OVERNIGHT TECH: Senate set to debate cyber amendments

The Lede: Now that Sen. Joe Lieberman's (I-Conn.) cybersecurity bill cleared an important procedural vote, observers will be watching to see if the Senate can work out an agreement on amendments that will be brought to the floor.

The motion to proceed to Lieberman's Cybersecurity Act was approved 84-11 on Thursday, setting the stage for debate on amendments beginning next week. Several Republicans voted in favor of the bill moving forward after Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) agreed to an open amendment process.

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A number of senators already have announced plans to put forward a series of amendments. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) said the co-sponsors of the Secure It Act plan to offer the competing cybersecurity bill as an amendment in the nature of a substitute in a speech on the Senate floor. Hutchison said the Senate should take up Secure It over Lieberman's bill because it had a greater chance of passing both chambers.

In the meantime, members will be meeting again Friday to continue their negotiations on reaching an agreement between the Cybersecurity Act and Secure It. Participants include Lieberman and the co-sponsors of his bill, members involved in leading earlier compromise efforts, as well as the backers of the Secure It Act.

Also on Thursday, Sens. Al Franken (D-Minn.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Chris Coons (D-Del.) said they plan to introduce amendments aimed at beefing up the privacy protections in the bill. Sen. Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii) also plans to introduce an amendment that would create a chief privacy officer in the Office of Management and Budget, which Blumenthal is expected to support.

The ACLU voiced support for Franken's amendment in a blog post. The amendment would remove measures in Lieberman's bill that would give Internet service providers and other private companies the authority to monitor communications flowing through their information systems for cyber threats and use certain countermeasures to combat them. 

An aide to Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) said he will file his GPS Act as an amendment. The measure would require police to obtain a warrant before requesting location data from a person's cellphone, laptop or GPS device, except in an emergency.

Industry groups will be weighing whether the amendments will affect their ability to share information with the government. IBM and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce have already raised concerns with the information-sharing provisions in Lieberman's bill.

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) has filed four amendments that focus on data security and privacy, and stiffening penalties for cyber crime, among other issues. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) has also said he plans on putting forward privacy-focused amendments. 

Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) filed an amendment that would ban high-capacity gun magazines in the wake of the massacre in Aurora, Colo. The amendment is also backed by Democratic Sens. Barbara Boxer (Calif.), Jack Reed (R.I.), Robert Menendez (N.J.), Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.), Charles Schumer (N.Y.) and Dianne Feinstein (N.Y.).

Facebook meets expectations, but stock slips: Facebook met analysts' expectations in its first earning report as a public company on Thursday, but the stock's value fell about 10 percent in after-hours trading.

The company reported a second-quarter loss of $157 million, but that was mostly due to stock-based compensations. Not counting those costs, the company reported $295 million in earnings and $1.18 billion in revenue. 

FCC unveils Connect America map: The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) unveiled an online map on Thursday that shows where its Connect America funds are going.

The Connect America Fund is a multibillion-dollar subsidy to support expanding broadband Internet access. The FCC created the subsidy last year when it overhauled its Universal Service Fund, which supported telephone service.

The FCC announced on Wednesday that it will spend $115 million in the first phase of Connect America.


In Case You Missed It:

Google unveils ultrafast Internet service for Kansas City 

Microsoft, Oracle back Lieberman cyber bill 

GOP senators indicate they will move forward with cybersecurity bill 

Lieberman pushes back against Chamber's opposition to cybersecurity bill 

White House endorses revised cybersecurity bill 

IBM comes out swinging against revised cybersecurity bill 


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