Single Government ID Moves Closer to Reality

“Federal officials are developing government-wide identification card standards for federal employees and contractors to prevent terrorists, criminals and other unauthorized people from getting into government buildings and computer systems.

The effort, known as the Personal Identity Verification Project, stems from a homeland security-related presidential directive and is being managed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), a Commerce Department agency with offices in Gaithersburg.

[…] The new generation of ID cards must be able to digitally store biometric data such as facial photographs and fingerprint images, bear contact and contactless interfaces, and allow the encryption of data that can be used to electronically verify the user’s identity, according to NIST draft standards […]”

SOURCE: Washington Post [free reg. req.]

Note: click here to view USACM’s policy guidance regarding national IDs.

Why The Grokster Case Matters

” For years, the music and film industries have fought a Sisyphean battle against piracy. Companies estimate that online thieves download 2.6 billion illegal music files and some 12 million movies every month, costing them millions of dollars a year. On Dec. 10 the media bigs landed a rare win: The U.S. Supreme Court agreed to review a lower court’s decision against the studios in Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. (MGM ) v. Grokster Ltd. The studio’s complaint has a high-profile list of backers, from the Dixie Chicks to Major League Baseball to the attorneys general of 41 states. If the court overturns the ruling, it could shift an unsteady balance between technology and creativity that has nurtured two decades of innovation in consumer electronics […]”

SOURCE: Business Week

ACM Job Migration Task Force Meets in D.C.

ACM’s Job Migration Task Force held a meeting earlier this month in Washington, D.C. Among others, the Task Force heard presentations from representatives of the Institute for International Economics, the Cato Institute, the Economic Policy Institute, and the U.S. General Accountability Office (GAO).

The group, co-chaired by Moshe Y. Vardi (Rice University) and Frank Mayadas (Alfred P. Sloan Foundation), was created to examine global job migration trends resulting from outsourcing and offshoring of IT jobs. It includes representatives from North America, Europe, India, China, Japan, and Israel. The task force expects to release the results of its study in the second half of 2005.

For more information, see the ACM Membernet article announcing the task force’s launch.

High Court To Weigh File Sharing

“The Supreme Court agreed yesterday to hear the entertainment industry’s case against two Internet-based file-sharing services through which millions of people swap music and movies online, a decision that sets up a potentially decisive digital-age battle over copyright-infringement rules.

The court said it would rule on an appeal by movie and record companies, headed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, that say they should be able to sue the file-sharing services, Grokster Ltd. and StreamCast Networks Inc., because their customers copy and trade copyrighted material online without paying for it.

[…] The case is MGM Studios v. Grokster, No. 04-480. Oral argument is set for March, and a decision is expected by July.”

SOURCE: Washington Post [free reg. req.]

CSIA’s Twelve Steps to Improve Cyber Security

“Cyber Security Industry Alliance (CSIA), the only CEO-led public policy and advocacy group exclusively focused on cyber security policy, today called on federal agencies and the Bush administration to strengthen the cyber infrastructure and protect end users from cyber attacks. CSIA urges the White House to ensure federal agencies follow through on the President’s National Strategy to Secure Cyberspace by acting on 12 important recommendations identified by the cyber security industry and adopting a concrete agenda to further protect the nation against cyber threats.

[…] The 12 steps outlined by CSIA represent concrete actions the Federal government can take that will raise the profile of cyber security, promote information sharing, threat analysis and contingency planning, as well as boost efforts in research and development, and security education […]”

SOURCE: CSIA (PDF)

CSIA's Twelve Steps to Improve Cyber Security

“Cyber Security Industry Alliance (CSIA), the only CEO-led public policy and advocacy group exclusively focused on cyber security policy, today called on federal agencies and the Bush administration to strengthen the cyber infrastructure and protect end users from cyber attacks. CSIA urges the White House to ensure federal agencies follow through on the President’s National Strategy to Secure Cyberspace by acting on 12 important recommendations identified by the cyber security industry and adopting a concrete agenda to further protect the nation against cyber threats.

[…] The 12 steps outlined by CSIA represent concrete actions the Federal government can take that will raise the profile of cyber security, promote information sharing, threat analysis and contingency planning, as well as boost efforts in research and development, and security education […]”

SOURCE: CSIA (PDF)

Florida E-Vote Study Debunked

“A study by Berkeley grad students and a professor showing anomalies with electronic-voting machines in Florida has been debunked by numerous academics who say the students used a faulty equation to reach their results and should never have released the study before getting it peer-reviewed.

The study, released three weeks ago [covered here] by seven graduate students from the University of California, Berkeley’s Quantitative Methods Research Team and sociology professor Michael Hout, presented analysis showing a discrepancy in the number of votes Bush received in counties that used touch-screen voting machines versus counties that used other types of voting equipment.

But Bruce McCullogh, a decisions science professor at Drexel University in Philadelphia, and Binghamton University economics professor Florenz Plassmann released an analysis (.pdf) of the Berkeley report criticizing the results […]”

SOURCE: Wired News