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Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, Alphabet CEO Larry Page and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg listen as President-elect Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with technology industry leaders December 2016. Photo: Evan Vucci / AP

While tech giants like Facebook, Amazon, Google, Microsoft and Apple have already stepped up their lobbying efforts, some say the companies will have to pay even more attention to policy in the coming years as regulators across the globe increase scrutiny.

Why it matters: Tech companies are more reliant than other industries on worldwide talent and international customers, so rising nationalist and protectionist views around the world could dramatically shrink markets for them. In an environment where data is the new oil and Jeff Bezos is seen (by some) as the next John D. Rockefeller, the pressure in Washington (and Brussels and Beijing) will keep ratcheting up, said Bruce Mehlman, a prominent tech lobbyist.

Even the states are stepping in: "So far states have been more aggressive than than the federal government in regulating the internet," he said.

A few issues tech companies — and internet platforms in particular — are facing:

  • Trade: Flare ups in Asia, Europe and Latin America over limiting how data flows across borders can have big implications for tech's data-based business. "Artificial intelligence depends on massive data sets from around the world to be effective," Mehlman said. "If every country shuts its digital borders, it's harder to aggregate that data."
  • Market Power: Questions around how antitrust rules should apply to these tech companies, transparency of how their algorithms work, and the industry's impact on jobs everywhere will drive this pressure, being led primarily by aggressive action in the EU and Asia.
  • Consumer Protection: How companies protect consumer information and transparency around political ads are is scrutinized after massive breaches at Yahoo, and strict new EU rules (GDPR) coming into play next year, and the congressional probe into Russia's election meddling. And dozens of data breach laws are being passed at the state level.
  • Security: Tension will inevitably flare with the government over encrypted data and general surveillance issues with the use of drones.
  • Liability: Tech companies are in a precarious spot when it comes to policing content on their sites. Once claiming to be neutral brokers of content, the platforms are in the middle of intense debates their role in facilitating hate speech, sex-trafficking ads and fake news.

Go deeper: Here's Mehlman's latest analysis of the politics and policy landscape.

Go deeper

Capitol repairs, security top $30M since Jan. 6 attacks

Photo: Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

The Architect of the Capitol Brett Blanton on Wednesday said that repairs and security expenses related to the Jan. 6 insurrection have already cost more than $30 million.

The state of play: Congressional appropriations committees have allocated the $30 million for repairs and perimeter fencing around the Capitol building through March 31, per NPR.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

White House stands by imperiled Tanden nomination after Senate panel postpones hearing

Neera Tanden. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/The New York Times/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Senate Homeland Security Committee is postponing a confirmation hearing scheduled Wednesday for Neera Tanden, Axios has learned, a potential death knell for President Biden's nominee to lead the Office of Management and Budget.

The latest: Asked Wednesday afternoon whether Tanden has offered to withdraw her nomination, Psaki told reporters, "That’s not the stage we’re in." She noted that it's a "numbers game" and a "matter of getting one Republican" to support the nomination.

Acting Capitol Police chief: Officers were unsure of lethal force rules on Jan. 6

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Acting U.S. Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman wrote in prepared remarks for a House hearing on Thursday that officers in her department were "unsure of when to use lethal force" during the Jan. 6 insurrection.

Why it matters: Capitol Police did deploy lethal force on Jan. 6 — shooting and killing 35-year-old Ashli Babbit — but have faced questions over why officers appeared to be less forceful against pro-Trump rioters than participants in previous demonstrations, including those over Black Lives Matter and now-Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.