Jeanette Manfra, the key official responsible for Department of Homeland Security cybersecurity and communications, talked about cyber threats against the U.S. in 2018. Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen had recently said that the U.S. is "currently in a pandemic stage of cyber attacks and cyber threats." Topics included efforts to foil foreign interference in the 2018 midterm elections, and emergency communications during disasters. ... Manfra was interviewed at the Department of Homeland Security in Arlington, Virginia.
David Redl talked about the Trump administration's spectrum policy. Topics included the status of the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) and emergency communications as well as internet governance. ... Redl's agency, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), advises the president on telecommunications.
Barry Lynn, who heads the Open Markets Institute (OMI), talked about his organization, which studies the size and power of companies that look like monopolies. He said the companies that concern him most are "platform" companies such as Google, Facebook, Amazon, and possibly Uber, and argued that monopolies threaten democracy and the economy. ... Lynn also spoke about some of the ways to prevent companies from becoming dangerous, such as anti-trust laws. ... Lynn formed OMI after he and the Open Markets division of the New America Foundation were forced to leave the organization.
Jonathan Spalter talked about communications issues, including developing 5G, expansion of broadband through the U.S., and USTelecom's view that government needs to help build out into hard-to-reach areas.
Louis Rossetto, co-founder and former editor-in-chief of WIRED Magazine, talked about founding the publication. Topics included the impact Wired as had, the early days of the internet, and his firing from the magazine he founded.
Mark Mills, co-founder of Digital Power Capital, talked about Work in the Age of Robots. In his new book he suggests that despite aritificial intelligence and automation, the job sector is likely to grow and productivity will increase.
Jonathan Adelstein, president of the Wireless Infrastructure Association (WIA), talked about 5G and small-cell technology. WIA builds the cell towers and other technologies needed for the next generation of mobile communications.
Victoria Espinel and and Nuala O'Connor, respectively the presidents and CEOs of BSA-The Software Alliance and the Center for Democracy and Technology, talked about the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDRP). They discussed its effect on the U.S., and how technology companies such as Google and Facebook and others protect data around the world. The privacy rules took effect May 25, 2018.
Syed Kamall, a member of the European Parliament, talked about European Union (EU) technology policy issues. Topics included the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) privacy regulations of concern to some U.S.-based companies, and the impact of the U.K.'s exit from the EU (also known as "Brexit" on technology developments.
GCI General Counsel Tina Pidgeon and Christopher Dietrich, of the Alaska Collaborative for Telemedicine Telehealth talked about about how telecommunications and medical services are provided in a large state such as Alaska.
App Association President Morgan Reed talked about concerns related to privacy, cybersecurity, and the ability of app developers to create apps. The App Association represents some 5,000 app developers. Topics included the new European privacy rules, and a broadening array of efforts in U.S. states to develop privacy laws. ... Reed also discussed a case accepted by the Supreme Court for the 2018-19 term on whether Apple has a monopoly on app sales. July 2018 was the 10th anniversary of Apple's App Store, which has 500 million weekly visitors.
Politico reporters Cory Bennett and Bryan Bender discussed their investigation piece "How China Acquires 'The Crown Jewels' of U.S. Technology" and congressional efforts to tighten controls through the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S.
FCC Commissioner Michael O'Rielly (R) talked about communications issues in 2018, including how the internet will operate now that net neutrality rules have ended, efforts to rethink children's programming rules, and a possible surge in corporate mergers after a federal court allowed a merger between AT&T and Time Warner.
Diana Moss and Joshua Wright talked about the June 12, 2018, federal court ruling allowing AT&T to merge with Time Warner. The two antitrust analysts believe the ruling was narrowly written and would not affect other merger efforts.
Former Federal Communications Commission Chair Tom Wheeler (D) talked about the end of net neutrality, his signature achievement, June 11. Net neutrality refers to Obama administration rules regulating the internet like a public utility and prohibiting internet service providers from blocking or charging websites for higher quality delivery to consumers. The current Republican-led FCC voted to replace net neutrality with Federal Trade Commission regulation.
American Cable Association CEO Matthew Polka and TDS Telecom Senior Vice President Andrew Petersen talked about the future of the cable and internet industries and issues facing small and medium-sized and rural cable and video providers.
FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr (R) talked about changes in regulating the internet slated for summer 2018. He also discussed efforts to move to 5G, for which he is the FCC's point person, and media mergers. 5G was expected to make smartphones show video more quickly and will be needed for the "internet of things," self-driving cars, and use of virtual reality.