Petition for Supreme Court Review of Social Media Laws, CHIPS Act Implementation, FirstLight Fiber

‘We have every reason to believe the Justices will … agree to hear this case,’ said CCIA President Matt Schruers

Petition for Supreme Court Review of Social Media Laws, CHIPS Act Implementation, FirstLight Fiber
Photo of CCIA President Matt Schruers from the American Prospect

October 25, 2022 – Two organizations are asking the Supreme Court to review a Florida social media law to see if its prohibitions on social media companies deplatforming users for certain political views violates the First Amendment.

“The question presented is: Whether S.B. 7072 in its entirety, and its compelled disclosure provisions in particular, comply with the First Amendment,” said the Monday Supreme Court submission by industry association Computer and Communications Industry Association and big tech lobbyist NetChoice.

The submission follows one by the State of Florida, which petitioned the Supreme Court earlier this month asking the high court for a review of the constitutional issues at the core of the social media law.

“We have every reason to believe the Justices will see the threat the Florida law presents to long standing principles of U.S. democracy and agree to hear this case,” Matt Schruers, president of the CCIA, said in a press release.

“The First Amendment means that governments cannot pick winners and losers in the marketplace of ideas,” Schruers added. “Florida’s law violates a well-established Constitutional principle that the government cannot dictate what content private entities distribute, and particularly not to ensure that a favored viewpoint is heard. As more governments line up to control online speech, it is vital that the Supreme Court hear this case to uphold principles of free expression.”

In May, the 11th circuit court rejected Florida’s social media law, and in June 2021, U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle blocked enforcement of the bill.

Earlier this month, the United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals approved a stay of the implementation of a similar bill, Texas’s social media law H.B. 20, which would have disallowed big tech platforms from moderating content based on political leanings.

Agencies meet to discuss implementation of Chips and Science Act, infrastructure bill

Directors from technology research network Manufacturing USA convened with 12 government agencies at the White House leadership summit on Monday to discuss domestic manufacturing and workforce development and the implementation of the Chips and Science Act, the Infrastructure, Investment and Jobs Act, and the Inflation Reduction Act, according to a readout.

“The Manufacturing USA institutes are an important part of that work,” the readout said. “They help facilitate U.S. leadership in advanced manufacturing and build a strong workforce. The institutes work through public-private partnership and are involved in a range of cutting-edge technologies from robotics to additive manufacturing to biomanufacturing.”

Manufacturing USA focuses on developing domestic manufacturing technologies through public-private partnerships among U.S. industry, universities, and federal government entities.

The institutes are located in thirteen states across the country and each is sponsored by the Department of Commerce, the Department or Defense, or the Department of Energy.

FirstLight to build more than 1,700 miles of fiber in New York state

Fiber-based service provider FirstLight announced Tuesday it is expanding its fiber network beyond the 1,280 miles its built so far in New York state.

FirstLight has built 1,280 miles year-to-date with plans to build an additional 480 miles by the end of the year, according to a press release. FirstLight’s New York-based fiber network extends from Buffalo to Albany and from the Hudson Valley to Plattsburgh.

“Since FirstLight’s inception in 1999, the focus has been to design a robust and reliable fiber-optic network in New York and our mission remains the same,” FirstLight CEO Kurt Van Wagenen said in a press release. As we grow throughout the Northeast and mid-Atlantic, it is important that we continue to expand our capabilities as well as extend our network reach to best serve our long standing customers.”