OVERNIGHT TECH: Two Democrats back net neutrality repeal

THE LEDE: House Republicans circulated a "Dear Colleague" letter on Monday to members of the Energy and Commerce committee with five names on it — and two of them are Democratic Reps. Collin Peterson (Minn.) and Dan Boren (Okla.). The letter asks members to support a resolution that would repeal the net-neutrality regulations passed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in December. Committee leadership is touting the Democrats' support as further evidence the FCC overreached by passing the rules in December. More in The Hill.

Franken bill would criminalize net-neutrality violations: Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) plans to introduce a bill that would make net-neutrality violations a crime. Franken said in a speech at the South by Southwest conference on Monday that he is planning legislation that would amend antitrust laws to "call violations of net neutrality out for what they are: anti-competitive actions by powerful media conglomerates that represent violations of our anti-trust laws." 

Franken, one of the most vocal net-neutrality supporters in the Congress, is taking an approach endorsed by some Republicans who say an antitrust approach to Internet openness might be appropriate.

Net-neutrality markup continues partisan standoff: House Energy and Commerce members remained at loggerheads on net neutrality during a markup session on Monday afternoon. Democrats objected to the repeal on the grounds that it is unlikely to pass, and because they say opposing net neutrality is bad policy. Republicans said phone and cable companies only supported the rules because the FCC backed them into a corner.

AT&T to cap data use for DSL: AT&T unveiled new data caps on Sunday that would charge extra to DSL customers who use more than 150 gigabytes of data per month. The charges appear to be legal under the FCC's net-neutrality rules, which left the door open for ISPs to charge consumers based on the amount of data they use. Analysts say data caps could be coming to all ISPs thanks to the increased popularity of data-heavy video services like Netflix.

House GOP shuffles tech working group: Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) announced Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) and Michael McCaul (R-Texas) will be joining Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) as vice chairman of the House Republican technology working group, which will set the lower chamber's agenda for technology legislation this Congress. The group is expected to focus on cybersecurity, patent reform, expanding free trade agreements and increasing enforcement of intellectual property protections.

SCHEDULED: The Broadband Breakfast Club will host a discussion about the broadband plan on Tuesday featuring Robert Atkinson of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation. 

Commerce Secretary Gary Locke is scheduled to take part of a forum hosted by the National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He'll be joined by Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office David Kappos, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development John Fernandez and North Carolina Gov. Beverly Perdue (D). 

ICYMI:

The hacker group Anonymous released e-mails it alleges reveal mortgage fraud at Bank of America.

Internet service ranked third among FTC complaints last year.

The FTC also settled with online ad firm Chitika over the company's use of tracking procedures.

Big Number: 177 million

—The number of tweets sent on March 11, 2011, almost five years after the micro-blogging service launched.