OVERNIGHT TECH: Senators to introduce high-skilled immigration bill

That sentiment was echoed by Klobuchar's Democratic colleague, Sen. Chris Coons (Del.). 

"It is my hope that the core ideas in the bill we will be introducing tomorrow will get considered seriously for inclusion in comprehensive immigration reform," he said. 

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Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) is both a member of the working group and a co-sponsor of the high-skilled bill. He signaled that he is open to including the bill into the working group's legislation. 

"You can't comprehensively deal with a broken legal immigration system without addressing the fact that too few of our immigrants come based on skill and merit, so clearly that's an issue we have to address," Rubio said. 

However, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) cautioned that the bill is "not designed to fit into a wider framework, although it can."

"They haven't even written their bill yet," Hatch said. "Ours is written."

Microsoft applauds immigration plan: Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith on Monday commended the bipartisan group of senators who announced a comprehensive immigration proposal. 

"As with any proposal, we look forward to seeing the details of the legislation. Microsoft strongly supports efforts to permanently reform our high-skilled immigration system and enact broad immigration reform in 2013," he said in a statement.

He urged Congress to expand the H-1B visa system to allow more high-skilled foreigners to work in the United States and allow more green cards for highly educated immigrants.

"As a longtime proponent of broad immigration reform, we are encouraged by the momentum on these important issues," Smith said.

Leahy says email privacy bill is 'essential': Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) said on Monday it is "essential" for Congress to enact tougher privacy protections for people's emails and other electronic communications this year. 

"After three decades, it is essential that Congress update [the Electronic Communications Privacy Act] to ensure that this critical law keeps pace with new technologies and the way Americans use and store email today. Digital privacy is important to all Americans, regardless of party affiliation or ideology," Leahy said. 

The senior Democrat made the statement in honor of "Data Privacy Day."

Google details how it handles government requests: Google explained how it responds to government requests for its users' private information on Monday.

Blood bank settles with FTC for failing to protect data: The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) agreed to settle charges with cord blood bank Cbr Systems after alleging that its weak security practices led to a security breach that exposed the Social Security, credit and debit card numbers of roughly 300,000 customers, Commissioner Maureen Ohlhausen said on Monday.

Ohlhausen said the blood bank, which stores umbilical cord blood and tissue, suffered a security breach in 2010 after a company laptop, hard drive and unencrypted backup tapes that contained consumers' personal information were stolen from an employee's car. The backup tapes had people's Social Security numbers, driver's license numbers, birth dates and credit- and debit-card information stored on them. 

Copyright holders threaten to retaliate against Antigua: A lawyer for a group on intellectual property rights warned on Monday that the tiny island nation of Antigua could face retaliation for ignoring U.S. copyrights.

"If Antigua moves forward, we will work to ensure that its eligibility to participate in any U.S. trade assistance or benefit is withdrawn," Michael Schlesinger, a lawyer for the International Intellectual Property Alliance, said in a phone interview.

Twitter says government data requests on the rise: Twitter said on Monday that requests for user information by the U.S. government are on the rise.

In a report, the social media site revealed that it received 815 requests for information by the U.S. government in the second half of 2012, compared with 679 requests in the first half of the year.

McCain open to visa bill in immigration package: Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said he is open to wrapping a bill that would boost the number of visas available for high-skilled foreign workers into the broad comprehensive immigration framework that was announced on Monday.

A bipartisan group of four senators, including Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), is set to introduce a stand-alone bill on Tuesday that would significantly increase the cap for H-1B visas for skilled foreign workers, such as computer programmers and engineers. 


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