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Experts Cite Need for Tighter Federal Cyberspace Regulations

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Academic and public sector experts are calling for expanded authorities and stricter regulations from federal agencies on public use of cyberspace and social media, Nextgov reported Wednesday.

Tristan Harris, executive director of the Center for Humane Technology, said at a House hearing that existing agencies who “already have purview” need to expand their jurisdiction on technological platforms and the digital environment. He cited agencies like the Department of Health and Human Services, Federal Trade Commission and Federal Communications Commission as entities that can use such authorities for audits and other relevant actions.

Harvard University’s Joan Donovan and the University of Nebraska’s Justin Hurwitz told the House Energy and Commerce Consumer Protection Subcommittee that the FTC can leverage its authorities to combat disinformation and fraudulent activities in the virtual space.

“If we already have an agency that has power, let’s see what it’s capable of,” Hurwitz said.

According to Monika Bickert, vice president of global policy management at Facebook, the social media platform has taken steps to combat “deepfakes” or media manipulated by artificial intelligence and take down fake accounts.