Overnight Tech: Uber becomes 2016 issue

LEDE: The on-demand or sharing economy became part of the 2016 election on Monday.

In an economic policy speech, former Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonCruz: Wife 'pretty pissed' about leaked Cancun texts CBC would back Young for OMB if Tanden falls Hillary Clinton to co-write political thriller MORE (D) gave a nod to companies like Uber and how they are changing the way many Americans work. She entered the debate over the services but stopped short of directly criticizing the companies.

"Many Americans are making extra money renting out a spare room, designing websites, selling products they design themselves at home, or even driving their own car," she said. "This on-demand, or so-called 'gig economy,' is creating exciting opportunities and unleashing innovation, but it's also raising hard questions about workplace protections and what a good job will look like in the future."


The companies have come under fire for using mainly independent contractors, who don't get the same benefits and protections as employees. Clinton said she would crack down on the misclassification of workers, but she didn't mention the sharing economy by name -- and an overreliance on contractors is seen as a problem in many industries.

Still, Republicans immediately fired off attacks at the Democratic frontrunner, saying she was out of touch.

"America shouldn't take advice on the sharing economy from someone who has been driven around in a limo for 30 years," Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulSanders votes against Biden USDA nominee Vilsack Senate confirms Vilsack as Agriculture secretary Hillicon Valley: Biden to take 'executive action' to address SolarWinds breach | Facebook and Google respond to Australian proposed law | DOJ charges North Korean hackers with stealing .3 billion in cryptocurrency MORE (R-Ky.) said in a tweet.

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) is scheduled to publically order an Uber at an event Thursday while speaking about technology in San Francisco.

The industry itself was more cautious in its response to Clinton's speech.

"The sharing economy empowers people to determine when, where, and how they want to live and work in ways unimaginable just a few years ago," said the Internet Association in a statement. "It is important to remember that innovation in the sharing economy has lead to unprecedented independence, flexibility, and autonomy that expands choices for all Americans."​

ROSENWORCEL, BLUMENTHAL ASK TELECOMS TO OFFER ROBOCALL BLOCKING TECH: FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel and Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) called on phone companies Monday to offer technology that enables customers to block unwanted robocalls. The FCC adopted rules last month allowing phone companies to do just that. "Advanced technology to stop these invasive, inconvenient machine-driven calls is now feasible and affordable," Blumenthal said in a statement. "Telephone companies should make blocking options available right away."

TRADE GROUPS RESPOND: CTIA's Executive Vice President Brad Gillen touted the group's own tools for blocking robocalls, but indicated it was wary of endorsing a blanket approach to the issue. "Instead of creating a 'one-size-fits-all' approach that would not slow bad actors down, it's vital that communications providers have the flexibility to create new technologies and options to help consumers stop unwanted communications," the group said in a statement. "It's also important that consumers control who they want to hear from since what could be viewed as a nuisance call by one person would be a welcomed communication by another."

USTelecom's Senior Vice President Jon Banks said that the robocall issue "underscores the need for the FCC to expedite the move to new Internet Protocol networks to enable carriers to offer more and better call-blocking techniques more widely."

BROADBAND COMPETITION CAMPAIGN LAUNCHES: A host of public interest groups launched the "Competify" campaign that aims to pressure regulators to push for a broadband Internet market with more choice for consumers. They sponsored an ad in the New York Times pointing out that many Americans only have access to one broadband company in their market. Companies like Sprint and Level 3, joined groups like Public Knowledge, the Computer and Communications Industry Association, Comptel and others.

PATENT REFORM OPPONENTS TAKE OUT FULL PAGE ADS: A group of conservative groups came out Monday with full-page ads in The Washington Post and The Washington Times, voicing their opposition to a House patent reform bill that is slated for a vote next week. In that ad, they say the bill "helps China and hurts the United States." The ad buy also included a digital component and was sponsored by the Club for Growth, the American Conservative Union and the Eagle Forum.  

OPPONENTS TO SPEAK AT TUESDAY PRESSER: A bipartisan group of two senators and three House members will hold a press conference Tuesday to voice their continued opposition to broad patent reform in the House and Senate. A handful of critics have been increasingly vocal as the House prepares a vote on its Innovation Act, which overwhelmingly passed last Congress.

Speakers at the press conference are slated to include Sens. David VitterDavid Bruce VitterBiden inaugural committee to refund former senator's donation due to foreign agent status Bottom line Lysol, Charmin keep new consumer brand group lobbyist busy during pandemic MORE (R-La.), Chris CoonsChris Andrew CoonsPelosi's '9/11-type' commission to investigate Capitol riot could prove dangerous for Democrats Key players to watch in minimum wage fight Sunday shows - Trump acquittal in second impeachment trial reverberates MORE (D-Del.), and Reps. John Conyers (D-Mich.), Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) and Bill FosterGeorge (Bill) William FosterLawmakers grill NSA on years-old breach in the wake of massive Russian hack Hillicon Valley: WhatsApp delays controversial privacy update | Amazon hit with antitrust lawsuit alleging e-book price fixing | Biden launches new Twitter account ahead of inauguration Illinois Democrat calls for new committee focused exclusively on information technology MORE (D-Ill.).

GOOGLE LEADS $100M INVESTMENT IN CYBER FIRM: Google Capital led a $100 million fundraising round for Crowdstrike, a California cybersecurity company, according to the Wall Street Journal. The firm has ties to Washington and has an investigations unit led by a former official with the FBI's computer crimes division.



At 1 p.m., Recorded Future is holding a webinar on its recently released report that found login credentials for dozens of government websites are scattered across the web.

AT 2 p.m., lawmakers opposing broad patent reform will hold a press conference.



A Commerce Department agency has set a date for its first discussion of how to promote accountability in the operation of drones.

Women, iPhone users and young people are most likely to say they can't imagine life without their smartphone, according to a Gallup poll released Monday.

Italian company Hacking Team, the controversial seller of surveillance tools to the FBI and overseas repressive governments, vowed on Monday to push ahead despite a hack that has laid bare the company's internal secrets, client lists and even the source code behind its powerful spying tools.

Both chambers of Congress now have a bill that would extend identity theft protections to those affected by the recent massive government data breaches.

The Federal Trade Commission is looking into if Apple might be violating antitrust law because of the way it treats rival music streaming services, according to a report.


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