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) MoranSenate Democrats unveil priorities for federal privacy bill Microsoft embraces California law, shaking up privacy debate It's time for Congress to establish a national mental health crisis number MORE (Kan.) and Sens.-elect Dan Sullivan (Alaska), Cory GardnerCory Scott GardnerFeehery: Pivoting to infrastructure could help heal post-impeachment wounds Tariffs threaten 1.5M jobs: Study This week: House kicks off public phase of impeachment inquiry MORE (Colo.) and Steve Daines (Mont.). On the Democratic side, Sens. Tom UdallThomas (Tom) Stewart UdallBureau of Land Management staff face relocation or resignation as agency moves west Overnight Energy: EPA watchdog slams agency chief after deputy fails to cooperate in probe | Justices wrestle with reach of Clean Water Act | Bipartisan Senate climate caucus grows Hillicon Valley: Twitter to refuse all political ads | Trump camp blasts 'very dumb' decision | Ocasio-Cortez hails move | Zuckerberg doubles down on Facebook's ad policies | GOP senator blocks sweeping election reform bill MORE (N.M.), Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinPolitical purity tests are for losers Former coal exec Don Blankenship launches third-party presidential bid Centrist Democrats seize on state election wins to rail against Warren's agenda 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 PryorTom Cotton's only Democratic rival quits race in Arkansas Medicaid rollback looms for GOP senators in 2020 Cotton pitches anti-Democrat message to SC delegation MORE (Ark.) and Mark BegichMark Peter BegichAlaska political mess has legislators divided over meeting place Former GOP chairman Royce joins lobbying shop Lobbying world MORE (Alaska) to reelection losses. Sen. Barbara BoxerBarbara Levy BoxerHillicon Valley: Ocasio-Cortez clashes with former Dem senator over gig worker bill | Software engineer indicted over Capital One breach | Lawmakers push Amazon to remove unsafe products Ocasio-Cortez blasts former Dem senator for helping Lyft fight gig worker bill Only four Dem senators have endorsed 2020 candidates MORE (D-Calif.) is giving up her Commerce assignment, and GOP Sens. Dan CoatsDaniel (Dan) Ray CoatsHillicon Valley: Amazon to challenge Pentagon cloud contract in court | State antitrust investigation into Google expands | Intel agencies no longer collecting location data without warrant Intelligence agencies have stopped collecting cellphone data without warrants: letter This week: Democrats churn toward next phase of impeachment fight MORE (Ind.) and Tim ScottTimothy (Tim) Eugene ScottOn The Money: Appeals court clears way for Congress to seek Trump financial records | Fed chief urges Congress to boost US workforce | Federal deficit hits 4 billion in one month | China talks hit snag over agricultural purchases GOP senator blasts Dem bills on 'opportunity zones' Lindsey Graham basks in the impeachment spotlight MORE (S.C.) are too. 

The Senate Judiciary Committee is getting three new Republicans: Sens. David VitterDavid Bruce VitterRed-state governor races put both parties on edge Louisiana Republicans score big legislative wins Trump calls on Republicans to vote out Democratic Louisiana governor amid GOP infighting MORE (La.), and Sens.-elect David Perdue (Ga.) and Thom Tillis (N.C.). Democrats are losing one member: Sen. Mazie HironoMazie Keiko HironoHillicon Valley: Progressives oppose funding bill over surveillance authority | Senators call for 5G security coordinator | Facebook gets questions over location tracking | Louisiana hit by ransomware attack Senators demand info on tech firms' efforts to curb content depicting child exploitation Democratic senators introduce bill to block funding for border wall live stream MORE (Hawaii).

The Intelligence Committee will bring on Hirono, along with three new Republicans: Roy BluntRoy Dean BluntMichelle Obama presents Lin-Manuel Miranda with National Portrait Award GOP divided over impeachment trial strategy Overnight Health Care: Cigarette smoking rates at new low | Spread of vaping illness slowing | Dems in Congress push to block Trump abortion rule MORE (Mo.), and Sens.-elect James Lankford (Okla.) and Tom CottonThomas (Tom) Bryant CottonLawmakers spar over surveillance flight treaty with Russia GOP senator introduces bill to limit flow of US data to China Tom Cotton's only Democratic rival quits race in Arkansas MORE (Ark.). The committee is losing Rockefeller, ranking Republican Saxby ChamblissClarence (Saxby) Saxby ChamblissThe Hill's Morning Report - Gillibrand drops out as number of debaters shrinks Hoekstra emerges as favorite for top intelligence post Republicans say Democrats holding up disaster relief as 'Sandy payback' 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 UdallDemocrats will win back the Senate majority in 2020, all thanks to President Trump Poll: Trump trails three Democrats by 10 points in Colorado The Hill's Morning Report — Trump and the new Israel-'squad' controversy 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 FeinsteinGOP senator wants Violence Against Women Act passage by year end Hillicon Valley: Commerce extends Huawei waiver | Senate Dems unveil privacy bill priorities | House funding measure extends surveillance program | Trump to tour Apple factory | GOP bill would restrict US data going to China Senate Democrats unveil priorities for federal privacy bill 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 WydenOvernight Health Care: GOP senator says drug price action unlikely this year | House panel weighs ban on flavored e-cigs | New York sues Juul Top GOP senator: Drug pricing action unlikely before end of year Senate aides met with tax return whistleblower: report MORE (D-Ore.) argued in a Los Angeles Times op-ed. 

 

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