OVERNIGHT TECH: Lofgren to introduce ‘Aaron’s Law’

THE LEDE: Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) is expected to introduce legislation on Thursday in honor of Internet activist and skilled computer programmer Aaron Swartz, who took his own life earlier this year.

Lofgren’s bill, Aaron’s Law, would clarify that violating a company’s terms of service is not a crime under an anti-hacking law, the 1986 Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA). Lofgren has been working on Aaron’s Law over several months, and culled feedback on a draft of the bill that she originally posted to Reddit.

{mosads}Swartz, a co-creator of Reddit, faced prison time and a fine of up to $1 million for allegedly stealing academic articles from a computer archive at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His family blamed Justice Department prosecutors’ aggressive charges for contributing to his death.

Lofgren has said the CFAA, as written, contains overly broad language that could potentially sweep up people for doing normal Internet activities.

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) is expected to introduce a companion measure in the Senate.

Rockefeller lauds Mozilla’s support of cookie project:
Senate Commerce Chairman Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) on Wednesday cheered Mozilla’s decision back a new Stanford-based initiative aimed at finding ways to more effectively manage cookies.

Mozilla announced that it’s participating in the Cookie Clearinghouse project launched by Stanford’s Center for Internet and Society. As part of the initiative, the Cookie Clearinghouse will create two separate lists that guide users on which cookies are OK to store on their browsers and those that should be blocked.

“This is welcome news from Mozilla. It proves there’s a market for giving consumers strong privacy protections, and demonstrates that developers are eager to do this,” Rockefeller said in a statement.

“With major Web browsers now starting to provide privacy protections by default, it’s even more important to give businesses the regulatory certainty they need and consumers the privacy protections they deserve. I hope this will end the emerging back and forth so we can act quickly to pass new legislation.”

Gilt joins Internet Association: Online shopping website Gilt, which offers limited-time deals on designer apparel, has joined The Internet Association, the group said on Wednesday. The Internet-focused trade group, which counts Google and Facebook as members, is just a few months away from its one-year anniversary.

“E-commerce and strong open Internet policies are critical to [Gilt’s] business model,” Internet Association CEO Michael Beckerman said in a statement. “Online shopping is how millions of Americans purchase products. Gilt is a leader in that space, and we welcome them to our team as we educate policymakers that their constituents are Internet consumers and that Internet policy is important to our economy.”


Edith Ramirez, chairwoman of the Federal Trade Commission, will give a keynote speech at an event on patent trolls held by the Computer and Communications Industry Association (CCIA). Following the keynote, there will be a panel discussion with Lisa Kimmel, attorney adviser to Ramirez; Frances Marshall, special counsel for intellectual property in the Department of Justice’s antitrust division; and CCIA Chief Executive Ed Black.


McCain, Blumenthal want FCC to move ball forward on sports blackout rule: Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) on Wednesday pressed the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to move the ball forward on potentially changing its sports blackout rule.

In a letter to acting FCC Chairwoman Mignon Clyburn, the two senators said the commission should put forward its proposed solutions to the blackout rule and receive feedback on “what would serve the public interest, convenience and necessity.” McCain and Blumenthal noted that it’s been more than a year since the FCC issued a request for public comment on a proposal to end the rule.

Google: ‘We’re not in cahoots’ with NSA:
David Drummond, Google’s chief legal officer, on Wednesday pushed back against allegations that the search company is “in cahoots with the NSA” and has allowed the spy agency to tap into its servers for user data.

“I’m not sure I can say this more clearly: We’re not in cahoots with the NSA and there’s is no government program that Google participates in that allows the kind of access that the media originally reported,” Drummond said in response to a question asked during a live online chat hosted by U.K. newspaper The Guardian.

Salesforce’s Benioff joins TechNet executive council: CEO Marc Benioff has joined the executive council of technology trade group TechNet.

Benioff joins TechNet just a few months after it added Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer and Oracle President Safra Catz to its executive council’s roster. is already a member of TechNet, but Benioff will now have a hand in shaping the trade group’s policy agenda and initiatives.

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

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

Tags Jay Rockefeller John McCain Richard Blumenthal Ron Wyden
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