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Submission + - Congress Wants FCC To Auction TV White Spaces (

GovTechGuy writes: Things don't look good for Google, Microsoft and other companies hoping to experiment with super WiFi and other technologies in unused TV channels or "White spaces". Both House Republicans and Senate Commerce Chairman Jay Rockefeller are prodding the FCC to sell as much spectrum as possible at next year's incentive auction, which may not leave much for those hoping to advance the next generation of WiFi technology.

Submission + - DOJ: We don't need a warrant to track you ( 1

GovTechGuy writes: The Department of Justice maintains it does not need a warrant to track an individual using location data captured from their cellphone. That has prompted Maine and Montana to pass laws banning warrantless cellphone tracking; unfortunately, Congress doesn't appear close to doing the same.

Submission + - New bill from Sen. McCain takes aim at rising cable prices (

GovTechGuy writes: Arizona Republican John McCain recently introduced legislation that would compel cable providers to offer consumers the option of purchasing channels "a la carte," rather than being force to pay over $50 per month for channels they rarely watch. McCain blamed the rising cost of sports programming for swelling cable bills, and vowed to take on the giant media conglomerates that control the industry. However, his legislation faces stiff opposition, starting with those companies, which often control both programming and cable distribution as in the cases of Comcast and Time Warner.

Submission + - Congress Wants Federal Government to Sell 1755-1780 MHz spectrum band (

GovTechGuy writes: WIth next year's reverse auction of TV spectrum not expected to sate the wireless industry's growing demand for mobile broadband, lawmakers are turning up the heat on the Obama administration to auction the 1755-1780 MHz band, which is considered especially desirable for mobile phone use. However, the Pentagon and other federal agencies are already using those airwaves for everything from flying drones and surveillance to satellites and air combat training. They say it would take ten years and $18 billion just to vacate the band so it can be sold.

Submission + - House panel passes Internet Freedom legislation (

GovTechGuy writes: The House Energy and Commerce Committee passed legislation on Wednesday once again affirming the current management structure of the Web. In doing so, the lawmakers made one thing clear: the only government that should have its hands on the underpinnings of the Internet is the U.S.

Submission + - Cellphone unlocking fix could violate trade agreements (

GovTechGuy writes: Since the White House came out in favor of legalizing the unlocking of cellphones, a number of lawmakers have rushed to offer legislation to fix the problem. Sen. Ron Wyden's bill to create a permanent DMCA exemption has gained the most support, but some key members of Congress argue that bill would violate recent free trade agreements such as the pact signed with South Korea last year.

Submission + - Lawmakers Say CFAA Is Too Hard On Hackers (

GovTechGuy writes: "A number of lawmakers are using the death of Internet activist Aaron Swartz to speak out against the Justice Department's handling of the case, and application of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. The controversy surrounding the Swartz case could finally give activists the momentum they need to halt the steady increase in penalties for even minor computer crimes."

Comment Lofgren Q&A on Tech Policy (Score 2) 46

Meant to include this link: From the post: "I don’t want to critique my colleagues. My degree was in political science, not computer science. So, you have to teach yourself. I spend as much time as possible trying to become a knowledgeable person. I don’t claim to be an expert, but I’ve read a lot of books and I’ve taken some courses on how to do some simple programming. And I actually did some simple programming a long time ago in college. So I’m not an expert, but you need to have at least some concept of how the technology works to avoid making mistakes." --Lofgren

Submission + - Zof Lofgren Wants To Slow Down Domain Seizures By ICE & DOJ (

GovTechGuy writes: Rep. Zoe Lofgren sat down with Roll Call to discuss her proposal to slow down the seizure of domain names accused of piracy by the federal government. Lofgren turned to Reddit for help formulating the bill, and also discussed whether her colleagues in Congress know enough about technology to make informed decisions on tech policy.

Submission + - Rep. Issa says backlash has killed SOPA

GovTechGuy writes: House Oversight Chairman and former CEA chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) told Hillicon Valley on Friday that the massive online backlash to the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) has stopped the bill dead in the tracks. Issa said the Judiciary Committee's attempts to ram the bill through have been halted after the Internet erupted in opposition to the legislation this week.
The Military

Submission + - An Israeli Electronic/Cyber Strike Could End Iran, (

MarkWhittington writes: "If and when (and it is increasingly seeming like the latter) Israel attacks Iran, the first sign will not consist of explosions rising from Iranian nuclear and missile sites. Instead the first sign of an attack will be Iran's power and communications going down.

In effect, Iran as it exists today will die, not with a bang, but with a whimper as the lights go out and as the phones go silent. Israel has developed a sophisticated electronic and cyber war force that would take down Iran's power grid and phone system in the first moments of an attack. Welcome to the 21st Century way of waging war, which in one way could be as devastating as a nuclear attack."


Submission + - Bill would require a warrant for digital tracking (

GovTechGuy writes: Sens. Mark Kirk and Ron Wyden used the 25th anniversary of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act to stump for a bill that would require police to obtain a warrant before using an individual's cell phone, laptop or other digital device to track their location. Under current law the government can access that data without a judge's approval, or even access a user's email account without first getting a warrant.
The Internet

Submission + - Verizon challenges FCC's net neutrality rules (

GovTechGuy writes: Verizon filed an appea on Friday asking a federal court to strike down the FCC's net neutrality rules, which are scheduled to take effect on November 20. A federal judge tossed the FCC's previous attempt at enforcing net neutrality against Comcast last May and more legal challenges are expected in the coming days.

Computers are unreliable, but humans are even more unreliable. Any system which depends on human reliability is unreliable. -- Gilb