OVERNIGHT TECH: Online sales tax critics celebrate principles

The Marketplace Fairness Act can’t be tweaked to meet these principles, according to Steve DelBianco, executive director of NetChoice. NetChoice represents eBay, which has been a vocal opponent of online sales tax bills. 

Advocates of the Senate bill “may think they can tweak their bill to arrive at the Judiciary principles, but the message they should take from the Chairman is clear: you can’t get there from here,” DelBianco said in a statement.

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But supporters argue the principles still allow for a bill that empowers states to require out-of-state retailers to collect taxes — the core of the Senate bill. They applauded Goodlatte for releasing the outline, and said it's a sign of growing momentum in the House.

"What the chairman's principles do is they allow this conversation to get going," David French, a lobbyist for the National Retail Federation, said. "The specifics of how this conversation becomes legislative language I think is still a little unclear."

FCC circulates rural call order: Acting Federal Communications Commission Chairwoman Mignon Clyburn circulated an order with the other commissioners on Tuesday to address the problem of rural call completion.

Rural state lawmakers led by Sen. Tim Johnson (D-S.D.) have been urging the FCC to crack down on companies that regularly fail to complete calls in rural areas.

The order would require companies to report more data to the FCC on their call performance, according to a commission official. The order would also discourage companies from using more than two intermediate providers to complete a call and would require that callers only hear a ringing tone if their call is actually being completed. 

"These problems have gone on for far too long, and those breaking the rules need to be held accountable," Johnson said in a statement. 

ECPA group to launch: Internet advocates and companies will be relaunching a grassroots website in support of bills to reform the Electronic Communications Privacy Act that would require law enforcement agencies to get warrants before they can access electronic communications. The initiative, Vanishing Rights, is backed by groups including the ACLU and the Center for Democracy and Technology, as well as companies including Reddit and search engine DuckDuckGo. 

In the past, the group has supported a reform bill from Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), which passed the committee. This time around, the group is asking the site’s visitors to support a House bill introduced by Reps. Kevin Yoder (R-Kan.), Tom Graves (R-Ga.) and Jared Polis (D-Colo.).

New DNT head?: Stakeholders working on a tool for users to avoid online tracking say they expect Wednesday’s weekly phone call for the World Wide Web Consortium’s working group will include an announcement about the group’s next co-chairman. The former co-chaiman, Peter Swire, stepped down when he was chosen last month to participate in the White House surveillance review panel.

Copyright hearing: Voluntary anti-piracy efforts should look to the Copyright Alert System — which notifies Internet users when they are accessing pirated content online through peer-to-peer networks — as a model, system Director Jill Lesser will tell the House Judiciary subcommittee on Intellectual Property during tomorrow’s hearing. 

“While still in its early stages” — the system rolled out in February — “the CAS is a voluntary cooperative initiative that illustrates the importance of multi-stakeholder, market-driven solutions to address the problem of digital piracy,” Lesser said in a statement.


ON TAP 

Michael O'Reilly, a Republican nominee to the Federal Communications Commission, and Terrell McSweeny, a Democratic nominee to the Federal Trade Commission, will testify before the Senate Commerce Committee. 

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg will sit down with James Bennet of The Atlantic.

The House Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on voluntary copyright agreements.

The House Homeland Security Committee will vote on two cybersecurity bills.

FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai will speak at an event hosted by Mobile Future. 


IN CASE YOU MISSED IT 

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court declassified an opinion authorizing the National Security Agency to collect records on all U.S. phone calls.

Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.) said that pulling funding from the International Telecommunications Union should be a "last resort" if the body continues its push for Internet regulation.

Consumers need legislation to protect them from online tracking, Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) said. 

A key stakeholder is pulling out of talks to create a Do Not Track list similar to the popular Do Not Call lists that prevent telemarketers from calling people at home.

“Con artists” are increasingly damaging the U.S. economy through online piracy, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) said.


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