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Weekly Update – 7.27.2012


On Thursday, Senate voted, 84-11, to proceed with consideration of the Cybersecurity Act of 2012, S 3414. Debate on the bill is expected to resume on Monday with final votes likely on Thursday of next week.

Media reports indicate that Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) is expected to offer amendments regarding data breach and privacy. Senators Al Franken (D-MN) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) have told the media they plan to offer amendments to boost privacy protections, including a proposal that would require companies to tell consumers when their information is stolen. Democratic and Republican leadership are now determining which amendments will be considered – a full list will be circulated as soon as it is available.

Meanwhile, the White House issued a Statement of Administration Policy endorsing the bill.



This week TechNet hosted roundtables in San Francisco and Silicon Valley for FCC Commissioners Jessica Rosenworcel and Ajit Pai. In a statement released by TechNet, the Commissioners had the following to say about the sessions:

“The two roundtables produced creative ideas for removing barriers to technological innovation and infrastructure investment,” said Commissioner Ajit Pai.  “I look forward to applying them to the challenging issues we face.”

“The digital economy is growing fast and there are lessons to learn from its energy,” said Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel. “My discussions with TechNet leaders in the Bay Area have provided me with new ideas about technology innovation and investment. I look forward to bringing them back to Washington and applying them to the spectrum and broadband challenges ahead.”



Following on the heels of the Senate Finance Committee’s unanimous approval last week of Permanent Normalized Trade Relations (PNTR) with Russia, this week the Committee on Ways & Means added their approval with a 34-1 voice vote in favor of the deal. The bill now moves to the floor of both chambers for full consideration. Though not guaranteed, it is the hope of supporters that the bill will be taken up before Congress adjourns for the August recess next Friday, August 3rd.  Timing is important because Russia will join the World Trade Organization (WTO) on August 22nd, at which time countries that have granted Russia PNTR will immediately begin to receive the benefits afforded WTO membership, such as reduced tariffs, multilateral dispute resolution mechanisms, services protection and more.



This week, TechNet sent notices asking membership for their input on two issues likely to dominate the Fall on Capitol Hill: sequestration and tax extenders.  For more information or if you wish to weigh-in on what you would like us to be advocating for, please contact Dan Turrentine at gro.tenhcetnull@enitnerrutd.


Stats & Studies

A new World Bank study finds that mobile broadband has a greater impact on economic growth in developing nations than fixed broadband. In countries such as Colombia, Kenya, South Africa, and Vietnam, mobile broadband far exceeds fixed as the platform for high-speed access. The report finds that three-quarters of the world’s inhabitants have access to a mobile phone and that 30 billion mobile apps were downloaded in 2011.  

Sikich Investment Banking this week released its Summer 2012 Technology Industry M&A report. The report has items on enterprise mobility, M&A activity and metrics, and key metrics about the technology sectors and its performance.

The McKinsey Global Institute this week released a study that finds that social media can add between $900 billion and $1.3 billion in value to the economy. Much of the gain is due to enhanced productivity, with additional gains through better focus by business on consumers and better teamwork in business operations. A challenge to realizing this value is effective use of social media. It may take years for workers and workplaces to learn how to fully exploit social media tools for economic gain. 

Research released this week by comScore finds that 62% of new Smartphone users in April 2012 purchased Android devices, while 25% chose iPhones, and 7% opted for Windows devices. Additionally, half of feature phone users who made a switch that month chose Smartphones, a 9.5 percentage point increase from last year.