Overnight Tech: Cable, satellite providers on the hot seat | A win for privacy groups | C-SPAN turns to Periscope during sit-in | Sandberg makes Facebook's case to conservatives

LEDE: The biggest names in cable and satellite TV are being hauled to Capitol Hill on Thursday to answer questions about their customer service and billing practices.

The industry has a poor track record on customer service, and could be in store for an earful from consumer-minded lawmakers on the Senate Homeland Security subcommittee on investigations.

Those testifying include executives from Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Charter Communications, AT&T and Dish Network. Sen. Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanEmboldened Trump takes aim at GOP foes Overnight On The Money — Presented by Wells Fargo — GOP senator: It's 'foolish' to buy Treasury bonds Senate lawmakers let frustration show with Blinken MORE (R-Ohio) and Sen. Claire McCaskillClaire Conner McCaskillRepublicans may regret restricting reproductive rights Sunday shows preview: States deal with fallout of Ida; Texas abortion law takes effect Giuliani to stump for Greitens in Missouri MORE (D-Mo.) called the hearing in their ongoing investigation into barriers to competition in the industry. A report is due out this fall.

PRIVACY GROUPS WIN: Privacy and civil liberties groups let out a sigh of relief after the Senate narrowly rejected a plan to advance a surveillance amendment that would give the FBI easier access to email records and permanently extend a law that helps the government track lone wolf terror suspects. The vote was left open for about an hour as Republicans tried to get the necessary 60 votes to advance it. But they came up one vote short.

FIGHT NOT OVER: The ACLU warned that Republicans could "call for a second vote" to pass the amendment and called on them to "abandon" the plan. The Open Technology Institute said the vote seemed like a "deliberate" effort to push through a surveillance provision before members could fully investigate it.

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SANDBERG COMES TO CONSERVATIVES TURF: Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg's appearance at the American Enterprise Institute on Wednesday went by without incident. She answered a question about allegations of anti-conservative political bias on the platform by relaying what the company had done to address the issue. She also dropped a nugget: The company will introduce training on political bias into its courses for employees on how to manage their own biases.

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TOES THE LINE ON CHINA: Asked for an update on Facebook's lack-of-a-presence in China, Sandberg declined to make news. "Right now, our service is not available within the Chinese market. We do, however, have a growing business in China, which is that we're working with Chinese companies to help them sell their products overseas," she said, adding that the company was "encouraged" by that and was interested in one day doing business there.

WATCH THE EVENT (SOON): Video of the event isn't up yet, but AEI says it will be within a day. You'll be able to view it here.

MORE HILL MEETINGS TOMORROW: Sandberg heads up to Capitol Hill tomorrow for a meeting with Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanPaul Ryan researched narcissistic personality disorder after Trump win: book Paul Ryan says it's 'really clear' Biden won election: 'It was not rigged. It was not stolen' Democrats fret over Trump-district retirements ahead of midterms MORE (R-Wis.). She will also sit down for a meeting with Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and lawmakers who have been involved with the House Democrat's Innovation Agenda 2.0 project. An "Innovation Pop Up" event at the end of the day will give Facebook the chance to demo some of its products for lawmakers, including the Oculus virtual reality headset.

PERISCOPE GETS ITS DAY IN THE HOUSE: The power of personal live streaming was on full display in the House of Representatives, when Democrats took to Facebook Live and Periscope to stream their sit-in about gun legislation after Republicans took the chamber into recess and cut off the cameras. C-SPAN, which usually gets its feed from the House, began broadcasting the Periscope feed of Rep. Scott Peters (D-Calif.). Republicans said it is standard procedure to cut off the cameras when not in session and said all lawmakers have previously voted on that policy. The use of Periscope on C-SPAN seemed to please Twitter's CEO, Jack Dorsey, who tweeted simply, "Wow."

AND DON'T FORGET FACEBOOK LIVE: Rep. Mark Takano (D-Calif.) used the rival service to stream the sit-in from his perspective, racking up 94,000 views.

 

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

More than 30 tech companies made a commitment to the White House on Wednesday to track and set workforce diversity goals.

Google is offering praise for an industry-backed alternative to the Federal Communications Commission's proposal to open up the market for television set-top boxes.

Commerce Secretary Penny PritzkerPenny Sue PritzkerThe Hill's Morning Report - Sanders steamrolls to South Carolina primary, Super Tuesday Biden's new campaign ad features Obama speech praising him Obama Commerce secretary backs Biden's 2020 bid MORE said critics of the U.S. government's plan to give up oversight of some technical functions of the internet are engaging in "politics and misinformation."

Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenFederal Reserve officials' stock trading sparks ethics review Manchin keeps Washington guessing on what he wants Warren, Daines introduce bill honoring 13 killed in Kabul attack MORE (D-Mass.) threw her support this week behind strong Federal Communications Commission privacy rules for internet service providers.

House Republicans are not backing down from their attempts to blunt the Federal Communications Commission's net neutrality rules, even after the rules were fully upheld by an appeals court this month.

Cameras covering the House floor were turned off on Wednesday as Democrats staged a sit-in to try to force a vote on gun control legislation.

All five members of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) are heading back to Capitol Hill.