GOP adopts Internet freedom plank: Part of the platform the Republican party adopted Tuesday night included language to protect Internet freedom, something that lawmakers and interest groups on both sides of the aisle have been calling for in recent months.
Several groups that lobbied against the online piracy bills known as the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP (Intellectual Property) Act have petitioned Republicans and Democrats to affirm a commitment to the open Internet as planks in their party platforms, and lawmakers such as Reps. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) have made similar cases to party leadership.
The Republican plank is focused on removing regulation around technology businesses, as well as language that would protect personal data online from the government. The platform language also says that the party will “resist any effort” to move Internet governance away from its current multistakeholder model in favor of international or “intergovernmental” organizations.
The GOP also specifically criticized the Federal Communications Commission, saying that the agency’s net neutrality rule and other regulations show the Obama administration is “frozen in the past.” The platform proposes that the federal government inventory its spectrum to discover how much of it could be auctioned to the public.
Cybersecurity: Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) has asked that President Obama put out an executive order of “take other appropriate action” to pass measures to enhance the cybersecurity of the county’s critical infrastructure, the Hill reported.
On Tuesday, Feinstein sent a letter to the president asking him to take action because she believes that Congress will not be able to pass a strong cybersecurity law by the end of this session.
A broad cybersecurity bill failed in the Senate this month.
LulzSec arrest: The FBI has arrested a second man suspected of being a member of the hacking group LulzSec, which claimed responsibility for cyber attacks against Sony in late spring 2011.
According to Reuters, Raynaldo Rivera of Tempe, Ariz., faces up to 15 years in prison on charges that he aided hackers in posting personal information taken from Sony online.
Challenge to FTC, Google settlement: Consumer Watchdog has won the right to oppose the Federal Trade Commission’s $22.5 billion challenge to a settlement with Google on privacy matters, the group said Wednesday.
A U.S. District Court judge said that the group could be granted “friend of the court” status so that it may file a brief opposing the settlement. Consumer Watchdog objects to language in the settlement that allows Google to deny any wrongdoing.
In a statement, John M. Simpson, Consumer Watchdog’s Privacy Project director, said: “Allowing this settlement undercuts the entire regulatory process. Companies and their executives must be held accountable when they violate legal agreements.”
Apple, Samsung to talk bans in December: U.S. District Court judge Lucy Koh will hold a hearing Dec. 6 to evaluate Apple’s request to block several Samsung devices from being sold in the United States.
As Reuters reported, the scheduling decision could delay the impact of Apple’s win in court last week by keeping Samsung products on shelves for months longer than anticipated.
Last Friday, Koh set a Sept. 20 hearing about injunctions, but the report said that the September hearing will deal with Samsung’s request to lift a preliminary injunction against its Galaxy Tab 10.1, not the injunctions Apple has requested against eight of the company’s smartphones.