US Senate Commerce Committee

Senators Wicker, Graham, Blackburn Introduce Bill to Modify Section 230 and Empower Consumers Online

Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Roger Wicker, (R-MS), Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-SC), and Sen Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) introduced the Online Freedom and Viewpoint Diversity Act to modify Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. The legislation would clarify the original intent of the law and increase accountability for content moderation practices.

The Online Freedom and Viewpoint Diversity Act would:

Senate Commerce Republicans Seek Answers on Google Nest Undisclosed Microphones

Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Roger Wicker (R-MS), together with Consumer Protection Subcommittee Chairman Jerry Moran (R-KS) and Communications Subcommittee Chairman John Thune (R-SD), sent a letter to Google chief executive officer Sundar Pichai seeking information about recent news that Google had not disclosed the presence of a microphone in its Nest Secure home security device.

Senate Communications Subcommittee Members Named

Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Roger Wicker (R-MS) and Ranking Member Maria Cantwell (D-WA) announced member assignments for each subcommittee. Leading the Communications Subcommittee will be Sen. John Thune (R-SD), with Sen Brian Schatz (D-HI) being named Ranking Member. Majority Members of the Subcommittee:

Senate Commerce Chairman Thune Names New Committee Deputy Staff Director

Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John Thune (R-SD) announced the promotion of Crystal Tully, who previously served as policy director and counsel for communications and technology, to deputy staff director of the full Commerce Committee. “As we head into the closing days of the current congress, I’ve asked Crystal to play a larger role in helping us finish strong and laying groundwork for the committee’s next chapter,” said Chairman Thune.

Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John Thune (R-SD) Announces Field Hearing to Examine 5G in Sioux Falls, South Dakota

Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John Thune (R-SD) will convene a hearing titled “The Race to 5G: A View from the Field,” on Oct 12, 2018 at Carnegie Town Hall in Sioux Falls (SD). This hearing will focus on identifying existing barriers to broadband deployment of next generation wireless technology deployment and ways to streamline broadband infrastructure siting and encourage investment in next generation communications services. Witnesses (subject to change):

Senate Commerce Committee Leaders Seek Information on Google's Data Privacy Policies

[Press release] Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John Thune (R-SD), Communications Subcommittee Chairman Roger Wicker (R-MS), and Consumer Protection Subcommittee Chairman Jerry Moran (R-KS), in a letter to Alphabet CEO Larry Page, requested information about the privacy policy and practices of Gmail email services offered through subsidiary company Google.

Senate Commerce Leaders Demand Answers from Facebook Amid New Reports of Privacy Concerns

Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John Thune (R-SD) and Ranking Member Bill Nelson (D-FL) pressed Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg for answers following a report in the New York Times that Facebook offered numerous mobile device manufacturers special access to private user information.

Sens Markey, Bluemnthal, Reps Barton, Rush Reintroduce Bipartisan, Bicameral Legislation to Protect Children’s Online Privacy

Sen Ed Markey (D-MA) and Rep Joe Barton (R-TX), along with Sen Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Rep Bobby L. Rush (D-IL) reintroduced the “Do Not Track Kids Act”, comprehensive children’s online privacy legislation. The legislation updates the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) by expanding and enhancing rules for the collection, use and disclosure of the personal information of children 15 years and younger.

Sens Merkley and Toomey Call on FCC to Address Identity Theft and Fraud in Public Comments

Sens Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Pat Toomey (R-PA) issued a strong call to Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai to identify and address fraudulent behavior that has led to potentially two million fake comments being filed under stolen identities on public rulemakings. Though they come from different sides of the aisle, Sens Merkley and Toomey share a personal connection to this issue: Both had their identities stolen to file false comments on the FCC’s net neutrality proposals.

Sens Klobuchar, Wicker Bipartisan Bill to Promote Precision Agriculture, Rural Broadband Passes Senate Commerce Committee

Sens Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Roger Wicker (R-MS) announced the passage of their legislation, the Precision Agriculture Connectivity Act of 2018, by the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation. The bill would direct the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to establish a task force to identify gaps in broadband connectivity for the nation’s cropland and ranchland. The measure also instructs the agency to develop ways to help encourage broadband adoption and precision agriculture in areas where it is currently unavailable.