OVERNIGHT TECH: Congress split on NSA changes

Feinstein outlined proposals aimed at increasing NSA transparency in a Washington Post op-ed in July.

But she said on Tuesday that she opposes proposals that would end the agency's bulk collection of U.S. phone records.  

"How do you know if you don't have the number? How do you know it’s relevant to an investigation?" she asked. 


Ending the phone program is a top priority for Judiciary Chairman Patrick LeahyPatrick Joseph LeahyThe Hill's Morning Report - Ins and outs: Powell renominated at Fed, Parnell drops Senate bid On The Money — Biden sticks with Powell despite pressure Welch to seek Senate seat in Vermont MORE (D-Vt.), who gave a speech on Tuesday calling for a fundamental overhaul of the surveillance system.

"I am convinced that the system set up in the 1970s to regulate the surveillance capabilities of our intelligence community is no longer working," Leahy said in a speech at Georgetown University Law Center. "We have to recalibrate."

The differing approaches will be on display at upcoming committee hearings. 

Feinstein's panel will hold its first public hearing on the surveillance programs following Snowden's leaks on Thursday afternoon. The Judiciary Committee will hold a classified hearing on Wednesday and a public hearing next week. 

Online gambling needs Congress: There needs to be a federal framework to establish a legal online gambling regime that protects consumers, Geoff Freeman, CEO of the American Gaming Association, said Tuesday during the Global Gaming Expo 2013 in Las Vegas. Freeman said a federal framework should protect against illegal operators, include a framework for Native American casino operators and create “minimum standards for consumer protection, age verification, responsible gaming and programs to assist those with gambling disorders.”

Aereo expands: Aereo, the controversial online video service fending off lawsuits from broadcasters, announced on Tuesday that it will expand to Columbus, Cincinnati in Ohio and Indianapolis and San Antonio. Aereo is currently available in New York City, Boston, Atlanta, Salt Lake City, Miami, Houston and Dallas, and had already announced plans for 22 more cities. The company uses antennas to pick up over-the-air TV signals, but broadcasters argue it is stealing their content. 

Spectrum hearing: The House Communications and Technology subcommittee will hold a hearing next Tuesday morning on the 5 GHz spectrum band.

Google promoting YouTube comments: Google will begin using Google+ data to show YouTube users relevant, rather than recent, comments on videos, the company said in Tuesday blog post. Comments “from the video’s creator, popular personalities, engaged discussions about the video, and people in your Google+ Circles” will appear at the top,” the post said.

New data broker tool: Consumer data collection firm Acxiom announced Tuesday its Audience Operating System, which “enables marketers to connect all types of traditionally disconnected data and – for the first time – to create a truly singular view of the consumer.” The tool allows marketers “to define, manage and reach best audiences across online and offline channels,” according to the release. 

The announcement was challenged by privacy advocates. Though he has not officially asked the agencies to investigate, Center for Digital Democracy Executive Director Jeff Chester said in a statement that the Federal Trade Commission, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the EU data protection officials should investigate. 

“The dramatic and unchecked growth of data collection technologies has key consumer protection implications, especially on the prices we may pay for financial services” and has led to “a commercial surveillance nation that has profound consequences for democratic societies,” Chester said.


Wednesday’s Billington Cybersecurity Summit will include keynotes from NSA Director Gen. Keith Alexander and White House Cybersecurity Coordinator Michael Daniel, as well as Kaspersky Lab CEO Eugene Kaspersky making an announcement about a “major new cyber threat.” 

The Chamber of Commerce is also holding its cybersecurity summit Wednesday, which will include House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-Ala.) speaking about the need for information-sharing legislation.

European Commission Vice President Joaquín Almunia will deliver a keynote at Wednesday’s Global Antitrust Enforcement Symposium hosted by Georgetown Law.


Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff railed against U.S. surveillance programs at the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

Dropbox is joining other Web companies in asking for permission to publish statistics on national security requests for its users' data.

California’s governor on Monday signed into law a bill changing the way websites deal with Internet users under the age of 18. A second bill still sitting on the governor's desk, which he is likely to sign in the coming weeks, would require websites to tell all Internet users if and how they can opt out of online tracking. 

President Obama nominated Catherine Ann Novelli, the head of Apple's worldwide lobbying efforts, to a State Department post.

Feinstein is working on legislation that would encourage companies and the government to share information about cyberattacks.

—Jeremy Herb contributed.

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