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The US Week Ahead: Top social media executives to testify on foreign influence

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The US Week Ahead: Top social media executives to testify on foreign influence

Congress has a busy week ahead, as the House of Representatives returns from a five-week recess. Social media executives will testify on foreign influence, while Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the United States Supreme Court will be considered by the Senate.

Senate:

On Sept. 5, Twitter Inc. CEO Jack Dorsey, Facebook Inc. COO Sheryl Sandberg and a representative from Alphabet Inc.'s Google LLC are expected to testify in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee about foreign entities using social media platforms to influence American interests.

Alphabet CEO Larry Page was invited to testify, but it is unclear as of Sept. 4 if he will be present at the hearing.

Social media companies are seeing increased scrutiny from regulators and legislators on a range of topics, including data privacy and alleged bias in content-filtering practices. Recently, one of President Donald Trump’s top economic advisers, Larry Kudlow, said the administration is "taking a look" at regulating Google specifically due to perceived bias in the company’s news-filtration practices.

On Sept. 4, meanwhile, the Senate Judiciary Committee will begin considering Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court. Kavanaugh, who has served on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit since 2006, has previously described net neutrality rules as "unlawful." Kavanaugh has said that Congress has not given the U.S. Federal Communications Commission authority to impose net neutrality rules and that the FCC's previous net neutrality rules violated the "editorial discretion" rights of internet service providers.

House of Representatives:

Twitter's Dorsey will follow up his morning hearing with the Senate Intelligence Committee with an afternoon hearing in the House of Representatives on Sept. 5, where he will testify about "transparency and accountability" at the tech giant.

Republican Rep. Greg Walden of Oregon, the chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said in an Aug. 24 statement that the committee intends to ask "tough questions" about how Twitter monitors and polices content.

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Congress:
Sept. 4 The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing titled "Nomination of the Honorable Brett M. Kavanaugh to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States."
Sept. 5 The Senate Intelligence Committee will hold a hearing titled "Foreign Influence Operations and Their Use of Social Media Platforms."
Sept. 5 The House Energy and Commerce Committee will hold a hearing titled "Twitter: Transparency and Accountability."
Sept. 5 The Senate Commerce Committee will host an executive session to consider a range of nominees and bills on transportation, technology and science topics.
Industry events:
Sept. 5 The NG9-1-1 Institute, a not-for-profit organization that works to advance the deployment of 911 services, will host a "lunch and learn" with Democratic FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel in Washington, D.C., titled "911, Where's Your Emergency?"
Sept. 6 The National Public Safety Telecommunications Council will hold a teleconference titled "Governing Board Meeting."

Stories of note:

Twitter CEO to testify before House panel; tech giants discuss election security

Twitter rejects 'shadow banning' claim following Trump threat

California's net neutrality bill advances to state senate

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