OVERNIGHT TECH: Goodlatte to introduce patent reform bill

Those provisions are more or less the same, patent reform advocates told us. Tomorrow’s bill will have changes that are “cosmetic in nature,” one said.

One person briefed by Goodlatte’s staff said there are minor differences between the September draft and the bill being unveiled tomorrow. One change will be that the entity bringing the case can keep details about the infringement claims sealed, the person said.

Companies on the receiving end of patent infringement lawsuits often complain that they don’t receive enough information about the details of the alleged infringement.

ADVERTISEMENT
Under the bill Goodlatte is expected to introduce tomorrow, the entity bringing the case will have to provide more specific information about the infringement claim, but those details — which some argue could include sensitive business information — can be kept between the parties in the case rather than made public.

Twitter's first lobbying form: Twitter spent $40,000 on lobbying in the third quarter, according to its first lobbying disclosure form (they grow up so fast!).

The company lobbied on updates to the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, Do Not Track, cybersecurity, immigration, net neutrality and bills related to National Security Agency surveillance and transparency. Twitter's only registered lobbyist is Will Carty. 

Facebook lobbying surges: Twitter's total pales in comparison to the $1.4 million Facebook spent in the quarter. That's a 47 percent increase over the same period in 2012. The social media giant lobbied on immigration, privacy regulation, surveillance, patents and other issues.

Google spent $3.4 million in the third quarter, a drop from the same period in 2012, during the height of the Federal Trade Commission's antitrust investigation into its search practices. In addition to the issues that Twitter and Facebook lobbied on, Google also focused on "autonomous vehicle technology."  

Microsoft spent $2.2 million, an increase over 2012. 

Groups urge transparency: Forty-five civil liberties and openness groups sent a letter to President Obama Tuesday urging him to release legal opinions related to government surveillance.

"Secret legal interpretations by the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court allowed the NSA’s surveillance programs to grow in ways that raise serious concerns about what the government is doing in our name and the extent of violations of American’s privacy and civil liberties," the groups wrote.

The letter was signed by the American Civil Liberties Union, the Constitution Project, Win Without War, Human Rights Watch, the Electronic Frontier Foundation and other groups. 

Markey questions student data: Sen. Edward Markey (D-Mass.) sent a letter to the Department of Education on Tuesday, expressing concern over schools sharing student data with third parties.

The New York Timesreportedrecently on the growing trend of school districts using private companies to store grades, test scores, attendance records and other personal information.

“Putting the sensitive information of students in private hands raises a number of important questions about the privacy rights of students and their parents, who have the right to control information about their children,” Markey said in a statement.  

Senate broadband hearing: The Senate Commerce Committee has announced a hearing for next Tuesday morning titled "Broadband Adoption: The Last Mile." 


ON TAP

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) will participate in a cybersecurity discussion hosted by the Financial Services Roundtable and the Center for Strategic and International Studies on Wednesday morning. The panel will be moderated by Financial Services Roundtable CEO Tim Pawlenty and will include Gen. Michael Hayden and Jim Lewis of CSIS. 

The House Communications and Technology subcommittee will hold a Wednesday morning hearing on the transition to Internet-based communications services. The witnesses will be John Burke of the Vermont Public Service Board, Jim Cicconi of AT&T, Harold Feld of Public Knowledge, Mark Iannuzzi of TelNet and Randolph May of the Free State Foundation.

Horacio Gutierrez, Microsoft’s deputy general counsel dealing with intellectual property, will outline the company’s stance on patent reform in a speech at The George Washington University Law School.


IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

The House Bipartisan Privacy Working Group is meeting with two privacy advocates, a privacy researcher and an online advertising representative tomorrow as part of its series of meetings on digital privacy.

The Obama administration released its preliminary cybersecurity framework, which had been postponed because of the shutdown.

A federal appeals court ruled that law enforcement agencies need to obtain a warrant before attaching a GPS device to a suspect's car.

A group of retail tracking technology companies agreed to a code of conduct meant to enhance customers' privacy when they're tracked in stores.

A computer rental company settled with the Federal Trade Commission over charges that the company used software to spy on its customers.

The House Committee on Energy and Commerce reached out to ex-fugitive John McAfee to aide the investigation into the ObamaCare website glitches.

The Department of Health and Human Services has called on Verizon to help with the ObamaCare website.


Please send tips and comments to Brendan Sasso, bsasso@thehill.com, and Kate Tummarello, katet@thehill.com.

Follow Hillicon Valley on Twitter: @HilliconValley, @BrendanSasso, @ktummarello