While the Senate is likely to pass the Marketplace Fairness Act being rammed through the Senate past the red tape of committees and onto the floor for a vote later today or by the end of this week by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NEV.), House Republicans face a roadblock that they put in place themselves when it comes time to vote for their Internet tax bill: a pledge.
While (most, not all) Republicans seems to largely embrace and support the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISP) sponsored by congressman Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) and Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Md.), Politico provides a ray of hope for those who oppose what rights groups are calling a slick "government surveillance" bill.
Departing FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell (Republican) says that one of the commission's biggest failures was net neutrality while one of its greatest triumphs while he was there was reform of the Universal Service Fund. He along with FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski (Democrat) announced last week that they would be leaving the agency shortly.
On this week's show we talk about Congressman Frank Wolf's hearing this week to slam "violent video games," changes being made to the ESRB, the ESA's plan for a PSA campaign, the latest SimCity news, and the results of the latest GamePolitics poll. Download Episode 45 now: SuperPAC Episode 45 (1 hour, 12 minutes) 66.6 MB.
On March 19 the House Appropriations Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Subcommittee will hold an oversight hearing on the National Science Foundation and Youth Violence Research report.
Earlier in the week Congressman Duncan Hunter (R-CA.) penned an editorial over at Politico that takes aim at parenting and deflects the idea that video games are to blame for violent crimes in America. The editorial title sums up Hunter's thoughts on the top pretty succinctly: "Target parenting, not games for violence."
Video game developer and Chair of the International Game Developers Association’s Anti-Censorship and Social Issues Committee Daniel Greenberg offers a scathing rebuke to Republicans in Congress for criticizing World of Warcraft and tax payer dollars given to use the virtual world for research over at Salon today.
As Republicans and Democrats publically spar over sequestration, House Majority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) has decided to throw "wasteful spending" into the mix by mentioning research on smoking machines, a free cell phone program, and even the use of video games for research on the elderly into the national conversation (here is a great explanation of what 'sequester' means, if you are interested).
House GOP majority leader Eric Cantor called out a study by North Carolina State University related to World of Warcraft's ability to "boosts cognitive functioning in some older adults" a waste of tax payer dollars. The study was paid for by a $1.2 million federal grant. Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said in a statement released this week that this kind of spending is the cause of the country’s debt.
House lawmakers are criticizing federal prosecutors involved with the Aaron Swartz case, who killed himself in New York City after the U.S. Government refused to give the internet activist a plea deal. Earlier in the week the Justice Department officially dropped the case. Lawmakers blasted prosecutors for pushing aggressive hacking charges against Swartz, and vowed to look into the details of the case.
On Friday morning's edition of Morning Joe on cable news network MSNBC Congressman Tim Huelskamp (R-Kansas) said that he doesn't think changes in guns laws would have stopped the Sandy Elementary School shooting last week that resulted in the death of 20 children and six adults. He also talked about violent video games, but to the congressman's credit he mentioned his own parental responsibility in keeping his son from playing "M" rated games.
Former Virginia Republican State Senate Candidate and online mass marketer Jason Flanary is asking the Federal Communications Commission to whitelist "political messaging" (or spam as many who receive it but don't want it call it) or declare bulk messaging and email as general protected free speech. He is doing this under the idea that limiting messaging is a violation of his free speech rights and net neutrality rules.
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."
Eleven Republican lawmakers have urged President Obama not to go forward with an executive order that would implement cyber security measures without members of Congress, according to Slate.
While Microsoft's presidential debate live stream had a lot of problems, apparently they were able to glean some data from the event. An Xbox Spokesperson tells IGN that Mitt Romney was declared the winner of the debate by the Xbox Live audience.
You may recall the Space Invaders-inspired flash game Truth Invaders way back during the 2008 presidential campaign. Back then the game focused on the "lies" told by both Democrats and Republicans.
Well the game is back with a 2012 edition, but this time it focuses only on the "lies" of Republican Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney and the Republican party.
The FAQ on the site tries to explain the change:
In an opinion piece on Politico, Congressman Darrell Issa (R-CA.) and Congresswoman Anna Eshoo (D-CA.) make the case for open internet policies. They open the opinion piece by noting that both political parties have some language paying homage to the concept of a "free and open Internet" and explain what it all means in terms of what is going on in Washington. You may remember that Congressman Issa was at the forefront of fighting against SOPA when it was in committee.
Conservative political news site The Daily Caller reports that the Republican Party platform will include a new section on Internet Freedom, to be approved sometime before the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida next week.
We alluded to this earlier but here's the full story on an amendment about abortion being offered to the Cybersecurity Act of 2012. Adding nonsensical or unrelated amendments to bills in committee is pretty normal, but Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) might win the booby prize for most unrelated issue ever attached to a bill. After a bill to ban abortions in D.C. after 20 weeks was defeated on Tuesday night because it failed to garner enough support (a two-thirds majority), Senator Mike Lee decided to offer it up as an amendment to the Cybersecurity Act of 2012.
While Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul has not yet conceded the race to former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, the soon-to-be retiring Texas Congressman has teamed up with his son Rand Paul (Senator R-Kentucky) to take on a new crusade: Internet Freedom. Similar to his fight against ending the Federal Reserve, the Paul father and son team are taking the fight to government regulation of the Internet, but their perspective on it is decidedly Libertarian, which means that they do not believe the government should regulate anything related to the Internet.
According to a post on The Hill privacy groups remain unimpressed with efforts to draft a revised version of the SECURE IT Act. Senate Republicans released a revised version of their cybersecurity bill on Wednesday, but privacy groups shrugged off the changes as minor.
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.
Conservative-Tea Party-Libertarian activist and Ron Paul operative Jack Hunter tackles CISPA in the latest edition of his web show "The Deal with Jack Hunter" over on The Daily Caller. The show opens with a clip of a story about Congresswoman Jane Harman (D-California), who wrote a scathing letter to Attorney General Eric Holder because her phone had been wiretapped.
Even though many have declared the Republican nomination process for selecting a presidential candidate over and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney the de facto winner of the contest, some candidates have not stopped running like soon-to-be-retired Texas congressman Ron Paul. We don't really care one way or the other about that race, but we do find the Libertarian-leaning candidate's take on the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) interesting.
The Republican National Convention which is scheduled to take place in Tampa, Florida, hopes to be the most "tech-savvy" in the party's history. The RNC has teamed up with Microsoft and Google to provide the technology they want to offer attendees at this year's event. Republican National Convention organizers plan to live-stream all of this year's speeches, offer Google+ "hangouts," and to find unique ways to use Microsoft's Kinect technology during the event.
Wisconsin Republican Congressman Paul Ryan issued a short statement today on his official House website announcing that he strongly opposes the Stop Online Piracy Act and says that if it comes up for a vote on the floor of the House he will vote against it. While some credit a campaign on Reddit to oppose him in his upcoming election bid by supporting his Democratic opponent (which more than likely did have some affect on his decision), chances are he also got an earful from constituents that hate the bill sponsored by Lamar Smith (R-Texas).