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How senators plan on regulating AI: Law Decoded, Sept. 4–11

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Last week, two United States senators unveiled a bipartisan blueprint for artificial intelligence (AI) legislation. The framework put forward by Senators Richard Blumenthal and Josh Hawley advocates for mandatory licensing for AI firms and makes it clear that technology liability protections will not shield these companies from legal action.

The framework proposes creating a licensing system overseen by an independent regulatory body. It mandates that AI model developers register with this oversight entity, which would possess the authority to conduct audits of these licensing applicants. It also suggests that Congress should make it explicit that Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which provides legal protections to tech firms for third-party content, does not extend to AI applications.

Blumenthal and Hawley, who lead the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology and Law, have also revealed plans for a hearing. This hearing will include testimony from prominent figures, such as Brad Smith, vice chairman and president of Microsoft; William Dally, chief scientist and senior vice president of research at Nvidia; and Woodrow Hartzog, professor at Boston University School of Law.

A previous attempt to start the regulatory dialogue on AI was made by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, who also introduced an AI framework in June. His framework outlined an extensive range of fundamental principles, as opposed to the more detailed measures proposed by Hawley and Blumenthal.

Australian lawmakers reject crypto bill

Australia’s Senate Committee on Economics Legislation has provided feedback on the cryptocurrency bill introduced by Senator Andrew Bragg. It recommended that the Senate not pass the bill and that the government continue to research the topic instead. Senator Bragg introduced the Digital Assets (Market Regulation) Bill 2023 in March, aiming to “protect consumers and promote investors.” The draft bill provides regulatory recommendations for stablecoins, licensing of exchanges, and custody requirements.

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China shut down 80 crypto influencers’ accounts

Sina Weibo, one of the most popular Chinese social media apps with over 258 million daily active users, has removed 80 influencer accounts promoting cryptocurrency activities. The accounts with over 8 million total followers were accused of breaching eight regulations related to telecommunications, finance, banking, online marketing, securities, exchanges and internet safety for their role in promoting cryptocurrencies. Starting this year, China has been cracking down on private crypto-related activities due to a combination of capital flight, money laundering and the need to preserve its state-run crypto efforts.

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Taiwan will restrict unregistered foreign crypto exchanges

Taiwan is reportedly planning to put restrictions on unregistered overseas crypto exchanges operating within its jurisdiction as part of its incoming guidance for virtual asset service providers (VASPs). The draft guidelines include enhancing information disclosure and require operators to set standards for reviewing listings and delistings. In addition, they also require separate custody of customer and platform assets and specify that VASPs should implement ways to prevent money laundering.

Among the 10 principles set by the FSC is a rule prohibiting foreign VASPs from illegally soliciting business in Taiwan. The FSC proposed that overseas crypto platforms that do not have a company registration in Taiwan and do not comply with its Anti-Money Laundering laws should not solicit business in Taiwan or from its citizens.

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