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Promoting Safe Technology Use in Our Communities

Technology impacts every aspect of our lives. Access to the internet has huge impacts on the economy, social opportunities, and educational equity. Social media plays a central role in everything from commerce to elections. Artificial Intelligence stands poised to revolutionize our economy, national security, and everyday lives. Technology is inescapable and has huge potential to improve our lives. It also comes with grave risks though, risks that Congress must be vigilant and proactive about addressing. We need leaders in government who can keep up with the rapid advancements of modern technology and are committed to holding big tech companies accountable to the American people. We need leaders with the foresight and vision to effectively regulate emerging disruptive technologies, and ensure the interests of everyday American families are prioritized in their development and implementation. I am running to be such a leader in Congress.

As a member of Congress, I would focus my attention on five key areas of technology policy:

  • Closing the Digital Divide

  • Holding Big Tech Accountable

  • Governing the Development of Artificial Intelligence

  • Bolstering American Cybersecurity

  • Exploring the Potential of Cryptocurrency

Closing The Digital Divide

At the close of 2023 there were 32,000 homes in Maryland that lacked access to broadband internet access. Across the nation, this number is around 42 million. These homes are largely concentrated in low-income, rural, and minority communities. Given how critical a role internet access plays in educational, employment, and social outcomes, this digital divide must be closed.

If elected, I would work to allocate greater federal funding to accelerate the rollout of broadband across Maryland and the United States at large, I would crack down on Internet Service Provider monopolies which stifle economic growth and innovation, especially as the state works to create more high speed tech jobs in Western Maryland, and I would recommend the replication of successful Maryland models in Federal programs across the country. Maryland has made important strides in bridging the digital divide, among these the Task Force on Rural Internet, Broadband, Wireless and Cellular Service Report, the Digital Connectivity Act that requires the Statewide Broadband Office to develop a plan by July 1, 2022, with the goal of ensuring all State residents have the ability to connect to reliable broadband Internet by December 31, 2026, and the Maryland Digital Inclusion Grant program that gives grants to local governments, non-profits, and community based anchor institutions to enable access to high-speed internet and expand digital literacy.

In Congress, I would:

  • COSPONSOR the Broadband Internet Connections for Rural America Act, extending support for Department of Agriculture programs expanding broadband internet access in rural areas

  • COSPONSOR the Connecting Minority Communities Act, establishing the Office of Minority Broadband Initiatives, the Connecting Minority Communities Task Force, and the Connecting Minority Communities Pilot Program to facilitate, foster, and fund broadband internet access service and digital literacy in minority communities

  • INVEST in digital literacy and technological education programs for K-12, community college, and adult audiences to ensure all Americans are well equipped for the digitized economy of the future

Holding Big Tech Accountable

Technology has played an invaluable role in advancing our country, expanding our economy, and connecting our people across geographical, political, and cultural divides. Advancements in technology, however, must continue to be made in service of our community welfare goals as opposed to at the cost of them. To ensure this is the case, Congress must play a much more active role in regulating the industry to hold Big Tech accountable. For this to happen, we need leaders in Congress who can keep up with the rapid advancements occurring in the industry, and ones who will put the interests of the American people over corporate greed when it comes to new, standard-setting regulations.

If elected, I would make it a priority to protect children online, guard against election disinformation, and prevent exploitative data-mining that threatens the privacy and wellbeing of the American people.

Protecting Children Online

  • SUPPORT the Kids Online Safety Act, requiring technology companies to: avoid designing product features that worsen depression or violence, protect youth from adults online, protect from features that cause extended use and addiction, make it easier for young people to delete their data, protect the privacy of young people online, enhance parental controls, allow for easier reporting of harm.

  • SUPPORT the Banning Surveillance Advertising Act, prohibiting advertising networks from using personal data to target advertisements.

  • SUPPORT the Kids PRIVACY Act to build on the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act and improve privacy protections for young people online.

Guarding Against Election Disinformation

  • SUPPORT the Deep Fakes in Federal Elections Prohibition Act, prohibiting the distribution of deepfake content within 60 days of federal elections.

  • HOLD SOCIAL MEDIA COMPANIES ACCOUNTABLE requiring them to improve election preparedness, amidst a continued rise in election disinformation and AI-generated content.

Data privacy

  • COSPONSOR the American Data Privacy and Protection Act (ADPPA), establishing requirements for how companies, including nonprofits and common carriers, handle personal data, which includes information that identifies or is reasonably linkable to an individual

  • COSPONSOR the Ban Surveillance Advertising Act (BSAA), prohibiting targeted advertising with the exception of broad location targeting to a recognized place

Governing the Development of Artificial Intelligence

In the last year, we have seen how rapidly Artificial Intelligence can change our lives, be it in education, business, art, or national security. This technology will have major ramifications for every aspect of our lives today, and as such, the details of its regulation will have an enormous impact on the future. Congress must take action now to ensure that the United States remains at the forefront of this technology’s development and implementation, but just as importantly that we once more take a leadership role in determining how such a disruptive technology gets regulated to protect the interests of Americans and people all around the world.

My three priorities for the regulation of Artificial Intelligence are User Safety, National Security, and Economic Impact. When it comes to User Safety, AI presents major risks in terms of the maintenance of data privacy as AI tools are used to scrape the internet for personal details, as well as real concerns of discrimination in light of troubling algorithmic bias against people of color. AI developers must be required to address these concerns. In terms of national security, AI constitutes an enormous proliferation of knowledge that could be abused by bad actors, as well as new ways that enemy weapons systems can be advanced to endanger American security. The National Institute of Standards and Technology, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Department of Commerce must be directed to develop new safety standards that all AI developments must comply with to ensure that bad actors cannot use AI technology to endanger American interests, and the Department of Defense must invest in mastering this new dimension of warfare to ensure our military maintains its superiority. Finally, in terms of economic impact, we need to invest in the future of AI technology’s integration into our systems. I support increasing federal funding for degree programs at public universities and community colleges focused on machine learning certifications and AI studies to produce a generation of Americans ready to incorporate AI technology across diverse business sectors, finding good paying jobs in the process. On top of this, I would work to ensure the Federal Government begins ideating practical solutions that respond to concerns of worker displacement with the introduction of AI.

Once elected, my first actions to regulate this technology would be to:

  • COSPONSOR the Artificial Intelligence Accountability Act, requiring the National Telecommunications and Information Administration to study and report on accountability measures for artificial intelligence systems.

  • SUPPORT the Algorithmic Accountability Act, requiring companies to assess the impacts of the AI systems they use and sell, create new transparency about when and how such systems are used, and empower consumers to make informed choices when they interact with AI systems

  • SUPPORT international conventions to establish global standards and safeguards for the development of Artificial Intelligence technology that disincentivize safety shortcuts in the pursuit of international competition

Bolstering American Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity is increasingly a top concern for American citizens, businesses, and national security. In an era of increasing connectivity, digital integration, technological advancement, and international competition, the United States must be at the cutting edge of cybersecurity capabilities. Americans must feel confident that whether it is their personal data, their business’ intellectual property, their community’s critical infrastructure, or their nation’s security apparatus, their data and systems are well protected.

As a member of Congress, I would:

  • COSPONSOR the Federal Information Security Modernization Act, improving coordination across the federal government to help civilian federal agencies and contractors protect their networks against cybersecurity threats

  • SUPPORT the Cyber Incident Reporting for Critical Infrastructure Act, requiring entities that own or operate critical infrastructure to report cybersecurity incidents promptly to facilitate containment and responses to cyber attacks

  • COSPONSOR the Small Businesses Cybersecurity Act, authorizing grants through Small Business Development Centers to support the cybersecurity needs of the small businesses

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