PolitiHacks Digest – 15 April 2013 – CISPA vote, H-1B visa lottery, and JOBS 2.0

These folks want your support:


  1. #iMarch—Fix immigration for startups with Mayor Bloomberg and Brad Feld
  2. Fix the DMCA—Own your electronics, legalize cellphone unlocking
  3. More privacy protections in CISPA—Protecting against black hat network intrusions shouldn’t mean trashing privacy protections
  4. Women In Tech—Crowdsourced book on struggles of women founders
  5. Fix the CFAA—Beat back a bad proposal to expand the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (Internet Defense League alert)

Got a cause you want to share? Tell me.

Reading List—Theme: Immigration


  1. Las Vegas Weekly: VegasTechFund-funded UK founder grapples with visa troubles—Plans to make use of visa waiver program until getting a permanent visa
  2. SFGate: Michigan launches immigrant entrepreneur support program—Designed to support the growing Detroit entrepreneurial community, mostly immigrants
  3. Economist: The Jobs Machine—How traditionally-funded, immigrant-founded startups are creating jobs in America’s heartland
  4. NY Times: (Large) tech firms want more H-1Bs—While H-1Bs barely matter to startups, many reporters consider them the primary ask of both us and big tech

Political issues affecting startups:  


Cybersecurity bill to see final House vote on Thursday

The cybersecurity bill, CISPA, seeks to allow greater information sharing against black hat network intrusions between private companies and the government to decrease effective response time.

Privacy advocates (including PolitiHacks) oppose CISPA because it allows violations of user privacy through sharing personally identifiable information.

The bill passed through committee 18-2 last week, with no amendments passing that theEFF considered to significantly improve the bill. Expect CISPA to easily pass the House.  


CISPA debate rules to be set by Tuesday vote

The Rules committee uniquely determines procedure on the final House vote on every bill. It decides what amendments are allowed and how long each side has for debate.

For example, last year the STEM Green Cards bill failed with 57% of the vote because the Rules Committee decided to block amendments, which set the success bar to 67%. The bill passed the second time with 64% of the vote because it only required a majority.

This committee is very important for predicting the fate of any bill.


H-1B Goes to Lottery: 125k applications for 85k slots in first week

An H-1B is a work visa, and in recent years, 65,000 are available for workers with bachelors degrees for jobs requiring them. An additional prioritized 20,000 are available for masters and PhD holders. This year, all slots were filled and beyond with applicationsfive days into the year’s supply.

The result is that the Immigration department will hold a lottery for all applications that were in by Friday, starting with the 20,000 advanced degrees, with applicants from that pool who don’t get approved a chance to be selected in the general pool drawing.

This will be the first lottery since the FY2007 and 2008 drawings.


Tired of JOBS Act implementation delays, DC considers JOBS 2.0

The JOBS Act legalized crowdfunding, made it easier for startups to solicit funds, and reduced reporting requirements for newly public companies. Yet implementation has been slow.

Inc reports that the SEC is the source of the delays, while Pando added FINRA to the list of blame last July. I’ve also found that the SEC is completely clogged up by the 2010 Dodd-Frank bank reform bill regulations  that remain unimplemented.

On the other hand, EarlyShares seemed much more optimistic about the progress.

End result: Pando is likely right that 2014 is the earliest we’ll see crowdfunding.

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