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Hillicon Valley – Biden budget boosts antitrust funding

President Biden makes an announcement of new requirements under the Made in America plan at the White House in Washington, D.C., on Friday, March 4, 2022.
Anna Rose Layden

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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. 

Send tips and feedback to The Hill’s tech team, Rebecca Klar (rklar@thehill.com) and Chris Mills Rodrigo (cmillsrodrigo@thehill.com), and cyber reporter Ines Kagubare (ikagubare@thehill.com).

Let’s get to it.

 

A proposed $227M increase for antitrust 

President Biden is proposing funding increases for the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Department of Justice (DOJ)’s antitrust division as part of his $5.8 trillion proposal released Monday. 

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. 

Read more about the proposal.  

 

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. 

Read more here

 

 TUNE-IN TO RISINGnow 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.   

Read more here.

 

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.” 

Read more here.  

 

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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

  • When Nokia Pulled Out of Russia, a Vast Surveillance System Remained (The New York Times / Adam Satariano, Paul Mozur and Aaron Krolik)
  • A Google billionaire’s fingerprints are all over Biden’s science office (Politico / Alex Thompson) 

 

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.  

Read more here.  

 

That’s it for today, thanks for reading. Check out The Hill’s technology and cybersecurity pages for the latest news and coverage. We’ll see you Tuesday.

Tags Elon Musk Gary Peters Joe Biden

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