This Week in Tech: Google chairman will respond to antitrust claims Wednesday


MONDAY: The Federalist Society will host a panel discussion at the National Press Club at noon to discuss the federal government’s role in regulating online search results, a hot topic in light of this week’s antitrust hearing. Scheduled speakers include TechFreedom President Berin Szoka, along with experts from the legal industry, academia and industry.

TUESDAY: The Computer and Communications Industry Association is holding a breakfast for congressional staffers featuring experts discussing the Internet search market and how it affects businesses, consumers and the Web as a whole. Former Washington Post tech columnist Rob Pegoraro will moderate; Search Engine Land editor Danny Sullivan is scheduled to appear.

The Brookings Institution will hold a discussion with leading cybersecurity experts about how to deter attacks online. Cybersecurity is likely to take center stage this fall, as both parties have expressed interest in passing comprehensive legislation designed to respond to the growing criminal threat online.

WEDNESDAY: The House Judiciary Committee will continue with its markup of Chairman Lamar Smith’s (R-Texas) Legal Workforce Act, which would require all U.S. employers to use the Department of Homeland Security’s E-Verify system to check the legal status of new hires. Smith claims the bill will open up millions of jobs for Americans that currently go to illegal immigrants, but the agricultural industry has voiced strong objections to the bill. Additionally, privacy advocates note Smith’s bill would allow E-Verify to be used in other circumstances besides employment verification, warning that passing the legislation could be another step toward creating a national identification standard.

In addition, the Senate Commerce Committee will consider the Data Security and Breach Notification Act from Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.), which mirrors other recent bills requiring firms to take reasonable security practices to protect consumers’ personal information.

THURSDAY: The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a business meeting to mark up a series of data privacy and security bills, including offerings from Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.). The slew of high-profile data breaches over the past year has built momentum for a new national data breach standard, along with measures designed to protect consumers’ personal information from malicious attacks on e-commerce providers.

The Federal Communications Commission will hold its monthly open meeting Thursday morning, where public safety will be the only item on the agenda. The commission will consider moving forward with its framework for the deployment of Next Generation 911 services, which should enable the public to send texts, photos, videos and data to 911 dispatchers to speed response times. The FCC’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau will also present a white paper on using aerial communications hardware to allow first responders to communicate with each other in the wake of a disaster that causes severe damage to terrestrial communications networks.