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) MoranSenators optimistic about reaching funding deal GOP senators read Pence riot act before shutdown votes On The Money: Shutdown Day 26 | Pelosi calls on Trump to delay State of the Union | Cites 'security concerns' | DHS chief says they can handle security | Waters lays out agenda | Senate rejects effort to block Trump on Russia sanctions MORE (Kan.) and Sens.-elect Dan Sullivan (Alaska), Cory GardnerCory Scott GardnerBipartisan Senators reintroduce legislation to slap new sanctions on Russia Dems seeking path to Senate majority zero-in on Sun Belt Lawmakers eager for 5G breakthrough MORE (Colo.) and Steve Daines (Mont.). On the Democratic side, Sens. Tom UdallThomas (Tom) Stewart UdallHillicon Valley: House panel takes on election security | DOJ watchdog eyes employee texts | Senate Dems urge regulators to block T-Mobile, Sprint deal | 'Romance scams' cost victims 3M in 2018 Dems urge regulators to reject T-Mobile, Sprint merger Dems wary of killing off filibuster MORE (N.M.), Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinSenate confirms Trump pick William Barr as new attorney general GOP wants to pit Ocasio-Cortez against Democrats in the Senate Senate poised to confirm Trump’s attorney general pick MORE (W.Va.) and Sen.-elect Gary Peters (Mich.) are joining. 

The committee is losing Chairman Jay RockefellerJohn (Jay) Davison RockefellerSenate GOP rejects Trump’s call to go big on gun legislation Overnight Tech: Trump nominates Dem to FCC | Facebook pulls suspected baseball gunman's pages | Uber board member resigns after sexist comment Trump nominates former FCC Dem for another term MORE (D-W.Va.) to retirement and Democratic Sens. Mark PryorMark Lunsford PryorMedicaid rollback looms for GOP senators in 2020 Cotton pitches anti-Democrat message to SC delegation Ex-Sen. Kay Hagan joins lobby firm MORE (Ark.) and Mark BegichMark Peter BegichLobbying world Dem governors on 2020: Opposing Trump not enough Dem Begich concedes Alaska governor race to Republican Dunleavy MORE (Alaska) to reelection losses. Sen. Barbara BoxerBarbara Levy BoxerNewsom endorses Kamala Harris for president Hispanic civil rights icon endorses Harris for president California AG Becerra included in Bloomberg 50 list MORE (D-Calif.) is giving up her Commerce assignment, and GOP Sens. Dan CoatsDaniel (Dan) Ray CoatsEx-Trump official says intel community's testimony interfered in US-North Korea talks Is a presidential appointment worth the risk? Intel agencies' threat assessment matters more than tiff with Trump MORE (Ind.) and Tim ScottTimothy (Tim) Eugene ScottSenate approves border bill that prevents shutdown Senate passes bill to make lynching a federal crime Partnerships paving the way to sustain and support Historically Black Colleges and Universities MORE (S.C.) are too. 

The Senate Judiciary Committee is getting three new Republicans: Sens. David VitterDavid Bruce VitterBottom Line Bottom Line Top 5 races to watch in 2019 MORE (La.), and Sens.-elect David Perdue (Ga.) and Thom Tillis (N.C.). Democrats are losing one member: Sen. Mazie HironoMazie Keiko HironoFemale Dems see double standard in Klobuchar accusations Trump tweets video mocking Dems not cheering during State of the Union New battle lines in war over Trump’s judicial picks MORE (Hawaii).

The Intelligence Committee will bring on Hirono, along with three new Republicans: Roy BluntRoy Dean Blunt‘Contingency’ spending in 3B budget deal comes under fire GOP braces for Trump's emergency declaration The border deal: What made it in, what got left out MORE (Mo.), and Sens.-elect James Lankford (Okla.) and Tom CottonThomas (Tom) Bryant CottonSenate approves border bill that prevents shutdown 'Morning Joe' host quizzes Howard Schultz on price of a box of Cheerios Huawei charges escalate Trump fight with China MORE (Ark.). The committee is losing Rockefeller, ranking Republican Saxby ChamblissClarence (Saxby) Saxby ChamblissSenate buzz grows for Abrams after speech electrifies Dems Ossoff tests waters for Georgia Senate run CIA's ‘surveillance state’ is operating against us all MORE (R-Ga.) and Tom CoburnThomas (Tom) Allen CoburnThe Hill's Morning Report — Presented by PhRMA — Worries grow about political violence as midterms approach President Trump’s war on federal waste American patients face too many hurdles in regard to health-care access MORE (R-Okla.) to retirement, while Sen. Mark UdallMark Emery UdallGardner gets latest Democratic challenge from former state senator Setting the record straight about No Labels Trump calls Kavanaugh accusations ‘totally political’ 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 says she thinks Biden will run after meeting with him Trump judicial nominee Neomi Rao seeks to clarify past remarks on date rape Bottom Line 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 WydenHigh stakes as Trump, Dems open drug price talks Dem lawmaker: 'Trump's presidency is the real national emergency' Dems introduce bill to take gender-specific terms out of tax code to make it LGBT-inclusive MORE (D-Ore.) argued in a Los Angeles Times op-ed. 

 

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