Tech Roundup: Rep. Upton sees FCC reg compass as 'broken'

Upton: 'FCC's regulatory compass must be broken'

Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) is circulating a memo this week illustrating his conservative credentials, with a pledge to crush the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) net-neutrality ambitions by "breaking its regulatory compass."

In a memo obtained by The Hill, Upton pushes back on questions about his conservative credentials. He lays out an agenda for the powerful committee that strongly emphasizes Republican goals.

Upton is a front-runner in the heated battle to chair the Energy and Commerce Committee, which has jurisdiction over telecom policy.

Showcasing his right-leaning priorities, Upton makes a clear-cut pledge to stick to conservative policies in the telecom arena. Arguing that the "FCC's regulatory compass must be broken," he promises to prevent the agency from creating net-neutrality rules, which would rein in how phone and cable companies manage Internet traffic. Read more in The Hill: http://bit.ly/c83PCI

GOP-led House could make trouble for Google

Saddled with the perception that it is a darling of the Obama administration, Google could have a difficult terrain to navigate when Republicans assume the House majority in the next Congress. 

The company whose chief executive campaigned for President Obama stands to become a target for investigations by multiple committees. Read more in The Hill: http://bit.ly/cFpWr9

Sanders lobbies against Comcast-NBCU: Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersOn The Money: Unemployment gains lower than expected | Jobs report lights fire under coronavirus relief talks Sanders says he can't support bipartisan COVID-19 relief proposal in its current form Progressives push for direct payments to be included in COVID-19 relief deal MORE (I-Vt.) has sent a letter to the FCC, to be delivered Tuesday, lobbying against the proposed merger of Comcast and NBC Universal, The New York Times reports. “The sale of NBCU to Comcast would create an enormously powerful, vertically integrated media conglomerate, causing irreparable damage to the American media landscape and ultimately to society as a whole,” he wrote. He suggested Comcast had doubled its campaign contributions as a way to influence the merger. http://nyti.ms/9oEMyy

NTIA outlines plan to free spectrum for wireless broadband. "The Commerce Department outlined on Monday the administration's plan to free up 500 MHz of spectrum for mobile broadband Internet service and recommended some airwaves currently in use by the government be reallocated." http://bit.ly/cVCWAZ

Do Not Track hearing coming Dec. 2: "The House subcommittee for commerce, trade, and consumer protection is planning a hearing in early December on Internet privacy, with Web firms expected to testify on the idea of a Do Not Track registry, according to Capitol Hill staffers," The Washington Post reports. http://wapo.st/cjMcOL

Critics target House Republican's religious expression on Twitter
. Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill.) uses his Twitter account to spread word of his faith. In a sea of tweets dominated by news links and political statements, Shimkus stands out with his messages quoting biblical passages.

Shimkus posts a quote from the Bible on Twitter almost every day, and has kept at it in the wake of criticism regarding his religious statements, which came under fire when he read biblical passages last year during an Energy and Commerce hearing on climate change. Now Shimkus wants to lead that committee, which oversees climate issues as well as telecom policy, and critics have dug up the comments to suggest Shimkus should not get the gavel because he relies on religious rather than scientific truths. Read more in The Hill: http://bit.ly/bt5ef5

Microsoft has nabbed Charles Salem as managing director for public policy. He most recently served as chief of staff and legislative director to Sen. Evan Bayh (D-Ind.).

Tech policy think-tanker Adam Thierer has begun a new job at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, where he will serve as a senior research fellow. The Mercatus Center is a market-oriented research center. Thierer previously served as president of the now-shuttered Progress & Freedom Foundation, as director of telecommunications studies at the Cato Institute and as a fellow in economics policy at the Heritage Foundation.

Net neutrality discussion co-hosted by Free Press in Albuquerque, N.M. Speakers include Federal Communications Commissioner Michael Copps, Rep. Martin HeinrichMartin Trevor HeinrichOVERNIGHT ENERGY: EPA proposes reapproving uses of pesticide linked to brain damage in children | Hispanic caucus unhappy with transition team treatment of Lujan Grisham | Schwarzenegger backs Nichols to lead EPA Hispanic caucus unhappy with transition team treatment of Lujan Grisham Progressives urge Haaland for Interior as short list grows MORE (D-N.M.) and Geoffrey Blackwell, chief of the FCC native affairs office.


Industry notes

Beatles songs expected to go on iTunes. Apple is expected on Tuesday to announce that it has finally struck a deal with the Beatles, the best-selling music group of all time, and the band’s record company, EMI, to sell the band’s music on iTunes. http://nyti.ms/9sY2tK

Facebook's new front in Google rivalry. "Facebook Inc. ramped up its rivalry with Google Inc. and other Internet companies, as the social-networking giant unveiled a messaging service to compete for the loyalty of millions of Internet users." http://on.wsj.com/9xYz6b

Refusal of Calif. airport screening is Internet hit. A man who refused a body scan and pat-down search at a San Diego airport has become an Internet sensation in the debate weighing flyers' security versus their privacy. http://wapo.st/9loNWP

Military eyes resurrecting airships for cargo transport. "The Army and the U.S. Transportation Command are looking into using updated versions of the ill-fated German Hindenburg airship and the Navy's USS Macon dirigible to transport cargo in support of combat and humanitarian operations." http://bit.ly/9hpdYp