Overnight Tech: Lawmakers to mark up airwave auction, broadband bills

LEDE: Lawmakers will mark up legislation on Wednesday morning aimed at freeing up wireless spectrum for auction.

The members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Communications and Technology will consider the Federal Spectrum Incentive Act, which authorizes the government to pay federal agencies to give up some of their wireless frequencies for the benefit of the private sector.

"Allowing federal entities to participate in an incentive auction could provide the necessary capital to offset relocation or improve the efficiency of agency use," subcommittee Chairman Greg Walden (R-Ore.) is expected to say in his opening statement.

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The panel will also weigh draft legislation that includes other proposals meant to increase the deployment of broadband Internet. They include subcommittee ranking member Anna Eshoo's "dig once" proposal, which mandates that some federally-funded highway projects include broadband conduit, and measures designed to make it easier to build broadband infrastructure on federal lands.

Eshoo (D-Calif.) said that "these proposals will make a real difference in bringing broadband into both unserved and underserved communities."

The Senate has its own bill authorizing incentives for federal agencies to give up their spectrum, but it has yet to clear the Senate Commerce Committee.

ZUCKERBERG'S FORTUNE: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife promised to give away 99 percent of their shares in the social media company. According to an SEC filing that accompanied his announcement, he owns 4 million Class A shares and 419 million shares of Class B common stock in the company. The filing makes clear that he will retain his majority position at the company for the "foreseeable future" and that he will give no more than $1 billion away in each of the next three years.

GOODLATTE TO HOLD HEARING ON OVERSEAS DATA: House Judiciary Chairman Bob GoodlatteBob GoodlatteHow the White House got rolled on the Saudi-9/11 bill Overnight Defense: Congress overrides Obama 9/11 veto | Pentagon breathes easy after funding deal | More troops heading to Iraq Congress votes to override Obama for first time MORE (R-Va.) on Tuesday promised an upcoming hearing on a bill that would set limits on the type of information the government can force a U.S. company to hand over when that data is stored overseas. Microsoft has backed the bill as it fights a U.S. warrant to turn over a customer's information that is stored on one of its servers in Ireland.

"It is worth noting today that we also plan to hold a separate hearing in the future on the issues surrounding law enforcement access to information located on servers outside the U.S," Goodlatte told a panel that was debating another part of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act.  

BLACK CAUCUS TO MAKE TECH ANNOUNCEMENT: The head of the Congressional Black Caucus and other lawmakers are slated to hold a Thursday press conference to "announce new efforts to increase African American inclusion in the technology sector." Chairman G.K. ButterfieldG.K. ButterfieldTop five Supreme Court cases to watch Black Caucus demands Flint funding from GOP GOP leadership critic finds way around alleged retribution MORE (D-N.C.) and Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) will be joined by seven groups including the Global Leadership Forum and the American Association for Access, Equity and Diversity.

YELP LAWSUIT TOSSED: Wired reported on a lawsuit that was thrown out last week against Yelp, which claimed the online review company inflated its stock value by exaggerating how reliable its reviews are. The lawsuit reportedly started after a news article reported on how many complaints Yelp has received at the Federal Trade Commission.

AIRBNB OPENS UP DATA: For the first time, the company is volunteering data related to how homeowners in a city use the website to rent their properties out, the New York Times reports. The data is only available to people who view it at Airbnb's office in the city -- but it's part of a larger effort to make the case that the platform is a positive force, rather than a regulatory nuisance.

 

ON TAP

At 10 a.m., the Communications and Technology Subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee marks up broadband related legislation.

 

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

Mark Zuckerberg and his wife will donate 99 percent of their shares in Facebook, roughly $45 billion, to a new initiative to "advance human potential and promote equality for all children in the next generation," they said Tuesday.

A prominent privacy group is accusing Google of collecting and using the personal information of students contrary to a pledge it reluctantly signed earlier this year.

New statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released Tuesday found 47 percent of homes only use cellphones and do not have a landline phone.

The IRS is pledging to use controversial phone-tracking technology only after acquiring a warrant, a concession announced slightly more than a month after the agency's use of the tool was first revealed.

House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) on Tuesday proposed tweaking an email privacy bill supported by more than 300 members to include an exemption that would force Internet companies to turn over customer data during an emergency.

 

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