OVERNIGHT TECH: House panel passes anti-child porn bill

THE LEDE: After a lengthy markup that spanned more than two days, the House Judiciary Committee approved a controversial bill that would require Internet service providers to keep subscriber information including IP addresses on hand for 12 months to assist in law enforcement investigations of child pornography and exploitation. The bill has been endorsed by a host of law enforcement organizations as well as the National Cable and Telecommunications Association.

Opponents from both sides of the aisle including Reps. John Conyers (D-Mich.) and Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) introduced a host of amendments designed to block the legislation, arguing it would create a database of consumer data available to law enforcement officials for almost any purpose. Privacy advocates have argued that increasing data-retention requirements is contrary to the current trends in data security.

“When investigators develop leads that might result in saving a child or apprehending a pedophile, their efforts should not be frustrated because vital records were destroyed simply because there was no requirement to retain them. This bill requires ISPs to retain subscriber records, similar to records retained by telephone companies, to aid law enforcement officials in their fight against child sexual exploitation." -—Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas)

MPAA touts support for PROTECT IP Act: The Motion Picture Association of America, one of the leading proponents of the PROTECT IP Act, announced the support of three governors in a press release Thursday — despite the fact that the letters were all written more than a month ago. Govs. Dannel Malloy (D-Conn.), Beverly Perdue (D-N.C.) and Gary Herbert (R-Utah) argued the legislation is needed to curb content theft and protect the entertainment industry. The measure, which would give the Justice Department sweeping authority to shut down sites "dedicated to infringing activities," is controversial among Internet freedom advocates. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) has placed a hold on the bill, and his office said Thursday he has no intention of lifting it until his concerns are addressed.

House GOP demands net-neutrality documents: The House Energy and Commerce Committee pressed the Federal Communications Commission on Thursday for all communications between FCC staff and the Obama administration leading up to the passage of the agency's net-neutrality rules in December. Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and Reps. Greg Walden (R-Ore.) and Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.) argue recent reports suggest the rules could have been politically motivated; the FCC said it intends to comply with the request. Net-neutrality supporter Free Press, which is named in the letter, labelled the probe a "blatantly partisan fishing expedition."

GAO says agencies need more guidance on social media: Government agencies that use social-media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube should adopt recordkeeping, security and privacy policies, according to a report released Thursday by the Government Accountability Office. The GAO examined 23 major agencies and found using social-media sites poses new challenges for government agencies. For example, interacting with the public online might give government agencies access to people’s private information, or open agencies up for cyber-attacks.

Sens. Carper, Blunt introduce data-security bill: Sens. Tom Carper (D-Del.) and Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) introduced data-security legislation Thursday meant to combat identity theft. The Data Security Act would require financial establishments, retailers and federal agencies to protect sensitive information and to notify consumers after a data breach. National data-security legislation passed the House in 2009 but did not come up for a vote in the Senate.

Google's Eric Schmidt to testify Sept. 21: The Senate Judiciary Committee's Antitrust subpanel announced it will hold a hearing on Sept. 21 where Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt is expected to testify. Chairman Herb Kohl (D-Wis.) and ranking member Mike Lee (R-Utah) expressed a strong preference for Schmidt or Google CEO Larry Page to appear to answer direct questions from lawmakers on allegations the firm uses its dominance of the search market to drive traffic to its other services.

ICE shuts down fake fashion domains: U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement continued Operation In Our Sites on Thursday, announcing the seizure of 16 domains for selling counterfeit goods over the Web. An upstate New York man was also arrested and charged as part of the operation. The seized counterfeit items represent 13 name brands: Dolce & Gabbana, Gucci, Lacoste, New Era, Nike, The North Face, Oakley, PUMA, Ralph Lauren, Ray-Ban, Sons of Anarchy, Tory Burch and UGG.


ICYMI:

Wireless trade group snags former T-Mobile exec.

Google's Android is the top U.S. smartphone platform.

Experts says broadband access to could improve the health of rural residents.


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