Technology

With freedom comes responsibility (Rep. Paul C. Broun)

With the release of more than 250,000 sensitive documents, the founder of WikiLeaks has received much deserved scrutiny and criticism. Many pundits and politicians are calling for his arrest, and rightly so.  Unfortunately, there has been little attention paid to other players at stake.  With such an egregious leak of undisclosed information, it is critical we examine all aspects of the crisis.

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Balancing the need to know in the wake of WikiLeaks (Rep. Michael T. McCaul)

With the ongoing release of documents from WikiLeaks, there is much discussion over what type of information should be available to the public, how and when to classify government correspondence, and what, if any, action should be taken against foreign entities who harm the United States through the release of classified material.  As a former federal prosecutor, I believe the Justice Department should prosecute WikiLeaks and its founder, Julian Assange, to the full extent of the law.  However, I believe that first and foremost we must focus on how to better secure our classified and other sensitive material here at home.

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Do-Not-Track: A bigger threat

Over the last decade, we’ve benefitted from an explosion of innovation that has created the most engaging experience of information and entertainment in history—the Internet. We use it for work, we use it for play and we use it to communicate in ways previously unimaginable. The Internet has changed our lives, overwhelmingly for the better, and it would not have been possible without advertising.

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WikiLeaks actions are damaging and should be prosecuted (Rep. Dan Lungren)

The document dumps by WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Julian Assange has sent ripples through the diplomatic world and raised fears among those who have been “outed” for their complicity with the United States in some of the most dangerous places in the world. More is involved here than the embarrassment of foreign leaders. Assange has anointed himself with the authority to put lives at risk and to disrupt the conduct of U.S. foreign policy. His call for the resignation of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is but further evidence of his delusional rage.

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WikiLeaks eliminated charade and the wiggle room for diplomacy it created

I wanted to share with you some thoughts on the WikiLeaks material on the U.S. and Iran that was released yesterday.
 
First of all, the leaks don’t change realities on the ground as much as they reveal the direness of the situation in the Middle East. In spite of the Obama administration’s disinclination to use military force against Iran, the geopolitical realities of the region have not changed much since the Bush years. This is still a region on the verge of a major war, and neither the new sanctions on Iran or the Obama administration’s limited engagement has changed this reality.

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A no-brainer for bipartisanship

As he prepares to take on the role of House Speaker, Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) has pledged to bring a new era of bipartisanship to Congress. "I think the best leaders are very good listeners," said Boehner in October. "Because if you are not listening, you cannot lead."

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Protecting the internet from online pirates

Is protecting American creativity inconsistent with free speech and human rights?

That’s the surprising argument being made against bipartisan legislation to address the huge and growing problem of online piracy.  U.S. law enforcement officials have strong tools to shut down websites based in this country that deceive consumers into purchasing illegal movies, music, television shows, books, video games, and computer programs.

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Internet thieves must be stopped

They’re called rogue sites, and they exist for one purpose only:  to make a profit using the Internet to distribute the stolen, illegally copied and counterfeited goods and ideas of others.  The economic impact of these activities—millions of lost jobs and dollars—is profound.  That’s why dozens of labor organizations, businesses and trade groups have come together to support legislation that will provide the Justice Department with new enforcement tools to combat this growing menace to the American economy.

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Curing crumbling infrastructure and other government waste

Their election night parties have become distant memories, but members of Congress are still left with a major hangover: the unrelenting headache of a rising national debt. And whether they do so in a lame-duck session or in January, lawmakers will need to face facts: to avoid devastating tax increases, they must find ways to cut government spending.

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Fix broken broadcast retransmission consent system

Few things are more frustrating to a former Congressman than to see a law he sponsored twisted in a way that undermines its intended purposes. Unfortunately, this is precisely what has happened during the last few years with the 1992 Cable Act, and in particular, with the provisions I sponsored dealing with “retransmission consent.” These provisions require a cable operator or other video provider to obtain a broadcast station’s permission to retransmit the broadcast signal to subscribers (unless the broadcaster elects a different option called “must carry”). Our goal was to ensure that the public would retain access to local broadcast programming as cable television gained in power and influence.  But today, more than ever, broadcasters are using these provisions to claim that the Act gives them license to pull their signals from video providers and their subscribers unless these providers agree to pay rapidly rising fees. In essence, broadcasters are exploiting a law designed to prevent consumers from experiencing service disruptions to justify blackouts. This just happened in the New York and Philadelphia area, where Fox blacked out its network stations to three million households during the baseball playoffs and World Series.

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