FCC nominee Gigi Sohn

c-span.org (Fair Use)

Tech newsletter: Yet another FCC confirmation hearing

Here's the latest internet rights and big tech news you need to know.


Andrew Wyrich


Posted on Feb 8, 2022   Updated on Feb 14, 2022, 11:47 am CST

Welcome to the Tuesday edition of Internet Insider, where we dive into the latest internet rights and big tech news unfolding online. 

Sign up to receive this newsletter in your inbox.

Curated by: Andrew Wyrich, deputy tech editor


Dems buckle to Republican pressure, agree to have ‘senseless’ second hearing on Biden FCC nominee

A Senate committee agreed to have a second confirmation hearing for FCC nominee Gigi Sohn, a decision that was immediately criticized by public interest groups. The second hearing is just the latest delay in Sohn’s nomination, as Republicans have obstructed her making it through the committee. Read more about this below. 

Massachusetts lawmakers advance state-level data privacy law

The bill “enshrines core internet privacy rights, protections, and standards” in the state. Massachusetts would join states like California, Colorado, and Virginia that have passed state-level data privacy laws in the absence of one at the federal level.

IRS will ‘transition away’ from facial recognition plan amid widespread criticism

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) said it would “transition away” from its plan to use facial recognition software as it faced immense pushback from lawmakers and privacy experts.


She’s A Crowd wants to collect data to fight gender-based violence—and is leveraging TikTok to do it

She’s A Crowd is leveraging TikTok to build a dataset that will help reduce gender-based violence.

‘There’s no work’: Amazon worker protests ‘time off task’ policy in viral TikTok

Internal criticism of Amazon’s surveillance of workers has increased lately, thanks to TikTok.

When you’re trying for a baby, set yourself up for success with the Kegg fertility tracker

What you need to know about the little conception device that’s making it easier to get pregnant.*

Elon Musk admits he designed Teslas to disobey basic traffic law

Elon Musk is defending Tesla after a software update led to the recall of 53,822 vehicles.

*The Daily Dot may receive a commission in connection with purchases of products or services featured here.


Shutterstock - Maridav

Splurge-worthy wellness tech

For the self-care enthusiast, it’s no secret that wellness gadgets make it easier to boost your health. But there’s wellness tech, and then there’s “shut up and take my money” wellness tech. These are the splurge-worthy wellness gadgets that will take your overall well-being to the next level. 


FCC nominee Gigi Sohn
c-span.org (Fair Use)

FCC nominee Gigi Sohn is forced to go through another confirmation hearing after Dems give in to Republican gripes

FCC nominee Gigi Sohn is scheduled to have a second confirmation hearing tomorrow, after Democrats caved in amid Republicans blustering about her nomination for weeks. 

Sen. Maria Cantwell’s (D-Wash.) decision to have the second hearing before the Senate Commerce Committee was immediately criticized as “senseless” and “nothing more than an opportunity to give these baseless concerns raised by industry an opportunity to hobble the appointment of a consumer champion to the commission.”

If you’ve been reading this newsletter for a while, you’ll know that the nomination of Sohn, who is a long-time public interest advocate  and net neutrality supporter, has been met with obstruction from Republicans pretty much from the jump.

Meanwhile, Sohn has been hailed by experts and public interests groups as “historically one of the most qualified people to be nominated” to the FCC. 

Even telecom industry lobbyists have admitted that they wanted Sohn’s nomination to be held up so the FCC would remain in a 2-2 deadlock, thus blocking any movement on issues like restoring net neutrality rules and the agency’s authority over the broadband industry. 

Their gripes have moved past initial claims that she was “biased” against conservatives (despite several right-wing networks endorsing her) and after that didn’t work, their criticisms morphed into “ethical concerns” about her relationship with Locast, a service that allowed people to watch over-the-air television programing that was subsequently sued and shuttered. Those “concerns” have also faced pushback. 

If you want to read more about that, we dug into it here. You can expect much of tomorrow’s second confirmation hearing to focus on Locast. 

—Andrew Wyrich


Smaller tech companies are now winning fights against Google and Amazon. Go get ’em. 

chess pawns overtaking the opposing king piece
GR.Stocks/Shutterstock graphicINmotion/Shutterstock (Licensed) Remix by Max Fleishman

Now Playing: 🎶 “How Hidden Density Can Help Solve the Housing Crisis” by Pres 🎶

Share this article
*First Published: Feb 8, 2022, 11:46 am CST