These folks want your support:
- EFF: Oppose massive government surveillance program
- Support Sen. Moran’s startup visa amendment
- Lincoln Labs—Local to the Bay Area? Check out this politically-themed hackathon focusing on economic liberty
Got a cause you want to share? Tell me.
Political issues affecting startups:
The Washington Post dropped a bombshell that the government was engaged in a massive surveillance program (PRISM) with the compliance of major US tech companies. Opponents are in an uproar; expect another clash between open internet, national security.
What to know:
- Tech companies respond to online outrage over PRISM
- Verizon metadeta collected in separate, but related, surveillance program
- Coincidentally, President Obama’s nominee to be the new FBI Director opposed PRISM predecessor programs as No. 2 to the Attorney General in 2004
- PRISM whistle-blower Edward Snowden seeks asylum in Hong Kong
People to Watch:
- Sens. Wyden (D-OR) and Jeff Merkley (D-OR), long-time defenders of privacy, speak out against NSA program
- Sen. Paul’s (R-KY) proposal to block secret NSA surveillance programs through requiring warrants splits Republican Party
- Sen. Udall (D-CO) explains constraints in opposing top-secret programs without becoming a whistle-blower
- Sen. Feinstein (D-CA) and Rep. Rogers (R-MI), Chairs of the Senate and House Intellgence Committees, defend the programs as effective counter-terrorism
- President Obama contrasts metadeta collection with direct content collection
- What should we expect from the immigration debate?
- What are the chances for startup visa? What are the range of implementation outcomes?
What to Know:
- Immigration debate begins in Senate on Tuesday
- Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) announces support for comprehensive bill: First official support outside Gang of Eight
- Sen. Jerry Moran (R-KS) readies amendment to improve startup visa provision in the immigration bill
People to Watch:
- Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX)—Cornyn’s border security proposal may gain Gang of Eight approval or be “poison pill” that kills the bill; Cornyn is a key potential YES vote
- Sens. Sessions (R-AL) and Cruz (R-TX) are leading the opposition—intra-party fight with Republican supporters of the immigration reform bill
- Earlier this week, the White House announced a proposal to oppose patent trolls, organizations that collect large numbers of patents to drive lawsuits rather than to produce products based on the intellectual property.
- Patent trolls-driven lawsuits have been on the rise since the 2011 passage of the America Invents Act
- Last week’s cellphone unlocking hearing drove forward the Goodlatte-Conyers bill, which solely reverses the illegaliztation decision on unlocking by the FCC. The proposal favored by the startup community makes a permanent fix to the underlying law.
- Rand Paul visits Silicon Valley, talks up privacy issues as key to expanding Republican Party, making it more acceptable to tech savvy
- FWD.us runs VoIP-facilitated Congressional contact campaign to support comprehensive immigration reform on behalf of tech, startup communities
- Girls Who Code founder Reshma Saujani is running for Office of Public Advocateand will be holding a fundraiser in Palo Alto in late June
- President Obama visited Palo Alto last Thursday for two fundraisers—the first at the home of Flipboard CEO Mike McCue, the second at the home of Vinod and Neeru Khosla