OVERNIGHT TECH: Verizon pushes for Law of the Sea Treaty

McAdam explained that Verizon's voice, video and Internet data travel around the world through 38 underwater cables, noting that in 2007, commercial vessels damaged two cables in Southeast Asia.

"It would have been very helpful if the United States, Verizon and other affected U.S. companies had been able to use the Convention to compensate cable owners, arbitrate disputes over service disruptions, and deter future violations," he said.

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Ratification of the treaty is also supported by AT&T and the Telecommunications Industry Association.

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry (D-Mass.) said he is pushing for the treaty now because it is a priority for American businesses.

“Our companies want this Treaty, simply bottom line, because it affects their bottom lines,” Kerry said in a statement. “Our failure to join the Treaty actually forces them to look elsewhere — greater expense, greater uncertainty, and lack of protection of American sovereignty. The status quo is simply not acceptable.”

The treaty could come up for a vote during the lame-duck session following November's election.

But some Republicans on the panel voiced concern that the treaty will cede American sovereignty to the United Nations. 

The Hill's Global Affairs blog has more coverage of the hearing.

McDowell says fear of UN Internet regulation 'not imagined': Robert McDowell, a Republican commissioner on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), gave a speech in Rome on Thursday, saying that fears a United Nations agency could try to regulate the Internet are real.

"The proposals I am referring to are quite real, explicit and concrete. They are not imagined," McDowell said.

Proposals to give the U.N.'s International Telecommunication Union (ITU) more control over the governance of the Internet could come up at a conference in Dubai in December. 

McDowell explained that the proposals, allegedly backed by China, Russia and other U.N. members, would give the international body more control over cybersecurity, data privacy, technical standards and the Web’s address system. They would also allow foreign, government-owned Internet providers to charge extra for international traffic and allow for more price controls.

"Without exception, each proposal would radically restructure the Internet ecosystem for the worse," McDowell said. "They are before us in black and white. So please look with great skepticism on vehement claims that no proposals to regulate the Internet are before the ITU or the U.N."

Twitter traffic explodes with court ruling: Twitter said there were 13,000 tweets per minute at 10:17 a.m. Thursday morning when the Supreme Court released its highly awaited opinion on President Obama's healthcare law.

The spike in traffic topped the 1,276 tweets per minute when the court ruled on Arizona's immigration law. 

It also easily beat the the roughly 4,000 tweets per minute when the healthcare law passed the House in March 2010. But that is not an entirely fair comparison; Twitter has grown dramatically in the past two years.


IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

Rockefeller says big tech companies acting like Standard Oil 

New Zealand court rules Megaupload searches were illegal 

House Judiciary moves to ban higher taxes on digital items 

BlackBerry maker Research in Motion posted a gigantic $518 million loss for the quarter, The New York Times reports.

Google's Chrome browser will be available on the iPad and iPhone, AllThingsD reports.