TODAY'S TOP PARAGRAPH: The leaders of the Senate Intelligence Committee released a draft cyber info-sharing bill. Democrats are upping pressure on the FCC with a new bill that would ban "fast lanes." Amazon is expected to unveil its smartphone today. The House Judiciary Committee will markup the Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act, and Sens. Ed Markey and Mark Pryor will participate in a discussion about reforming the 1996 Telecom Act.
SENATE READIES CYBER BILL: Senate Intelligence Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein and ranking member Saxby Chambliss released a draft bill Tuesday that aims to make it easier for companies to share information about cyberattacks. The bill, the Senate's counterpart to the House's CISPA, would offer liability protection to companies that participate in the program. Their panel is scheduled to vote on the bill next week.
BUT PRIVACY CONCERNS LINGER: The senators included provisions aimed at easing the concerns of privacy advocates and the White House (which has threatened to veto the House version of the bill). The bill would require companies to remove personally identified information before sharing the information with the government, for example. The government could use that information only for "appropriate cyber purposes."
But the senators haven't won over privacy advocates yet. Gabe Rottman, a legislative counsel for the ACLU, warned that the bill could still allow the government to use the information for criminal investigations, including leaks of national security information. He also expressed concern about the fact that the NSA and other intelligence agencies could gain access to the data.
DEMOCRATS PUSH BILL TO BAN 'FAST LANES': Sen. Patrick Leahy and Rep. Doris Matsui introduced a bill Tuesday to keep the FCC from allowing "fast lanes" on the Internet. The bill has little chance in the House, but it shows that Democrats are ramping up pressure on FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler to enact tougher net-neutrality regulations. Wheeler still needs to find two votes for his proposal, but he's finding himself increasingly isolated on the issue. (Sasso, NJ)
REPUBLICANS TELL FCC TO BACK OFF CYBER REGULATIONS: House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers wants the FCC to keep its hands off of cybersecurity regulations. In a letter Monday to Wheeler, Rogers and Rep. Mike Pompeo said that the private sector should lead the charge against cyber threats and prescriptive regulations would only get in the way.
Even though Wheeler said in a speech last week that a multi-stakeholder approach is the way to go, the Republican congressmen aren't satisfied. Their letter asks Wheeler to explain the agency's authority to regulate cybersecurity, how the agency is measuring the private sectors' "success," and what exactly he means by "other options."
WIRELESS INDUSTRY: TITLE II NOT 'VIABLE' OPTION: As the FCC rewrites its open Internet rules, the CTIA's new president and CEO, Meredith Attwell Baker, said that the new rules should still not apply to mobile networks. Baker, who took the helm of the the wireless industry's lobbying group earlier this month, told reporters Tuesday that wireless is different because it'a dependent on "finite spectrum" and has fixed capacity. She also said that Title II reclassification is the "wrong path" because "we should never treat our mobile ecosystem like a public utility" and it could leader to higher prices for consumers.
MOBILE DATA DOUBLED IN A YEAR: Mobile traffic jumped 120 percent between 2012 and 2013, fueling a $331 billion investment in wireless networks last year, according to CTIA's annual survey. That's 383 times the data usage in 2008, one year after the birth of the iPhone.
AT&T GETS EXCLUSIVE DEAL FOR AMAZON'S SMARTPHONE: The telecom giant will be the only one to carry the new phone, which Amazon is expected to unveil today. (Gryta/Bensinger, WSJ)
SOFTBANK CEO HAS REASON TO HOPE ON MERGER: Masayoshi Son said that "movement" over the past couple of months has given him reason to hope that a Sprint-T-Mobile merger is in the realm of possibilities. (Kasai/Shida, Reuters)
I read the Tech Edge every morning."
Ashley, Senior Media Associate
...BUT AT&T CHIEF PREDICTS DOOM FOR DEAL: AT&T's chief thinks a push for a Sprint/T-Mobile merger would meet the same fate as AT&T's own failed bid for the "mobile maverick." (Ryan, NJ)
CABLE BOXES ARE ENERGY GLUTTONS: Cable boxes use way more energy than desktop computers, but it doesn't need to be that way. (Ralph Vartabedian, LAT)
NEW STUDY: TITLE II RECLASSIFICATION "UNWARRENTED": A new study by the Phoenix Center concludes the FCC has "ample" authority to regulate broadband services after examining the agency's recent court cases.
FACEBOOK ROLLS OUT SNAPCHAT ALTERNATIVE: Slingshot will require users to share pictures of their own before viewing the ones they've received. (Vindu Goel, NYT)
WYDEN, UDALL, AND PAUL OPPOSE USA FREEDOM ACT: "This is clearly not the meaningful reform that Americans have demanded, so we will vigorously oppose this bill in its current form and continue to push for real changes to the law," Sens. Ron Wyden, Mark Udall, and Rand Paul wrote in an op-ed for the Los Angeles Times.
U.K. SPY BOSS SAYS IT'S LEGAL TO SNOOP ON USERS' GOOGLE, FACEBOOK DATA: Charles Farr said the government doesn't need a warrant to search British citizens' communications on Google and Facebook, since both are based outside Britain and therefore classified as external communications. (BBC)
YAHOO HAS DIVERSITY PROBLEM: Less than 40 percent of Yahoo's workforce are women, according to the tech company's first diversity report. (Brian Womack, Bloomberg)
THE DAY AHEAD
The House Judiciary Committee will hold a full committee markup of the Permanent Internet Tax Freedom act at 10 a.m.
The Senate Homeland Security Committee will hold a hearing on the Intelligence Community's contractor workforce at 10 a.m.
President Obama will attend the White House's first-ever "Maker Fair" showcasing new technologies like 3D printing at 10:45 a.m.
The Broadband Coalition will host Sens. Edward Markey and Mark Pryor and others for a discussion about the 1996 Telecom Act at 10 a.m. in the Library of Congress.
A Netflix executive, Public Knowledge's Gene Kimmelman, and others will discuss a new MIT study on Internet congestion and what its findings mean for net neutrality at an event hosted by the Advisory Committee to the Congressional Internet Caucus at 2 p.m.
The National Press Club will hold a conference on the FAA and commercial drone use at 2 p.m.
Amazon is expected to unveil its first smartphone at an event in Seattle at 10:30 a.m. PT, 1:30 p.m. ET.
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I read the Tech Edge every morning."
Ashley, Senior Media Associate