Overnight Tech: Apple to make its case to Congress

LEDE: Apple General Counsel Bruce Sewell will appeal directly to Congress on Tuesday, pressing that lawmakers settle the encryption debate rather than the courts.

"Some of you might have an iPhone in your pocket right now, and if you think about it, there's probably more information stored on that iPhone than a thief could steal by breaking into your house," he is expected to tell the House Judiciary Committee in prepared remarks.

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Apple will testify after FBI Director James Comey, whose agency is trying to force Apple to build software to help break into the iPhone of one of the San Bernardino shooters. House Judiciary Chairman Bob GoodlatteRobert (Bob) William GoodlatteWhite House faces growing outcry over migrant family policies FBI agent who sent anti-Trump texts offers to testify on Capitol Hill Gowdy: House will use 'full arsenal' of constitutional weapons to get DOJ, FBI compliance on subpoenas MORE (R-Va.) expressed sympathy for Apple Tuesday. But he poured cold water on the idea of an "outside commission" to solve the problem, as some lawmakers have proposed.

"I think it is going to be figured out by engineers in a small room, and the Congress needs to be the ones setting up that and meeting with folks to solve it," Goodlatte told Fox Business Network.

FRANKEN QUESTIONS CLEAR CHANNEL: Sen. Al FrankenAlan (Al) Stuart FrankenBill Clinton says 'norms have changed' in society for what 'you can do to somebody against their will' The Hill's Morning Report — Trump: `A very great moment in the history of the world’ Trump to hold campaign rally in Minnesota next week MORE (D-Minn.) sent a letter to the CEO of Clear Channel Outdoors on Monday, asking about a new program that would allow the company to gather information on who sees its ads through mobile phone data. The company announced today it had launched the tracking service. "Using aggregate and anonymous mobile consumer information, initially from AT&T Data Patterns SM, Placed and PlaceIQ, Clear Channel Outdoor RADAR overlays this data against the company's U.S. inventory to create a comprehensive map of how specific audience segments are most effectively and efficiently reached via [Clear Channel's] advertising," it said in a release.

"Given the sensitive nature of location data, all parties involved in Clear Channel's Radar service should provide clear and comprehensive privacy policies and should disclose detailed information about their data-sharing relationships with other companies," Franken said. "Unfortunately, as currently written, Clear Channel s privacy policy, which appears to apply to all of its products and services, leaves consumers largely in the dark." Read the whole letter here.

BACKGROUND: Franken's office is pointing to this New York Times article from Sunday about the tracking program.

POTENTIAL MERGER CONDITIONS FOR CHARTER: As a condition of the Charter-Time Warner Cable merger, the FCC will likely ban the companies from inserting clauses in contracts with TV networks that limit their ability to provide separate online programming as well, according to the Wall Street Journal. The FCC is not set on approving the merger. But if the merger goes through, that stipulation will likely be a condition.

TRUST IN SOFTWARE UPDATES: ACLU chief technologist Christopher Soghoian penned an op-ed in the Washington Post explaining why experts believe the government's encryption fight with Apple could be bad news for security updates, which he compared to "immunizations for our computers."

"If consumers fear that the software updates they receive from technology companies might secretly contain surveillance software from the FBI, many of them are likely to disable those automatic updates," he wrote.

TRUMP CONTINUES SOCIAL MEDIA DOMINATION: Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpEx-ethics chief calls on Trump to end 'monstrous' migrant policies Laura Bush blasts Trump migrant policy as 'cruel' and 'immoral' US denies report of coalition airstrike on Syria MORE has been mentioned on Twitter nationally 9.3 million times in the past week -- far surpassing his closest GOP primary rival. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioSenate rejects effort to boost Congress's national security oversight The Memo: Summit gives Trump political boost — with risks The Hill's 12:30 Report — Trump, Kim make history with summit MORE has been mentioned 2.3 million times, while Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzUS-China trade war is just the start of the struggle for global order Dem lawmaker: Migrant family separation policy 'is on all of us' Cruz wins charity basketball challenge against Jimmy Kimmel MORE has been mentioned 2 million times. Twitter did not release breakdowns of the state-by-state numbers ahead of Super Tuesday.

TESLA FACTORY HIT BY LABOR PROTEST: Workers building a Tesla battery factory in Nevada walked off the job on Monday, part of a protest against the actions of a contractor involved in the project. News reports differed on the number of workers involved, with Bloomberg reporting it was at least 100. Silicon Valley has always had a complex relationship with organized labor, particularly when more American companies were manufacturing chips and hardware stateside.

 

ON TAP:

At 9 a.m., The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation will hold a talk on Title II.

At 1 p.m., the FBI and Apple will testify at the House Judiciary Committee.

 

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

A New York judge ruled on Monday that the U.S. government cannot force Apple to provide it access to a locked iPhone as part of a routine drug case in Brooklyn.  

For the first time, one of Google's self-driving cars may be at least partially responsible for an accident.

About 49 percent of Internet traffic is encrypted, according to a new study released Monday.

Tech and privacy advocates are pressuring House Republicans to take up an email privacy bill without considering amendments that they say would water it down.

The fight over net neutrality is entering a new phase, one year after the Federal Communications Commission approved the landmark Internet rules.


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