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Target and Neiman Marcus to Testify, And Obama to Outline Tech Education Donations

Welcome to the National Journal's Tech Edge, a morning tipsheet with the news you need in technology policy, featuring a round-up of the best coverage and exclusive tips for the day ahead. Got this by forward? Sign up at

By Alex Brown (@AlexBrownNJ), Laura Ryan (@NJLJRyan), Brendan Sasso (@BrendanSasso), and Dustin Volz (@dnvolz)


TODAY IN ONE PARAGRAPH: The White House's ConnectED initiative will receive a big boost from the private sector today when the president announces $750 million in public-private partnerships at Buck Lodge Middle School in Maryland at 11:00 a.m . Lawmakers will get a chance to grill executives from Target and Neiman Marcus about the recent data breaches when they testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee at 10:15 a.m. Peter Swire of the White House NSA review group and David Medine of the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board will discuss their recommendations at a House Judiciary Committee hearing at 10:00 a.m. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and other top intelligence officials will testify at the House Intelligence hearing on worldwide threats at 10:00 a.m.


COMPANIES HELP BRING FASTER INTERNET TO SCHOOLS: The private sector is answering President Obama's call to bring faster Internet connections to schools with $750 million worth of services and funding. Apple, Microsoft, Sprint, and Verizon are among those contributing. (Ryan, NJ)

INTERNET GIANTS RELEASE MORE SPYING DATA: One week after the administration said they could, Google, Microsoft, Facebook, LinkedIn and Yahoo released updated reports Monday revealing more information about national security requests for user data received from the feds. But each noted in addendums posted alongside the surveillance requests that they would continue to push for additional transparency measures that would allow more comprehensive data disclosures. The top target for NSA agents? Yahoo, which fielded content requests for more than 30,000 users. (Volz, NJ)


NET-NEUTRALITY BILL INTRODUCED: The Open Internet Preservation Act, dropped in the House by Henry Waxman and Anna Eshoo and in the Senate by Ed Markey, would reinstate the old neutrality rules until the FCC could figure out a way to enact new regulations. But GOP lawmakers steadfastly oppose any legislation attempting to enforce the Internet rules, putting this bill squarely in the "unlikely to go anywhere" camp. (Sasso, NJ)

NEW DATA BREACH BILL: Democratic Sens. Richard Blumenthal and Ed Markey will introduce new data breach legislation on Tuesday morning. Their bill, the Personal Data Protection and Breach Accountability Act, would require companies to meet data security standards, promote information-sharing between companies, provide remedies to consumers who have their information stolen, and allow consumers to sue companies that fail to protect their information.

ROCKEFELLER CONTINUES DATA BROKER PROBE: Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller sent a letter to six data brokers—firms that collect and compile information on consumers. Rockefeller asked the firms about marketing to consumers based on financial vulnerability or health problems.

SENATE RAISES CURTAIN ON DATA BREACH HEARINGS: A Senate Banking subcommittee hearing Monday served as Act I for a three-act play this week of Congress examining data breaches. Senators largely agreed that legislation was necessary, and Sen. Elizabeth Warren called for measures that would boost the FTC's powers to go after businesses not doing enough to protect their customers' data.


"The FTC should have the enforcement authority it needs to protect consumers and it looks to me like it doesn't have that authority right now," Warren told Jessica Rich, director of the FTC's bureau of consumer protection. "Data security problems aren't going to go away on their own, so Congress seriously needs to consider whether to strengthen the FTC's hand." (Volz, NJ)

Join National Journal on Thursday, February 6 for "Dialing In on the IP Transition" Policy Summit underwritten by Neustar. The Newseum, 3rd Floor Broadcast Studio, 8:00 am - 10:30 am. RSVP @


FCC SKEPTICAL OF SPRINT/T-MO: FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler expressed skepticism about a possible Sprint merger with T-Mobile during a meeting with Sprint executives. (Nagesh/Knutson, WSJ)

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GOOGLE TOLD TO MOVE BARGE: A California official said Google does not have the proper permits for a barge in the San Francisco Bay (Liedtke/Mendoza, AP)

NSA HURTING TECH FIRMS OVERSEAS: Foreign governments are seizing on an opportunity to restrict U.S. tech companies from doing business in their countries. (Michael Hickins, WSJ)

ESHOO, PALLONE WANT GAVEL: Reps. Anna Eshoo and Frank Pallone will square off for the top Democratic post on the Energy and Commerce Committee (Sasso, NJ)

CHATTANOOGA'S NEW ENGINE: Once famous for its train, the small city in Tennessee is experiencing a revival fueled by the country's fastest and cheapest fiber-optic network. (Ed Wyatt, NYT)

FACEBOOK'S 'PAPER' APP DRAWS IRE: From FiftyThree, a New York-based startup that has a similar app with the same name. Trademark disputes ongoing. (Nick Bilton, NYT)

CARS ARE ABOUT TO GET CHATTY: Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx announced plans to allow vehicle-to-vehicle communication. (Brown, NJ)

WHAT THE NEW WEB LOOKS LIKE:, ...The "greatest land rush in Internet history" is finally here. Act accordingly. (Leo Mirani, Quartz)

BITCOIN REGULATION: Regulation is coming, but we're all still figuring out how much cryptocurrencies will face. (Peter Henning, NYT)

Don't Miss Today's Top Stories

Love it - first thing I read in the morning."

Amy, VP of Communications

I read the Tech Edge every morning."

Ashley, Senior Media Associate

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