In This Issue
In the month of November, Lobbyit tracked developments at the Federal Communications Commissions (FCC) regarding "Net Neutrality" regulations, met with the Senate Commerce regarding the same, and continued tracking developments in funding for fiscal year 2018 (FY18).

Net Neutrality to be Overturned
As NCISS members will recall, in 2014, we filed comment with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) supporting the implementation of "net neutrality" rule.

At that time, NCISS asked that the Administration officially adopt neutral policies with respect to the governance of the internet, insuring that:  

( 1) "tiered" services were not allowed, allowing individuals and companies with greater resources to acquire faster service than was available to individuals and small businesses (thereby relegating smaller entities to "second class status"); and 

(2) that internet providers would not restrict internet traffic based on perspective or political viewpoint.

Below, you can find the text of our comment in it's entirety. 

At that time, a divided FCC (2 Dem commissioners and 2 GOP commissioners, with Dem Chair Wheeler casting the tie-breaker) voted 3/2 in favor of net neutrality.

Then-Commissioner Ajit Pai (GOP) registered his strong objection to such policies, arguing, among other things, that it made no sense to prohibit internet providers from charging more to heavy bandwidth users like Netflix and other streaming services.  Ajit Pai was confirmed as Chairman of the FCC in September, 2016, and now looks to be carrying out his promise to overturn existing net neutrality policies.  A mid-December vote is tentatively scheduled.

Lobbyit sat down with staff from the Senate Commerce Committee to discuss our concerns with overturning net neutrality, and what follow-on policies might look.

Committee staff holds the opinion that it makes no sense to allow heavy users to escape paying more for their traffic, and do not believe that speeds for lower-level users will be affected by allowing such large entities to pay for "fast lanes" (should they subsequently be developed and implemented by internet providers).

Staff assured NCISS that they would be closely monitoring the FCC vote, any subsequent policy changes, and the manner in which cable and internet providers adjust in the new policy environment.

While the majority in Congress supports overturning net neutrality, they are keenly aware that a majority of American voters support equal treatment on the internet, and insist that they are watching potential changes should official net neutrality policies be overturned.

As an industry that relies on the internet for timely access to critical information, quite often involving matters of public safety, the committee has asked NCISS to remain in contact as this process unfolds.

C o ngress is open to corrective action based on how industry reacts, whether through regular oversight, appropriations provisions, or further legislative correction.  As the parties who ultimately bear the brunt of such policies (and expenses), the committees are looking to us for enumeration of the real-world impacts of this change in policy.  

NCISS members, please stay in touch and let us know!


The National Council of Investigative and Security Services (NCISS) hereby submits this comment regarding Federal Communications Commission (FCC) proceeding 14-28, "Protecting and Promoting the Open Internet", opened May 20, 2014.  We greatly appreciate this opportunity to provide our input on the matter.

NCISS is a trade association representing private investigators and private security service companies from across the United States.  NCISS is comprised 1000 members, the majority of which are private investigators located in every State of our Union.  Together with security service providers, NCISS represents well in excess of 100,000 security and investigative professionals, who generate over $2.5 billion in economic activity per annum.

Private investigators are an integral component of the legal system. For private investigators, access to information is the key to our operation and success, and undoubtedly, the internet is the overwhelmingly preferred avenue for obtaining a wide variety of crucial information. 

Whether tracking lost heirs, searching for missing or abducted children, uncovering hidden assets, locating witnesses for civil or criminal matters, conducting due diligence for mergers and acquisitions, or proving financial crimes or instances of fraud, private investigators  rely on the internet for timely access to information.  With so many government entities and agencies, from the townships and villages to the state and Federal levels, making the majority of information publicly available on the internet, The FCC cannot (even if inadvertently) restrict the ability of private citizens to access such information by allowing the bifurcation of the internet and relegating such non-commercial sites and pursuits to second-class status.  To do so would doom our ability to act quickly and accurately, often when human life is at stake.

Please do not take regulatory action which would allow for "tiered" services on the internet, allowing providers to increase speeds for preferred customers.  Internet users who do not have the commercial clout to pay more for enhanced service could ultimately pay a steep price for the change as providers who see less commercial benefit from such users deny them crucial technological advances.  We do not believe this result is inconceivable, and in fact believe it would be likely in the long run as providers seek to maximize their profits and focus more on developing technology and improving services for those simply with the ability to pay more.

For private investigators, the vast majority of whom are small businesses or solo practitioners, such a change could be fatal to our ability to access critical information.  We respectfully ask that you preserve true equality in internet services for all users, and not let large commercial operations gain an unfair advantage. 

National Council of Investigative and Security Services
7501 Sparrows Point Blvd.
Baltimore, MD 21219

S. 395 - GPS Act
Representative Michael T. McCaul (R-TX) introduced the One in, One out Act in the House on January 24, 2017. On February 8, 2017, the bill was referred to the Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform, Commercial and Antitrust Law. The bill currently has 13 cosponsors. There have not yet been any amendments to the bill.
This bill prohibits a federal agency from issuing a rule that imposes a cost or responsibility on a nongovernmental person or a state or local government unless: (1) such agency has repealed or revised one or more related rules in a way that reduces costs to the regulated entities, and (2) the cost of the new rule is less than or equal to the cost of the rules being repealed or revised.
H.R. 387 - Email Privacy Act
Representative Kevin Yoder (R-KS03) introduced the Email Privacy Act in the House on January 9, 2017. On February 7, 2017, the bill was received in the Senate and referred to the Committee on Judiciary. The bill currently has 138 cosponsors. 
A governmental entity may require the disclosure by a provider of electronic communication service of the contents of a wire or electronic communication that is in electronic storage with or otherwise stored, held, or maintained by that service only if the governmental entity obtains a warrant issued using the procedures described in the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure (or, in the case of a State court, issued using State warrant procedures) that:
(1) is issued by a court of competent jurisdiction;
(2) may indicate the date by which the provider must make the disclosure to the governmental entity.
(3) the bill is applicable with respect to any wire or electronic communication that is stored, held, or maintained by the provider.
H.R. 923 - To Repeal the Cybersecurity Act of 2015
Representative Justin Amash (R-MI-3) introduced the To Repeal the Cybersecurity Act of 2015 on February 7, 2017. On April 25th, 2017, the bill was referred to the Subcommittee on Research and Technology. The bill currently has 5 cosponsors.
The Cybersecurity Act of 2015 (division N of Public Law 114-113) and the amendments made by such Act are repealed, and the provisions of law amended by such Act are hereby restored as if such Act had not been enacted into law.
H.R. 957 F.A.I.R. Surveillance Act of 2017

Representative Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY-8) introduced the Fourth Amendment Integrity Restoration (F.A.I.R.) Surveillance Act of 2017 on February 7, 2017. On March 9, 2017, the bill was referred to the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations. The bill currently has 2 cosponsors. 

This bill specifies that an agreement between a federal and state or local law enforcement agency regarding the acquisition or use of a cell simulator device must require such state or local law enforcement agency to use the device in compliance with the federal agency's guidance and policies.

The term "cell simulator device" means a device that:
(1) simulates a cell tower to provide an electronic communication service, or
(2) functions as a cell tower to locate cellular devices or identify their unique identifiers
S. 631 Drone Aircraft Privacy and Transparency Act

Senator Edward Markey introduced the Drone Aircraft Privacy and Transparency Act in the Senate on March 3, 2017. On March 15, 2017, the bill was referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. The bill currently has 0 cosponsors.

This bill amends the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 to provide guidance and limitations regarding the integration of unmanned aircraft systems into United States airspace, and for other purposes. The Secretary of Transportation shall establish procedures to ensure that the integration of unmanned aircraft systems into the national airspace system is done in compliance with the privacy principles.

A governmental entity (as defined in section 2711 of title 18, United States Code) may not use an unmanned aircraft system or request information or data collected by another person using an unmanned aircraft system for protective activities, or for law enforcement or intelligence purposes, except pursuant to a warrant issued using the procedures described in the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure (or, in the case of a State court, issued using State warrant procedures) by a court of competent jurisdiction, or as permitted under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978.

H.R. 1526 - Drone Aircraft Privacy and Transparency Act of 2017

This monthy report is p rovided for NCISS by ... 
     ...until next month!

Please contact Francie Koehler for questions or issues regarding private 
investigators and Brad Duffy re the same for security professionals. 
                       Francie Koehler - Investigations -- or -- Brad Duffy - Security


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