OVERNIGHT TECH: Congress set to tackle email privacy

The House Judiciary Committee will also hold a hearing on Thursday morning to consider whether the privacy law should be updated to require a warrant for geolocation data. The witnesses will be Catherine Crump of the American Civil Liberties Union, Peter Modafferi of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, Professor Matt Blaze of the University of Pennsylvania and attorney Mark Eckenwiler of Perkins Coie.

Cybersecurity discussed at White House dinner: President Obama discussed his desire to pass cybersecurity legislation during his dinner with a group of female senators at the White House on Tuesday, according to Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.).

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Klobuchar said the president made clear that passing a cybersecurity bill is one of his top policy goals.

"Sen. [Dianne] Feinstein [(D-Calif.)] had raised the issue of how important it was to move forward," Klobuchar said. "The president just said it was something he really wanted to get done and that his administration is working with the House and the Senate to try to get something on it done. He talked about it for quite awhile in terms of how important he thought it was for the country to move on a cybersecurity bill."

"It struck me because we mostly talked about the budget and some foreign relations issues and energy," Klobuchar said. "This is something that he clearly wants to get done."

Carper meets with U.S. Chamber on cyber matters: Senate Homeland Security Committee Chairman Tom Carper (D-Del.) said he met with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday to discuss cybersecurity, calling the meeting "very positive" and "very constructive."

"I think there was a good engagement with the business community," Carper said.

Last year the Chamber fiercely lobbied against the Cybersecurity Act in the Senate.


ON TAP

The Senate Judiciary Committee will mark up email privacy legislation on Thursday morning. Meanwhile, in the lower chamber, the House Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, focusing on geolocation privacy and surveillance. 

Also in the morning, the House Energy and Commerce's Communications and Technology subpanel will hold a hearing on the Federal Communications Commission's Lifeline fund, which subsidizes phone service for low-income subscribers. Rep. Doris Matsui (D-Calif.) re-introduced legislation earlier this week that would expand the program.

In the afternoon, the House Homeland Security Committee's Cybersecurity subpanel will hold a hearing focused on how to protect America's critical infrastructure while also safeguarding civil liberties.

The filing deadline for amendments to the Internet sales tax bill is 1:00 p.m. on Thursday. The Senate is expected to begin voting on amendments in the afternoon. A vote on final passage could happen as soon as Thursday afternoon or could drag into the weekend, according to a Senate aide.


IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

Sen. Rockefeller rips 'repulsive' online tracking: Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) accused the advertising industry on Wednesday of purposefully delaying negotiations to develop a feature that would allow consumers to block online tracking.

House Judiciary chairman to launch sweeping review of US copyright law: House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) said Wednesday that his committee will launch a sweeping review of the country's copyright law and hold a series of hearings on the matter "in the months ahead."

Senate votes 75-22 to advance online sales tax bill: The Senate took a second procedural step Wednesday on a a bill that would allow states to collect online sales tax.

MetroPCS shareholders approve T-Mobile deal: MetroPCS shareholders approved T-Mobile's offer to buy the company on Wednesday, clearing the path for the two companies to merge.

House Homeland Security chairman to develop cybersecurity bill: House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas) on Wednesday said he is crafting his own cybersecurity bill that will clarify the Department of Homeland Security's role in sharing information about cyber threats with companies.


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