Overnight Tech: Google sticking with GOP convention plans despite protests

LEDE: Google said Thursday it would serve as the official livestream for the GOP convention in July, despite pressure from activists who want the tech giant to drop its plans in protest of Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpFacebook releases audit on conservative bias claims Harry Reid: 'Decriminalizing border crossings is not something that should be at the top of the list' Recessions happen when presidents overlook key problems MORE.

The official feed will stream through YouTube, which is owned by the company, according to a spokesperson. Google has helped sponsor a number of presidential debates this cycle. But Google and other major companies have come under increasing pressure from advocates to refrain from sponsoring the convention, because of the rhetoric and proposed policies of Trump, the GOP front-runner.

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Advocates on Thursday delivered a petition with half a million signatures to Google's headquarters urging the technology giant not to sponsor the convention. To garner more publicity, the advocates hired a plane to fly over Google's headquarters in Mountain View, Calif., with a banner reading "Google: Don't be evil. #DumpTrump."

WEBSITE RETIRING: The 21-year-old government website named after the country's third president and dedicated to allowing the public track bills in Congress is being officially retired in July. The THOMAS.loc.gov website has already been outdated for a number of years as the Library of Congress built up its "more modern" and "robust" Congress.gov, which went live in 2012 and received 36 million page views last year. The THOMAS website has hung around through the transition but will be officially taken down on July 5. The new website includes more information, better search capabilities and a mobile-friendly option.

BILLS, BILLS, BILLS: The House Energy and Commerce Committee advanced a trio of Federal Communications Commission transparency bills during a marathon markup. The proposals would require the FCC to publish draft regulations before a vote and quickly publish the final text of the rules within a day of a vote. One bill would also require the FCC to give the public a summary of any decision made at the agency through delegated authority. The standalone bills mirror a broader transparency reform bill that the committee approved last year. The committee passed a half dozen other communications related bills as well.  

FCC MOVES ON BIZ INTERNET: The commission voted on Thursday to allow public comment on Chairman Tom Wheeler's proposal to reform the market for high-capacity business internet. So-called special access internet, which the chairman is trying to rebrand as business data services, refers to the high-capacity lines that ATMs and cell towers utilize, for example. For more, click here.

ALSO: The FCC approved a notice of proposed rulemaking for plans to require wireless providers to recognize real-time text tools for deaf, hard of hearing, deaf-blind and speech-disabled people. The Hill's Lydia Wheeler has more on that here. They also approved an item related to the 3.5 GHz band.

DON'T EXPECT AN EXTENSION: Wheeler made it pretty clear at his press conference that the trade groups asking for an extension on his broadband privacy proposal should get their filings in by the current deadline. "It's not exactly a surprise," he said, noting the privacy issue came up in the net neutrality debate. "This issue has been in the public debate for well over a year, and I think that we have provided meaningful time for comments and reply comments to bring that debate to a point of closure."

CABLE MERGER TALK: Wheeler talked a bit about what he hoped to accomplish with the conditions he's recommended for the merger of Charter Communications, Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks. "In terms of the conditions, I think what we did was we created a seven-year innovation and competition zone that in terms of broadband access says that there will be during this period an open opportunity for those ... who are innovative and competitive, to have an opportunity to bring new competition and new services," he said. For more on Wheeler's green light for the merger, click here.

PAI'S MOVIE REFERENCES: Today's minority presser at the commission ended with a question far from tech policy but close to the heart of anyone who has watched an open FCC meeting in recent years: How does senior Republican Ajit Pai choose his many pop culture references? "Sometimes, it really depends, as we're reading through a statement that we often have just a basic, just the facts, approach and try to figure out how we're going to approach an issue and then sometimes the movie will just suggest itself to me," he said, before noting that his staff sometimes stops him from going overboard. He also said he wishes he could devote that creative force "to something more socially productive, like curing cancer or writing the next great American novel."

FOR THOSE OF YOU KEEPING SCORE AT HOME: Pai's statements on Thursday included a reference to Prince (he was wearing a purple tie out of deference) and a lengthy metaphor related to Alice in Wonderland.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

The Federal Communications Commission is taking a key step toward new rules for high-capacity internet services used by businesses, voting Thursday to open proposed reforms to public comment.

Facebook restricted a record amount of content at the request of governments around the world in the second half of 2015 -- an increase almost solely attributed to a single image showing the devastation after the November terrorist attacks in Paris.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is working to make it easier for deaf, hard of hearing, speech-disabled and deaf-blind people to communicate with people over the phone.

prominent digital privacy advocate in the Senate is trying to halt a Justice Department request to expand its remote hacking powers.

Comcast will raise the data caps it implements on broadband subscribers in many markets.

 

Please send tips and comments to David McCabe, dmccabe@thehill.com and Mario Trujillo, mtrujillo@thehill.com Follow us on Twitter: @dmccabe@_mariotrujillo@HilliconValley