Overnight Tech: Bill blocking internet privacy rules heads to Trump's desk | Trump taps antitrust chief | Dems push FCC on cellphone cybersecurity

Overnight Tech: Bill blocking internet privacy rules heads to Trump's desk | Trump taps antitrust chief | Dems push FCC on cellphone cybersecurity

PRIVACY BILL HEADS TO TRUMP'S DESK: The House on Tuesday voted in favor of blocking internet privacy rules passed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) last year, sending the bill to President Trump, who is expected to sign it into law.

The bill passed the House 215 to 205, with 15 Republicans voting against it.

The FCC rules would have given consumers greater control over what their internet service providers (ISPs) can do with their data. The regulations would have required those companies to get permission from customers before using their information to create targeted advertisements.

The bill, which passed the Senate last week in a party-line vote, invokes a law called the Congressional Review Act (CRA) that allows Congress to undo recently passed regulations. A CRA bill also prohibits agencies from passing similar regulations in the future.

The White House has said that it supports the bill.

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The opposition to the regulations was led by Republicans and the telecom industry, who argue the rules are too costly and confusing. They say the rules would have subjected internet service providers to restrictions that do not apply to websites like Facebook and Google, which also collect consumer information for data-driven ads.

"The FCC didn't embrace a technology-neutral framework for privacy," Jon Leibowitz, co-chair of the industry group 21st Century Privacy Coalition, said in a call with reporters Tuesday.

"It instead set out an overbroad definition of sensitive data that doesn't apply to non-ISP's collecting as much or more personal data online. And as we all know, privacy shouldn't be about who collects information, it should be about what information is collected and how it is used."

But Democrats and privacy advocates say that the rules would have been a step toward protecting consumer privacy, and that service providers should not have free reign to sell data to advertisers.

Read more here.

 

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PELOSI CALLS ON INTERNET PROVIDERS TO DEFEND THE RULES: House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is calling on a group of leading internet service providers to announce whether they support a GOP bill that would eliminate privacy protections. Pelosi on Tuesday came out against the measure and sent letters to AT&T, Century Link, Charter, Comcast, Cox, Frontier, Optimum, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon and Windstream asking for their positions on it.

"Americans learned last week that agents of Russian intelligence hacked into e-mail accounts to obtain secrets on American companies, government officials and more," Pelosi wrote. "This resolution would not only end the requirement you take reasonable measures to protect consumers' sensitive information, but prevents the FCC from enacting a similar requirement and leaves no other agency capable of protecting consumers."

Read more here.

 

TRUMP'S ANTITRUST NOMINEE: President Trump will nominate a former antitrust official from the George W. Bush administration to lead the Department of Justice's antitrust division, the White House announced late Monday. Makan Delrahim, currently the deputy White House counsel, served on the antitrust team as a deputy assistant attorney general from 2003 to 2005.

The Wall Street Journal first reported last week that Trump was likely to tap Delrahim. If confirmed, Delrahim will be tasked with reviewing pending mergers like the proposed AT&T–Time Warner deal.

Read more here.

 

DEMS PUSH FCC TO BEEF UP PHONE CYBERSECURITY: Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) and Sen. Ron WydenRon WydenTrump and GOP wise to keep tax reform and infrastructure separate Dem senator questions Justice Department on warrantless surveillance FCC says it cannot provide more proof of claimed cyberattack MORE (D-Ore.) are calling on the FCC to take "swift action" on a known cellphone security flaw.

"It is clear that industry self-regulation isn't working when it comes to telecommunications cybersecurity," Wyden and Lieu wrote in a letter they cosigned, on Tuesday.

At issue is Signaling System 7 (SS7), which allows cellphone networks to communicate with one another - among other purposes, letting cellphones roam from one network to another. In 2014, German security researcher Karsten Nohl determined that there was a bug in SS7 that could allow an attacker to record phone calls, place calls from other accounts, and create other mischief. The relatively obscure phone protocol, though, now has the attention of Congressional lawmakers.

Read more here.

 

IBM WORKERS STRIKE BACK: IBM employees delivered a petition calling on IBM to affirm core values of  "diversity, inclusiveness, and ethical business conduct" to company reps in New York City today. 1,300 self-identified IBM employees signed the petition according to organizers. The petition started in reaction to IBM CEO Ginni Rometty's open letter to Trump in the days after the election. The employees' letter doesn't ask Rometty to step down from her position on Trump's Strategic and Policy Forum, but to "respect our right to refuse participation in any U.S. contracts that violate constitutional and civil liberties," and expand diversity recruitment programs among other requests.

 

UBER'S DIVERSITY PUSH: Uber announced on Tuesday a new $3 million initiative to support groups trying to bolster underrepresented minorities' presence in the technology sector. Uber also noted that it would increase its recruitment efforts at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs). The announcements also coincided with the release of Uber's report on internal diversity numbers.

Read more here.

 

FACEBOOK UNVEILS SNAPCHAT-LIKE FEATURES: Facebook announced today that it will be rolling out new features that will put it in direct competition with Snapchat. This week, the Facebook app will begin offering camera effects and "stories" similar to those offered by its competitor. Users will also be able to send disappearing picture messages on the app.

 

ON TAP:

The American Cable Association Summit kicks off at 8:15 a.m. featuring remarks from Sen. Shelley Moore CapitoShelley Moore CapitoOPINION | GOP healthcare attack is a vendetta against President Obama Cornyn: Knowing health plan ahead of vote is 'luxury we don't have' Conservative group to give GOP healthcare holdouts ‘Freedom Traitors Award’ MORE (R-W.Va.) and Republican FCC Commissioner Mike O'Rielly

U.S. Chamber of Commerce is holding an event on emerging technologies at 9:00 a.m.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee is holding a hearing on next-generation 911 at 10:00 a.m.

The Senate Commerce Committee is holding a hearing on the technical skills gap at 10:00 a.m.

The Senate Commerce Committee will hold a confirmation hearing for Deputy Transportation Secretary nominee Jeffrey Rosen at 2:30 p.m.

 

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

Group promises billboard attacks against lawmakers voting to repeal internet privacy rules

Facebook launches new tools to boost civic engagement

Uber to stop operating in Denmark

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CNN: Why internet companies are going to bat for internet policies

Bloomberg: Twitter adds video advertising to Periscope