Alisha Green

The GOP Turnabout on the Internet Transition
Squabble over plan to relinquish U.S. oversight role

(First published in CQ News on Sept. 22, 2016.)

Some of the top Republican lawmakers who pushed to delay a long-planned transition of internet oversight, which will give an international group of stakeholders control over the web’s address system, weren’t always so wary of the hand-over.

Lawmakers Criticize Europe for Going After Apple's Back Taxes
Calls to make U.S. tax system more attractive for multinational corporations

A bipartisan group of lawmakers accused European authorities of a money grab by seeking more than $14.5 billion in back taxes from Apple Inc.'s Ireland operations, and some are using the case to call for a tax overhaul.

The European Commission concluded Tuesday that Ireland should recover 13 billion euros in “unpaid taxes” — plus interest —from the tech giant's operations in the country.

Five Things to Watch: Senate Takes Up Gun Control
Proposals on background checks and gun sales to suspected terrorists up for votes

Once again, the Senate will vote on gun control in the aftermath of a mass shooting — this time the nation’s worst in modern history. A man who pledged allegiance to the Islamic State strafed a gay nightclub in Orlando on June 12, killing 49 people.  

Monday’s votes on four gun-related amendments will come amid debate on a multi-agency spending bill that includes funding for the Justice Department.  

Apple, Google and Facebook Want More From Next POTUS
Open letter calls for trans-Pacific trade deal and tech initiatives

In an open letter to presidential candidates, 13 tech trade groups representing thousands of companies, including Silicon Valley giants Apple, Facebook and Google, outlined for the first time a technology policy agenda they’d like to see parties adopt, including backing the trans-Pacific trade deal .  

Among other things, the letter calls on candidates to “advance ambitious initiatives to reduce barriers to trade in digital and other goods and services, including obtaining the congressional authorization of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement.”  

How Congress Fell Into Apple-FBI Skirmish

A high-stakes court battle between Apple Inc. and the FBI over access to data on a locked phone has drawn Congress into the broader public debate the case has raised.

Net Neutrality Divides House Panel

On a politically polarized Capitol Hill, one of the House panels that often stands out for bipartisanship is becoming fractured by disputes over the effects of the Federal Communications Commission’s controversial net neutrality rules.

It could be evidence of more partisan battles to come for the panel depending on how a court rules on whether the FCC’s net neutrality effort will stand. The FCC says the rules, approved last year, are designed to treat all Web content the same and prevent Internet service providers from charging websites for faster delivery. The issue is just the latest Internet-related controversy that is becoming a challenge for lawmakers especially when they consider regulating different aspects of technology.

OPM Officer Resigns Days Before Hearing on Massive Data Breach

Office of Personnel Management CIO Donna Seymour announced Monday she is retiring — just two days before she was scheduled to testify at a House Oversight and Government Reform hearing on a data breach that compromised the records of more than 22 million current and former government employees.

Seymour follows in the footsteps of the agency's previous director Katherine Archuleta, who stepped down in July after the agency announced that millions of people were affected by the massive hack of OPM networks. 

Net Neutrality Divides House Panel

On a politically polarized Capitol Hill, one of the House panels that often stands out for bipartisanship is becoming fractured by disputes over the effects of the Federal Communications Commission’s controversial net neutrality rules.

OPM Officer Resigns Days Before Hearing on Massive Data Breach

Office of Personnel Management CIO Donna Seymour announced Monday she is retiring — just two days before she was scheduled to testify at a House Oversight and Government Reform hearing on a data breach that compromised the records of more than 22 million current and former government employees.

Billions at Stake as EU Regulators Consider New Data Transfer Pact with U.S.

The European Union and United States reached a political agreement last week on allowing EU citizens’ personal information to be sent across the Atlantic, but lingering uncertainty about whether the pact will be approved by EU regulators has businesses — and U.S. lawmakers — on edge.

The Commerce Department has said implementation of the new accord would safeguard some $260 billion that more than 4,000 businesses such as Google and Amazon contribute to the U.S. economy each year.

Billions at Stake as EU Regulators Consider New Data Transfer Pact with U.S.

The European Union and United States reached a political agreement last week on allowing EU citizens’ personal information to be sent across the Atlantic, but lingering uncertainty about whether the pact will be approved by EU regulators has businesses — and U.S. lawmakers — on edge.

ACLU, Others Urge FCC Privacy Rules for Broadband Providers

More than 50 privacy, digital rights and consumer groups are urging the Federal Communications Commission to propose rules “as soon as possible” that would protect consumers’ information from being collected and shared by broadband providers without consent. 

Legislation Requiring a Warrant for Email Access Stalled

A bill that would require warrants for government access to emails is the most popular piece of bipartisan legislation in this Congress, drawing more than 300 co-sponsors and support from tech giants such as Google. Many had hoped it would pass without a hitch.

But the momentum appears to have stalled due largely to a House committee chairman, federal agencies and law enforcement officials who want exceptions to the requirement. These roadblocks could further delay the measure from becoming law.

Legislation Requiring a Warrant for Email Access Stalled

A bill that would require warrants for government access to emails is the most popular piece of bipartisan legislation in this Congress, drawing more than 300 co-sponsors and support from tech giants such as Google. Many had hoped it would pass without a hitch.

Fate of FCC's Net Neutrality in Federal Court

A federal court will hear arguments Friday in a lawsuit that challenges the Federal Communications Commission's net neutrality rules. It is a high-stakes case that is likely to touch on free speech and is expected to affect how the Internet works in the future.

The three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit is expected to hear more than two hours of oral arguments from proponents and opponents of the rules that went into effect in June. A court ruling, which likely won’t come until sometime in early 2016, could have broad implications for consumers’ access to online content and what Congress does about overhauling the 1934 Communications Act (PL 73-416) and the 1996 law that updated it (PL 104-104).  

Fate of FCC's Net Neutrality in Federal Court

A federal court will hear arguments Friday in a lawsuit that challenges the Federal Communications Commission's net neutrality rules. It is a high-stakes case that is likely to touch on free speech and is expected to affect how the Internet works in the future.

Warrant Concerns Could Stymie Email Privacy Bill

A bipartisan House bill that would require the government obtain a warrant to access emails is facing road blocks as groups including law enforcement and federal agencies seek exceptions.

Despite attracting more than 300 co-sponsors and support from tech companies, opponents of the Email Privacy Act (HR 699) told lawmakers Tuesday at a packed House Judiciary hearing they fear the measure could impede investigations unless there are some exceptions.

Warrant Concerns Could Stymie Email Privacy Bill

A bipartisan House bill that would require the government obtain a warrant to access emails is facing road blocks as groups including law enforcement and federal agencies seek exceptions.

Lawmakers Question Telecom Grid Security After Paris Attacks

House lawmakers Tuesday expressed concern over the vulnerability of the nation's communications network in the wake of the deadly terrorist attack in Paris on Friday.