OVERNIGHT TECH: Cybersecurity battle heads to the Senate

In a statement, Senate Homeland Security Chairman Tom Carper (D-Del.) lauded the changes made in CISPA to address privacy concerns, but said “there are still a number of issues that remain,” including how to safeguard the computer systems’ critical infrastructure. Carper noted that he looks forward to partnering with House members on addressing cybersecurity and continuing work on a comprehensive bill in the Senate.

“I will continue to work with my Senate colleagues on both sides of the aisle in the coming weeks to craft bipartisan, comprehensive legislation that complements the measures already moving forward under the president’s executive order and addresses the concerns surrounding information sharing, as well as critical infrastructure and other components needed to respond to the very serious cyber threats facing our country,” Carper said.

{mosads}But Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) said the Senate “may” move an information-sharing measure separately.

“Whatever we can get going on that, we have to get going,” he said.

In general, Rockefeller said the Senate’s work on a cybersecurity proposal “keeps moving forward.”

“There’s a lot of cooperation,” he said. “We just need a one or two things to fall in place.”

When asked about his thoughts on the House’s passage of CISPA, Rockefeller commented that “it’s not a good bill.”

Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), ranking member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said he’s working with Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) on an information-sharing bill, noting “we’re not there yet” on its completion.

Chambliss said it was unclear whether the measure would be included in a comprehensive bill or move separately.

“That’s somebody else’s call,” Chambliss said. “We’re just trying to do what we think the intelligence community’s piece would be.”

Yahoo adds new global public policy lead in D.C.:
Tekedra Mawakana has joined Yahoo’s Washington team and will serve as deputy general counsel and vice president of global public policy. Mawakana will direct Yahoo’s global government affairs efforts and work with lawmakers and regulators on issues such as privacy, intellectual property, cybersecurity, high-skilled immigration reform and human rights, according to a company blog post.  She previously serviced as senior vice president of public policy and deputy general counsel at AOL. 

Court rejects Viacom suit against YouTube: A federal district judge again rejected Viacom’s massive copyright lawsuit against Google’s YouTube on Thursday.

A federal appeals court revived the case last year, but Judge Louis Stanton ruled that the Digital Millennium Copyright Act protects YouTube from liability for hosting user-uploaded TV clips.

“This is a win not just for YouTube, but for people everywhere who depend on the Internet to exchange ideas and information,” Google General Counsel Kent Walker said in a statement.

Viacom accused Google of willfully ignoring infringing content on YouTube.
Genachowski still in charge: Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski gave no update on when he plans to leave the agency at Thursday’s open meeting.

But commission employees attended a good-bye party for the outgoing chairman on Thursday afternoon, according to an agency official. Former Commissioners Michael Copps, Jonathan Adelstein and Kathleen Abernathy were in attendance, the official said.

Rosenworcel, Pai back update to broadcast foreign ownership rules: FCC Commissioners Jessica Rosenworcel and Ajit Pai said at Thursday’s meeting that they support relaxing restrictions on foreign ownership of broadcast stations. The rules currently cap foreign ownership of a broadcast parent company at 25 percent.

“Foreign investment can pave the way for growth and innovation in broadcasting, just as it has done for other segments of the communications industry,” Pai said.

Broadband on planes: The FCC announced that it will consider rules to expand access to broadband Internet service on airplanes at its next meeting in May. The rules would establish air-ground mobile broadband service in the 14.0-14.5 GHz band of spectrum, according to the commission.


CISPA changes fail to win over privacy advocates: Changes made to a cybersecurity bill that passed the House on Thursday failed to win over privacy advocates who argued it would infringe on people’s rights.

Senate Dem says online sales tax bill ‘will do harm’: Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) said he would object to reducing debate time on the Senate’s next legislative matter, the Marketplace Fairness Act.

Online sales tax bill set for vote in the Senate: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has moved to bring online sales tax legislation to the Senate floor, likely setting up a vote for early next week.

Grassley signals support for email privacy bill:
Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) said on Thursday that he expects the Senate Judiciary Committee will approve legislation that would require police to obtain a warrant to search emails and other private online content.

House approves cybersecurity overhaul in bipartisan vote:
The House on Thursday approved cybersecurity legislation that sets up a framework for companies and the federal government to share information about threats. 

Please send tips and comments to Brendan Sasso,, and Jennifer Martinez,

Follow Hillicon Valley on Twitter: @HilliconValley, @BrendanSasso, @JenMartinez

Tags Chuck Grassley Dianne Feinstein Harry Reid Jay Rockefeller Ron Wyden Saxby Chambliss Tom Carper

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