OVERNIGHT TECH: Obama's cyber chief to discuss executive order

The order intends to improve information sharing about cyber threats between government and businesses, and it establishes a voluntary program in which critical infrastructure operators would choose to follow a framework of cybersecurity best practices developed, in part, by the government.

Daniel will likely face questions about how long it will take the government to implement the measures in the order and whether companies will actually participate in the voluntary program. The looming $85 billion in sequestration cuts set for March 1 will also likely be brought up for discussion among the government panelists. 

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Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano told White House reporters on Monday that the automatic spending cuts will make it it "awfully, awfully tough” to mitigate threats against the U.S.

“I don't think we can maintain the same level of security at all places around the country with sequester compared to without sequester,” said Napolitano.

Under the cyber order, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will spearhead the voluntary program that critical infrastructure operators will elect to join. The administration also views DHS as the go-to agency in charge of the cybersecurity of government and commercial networks.

Court could throw out FCC's Tennis Channel ruling: The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit heard oral arguments on Monday in Comcast's challenge to the Federal Communications Commission's ruling that the cable company illegally discriminated against the Tennis Channel.

According to Reuters, the three-judge panel raised a number of technical concerns with the arguments of the FCC and the sports channel. 

Judge Harry Edwards repeatedly questioned whether the Tennis Channel waited too long to complain to the FCC about its contract with Comcast, Reuters reported.

The panel appears poised to reverse the commission's decision, according to the Blog of Legal Times. 

Judge Brett Kavanaugh said the FCC "has a serious problem with the First Amendment," the blog reported.

The FCC ruled last year that Comcast must place the Tennis Channel in the same tier of channels as its own sports networks.

Consumer Watchdog wants FTC crackdown over Google store controversy: Consumer Watchdog, a vocal anti-Google group, urged the Federal Trade Commission on Monday to issue a multibillion-dollar fine against Google for sharing its customers' personal information with app developers.

The issue first drew greater attention earlier this month when an Australian app developer complained that he was receiving the name, location and email address of customers who purchased his app.

In a formal letter of complaint to the FTC, Consumer Watchdog claimed the policy violates Google's previous settlement with the FTC over its Buzz social network.

“Google’s conduct constitutes a most serious breach of user privacy. Google Play apps deal with sensitive personal subjects, including health conditions and sexual activity," the group wrote.

"Google Wallet shares the information needed to process transactions and maintain accounts, and this is clearly stated in the Google Wallet Privacy Notice," a Google representative said last week addressing the controversy.


IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

Feinstein says classified docs back China hacking report: The chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee on Monday said a bombshell report of cyber spying by the Chinese government is “essentially correct.”

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said classified intelligence documents support the recent claim by security firm Mandiant that an elite military unit of Chinese hackers is continuously attacking U.S. government and private computer networks.

"I read the Mandiant report. I've also read other reports, classified out of Intelligence, and I think the Mandiant report, which is now unclassified, it's public, is essentially correct," Feinstein said on MSNBC.

Copyright alert system takes effect: A new copyright protection system, enforced by Internet service providers, went into effect on Monday.

Internet users who illegally download copyrighted material could now be forced to complete educational programs or have their Internet speeds slowed to a crawl.

The Copyright Alert System, which is a partnership between copyright owners and Internet providers, was first announced in 2011, but the implementation was repeatedly delayed.

Bloomberg joins Silicon Valley push for high-skill immigration reform: New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and a coalition of investors and technology company executives announced a new campaign on Monday for immigration legislation.

The campaign, called the "March for Innovation," will culminate later this spring in a "virtual march on Washington" using online tools like Facebook and Twitter to persuade lawmakers.

Bloomberg is joined by AOL co-founder Steve Case, Brad Feld of the Foundry Group, venture capitalist Mike Maples, angel investor Ron Conway, Joe Green of NationBuilder and Somesh Dash of Institutional Venture Partners. Joe Trippi, the former campaign manager of Howard Dean’s 2004 presidential campaign, developed the group's social media content.

The campaign urges Congress to provide more visas for high-skill workers and foreign entrepreneurs who come to the United States to launch a business. The top graduates in science, technology, engineering and math should be able to gain permanent residency status in the U.S., the group argues.

Lawmakers ask Facebook to remove pages ‘exploiting Newtown victims': Connecticut lawmakers on Monday sent a letter to Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg requesting he “remove pages that have been used to harass or exploit the families of Newtown victims.”

Sens. Richard Blumenthal (D) and Chris Murphy (D), along with Rep. Elizabeth Esty (D), signed the letter to Zuckerberg, saying they have been in contact with “grieving Newtown families” whose personal requests to Facebook have gone unanswered.

The letter cites more than 100 tribute pages on the website lawmakers they say could be used to harass victims’ families or profit financially from the tragedy.


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