actions,” said Emil Sayegh, president and CEO of data security firm Ntirety.
The experts were weighing in on recent warnings issued by the White House urging critical sectors to prepare for possible Russian cyberattacks following new U.S. intelligence suggesting that the Kremlin is exploring “options for potential cyberattacks” against critical infrastructure.
TUNE-IN TO RISING, now available as a podcast. It’s politics — without the screaming.
MUSK MULLING TWITTER RIVAL
Tesla Inc. CEO Elon Musk in a response to another user on Twitter said he is giving “serious thought” to starting a rival social media to Twitter.
Asked whether he’d consider building a platform with an “open source algorithm” where “free speech and adhering to free speech is given top priority” and “where propaganda is very minimal,” Musk tweeted that he is giving it “serious thought.”
Musk’s remarks come as the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) urged a federal judge last week to not let Musk and his company leave an agreement that requires his Twitter account to remain monitored.
BIDEN NAMES ACTING FAA CHIEF
The Biden administration on Saturday named a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) safety official as the new acting chief of the agency.
Billy Nolen, the FAA’s associate administrator for aviation safety, will officially replace its administrator Steve Dickson until a more permanent replacement is tapped for the role, according to a release from the agency.
The FAA added that the agency’s deputy administrator, Bradley Mims, “will also take on an expanded role during this interim period.”
VIRTUAL EVENT ANNOUNCEMENT
Driving Tomorrow: EVs & AVs—Tuesday, March 29 at 1:00 PM ET
Climate change, rapid advances in technology and the drive for innovation are leading to a big shift in the world of automobiles. As batteries, chips and electric charging stations become more vital, how can we design an infrastructure framework with sustainability in mind? How do we make electric vehicles affordable and accessible to all drivers? And can autonomous vehicles pave the way to safer roads? Sen. Gary Peters (D-Mich.), Rep. Bob Latta (R-Ohio), EVgo CEO Cathy Zoi, Lion Electric’s Marc Bedard and more join The Hill to discuss. RSVP today.
BITS & PIECES
An op-ed to chew on: Eliminate television coverage from Supreme Court confirmation hearings
Lighter click: building the suspense
Notable links from around the web:
One last thing: A security funding boost
President Biden is officially proposing $813.3 billion in defense and national security spending as part of his budget request for fiscal 2023.
The request, which was first reported late last week, comes as the U.S. looks to counter a long list of international threats, including China and Russia.
It also comes amid a push to modernize the military, including optimizing the country’s naval fleet, supporting Army modernization initiatives and investing in the development of hypersonic long-range strike capabilities to bolster deterrence.
The Hill has removed its comment section, as there are many other forums for readers to participate in the conversation. We invite you to join the discussion on Facebook and Twitter.