LEADING THE DAY: LightSquared and GPS industry groups have both gone on lobbyist-hiring kicks, The Washington Post reported. The two sides are locked in a disagreement over the Reston-based wireless broadband firm’s effort to expand its mobile broadband network---a move that opponents say would disrupt GPS signals to millions of receivers.
LightSquared has hired four new firms to lobby on its behalf this month, while GPS firms Trimble, Garmin and John Deere have spent thousands of dollars on lobbying fees related to the LightSquared issue. According to The Post, Trimble has spent $840,000 on lobbying fees related to LightSquared this year, while Garmin has spent $70,000 and John Deere has shelled out $964,000.
White House calls for cybersecurity legislation: Howard Schmidt, the White House cybersecurity coordinator, called for cybersecurity legislation in a blog post Friday, saying that the administration had recently had a “very encouraging” conversation with a bipartisan group of senators on the issue. “[That] ended with agreement to work together to enact cybersecurity legislation as soon as possible,” Schmidt wrote.
The Hill reported that Rep. Jim Langevin (D-R.I.), co-founder of the Congressional Cybersecurity Caucus, said that a Senate bill would likely spur the House into action.
Telemarketers on mobile phones: The House subcommittee on communications and technology will hold a hearing Wednesday to discuss whether a bill that limits telemarketers’ ability to call wireless phones is too stringent. In a release, the committee said that it will examine whether the bill, as written, is “inadvertently preventing Americans who rely on wireless phones” from receiving information such as notices of data breaches or account information from corporations.
U.S. firm finds ties to Syria censorship: A U.S. firm acknowledged Saturday that the Syrian government has used its internet-blocking software, The Wall Street Journal reported. The firm said that the Syrian government, which has been cracking down on anti-government sentiment and censoring its citizens' online behavior, is using at least 13 of its devices.
The firm said it’s unaware of how the devices got into Syria and reported the activity to U.S. authorities, the report said.
YouTube launches original content channels: Google announced Friday that it is adding original content channels to YouTube, with partners such as The Onion, TED and SB Nation, with new channels and channels featuring some of the site’s existing partners.
The new channels will go live next month, YouTube’s head of content partnerships Robert Kyncl wrote in a Friday blog post.