Overnight Tech: FCC vows to enforce robocall provision

LEDE: A new provision allowing government debt collectors to conduct robocalls will be enforced by the Federal Communications Commission, but one Republican on the panel said the provision shows the "folly" of Obama administration policy. 

Democratic FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler did not comment on the soundness of the new robocall exemption that was slipped into Congress's recently passed budget deal, but he said the commission "will obey the law."

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Republican FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai said it is ironic the administration pushed for its own exemption, just as the FCC tightened its robocalling rules, which Pai opposed because he believed the rules outlawed too many legitimate calls. 

"So I think that bifurcation just illustrates the danger of the government directing who wins and who loses in the marketplace," Pai said. 

The other GOP commissioner Michael O'Rielly, who also opposed the FCC's updated robocall rules, took a different position. O'Rielly said he sees any exemption from the flawed rules as a step in the right direction: "I'm open to different efforts to provide relief," he said.

GROUPS KEEP LOOKOUT FOR BUDGET RIDERS: About 200 groups, including some net neutrality backers, sent a letter to President Obama and members of Congress asking that they oppose any omnibus appropriations bill that contains policy riders that would "undo key safeguards and protections of Main Street." Among the list of non-starters is a provision that would restrict pieces of the FCC's new net neutrality order. Top Republicans have said it is unlikely net neutrality riders would make it in, but advocates have been on guard nonetheless. 

COMCAST'S STREAMING SERVICE: Comcast has launched a livestreaming TV service in Boston and Chicago. Comcast told Ars Technica that when rolled out nationally, the streaming service will not count against people's Internet data plan. The company believes the offering would not violate net neutrality rules because "Stream TV is a cable streaming service delivered over Comcast's cable system, not over the Internet."

HILLARY'S ADVISE TO SILICON VALLEY: Former Secretary of State and Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonO’Malley tells Dems not to fear Trump FBI informant gathered years of evidence on Russian push for US nuclear fuel deals, including Uranium One, memos show Pelosi blasts California Republicans for supporting tax bill MORE addressed the encryption debate Thursday, challenging the tech industry to work with government. "We need Silicon Valley not to view government as its adversary," she said. "We need to challenge our best minds in the private sector to work with our best minds in the public sector to develop solutions that will both keep us safe and protect our privacy." Her comments come amid a renewed debate about the privacy technology after the terrorist attacks in Paris.

FANDUEL TAPS FORMER DHS SECRETARY FOR INTERNAL PANEL: FanDuel announced the membership of a five-person internal advisory board on Wednesday that will come up with policy recommendations for the embattled company. It will be led by Michael Garcia, a partner at Kirkland & Ellis and a former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York. Other members include Tom Ridge, a former Pennsylvania governor and Secretary of Homeland Security, former Dallas Mavericks exec Terdema Ussery and Tim Brosnan, formerly an executive vice president with Major League Baseball.

IF YOU'RE KEEPING SCORE AT HOME: Yes, the daily fantasy sports industry is starting to look a little like a stimulus package for America's law firms. In addition to Kirkland and Ellis, FanDuel is working with or has worked with lawyers employed by the white-shoe Debevoise and Plimpton and ZwillGen PLLC. DraftKings has worked with Greenberg Traurig, Boies Schiller & Flexner, Gibson Dunn and former Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley, of counsel at Foley Hoag. They also both employ other Washington firms to engage in federal lobbying.

MR. DRONE GOES TO WASHINGTON: Intel demonstrated some of its drone technology at a House Energy & Commerce Committee hearing Thursday. Here's some video of the demo, courtesy of BuzzFeed News's Hamza Shaban, and a photo from Intel's David Hoffman is here.

SQUARE IPOS: Jack Dorsey's payments company Square went public on Thursday morning at a (lower than expected) price of $9 per share. It closed at $13.07, and rose a bit in after hours trading.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: 

The head of the Federal Communications Commission said on Thursday that T-Mobile's new plan to exempt video from its wireless data caps promotes innovation and competition, a signal that some interpreted as a blessing under net neutrality rules. 

YouTube will pay court costs to the creators of some videos accused of copyright infringement in cases that the online video giant believes represent clear cases of fair use.

Ford's CEO says self-driving cars could be on the road within the next four years.

Military, Intelligence and Homeland Security officials briefed a group of senators Wednesday on reports of Russia's potential threat to underseas fiberoptic cables that make up the backbone of the world's Internet. 

 

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