OVERNIGHT TECH: Tech giants help Microsoft in DOJ fight

THE LEDE: Some big names are supporting Microsoft's case against the Justice Department over a warrant for emails and other data stored on a foreign server. 

Verizon, Apple, Cisco, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the American Civil Liberties Union were among the organizations filing friend-of-the-court briefs on Monday in the computer giant’s case in the Second Circuit Court of Appeals.

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The case centers on Microsoft’s challenge to a warrant ordering it to hand over information on a data server in Ireland, which the company says the U.S. cannot do without the host nation’s permission.

The Chamber of Commerce, National Association of Manufacturers, Center for Democracy and Technology, ACT | The App Association and BSA | The Software Association filed a joint brief claiming that the government’s arguments would lead to "substantial" negative impacts for the U.S. economy. Additionally, the groups pointed to the Supreme Court’s recent unanimous ruling ordering police to obtain a warrant before searching a suspect’s cellphone. As in that case, the government wants "to leverage a significant real-world difference between physical evidence and electronic data... to expand its authority," they claimed. 

Verizon, Cisco, Hewlett-Packard, eBar, Salesforce and Infor issued similar warnings that the lower court’s ruling in favor of the government would "upset" international agreements and "spur retaliation by foreign governments, which will threaten the privacy of Americans and non-Americans alike."

In a blog post, Microsoft executive vice president Brad Smith called the support "an important milestone" in the legal battle. Earlier in the day, Smith joined some of the tech industry and civil liberties backers of his company’s position to press for congressional and administrative action. 

VA getting help from Watson: IBM’s Watson supercomputer is going to work at the Department of Veterans Affairs to keep better tabs on vets' health records. The "Jeopardy"-champion technology will help VA doctors keep track of and analyze electronic medical records, the company announced on Monday.  

Senate Commerce Committee shakeup: The Senate Commerce Committee is seeing the biggest shakeup in its membership, among panels important to the technology community. Seven new members are joining, including four Republicans: Sens. Jerry MoranGerald (Jerry) MoranLobbying world This World Suicide Prevention Day, let's recommit to protecting the lives of our veterans Hillicon Valley: Zuckerberg acknowledges failure to take down Kenosha military group despite warnings | Election officials push back against concerns over mail-in voting, drop boxes MORE (Kan.) and Sens.-elect Dan Sullivan (Alaska), Cory GardnerCory Scott GardnerCook Political Report shifts Colorado Senate race toward Democrat Overnight Health Care: US coronavirus deaths hit 200,000 | Ginsburg's death puts future of ObamaCare at risk | Federal panel delays vote on initial COVID-19 vaccine distribution The Hill's Campaign Report: GOP set to ask SCOTUS to limit mail-in voting MORE (Colo.) and Steve Daines (Mont.). On the Democratic side, Sens. Tom UdallThomas (Tom) Stewart UdallLWCF modernization: Restoring the promise OVERNIGHT ENERGY: House Democrats tee up vote on climate-focused energy bill next week | EPA reappoints controversial leader to air quality advisory committee | Coronavirus creates delay in Pentagon research for alternative to 'forever chemicals' Senate Democrats demand White House fire controversial head of public lands agency MORE (N.M.), Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinManchin defends Supreme Court candidate Barrett: 'It's awful to bring in religion' The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Facebook - Trump, GOP allies prepare for SCOTUS nomination this week Trump meets with potential Supreme Court pick Amy Coney Barrett at White House MORE (W.Va.) and Sen.-elect Gary Peters (Mich.) are joining. 

The committee is losing Chairman Jay RockefellerJohn (Jay) Davison RockefellerBottom Line World Health Day: It's time to fight preventable disease Lobbying World MORE (D-W.Va.) to retirement and Democratic Sens. Mark PryorMark Lunsford PryorCoronavirus poses risks for Trump in 2020 Tom Cotton's only Democratic rival quits race in Arkansas Medicaid rollback looms for GOP senators in 2020 MORE (Ark.) and Mark BegichMark Peter BegichAlaska group backing independent candidate appears linked to Democrats Sullivan wins Alaska Senate GOP primary Alaska political mess has legislators divided over meeting place MORE (Alaska) to reelection losses. Sen. Barbara BoxerBarbara Levy BoxerThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden, Harris launch Trump offensive in first joint appearance Bottom line Polls show big bounce to Biden ahead of Super Tuesday MORE (D-Calif.) is giving up her Commerce assignment, and GOP Sens. Dan CoatsDaniel (Dan) Ray CoatsFBI chief says Russia is trying to interfere in election to undermine Biden The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by The Air Line Pilots Association - Trump, Biden renew push for Latino support Former Intel chief had 'deep suspicions' that Putin 'had something on Trump': book MORE (Ind.) and Tim ScottTimothy (Tim) Eugene ScottAuthor Ryan Girdusky: RNC worked best when highlighting 'regular people' as opposed to 'standard Republicans' Now is the time to renew our focus on students and their futures GOP lobbyists pleasantly surprised by Republican convention MORE (S.C.) are too. 

The Senate Judiciary Committee is getting three new Republicans: Sens. David VitterDavid Bruce VitterLysol, Charmin keep new consumer brand group lobbyist busy during pandemic Bottom line Bottom line MORE (La.), and Sens.-elect David Perdue (Ga.) and Thom Tillis (N.C.). Democrats are losing one member: Sen. Mazie HironoMazie Keiko HironoManchin defends Supreme Court candidate Barrett: 'It's awful to bring in religion' Democrats shoot down talk of expanding Supreme Court Democrats unveil plan declaring racism a public health issue MORE (Hawaii).

The Intelligence Committee will bring on Hirono, along with three new Republicans: Roy BluntRoy Dean BluntSocial media platforms put muscle into National Voter Registration Day Senate GOP faces pivotal moment on pick for Supreme Court This week: Supreme Court fight over Ginsburg's seat upends Congress's agenda MORE (Mo.), and Sens.-elect James Lankford (Okla.) and Tom CottonTom Bryant CottonGOP brushes back charges of hypocrisy in Supreme Court fight Trump uses bin Laden raid to attack Biden Battle lines drawn on precedent in Supreme Court fight MORE (Ark.). The committee is losing Rockefeller, ranking Republican Saxby ChamblissClarence (Saxby) Saxby ChamblissLobbying world GOP lobbyist tapped for White House legislative affairs The Hill's Morning Report - Gillibrand drops out as number of debaters shrinks MORE (R-Ga.) and Tom CoburnThomas (Tom) Allen CoburnCOVID response shows a way forward on private gun sale checks Inspector general independence must be a bipartisan priority in 2020 Congress must protect federal watchdogs MORE (R-Okla.) to retirement, while Sen. Mark UdallMark Emery UdallThe 10 Senate seats most likely to flip Democratic presidential race comes into sharp focus Democrats will win back the Senate majority in 2020, all thanks to President Trump MORE (D-Colo.) lost reelection. 

Addressing Executive Order 12333: The Electronic Frontier Foundation said it is a "good sign" that Congress attempted to address Executive Order 12333 in its Intelligence authorization bill last week. But it added the measure does not go nearly far enough and was not given adequate time for debate. The group did not read the provision as granting the government any new authority to collect Americans’ communications, as some have claimed. 

"The procedures in Section 309 try to protect the communications of non-targets, but include massive loopholes," wrote analyst Mark Joycox in a blog post. "These loopholes do not grant any new authority, but they do allow the President to continue the egregious retention and sharing of innocent users' communication, which is a practice that must be stopped."

ON TAP:

The Capitol Forum is hosting a conference on broadband competition featuring top legal, regulatory, advocacy and industry minds starting at 10 a.m. Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) is giving the keynote address.

The FCC’s deputy chief information officer will talk about how the government uses cloud storage at 2 p.m.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

Sony Pictures is asking news outlets not to publish troves of emails and other information stolen in a massive hack at the film studio. 

Two leading senators on the Commerce and Finance committees expressed confidence Monday that a ban on taxing Internet access will be approved in the new Congress. 

Months after a Supreme Court decision limited the types of patents that could be issued for software, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is releasing new guidelines for complying with the order.

Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinFeinstein 'surprised and taken aback' by suggestion she's not up for Supreme Court fight Democrats shoot down talk of expanding Supreme Court Biden leads Trump by 12 points among Catholic voters: poll MORE (D-Calif.) and the broader intelligence community are pushing back on the assertion that an authorization bill approved last week expands U.S. authority to collect Americans' communications.   

The FBI wants to weaken Americans’ digital security, Sen. Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenDemocrats call for declassifying election threats after briefing by Trump officials Read Democrats' report countering Republicans' Biden investigation Top GOP senators say Hunter Biden's work 'cast a shadow' over Obama Ukraine policy MORE (D-Ore.) argued in a Los Angeles Times op-ed. 

 

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