Tech agencies brace for shutdown

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The FCC's consumer protection and competition enforcement efforts will be shutdown. Companies won't be able to get approval for new electronic devices, and the agency won't approve any changes in TV, radio and wireless licenses.

The Federal Trade Commission will shutdown its Do Not Call Registry, Spam Database and other consumer protection programs. The agency will ask the courts for stays and extensions in its pending cases. The lawyers and other employees working on cases that get extensions will be furloughed. 

The National Institute of Standards and Technology, the Commerce Department agency that helps set industry standards, will have to suspend its work, including implementation of the president's executive order on cybersecurity. Jennifer Huergo, a NIST spokeswoman, said the agency has been preparing for a shutdown and still hopes to meet the president's Oct. 10 deadline to release a preliminary framework of cybersecurity best practices for critical infrastructure.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office will use application fees it collected last year to stay open for four weeks. But even the Patent Office will have to close if the impasse stretches beyond that time period.   

The National Security Agency's surveillance programs, however, are expected to be largely unaffected by the shutdown.