OVERNIGHT TECH: Administration launches copyright review

Sherwin Siy, vice president of legal affairs for Public Knowledge, lauded the report, but at the same time said it failed "to recognize fully the negative effects of certain copyright enforcement policies on the public."

"It focuses in more detail, more frequently, on updating exclusive rights and enforcement measures than on preserving essential limitations and exceptions," Siy said in a statement. "In addition, its analysis of new enforcement tools doesn't always include all of the costs of such enforcement, particularly upon users."

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Congress is also taking a look at the issue. The House Judiciary Committee's Intellectual Property subcommittee on Thursday will wrap the up second part of its hearing series on current copyright law and its effect on innovation.

Committee votes to limit FCC reports: The House Energy and Commerce Committee advanced legislation on Wednesday that would limit the number of reports that the Federal Communications Commission must submit to Congress. 

The bill, the FCC Consolidated Reporting Act, consolidates eight reports into a single Communications Marketplace Report and eliminates four other reports, including one on the status of competition in the telegraph industry.

Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.) is pushing companion legislation in the Senate.

FCC holds interoperability meeting: Acting FCC Chairwoman Mignon Clyburn met with industry groups on Wednesday to discuss interoperability problems between different carriers' networks. 

Small and regional cell carriers are urging the FCC to impose interoperability requirements, which would make it easier for their customers to roam on other networks.

"Interoperability issues in the lower 700 MHz band have slowed mobile broadband deployment, made it harder for small carriers to compete, and limited choices for consumers," Clyburn said in a statement.

She added that she favors an "industry-led solution" to address the issues.


IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

Latest Snowden leak: The National Security Agency is running a surveillance program, named XKeyscore, that allows intelligence analysts to search databases of people's email, online chats and browsing histories without prior authorization, The Guardian reported on Wednesday. 

Documents obtained by the newspaper from former government contractor Edward Snowden describe how analysts can obtain Internet data — including the content of email messages, Facebook chats, private messages and search histories — by filling out a simple on-screen form.

New declassified docs: The Obama administration declassified several documents on Wednesday related to the National Security Agency's sweeping phone surveillance program. The documents, released by the director of national intelligence, provide new details about how the NSA collects records on virtually all phone calls within the United States.

Officials open to FISA privacy advocate: Obama administration officials said on Wednesday that they are willing to consider changes to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court that would allow an attorney to advocate on behalf of privacy rights.

During a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, Deputy Attorney Gen. James Cole said that creating an adversarial process at the FISA court should be "part of the debate."

Franken transparency bill: Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) plans to introduce legislation on Thursday that would force the National Security Agency to reveal how many people in the United States it has spied on. 

No 'legal impediment' to cell tracking: A top Justice Department official said on Wednesday he believes the government could legally track the location of every cellphone in the United States.

"I don't believe there would be a legal impediment," Deputy Attorney General James Cole said during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing. "But the legal impediments are not the only issue you take into account here."

House panel backs cell unlocking: The House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday approved a bill by Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) that lets people unlock their cellphones. 

Goodlatte's bill, which the committee approved by a voice vote, would allow people to switch wireless carriers without having to purchase a new phone. Under the measure, people would be able to access another mobile carrier's wireless network on their cellphone without having to get permission from their original wireless provider first. 

White House email breached: Three White House staffers who work on social media outreach recently had their personal Gmail accounts breached, according to NextGov.

Lawmakers summoned to spy briefing: The director of the National Security Agency will brief lawmakers on the agency's surveillance programs Thursday after the House nearly voted to curtail the agency’s powers last week.

Twitter transparency report: The popular social networking site Twitter released its biannual transparency report on Wednesday, revealing that the U.S. government makes the lion’s share of user data requests from the site.

Obama, lawmakers to huddle on NSA: President Obama will meet with a bipartisan group of lawmakers at the White House on Thursday to "discuss key programs under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act," a White House official said Wednesday. 

Intel leaders slam 'misleading' report: The leaders of the House Intelligence Committee blasted the latest leaks about the National Security Agency's surveillance programs on Wednesday.

“The latest in the parade of classified leaks published today is without context and provides a completely inaccurate picture of the program," Reps. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) and Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Md.) said in a joint statement.


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