OVERNIGHT TECH: Senators to push cyber crime bill

Levin introduced the bill with Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.), Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) and Tom Coburn (R-Okla.).

The bill's introduction comes ahead of a Senate Judiciary subpanel hearing on Wednesday that will examine law enforcement and private-sector responses to cyber threats. It will look at the resources and strategy that the Justice Department and FBI employ to respond to cyber crime, as well as how the private sector can help in that effort.

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Witnesses will include Joseph Demarest, assistant director of the FBI's cyber division; Jenny Durkan, U.S. attorney for the western district of Washington; Mandiant CEO Kevin Mandia; Stewart Baker, partner at Steptoe & Johnson; and Cheri McGuire, vice president for global government affairs and cybersecurity policy at Symantec Corp. 

Rockefeller targets late May for Wheeler hearing: Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) aims to hold a hearing by late May on Tom Wheeler's nomination to be Federal Communications Committee chairman, according to a committee aide.

But the aide noted that the president has yet to formally send the nomination papers to the Senate, so the date could change. 

Rockefeller, who had wanted Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel to get the agency's top job, expressed concern earlier this year about Wheeler's past as a lobbyist.

Former Romney spokesman heads to Sandberg's Lean In nonprofit: Andrea Saul, formerly the campaign press secretary for 2012 GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney, announced via her Twitter account on Tuesday that she's running communications for Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg's new Lean In nonprofit. The nonprofit organization, co-founded by Sandberg and named after her recent book, is focused on helping women achieve their goals.

Twitter's Wong to join White House team: Nicole Wong, legal director at Twitter, has been hired by the White House to be a senior adviser to its chief technology officer, Todd Park, according to AllThingsD. A source familiar with the matter said the position will focus on Internet and privacy policies. Prior to Twitter, Wong served as vice president and deputy general counsel at Google.

AT&T settles FCC probe: AT&T agreed to pay $18.25 million on Tuesday to settle charges that it defrauded a Federal Communications Commission program out of millions of dollars and assisted Nigerian scammers. Authorities claimed that AT&T knowingly billed the government for calls placed by international scammers through IP Relay Services, a program for the hearing-impaired. According to the government, AT&T feared losing the reimbursements for fraudulent calls and adopted a system that it knew would not root out scams.

In addition to the payment, the settlement requires AT&T to implement a compliance plan to avoid future violations.

T-Mobile sides with DOJ against AT&T: T-Mobile on Tuesday rebutted the arguments of AT&T and urged the FCC to follow the advice of the Justice Department on rules for the upcoming spectrum auction.

In a filing, T-Mobile argued that the Justice Department's advice that the agency use "rules, weights, or caps" to limit how much spectrum any individual cellphone carrier can buy will ensure robust competition in the industry.

AT&T accused the department of trying to illegally "rig" the auction in favor of smaller carriers like T-Mobile and Sprint.

"DOJ does not, as AT&T misleadingly charges, suggest that the FCC 'rig' the upcoming 600 MHz incentive auction or 'tailor' its spectrum aggregation rules to favor, among others, T-Mobile," T-Mobile wrote. "Far from urging that the FCC adopt rules that will 'help specific companies,' DOJ recommends that the Commission consider rules that will benefit the American public by ensuring a competitive wireless communications marketplace."

T-Mobile also urged the FCC to put more value on low-frequency spectrum.

FTC issues warning to data brokers: The Federal Trade Commission issued warning letters to 10 data broker companies on Tuesday that said their business practices could run afoul of a federal law regulating consumer information use. The FTC said it conducted a test-shopping operation that found that the 10 companies were wiling to sell consumer data without complying with the law. The agency said the letters were simply a reminder to companies to evaluate their business practices, rather than a formal complaint. 


ON TAP

The Senate Judiciary subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism will hold a hearing on Wednesday morning to examine law enforcement and private-sector responses to cyber threats.

Later in the afternoon, the Senate Commerce Committee will hold an immigration-focused hearing that examines the role that foreign workers play in the U.S. tech industry. The witness panel will include Ruchi Sanghvi, vice president of operations at Dropbox; Jeffrey Bussgang, general partner at Flybridge Capital Partners; Gwenne Henricks, chief technology officer of Caterpillar; and Stuart Anderson, executive director of the National Foundation for American Policy. 


IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: 

Boehner says he 'probably' can't support online sales tax bill: Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said Tuesday that he likely couldn’t support the online sales tax bill that the Senate passed this week, underscoring the challenge that supporters face in getting the measure through the lower chamber.

GOP senators push bill to end cellphone subsidy: Three Republican senators introduced legislation on Tuesday to scrap a federal subsidy for cellphone service. 

The bill, from Sens. David Vitter (R-La.), James Inhofe (R-Okla.) and Dan Coats (R-Ind.), would end the cellphone portion of the Federal Communications Commission's Lifeline program, which has been derisively referred to as the "Obama phone" program, despite the fact that it began long before President Obama took office.

Liberals to pull Facebook ads to protest Zuckerberg's political group: Nine liberal advocacy organizations said on Tuesday that they plan to pull their Facebook ads for at least two weeks to protest political TV ads funded by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's political advocacy group, FWD.us.

Boehner suggests House will take its time on Internet sales tax: Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) suggested Tuesday that the online sales tax legislation that easily cleared the Senate this week was not one of the House's top priorities.

Boehner referred reporters at a news conference to the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), who has expressed concerns about the Senate bill.

Regulator eyes rules for digital currency Bitcoin: A financial regulator said on Tuesday that he is considering whether to impose rules on the digital currency Bitcoin.

"I'm not 100 percent saying we should regulate it, but if anybody is going to, it seems like something we should consider," Bart Chilton, one of the five commissioners on the Commodities Futures Trading Commission, said in an interview on CNBC. "It's being potentially used for guns and money and nobody is looking after it."

House chairman: Internet sales tax bill has 'a long way to go': House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) criticized the Senate on Monday for moving so quickly on Internet sales tax legislation, and said the House will take its time considering it.

Pentagon: Chinese government hacking into US computers: The Pentagon is directly accusing the Chinese government and military of cracking into U.S. government computer systems to steal valuable intelligence.

The Pentagon's claims, outlined in a report published on Monday, mark the strongest comments made to date by the U.S. military about the Chinese government launching cyberattacks against U.S. government computers.


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