Keep reading for today’s look at #OpenGov news, events, and analysis including the Bitcoin gaining currency on K Street, Britain’s emergency surveillance legislation, and plenty of state and local news.
- Lobbying on cybersecurity, privacy and other data issues has skyrocketed over the past decade, with a more recent hiring spree driven by the Snowden scandal and major security breaches at some of the country’s largest companies. (POLITICO)
- Two GOP lawmakers, Reps. Bill Huizenga of Michigan and Scott Garrett of New Jersey, introduced the Federal Reserve Accountability and Transparency Act (FRAT Act), which includes a provision that would require disclosure of Federal Reserve officials with high salaries. (Wall Street Journal)
- The Bitcoin is gaining currency on K street after the Bitcoin Foundation, a group promoting the cryptocurrency, retained a lobbying group. Thorsen French Advocacy will represent the Bitcoin on Capitol Hill. (TechCrunch)
- Prime Minister David Cameron and deputy Nick Clegg have unveiled emergency surveillance legislation that calls for the retention of phone and internet data for a year, as well as the maintenance of government access to this information. The emergency bill was introduced after an European Union directive prescribing the same data collection and retention was thrown out by the European Court of Justice. (The Guardian)
- Switzerland, despite joining 60 nations in an international treaty meant to unmask wealthy financial clients, still struggles with both public and private sectors resistant of financial transparency. Retaliating against the treaty, the right-wing Swiss People’s Party has gathered 80 percent of the signatures needed for a voter referendum to enshrine corporate secrecy in the Swiss Constitution. (New York Times)
- In Britain, the salaries of high-earning professors may soon be made public after a landmark ruling stated that a university must publish details of staff who earn more than £100,000 a year. The ruling followed a complaint to the Information Commissioner’s Office about a UK college’s rejection of a Freedom of Information request. (Times Higher Education)
State and Local News
- The airwaves in Arizona’s Second Congressional District will soon be weighed down with political ads, as Republican House candidate Martha McSally and the left-leaning House Majority PAC throw in $460,000 and $440,000, respectively, into the final weeks of this race. (Roll Call)
- Lobbyists in Pennsylvania spent $518 million on their efforts in 2013, the largest sum spent on lobbying since the state started to collect this data in 2007. (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review)
- Following a series of explosive train crashes, Delaware still refuses to publicly disclose when and where trains carry oil across the state. Delaware’s secretary of safety and homeland security signed confidentiality agreements with rail companies that move oil through the state. (Delaware Online)
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