OVERNIGHT TECH: FCC to hand over more LightSquared documents

The FCC granted LightSquared a conditional waiver last year to move forward with plans for a nationwide 4G network, but the agency decided to block the network after tests showed it would interfere with GPS devices.

Republicans question why the FCC allowed LightSquared to get as far as it did in the regulatory process and whether the company received preferential treatment. They have demanded all of the agency's records on the company — including test results and communications with the company, its investors and GPS companies.

ADVERTISEMENT
The additional documents could also be a step towards ending an impasse over President Obama's two nominees to the FCC.

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) has pledged to block a vote on the nominees, Ajit Pai and Jessica Rosenworcel, until he receives the FCC's records on LightSquared. 

Because of Grassley's hold, the five-member commission has been operating with only three commissioners since the beginning of the year.

The FCC refused to cooperate with Grassley, saying it would only respond to inquires from committees with jurisdiction.   

The Energy and Commerce Committee is the House panel that oversees the FCC. The committee Republicans shared the first batch of documents with Grassley, but the senator said he wasn't satisfied with the information and would not lift his hold. 

Internet freedom group condemns cyberattacks: The Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT) on Thursday condemned recent cyberattacks aimed at supporters of a House cybersecurity bill.

In recent weeks, the hacker-activist group Anonymous has crashed websites of groups including TechAmerica and USTelecom over their support of the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA).

CDT is lobbying against the bill over concerns that it would undermine online privacy, but CDT President Leslie Harris called the attacks "unethical and counterproductive" in a blog post.

"It shows fundamental disrespect for both the democratic process and the privacy and speech rights of Internet users," she said. "It also provides additional ammunition for those who say radical and sweeping cybersecurity measures that violate privacy are warranted."

Jon Stewart ridicules FCC's fine of Google: Comedian Jon Stewart mocked the FCC's fine of Google on Wednesday night's episode of The Daily Show.

The FCC fined Google $25,000 for failing to cooperate with its investigation of the company's collection of personal data from unprotected Wi-Fi networks.

“The fine is less than you would get for a particularly flashy NFL touchdown dance,” Stewart said.

He also threw a few jabs at other technology companies.

"Google, I am shocked. You stole people's personal information without their permission — that is Facebook's job," he joked.


IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

New York accused Sprint of ducking sales taxes.

Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) grilled the chief of the Copyright Office over discussing anti-piracy legislation with Hollywood lawyers.

Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) called for an inventory of the nation's spectrum.

Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) urged Congress to to make the research and development tax credit permanent.

The Senate Commerce Committee announced witnesses for next week's hearing on the future of TV.

The Business Software Alliance announced a major reorganization on Thursday to ramp up its lobbying and anti-piracy efforts.

The FCC launched a website to help consumers track carriers' efforts to stop "bill shock."