On Friday, December 4, 2020, President Trump signed the bipartisan Internet of Things (“IoT”) Cybersecurity Improvement Act of 2020 into law.  The IoT Cybersecurity Improvement Act empowers the National Institute of Standards and Technology (“NIST”) to create cybersecurity standards for internet-connected devices purchased and used by federal agencies.  For more information on the law, please

On Tuesday, Joseph Simons was sworn in as the new Chairman of the Federal Trade Commission.  The five-member Commission will soon be at full strength, as Simons is set to be joined by four other new FTC Commissioners, each of which were confirmed for seven-year terms by the Senate on April 26: Democrats Rebecca Kelly Slaughter and Rohit Chopra, and Republicans Noah Phillips and Christine Wilson.  Slaughter, Chopra, and Phillips are each expected to be sworn in this week, although Wilson will not take office until the Senate confirms Commissioner Ohlhausen’s nomination as a judge on the U.S. Court of Federal Claims.

The new Commissioners, with the exception of Slaughter, have backgrounds focusing more on competition and antitrust matters, as opposed to privacy and consumer protection.  As such, we will have to wait and see as to their views on privacy issues, and the FTC’s resulting priorities.
Continue Reading Changes Are Underway at the FTC As New Commissioners Are Sworn In

On March 23, 2018, Congress passed, and President Trump signed into law, the Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data (“CLOUD”) Act, which creates a new framework for government access to data held by technology companies worldwide.

The CLOUD Act, enacted as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, has two components.

Part I:  Extraterritorial Reach

Last week, President Trump nominated four new commissioners to the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”):  Joseph J. Simons, an antitrust attorney, as Chairman; Noah Joshua Phillips, chief counsel for Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas), for the second Republican seat; Christine Wilson, an executive for Delta Air Lines, for the third Republican seat; and Rohit Chopra, a senior fellow at the Consumer Federation of America, for a Democratic seat.  By statute, no more than three commissioners may be members of the same political party.  The fifth spot on the Commission would remain vacant pending an additional nomination by the President.

If confirmed by the Senate, these four nominees would establish a Republican majority at the FTC.  Since early last year, the agency has been operating with just one Commissioner from each party – Acting Chairman Maureen Ohlhausen and Democratic Commissioner Terrell McSweeny.  Earlier in the week, President Trump also announced his intent to nominate Acting Chairman Ohlhausen for a seat on the U.S. Court of Federal Claims.  Therefore, these new nominations would completely change the composition of the Commission.


Continue Reading President Trump Nominates Four New Commissioners to FTC