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What’s At Stake in the Aereo Case? What’s At Stake in the Aereo Case?

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What’s At Stake in the Aereo Case?

Welcome to National Journal's Tech Edge, a morning tip sheet with the news you need in technology policy, featuring a roundup 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'S TOP PARAGRAPH: This week kicks off the Supreme Court's look at Aereo, which—depending on who's talking—could mean the death of the broadcast work-around, or even traditional broadcasting. Glenn Greenwald promises his upcoming book will offer more revelations from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. And users are being asked to change their passwords, thanks to continued uncertainty over the Heartbleed bug.


STAKES HIGH IN AEREO CASE: The Supreme Court will hear arguments Tuesday in the long-awaited Aereo case, which both sides contend could reshape the future of TV and, possibly, the Internet. The DOJ-backed TV broadcasters believe that if Aereo--the service that lets subscribers watch and record local TV channels on their devices for a monthly fee--walks away with a win, it could spell doom for their entire industry. Aereo, meanwhile, says defeat would mean "we're finished," as Barry Diller, the service's main investor, said last month. Other groups and Internet activists warn the Supremes could issue a ruling that also puts cloud-computing companies into legal jeopardy.

Tuesday's courtroom theater will feature some familiar, high-powered faces. Paul Clement, a former solicitor general who argued before SCOTUS against Obamacare, is representing the TV stations. (Sasso, NJ)


AEREO CEO: GOVERNMENT ISN'T AGAINST US: Chet Kanojia appeared on C-SPAN's "The Communicators" to rebuke any suggestion that the federal government is uniformly opposed to his business. The Justice Department's brief siding with broadcasters "left people with the impression that the government is against us, which is absolutely not true," Kanojia said, noting that it was the Copyright Office and not the FCC or Commerce Department that backed the brief.

HOW WE GOT HERE: Aereo and the broadcasters have presented competing versions of legal history dating back to the 1970s. (Joe Mullin, Ars Technica)

GREENWALD PROMISES MORE NSA REVELATIONS: Glenn Greenwald told CNN's Brian Stelter on Sunday that his forthcoming book of contains "a lot of new stories from the Snowden archive" that will "help inform the [NSA] debate even further." The journalist, fresh off winning a Polk Award and netting The Guardian a Pulitzer, has long teased more stories, but this may be the first time he has explicitly said his book, due out in May, will feature new revelations. "These are stories that I felt from the beginning really needed the length of a book to be able to report and to do justice to, so there's new documents, there's new revelations in the book that I think will help inform the debate."


PANDORA HIRES DAVE GRIMALDI: The former adviser to FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn is the Internet radio service's first full-time employee in D.C., a company spokeswoman said.


NEW DOCUMENTS REVEAL SILICON VALLEY TALKED HIRING: With a major trial's start date just around the corner, new documents reveal a tech elite inner circle that conferred privately about hiring practices. (Jeff Elder, WSJ)

COULD HEARTBLEED TAKE DOWN HEALTHCARE[DOT]GOV?: Users of the Obamacare exchange portal are being instructed to change their passwords "out of an abundance of caution" in the wake of the massive Internet security bug. (Megan Wilson, The Hill)

SPACEX CRAFT DOCKS WITH ISS: The NASA-backed resupply mission successfully reached the space station; the launch also marked a big step toward reusable rockets, as the company said its rocket first stage landed successfully in the Atlantic. (Alex Knapp, Forbes)

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WEED MEETS TECH: As marijuana legalization gains traction, Silicon Valley is trying to cash in—from advanced vaporizers to medical innovations. (Mat Honan, Wired)

VERIZON SPENDS MORE ON LOBBYISTS THAN TAXES: The telecom giant is among the companies that spent less on taxes than it did on lobbying from 2008-2012. (Public Campaign)

ON THE INTERNET, MONEY CAN BUY YOU FRIENDS: "Retweets. Likes. Favorites. Comments. Upvotes. Page views. You name it; they're for sale on websites like Swenzy, Fiverr and countless others." (Nick Bilton, NYT) 



  • The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments for ABC v. Aereo at 11:00 a.m.
  • FTC Commissioner Maureen Ohlhausen will speak at a Georgetown University's Public Policy and Law School event on privacy in the era of big data beginning at 10 a.m.
  • Glenn Greenwald will participate in a panel discussion hosted by Georgetown University's Center for Poetics and Social Practice on surveillance and whistleblowing at 7 p.m.


  • The FCC will consider Universal Service Fund reform at the agency's open commission meeting at 10:30 a.m.
  • The Armed Forces Communications and Electronic Association will host breakfast discussion on cybersecurity at 8:30 a.m.


  • The Congressional Caucus Advisory Committee will host a discussion on reforming the Electronic Communications Privacy Act at 12 p.m.

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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