PolitiHacks Digest #2

What’s New
– Path hit with $800,000 fine by FTC for COPPA violation
– Startup Visa Act reintroduced
– Immigration Hearings to begin 2/5 in House, 2/13 in Senate
– Parsing the President’s Startup Visa shoutout

Who’s Who
– Rep. Goodlatte and the House Judiciary Committee
– Sen. Schumer and the Senate Judiciary Committee


Path v. FTC: The $800,000 whale
Path was found to have not gotten parental permission for their product, which was being used by kids under 13; the relevant law being COPPA (PolitiHacks Digest #1). If you’re a consumer startup, be careful!

Micah Schaffer works with startups on these issues.


Startup Visa Act reintroduced: Does it matter?

Creating a Startup Visa would be a huge fix for founders, but this bill should be treated more like a press release until more support is obtained. There is no viable path forward in the Committee structure (PolitiHacks glossary).

I predict the bill to be ignored in the larger Comprehensive Immigration Reform debate(PolitiHacks Digest #1)

Support it, but don’t hold your breath. Signal to look for: Judiciary Committee Hearing


Immigration Hearings

The House begins hearings on 2/5. Drs. Vivek Wadhwa and Puneet Arora (Immigration Voice) will be representing the tech community.

Dr. Wadhwa will advocate for a range of reforms, including Startup Visa, STEM Green Cards, and fixes to the H1-B program. This testimony will be public on Tuesday.

These hearings will define the possible policy space (PolitiHacks glossary) for writing a bill.


President in Las Vegas: I Support Startup Visa

The President supports Startup Visa. The Senate ignores him. A repeat of 2011, El Paso Presidential immigration speech and a new Comprehensive bill.

Unless we convert that Presidential support to support in the Senate, we’re going to be ignored, to provide some context to Fred Wilson’s post. Our problem is not opposition; it is apathy towards our community.



House Judiciary Committee

Oversees issues like IP and immigration. The key players are:

Remember: SOPA died in the Judiciary committee.


Senate Judiciary Committee

Key Players:

Not a lot of support for startups in this group. They passed PIPA unanimously and COICA before it.

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