Senate torpedoes bill with 51-47 vote
In its first day back in session, the US Senate voted against continuing the process on a cybersecurity omnibus bill. The Senate voted 51-47 to cease discussions and move to a final vote on the bill, but fell short of the 60 votes required to advance the bill. This is the second failure to advance the bill in three months.
Standard essential patents to be main focus
The United States Congress is taking a look at the patent sector, weighing whether or not to modify rules governing the enforcement of sales bans derived from standards-essential patents. Reuters reports that the Justice Department and Federal Trade Commission will be weighing in on the talks, which could mark the advent of a decision of considerable impact. The intervention comes as the patent wars between various electronics manufacturers heat up, with one company after another accusing others of infringing patents.
US Senate faces tech troubles due to SOPA protest
It appears the work of many sites is working, as the US Senate contact site is facing technical difficulties, likely due to the large incoming amount of e-mails regarding the controversial SOPA bill. Many sites, including Google and Wikipedia, posted some form of protest against SOPA on Wednesday in order to raise public awareness regarding the issue and urge them to do something about it.
Senator Harry Reid pushes for quick vote
The US Senate is reportedly set to vote on the Protect IP Act on January 24, making it one of the first pieces of legislation to be put to a vote when the senators return from their holiday vacation. The controversial anti-piracy bill was said to be fast-tracked by Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Democrat from Nevada.
Users would be able to opt out of tracking
The US Senate is currently considering a "do not track" bill (PDF) that proposes a number of regulations that may affect methods used to track user activity on the Internet. The bill, which was introduced by Senator John D. Rockefeller of West Virgina, would essentially block companies from logging website visitation details for users who choose to opt out of tracking programs.
Controversial web bill
A proposed bill has Internet companies and civil liberty groups in a huff, as it would grant the US President the power to cut off private-sector users from the Internet during cyber security emergencies. The 55-page S. 773 bill (pdf), months in the making behind closed doors, is vague in its wording, but does suggest private Internet networks could be taken over by specially licensed individuals in the government.