OVERNIGHT TECH: Senate Commerce Committee takes up online privacy bills

Advocacy groups want field hearings on AT&T/T-Mobile: Groups opposed to AT&T's proposed $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile USA wrote to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski on Tuesday asking him to hold a series of field hearings around the country on the transaction. The groups cite FCC's lengthy review of the NBC Universal-Comcast merger, which included a Chicago field hearing, as precedent. The request comes as Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.) is circulating a draft bill that would seek to speed up the FCC's merger review process; Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) has labeled the bill a reaction to the GOP's displeasure over conditions imposed as part of the NBC-Comcast review.

House members may now Skype freely: Debbie Siegelbaum reports the House has finally resolved security concerns regarding the adoption of Internet phone and video teleconferencing services, enabling lawmakers to use both on its networks. Security concerns delayed the House’s adoption of the services, but the House has negotiated modified license agreements with Skype and ooVoo to maintain the necessary level of information technology security within the network. Detailed requirements on how to comply with these agreements have been posted to intranet site HouseNet.

FCC sets August target for removing outdated regulations: The FCC has set a target of August for eliminating the Fairness Doctrine and other outdated regulations from the rulebooks, according to Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee. The lawmakers wrote to Genachowski last month asking him to remove the Fairness Doctrine, which hasn't been enforced since 1987, from thec ommission's rulebooks.

Genachowski agreed to comply with that request in the near future. The chairman also agreed to conduct an agency-wide review of other regulations that are outdated or could place a burden on industry. The commission has removed 49 outdated regulations and targeted another 25 sets of unnecessary data collections for elimination.



Sprint CEO Dan Hesse is meeting with state regulators trying to block the AT&T/T-Mobile deal.

Twitter co-founders Evan Williams and Biz Stone are leaving to work on several projects under the umbrella Obvious.

The House might have moved forward, but Skype use is still restricted in the Senate.

Google rolled out a new way of sharing content with other users, dubbed Google+.

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