Photo of Allan Topol

Allan Topol

Allan Topol is a resident in the firm’s Washington office.  While practicing law with Covington, he has written ten novels of international intrigue and numerous articles dealing with foreign policy issues in The Huffington Post, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Military.com.

Mr. Topol’s law practice has involved extensive civil and criminal litigation, with an emphasis on water, air and major hazardous waste enforcement cases, as well as international environmental law and toxic torts.  He has also advised clients on many of these environmental issues assisting them in dealing with immediate problems as well as developing long term strategies.

On Tuesday, February 14, 2023, the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing titled “Protecting Our Children Online.”  The witnesses included only consumer advocates, and no industry representatives.  As Committee Chair, however, Senator Durbin (D-IL) indicated that he plans to hold another hearing featuring representatives from technology companies.

The key takeaway was that there continues to be strong bipartisan support for passing legislation that addresses privacy and online safety for minors.  Both Senator Durbin and Senator Graham (R-SC), the Committee’s Ranking Member, were in agreement that the Committee will mark up relevant legislation, which could happen within the next six months—making the next couple months particularly important for negotiations.  Notably, all of the previously introduced legislation that was discussed had passed at least its respective Senate Committee last Congress.

Senators focused on four bills that could be included as part of a legislative package:

  1. Kids Online Safety Act (KOSA) (to be reintroduced).  KOSA would apply to “covered platforms,” which the previous bill defined as a “commercial software application or electronic service that connects to the internet and that is used, or is reasonably likely to be used, by a minor.”  Among other things, KOSA would impose a duty of care on covered platforms that would require them to “prevent and mitigate the heightened risks of physical, emotional, developmental, or material harms to minors posed by materials” on the platform.

Continue Reading Senate Judiciary Committee Holds Hearing on Children’s Online Safety

Sebastian Vos, a Partner and co-chair of the firm’s global Public Policy and Government Affairs Practice, appeared on CNBC this morning (CET) to discuss Brexit and its implications.  He outlined the likely timeline for the next two years and key players in the negotiations.

Mr. Vos discussed the likely pressures, positioning and messaging around the

There is considerable turmoil in several Latin American countries including Brazil, Argentina and Venezuela. To gain some insight into what lies ahead in our southern hemisphere and the likely impact on business in the area, Global Policy Watch (GPW) spoke with Dr. Arturo Valenzuela, former Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs and Georgetown

The governing structure of the European Union is undoubtedly the most complex in the history of the world. In his new book, Leadership in the European Union, Jean De Ruyt has done an outstanding job of explaining the evolution of the EU institutions from 1963 to the present, as well as what they now

The legislative debate over patent legislation began again yesterday with the reintroduction of the Innovation Act by Chairman Goodlatte.  In a piece that appeared in The Hill on February 5, Covington’s Aaron Cooper, formerly Chief Intellectual Property and Antitrust Counsel for Senator Leahy on the Senate Judiciary Committee, encourages “industry participants [to] work together,

As the new year begins, numerous Latin American issues have moved to the center stage, including Venezuela, Argentina, Mexico, and Cuba.  To gain some insights into what lies ahead for our southern neighbors, Global Policy Watch (GPW) spoke with Dr. Arturo Valenzuela, former Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs.

GPW:  Dr. Valenzuela, what

The next few years will be difficult for Latin American countries.  Low petroleum and commodity prices are adversely affecting the economies of the region.  At the same time, there is increased pressure on the governments for economic and social reforms.

Colombia, which has had a strong economy, recently passing Argentina as the third largest in