OVERNIGHT TECH: New FTC chief to make first speech

"The FTC wants consumers to have effective notice and meaningful choices about what data is collected about them and how it is used," Ramirez said in congressional testimony in 2011. "That, in turn, will engender the consumer confidence and trust that are essential for industry to continue to innovate and flourish."

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The summit is hosted by the International Association of Privacy Professionals.

House bill would make CRS reports public: Reps. Mike Quigley (D-Ill.) and Leonard Lance (R-N.J.) introduced legislation on Thursday to require the Congressional Research Service to post its reports online.

Currently, the nonpartisan research group only provides its reports to members of Congress, who sometimes release them to the public.

“By making these taxpayer-funded reports more accessible to the public, we can increase transparency and empower every day citizens to continue being the government’s best watchdog,” Quigley said.

The bill, the Congressional Research Service Electronic Accessibility Act, is backed by government transparency and data openness groups. 

Lawmakers head to SXSW: Sens. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Mark Warner (D-Va.) and Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) are heading to the annual South by Southwest conference in Austin, Texas, this weekend. Moran will be participating in panel on Friday about how the start-up community can engage with policymakers, and will join Warner in a panel on Saturday about their high-skilled immigration reform bill Startup Act 3.0. 

Pandora's Westergren joins Matsui in tech talk: On Friday, Pandora founder Tim Westergren and Rep. Doris Matsui (D-Calif.) will speak about the state of the tech industry in California and the Sacramento area, as well as how the federal government can spark innovation, at the Sacramento Area Regional Technology Alliance's TechEdge lunch. In recent months, Westergren has been pushing for a bill by Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) that would modify the music royalty-setting rules for Internet radio stations. 

AP: Pandora CEO Joe Kennedy steps down: Pandora said the company's chief executive, Joe Kennedy, is stepping down during its fourth-quarter earnings call, the AP reports


IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

Cybersecurity bill's path unclear:  Despite its failure to pass a bill last year, the Senate is resolved to get back to work on legislation targeted at securing the country against cyberattacks. 

But it's unclear whether the upper chamber will be able to find agreement on the differences that snagged efforts to clear a cybersecurity bill last year. A potential division over whether to tackle cybersecurity in a comprehensive bill or in a piecemeal fashion surfaced during a joint hearing on cybersecurity held by the Senate Commerce and Homeland Security committees on Thursday.

K St. ready for cybersercurity cash grab: Cybersecurity is fast becoming good business for K Street.

The question of how the country should defend against online threats has received increased attention from Congress and from President Obama, who took executive action last month to try and prevent attacks on the country’s networks.

The cybersecurity push has drummed up work for influence shops downtown. There have been more than a dozen lobbying registrations for clients that mention “cybersecurity” since Election Day, according to lobbying disclosure records.

Democrats want hearing on Lifeline: Three leading House Energy and Commerce Committee Democrats are calling for an oversight hearing on the Federal Communications Commission's Lifeline program, a phone subsidy for the poor that has been disparagingly referred to as the "Obama phone" program.

Reps. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), Anna Eshoo (Calif.) and Diana DeGette (D-Colo.) did not dispute the value of the program, writing that "universal access to communications services is a longstanding national policy goal."

But they blamed the previous administration for making the program more wasteful. They wrote that the expansion of the program from landline service to cellular service, which occurred in 2005, "created new risks for waste, fraud, and abuse."

Senate bill would legalize cellphone unlocking: Three senators introduced the Wireless Consumer Choice Act on Thursday to legalize cellphone unlocking and allow owners to switch their devices to other networks.

The bill, sponsored by Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), would instruct the Federal Communications Commission to order carriers to allow their customers to unlock their phones and switch providers after they have completed their contracts.

Report finds patchwork of laws could hinder growth of cloud: A patchwork of international laws governing cloud computing services could hinder the expansion and growth of the technology, according to a report released Thursday by BSA | The Software Alliance. 
The software trade group says that while countries are improving the legal environment for cloud services, it's happening at an uneven rate. 

FTC cracks down on spam text messages: The Federal Trade Commission charged 29 people on Thursday with illegally sending unwanted spam text messages.


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