This Week in Tech: Lawmakers to poke around Web privacy laws

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On Tuesday, the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime will hold a hearing on the Protecting Children from Internet Pornographers Act from Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas). Witnesses scheduled to appear include National Center for Missing and Exploited Children President Ernie Allen and Electronic Privacy Information Center President Marc Rotenberg.

The House Armed Service Subcommittee on Strategic Communications will hold an afternoon hearing discussing the evolution of the field since 9/11 with witnesses including Georgetown Law Professor Rosa Brooks, RAND Corporation social scientist Christopher Paul and Potomac Institute for Policy Studies senior fellow Tawfik Hamid.

Also Tuesday, the FCC will hold its July open meeting, where the commission will consider a Notice of Proposed Rule Making aimed at preventing mystery fees on consumers' wireless bills. Also on the agenda: the impact of the Local Community Radio Act of 2010, which eases restrictions to allow for more low-power FM stations, and a measure regarding the availability of E911 location data to emergency call centers.

The Senate Commerce Committee on Wednesday will release the results of its yearlong investigation into "cramming," the practice of a wireless carrier billing consumers mystery fees for unauthorized services. The FCC has indicated its intent to crack down on cramming, but committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) has indicated he might still pursue legislative alternatives. Witnesses slated to appear include Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan and U.S. Telecom Association President Walter McCormick Jr.

The Senate Commerce Science subpanel will hold a Thursday hearing to discuss the potential of nanotechnology and consider the reauthorization of the National Nanotechnology Initiative. Representatives from Northwestern, West Virginia and Rice universities are expected along with Dr. Chuck Romine, acting associate director of laboratory programs at the National Institute for Standards and Technology.

Also on Thursday, the House Oversight Committee’s Technology subpanel will hold a hearing on transparency and federal management IT systems that will likely include discussion of the Obama administration's previous efforts to publish data on government technology spending through the IT Dashboard. Cuts to the E-Government fund have imperiled the future of the site, which was the signature project of outgoing federal chief information officer Vivek Kundra.

The week will be capped off Friday at the House Judiciary Committee IP subpanel, which will hold a hearing on the forthcoming Innovative Design and Privacy Protection Act from Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.). It’s a counterpart to a Senate bill that would make it possible for fashion designers to patent innovative designs.

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This post was updated Monday at 11:05 p.m.