OVERNIGHT TECH: FCC releases 400-page net neutrality text

THE LEDE: Battle lines hardened as the Federal Communications Commission publicly released a 400-page document containing new net neutrality regulations, two weeks after they were approved. 

As both sides poured through the document Thursday, Internet service providers released quick statements reiterating that the issue must eventually be settled through court challenges or an override in Congress.

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After waiting months, Republicans critical of the proposal expressed relief at finally being able to see what they called a "Washington manifesto" and remained firm in their own legislative approach. Democrats like Sen. Maria CantwellMaria Elaine CantwellUse tax reform to strengthen what’s working: The low-income housing tax credit Senate energy bill is misguided gift to Trump’s dirty fossil fuel agenda Help states solve their housing problems with the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act MORE (D-Wash.) and advocates supportive of the rules released laudatory statements but warned "the battle isn't over."

The fight over the release of the document became a storyline all its own in the past few months with FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler resisting Republican calls to make an exception and publish it early ahead of the vote last month. 

The FCC is sending the document to the Federal Register for publication. It will take effect 60 days after that. It is a near certainty that providers will take legal action in the meantime, but no one has definitively indicated who will lead the charge. Congress has a number of avenues to pursue as well to block the rules. 

FAQ ON NET NEUTRALITY PATH FORWARD: Public Knowledge published a step-by-step guide to what comes next now that the Federal Communications Commission has publicly released the net neutrality text. The rules will not go into effect until 60 days after publication in the Federal Register, but litigation can get started before that. 

LEE, PRITZKER TO SXSW: Secretary of Commerce Penny PritzkerPenny Sue PritzkerTrump transportation chief to join Biden for jobs event DeVos should ‘persist’ despite liberal opposition Indiana teachers hold sit-in to demand Young recuse himself from DeVos vote MORE and U.S. Patent and Trademark director Michelle Lee will be speaking at South by Southwest in Austin, Texas, on Friday. Pritzker is slated to discuss "how the government is adapting to the rate and pace of technology by re-tooling the patent system, and aligning federal policy to fuel, not slow, innovation."

'PLENTY' SURVEILLANCE PROGRAMS STILL UNKNOWN: Sen. Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenHouse bill set to reignite debate on warrantless surveillance Senate confirms No. 2 spot at HHS, days after Price resigns Overnight Cybersecurity: Equifax CEO faces outraged lawmakers | Dem presses voting machine makers on cyber defense | Yahoo says 3 billion accounts affected by 2013 breach MORE (D-Ore.), a member of the Intelligence Committee and an outspoken critic of U.S. surveillance programs, said Thursday "there's plenty of" domestic surveillance programs that have not been made public. During an interview with Buzzfeed, Wyden asked why President Obama has not unilaterally ended a program that collects the call records of millions of Americans. He also reiterated his opposition to CIA director John Brennan.

REGS CRITICS LEND SUPPORT TO PATENT REFORM: A group of libertarian-leaning organizations including Americans for Tax Reform and the Competitive Enterprise Institute urged House lawmakers to keep up the first for patent reform on Thursday. Reforms in the Innovation Act "are essential to buttress the structure of our patent system against predatory litigation, and in so doing, create more clarity and better protections for legitimate intellectual property rights," the organizations told lawmakers. 

GOODLATTE HONORED BY CEA: House Judiciary Chairman Bob GoodlatteBob GoodlatteOvernight Cybersecurity: Equifax security employee left after breach | Lawmakers float bill to reform warrantless surveillance | Intel leaders keeping collusion probe open House bill set to reignite debate on warrantless surveillance Warrantless wiretapping reform legislation circulates on Capitol Hill MORE (R-Va.) will be recognized by the Consumer Electronics Association for his support of technology innovation at the industry group's annual Digital Patriots Dinner, it announced on Thursday. The dinner, scheduled for April 14, will also honor AOL co-founder and venture capitalist Steve Case. 

LIFELINE OVERHAUL: FCC commissioner Mignon Clyburn, a Democrat, said she expects the commission to circulate an order by this summer to overhaul the Lifeline program, which helps subsidize phone service for people with low incomes. Clyburn has called for the program to expand its reach to broadband, asserting it is stuck in the 1980s. During an interview with C-SPAN's "The Communicators" she said the commission would need to address abuse of the program as well by taking the certification process out of the hands of service providers. 

ON TAP: 

Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker and U.S. Patent and Trademark director Michelle Lee will speak at South by Southwest at 12:30 p.m. central time. 

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The head of the FBI said he hasn't read a 6,000-page Senate report about harsh government interrogation programs -- and doesn't even know where it is.

NASA is too focused on Earth and needs to turn its attention toward exploring the deepest reaches of space, according to Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzWhatever you think the Alabama special election means, you’re probably wrong This week: Congress gets ball rolling on tax reform Week ahead: Senators work toward deal to fix ObamaCare markets MORE (R-Texas).

Some House Republicans are refusing to fully endorse a compromise on net neutrality floated earlier this year by their party's committee chairmen.  

 

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