The Switchboard: The FCC finally has a new chairman

October 30, 2013

Tom Wheeler. (Andrew Harrer/BLOOMBERG)

Published every weekday, The Switchboard highlights the five tech stories you need to read.

Senate confirms Wheeler to lead FCC. "The Senate unanimously confirmed Tom Wheeler, an investor and former industry lobbyist, to be chairman of the Federal Communications Commission Tuesday," the Hill writes. "The vote was delayed for two weeks by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who expressed concern about Wheeler's views on political disclosure rules. Cruz lifted his objection after Wheeler assured him in a private meeting Tuesday that tougher disclosure requirements for the donors behind political TV ads are 'not a priority' for him."

Dozens in Congress now ready to end bulk data program. "On Tuesday, the original Wisconsin Republican author of the Patriot Act, Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI), introduced a major change to the October 2011 law," Ars Technica reports. "It would ban the bulk collection of metadata, which the government argues is covered by Section 215 of that law. With 70 bi-partisan co-sponsors in the House of Representatives and a dozen in the Senate, it might actually have a chance of passage."

House Judiciary members call for caution on patent reform. "The House Judiciary Committee needs to move forward cautiously with patent reform and consider the unintended consequences of changes to the patent system, Committee members said Tuesday," according to the Hill. "Mel Watt (D-N.C.) questioned the need to move quickly and the actual size of the 'patent troll' problem."

States criminalize ’revenge porn.’ "A bill being introduced in Maryland on Wednesday is the latest effort to make it a crime to post an explicit picture of someone to the Internet without their consent," Politico writes. "New Jersey was the first state to put such a law on the books in 2004, with California following earlier this month. Similar measures have been introduced in Florida, Wisconsin, New York and Texas, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures."

IsoHunt Resurrected Less Than Two Weeks After $110 Million MPAA Deal. "BitTorrent indexing site isoHunt, that was forced to shut down earlier this month after a claimed $110m settlement deal with the MPAA, has this morning been resurrected," TorrentFreak says. "The team behind the recreation of one of the world’s largest torrent sites says the aim was to give isoHunt refugees access to their much-loved database of torrents wrapped up in a familiar interface."

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Andrea Peterson · October 29, 2013