Maybe Technology Policy Won't Change That Much After the Election

Ars Technica has a quick rundown of the changes on the Subcomittee on the Internet of the House and Energy Committee. Its chair, Rick Boucher, lost his race. Joe Barton, a Republican from Texas, will be taking over that spot. That might seem to portend a major change in direction, but Ars thinks there might be more continuity than expected.

But in the next Congress these Democrats will sit on the minority side of the aisle. The big Republican voices that will replace them on the House Commerce Committee have been very vocal on communications technology issues.

They include former committee Chair Joe Barton (R-TX), who ultimately refused to go along with Waxman's net neutrality compromise, Fred Upton (R-MS), and Cliff Stearns (R-FL). The latter took particular interest in mobile phone and wireless spectrum concerns.

Still, despite all the "no compromise" rhetoric that's flying about, there may be some continuity in various policy areas--particularly regarding online privacy. In early October, Barton and Markey sent a long list of tough questions to Facebook, Yahoo, Microsoft and other companies about their Web privacy policies, particularly as they related to cookies and data retention.

Read the full story at Ars Technica.

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