Overnight Tech: Dem presses Facebook on gun sales | Praise for new librarian of Congress | Fourth Amendment Caucus to push privacy concerns

LEDE: Sen. Ed MarkeyEd MarkeyOvernight Energy & Environment — Presented by Climate Power — Senate Democrats ding Biden energy proposal Six Democrats blast Energy Department's uranium reserve pitch Facebook draws lawmaker scrutiny over Instagram's impact on teens MORE (D-Mass.) said in a Wednesday letter to Facebook he's concerned that, despite their efforts, you can still buy a gun from a private seller on the company's social media platform or that of subsidiary Instagram.

"I write concerned that, despite previous assurances that both Facebook and Instagram would be taking steps to prohibit firearms sales on their social media platforms, these sales remain possible," he said in a letter. "I urge you once again to take immediate measures to prevent illegal firearms sales through Facebook and Instagram."


He's asking Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Instagram Chief Kevin Systrom to respond to questions about their policies and activities on the two platforms. Facebook has already taken steps to curb sales on the platforms entirely, banning private gun sales earlier this year. That followed a crackdown on the sales in 2014. But Markey said his office had found posts advertising gun sales and cited a report that the Dallas, Texas shooter had purchased a gun in 2014 on Facebook.

Read the letter here.

FACEBOOK SAYS IT'S DOING ITS PART: "We prohibit people from using Facebook and Instagram to offer and coordinate private sales of firearms," a spokesperson for the two companies said in a statement. "Any content that violates this policy will be removed as soon as we become aware of it - whether it is in groups, on accounts, or on pages."

TO WATCH TOMORROW MORNING: Thursday brings the FCC's July open meeting. The commissioners are considering Chairman Tom Wheeler's plan to make spectrum available for 5G wireless technology. The second item is on adopting "a framework to guide transitions to next-generation communications technologies while protecting the interests of consumers and competition."

FOURTH AMENDMENT CAUCUS FORMS: A group of 25 House members on Wednesday launched the "Fourth Amendment Caucus," which is aimed at protecting the privacy and security of Americans. Reps. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) and Ted PoeLloyd (Ted) Theodore PoeSheila Jackson Lee tops colleagues in House floor speaking days over past decade Senate Dem to reintroduce bill with new name after 'My Little Pony' confusion Texas New Members 2019 MORE (R-Texas) are leading the caucus with an additional 12 Republicans and 11 Democrats. Watch the announcement here.

NEW LIBRARIAN WINS PRAISE AFTER CONFIRMATION: Carla Hayden received applause from a number of groups Wednesday after the Senate confirmed her to be the next librarian of Congress. Despite some conservative opposition from Heritage Action, others like Public Knowledge, ReCreate Coalition and the right-leaning R Street released laudatory statements after the vote.

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ANCHOR INSTITUTIONS ROLL OUT CONNECTION PLAN: The Schools, Health and Libraries Broadband Coalition launched an "action plan" on Wednesday to guide policymakers on connecting so-called anchor institutions, those key community locations like schools and libraries. "I got an early peek at the Executive Summary of the Broadband Action Plan being released today and without a doubt, the task to connect community anchor institutions to Gigabit broadband is a daunting one," said the FCC's Gigi Sohn at the launch of the paper. But regardless, it is one that we must take on together, for the benefit of our communities and our country."

ADVERTISERS WANT TO PROFIT OFF POKEMON GO: Outside advertisers are already plotting ways to help profit off the massive success of the new smartphone game Pokemon Go. But in a Wall Street Journal story, one person warned that "one of the worst things the creators of the app could do would be to overload the game with ads, turning every Pokémon adventure into a walk through the virtual version of a billboard-filled Times Square."

THUNE SENDS OFF A REPORTER: Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneManchin keeps Washington guessing on what he wants Manchin-McConnell meet amid new voting rights push Republican leaders misjudged Jan. 6 committee MORE (R-S.D.) made an appearance at 201 Bar Tuesday night to send off Politico tech reporter Kate Tummarello. Tummarello -- a previous author of this very newsletter -- is headed to Palo Alto, Calif. Photographic proof here, courtesy of Erin Mershon.



At 11 a.m., Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) will unveil her bill to combat revenge porn.

At 3 p.m., Comcast and HUD are announcing an expansion of the company's low-cost internet program.



Massachusetts Sen. Ed Markey (D) said on Wednesday he was concerned that guns could still be purchased on Facebook and its subsidiary Instagram, despite the company's attempts to stem firearm sales on the platforms.

Three members of Congress on Wednesday sent a letter to Niantic, the company behind the Pokemon Go app, urging it to disable the popular mobile game inside the Holocaust Museum.

The Senate on Wednesday approved Carla Hayden to be the next librarian of Congress, making her the first black woman to hold the job.  

Democratic Sens. 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 (Mass.) and Brian Schatz (Hawaii) asked a federal agency on Wednesday to examine the prevalence of commercial websites such as Airbnb that facilitate short-term housing rentals.

A federal judge in New York on Tuesday ruled that law enforcement officers need a warrant before using a device that mimics cell towers to help track a person's mobile phone.  

Google on Wednesday said it had paid out more than $2 billion to people who had claimed their content on YouTube since 2007.