PolitiHacks Digest Week of 2-11

What’s Going On in DC: 


CISPA is back: A debate over security vs. privacy

Should companies be allowed to violate user privacy agreements when cooperating with government agencies fighting hackers, often directed by other countries? CISPA says yes

Last year’s debate ended when the Senate failed to pass a bill after the House passed CISPA. The bill will be reintroduced in the House on Wednesday, and supporters feel they have the momentum to win.

Call your representatives—don’t just talk online; DC listens to calls.

Startup impact: Foursquare—will users check in, knowing that upon request, you’ll turn their data over to the government and be protected from lawsuits? (do you like this?)


Republican Senator: No New Visa Categories, Including Startup Visa

Startup Visa seeks to solve the problems entrepreneurs face coming to the US. Startup Visa proposals involve the creation of a new visa category. Some Republican Senators are saying that’s not a viable option.

In contrast, a STEM Green Card, for advanced degrees in technical fields from US universities, uses a different implementation, attracting wide support.

I’m looking into how strong this opposition is and why it exists, but it might require a pivot of Startup Visa, which would be big news.


Sen. Moran: Bigtech must support Startup Visa

The sponsor of last year’s Startup Act 2.0 has pledged to reintroduce the bill, unless the Immigration Innovation Act, or I-Squared ( Digest 1-30) adds a startup visa. I-Squared is seen as a bigtech bill, or companies like Microsoft and Intel.

I-Squared supporters want Sen. Moran to cosponsor ( Glossary) their bill. If he doesn’t and reintroduces Startup Act, it will be harder for I-Squared to make progress.

However, for startup visa supporters, it’s the best chance for being included in a bill with significant traction.


Vivek Wadhwa to House Judiciary Committee: Support Startup Visa

Committee hearings ( Glossary) teach non-expert elected officials what issues matter in a bill and have a large impact on the eventual outcome.

In his testimony last Tuesday, Vivek Wadhwa told the committee to support startup visa and other immigration policies to promote economic growth. The committee seemed familiar with his arguments and friendly. The hearing’s testimony is online.

If the House is going to publish its principles on immigration reform, comparable to theSenate version, it will do so this week, likely before Tuesday evening.


Founders visit the Hill

Silicon Valley Leadership Group (SVLG) recently organized a trip of founders to DC to talk immigration with Congress. Attendees met with Members of Congress to explain their day-to-day lives building companies and how the current immigration system isn’t working for them.

One founder who went, Garrett Johnson of SendHub (YC W12) and Sen. Lugar’s office, was the initial staff supporter of the original Startup Visa Act.

If you get a chance to go on a trip, go! These personal conversations can make or break the position an elected official takes on a bill that affects you.

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