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) MoranThe Year Ahead: Push for privacy bill gains new momentum Senators want assurances from attorney general pick on fate of Mueller probe Overnight Defense: Senate rebukes Trump with Yemen vote | Mattis, Pompeo briefing fails to quell Senate concerns with Saudis | Graham demands CIA briefing on Khashoggi | Pentagon identifies three troops killed in Afghanistan MORE (Kan.) and Sens.-elect Dan Sullivan (Alaska), Cory GardnerCory Scott GardnerSenators offer measure naming Saudi crown prince 'responsible' for Khashoggi slaying Can a rising tide of female legislators lift all boats? Setting the record straight about No Labels MORE (Colo.) and Steve Daines (Mont.). On the Democratic side, Sens. Tom UdallThomas (Tom) Stewart UdallOvernight Energy: Trump adviser Kudlow seeks end to electric car, renewable energy credits | Shell to pay execs based on carbon reduction | Justices reject greens' border wall lawsuit Hillicon Valley: Justices weigh iPhone app case | Farewell to Facebook's war room? | UK Parliament turns up heat on Zuckerberg | Russian hackers return after midterms | Papadopoulos begins 2-week prison sentence | NASA lands probe on Mars Dems unveil bill to crack down on bots during holiday shopping MORE (N.M.), Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinOvernight Defense: Senate bucks Trump with Yemen war vote, resolution calling crown prince 'responsible' for Khashoggi killing | House briefing on Saudi Arabia fails to move needle | Inhofe casts doubt on Space Force Hillicon Valley — Presented by AT&T — New momentum for privacy legislation | YouTube purges spam videos | Apple plans B Austin campus | Iranian hackers targeted Treasury officials | FEC to let lawmakers use campaign funds for cyber Manchin puts hold on FCC nomination over wireless internet fund delay 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 BegichDem governors on 2020: Opposing Trump not enough Dem Begich concedes Alaska governor race to Republican Dunleavy Democrats gain governorships in red states MORE (Alaska) to reelection losses. Sen. Barbara BoxerBarbara Levy BoxerCalifornia AG Becerra included in Bloomberg 50 list Climate debate comes full circle Fox's Ingraham transitioning longtime radio show to podcast MORE (D-Calif.) is giving up her Commerce assignment, and GOP Sens. Dan CoatsDaniel (Dan) Ray CoatsDems slam Trump for siding with Saudi Arabia in Khashoggi killing Dem senator demands public intelligence assessment on Khashoggi killing Hillicon Valley: Official warns midterm influence could trigger sanctions | UK, Canada call on Zuckerberg to testify | Google exec resigns after harassment allegations | Gab CEO defends platform | T-Mobile, Sprint tailor merger pitch for Trump MORE (Ind.) and Tim ScottTimothy (Tim) Eugene ScottTrump signs order aimed at revitalizing economically distressed communities Juan Williams: Nowhere to go for black Republicans Tim Scott: Stop giving court picks with 'questionable track records on race' a Senate vote MORE (S.C.) are too. 

The Senate Judiciary Committee is getting three new Republicans: Sens. David VitterDavid Bruce VitterLouisiana congressman to challenge Dem Gov Kennedy says he won't run for Louisiana governor next year Dems face tough road ahead in Deep South MORE (La.), and Sens.-elect David Perdue (Ga.) and Thom Tillis (N.C.). Democrats are losing one member: Sen. Mazie HironoMazie Keiko HironoRubio: ‘I don’t know’ if Nauert has 'detailed knowledge' to succeed as UN ambassador Overnight Defense: Nauert tapped for UN envoy | Trump teases changes to Joint Chiefs of Staff | Trump knocks Tillerson as 'dumb as a rock' | Scathing report details Air Force failures before Texas shooting Dem senator slams Nauert's lack of 'qualifications' for UN ambassador MORE (Hawaii).

The Intelligence Committee will bring on Hirono, along with three new Republicans: Roy BluntRoy Dean BluntCongress strikes deal on bill for sexual harassment cases involving lawmakers The Year Ahead: Pressure mounts on election security as 2020 approaches Pressure builds as Pelosi, Schumer, Trump meet over border wall demands MORE (Mo.), and Sens.-elect James Lankford (Okla.) and Tom CottonThomas (Tom) Bryant CottonMcConnell sets Monday test vote on criminal justice bill Trump attorney general pick a prolific donor to GOP candidates, groups: report McConnell agrees to vote on Trump-backed criminal justice bill MORE (Ark.). The committee is losing Rockefeller, ranking Republican Saxby ChamblissClarence (Saxby) Saxby ChamblissCIA's ‘surveillance state’ is operating against us all Juan Williams: GOP plays the bigotry card in midterms A hard look at America after 9/11 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 UdallSetting the record straight about No Labels Trump calls Kavanaugh accusations ‘totally political’ Record number of LGBT candidates running for governor 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 FeinsteinSenate Dems urge Trump to continue nuclear arms control negotiations after treaty suspension Senate Intel leaders ask judge not to jail former aide amid leak investigation Dems demand Pompeo brief Congress on whether he discussed Assange with Ecuadorian official 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 WydenHillicon Valley — Presented by AT&T — New momentum for privacy legislation | YouTube purges spam videos | Apple plans B Austin campus | Iranian hackers targeted Treasury officials | FEC to let lawmakers use campaign funds for cyber FEC votes to allow lawmakers to use campaign funds for personal cybersecurity Senate votes to overturn IRS guidance limiting donor disclosure MORE (D-Ore.) argued in a Los Angeles Times op-ed. 

 

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