In mid-May, a Colorado Senator proposed that the federal government create a new agency with authority to oversee social media, artificial intelligence, and other thorny online issues. Citing disinformation campaigns, kids' issues, and other recurrent matters with online Big Tech, the senator proposed new regulations and a new body dedicated to formulating and enforcing such rules.
Why It Matters
There is virtually no chance, in my somewhat cynical view, that this proposal will get off the ground -- after all, Congress has tried and failed for more than a decade to pass a national privacy law, something that is relatively far less complex and far less politicized, but has still proved too difficult to pass. The mere proposal, however, is an interesting one, and a signal that some in DC feel outmatched by the rapid pace and scale of changes in the tech and online industry.
The EU has passed or proposed several rules in the last year that go well beyond privacy to try to address other issues (AI, access to markets) with online tech. The US may be feeling some pressure to try to catch up, in that regard.