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Bono Mack: Sony Data Breach Is Cybersecurity ‘Ground Zero’

WASHINGTON, June 3, 2011 – The House Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade met on Thursday to learn the lessons from recent large-scale customer data breaches at Sony and Epsilon. The hearing examined the risks of the unprecedented data breaches, which Rep. Mary Bono Mack (R-CA), Chair of the subcommittee, called a ‘ground zero’ for cyber attacks. Other members of the subcommittee also assessed current investigation efforts by those companies, and gathered input and support to craft new data breach legislation. Keep Reading

House Subcommittee Weighs Consequences of New Obama Cybersecurity Proposal

WASHINGTON, May 27, 2011 - House Subcommittee members received answers long on ideas but short on specifics when they probed Obama administration officials during a hearing Wednesday on the President's cybersecurity review. The House Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, Competition, and the Internet explored the ramifications of the Obama administration’s Cyberspace Policy Review in an oversight hearing that featured two witness panels representing federal and private interests. Keep Reading

House Subcommittee Examines Digital Goods Tax Bill

WASHINGTON, May 24, 2011 - The Subcommittee on Courts, Commercial and Administrative Law held a hearing Monday on a bill that would define limits on taxes for virtual goods and services on the Internet. The proposed legislation, known as the “Digital Goods and Services Tax Fairness Act of 2011” aims to “promote neutrality, simplicity, and fairness in the taxation of digital goods and digital services.” The legislation would restrict taxing authority to the jurisdiction of the customer's tax address. Keep Reading

Senators Grill Mobile CEOs on AT&T/T-Mobile Merger

WASHINGTON May 12, 2011- The Senate Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights assembled leading mobile CEOs Wednesday to explore the proposed merger between AT&T and T-Mobile. “The proposed merger between AT&T and T-Mobile will bring together two of the four remaining national cell phone carriers to create the nation's largest cell phone network, with an estimated 43 percent market share,” said Sen Herb Kohl (D-WI), Chairman of the Subcommittee, setting the tone for the hearing. “Should this deal be approved, AT&T and Verizon will control close to 80 percent of the national cell phone market.” Keep Reading

Barton, Markey Release Draft of ‘Do Not Track’ Bill for Kids

WASHINGTON, May 9, 2011 - Reps. Joe Barton (R-TX) and Ed Markey (D-MD) released a discussion draft of to-be-introduced legislation that would update the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act to reflect changes in current technology. The Do Not Track Kids Act of 2011 would make several changes to the existing law, which dates back to 1998. Since then, says Rep. Barton, the Internet landscape has changed dramatically. Keep Reading

House Subcommittee Scrutinizes Possible Domain Name Expansion

WASHINGTON, May 5, 2011 - The House Judiciary Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, Competition and the Internet held a hearing Wednesday to investigate the possible effects of expanding Internet domain names beyond the traditional suffixes like .com and .net to potentially anything a registrant could type. The subcommittee probed plans by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to expand the generic top level domains (gTLDs) beyond the set menu of familiar suffixes like .org and .gov. The proposed new regime could comprise either an expanded menu of choices or an open door for registrants to create a suffix of their choosing, such as .google or .microsoft. Keep Reading

Walden Speaks On Net Neutrality, Spectrum At Cable Summit

WASHINGTON April 14, 2011 - Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR), Chairman of the Communications and Technology Subcommittee, voiced his opposition Wednesday to network neutrality, supported increased oversight of the Federal Communications Commission and addressed how spectrum issues need to be explored with great caution at the American Cable Association summit. Keep Reading

Copps, Clyburn Push Media Reform In Boston

BOSTON, April 11, 2011 - Speaking to a standing-room only crowd on Friday afternoon, Federal Communications Commissioners Michael Copps and Mignon Clyburn addressed media consolidation and broadband deployment before fielding questions at a town hall meeting during Free Press's National Conference for Media Reform. Media scholar, Robert McChesney, offered the introduction for the event, addressing both the packed auditorium, an overflow room and those watching live via the web. Both commissioners received standing ovations from the crowd as they took the stage. Keep Reading

House To Vote On Anti-Net Neutrality Measure; Administration Threatens Veto

WASHINGTON, April 5, 2011 - The House of Representatives is anticipated to hold a floor debate and vote this week on a measure that would put the kibosh on net neutrality rules passed by the Federal Communications Commission late last year, but the White House has said that it would likely veto such a measure should it come across the President's desk. Keep Reading

Clean Energy Standard Implies Smart Grid Build Out, But Chances For Bill Remain Murky

WASHINGTON, April 1, 2011 President Barack Obama reaffirmed the nation’s need for a Clean Energy Standard (CES) during a speech at Georgetown University Wednesday, once again raising questions about how smart grid technology will fit into that future. Implicit in bringing on a wide range of clean energy sources is the need for a more efficient and modernized grid to handle the variable power supply. However, in this divided Congress, getting legislators to find common ground on a CES will come with a high hurdle rate, say analysts. Keep Reading

Barton, Markey to Wireless Carriers: ‘Do You Track Customers’ Location Info?’

WASHINGTON, March 31, 2011 - Reps. Edward Markey (D-MA) and Joe Barton (R-TX), Co-Chairmen of the House Bi-Partisan Privacy Caucus sent letters Tuesday to Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon and AT&T asking the wireless companies to disclose how the firms collect and stored user location data. The letters to all four major wireless carriers were sent response to a recent story in the New York Times, which reported that the German mobile provider Deutsche Telekom tracked the locations of German politicians. Keep Reading

Schools, Health and Libraries Broadband Coalition Holds Broadband Summit

WASHINGTON March 30, 2011- The Schools, Health and Libraries Broadband Coalition assembled broadband stimulus award winners and government officials for their inaugural broadband summit on Tuesday to share solutions and success in solving digital literacy and adoption issues. The SHLBC, formed two years ago, comprises libraries, hospitals, schools, non-profit groups and corporations that seek to further broadband availability for community anchor institutions. Keep Reading

AT&T Announces $39B Deal To Acquire T-Mobile

WASHINGTON, March 21, 2011 - Nationwide wireless carrier, AT&T announced Sunday that it had finalized an agreement to acquire competitor T-Mobile from Deutsche Telekom for $39 billion in cash and stock. The deal between the nation's second- and fourth-largest carriers would likely create the largest nationwide wireless carrier, topping current leader, Verizon. Keep Reading

Expert Opinion: How to Bring More Handsets to More Carriers

WASHINGTON, March 15, 2011 - Despite fanfare regarding the end of exclusivity for the Apple iPhone with the launch of a CDMA version, the reality is that many carriers are still unable to attain certain devices. While the majority of current subscribers now have access to the once-exclusive iPhone, because AT&T and Verizon have been allowed to create a duopoly in the wireless industry, from a competition standpoint, AT&T and Verizon are the only two carriers with access to the device. Translation: Less than 2 percent of domestic wireless carriers have access to one of the nation’s most coveted devices. Just as the iPhone is not the only smartphone on the market, it is also not the only device that is unavailable to consumers. Due to exclusive handset arrangements, consumers are left to choose between robust coverage where they live or the latest hot device they desire. Keep Reading

Patent Reform Passes Senate; Bill Headed to House

WASHINGTON, March 8, 2011 - The Senate passed a bill Tuesday evening that would significantly reform the U.S. patent system for the first time in nearly 60 years. The bill will now go to the House for consideration. The Senate passed the America Invents Act - formerly the Patent Reform Act of 2011 - by an overwhelming majority of 95-5. Congress has failed to pass comprehensive patent reform in each of the last four Congresses. Keep Reading

Congress/FCC/Net Neutrality

Subcommittee Postpones Vote on Resolution to Reverse Open Internet Order

WASHINGTON, March 2, 2010 – The House Subcommittee on Communications and Technology postponed last-minute a vote scheduled for Wednesday morning on a resolution that would reverse the Federal Communications Commission’s Open Internet Order. Chairman Fred Upton agreed to postpone the vote in order to complete regular order and a legislative hearing before voting on the… Keep Reading

Congress/Privacy

Reps. Barton, Markey Keep Watchful Eye On Facebook Privacy Settings

WASHINGTON, February 28, 2011 – Reps. Joe Barton (R-TX) and Edward Markey (D-MA), Co-Chairmen of the House Bipartisan Privacy Caucus, shared Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s response to a letter they wrote to him on February 2, 2011, questioning a particular privacy feature on Facebook that would potentially share mobile numbers and home addresses with websites and third party-applications. Keep Reading

Congress

Markey Urges FTC to Investigate In-App Purchases

WASHINGTON, February 8, 2011 - Rep. Edward Markey (D-MA), a senior Democrat on the House subcommittee on Communications, Technology and the Internet, sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission urging it to investigate suspect practices surrounding purchases made through mobile applications. Keep Reading

Congress/FCC/Net Neutrality

Cantwell Introduces Pro-Net Neutrality Legislation

WASHINGTON, January 25, 2011 - Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA) introduced legislation Tuesday to strengthen Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) net-neutrality rules. The Internet Freedom, Broadband Promotion, and Consumer Protection Act of 2011 is co-sponsored by Sen. Al Franken (D-MN), who, along with Cantwell, asserted that the Open Internet Order rules handed down by the agency last… Keep Reading

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