OVERNIGHT TECH: Shutdown would hit tech industry

An extended shutdown could delay the FCC's upcoming broadcast incentive auctions. Preston Padden, who represents TV broadcasters looking to sell their licenses to wireless carriers through the FCC auction, said the agency's auction task force is hoping to release an order on rules and procedures for the auction by the end of the year.

"If there was an extended delay, it would be a problem," he said. 

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The National Institute of Standards and Technology 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 keep processing applications for four weeks using fees it collected last year. But even the Patent Office will have to close if the impasse stretches beyond that time period.   

Free market negotiation bill: The performance royalty right bill introduced by Rep. Mel Watt (D-N.C.) on Monday is a free market bill and should be supported by the broadcasters that have called for free market solutions in the past, musicFIRST Coalition Executive Director Ted Kalo said in a statement. Kalo criticized the National Association of Broadcasters for its criticism of Watt’s bill, saying the group “should read the bill before hitting re-send on recycled talking points.” 

Radio broadcasters argue that they shouldn’t have to pay for music because they provide free advertising for musicians by playing their songs, and “if that is true, they would continue to pay nothing” under Watt’s bill, Kalo said. “However, if they have been getting a free ride for decades on the backs of performers, a free market negotiation would finally compensate artists for their performances.”

Graph Search includes status updates: Facebook announced Monday that its Graph Search feature will include posts and status updates from users. Facebook reassured users that Graph Search only shows users content that has been shared either with them or publicly, and directed users to the site’s privacy settings “to review who can see the things you share.”

Broadcasters urged to skip auction: New technologies could allow broadcasters to use their spectrum in ways that would "[dwarf] the one-time payment from an incentive auction," according to a Wells Fargo research paper. Preston Padden of the Expanding Opportunities for Broadcasters Coalition said the paper is evidence that the FCC should avoid restrictions in the auction that could reduce payments for broadcasters or otherwise discourage their participation. 

"We're at about 70 stations, and the commission is going to need about 400 to go off-the-air," Padden said. "It really raises the question about whether this thing is ever going to happen."


ON TAP

The House Communications and Technology subcommittee will hold a hearing on Tuesday morning on "challenges and opportunities" in the 5 GHz spectrum, which the FCC plans to use to improve WiFi performance. The witnesses will be Julius Knapp, chief of the FCC's Office of Engineering and Technology; Bob Friday, chief technology officer for Cisco; John Kenney, principal researcher for the Toyota infoTechnology Center; and Tom Nagel, a vice president for Comcast.

Microsoft is hosting a panel on immigration reform, featuring opening remarks from House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.)

Assuming the government stays open, the FCC is hosting a day-long cybersecurity forum on protecting children online.


IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

A newly signed California law could help drive the effort to create a Do Not Track mechanism.

A group of 72 tech companies and advocacy groups asked Congress to move quickly on bills that would allow companies to publish the number of requests for user data they get from the government.


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