Overnight Tech: Tech urges Senate to extend privacy rights to Europe

LEDE: The House by voice vote approved a bill to give European citizens legal redress in the United States if the government unlawfully discloses personal information about them, similar to the Privacy Act rights already held by U.S. citizens. 

Companies said the bill is an important step in restoring overseas trust after a series of U.S. surveillance leaks in recent years have damaged their reputation. They also argue the bill is an act of goodwill as U.S. and European negotiators work out a new safe harbor agreement, which will authorize technology companies to transfer data between countries. 

"We call on the Senate to take up and pass the Judicial Redress Act as soon as possible," The Internet Association said in a statement. 

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The Consumer Electronics Association said the bill is "pivotal for American competitiveness and safety," while the Information Technology Industry Council said passage "respects the privacy of user information."

FACEBOOK'S 'SOCIAL GOOD': During a presentation in D.C. on Tuesday, Facebook showed off its products, programs and team dedicated to building "social good," including a prototype that uses artificial intelligence and object recognition to audibly describe photos in the timeline of blind people. That specific project is aimed at making the social network more enticing and easy to use for people with disabilities. Other projects include its Amber Alert system, its safety check-in system that allows people in disaster areas to let friends know they are OK, and a legacy contact project that allows people to determine how their account should be operated after they die.

NET NEUTRALITY HEARING SET: The Communications and Technology Subcommittee of House Energy and Commerce will hold an October 27 hearing on the impact of the FCC's net neutrality rules on investment. "We're less than a year removed from the commission's vote for Title II and common carrier regulation of the internet, and we're already seeing the ripple effect of economic harm," said subcommittee chair Greg Walden (R-Ore.) in a statement. "These misguided rules are now having serious ramifications on how quickly consumers can expect upgrades and innovation in their Internet service."

BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerGOP up in arms over Cheney, Kinzinger Freedom Caucus presses McCarthy to force vote to oust Pelosi Stripping opportunity from DC's children MORE AIDE WILL GO TO AT&T: Kevin McGrann, who is executive director of Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerGOP up in arms over Cheney, Kinzinger Freedom Caucus presses McCarthy to force vote to oust Pelosi Stripping opportunity from DC's children MORE's (R-Ohio) political shop, will join AT&T lobbying team after winding down his role in the departing Speaker's office.

FANTASY TRADE GROUP'S LOBBYING SPENDING STAYS FLAT: As websites FanDuel and DraftKings lobby up to fight congressional scrutiny of the daily fantasy sports industry, the main trade association for fantasy sports hasn't increased its lobbying spending. The Fantasy Sports Trade Association paid law firm Dentons $20,000 in both the first and second quarter. The same was true in the third quarter -- which ended not long after lawmakers began calling for hearings on the industry.

TRADE GROUP STARTS ON-DEMAND ECONOMY LOBBYING: The Internet Association, the trade group that represents companies including Uber, Lyft, Sidecar and Airbnb, lobbied on "issues related to the sharing economy" in the last quarter. It's the first time this year that the group has disclosed lobbying on the issue and comes as lawmakers ratchet up their scrutiny of the booming area.

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COAKLEY ON HER DRAFTKINGS ROLE: Former Massachusetts AG Martha Coakley, who ran unsuccessfully for U.S. Senate and governor, said in a statement that in her new role as an adviser to DraftKings she will help them "implement additional best practices designed to preserve the integrity of the game." "I have great confidence in DraftKings' commitment to operating with the highest standards and taking the necessary steps to ensure that sports fans who want to play these games are protected," she said. "DraftKings is committed to working cooperatively with all state regulators to implement policies that protect consumers."

ALL POLICY IS LOCAL: While Coakley comes to DraftKings as it deals with a reported federal investigation, her heavy-hitter status might help the Boston-based company in its home state as well. The governor is among those who is questioning whether the state should do more to oversee the company.

CONSUMER REPORTS QUESTIONS TESLA RELIABILITY: Magazine Consumer Reports said that owners of Tesla's Model S sedan had reported complicated reliability issues. The company's stock dropped substantially after the announcement.

ON TAP:

At 10 a.m., a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee will hold a hearing to examine ways to improve vehicle and roadway safety.

At 2:30 p.m., the Senate Special Committee on Aging will hold a hearing on "Virtual Victims: When computer tech support becomes a scam."

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

 The House approved a bill Tuesday to extend certain Privacy Act rights to European citizens -- a must-pass bill if the United States wants to finalize an agreement with European countries to share law enforcement information.

Daily fantasy sports website DraftKings hired its first Washington lobbying firm last month amid lawmaker scrutiny of its business model.

Longshot presidential candidate Lawrence Lessig says has no plans to drop out of the Democratic primary and potentially take up an independent bid like 2016 contender Jim Webb.

Facebook is backing the criminalization of so-called revenge porn but has yet to take a public position on broader draft legislation in Congress.  

Kevin McGrann will be leaving the office of Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) for AT&T's lobby shop, the company announced on Tuesday.

 

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