This Week in Tech: House turns to spy games

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But the recent revelations about National Security Agency surveillance could complicate Washington’s battle against hacking.

Former government contractor Edward Snowden told the South China Morning Post that the U.S. government has been hacking into computers in China and Hong Kong since 2009. Snowden said these operations were targeted at businesses, students and officials from the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

Witnesses at Tuesday’s hearing include James Lewis, director of the technology and public policy program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Susan Offutt, chief economist of applied research and methods at the Government Accountability Office, and former Sen. Slade Gorton (R-Wa.), a member of the Commission on the Theft of American Intellectual Property.

Also slated to testify is Larry Wortzel, commissioner at the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission. That group has urged lawmakers to investigate China’s cyber espionage campaign against U.S. government and industry, as well as consider penalties for companies that benefit from stolen IP.

In other technology happenings, the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board will hold a public meeting on Tuesday to discuss government surveillance. The meeting will be an important test of whether the new privacy agency and its recently confirmed chairman, David Medine, will be able to influence policy-making.

The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee on Wednesday will hold a hearing on robocall scams. Lawmakers will examine the harm of fraudulent calls, the effectiveness of law enforcement and regulations in combating them and the potential for technological solutions.

Rep. G.K. Butterfield (D-N.C.) and former Rep. Edolphus Towns (D-N.Y.) will discuss minority media ownership and participation on Tuesday afternoon at a conference hosted by the Minority Media and Telecommunications Council. The council’s conference also includes a Wednesday morning panel discussion with Jessica Rosenworcel and Ajit Pai of the Federal Communications Commission.

On Wednesday, the Hudson Institute will host a lunch discussion about net neutrality rules. The speakers will be former FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell, Federal Trade Commission Commissioner Maureen Ohlhausen and Verizon Vice President of Public Policy Craig Silliman.

The House Homeland Security Committee’s subpanel on Emergency Preparedness, Response and Communications will examine how social media is changing response and recovery efforts during disasters at a Tuesday hearing.

Witnesses include Shayne Adamski, senior manager of digital engagement at the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Suzanne DeFrancis, chief public affairs officer at the Red Cross, and Albert Ashwood, director of the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management.