OVERNIGHT TECH: Industry backs FCC overhaul

Republicans say the legislation would make the FCC more transparent and increase certainty for business. But Democrats say the measures are just an attempt to hamstring the agency.

"Given the breakneck speed under which broadcasters and other media companies are reshaping the telecommunications landscape, it is entirely appropriate for Congress to update the rulemaking process and find ways to make it work faster and better," said former Oregon Sen. Gordon Smith, now the head of the National Association of Broadcasters. "NAB respects the leadership of Chairman [Julius] Genachowski, and we stand ready to help him and FCC staff implement changes resulting from legislation that brings greater clarity and transparency for licensees dealing with the FCC."

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The National Cable and Telecommunications Association "commended" the lawmakers for their work on the issue in a letter.

They said the legislation "will help ensure that the regulatory framework better reflects this dynamic marketplace by focusing regulatory activity in areas of market failure and providing greater transparency, predictability, and procedural certainty."

The U.S. Telecom Association also endorsed the legislation, saying it would "ensure that best practices become a part of statute."


ICYMI:

House lawmakers grilled Google officials for two hours on Thursday about the company's recent privacy changes, but Rep. Mary Bono Mack (R-Calif.) said she wasn't satisfied with their answers.

A coalition of companies and trade associations on Wednesday urged the Senate Finance Committee to hold a hearing on a bill that would allow states to tax online purchases.

The Federal Communications Commission announced Thursday that Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau chief Joel Gurin will step down Feb. 17.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement seized 16 websites and arrested a Michigan man on Wednesday as part of an operation to crack down on pirated streams of sports games and counterfeit sportswear ahead of the Super Bowl.

The company that stored data for file-sharing site Megaupload.com said it has no plans to delete users' files.

Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.), who represents the district just north of Facebook's headquarters, congratulated the social media giant after it filed papers to begin publicly selling its stock on Wednesday.