Dev Download, June 2-June 8

The Dev Download keeps you up-to-date with the latest tech policy news. The Download is published each Wednesday, ensuring you and your team are informed on what policymakers are talking about. Save time and have it delivered to your inbox each week.

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ECPA REFORM

Google, Facebook Oppose Email Privacy Bill Amendment (Hill, 6/7)
Google and Facebook, along with other companies and privacy advocates, are working to prevent an amendment to an ECPA reform bill which would allow the FBI to access email records without a court-issued warrant in certain circumstances. (The Alliance supports the unanimously-passed House version of the bill.)

Senate Tries Again on Email Privacy (Hill, 6/6)
The Senate Judiciary Committee is set to take up the previously-postponed measure on Thursday morning to update the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, which would change how law enforcement entities obtain electronic communications and other content. The House version of this bill was passed unanimously in April of this year.

CYBERSECURITY

‘Serious Concerns’ Raised by Recent Cyber Attacks At Federal Reserve (Federal News Radio, 6/3)
More than 50 successful cyber attacks on the Federal Reserve in the last five years have triggered requests from Representatives Lamar Smith (R-Texas) and Barry Loudermilk (R-Ga.) to view several years’ worth of the Reserve’s cybersecurity reports. The legislators have inquired specifically about the Reserve’s incident reports as well as information regarding their National Incident Response Team.

PATENT LITIGATION REFORM

Why Patent Trolls Won’t Give Up (TechCrunch, 6/6)
Ira Blumberg, a former employee of a known patent troll, discusses the harmful business practices of patent trolls and how the law fails to protect against frivolous patent litigation.

INTERNET OF THINGS

The Challenges of Closing the Digital Divide (New York Times, 6/7)
The New York Times sat down with FCC Commissioner Mignon L. Clyburn to talk about her work with broadband services. Commissioner Clyburn discussed the challenges under-served communities face in accessing the internet, and how best to expand that service to all Americans.

FTC: Too Soon for Internet of Things Laws (Business of Federal Technology, 6/3)
Last Thursday, the FTC filed comments with the NTIA encouraging lawmakers to avoid creating preemptive legislation that could stifle IoT innovation. As the government looks to foster IoT growth, legislators must be careful not to introduce sweeping, restrictive legislation that may hamper efforts to bring new, innovative products and services to market. (The Alliance also submitted comments.)

A New Smart City Model Is Emerging (GovTech, 6/1)
The initially grand visions of smart cities have given way to more realistic, scaled-back approaches, focusing on specific services. City managers are able to concentrate on incorporating technology into projects meant to immediately improve the lives of residents, gradually working their way into holistic smart cities.

MISCELLANEOUS

Parties Pressed to Treat Internet as ‘Essential’ in Platforms (Hill, 6/6)
A group of tech and civil rights organizations sent a letter to the heads of both the Republican National Committee and the Democratic National Committee, expressing interest in the parties’ technology platforms for the 2016 elections. The letter also encouraged the parties to consider the internet and its access as “essential” instead of a luxury.

Mitsubishi Outlander Hacked Through In-Car WiFi (USA Today, 6/6)
A British security firm managed to hack into a Mitsubishi Outlander using its Wi-Fi, raising questions about its security at a time when the technological capabilities of vehicles are expanding. Mitsubishi and similar companies intend on addressing the vulnerabilities, while agencies like the FBI have issued warnings to consumers with similar in-car systems.

Technology is the Great Luxury Destroyer (Verge, 6/2)
The more technology developed, the more attainable technology becomes, making products easily accessible and serviceable to the general population. Tech companies must work to keep technology inclusive and available, rather than create unnecessary and expensive products for no other reason than to claim some luxury niche.

House Approves Warrant Requirement for Electronic Data (Washington Times, 6/2)
The Michigan House of Representatives has made strides in protecting electronic communications with the passage of a resolution requiring warrants before law enforcement can access civilian data. If approved by the Senate, citizens in Michigan will have the opportunity to vote on the measure in November of this year.