This Week in Tech: House to hold joint hearing on UN Internet regulation

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The hearing will be held jointly by the House Energy and Commerce subpanel on communications and technology and the Foreign Affairs subcommittees on terrorism and human rights.

The treaty will not go into effect until 2015. But the committees said they intend to weigh "what happened in Dubai, what implications the treaty has for the Internet and the economic and social freedoms it fosters,” according to a background memo by the Energy and Commerce Committee. The committees will also look at “what steps can be taken to redouble international support for the multi-stakeholder model.”

Witnesses will include Ambassador David Gross, who served as a member of the U.S. delegation during the conference; Public Knowledge Senior Vice President Harold Feld; Internet Society Public Policy Senior Manager Sally Shipman Wentworth; and Robert McDowell, a commissioner at the Federal Communications Commission.

At the hearing, the committees will also discuss putting forward legislation declaring that U.S. policy is to promote Internet freedom and preserve the multi-stakeholder model used to govern the Internet. The language in the bill will be based on a resolution that the House and Senate passed last year before the Dubai treaty conference, which fought against international efforts to regulate the Internet, according to the memo.

A public memorial will be held in Washington on Monday evening to honor Internet activist and programmer Aaron Swartz, who committee suicide last month.

A notice about the memorial says it will honor Swartz's life and accomplishments, but it will also discuss reforming the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) in the wake of his death.

In recent weeks, lawmakers have criticized the computer hacking law, which was used to indict Swartz, and argued that its vague language allows for draconian punishments.

Swartz's family and friends, including his father, Robert Swartz, and partner, Taren Stinebrickner-Kauffman, as well as members of Congress, will attend the memorial. Lawrence Lessig, a professor at Harvard Law School who briefly represented Swartz, and Demand Progress Executive Director David Segal will also be present.

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) is expected to attend, as are Reps. Jared Polis (D-Colo.), Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and other House members. The memorial will be held in the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center and is organized by Swartz's friends with support from his family.

On Tuesday, the House Judiciary Committee will hold its first hearing of the year on immigration reform, titled "America's Immigration System: Opportunities for Legal Immigration and Enforcement of Laws against Illegal Immigration." Witnesses have not yet been publicly announced.

The House Science, Space and Technology Committee is holding a hearing on Wednesday that will examine research and development's role in American competitiveness. Witnesses will include Texas Instruments CEO Richard Templeton, National Academy of Engineering President Charles Vest and Shirley Ann Jackson, president of the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.