OVERNIGHT TECH: House panel set to debate CISPA

The proposed changes would add additional oversight measures to the bill, as well as strike a provision that would have allowed the government to use the threat data they receive from companies for national security purposes. Privacy advocates argued law enforcement could interpret the provision broadly so it would allow them to take action against people for non-cybersecurity matters, such as illegal immigration or tax issues. 

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Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) plans to offer an amendment that would require companies to take reasonable efforts to remove personally identifiable information from threat data prior to sharing it with the government. Schiff said he could not vote in favor of the bill moving out of the committee if it did not include his amendment or language similar to it. 

"I think the other amendments are definitely a step in the right direction, but we still need the private sector to take efforts on its own to remove personally identifiable information," Schiff told The Hill. "I still believe that the House, Senate and White House can come to a common agreement on these outstanding issues. It just shouldn't be that difficult."

"I think we can maintain the proper balance of protecting the country from cyberattacks and also ensuring the the privacy rights of the American people are respected," he said. 

However, Schiff admitted that it will be an uphill battle for his amendment to be adopted during Wednesday's markup.  

"Unless we can win over Republican support, it will be very difficult for my amendment to pass, but I hope that we can make the case for the necessity of private sector efforts to remove personally identifiable information," he said.

The bill is expected to pass out of committee just as it did during the previous Congress. The committee approved the bill on a 17-1 vote, but some have speculated that CISPA could receive more than one dissenting vote this time around. 

Elizabeth Kerr, a spokeswoman for Rep. Jim Himes (D-Conn.), said the lawmaker has some privacy concerns with CISPA but "is hopeful he is able to amend the bill in a way" that addresses them. 

"He believes that a strong bill is absolutely essential to protecting our national and economic security and is hopeful the final version both protects the rights of individuals and gives authorities the necessary tools to combat efforts to compromise our nation’s cybersecurity,” Kerr said in a statement.

Privacy groups have made clear that the proposed changes aren't enough to win their support. They note that the amendments would not require companies to strip personal information from cyber threat data they share with the government, and would still allow the businesses to share threat data directly with the National Security Agency. 

Michelle Richardson, legislative counsel at the American Civil Liberties Union, said the amendments don't go far enough to address the group's concerns and that the Intelligence Committee leaders "are not consulting with us and other groups."

Richardson also voiced support for Schiff's amendment. When asked to respond to the claim that it would be difficult for small and medium-sized companies to remove people's personal information from threat data prior to sharing it with the government, Richardson said: "This is not beyond their capability."

"If you can't play in this space while respecting your customers' privacy, get out," she said. "There's a half a century of privacy laws that apply to these companies and they're finding a way to muster through as is. This is not beyond their capability."

Hacking law reformers take to Reddit: Supporters of narrowing the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act answered questions on Reddit on Tuesday.

Demand Progress, Aaron Swartz's partner Taren Stinebrickner-Kauffman, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Fight for the Future, the Competitive Enterprise Institute and Free Press and academics Orin Kerr, Jennifer Granick, Lawrence Lessig, Marvin Ammori and Tim Berners-Lee took turns responding to users.

They sought to rally opposition to a draft House Judiciary Committee bill to expand the law, warning it could ensnare regular Internet users.

House lifts Spotify ban: House aides can now access music streaming service Spotify, according to Roll Call.

The House Administrator's Office blocked the service for about two months, citing rules against peer-to-peer file-sharing networks. Officials said at the time they would work with Spotify to resolve the security concerns.

The ban had raised the ire of lawmakers and industry groups, who noted that Spotify is a legal service. 


IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

Rockefeller concerned about Wheeler's past: Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.), head of the Senate Commerce Committee, expressed concern about Tom Wheeler's possible nomination to chair the Federal Communications Commission.

"A lobbyist is a lobbyist," Rockefeller said in a brief conversation with reporters in the Capitol. "He's been lobbying for some of the things he'd be making decisions on."

DHS deputy out: Jane Holl Lute, deputy secretary at the Department of Homeland Security, plans to step down from her role early next month after spending four years at the agency.

Lute serves as the second-highest official under Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and has played a key role in leading the department's cybersecurity efforts. Her departure comes at a critical time for the agency, which is in the process of implementing President Obama's cybersecurity order. 

Austin gets ultrafast Internet: Google announced on Tuesday that it will expand its ultrafast Internet service, Google Fiber, to Austin, Texas.

The service, which offers speeds about a hundred times faster than average broadband, is currently only available in Kansas City. The company said it plans to begin connecting homes in Austin by mid 2014.

Just hours after Google's announcement, AT&T unveiled its own plans to offer ultrafast fiber Internet service in Austin — provided that government officials offer it the same terms and incentives that Google got.

Google rivals file new EU complaint: FairSearch, a coalition of Google's rivals, filed a complaint with the European Commission on Monday, arguing that Google is violating fair competition laws with its Android mobile operating system.


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