OVERNIGHT TECH: Reid debt proposal includes D Block reallocation

Thompson argued the deal would improve phone service for consumers. “Once approved, this merger will allow AT&T to significantly expand and strengthen its broadband network, better serving constituents in Northern California and nationwide,” he wrote.

Microsoft calls for immigration reform: The United States needs to reform its immigration system to attract and keep high-skilled workers, a top Microsoft official said. 

"If done right, attracting the talents of the best and brightest from other countries can help, rather than hurt, prospects for American workers because in an innovation economy, jobs often beget jobs,” Brad Smith, Microsoft’s general counsel, said Tuesday at a Senate Judiciary subcommittee hearing on high-skill visa programs. Smith said although the country continues to suffer from high unemployment, jobs for high-skilled technology workers are going unfilled.

Experts say cyber-attacks on U.S. websites increasing:
A panel of government experts Tuesday once again warned lawmakers that cyber-attacks against the nation’s computer networks are growing more frequent and increasingly sophisticated, while the U.S. has lagged behind on implementing the necessary protections. In their opening statements, House Energy and Commerce Chairman Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and Oversight subcommittee Chairman Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.) both argued that the committee should play a significant role in the upcoming debate over comprehensive cybersecurity legislation.

Poll finds minorities more likely to visit video-sharing sites: African-Americans and Hispanics are more likely than whites to visit video-sharing websites such as YouTube, according to a new poll from Pew Research Center. Hispanics were most likely to have ever used a video-sharing site, at 81 percent, followed by African-Americans at 76 percent. Sixty-nine percent of whites had used a video-sharing site before, further evidence that minorities are adopting mobile and Web-based technologies at a faster pace in recent years.

Homeland Security Department partners with D.A.R.E.: The Homeland Security Department announced Tuesday it would partner with Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) America to promote Internet safety for children. The partnership is part of DHS's public-awareness effort, Stop.Think.Connect. DHS officials will train D.A.R.E. officers to talk to children and parents about online safety. D.A.R.E. officers will provide parents and children with the Stop.Think.Connect. Community Outreach Toolkit, which includes resources and tips for staying safe online.

“In today’s world, Americans can use technology to engage with communities around the globe,” said Secretary Janet Napolitano. “Now, more than ever, it is important that all Americans — adults and children alike — learn to protect themselves online and do their part to ensure that cyberspace is a safe and secure environment for all Internet users.”

House websites and phone lines jammed: House websites and telephone lines are getting jammed one day after President Obama asked voters to call their lawmakers about the debt-ceiling fight going on in Congress. Outside callers could expect to get a busy signal when contacting numbers on Capitol Hill, according to the House Call Center.

ICYMI: Matthew Olsen, the National Security Agency's general counsel, said the Patriot Act could give the government the authority to track people using their cellphone data. His comment came at a confirmation hearing Tuesday morning. Olsen has been nominated to head the National Counterterrorism Center.

Amazon's earnings report beat expectations. Its profits were down 8 percent, which was better than many analysts had predicted. The company said the drop was a result of investments in technology and warehouses.

On Tap Wednesday: The Senate Committee on Homeland Security will hold a morning hearing in Dirksen on improving emergency communications 10 years after the 9/11 attacks. Scheduled witnesses include Department of Homeland Security acting deputy under secretary Gregory Schaeffer and representatives of first-responders from Connecticut, Maine and Philadelphia.

The creation of a national, interoperable public-safety network was one of the primary recommendations of the 9/11 Commission following the communications difficulties experienced by first-responders during the attacks. The issue has gotten caught up in the debate over spectrum, as a split has emerged over whether to assign the valuable D Block of spectrum to public-safety agencies or auction it off and use the proceeds to fund a separate network that would share commercial spectrum.

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