• On March 9, 2011, the House Communications Subcommittee approved H.J. Res. 37, the Resolution of Disapproval that would nullify the FCC’s December Open Internet Order. The vote was 15 in favor and 8 against, and went largely along party lines. The Resolution, available here, now goes to the Democrat-controlled Senate which does not have to act on it immediately and, according to reports, will likely not pass it. Before voting, the Subcommittee heard testimony from a number of interested industry players, including AT&T and Free Press. AT&T took the approach that the rules could have been much stricter and reclassified broadband as a Title II service, and thus it could accept the order as passed. Robin Chase, CEO of Zipcar, and S. Derek Turner of Free Press testified that the rules should have gone further.
  • Senator John D. Rockefeller, D-W.Va., Chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, has scheduled a hearing on online consumer privacy for March 16, 2011. The hearing will focus on commercial collection and use of consumer information. It is scheduled to begin at 10:00 a.m. Eastern in 253 Russell Senate Office Building.
  • Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Cal., along with co-sponsoring Reps. Michael Shimkus, D-Ill., and John Doyle, D-Penn., has introduced H.R. 1009, the FCC Collaboration Act, a bill that would permit three or more Commissioners of the FCC to hold nonpublic collaborative discussions. Commissioner Michael Copps has heralded the bill as “a prudent, balanced proposal that recognizes the benefits of permitting the Commission to do its business collectively while maintaining full transparency of the process.” To view the Commissioner’s full remarks, click here. The text of the bill has not yet been released.
  • Rep. Cliff Stearns, R-Fla., Chair of the House Oversight Subcommittee, announced that he plans to introduce a bill to provide Internet users with more control over their personal data and to give the FTC power to enforce voluntarily adopted industry privacy standards. According to his remarks, the draft legislation, the text of which has not yet been released, requires covered entities to provide clear notice to consumers as to what information is being collected and how the information is being used. Rep. Stearns’ press release on the draft legislation can be found here.