Overnight Tech: Intel chief says 'no doubt' Russia will meddle in midterms | Dems press FCC over net neutrality comments | Bill aims to bridge rural-urban digital divide | FCC to review rules on children's TV

Overnight Tech: Intel chief says 'no doubt' Russia will meddle in midterms | Dems press FCC over net neutrality comments | Bill aims to bridge rural-urban digital divide | FCC to review rules on children's TV
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INTEL CHIEF SAYS 'NO DOUBT' RUSSIA WILL TARGET MIDTERMS: President TrumpDonald John TrumpIran claims it rejected Trump meeting requests 8 times ESPY host jokes Putin was as happy after Trump summit as Ovechkin winning Stanley Cup Russian ambassador: Trump made ‘verbal agreements’ with Putin MORE's top intelligence chief said Tuesday there is "no doubt" that Russia will look to target the upcoming midterms.

"There should be no doubt that Russia perceived its past efforts as successful and views the 2018 midterm elections as a potential target for Russian influence operations," Director of National Intelligence Dan CoatsDaniel (Dan) Ray CoatsTrump’s damage control falters FBI director says Russian influence efforts are ‘very active’ Hillicon Valley: EU hits Google with record B fine | Trump tries to clarify Russia remarks | Sinclair changing deal to win over FCC | Election security bill gets traction | Robocall firm exposed voter data MORE said during his opening remarks at a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing.

He also warned lawmakers that Moscow is "likely to pursue even more aggressive cyberattacks" against future elections.

Moscow will look to "use elections as opportunities to undermine democracy, sow discord and undermine our values," Coats said.

The panel's regularly scheduled hearing on worldwide threats to U.S. national security took place amid the committee's ongoing investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

Read more here.


Lawmakers heard from Coats, as well as CIA Director Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoTrump’s damage control falters State Dept. doesn’t issue statement on anniversary of MH17 downing Diplomatic niceties can blur the lines of personal and national interests MORE, FBI Director Christopher Wray and others. The Hill's Morgan Chalfant has more on their testimony here.

To recap The Hill's live coverage of the hearing, click here.


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BILL GATES CAUTIONS TECH GIANTS: Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates warned tech firms of government intervention in an interview published on Tuesday, saying the companies should not act arrogantly when working with the federal government.

"The tech companies have to be ... careful that they're not trying to think their view is more important than the government's view, or than the government being able to function in some key areas," Gates said in an interview with Axios.

Gates used the example of tech firms' "enthusiasm about making financial transactions anonymous and invisible, and their view that even a clear mass-murdering criminal's communication should never be available to the government."

Read more here.


HOUSE DEMS PRESS FCC ON NET NEUTRALITY COMMENTS: House Democrats are pushing the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for answers on how it reviewed the docket of 24 million public comments submitted regarding the repeal of its net neutrality rules.

On Tuesday, all 24 Democrats on the House Energy and Commerce Committee sent a letter to the FCC raising concerns about how reports of widespread fake comments in the docket affected the agency's review.

The FCC was flooded with a record number of submissions ahead of its vote in December to repeal the net neutrality rules, which require internet service providers to give equal footing to all web traffic.

Throughout the process, Democrats raised concerns about reports that the record was rife with comments filed under fake names and automated submissions, including ones that appear to have originated in Russia.

Read more here.


FCC TO REVIEW RULES ON CHILDREN'S TV: The Federal Communications Commission is reviewing a rule that requires broadcasters to air children-friendly content each week.

FCC Commissioner Mike O'Rielly said on Tuesday that Chairman Ajit Pai had asked him to lead a review of the regulation -- dubbed the Kid Vid rules.

"My goal in reviewing the Kid Vid rules is to understand whether the rules the Commission imposed on broadcasters to carry out the Children's Television Act -- in many cases more than two decades ago -- still make sense in today's media marketplace," O'Rielly said in a statement.

The FCC currently mandates that broadcasters air at least three hours a week of educational children's content.  

But O'Rielly explained that since the rule was adopted in 1990, cable networks have gained a larger audience and offer a wide variety of child-friendly programming, including networks focused on children's program. There are also content providers outside of television, such as Netflix, which offer their own kids' shows.

Read more here.


SALON TO USE READERS' COMPUTERS TO MINE CRYPTOCURRENCY: Media company Salon.com is asking readers to allow them to use their computers to mine cryptocurrencies as a new source of revenue.

The left-leaning company launched the test program on Monday and is targeting readers who use ad blockers, which it blames for declining revenues, the Financial Times reports.

Readers who suppress ads with a blocker now see a pop-up that asks them if they will give Salon access to their computers' unused processing power to mine digital currencies.

The pop-up is powered by Coinhive, which allows companies to run a program on users' web browsers to mine the cryptocurrency Monero, known for its privacy features and popularity on the black market.

Read more here.


SENATORS PUSH BILL TO CLOSE RURAL-URBAN INTERNET GAP: Sens. Shelley Moore CapitoShelley Wellons Moore CapitoLots of love: Charity tennis match features lawmakers teaming up across the aisle Senate takes symbolic shot at Trump tariffs America must act to ensure qualified water workforce MORE (R-W.Va.) and Maggie HassanMargaret (Maggie) HassanNew Hampshire governor signs controversial voting bill Conway takes aim at congressional intern who yelled 'f--- you' at Trump Fox's Regan defends CNN's Acosta, calls for civility: 'What has happened to us?' MORE (D-N.H.) introduced a bill on Tuesday aimed at promoting internet access in rural communities.

Their Rural Reasonable and Comparable Wireless Act would direct the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to implement a benchmark for rural internet access that is "reasonably comparable" to urban areas.

"Now, more than ever, broadband is a powerful tool that students and businesses need to compete in a global digital economy," Capito said in a statement. "While progress has been made, too many rural areas continue to fall behind."

Read more here.



The Senate Commerce Committee will hold a hearing for four nominees to the Federatl Trade Commission at 10:00 a.m.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee will hold an oversight hearing for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration at 10:00 a.m.

The House Financial Services Committee will hold a hearing on data security and breach notifications at 10:00 a.m.

The House Science Committee will hold a hearing on blockchain technology at 10:00 a.m.

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee will hold a hearing on artificial intelligence at 2:00 p.m.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee will hold a markup of the FCC Reauthorization Act at 3:30 p.m.



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