OVERNIGHT TECH: Issa to introduce piracy bill alternative

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas), SOPA's sponsor, pushed back against his bill's critics.

"[SOPA] does not give unilateral authority to the Justice Department to shut down foreign rogue websites," he said in an email. "Under the Stop Online Piracy Act, the Justice Department must go to a federal court and lay out the case against a foreign infringing site."


He also warned that Issa's bill would give the president too much power to pardon foreign websites.  

“It’s ironic that opponents of the Stop Online Piracy Act express concern over DOJ’s role in the enforcement of intellectual property law, but have no problem giving President Obama the authority to pardon foreign rogue websites for mere 'policy reasons.' " Smith said. "Sponsors of the OPEN Act seem fine with President Obama being able to use this authority at his political will, but are unwilling to trust the judiciary and federal courts who have handled intellectual property enforcement for decades."

Smith's Judiciary Committee is scheduled to vote on his bill on Thursday.

Rep. Eshoo opposes payroll tax bill over spectrum provisions: Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) urged lawmakers to oppose the GOP payroll tax bill in a speech on the House floor on Tuesday, criticizing the inclusion of Rep. Greg Walden's (R-Ore.) spectrum legislation.

The spectrum bill is expected to raise as much as $15 billion by incentivizing television broadcasters to give up their spectrum for auction to wireless companies, which have struggled to meet the data demands of smartphones and tablet computers. The bill also creates a nationwide broadband network for first-responders. The auction proceeds would help to pay for extending the payroll tax cut and unemployment insurance.

Although Democrats support the broad outline of the spectrum bill, Eshoo criticized Republicans for not allocating enough airwaves for unlicensed use, calling the move "foolhardy." She said the governance structure of the bill's public-safety network is inefficient and provisions that restrict the Federal Communications Commission's ability to impose net-neutrality rules on companies that buy spectrum leases at auction "simply do not belong in this legislation."


The House Energy and Commerce telecom subpanel will hold a hearing on the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers's plan to expand top-level domains so almost any word can be used to end a Web address in addition to current options such as .com and .org.


The National Transportation Safety Board on Tuesday recommended a nationwide ban on all portable electronic devices in cars except GPS units. 

The manager's amendment offered by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) for the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) has failed to stem criticism from the bill's most prominent opponents.

Former Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.), now the head of the Motion Picture Association of America, on Tuesday pushed back at criticism his industry is backing an online piracy bill that would lead to censorship online.

The Federal Communications Commission adopted regulations on Tuesday to limit the volume of loud television commercials.