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) MoranTrump tests GOP loyalty with election tweet and stimulus strategy VOA visa decision could hobble Venezuela coverage As ADA anniversary nears, lawmakers express concern about changes to captioned telephone service MORE (Kan.) and Sens.-elect Dan Sullivan (Alaska), Cory GardnerCory Scott GardnerOVERNIGHT ENERGY: Trump signs major conservation bill into law | Senate votes to confirm Energy's No. 2 official | Trump Jr. expresses opposition to Pebble Mine project Trump signs major conservation bill into law 300 green groups say Senate has 'moral duty' to reject Trump's public lands nominee MORE (Colo.) and Steve Daines (Mont.). On the Democratic side, Sens. Tom UdallThomas (Tom) Stewart UdallDemocrats introduce bill to ban chlorpyrifos, other pesticides to protect farmworkers GOP lawmaker says he will oppose any attempts to delay election Trump raises idea of delaying election MORE (N.M.), Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinOVERNIGHT ENERGY: Trump signs major conservation bill into law | Senate votes to confirm Energy's No. 2 official | Trump Jr. expresses opposition to Pebble Mine project Trump signs major conservation bill into law Overnight Defense: Embattled Pentagon policy nominee withdraws, gets appointment to deputy policy job | Marines, sailor killed in California training accident identified | Governors call for extension of funding for Guard's coronavirus response 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 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 BoxerBottom line Polls show big bounce to Biden ahead of Super Tuesday Sanders poised for big Super Tuesday MORE (D-Calif.) is giving up her Commerce assignment, and GOP Sens. Dan CoatsDaniel (Dan) Ray CoatsTrump flails as audience dwindles and ratings plummet America's divide widens: Ignore it no longer Trump gives Grenell his Cabinet chair after he steps down MORE (Ind.) and Tim ScottTimothy (Tim) Eugene ScottLobbyists see wins, losses in GOP coronavirus bill Revered civil rights leader Rep. John Lewis lies in state in the Capitol GOP plan would boost deduction for business meals MORE (S.C.) are too. 

The Senate Judiciary Committee is getting three new Republicans: Sens. David VitterDavid Bruce VitterBottom line Bottom line The biggest political upsets of the decade MORE (La.), and Sens.-elect David Perdue (Ga.) and Thom Tillis (N.C.). Democrats are losing one member: Sen. Mazie HironoMazie Keiko HironoOvernight Defense: Guardsman to testify Lafayette Square clearing was 'unprovoked escalation' | Dems push for controversial Pentagon nominee to withdraw | Watchdog says Pentagon not considering climate change risks to contractors Democrats urge controversial Pentagon policy nominee to withdraw Hillicon Valley: Feds warn hackers targeting critical infrastructure | Twitter exploring subscription service | Bill would give DHS cyber agency subpoena power MORE (Hawaii).

The Intelligence Committee will bring on Hirono, along with three new Republicans: Roy BluntRoy Dean BluntGOP expects Senate to be in session next week without coronavirus deal House Republicans introduce legislation to give states 0 million for elections Frustration builds as negotiators struggle to reach COVID-19 deal MORE (Mo.), and Sens.-elect James Lankford (Okla.) and Tom CottonTom Bryant CottonOn The Trail: The first signs of a post-Trump GOP The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Brawls on Capitol Hill on Barr and COVID-19 Hillicon Valley: Tech CEOs brace for House grilling | Senate GOP faces backlash over election funds | Twitter limits Trump Jr.'s account 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 CoburnCongress must protect federal watchdogs Tom Coburn's annual gift to taxpayers Joe Biden still doesn't have a campaign theme 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 FeinsteinDemocrats want Biden to debate Trump despite risks Mini-exodus of Trump officials from Commerce to lobby on semiconductors Doug Collins questions Loeffler's trustworthiness in first TV ad 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 WydenTensions flare as GOP's Biden probe ramps up  Frustration builds as negotiators struggle to reach COVID-19 deal On The Money: Unemployment benefits to expire as coronavirus talks deadlock | Meadows, Pelosi trade criticism on stalled stimulus talks | Coronavirus recession hits Social Security, Medicare, highway funding MORE (D-Ore.) argued in a Los Angeles Times op-ed. 

 

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