senate

  • NSA Reform Dies In The Senate

    NSA Reform Dies In The Senate

    Well shit. A vote to proceed with the USA FREEDOM Act failed in the Senate after it did not collect the 60 votes that it needed. It failed 58 to 42. Before the vote, I noticed a slight change in the tone of people that I had on the phone: There was optimism that it could make it. It didn’t. You can stick a fork in NSA reform for this year, and this Congress. And, as I’ve said… Read More

  • White House Says It “Strongly Supports” The Senate’s NSA Reform Bill

    White House Says It “Strongly Supports” The Senate’s NSA Reform Bill

    The White House issued a statement this afternoon saying that it “strongly supports” the Senate’s USA FREEDOM Act, which could see a vote this week. The bill would curtail some practices of the United States’ surveillance apparatus. Congress, in this lame duck session, only has so many hours and days to conduct its final business. Before the session, it seemed… Read More

  • NSA Surveillance Faces Senate Test

    NSA Surveillance Faces Senate Test

    The United States Senate could vote on the USA FREEDOM Act as soon as next week, pushing the surveillance reform bill ahead this year. That would buck prior conventional wisdom that the Act was not a legislative priority, likely ending up shelved until the next Congress. There is still some fight in this Congress after all. Read More

  • NSA Reform Drifts Sideways In The Senate

    NSA Reform Drifts Sideways In The Senate

    According to Senate sources speaking to The Hill, the White House would prefer not to pass NSA reform in the coming lame duck Congressional session. Current chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Senator Patrick Leahy, is trying to press forward with a vote on the bill that he authored — the USA FREEDOM Act — this year. The legislation has attracted approbation from… Read More

  • Senate Passes Cellphone Unlocking Bill That Lets You Use Your Phone With Another Carrier

    Senate Passes Cellphone Unlocking Bill That Lets You Use Your Phone With Another Carrier

    The Senate passed a bill that that legalized phone unlocking, which allows consumers to switch carriers with the same phone once a their contract is up. Read More

  • Senators Call On Obama For More Transparency In The Intelligence Community

    Senators Call On Obama For More Transparency In The Intelligence Community

    Two senators who scolded the intelligence community for failing to provide a sufficient transparency report are taking their complaints to the White House. Senators Al Franken and Dean Heller asked President Barack Obama “to support stronger transparency provisions” in a letter Tuesday. The senators urged Obama to endorse their bill that would require the intelligence community… Read More

  • Soon Even Your Mom Can Invest: Senate Passes Crowdfunding Bill 73-26 (With Protections)

    Soon Even Your Mom Can Invest: Senate Passes Crowdfunding Bill 73-26 (With Protections)

    Well, this just in from a dispatch on Capitol Hill: The Senate has passed legislation that will essentially legalize crowdfunding in startups by practically anyone — even your mom. U.S. Senators Scott Brown (R-Mass.), Jeff Merkley (D-Oreg.), and Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) collectively introduced the “CROWDFUND Act” (S. 2190) earlier this month, which adds measures to the House… Read More

  • Schmidt: “Senator, I Can Assure You We Have Not Cooked Anything”

    Schmidt: “Senator, I Can Assure You We Have Not Cooked Anything”

    The Senate Judiciary Committee is holding Antitrust hearings on Google today and Google chairman Eric Schmidt is in the hot seat taking questions under oath. The hearing is under way right now (you can watch it live here). The main question the Senate hearing is trying to answer, says committee chairman Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont), is whether “Google is in a position to determine… Read More

  • Chair of antitrust Senate subcommittee wants to know why text messages cost so much money

    It turns out we’re not the only ones concerned about the (unnecessary?) rise in the cost of sending a text message. This time, though, it’s someone who may actually be able to do something about it. Sen. Herb Kohl, who’s the chair of the Senate antitrust subcommittee, recently sent a letter to several cellphone companies (AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mo) asking them to… Read More

  • Senate approves new spying bill

    Thank your Senators, a new wiretapping bill passed yesterday, 69 to 28. The new bill not only protects phone companies from having to admit or apologize about allowing the government to listen in on calls and net communications in the post September 11, war on terror, warrantless wiretapping program, but it also expanded the government’s surveillance abilities going forward. At least the… Read More

  • XM-Sirius decision this month says ranking member of Senate Judiciary Committee

    [photopress:arlenxm.jpg,full,center] A decision, one way or the other, on the proposed XM-Sirus merger should be reached by the end of the month. So says Sen. Arlen Spector, the ranking [Republican] member on the Senate Judiciary Committee. (Pat Leahy is the chairman of the committee, it should be noted.) He made an appearance on the Howard Stern Show earlier today and tried to explain why… Read More