OVERNIGHT TECH: Wyden 'increasingly concerned' about Google antitrust case

Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) and Silicon Valley Reps. Reps. Anna Eshoo (D) and Zoe Lofgren (D) have written similar letters criticizing the FTC's Google case.
 
Google CEO said to meet with FTC: Google CEO Larry Page met with FTC officials in Washington on Tuesday to discussing the looming antitrust case, Bloomberg reported.

Google is looking to settle the case and is trying to persuade the FTC that it hasn't broken antitrust laws.

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Also on Tuesday, Google Chairman Eric Schmidt met with the head of the company's Washington office, Susan Molinari.

Democrats to hold net-neutrality briefing: Top Democrats on the House Energy and Commerce Committee will hold a briefing on Tuesday to discuss Verizon's challenge to the Federal Communications Commission's net-neutrality rules.

Reps. Henry Waxman (Calif.), Anna Eshoo (Calif.) and Edward Markey (Mass.) are concerned that if the court accepts Verizon's argument that the rules violate its First Amendment free speech rights, it would severely restrict Congress's regulatory powers.

Confirmed speakers include former FCC Chairman Reed Hundt and David Goldberg, who drafted an amicus brief in the case.

Dodd links Facebook hoax to online piracy debate: Former Sen. Chris Dodd, the head of the Motion Picture Association of America, is linking a recent Facebook hoax about copyright protection to the larger debate on online piracy.

Over the last few days, Facebook users have posted and passed around a message that claims to give them ownership of content they publish on the social network. Facebook on Monday debunked rumors claiming that it changed its users' ownership of information on the social network, and said its users own and control the information they post on the website.

Dodd (D-Conn.) argues that the hoax raises the point that "copyright protection is more important than ever" in a blog post published on The Huffington Post on Tuesday. He said it also provides Internet users with insight into how content makers feel when their work has been pirated online.

"The Facebook incident demonstrates that the average Internet user recognizes this fact, especially when they feel their personal content — photos, videos, ideas, etc. — is in jeopardy," Dodd said. "But it also provides average Internet users with some insight into the point of view of the creators of movies, music or other artistic endeavors whose work has been subject to online theft."

For this reason, Dodd says that "it's critically important that we continue a collaborative conversation with the tech community about how we can protect an Internet that works for everyone."

Goodlatte, McCaul, Smith selected as House Committee chairmen: The Hill's Molly Hooper reported earlier that Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), as expected, was promoted to serve as the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee in the next Congress. Meanwhile, the GOP Steering Committee selected Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) to serve as the new Homeland Security Committee chairman, and Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) was selected to chair the House Science, Space and Technology Committee.

Issa looks to ban Internet regulations: Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) is seeking input on a bill that would impose a two-year ban on new laws or regulations that affect the Internet.

Issa released a draft of his Internet American Moratorium Act on Monday night and said that he would answer questions about the legislation on reddit, a social news and discussion site, on Wednesday morning. 

Pandora CEO Joe Kennedy and songwriter Jimmy Jam to headline music royalties hearing: Pandora CEO Joe Kennedy will square off against songwriter Jimmy Jam and other opponents of a bill that proposes to make changes to the music licensing system at a House Judiciary Committee hearing on Wednesday.

In the months leading up to the hearing, the music industry and Pandora have been locked in a fierce lobbying battle over the Internet Radio Fairness Act (IRFA), which was introduced in September by Reps. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) and Jared Polis (D-Colo.) and Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.).

Leahy keeps tough protections in email privacy bill: Privacy advocates are pleased with the latest version of Sen. Patrick Leahy's (D-Vt.) bill to require police to obtain a warrant before reading emails, Facebook messages and other forms of electronic communication.

Leahy released the latest version of his bill on Monday night. The Senate Judiciary Committee, which Leahy chairs, is scheduled to vote on the legislation on Thursday.

Privacy watchdogs urge Zuckerberg to abandon proposed policy changes: Two privacy watchdog groups are calling on Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to withdraw proposed changes to the social network's governance process and data use policies that were announced last week.

In a letter sent to Zuckerberg, the Center for Digital Democracy (CDD) and Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) argue that these proposed changes violate the terms of a recent settlement Facebook agreed to with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and raise serious user privacy questions.  


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