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National Journal Tech Edge

National Journal Tech Edge

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Published by elyssarae
National Journal Tech Edge
National Journal Tech Edge

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Published by: elyssarae on May 06, 2014
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05/06/2014

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National Journal Tech Edge 
May. 6, 2014
Brought to you by SoftBank  A true competitor, SoftBank launched a successful price war against the two industry giants in Japan's mobile wireless market. We believe Americans also deserve high-quality, low cost wireless access. With SoftBank, you should always expect the unexpected. Learn why at http://softbankusa.com/. 
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 a http://www.nationaljournal.com/tech-edge
. By Alex Brown (@AlexBrownNJ), Laura Ryan (@NJLJRyan), Brendan Sasso (@BrendanSasso), and Dustin Volz (@dnvolz) 
TODAY'S TOP PARAGRAPH
: The House Judiciary Committee has scheduled a markup of the USA Freedom Act for Wednesday, while the House Intelligence Committee has scheduled a closed-door markup of a competing NSA bill for Thursday. The House Energy and Commerce Committee will vote on an update to the satellite TV law STELA and a bill to halt the administration's plan to give up Internet oversight authority. House Republicans claim the FCC is acting like a cartel with its plan to cap spectrum auction bidding. CompTIA has acquired TechAmerica, and Mozilla has a plan to save net neutrality.
TOP NEWS
: After months of inaction, Congress is suddenly barreling ahead with proposed reforms to the government's surveillance programs, as two House panels duel to get their preferred bills out of committee and onto the floor. The House Judiciary Committee announced Monday that it would bring an amended version of its stalled anti-NSA bill up for a vote Wednesday. Just hours later, the House Intelligence Committee responded, announcing it had slated a markup of its own anti-spying bill
which most closely aligns with what President Obama has requested
for a closed session Thursday.  Amid the jurisdictional squabble, tech companies and privacy groups are closely sifting through Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte's new manager's amendment to the USA Freedom Act, which has long been viewed as the strongest strike against the NSA's surveillance programs. A tech lobbyist expressed concern that the compromise lacks a previous provision that would have given companies more leeway in disclosing information about government data requests. The new compromise "is a conversation starter," said Mark Jaycox of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, but added it was "upsetting" to see some of the original bill's transparency and FISA court oversight provisions removed or altered. Jaycox and other privacy advocates additionally said some ambiguous terms, such as "selector," need to be more clearly defined. (Volz, NJ)
: The House Energy and Commerce Committee is set to vote on legislation to re-authorize the satellite TV law STELA and the DOTCOM Act, which would block the transfer of Internet authorities pending a GAO study. Opening statements are scheduled for Wednesday afternoon with a full committee markup on Thursday at 10:00 a.m.
 
WHY DID COMPTIA ACQUIRE TECHAMERICA?
: Details of the deal announced Monday remain sealed, but the merger is an attempt to "enhance our global capacity" as a big-tent coalition representative of all of IT and expand CompTIA's state and local presence, according to Todd Thibodeaux, CompTIA's CEO. Thibodeaux in an interview said TechAmerica's settlement last week of a poaching suit with the Information Technology Industry Council "had nothing to do with this transaction
not in any level involved."  About 24 TechAmerica employees will join CompTIA, bringing the overall total to just under 200. About seven TechAmerica staffers who worked in "the administrative office" are being let go. As for TechAmerica CEO Shawn Osborne, Thibodeaux said he would remain with the company during a transition period, but that he could not comment on Osborne's long-term plans.
: The FCC's plan to cap bidding in the upcoming spectrum auction "borders on reckless" and resembles "how a cartel controls price," according to a letter signed by every Republican member of the House Communications and Technology Subcommittee. "The Commission is not better able than the market to dictate the worth of spectrum and attempts to do so jeopardize the success of the auction," the lawmakers wrote. The FCC will vote on the rules on May 15, and the House panel is set to give Chairman Tom Wheeler an earful at a hearing on May 20.
TOP LINES
: The nonprofit group outlined a new legal path to ban Internet "fast lanes." (Sasso, NJ)
: Mounting public pressure mixed with sagging profits and sales in the wake of last year's massive data breach led to Gregg Steinhafel's departure. (Volz/Stamm, NJ)
: A Colorado long-distance phone provider is facing a whopping $3.9 million fine from the FCC for allegedly tricking customers into switching service plans and billing customers for unauthorized charges. Many of the victims were elderly or disabled, according to the FCC.
: It will be up to the House speaker to decide how to move ahead with NSA legislation. (Kate Tummarello, The Hill)
: The justices will consider whether local officials need to provide written explanations when they deny applications to build new cell towers. (Brent Kendall, WSJ)
: The Internet backbone provider claimed six unnamed ISPs are abusing their market power. (Marguerite Reardon, CNET)
: The National Park Service announced the increasingly popular unmanned aircraft will no longer be allowed, citing noise, safety and wildlife concerns.
: "Unfortunately, the relationship between broadcasters and the FCC has become strained of late," the Republican FCC commissioner said in a speech in Pennsylvania. "Based on what I heard at the NAB Show last month, I wonder if it's time to call Dr. Phil and see if he is available to mediate."

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