VIDEO: Internet Privacy, Senate Hearings and Drones on the Hill Wrap – March 24


Capitol View

Healthcare isn’t the only debate lawmakers are eyeing on Capitol Hill. Tech and telecom issues have drawn increased attention in recent weeks, as Bloomberg BNA reporter Michaela Ross describes in the latest Tech & Telecom Wrap (LINK TKTK) video.

Senate Republicans took a swipe at Obama-era Federal Communications Commission-issued privacy rules March 23, voting to undo them using the Congressional Review Act. If that effort ultimately succeeds, broadband providers like Verizon Communications Inc. and AT&T Inc. would be able to collect and sell users’ browsing and app data without their consent.

The Senate may place two key policymakers in positions important to the tech and telecom industry.

The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation may decide FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s appearance at a March 8 agency oversight hearing can double as Pai’s confirmation hearing to keep the Republican in office for another term. Meanwhile, Robert Lighthizer testified before the Senate Finance Committee that digital trade provisions would be a priority in any NAFTA renegotiation if he is confirmed as the next U.S. Trade Representative.

Various bills and proposals on technology, meanwhile, have emerged in both chambers.

Rep. Ann Eshoo (D-Calif.) discussed her draft bill that mandates laying fiber internet conduits during highway construction during a House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing on broadband infrastructure.

And the Senate Commerce committee last week looked at how drones can be safely integrated into U.S. airspace.

Before the hearing, Sen Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) announced a bill to require the FAA to collect more information about a drone’s use before issuing a license.