By Brendan Sasso and Jennifer Martinez - 07/24/12 10:53 PM EDT
Data brokers buy and sell personal information about consumers.
“By combining data from numerous offline and online sources, data brokers have developed hidden dossiers on almost every U.S. consumer,” the lawmakers wrote. “This large scale aggregation of the personal information of hundreds of millions of American citizens raises a number of serious privacy concerns.”
The letters were signed by Reps. Edward Markey (D-Mass.), Joe Barton (R-Texas), Henry A. Waxman (D-Calif.), Steve Chabot (R-Ohio), G.K. Butterfield (D-N.C.), Austin Scott (R-Ga.), Bobby Rush (D-Ill.) and Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.).
FCC denies Comcast's appeal in Tennis Channel fight: The Federal Communications Commission on Thursday upheld a judge's ruling that found Comcast had favored its own sports cable networks over the Tennis Channel by giving them better channel placement. The agency denied Comcast's request to review that earlier ruling.
Lieberman: Cyber bill has 'good chance' in conference with House: Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) told reporters that the revised version of his cybersecurity bill stands "a good chance in conference to get something done" on cybersecurity.
The Republican-controlled House has made it clear that it would reject cybersecurity legislation that includes any new mandates. A critical infrastructure-focused bill by Rep. Dan Lungren (R-Calif.), for example, didn't meet that test and was sidelined by House GOP leaders before they put a set of cybersecurity bills to the floor this spring.
But Lieberman said the updated version of his bill should be able to mesh well with the House's cybersecurity bill package thanks to changes made to the critical infrastructure provisions.
"In our compromise, we've removed the No. 1 concern that opponents of the original bill in the House and Senate had, which is that it was mandatory and now it's totally voluntary," Lieberman said, adding that he would expect Lungren to be at the table when cybersecurity legislation is conferenced.
Lieberman also signals openness to amending bill text: Critics of Lieberman's revamped cybersecurity bill argue that it still includes new security mandates. They point to a measure that states federal agencies overseeing sector-specific critical infrastructure could adopt performance-based standards approved by a government-led interagency council, calling it a backdoor for new security rules to be implemented.
Lieberman said he and Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) were going to review that section but said "there's no substance to that concern."
"I'm a little concerned that some of the language in the bill may worry people more than they really should be worried," he said. "So we might as well change that language."
Hayden, Chertoff call on Senate to bring cyber bill to floor: The Aspen Institute's Homeland Security Group — which includes former Bush-appointed defense officials Michael Chertoff and Michael Hayden as members — urged the Senate to vote this week to take up the cybersecurity bill for floor debate.
"We urge the Senate to adopt a program of voluntary cybersecurity standards and strong positive incentives for critical infrastructure operators to implement those standards," the group said in a statement. "The country is already being hurt by foreign cyber intrusions, and the possibility of a devastating cyber-attack is real. Congress must act now."
Former Homeland Security Department official Charles Allen and Rep. Jane Harman (D-Calif.) are also members of the group.
House Armed Services to mull improving military capabilities in cyberspace: The House Armed Services Committee's subpanel on emerging threats and capabilities is holding a hearing Wednesday afternoon that will examine how to improve military capabilities for cyber operations. Top officials from the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps will testify before the subcommittee.
House Judiciary to look at cloud computing: The House Judiciary Committee's IP subpanel will take a look at cloud computing and the issues it poses to American innovators at a Wednesday afternoon hearing. Rackspace Corporate Counsel Justin Freeman, IBM's Dan Chenok, Business Software Alliance CEO Robert Holleyman and Daniel Castro of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation are slated testify.
Chenok will emphasize how agencies will benefit from moving t the cloud. Holleyman, on the other hand, will note how the Electronic Communications Privacy Act should be amended to cover cloud computing technology and also encourage the committee to crack down on piracy in the cloud.
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