• By The Financial District

SC Ruling Could Dampen Gov't Bid To Rein In Big Tech

The Supreme Court's latest climate change decision may hamper federal agencies' efforts to rein in the tech industry, which has gone mostly uncontrolled for decades as the government tries to catch up to the changes brought about by the internet, Matt O’Brien reported for the Associated Press (AP).

Photo Insert: Many agencies, including the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), have clear power and should be able to survive cases inspired by the EPA decision.

The court concluded Thursday, June 30, 2022, in a 6-3 judgment that was specifically confined to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), that the EPA does not have wide authority to reduce power plant emissions that contribute to global warming.

The precedent is largely believed to invite challenges to other government rules. “Every agency is going to face new hurdles in the wake of this confusing decision,” said Alexandra Givens, president and CEO of the Center for Democracy and Technology, a Washington-based digital rights organization.

“But hopefully the agencies will continue doing their jobs and push forward.”

Under a leadership team chosen by President Joe Biden last year, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has pursued an ambitious agenda in consumer protection, data privacy, and tech industry competitiveness.

Biden's nominees for the five-member Federal Communications Commission (FCC) have also been pushing for tougher "net neutrality" safeguards that prohibit internet service providers from limiting or denying access to websites and services that do not pay for premium service.

Neil Chilson, a former FTC top technologist under President Donald Trump's administration, believes the ruling will give lawyers at the FTC and other federal agencies pause about how far they may go in drafting new laws impacting businesses.

All the news: Business man in suit and tie smiling and reading a newspaper near the financial district.

Givens, on the other hand, argued that many agencies, including the FTC, have clear power and should be able to survive cases inspired by the EPA decision. She emphasized that Chief Justice John Roberts, who wrote the ruling, repeatedly referred to the case as "extraordinary."

Givens is one of the tech advocates urging Congress to pass legislation protecting digital privacy and other technology issues as soon as possible.

Government & politics: Politicians, government officials and delegates standing in front of their country flags in a political event in the financial district.

However, she stated that regulations normally remain on the books for decades and that it is impractical to expect Congress to weigh in on every new technological advance that calls an agency's mandate into question, as Marcy Gordon, Frank Bajak, and Tom Krisher also reported for AP.

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