These folks want your support:
- StopWatching.us—Oppose government surveillance of us?
- Support Sen. Moran’s startup visa amendment
- Lincoln Labs—Local to the Bay Area? Check out this politically-themed hackathon focusing on economic liberty this weekend
Got a cause you want to share? Tell me
Political issues affecting startups:
What we’re learning is that neither reporters nor Members of Congress have any clue about the technical details they’re talking about.
PRISM and related phone wiretapping is a huge story, still breaking, because sources are frequently, honestly wrong. Will PRISM be a bombshell or a yawn? Still too soon to tell.
What to know:
- More details about PRISM are coming out—the AP dives into the history, Protect America Act, and explains a wider set of data collection than previously known, while the Washington Post quietly wiped (updated) several of its more incendiary claims but continues to break new ground in its reporting.
- EFF, Mozilla, reddit, and many other groups (including PolitiHacks) launch StopWatching.us to mobilize the internet community to oppose these recently uncovered programs
- Congress continues to not get it—Majority of Senate skips Friday’s classified hearing on PRISM
- Reps. John Conyers (D-MI) and Justin Amash (R-MI) plan anti-PRISM bill to revise PATRIOT Act survaillance provisions: LIBERT-E
- Declan McCullough reports that the NSA has been directly wiretapping conversations; results in an unusual direct response refuting the claim from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence
- Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and others struggle to separate themselves from anti-government surveillance firestorm; Google rejects deal that Facebook and Microsoft strike to gain permission to disclose additional details about government data requests over insufficient openness
People to Watch:
- Gen. Keith Alexander—EFF fan, DEFCON regular, head of the NSA
- Director of National Intelligence James Clapper—head of all US intelligence programs (CIA, FBI, NSA, etc…)
What to Know:
- Senate easily clears first procedural votes on immigration reform
- Amendments filed: 103 as of Friday
- Initial reports are that opposition remains muted in the key metric of phone calls into Congress
- March for Innovation goes to the states: Arkansas today; Tennessee on Thursday
- Sen. Grassley (R-IA) border security amendment quickly tabled, i.e. killed
People to Watch:
- Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) emerges as key to 70 votes—makes border security amendment his stand
- Sens. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Jerry Moran (R-KS) introduce startup visa amendments
- Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV)—Senate Majority Leader, i.e. controls the calendar, so watch him for when the first successful amendments begin to get votes
- Federal Trade Commission sides with Uber against DC regulations
- Patent reform rising on the agenda, nudged by Sen. Schumer (D-NY) and President Obama
- Woz is pissed at surveillance, puts tipping point in 2001 passage of PATRIOT Act