USACM Voices Reservations About Induce Act (S. 2560)

In advance of today’s hearing on the Inducing Infringement of Copyrights Act of 2004 (S. 2560), USACM sent a letter to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch expressing reservations about the legislation and offering to provide input on its development. In the letter, USACM cautions that the legislation’s flawed approach of restricting technology rather than focusing on individual acts of infringement could have serious unintended consequences which could undermine continued innovations in software and digital computing and introduce new liabilities for technology developers. (July 22, 2004).

CRA Holds Snowbird Conference

The Computing Research Association (CRA) held it biennial conference in Snowbird, Utah, recently. Running from July 11-13, the conference brought together the chairs of Ph.D.-granting departments of computer science and computer engineering, as well as leaders from U.S. industrial and government computing research laboratories. A number of other senior people from research groups, government, academia, and professional societies also attended. The goal of the conference is to provide a context in which attendees can discuss practical and strategic issues facing their organizations. More information about the conference can be found at

Snowbird policy panel Shown here is a photo from the conference’s technology policy panel. Seated left to right are Charles Brownstein (CSTB, USACM), Barbara Simons (USACM Co-chair), Peter Harsha (CRA), Jeff Grove (ACM Policy Office), and Eugene Spafford (USACM Co-chair).

No Where To Hide

“[…] Your information is out there. And thanks to database technology that has become ever more pervasive, it can be aggregated and collated and turned into a startlingly comprehensive dossier on you in the blink of an eye. Okay, so maybe you should be a little worried.

[…] Here’s where you may be surprised: There are very few rules in place governing how the data that is collected on you can be used. Privacy is often taken for granted as an inherent right of every citizen, but in fact the U.S. has one of the weakest privacy protection schemes in the developed world. The European Union, Canada, and Japan all trump us in terms of privacy.

“The U.S. is at the bottom of the heap,” says Beth Givens, director of the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse in San Diego. “We’re a patchwork of laws with gaping holes.”

SOURCE: PC Magazine

ICANNot Pay Those Dues

“Seventy-five registrars from around the world have banded together to protest the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Number’s (ICANN) proposed 2004-2005 budget, which significantly raises the yearly fee for registrars regardless of size.


Feds Weigh Role in Net Telephony

“As Congress braces for a comprehensive overhaul of the 1996 Telecommunications Act next year, a House subcommittee on Wednesday debated whether it should first warm up its legislative chops on voice-over-IP telephony services.

[…] At issue is whether Congress should pre-empt state regulation of VOIP and, if so, how the federal government can devise safeguards to protect public safety and sustain social goals such as keeping telecom services affordable in rural areas.”

SOURCE: Wired News

Federal court upholds Calif. e-voting ban

“[…] A federal judge today upheld California Secretary of State Kevin Shelley’s April 30 directive that decertified touch-screen voting machines and withheld future certification until vendors of those systems could meet specific security requirements, including voter-verifiable paper audit trails (VVPAT).”

SOURCE: ComputerWorld

Cert suggests firms exit IE

“Internet Explorer is a hazard in itself, according to the US security advisory body

[…] Companies may have to make big changes to their desktop and web site strategies after US government security body Cert last week advised users to consider abandoning Microsoft’s Internet Explorer (IE) browser.

The advice followed the discovery of a new attack that exploits an IE flaw in combination with a separate vulnerability in Microsoft’s IIS web server software. Microsoft released an updated advisory on the IIS Download.Ject flaw after attackers used it to infect e-commerce sites. IE users were unknowingly redirected to a separate site and infected with a trojan.”


CSTB Names New Co-Chairs

“CSTB is pleased to announce the appointment of David Liddle, of US Venture Partners, and Jeannette Wing, of Carnegie Mellon University, to be Co-Chairs of the Board. […] Outgoing Chair David D. Clark, of MIT, will participate as a Member Emeritus. ”


ACM Member Opinion Poll

Should computer-based electronic voting systems provide a physical record so voters can inspect permanent records of their ballots before they are cast and so meaningful recounts may be conducted? Find out more and give your opinion. To learn more about USACM concerns and activities concerning this issue, see our evoting web page.