Morning tech tip sheet: Thurs., May 20: NBC-Comcast finds new allies, Pelosi fires back on Competes bill

Other news ...

Pelosi criticizes GOP for blocking Competes bill (Tech Daily Dose) — Reports Juliana Gruenwald: "House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., criticized Republicans Wednesday for blocking passage of legislation that would reauthorize research and development programs, boost science, math and technology education, and other programs aimed at boosting U.S. competitiveness. ... 'The COMPETES Act will spur innovation, invest in cutting-edge research, modernize manufacturing and create jobs,' Pelosi said in a statement. She added that, 'These all-American goals deserve bipartisan support and have received overwhelming votes in the past. Yet today, as they did last week, Republicans chose cheap political tricks over progress.'"

FLASHBACK: America Competes Act fails again, Gordon and others promise to try for third time "soon"...

Pakistan blocks Facebook over caricatures (Reuters) — From the wire: "The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) directed Internet service providers to block Facebook indefinitely on Wednesday because of an online competition to draw the Prophet Mohammad. ... The order followed a decision by the Lahore High Court temporarily banning Facebook in Pakistan after the country's media reported that the competition would be held on May 20. ... 'The court has ordered the government to immediately block Facebook until May 31 because of this blasphemous competition,' Azhar Siddique, a representative of the Islamic Lawyers Forum who filed a petition in the Lahore High Court, told Reuters."

German prosecutors investigate Google's data collection (NYT) — Reports Kevin J. O'Brien: "Prosecutors in Hamburg opened a criminal investigation of Google on Wednesday over its collecting of private Internet data from unsecured Wi-Fi networks in Germany. ... The action in the city-state of Hamburg, where Google’s German headquarters is located, could increase pressure on the company to turn over one of the hard drives used in its data-gathering effort, something Google has declined to do thus far. ... German data protection officials on Monday set a May 26 deadline for Google to hand over a hard drive from one of the roving vehicles it used to compile its 360-degree Street View photo mapping archive."

WikiLeaks works to expose secrets, but sources are a mystery (WaPo) — Joby Warrick digs deeper into the site behind countless news scoops: "For an organization dedicated to exposing secrets, WikiLeaks keeps a close hold on its own affairs. Its Web site doesn't list a street address or phone number, or the names of key officers. Officially, it has no employees, headquarters or even a post office box.Yet, about 30 times a day, someone submits a sensitive document to this cyber-whistleblower to be posted online for all to see. Politicians' private e-mails, secret CIA reports, corporate memos, surveillance video -- all have been fair game.The three-year-old group was catapulted into the spotlight last month when it released a U.S. military video of a helicopter attack on Iraqis, graphic images that drew a worldwide audience.That might have been just the warmup. Newly leaked material -- including what WikiLeaks officials describe as an explosive video of civilian casualties in Afghanistan -- is being prepared for release, part of a growing treasure trove of formerly secret documents and recordings that exceeds a million records."

Leahy uploads source material behind Kagan nomination (techPresident) — From Nancy Scola: "Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and his Senate Judiciary Committee have done the public a solid and posted the source materials they're using in their vetting of the nomination of Elena Kagan to filling departing Justice John Paul Stevens' Supreme Court seat. ... Up on right now is a copy of Kagan's official committee questionnaire, as well as Kagan's thesis on 20th century New York City socialism that Princeton University has been harassing bloggers to pull down. For slightly lighter fare there are '[t]wo April Fool's Day columns in the Harvard Law Record' that, Kagan reveals, appeared under her byline 'although I had no involvement in writing them.'"



House Oversight and Government Reform Committee
Hearing on the delayed government transition to Networx, a telecommunications service
Where: Rayburn 2154
When: 9 a.m.
Note: According to Chairman Edolphus Towns (D-N.Y.) — "Networx is a program that will unify essentially all the major telecommunications, network and information services provided to Federal Agencies. The transition to Networx, however, is substantially behind schedule, costing the government millions of dollars for every month the transition is delayed."

FCC Open Meeting
Commissioners to discuss E-Rate changes, competition, utility polls
Where: FCC Headquarters
When: 10:30 a.m.


Cato Institute
Updating ECPA: An electronic privacy law for the 21st century
Where: Dirksen 226
When: Noon
Slated to attend: Julian Sanchez, research fellow at the Cato Institute; Will DeVries, policy counsel for Google; and Greg Nojeim, senior counsel and director of the Project on Freedom, Security and Technology at the Center for Democracy and Technology.