Overnight Tech: ‘Internet’ to be lowercased; FCC pitches broadband labels – The Hill

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LEDE: The word “Internet” will soon be lowercased at many news outlets after it enjoyed the status of a proper noun for decades.

The move will come June 1 after the decision was made by The Associated Press — a newswire that has developed an influential stylebook that many others follow, including The Hill in part.

The early decision to treat the term as a proper noun, according to Wired, was meant to distinguish the worldwide network of connected computers from the generic term for any smaller connection of networks. But the term has come to exclusively define the former.

Today the U.S. government, most news organization and the largest technology companies all use the capitalized word. The AP also said it would begin lowercasing “Web” on all references. It wasn’t until 2010 and 2011 that the AP started treating “website” as one word and took the hyphen out of “email.”

FCC MEMBER READY FOR THE CHANGE: At least one member of the Federal Communications Commission is ready to remove the capital. Republican Commissioner Ajit Pai said he imagines he will make the change: He tweeted, “Network of networks literally ‘inter-‘net.'” The FCC said its press shop generally follows AP.

SOME LIFELINE EMAILS RELEASED: The office of Democratic FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn released a handful of emails that congressional Democrats sent last week in an attempt to convince the commissioner against a deal with Republicans that would have put a firm budget cap on the Lifeline program.

SILICON VALLEY DONATIONS FAVOR SANDERS: The top five employers of Bernie SandersBernie SandersClinton: GOP wants to go back to ‘trickle-down economics’CNN to host Democratic debate in New York‘Panama Papers’ could boost prospects for corporate-transparency legislationMORE donors are major technology companies, according to Crowdpac numbers reported by Buzzfeed. Google employees have donated $345,855 to Sanders, followed by Apple, Microsoft, IBM and Amazon. The report noted that employees of tech companies have donated more to Sanders than front-runner Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonClinton: GOP wants to go back to ‘trickle-down economics’CNN to host Democratic debate in New YorkOvernight Cybersecurity: Encryption bill expected this weekMORE.

REGULATORS NOTICE STARTUPS DELAYING PUBLIC OFFERINGS: The head of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Mary Jo White, gave a speech at Stanford last week and noted regulatory concerns over major companies putting off their decision to go public. Though she did not mention names, the Washington Post noted investors are closely watching when companies like Uber, Airbnb and Snapchat decide to go public. They are valued at between $62 billion and $16 billion.

TEPID REACTION FROM INDUSTRY ON BROADBAND LABELS: The wireless industry did not appear too impressed with new Internet labels the FCC released to help consumers comparison shop. CTIA, one of the largest mobile trade groups, noted that its members already provide similar disclosure, casting doubt on whether many in the industry would adopt the voluntary format.

“While we appreciate that these labels will serve as a ‘safe harbor’ under the Open Internet transparency rules, CTIA members already provide disclosure and transparency as part of the Consumer Code for Wireless Service,” the group wrote in a statement. “The competitive nature of the wireless broadband market does more for consumers than regulation can hope to achieve.”

ICANN’S HILL FOES WANT ANSWERS: GOP presidential candidate Sen. Ted CruzTed CruzCruz attacks Trump on eve of Wis. primaryOn trail, Melania Trump says her husband will treat everyone equallyClinton: GOP wants to go back to ‘trickle-down economics’MORE (R-Texas),along with Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) and Sen. Mike LeeMike LeeOvernight Tech: ‘Internet’ to be lowercased; FCC pitches broadband labelsGroups push Congress to create regulatory budgetSentencing reform, before it was popularMORE (R-Utah),are steaming over what Cruz’s office has branded “stonewalling” from the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers. They say that ICANN Chairman Stephen D. Crocker hasn’t responded to a letter with questions about former CEO Fadi Chehadé’s involvement with a Chinese Internet conference. Read their full letter to Crocker here.

NEW ADVISORY BOARD: The Center for Democracy and Technology announced Monday that it has appointed a 56-member “advisory council.” It features representatives from some corporate heavy-hitters, like Facebook’s Joel Kaplan and Apple’s Jane Horvath, as well as some who have opposed industry on some issues, like Georgetown’s Alvaro Bedoya. View the full list here.

PILOT DRONE SIGHTINGS UP: Bloomberg reports difficult news for those of us who are already irrationally terrified of flying: drone sightings in the area around airports are up since 2014. The area around New York and Newark, N.J. led the pack in the last period on record. “We’re not kidding when we say it has to be mitigated as a threat,” said Tim Canoll, Air Line Pilots Association president, with the money quote. “Your imagination can run wild with the problems of hitting hard metal objects at 200 mph.”

PHOTO PROJECT ON ‘TECHIES:’ Photographer Helena Price is out with 100 portraits of people who don’t fit the monolithic image many have of tech as, among other things, straight, white and male. Each image is accompanied by information and a brief comment from its subject. You can view them here.


At 10:30, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler and commissioner Ajit Pai will testify before The Senate Appropriations subcommittee on financial services and general government.

At 12:15 a.m., the Open Technology Institute will host a talk on boosting broadband competition.

At 2 p.m., Public Knowledge will hold a call on “ending cable’s programming stranglehold.”


The CIA has formally withdrawn a controversial proposal to destroy the emails of all but 22 top-level officials after an employee leaves office.

Regulators are encouraging companies that sell monthly Internet service to start using nutritional fact-styled labels to inform customers about price and performance of service.

Airbnb will more aggressively police its listings in San Francisco, the company said Saturday, amid persistent criticism that the site has contributed to a particularly tight housing market in the city.

Congressional Democrats heavily lobbied a Federal Communications Commission member in the hours before a vote Thursday, helping to prevent a firm budget cap on a new program offering subsidies for Internet service to low-income Americans.


Please send tips and comments to David McCabe, dmccabe@thehill.com and Mario Trujillo, mtrujillo@thehill.com Follow us on Twitter: @HilliconValley@dmccabe@_mariotrujillo

Overnight Tech: ‘Internet’ to be lowercased; FCC pitches broadband labels – The Hill