US Broadband in 2021; Policies Promoting Infrastructure, Competition, National Security and Universal Access

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During his presidential campaign, President Biden committed “to build back better in rural America” by “expand[ing] broadband, or wireless broadband via 5G, to every American.” Last month, President Biden renewed his focus on “universal broadband” through the announcement of a bipartisan agreement for a large infrastructure bill that highlights broadband connectivity. Between setting the goal and realizing congressional appropriations to implement his “Build Back Better” initiative, federal (and in some situations, state) regulators have also confronted several important broadband infrastructure issues this year as they balance an understandable desire for competition and choice among broadband networks and service offerings against the practical challenges and economic realities of broadband deployment. What progress has the Biden Administration made so far?

Broadband is more important now than ever. According to a 2021 report by Parks Associates, 41% of US broadband households have been working or attending schools remotely, with the COVID-19 pandemic having driven approximately 7.2% of those households to upgrade their broadband network last year. Terabytes of data are communicated and shared every second through broadband Internet platforms – the most ubiquitous means of communication and connection.

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Faegre Drinker on Law and Technology Podcast: How To Use Data Analytics in Your Investigation

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When responding to a high-pressure cyber incident, a strong data analytics team is invaluable — and can almost allow attorneys to see into the future. In this episode of the Faegre Drinker on Law and Technology Podcast, host Jason G. Weiss sits down with Jay Brudz, partner at Faegre Drinker and Tritura managing executive director, and Kenny Darrell, Tritura senior data scientist, to discuss the use of data analytics in investigations.

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New Tools for International Data Transfers: European Commission Adopts New Standard Contractual Clauses

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The European Commission recently adopted a new set of Standard Contractual Clauses (SCCs) for organizations to use in compliance with the EU General Data Protection Regulation requirements for transfers of personal data from the European Economic Area. The previous SCCs were outdated and did not cover many common data processing scenarios. Organizations will have an 18-month transition period to adopt the new SCCs, but many parties will need this time to re-examine their dataflows and review their internal compliance procedures to meet the exacting new standards.

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Second Circuit Addresses Critical Issue in Data Breach Class Actions: Article III Standing Based on Allegations of Future Misuse of Personal Data

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On April 26, 2021, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals decided the case of McMorris v. Carlos Lopez & Assocs., No. 19-4310, 2021 WL 1603808 (2d Cir. Apr. 26, 2021) and addressed one of the most critical issues in private data breach class actions – whether victims of a data breach can establish Article III standing by alleging they are at an increased risk of identity theft or fraud, even if their personal data has not yet been misused.

Although the district court’s ruling that plaintiffs did not establish standing was upheld, the Second Circuit found that victims of a data breach can establish standing based on a risk of future identity theft or fraud. The court also put forward a three-factor test to determine if standing exists when misuse of plaintiffs’ data has not yet occurred.

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The U.S. in the AI Era: the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence Releases Report Detailing Policy Recommendations

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On March 1, 2021, the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence (NSCAI) released its 700-page Final Report (the “Report”), which presents NSCAI’s recommendations for “winning the AI era” (The Report can be accessed here). This Report issues an urgent warning to President Biden and Congress: if the United States fails to significantly accelerate its understanding and use of AI technology, it will face unprecedented threats to its national security and economic stability. Specifically, the Report cautions that the United States “is not organizing or investing to win the technology competition against a committed competitor, nor is it prepared to defend against AI-enabled threats and rapidly adopt AI applications for national security purposes.”

In the Final Report, NSCAI makes a number of detailed policy recommendations “to advance the development of AI, machine learning, and associated technologies to comprehensively address the national security and defense needs of the United States.” The Report, its findings and recommendations all signal deep concern that the U.S. has underinvested in AI and must play catch-up in order to safeguard its future.

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Faegre Drinker on Law and Technology Podcast: Tritura, QuarterJack and Artificial Intelligence

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In the inaugural episode of the Faegre Drinker on Law and Technology Podcast, Faegre Drinker Counsel Jason G. Weiss and Chief Data Scientist Bennett Borden discuss how data analytics can be an asset in various legal issues. In particular, they explain how Faegre Drinker’s data science subsidiary Tritura — and its new artificial intelligence engine, QuarterJack — can unlock efficiencies in legal services.

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