Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
September 24, 2014

September 23, 2014

Cukier: Big Data Will ‘Steal Our Jobs’

Kenneth Cukier say big data will make our lives better, but that there are problems we need to keep in mind. Among them: elimination of some jobs.

“There is another problem,” says Cukier in this video posted on YouTube Tuesday of a Ted Talk from earlier this summer. “Big data is going to steal our jobs.”

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OCED, ‘Transfer Pricing’ & Intangible Assets

Tax issues being debated on the Hill that could affect tech companies and have been in the spotlight lately include whether to allow states to require online retailers outside their borders to collect their sales taxes and whether to make the Internet tax moratorium permanent. CQ Roll Call’s Katy O’Donnell in a recent story looks abroad.

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Lofgren: Section 1201 in ‘Desperate Need of a Fix’

lofgren 101 051612 445x335 Lofgren: Section 1201 in Desperate Need of a Fix

Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., participates in a House Democrats’ news conference on May 16, 2012. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

One of California Democrat Zoe Lofgren’s legislative priorities for next Congress: a change to anti-circumvention provisions in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

In an interview, the Silicon Valley member of the House Judiciary Committee, said she didn’t know “that we will be able to get consensus to do this,” but said “Section 1201 is in desperate need of a fix.”

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September 22, 2014

Q&A: ICANN’s Christopher Mondini, Part 2

Chris Mondini Portrait 222x240 Q&A: ICANNs Christopher Mondini, Part 2

Christopher Mondini is vice president for business engagement for North America and global business at the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). Translation: he does outreach and communications with ICANN stakeholders and encourages their participation in ICANN.  Technocrat talked with Mondini, who walked through some of what ICANN does, from a 30,000 foot level.

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Week Ahead: OkCupid, High-Skilled Immigration Policy & Cross-Border Data Flows

Lawmakers are out of town for several weeks, and that means a somewhat quieter week in Washington. But there’s still plenty going on, with OkCupid’s co-founder and president talking at Sixth & I as well as events on high-skilled immigration policy and and cross-border data flows.

Monday

OkCupid’s Christian Rudder caused a stir this summer over a blog post about experiments the online dating site has conducted. He has a new book out and he’ll be at Sixth & I on Monday talking to The Atlantic’s Megan Garber.

On Monday and Tuesday, The National Academies’ Board on Science, Technology, and Economic Policy hosts a conference titled “High-Skilled Immigration Policy & the Global Competition for Talent.”

Tuesday

On Tuesday, The Brookings Institution hosts an event releasing three papers proposing ways to spur more efficient use of government-owned spectrum.

Wednesday

The Center for Democracy & Technology on Wednesday holds an event on education, data and privacy.

Thursday

On Thursday, Brookings hosts a panel discussion on challenges to cross-border data flows and their potential impacts on communications, trade and commerce.

September 19, 2014

Weekly Recap: Net Neutrality, Satellite Television Reauthorization and Boeing/SpaceX

It was a big net neutrality week in Washington: the deadline hit for Open Internet comments with the Federal Communications Commission, the agency held Open Internet roundtables with stakeholders and the Senate held its own hearing on net neutrality.  A few highlights from the week:

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By Anne L. Kim Posted at 4:24 p.m.
Uncategorized

Friday Q&A: ICANN’s Christopher Mondini, Part One

You might be familiar with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers from policy debates here in Washington about Internet governance and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s plan to step back from its role in certain functions of the Internet domain name system. Technocrat talked with ICANN’s Christopher Mondini about what ICANN does, how it’s governed, what its stakeholders are concerned about and more.

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September 18, 2014

Wireless Group Asks Lawmakers for Support on Net Neutrality Stance

dw100325093 222x335 Wireless Group Asks Lawmakers for Support on Net Neutrality Stance

Baker, during a House Energy Subcommittee on Communications, Technology and the Internet hearing on the national broadband plan. (Photo by Scott J. Ferrell/Congressional Quarterly)

The group representing wireless carriers is looking to Congress for help in trying to convince the Federal Communications Commission to continue treating mobile broadband differently from fixed broadband in its net neutrality rules, which has meant fewer requirements for mobile.

CTIA – The Wireless Association sent a letter to all lawmakers Thursday asking for “support in urging the Federal Communications Commission… to retain mobile-specific Open Internet rules that reflect the unique engineering, competitive, and legal conditions of today’s 4G LTE mobile network.”

The FCC’s 2010 Open Internet rules didn’t apply to mobile broadband to the same extent as fixed broadband. In rewriting those rules (after the bulk of them were struck down by an appeals court earlier this year) the current Notice of Proposed Rulemaking before the FCC asks whether the agency should revisit that different treatment given big changes in the mobile market that have happened over the past few years.

CTIA has contended that mobile faces different technical issues than fixed broadband and that there’s more competition in the mobile marketplace, and in Thursday’s letter to lawmakers, the group’s president and CEO Meredith Attwell Baker writes:

As the FCC contemplates revising its Open Internet rules, it is vitally important for the Commission to retain the mobile-specific approach that has governed the mobile industry since 2010. Under that approach, which recognized the very significant engineering differences between wireless and wireline networks, wireless operators have been able to compete, invest and innovate.

She goes on to write that: “Contrary to the assertions of some that wireless broadband’s success justifies a heavier regulatory burden, the industry’s record of investment, innovation and expanded consumer choice strongly suggests that the FCC got it right in 2010.”

The letter also calls on lawmakers to “direct the FCC to not reclassify mobile broadband as a Title II service,” contending that current law bars the agency from such action and that doing so would spur “litigation and uncertainty.”

By Anne L. Kim Posted at 4:32 p.m.
Uncategorized

Head of U.S. Copyright Office Will Tell Lawmakers Office is Understaffed

The U.S. Copyright Office is understaffed and could face additional strains in the future, according testimony by the head of the U.S. Copyright Office.

Maria A. Pallante has brought up the staffing concerns to Congress before, and in prepared testimony for a House Judiciary subcommittee hearing Thursday on Copyright Office oversight, she writes that the office’s staff is “smaller than it should be to carry out the volume and complexity of work prescribed by Title 17.” The office has 360 full-time employees, she writes in her testimony.

The most pressing concern, according to Pallante’s testimony, is the number of registration staff:

The registration program has been decimated by budget cuts and early retirement packages and has forty-eight vacancies out of a staff of 180 experts. Moreover, about 25% of the registration specialists remaining are approaching retirement.

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Disagreement Between FCC and its Watchdog Over New ‘Strike Force’

It was a jam-packed day of tech policy activity on the Hill Wednesday, with the Senate Judiciary Committee holding a hearing on net neutrality, a Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee markup of a satellite television reauthorization bill, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler testifying before the House Small Business Committee, a House Judiciary subcommittee copyright hearing, and more. So, in case you missed it, there was an interesting rift that emerged between the FCC and its watchdog body during Wednesday’s House Energy and Commerce subcommittee hearing on FCC oversight, CQ Roll Call’s Joanna Anderson reports (subscription).

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