Overnight Tech: Senate panel to vote on Dem FCC commissioner

LEDE: Federal Communications Commission member Jessica Rosenworcel on Wednesday will receive a re-nomination vote from the same committee that approved her only a few years ago. 

The Senate Commerce Committee is slated to approve Rosenworcel, a Democrat, after she underwent a confirmation hearing in late October. She has served at the agency since 2012 after previously working in the upper chamber as an aide to then- Sen. Jay RockefellerJohn (Jay) Davison RockefellerHumorless politics a sad sign of our times Bottom Line World Health Day: It's time to fight preventable disease MORE (D-W.Va.), a former Commerce Committee chairman.


A Democratic nomination would usually move in a pair with a GOP nomination, but it is not a hard and fast rule, and that could still be the case once the nomination hits the floor. 

There is no rush to get the re-nomination through the full chamber. Though Rosenworcel’s term has technically expired, she would be allowed to serve through the end of the president’s term regardless. 

SPECTRUM AUCTION DEPOSIT BILL: Along with a handful of other agenda items, the committee will also pass a short bill dealing with spectrum auctions and the cash deposit that companies have to give the government in order to sign up. The bill requires those deposits to go into the general treasury account, canceling out prior language from a few decades ago that no longer applies. 

WYDEN STEPS UP OPPOSITION TO SOCIAL MEDIA BILL: Sen. Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenBiden pushes back at Democrats on taxes Want a clean energy future? Look to the tax code Democrats brace for toughest stretch yet with Biden agenda MORE (R-Ore.) reiterated his firm opposition to a bill introduced Tuesday that would require tech companies to report terrorist activity on their platforms. Wyden successfully fought to keep the mandate out of an intelligence authorization bill earlier this year. 

"I’m for smart security policies," Wyden said. "If law enforcement agencies decide that terrorist content is not being identified quickly enough, then the solution should be to give those agencies more resources and personnel so they know where to look for terrorist content online and who to watch, and can ensure terrorist activity is quickly reported and acted upon.”

GOOGLE FIBER LOOKING AT CHICAGO, LA: Google is exploring whether it should bring its super-fast Internet service, Google Fiber, to Chicago and Los Angeles. The fiber network is already in three cities and moving to six others. Chicago and Los Angeles would be the two largest cities to get the Internet infrastructure if the deal eventually pans out. But it is a labor-intensive process that requires laying miles and miles of fiber optic cables. 

KICKSTARTER’S RETURN RATE: A new study found that 9 percent of Kickstarter projects failed to deliver rewards and 8 percent of dollars pledged went to failed projects, according to research by the University of Pennsylvania that was commissioned by the company. The results come as the government finalizes “equity crowdfunding” rules, which will allow ordinary people to buy a stake in a private company. Equity crowdfunding is broader than platforms like Kickstarter, which only promise small rewards in exchange for a donation, rather than a stake in the company. 

TRUMP’S INTERNET COMMENTS MOCKED: Many people online piled on Donald TrumpDonald TrumpCapitol fencing starts coming down after 'Justice for J6' rally Netanyahu suggests Biden fell asleep in meeting with Israeli PM Aides try to keep Biden away from unscripted events or long interviews, book claims MORE’s "closing that Internet up" comments made Monday night, which were partly overshadowed by his call to block Muslims from entering the country. Veteran New York Times reporter John Markoff compared it to science fiction, while the American Enterprise Institute noted that "Bill Gates probably wouldn't help you do it," a reference to Trump name dropping the former Microsoft CEO. 

THIS AGAIN: Wired says it has likely found Satoshi Nakamoto, the enigmatic creator of the bitcoin cryptocurrency. The magazine says it has evidence that points to Craig Steven Wright as the man behind the currency’s curtain. Readers will remember, however, that last year Newsweek announced it had identified Nakamoto — but the subject of their story flatly denied the charge.


At 10 a.m., the Senate Commerce Committee will hold a markup in which it will consider the re-nomination of FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel 

At noon, an event at the National Press Club will highlight "the future of U.S. digital infrastructure."

At 1 p.m., the House Oversight Committee will hold a hearing titled "A casino in every smartphone," about online gambling.


Opponents to a new bill that would require social media companies to police their networks for terrorist activity began pushing back on the legislation as soon as it was introduced on Tuesday.

Much of the free advertising time NBC gave to Republican presidential candidates to satisfy equal opportunity rules after Donald Trump's "Saturday Night Live" appearance came during a rerun of "The National Dog Show" last month. 

Five Democrats on the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s telecom subcommittee have made their displeasure with Federal Communications Committee Chairman Tom Wheeler’s performance at an oversight hearing last month known.

Employees rank NASA and the intelligence community as the most satisfying federal agencies at which to work, according to an annual survey produced by the Partnership for Public Service. 

President Obama’s Oval Office address on Sunday pulled in a massive audience of 46 million viewers, according to Nielsen. 


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