OVERNIGHT TECH: Failure of cybersecurity bill opens door for White House action

"Whatever we do for this bill, it's not enough for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce," Reid said. "So everyone should understand cybersecurity is dead for this Congress. What an unfortunate thing, but that's the way it is."

FCC considers loosening media ownership rules: Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski is pushing for a vote on a measure that would loosen media ownership restrictions.

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A commission spokesman said the chairman circulated an order with the other commissioners that would "streamline and modernize the media ownership rules."

The order would loosen bans on newspaper-radio and TV-radio cross ownership, but maintain other restrictions in certain markets. 

"As the Commission recognized last year, while the media marketplace is in transition, broadband and new media are not yet available as ubiquitously as traditional broadcast media, and certain protections therefore remain important to promoting competition, diversity, and localism. The proposal promotes media diversity by retaining some of the consolidation limits, and through a number of measures that provide broadcast opportunities for small businesses,” the commission spokesman said.

The FCC could vote on the changes at its next meeting on Nov. 30.

Obama authorizes new cyber warfare directive: The White House has, for the first time, laid out specific ground rules for how and when the U.S. military can carry out offensive and defensive cyber operations against foreign threats. 

The guidelines were codified in a new White House directive signed by President Obama in mid-October, according to The Washington Post. A senior Obama administration official confirmed to The Hill that the president has signed a directive on “cyber operations.”

Walden to stay on as chairman of Technology subcommittee: Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.) said Wednesday he plans to stay on as chairman of the House subcommittee that handles communications and technology issues.

There had been speculation that Walden might step down from the post if he won his bid to chair the National Republican Congressional Committee, which coordinates national efforts to elect Republicans to the House. 

Singers oppose Internet radio bill: A coalition of 125 chart-topping singers and musicians — including Pink Floyd, Britney Spears and Rihanna — are speaking out against Pandora's efforts to modify the music royalty system.

In an open letter released on Wednesday, the group questions Pandora's push for Congress to enact changes to existing royalty-setting rules. The singers and musicians argue that Pandora "is now enjoying phenomenal success as a Wall Street company," including "skyrocketing growth in revenues and users."

Norquist sounds off against Internet royalty bill: Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist has added his voice to the growing list of opponents speaking out against a music royalty bill backed by Pandora.

In a letter sent to House and Senate Judiciary Committee leaders on Tuesday, Norquist argued that lawmakers should stay out of the debate between the music industry and Internet radio services over royalty payments. He took issue with the existing rules used to set the royalty rates that Internet radio services pay to artists and recording labels to play songs, saying those rates should be determined by the market.

Ambassador warns against demonizing the UN in negotiations over Internet treaty: U.S. Ambassador Terry Kramer argued on Wednesday that the United States will have to address the concerns of other countries during negotiations over an international telecommunications treaty.

He warned that refusing to participate in discussions or demonizing the United Nations will only prevent the United States from having a seat at the negotiating table.

"Our messages need to be issues-orientated and fact-orientated — not taking shots at the U.N., not taking shots at leadership," he said during a speech at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington.

A bipartisan group of lawmakers sent a letter to Kramer on Wednesday, urging him to oppose international efforts to regulate the Internet. 

Lawmakers urged to investigate Chinese cyber espionage: Lawmakers should investigate China's cyber espionage of U.S. military, government and commercial targets, a congressional advisory panel urges in a new report released Wednesday.

The U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission made 32 recommendations to Congress, including reviewing legal penalties for companies found to engage in or benefit from industrial espionage. It also urged lawmakers to reexamine foreign direct investment from China to the United States and to consider requiring a mandatory review of controlling investments by government-controlled firms and adding an economic benefit test for Chinese investments.


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