OVERNIGHT TECH: Senate advances Internet sales tax bill

“This is fundamentally about fairness and the need for government to end its discriminatory sales tax policy that disadvantages local, community-based retailers in favor of remote and online sellers," Matthew Shay, the group's CEO, said in a statement.

But Wall Street groups urged senators on Monday to take more time with the legislation, warning the bill could allow states to begin taxing stock trades. 

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"It’s important for Congress to explore all the possible outcomes and costs of the proposal, especially the impact on consumers," Scott Talbott, the senior vice president of public policy for the Financial Services Roundtable, said in a statement.

Online auction site eBay is rallying its millions of users to oppose the legislation. In an email to users, eBay CEO John Donahoe argued that the bill would "penalize small online businesses."

The legislation is expected to face a tougher battle in the House, where Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) has said he will take his time scrutinizing it.

Republicans urge FCC to ignore DOJ: House Republicans on Monday disputed the Justice Department's advice to the Federal Communications Commission on structuring the upcoming spectrum auction.

The Justice Department's Antitrust Division had advised the FCC to use rules, weights or caps to ensure that industry leaders AT&T and Verizon do not buy up all of the spectrum at auction. The agency argued that ensuring that smaller companies are able to buy the valuable resource will improve competition and benefit consumers.

But in a letter to the FCC, Republican leaders of the Energy and Commerce Committee warned that following DOJ's advice "will reduce the potential revenues from the auction and possibly cause the auction to fail."

"The Commission should focus on the capacity constraints faced by all wireless carriers, rather than upon the DOJ's unsubstantiated speculation about the theoretical incentives that carriers may or may not have," the lawmakers wrote.

Reuters fires Keys: Matthew Keys, deputy social media editor for Reuters, announced via Twitter that he was fired from the news organization on Monday. In a detailed post published to his Tumblr account, Keys said the Newspaper Guild of New York plans to file a grievance on his behalf.

An editorial manger at Reuters and a Thomson Reuters human resources representative called Keys on Monday morning to inform him of his termination, Keys writes. Among the incidents that led to his termination, the representatives told Keys, was that Reuters took issue with him tweeting scanner traffic during coverage of the Boston Marathon bombings. The news organization also said "it had a problem with the perceived relationship between my Twitter account and their news organization," according to Keys.

In March, Keys was charged by the Justice Department with conspiring to help members of the hacker group Anonymous deface The Los Angeles Times website in 2010. Reuters suspended Keys after the indictment emerged. However, Keys writes on Tumblr that it's "unclear if my firing had anything to do" with the charges.

"The company mentioned the suspension several times, but they did not mention the case nor did they mention the indictment," Keys writes. 

Dropbox hires lobbying help: The Joseph Group will be lobbying on behalf of cloud storage service Dropbox, according to a recent lobbying registration form. Kevin Joseph will lobby for Dropbox on "all issues relating to online privacy," the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA), cybersecurity and the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, as well as the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act. The new lobbying registration comes as both the House and Senate are set to debate ECPA reform bills this week. 


IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

Durbin slams H-1B visas: Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) slammed the H-1B visa program during a Monday hearing on the comprehensive immigration reform bill unveiled last week, arguing that the bulk of those temporary worker visas have been awarded to IT services companies headquartered in India.

Durbin says online sales tax needed to save states, brick-and-mortar stores: A Democratic co-sponsor of a bill allowing states to collect taxes from online sales said Monday that the bill is needed to save states that are drowning in red ink, and brick-and-mortar stores that are trying to compete with Internet retailers.

White House endorses online sales tax measure:
The White House on Monday endorsed legislation that would give states greater authority to tax Internet retailers located outside their borders. 


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