OVERNIGHT TECH: Lawmakers focus on online privacy

THE LEDE: Energy and Commerce Committee lawmakers agreed on the importance of protecting Americans’ privacy on the Internet at a joint subcommittee hearing on Thursday, but they did not promote any particular new legislation. The broadest agreement seemed to be to focus on protecting children’s privacy.

“Today’s hearing reveals a broad, bipartisan consensus that the protection of the American consumer is paramount in any discussion of Internet privacy," said Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) in a statement after the hearing. "There is a rich competition of ideas on how to accomplish that. I welcome that competition as the committee continues its privacy hearings and considers legislation."

Telecom industry worried about cuts to Universal Service Fund: Walter McCormick, Jr., president of the U.S. Telecom Association, sent a letter to the White House and congressional leaders on Thursday expressing his group’s displeasure with news that cuts to the Universal Service Fund may be part of a deficit reduction deal. The purpose of the Universal Service Fund, which is administered by the Federal Communications Commission, is to expand access to telecommunication services.

Rep. Goodlatte introduces bill to allow copyright of fashion designs: Rep. Goodlatte (R-Va.) reintroduced the Innovative Design Protection and Piracy Prevention Act, which would protect fashion designs under copyright law on Wednesday night.

“As America’s fashion design industry continues to grow, America’s designers deserve and need the type of legal protections that are already available in other countries,” said Rep. Goodlatte in a statement. “I am pleased to introduce the Innovative Design Protection and Piracy Prevention Act, which establishes these protections here in the U.S.”

A version of the bill was introduced in both chambers in the previous Congress. Sen. Chuck SchumerChuck SchumerSenate panel deadlocks in vote on sweeping elections bill Senate descends into hours-long fight over elections bill Biden to host Sinema for meeting on infrastructure proposal MORE (D-N.Y.) sponsored the Senate version.  

The press release announcing Goodlatte's bill noted, “Because the production life cycle for fashion designs is very short, this legislation similarly provides a tailored period of protection that suits the industry – three years.”

Pentagon releases cybersecurity plan: The Defense Department released its first-ever plan for cybersecurity on Thursday. The plan declares the Internet a domain of war.   

Rep. Blumenauer calls for broader News Corp. investigation: Members of Congress continue to call for investigations into the News Corp. phone hacking scandal. The latest is Rep. Earl BlumenauerEarl BlumenauerBattle lines drawn over Biden's support for vaccine waivers Polluters: Clean up your own mess Biden visits local Mexican restaurant to highlight relief program MORE (D-Ore) who wrote a letter to FBI Director Robert Mueller praising his agency for its plans to investigate potential hacking of 9/11 victims’ families but also calling for a broader investigation into News Corp.  

Blumenauer wrote that the scandal  “may be indicative of a pattern of corruption at News Corporation. The pace at which this wide-ranging scandal is unfolding suggests that we may have only scratched the surface of potential illegal practices at the company.”  

A good day for Google: Larry Page, Google CEO, announced that Google+, the company’s new social networking site, now has over 10 million users who are sharing and receiving 1 billion items per day.  

Additionally, Google announced its second quarter financial results on Thursday. Its revenues are up 32 percent from last year.

Sen. Rockefeller promotes nanotechnology: Commerce Committee Chairman Jay RockefellerJohn (Jay) Davison RockefellerBottom Line World Health Day: It's time to fight preventable disease Lobbying World MORE (D-W. Va.) promoted investment in nanotechnology research at a hearing on Thursday.  He called nanotechnology “the next industrial revolution.    

"Like all science and technology efforts, however, our international competitors are catching up and increasing their investments in this area,” he said.  “China, South Korea, Germany, Japan and others are commercializing their investments to take advantage of the growing nanotechnology product market.  If we wait too long, these countries will surpass us.”