Hillicon Valley – Biden takes on ‘ghost weapons’

© Hill Illustration, Madeline Monroe/iStock

President Biden today introduced a new ban on unlicensed firearms as part of his ongoing efforts to quell the spread of untraceable firearms.

Meanwhile, small businesses are urging Congress to tackle the monopoly power of America’s biggest tech companies.

This is Hillicon Valley, detailing everything you need to know about tech and cyber news, from Capitol Hill to Silicon Valley. Tip Rebecca Klar of The Hill, Chris Mills Rodrigo and Ines Kagubare. Did someone forward this newsletter to you? Subscribe here.

Biden cracks down on untraceable weapons

President Biden on Monday announced a ban on unlicensed kits to make so-called ghost guns at home as part of his efforts to quell the proliferation of untraceable firearms.

The new rule includes a ban on “buy construction shoot” kits that people can buy online or in a store without a background check. The kit can assemble a working firearm in as little as 30 minutes, according to senior administration officials.

The new rule clarifies that these kits are considered “firearms” under gun control law and therefore commercial manufacturers of these must be licensed, include a serial number and perform a background check before a sale.

Biden touted these new actions to tackle gun crime on Monday, alongside Vice President Harris and Assistant Attorney General Lisa Monaco.

Gun violence survivors and families of victims joined the event at the Rose Garden.

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Small businesses speak up

Fifteen organizations representing small business interests sent a letter to congressional leaders on Monday calling for the introduction of a series of antitrust bills.

The bills, approved by the House Judiciary Committee last year on a bipartisan basis, are crucial to tackling the monopoly power of America’s biggest tech companies, say groups led by the progressive nonprofit Institute for Local Self-Reliance.

“Concentrated market power is the greatest threat facing independent businesses, and the status quo in our digital markets is untenable,” the letter states.

“The bipartisan package of bills is proof that there is momentum on both sides of the aisle and represents an unprecedented opportunity to level the playing field for our independent small businesses,” the groups continue, which include several regional organizations representing businesses in Cambridge, Mass. , Spokane, Washington, and Austin, Texas.

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Google has announced that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has cleared its product, Fitbit, to use a new feature that will identify atrial fibrillation (AFib).

In a statement on Monday, Google said Fitbit’s new AFib PPG algorithm feature will assess a user’s heart rate while they sleep, adding that the new feature will alert users if they have AFib. This will give them time to let their health care provider know, Google said.

Atrial fibrillation is a form of irregular heartbeat that can be difficult to detect at first because there are no signs or symptoms. About 33.5 million people suffer from this heart disease and are five times more likely to suffer a stroke.

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YouTube has blocked a Russian parliamentary channel “for violating YouTube’s terms of service” amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Reuters reported.

The video platform terminated the channel of the lower house of the Russian parliament.

“If we find that an account violates our Terms of Service, we take appropriate action. Our teams are closely monitoring the situation for any updates and changes,” Google, YouTube’s parent company, told Reuters in a statement. an email, noting that she had pledged to uphold trade compliance law and sanction compliance.

But the move sparked outrage from Russian figures and Russian internet regulator Roskomnadzor.

Read more.


A chewable editorial: Bucha, Biden and the Washington Information Bubble

Lighter click: Ideal use of the Internet

Notable Web Links:

  • Nothing concerns the public more about the metaverse than the misuse of their personal data (Morning Consult / Chris Teale)
  • Inside the Bitcoin bust that took down the web’s biggest child abuse site (Wired/Andy Greenberg)
  • Google has quietly pledged to implement Silenced No More protections for all employees (Protocol/Issie Lapowsky)

One more thing: Scratch that

Elon Musk will not join Twitter’s board as planned, according to the company’s CEO.

Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal announced on Sunday that Musk has decided not to join the board.

“The board and I have had many discussions about bringing Elon to the board, and with Elon directly,” Agrawal said in a note sent to employees that he posted on Twitter, confirming that Musk had been offered a seat subject to a background check and formal acceptance.

“Elon’s appointment to the board was scheduled to take effect on 4/9, but Elon shared that morning that he will no longer be joining the board. I think it’s for the best,” he added without providing further reasons for his decision.

That’s all for today, thanks for reading. Check out The Hill’s Technology and Cybersecurity pages for the latest news and coverage. Well see you tomorrow.