On CNN's State of the Union with host Candy Crowley, Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TENN.) sat in on a panel discussion about gun control and the likelihood of legislation being passed by the current Congress. But instead of discussing gun control, Blackburn decided to take a few shots at Activision's Call of Duty series. Blackburn said that in preparation to appear on the show she watched some video of the game and was shocked at the violence she saw... she also called the game "Call to Duty."
Trade organization the Business Roundtable issued a 32-page report this week backing the approach taken by the House of Representatives to fight cybersecurity threats. That approach, the bill called the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA), passed the House. The Senate proposed another bill called the Cybersecurity Act of 2012. The House bill passed, but the President didn't think it offered enough protections for American Internet users' privacy rights.
A Republican House staffer who penned a memo on a different kind of approach to copyright law in November of last year found himself out of work as the new Congress was seated last Thursday and the new head of the Republican Study Committee - Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) - decided not to keep him on. He finally broke his silence on the whole ordeal to Ars Technica.
Npeaches offers an excellent interview with Rep. Jim Himes (D-Conn.) discussing some pretty important topics including the importance of net neutrality and intellectual property as it relates to the Internet.
The interview is 10 minutes 32 seconds long. You can watch it to your left in its entirety.
Source: Culture Cache Blog
The United States Congress may be a mess and the most unruly and uncompromising bunch in the land but they all apparently think that the UN should not be setting policy on the Internet. To that end, members of the House of Representatives - Democrats and Republicans - voted unanimously (397-0) against the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and the United Nations' efforts to push "increased government control over the Internet."
U.S. Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA.) has released a draft of a new bill called the "Internet Moratorium Act 2012" on his web site Keep the Web Open. Issa was one of several members of congress strongly opposed SOPA. The bill will be appreciated by those who have opposed laws that add new regulations to the internet in the name of fighting piracy and cyber crimes because it aims to put a moratorium on such laws.
The incoming chairman of a key House of Representatives committee is bad news for those worried about internet freedom and great news for the RIAA and MPAA. Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Virginia) was elected head of the House Judiciary committee this week, and seems to be even more enthusiastic about supporting Hollywood and the music industry than the previous chairman Lamar Smith.
The Inquirer reports that the the Business Software Alliance (BSA) is lamenting the death of Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) after its Senate counterpart - the Cybersecurity Act of 2012 was voted down in the Senate. Prior to that the bill could not get past a filibuster because it didn't have the required 60 votes to overcome it. The latest action on the bill puts the issue to bed for 2012 - at least.
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) released a scathing report against President Barack Obama, with a keen focus on the authority the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has in enforcing net neutrality rules within the broadband and mobile space. The report, "The Imperial Presidency," calls the President's net neutrality rules crafted by the FCC (and other regulations passed by the Administration) a "massive regulatory overreach," and part of a "jobs-killing agenda."
Throwing out the specter of a new cyber threat from a country not usually associated with such activities, Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.), the chair of the U.S. House Intelligence Committee, is making a final push to get the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act through the lame duck session of Congress by saying that this threat from an unnamed source is on the horizon. In a speech this week before the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Rogers tried to play up the threat and claimed urgency for the adoption of CISPA or something like it.
Former National Public Radio congressional correspondent Andrea Seabrook has launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund her new show, DecodeDC. Seabrook calls her new show "a new way to cover Washington." In other words, coverage that tosses aside the stupid Red State v. Blue State narrative and spin and looks at how the system is working for the American people. Here's what Seabrook says about the Kickstarter:
In a new blog post, Sandra Fulton, a member of the ACLU's Washington Legislative Office, describes the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement as the "biggest threat to free speech and intellectual property that you’ve never heard of." Fulton makes a good point because U.S. trade Representatives negotiating the treaty and other countries are doing a hell of a job keeping the details of this trade treaty a big secret.
As many of our readers have learned by reading coverage on the antics and constant spin doctoring coming out of the hallowed halls of the United States Congress, the truth is often up for interpretation. Even National Public Radio Andrea Seabrook can't handle it anymore. After working for 14 years as a congressional correspondent at NPR, Seabrook couldn't take it anymore. She wondered if there was some way to break through the rhetoric and get the truth that her listeners needed to know about the culture and clashes of Washington.
Patent litigation can make or break a start-up and lawmakers know the entire patent litigation system is fundamentally broken - even if they won't publicly admit it. But at least one member of Congress is trying to do something about the practice of patent trolling. Peter DeFazio (D-ORE.) has introduced a bill called the "Saving High-Tech Innovators from Egregious Legal Disputes Act," designed to put a stop to patent abuse.
In a conference call for reporters on August 1 put together by the White House, some heavy hitters in the administration urged passage of the Senate bill, the Cybersecurity Act of 2012. Four top U.S. officials took part in the call: John Brennan, assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism; Gen. Keith Alexander, commander, U.S. Cyber Command, and director, National Security Agency; Jane Holl Lute, deputy secretary of the Department of Homeland Security; and Eric Rosenbach, deputy assistant secretary of defense for cyber policy.
Libertarian-leaning publication ReasonTV has produced an entertaining five minute video about how video games have gone from being murder simulators and the scourge of parents everywhere (accused of causing everything from obesity to the loss of empathy in children, for example) to useful tools in the medical and mental health fields and fine art at museums.
If you are reading the web, playing a Facebook game, or watching a YouTube video, you could be violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act of 1984 - at least according to the way the Justice Department has interpreted it in several recent cases. The law was originally passed to protect government computer systems and financial databases from hackers, but amendments and new interpretations by federal prosecutors have taken a well defined law into broad interpretation.
Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.), chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, and a co-sponsor of Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA), thinks that President Barack Obama will back down from a threat he made earlier in the year to veto the bill if it crosses his desk. The Administration's problem with the bill was that it gave amnesty to corporations willing to share user data with government agencies like the NSA and did not do enough to safeguard internet user privacy concerns.
But none of those concerns will matter anymore, according to Rogers.
Tick tock says the clock and Congressman Jim Langevin (D-R.I.), who said today that time is running out on passing the Senate's version of the cybersecurity bill. Perhaps he means that time is running out before the general public figures out just how awful it is...
Speaking at West Point, Langevin admitted that there was still "a gulf in opinions" about the government's role in protecting private computer networks and that the divide has become "an increasingly daunting barrier" to passing reforms.
Advocacy groups Fight for the Future, Democrats.com, The Liberty Coalition, and the Entertainment Consumers Association (ECA), have banded together to create a new website called Privacy Is Awesome, to fight against CISPA and the Senate version of the bill, SECURE IT Act. The site is designed to teach netizens how to defeat the bills in five easy steps:
Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) said on Monday that the Senate's cybersecurity legislation being pushed by Sens. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) is an overreaction to cyber threats and would undermine the privacy rights of American citizens.
Wyden said that both the House and Senate bills "subordinate all existing privacy rules and constitutional principles to the poorly defined interest of 'cybersecurity.'"
Fifty legal scholars in the United States have written an open letter to the Senate urging them to use their rights under Article I of the Constitution to force the Obama Administration to submit the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) to Congress from approval. Under the U.S. Constitution the Senate must approve all International treaties before they can be signed by the United States government.
Sen. Joe Lieberman’s (I- CT.) cybersecurity bill - a counterpart of sorts to the House's Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) - is running into plenty of opposition from Democrats in the Senate who say the bill does not do enough to protect the privacy of citizens. Adding to the fact that most Senate Republicans don't like Lieberman’s bill is that several prominent Democrats don't like it either.
Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) can't let the defeat of his bill go, and continues to insist that most of the provisions in his Protect IP Act (PIPA) and the House's Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) are still needed. During a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing this week the Senator from Vermont bristled at the comments made by White House IP Czar Victoria Espinel, who said before the committee that maybe the problem of online piracy was solving itself through voluntary action.
Senate Democrats are tweaking their versions of cybersecurity legislation to gain more support from Republicans, according to a report from The Hill. The reason they are doing this, says the publication, is because they lack the 60 votes needed to bring the bill to the floor.
Appearing on the C-SPAN program "The Communicators," White House Cybersecurity Coordinator Howard Schmidt reiterated the Administration’s concerns with the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) that was recently passed in the house and promised the President would veto it if it crossed his desk in its current form. The Administration's concerns with the bill relate to how loosely worded it is, its lack of provisions to ensure privacy, as well as its amnesty provisions for companies that turn over user data to government agencies.
The Entertainment Consumer Association (ECA) has issued an action alert, a call to arms for gamers everywhere to let their elected officials know that The Video Game Health Labeling Act of 2012 wasn't acceptable in 2009 and is not acceptable now. Rep. Joe Baca (D CA-43) has teamed up with Rep. Frank Wolf (R VA-10) to reintroduce a bill that is very familiar to gamers.