New Video Game Labeling Bill Introduced Today in Congress

January 16, 2013 -

UPDATE: Read the bill here.  (Credit: The Hill)

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Rep. Marsha Blackburn Takes Aim at Call of Duty on CNN Segment

January 14, 2013 -

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."

Business Roundtable Endorses Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act

January 10, 2013 -

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.

Fired Copyright Reform Memo Author and Former Republican Congressional Staffer Speaks Out

January 7, 2013 -

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.

Rep. Jim Himes Talks Net Neutrality, Intellectual Property Rights

December 10, 2012 -

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


House Unanimously Opposes UN's 'Internet Regulations'

December 6, 2012 -

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."

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Congressman Daryl Issa Proposes the Internet Moratorium Act 2012

November 29, 2012 -

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.

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New House Judiciary Committee Chairman a Strong Ally For Rights Holders, Hollywood

November 29, 2012 -

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.

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Harry Reid, BSA Lament The Death of Cybersecurity Bill in 2012

November 15, 2012 -

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.

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Rep. Joe Baca Has Left the Building

November 7, 2012 -

Challenger Gloria McLeod (D) has unseated Rep. Joseph Baca (D) in California's 35th Congressional District with 55.7% of the vote.

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House Majority Leader Eric Cantor Slams Obama Administration Over Net Neutrality Regulations

October 24, 2012 -

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."

U.S. House Intelligence Committee Chair Pushes CISPA

October 5, 2012 -

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.

DecodeDC Kickstarter Campaign Begins

September 26, 2012 -

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:

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ACLU Calls TPP a 'Threat to Free Speech'

August 31, 2012 -

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.

Former NPR Reporter Attempts to 'Decode DC' With New Endeavor

August 24, 2012 -

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.

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ECA Sends Letter in Support of Congressman Johnson's AppRights

August 16, 2012 -

The Entertainment Consumers Association (ECA) recently sent a letter to the office of Congressman Hank Johnson (D-Georgia) supporting the concept of his AppRights initiative and offering some advice on using a bottom-up approach to future internet legislation.

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Congressman Offers Bill That Punishes Patent Trolls

August 3, 2012 -

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.

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White House Calls in Big Guns on Cybersecurity Act

August 2, 2012 -

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.

How Washington Learned to Love Video Games

July 18, 2012 -

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.

Creative Interpretations of 1984 Law Make Every-Day Web Use at Work and Home Illegal

June 27, 2012 -

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.

CISPA Co-Sponsor Says President Will Change His Mind on Veto

June 19, 2012 -

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.

Time Running Out for Cybersecurity Bill, Says Dem Congressman

June 4, 2012 -

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 Launch ‘Privacy is Awesome’ to Fight CISPA and SECURE IT Act

May 25, 2012 -

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:

Sen. Ron Wyden Slams Cybersecurity Bills for Attempting to Sacrifice Privacy in the Name of Security

May 22, 2012 -

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 U.S. Legal Scholars Urge the Senate to Review ACTA

May 16, 2012 -

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.

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Senator Joe Lieberman’s Cybersecurity Bill Faces Uphill Battle

May 14, 2012 -

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.

Sen. Patrick Leahy Says PIPA-SOPA Style Legislation is Still Needed

May 10, 2012 -

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.

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Senate Dems Tweak Cybersecurity Bill to Entice Republicans

May 7, 2012 -

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.

White House Reiterates Opposition to CISPA

May 4, 2012 -

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.

ECA Action Alert: Help Fight The 'Video Game Health Labeling Act of 2012'

March 21, 2012 -

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.

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Infophile(cont'd) about non-union police officers being given hell until they joined the union.07/07/2015 - 4:58pm
InfophileParadoxically, the drive in the US to get rid of unions seems to have left only the most corrupt surviving. They seem to be the only ones that can find ways to browbeat employees into joining when paying dues isn't mandatory. I've heard some stories ...07/07/2015 - 4:57pm
Matthew WilsonI am old school on this. I believe its a conflict of interest to have public sector unions. that being said, I do not have a positive look on unions in general.07/07/2015 - 3:59pm
TechnogeekWhat's best for the employee tends to be good for the employer; other way around, not so much. So long as that's the case, there's going to be a far stronger incentive for management to behave in such a way that invites retalitation than for the union to.07/07/2015 - 3:10pm
TechnogeekTeachers' unions? State legislatures. UAW? Just look at GM's middle management.07/07/2015 - 3:05pm
TechnogeekIn many ways it seems that the worse a union tends to behave, the worse that the company's management has behaved in the past.07/07/2015 - 3:02pm
james_fudgeCharity starts at home ;)07/07/2015 - 2:49pm
james_fudgeSo mandatory charity? That sounds shitty to me07/07/2015 - 2:49pm
E. Zachary KnightGoth, if Union dues are automatically withdrawn, then there is no such thing as a non-union employee.07/07/2015 - 2:38pm
Goth_Skunka mutually agreed upon charity instead.07/07/2015 - 2:33pm
Goth_Skunkyou enjoy the benefits of working in a union environment. If working in a union is against your religious beliefs or just something you wholeheartedly object to, dues will still be deducted from your pay, but you can instruct that they be directed towards07/07/2015 - 2:33pm
Goth_SkunkBasically, if you are employed in a business where employees are represented by a union for the purposes of collective bargaining, whether or not you are a union member, you will have union dues deducted from your pay, since regardless of membership,07/07/2015 - 2:32pm
Goth_SkunkIt's something that has existed in Canada since 1946. You can read more on it here: http://ow.ly/PiHWR07/07/2015 - 2:27pm
Goth_SkunkSee, we have something similar in Canada, called a "Rand Employee." This is an employee who benefits from the collective bargaining efforts of a union, despite not wanting to be a part of it for whatever reason.07/07/2015 - 2:22pm
Matthew Wilson@info depends on the sector. for example, have you looked at how powerful unions are in the public sector? I will make the argument they have too much power in that sector.07/07/2015 - 12:39pm
InfophileIt's easy to worry about unions having too much power and causing harm. The odd thing is, why do people seem to worry about that more than the fact that business-owners can have too much power and do harm, particularly at a time when unions have no power?07/07/2015 - 12:31pm
Matthew Wilsonthe thing is unions earned their bad reputation in the US. the way unions oparate the better at your job you are, the likely you want to be in a union.07/07/2015 - 11:33am
InfophilePut that way, "right to work" seems to have BLEEP-all to do with gay rights. Thing is, union-negotiated contracts used to be one of the key ways to prevent employers from firing at will. Without union protection, nothing stops at-will firing.07/07/2015 - 11:06am
Infophilehas an incentive to pay dues if they're represented either way, so the union is starved for funds and dies, unless things are bad enough that people will pay dues anyway.07/07/2015 - 11:02am
InfophileFor those who don't know, "right to work" laws mean that it can't be a condition of an employment contract that you pay union dues. That is, the right to work without having to pay dues. Catch is, unions have to represent non-members as well, so no one...07/07/2015 - 11:01am
 

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