By Li Zhou | 12/06/2017 10:00 AM EDT

With help from John Hendel, Margaret Harding McGill, Ashley Gold and Nancy Scola

BOTH SIDES DIAL UP NET NEUTRALITY EFFORTS - FCC Chairman Ajit Pai is making the rounds to rally supporters behind his plan to roll back the neutrality rules. His efforts include a huddle with House Republicans set for Thursday and a visit to the Senate Republican lunch today, John and Margaret report. Pai also recently spoke privately with the Senate Republican Policy Committee on net neutrality, committee spokeswoman Bronwyn Lance Chester told MT. Additionally, he stopped by Verizon's Washington office on Tuesday to give a speech at an International Institute of Communications event. Amid calls by net neutrality rule supporters to postpone the agency's Dec. 14 vote, the FCC says it has no intention of delaying it over concerns about fake comments and the FTC's jurisdiction over ISPs.

- Pai re-upped his arguments against tech: In an op-ed for the Washington Times, the agency head once again turned up the heat on tech firms, slamming Twitter's removal of Rep. Marsha Blackburn's (R-Tenn.) campaign video ad and YouTube restrictions on a conservative commentator's posts. "Large Silicon Valley platforms today pose a far greater threat to a free and open internet than do internet service providers," he writes , noting that these online sites face issues with transparency as well. "As we think about internet policy, we should look at the entire internet economy - not single out one part of it." The op-ed builds on an argument Pai had made in a previous speech, when he focused the attention away from ISPs and shifted it to the tech companies opposing the net neutrality repeal.

- Meanwhile, Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) and former FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler are holding a press call this afternoon to urge Pai to reconsider his proposal. Former FCC General Counsel Jon Sallet, who helped defend the 2015 Open Internet Order in court, is also slated to be on hand to describe what the process could look like if this issue heads to litigation. If the FCC vote to repeal the rules goes through, as it's expected to next week, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) said next steps would include harnessing the grassroots comments and momentum to defend the policy. "We'll look at everything, we'll stay right at it," he told MT, noting that legislation is among a host of options lawmakers could consider.

- The head of the House Energy and Commerce Committee also took aim against Democratic FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel, who on Monday joined New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman to bash fake comments and call for a delay to the FCC vote. "There is no reason" for delay, Chairman Greg Walden told John, and proceeded to mention Rosenworcel: "That is a false issue, and I am deeply disappointed in the role that Commissioner Rosenworcel has decided to play in this matter. It is disingenuous, it is disappointing, and it is completely unnecessary." Rosenworcel's office declined to comment on Walden's remarks. Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.) countered that she is grateful for Rosenworcel's leadership. "Reports that bots may have filed hundreds of thousands of fraudulent comments during the FCC's net neutrality policymaking process underscore a threat not only to the future of net neutrality, but also to the integrity of our democracy," Hassan told MT.

- Internet Association pushes for vote delay: The tech trade group is among the latest to press for a postponement of the FCC's net neutrality vote. "On behalf of our companies, their employees and, most importantly, millions of users, we ask that you delay or vote against the draft Order," the group writes to Pai in a letter today. ... Spotify on Tuesday also posted a tweet arguing that changes to net neutrality "will harm music fans and the artists they love."

- Telecom calls out Google vs. Amazon for net neutrality hypocrisy: Google announced on Tuesday that it's again curbing YouTube access on Amazon's Echo Show device and plans to do the same with Amazon Fire TVs beginning in the new year, Variety reports . Google noted that its actions were in response to Amazon's previous decision not to sell certain Google devices on its platform or allow Google Cast users to link up with Prime Video. USTelecom jumped into the fray by arguing that this behavior could be contradictory to the purported spirit of net neutrality. "Broadband ISPs are committed to providing an open internet for their customers, including protections like no content blocking or throttling. Seems like some of the biggest internet companies can't say the same. Ironic, isn't it?" President Jonathan Spalter said in a statement.

- Amazon said users of those two devices could connect to a standard web view of YouTube.com. "Google is setting a disappointing precedent by selectively blocking customer access to an open website," Amazon spokeswoman Kinley Pearsall said in a statement. "We hope to resolve this with Google as soon as possible."

SPEAKING OF GOOGLE AND AMAZON - Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), a fierce critic of corporate concentration and one of the earliest lawmakers to criticize tech companies for their impact on competition, is giving a keynote on antitrust at an Open Markets Institute event today. Recall that she has slammed tech giants like Amazon and Google for the potential they have to completely "snuff out competition" by simultaneously running platforms and the products on those platforms. Warren has also criticized telecom behemoths, like Comcast, for acquisitions that she says cut down on consumer choice. Rhode Island Rep. David Cicilline, the top Democrat on the House Judiciary antitrust subcommittee, is also on the docket. We're tracking.

GOOD WEDNESDAY MORNING and welcome to Morning Tech, where we're eagerly anticipating the next wave of new emoji. Send your tech and telecom tips, to lzhou@politico.com and @liszhou. Catch the rest of the team's contact info after Quick Downloads.

Got an event for MT's tech calendar? Email us the details at techcalendar@politicopro.com.

HOUSE ENERGY AND COMMERCE MARKUP COMING - Walden confirmed his panel will hold a markup for pending legislation this month at the full committee level. "We're putting together what will be in that markup now, trying to work out some last-minute negotiations," he told John. He said doesn't know yet whether the panel's FCC reauthorization bill will make the cut, referring to debate over how much money broadcasters might need as part of the spectrum repacking process. Lawmakers have said they want to address that in the reauthorization bill. "We're still waiting to see what the number is," Walden said.

- He also expressed interest in potentially moving on its own the Spectrum Auction Deposits Act (H.R. 4109 (115)), which the FCC says is crucial to allowing any future spectrum auctions. A version is in the reauthorization bill. "That has some issues we're still trying to resolve on scoring and budgeting and things of that nature, see if it has value," Walden said. "There's some discussion still ongoing on that issue so I'm not sure that's ready." But it could be, he said.

REDL'S DEBUT AS NTIA ADMINISTRATOR - David Redl outlined plans to focus the Commerce Department's National Telecommunications Information Administration on 5G and rural broadband: "Over the next few years, one of the biggest challenges we'll face will be finding the spectrum we need to support competitive, ubiquitous 5G in America while at the same time ensuring federal agencies can perform their important missions," he said Tuesday at a Phoenix Center event in his first remarks as NTIA administrator in what he dubbed his second week on the job. His goal, he said, is "improving government spectrum efficiency, providing incentives for government agencies to make better use of spectrum and promoting spectrum-related research and development." He joked his young son has a "warped impression of what it means to get a new job" following his half-year of nominations limbo. He is scheduled to deliver an off-the-record keynote today.

CONYERS OFFICIALLY RESIGNS - WHAT'S IT MEAN FOR HOUSE JUDICIARY?: Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) officially resigned from his post in Congress on Tuesday amid allegations of sexual harassment, POLITICO'S Nolan McCaskill and John Bresnahan report. As we've previously reported, Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), a vocal supporter of the tech industry with many companies in her district, is interested in the ranking Democrat spot, even as Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) holds the spot in an acting position due to his seniority. It's expected that a full caucus vote will be held now that Conyers has officially quit, and it's shaping up to be an interesting race, especially for those in the tech industry. We'll be tracking.

NEW RAND AI ANALYSIS: JOB MARKET "PRIMED FOR SIGNIFICANT UPHEAVAL" - The RAND Corporation is out with a study this morning on a topic Washington policymakers are only just starting to think through: how AI-powered automation is going to remake the American economy. Humans have been using machines to speed up their work for hundreds of years, points out Bill Welser, the director of the think tank's engineering and applied sciences department who co-wrote the report with associate engineer Osonde Osoba.

"But the thing that is different right now is the speed at which this automation is entering the marketplace," Welser told MT. "It's not necessarily conducive to people being able to generate new tasks. They just don't have time to adapt." Grab the report here.

BIDEN TAKES ON SOCIAL MEDIA - Former Vice President Joe Biden argues that companies including Facebook need to increase advertising transparency following discoveries of Russian-linked sources using it and other sites to interfere in the 2016 election. "Social media companies such as Twitter, Facebook, and Google must provide greater transparency about who funds the political advertisements on their platforms, work harder to eliminate automated and bot-generated content, and invest in the technological and human resources to root out fake foreign accounts that spread disinformation," he wrote in an op-ed for Foreign Affairs.

SILICON VALLEY MUST-READS -

- Malware ads on Facebook call ability to self-regulate into question: "Russian disinformation isn't the only deceptive political advertising on Facebook," ProPublica reports . Clicking on certain recent political ads would freeze users' computers and lead them to scams. "Although these scams represent only a tiny fraction of the more than 8,000 politically themed advertisements assembled by the Political Ad Collector, they raise doubts about Facebook's ability to monitor paid political messages. In each case, the ads ran afoul of guidelines Facebook has developed to curb misleading and malicious advertising."

- Pishevar takes leave of absence: "Venture capitalist Shervin Pishevar has taken a leave of absence from Sherpa Capital and Virgin Hyperloop One in the wake of multiple sexual misconduct allegations, saying he plans to focus on pursuing a defamation lawsuit that he filed last month against a political opposition research group," The Verge reports.

- The Kremlin's Twitter news fronts: "The Kremlin-backed Russian Internet Research Agency operated dozens of Twitter accounts masquerading as local American news sources that collectively garnered more than half-a-million followers. More than 100 news outlets also published stories containing those handles in the run-up to the election, and some of them were even tweeted by a top presidential aide," Bloomberg reports.

TRANSITIONS - Jessica Martinez has been appointed as a special adviser and confidential assistant in FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel's office, per a release. Martinez was previously the outreach and membership services coordinator for the House Energy and Commerce Committee's Democratic staff.

SPOTTED at Microsoft's Holiday Open House at the company's Innovation & Policy Center on Tuesday: Tammy Haddad, Victoria Espinel of BSA | The Software Alliance, Mike Gallagher of the Entertainment Software Association, Nuala O'Connor of Center for Democracy & Technology, Dr. Bruce Gellin of the Sabin Vaccine Institute, Microsoft's Fred Humphries, Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Rep. Jim Himes (D-Conn.), Rep. Lacy Clay (D-Mo.), Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), Rep. Anthony Brown (D-Md.), Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.), Rep. Lou Correa (D-Calif.), Rep. Suzan DelBene (D-Wash.), Rep. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.), Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi(D-Ill.), Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.), Rep. Jerry McNerney (D-Calif.), Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.), Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Tex.), Rep. Rick Larsen (D-Wash.).

QUICK DOWNLOADS

Searching for middle ground: "Yahoo's new owner Oath - which, in turn, is owned by telecom giant Verizon - is now in a legal battle with browser company Mozilla over a search deal that was struck by former Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer," Recode reports.

Amazon to get ad boost: "Publicis, WPP and Omnicom plan to increase their ad spending with Amazon to upward of $800 million, collectively, according to multiple agency executives," The Wall Street Journal reports.

Twitter's year in review: The company found that President Donald Trump was the most tweeted about global leader in 2017 and that former President Barack Obama had two of the three most-liked tweets of the year, CNBC reports.

Tips, comments, suggestions? Send them along via email to our team: Eric Engleman (eengleman@politico.com, @ericengleman), Angela Greiling Keane (agreilingkeane@politico.com, @agreilingkeane), Nancy Scola (nscola@politico.com, @nancyscola), Margaret Harding McGill ( mmcgill@politico.com, @margarethmcgill), Ashley Gold (agold@politico.com, @ashleyrgold), Steven Overly (soverly@politico.com, @stevenoverly), John Hendel (jhendel@politico.com, @JohnHendel) and Li Zhou (lzhou@politico.com, @liszhou)

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