Department of Commerce gets an earful on proposed export rule changes

At around 84 megabytes, the PDF file containing the largely negative response to the Department of Commerce Bureau of Industry and Security’s (BIS’s) recent advanced notice of proposed rulemaking regarding proposed changes to U.S. deemed export regulations is one hefty document. It contains the comments of over 300 respondents — universities, researchers, scientists, medical organizations, technology associations (including USACM), and even the government of Canada — most of whom found the prospect of the proposed policy changes an unpleasant one; for example, some of the highlights:
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Turing Award Winners Cerf and Kahn Dicuss Internet’s Impact

Update:: The archived webcast can be found here.

At 6:00 p.m. (EDT) today Vinton Cerf and Bob Kahn will give a lecture titled “Assessing the Internet: Lessons Learned, Strategies for Evolution, and Future Possibilities.” The lecture will be webcast. The Turing Lecture provides a forum for learning what lessons emerged from award winner’s research, what strategies they propose for evolving the technology, and what possibilities lie ahead for future applications.

The storied team of Vint Cerf and Bob Kahn received ACM’s latest Turing Award for their work developing TCP/IP — the networking language of the Internet. The award is ACM’s highest and is considered by many to be the Nobel Prize of Computing.

Turing Award Winners Cerf and Kahn Dicuss Internet's Impact

Update:: The archived webcast can be found here.

At 6:00 p.m. (EDT) today Vinton Cerf and Bob Kahn will give a lecture titled “Assessing the Internet: Lessons Learned, Strategies for Evolution, and Future Possibilities.” The lecture will be webcast. The Turing Lecture provides a forum for learning what lessons emerged from award winner’s research, what strategies they propose for evolving the technology, and what possibilities lie ahead for future applications.

The storied team of Vint Cerf and Bob Kahn received ACM’s latest Turing Award for their work developing TCP/IP — the networking language of the Internet. The award is ACM’s highest and is considered by many to be the Nobel Prize of Computing.

Is the U.S. creating a hostile environment for foreign researchers?

The NY Times yesterday ran a troubling article about the visa problems of a Chinese cryptographer who was unable to present an important paper detailing her research on SHA-1 at this week’s Crypto 2005 conference:

On Monday, [Xiaoyun Wang] was scheduled to explain her discovery in a keynote address to an international group of researchers meeting in California.

But a stand-in had to take her place, because she was not able to enter the country. Indeed, only one of nine Chinese researchers who sought to enter the country for the conference received a visa in time to attend.

Although none of the scientists were officially denied visas by the United States Consulate, officials at the State Department and National Academy of Sciences said this week that the situation was not uncommon.

Lengthy delays in issuing visas are now routine, they said, particularly for those involved in sensitive scientific and technical fields.

Bruce Schneier offers his perspective on the situation on his weblog.

Taking into account such visa problems and other constraints on foreign researchers, such as current U.S. deemed export control policies (and the changes that have been proposed to those policies lately [1, 2]), it is easy to understand the computing research community’s growing concern about what is perceived as an increasingly hostile research environment in the U.S. for foreign researchers — researchers who play a key role in U.S.-based research and innovation.

States balk at Real ID Act’s price tag

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports on the feelings of some state lawmakers (who are gathering this week for a meeting of the National Conference of State Legislatures) regarding the impending implementation of the Real ID Act. The crux of the issue for many state lawmakers is just who should pay the act’s costs:

[State leaders at the meeting] railed against their federal counterparts for usurping their authority on issues ranging from education to homeland security — but leaving the states saddled with the bills […]

The federal government has shifted at least $51 billion in costs over the past two years to state and local governments, according to a report the group released Tuesday. A new federal mandate for a national identification card, something NCSL officials estimate could cost states $13 billion as they scramble to restructure motor vehicle offices, was chief among the state lawmakers’ complaints. The Real ID Act passed in June in an $82 billion military spending bill. It requires states, by 2008, to verify whether license applicants are U.S. citizens or legal residents of the United States.

The Congressional Budget Office has estimated the law will cost states $100 million to implement over the next five years […]

The fight over the Real ID Act, then, despite all the troubling technical and privacy issues that we and others have pointed out, may all come down to a fight between states and the federal government over unfunded (or underfunded) mandates and states’ discretion in how to manage their own resources. It will be interesting over the coming months to watch how states (both individually and as a group) handle the matter — we’ll keep you posted.

States balk at Real ID Act's price tag

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports on the feelings of some state lawmakers (who are gathering this week for a meeting of the National Conference of State Legislatures) regarding the impending implementation of the Real ID Act. The crux of the issue for many state lawmakers is just who should pay the act’s costs:

[State leaders at the meeting] railed against their federal counterparts for usurping their authority on issues ranging from education to homeland security — but leaving the states saddled with the bills […]

The federal government has shifted at least $51 billion in costs over the past two years to state and local governments, according to a report the group released Tuesday. A new federal mandate for a national identification card, something NCSL officials estimate could cost states $13 billion as they scramble to restructure motor vehicle offices, was chief among the state lawmakers’ complaints. The Real ID Act passed in June in an $82 billion military spending bill. It requires states, by 2008, to verify whether license applicants are U.S. citizens or legal residents of the United States.

The Congressional Budget Office has estimated the law will cost states $100 million to implement over the next five years […]

The fight over the Real ID Act, then, despite all the troubling technical and privacy issues that we and others have pointed out, may all come down to a fight between states and the federal government over unfunded (or underfunded) mandates and states’ discretion in how to manage their own resources. It will be interesting over the coming months to watch how states (both individually and as a group) handle the matter — we’ll keep you posted.

Q&A with 2004 Turing Award Winner Bob Kahn

This past weekend CSPAN hosted a good Q&A session (click here for Real audio or transcript) with Bob Kahn. He gave a useful overview of his and Vinton Cerf’s thinking and work in developing TCP/IP, the federal government’s visionary role in funding their research, and some of the issues the Internet faces.

Bob Kahn and Vinton Cerf won ACM’s 2004 Turing Award, which is considered to be the Noble Prize of computing.

This is a good time to preview the ACM Turing Lecture, which ACM’s Special Interest Group for communications and computer networks (SIGCOMM) will host on August 22 at the University of Pennsylvania. Both Bob Kahn and Vinton Cerf will be speaking on the topic of “Assessing the Internet: Lessons Learned, Strategies for Evolution, and Future Possibilities.” It will be webcast.

Q&A with 2004 Turing Award Winner Bob Kahn

This past weekend CSPAN hosted a good Q&A session (click here for Real audio or transcript) with Bob Kahn. He gave a useful overview of his and Vinton Cerf’s thinking and work in developing TCP/IP, the federal government’s visionary role in funding their research, and some of the issues the Internet faces.

Bob Kahn and Vinton Cerf won ACM’s 2004 Turing Award, which is considered to be the Noble Prize of computing.

This is a good time to preview the ACM Turing Lecture, which ACM’s Special Interest Group for communications and computer networks (SIGCOMM) will host on August 22 at the University of Pennsylvania. Both Bob Kahn and Vinton Cerf will be speaking on the topic of “Assessing the Internet: Lessons Learned, Strategies for Evolution, and Future Possibilities.” It will be webcast.

California bill would limit state’s use of RFID in identification cards

With things relatively quiet in Washington just now (it is August, after all), we have a chance to take a closer look at an interesting law that is pending in the California legislature: S.B. 682, Senator Simitian’s “Identity Information Protection Act.” The bill has two main purposes:

1. Prohibit the inclusion of “contactless integrated circuit” devices or other devices that use “radio waves to broadcast personal information to be read remotely” (i.e., RFID technology) in state-issued driver’s licenses, student ID cards (K-12), healthcare and other benefit cards, and public library cards.

2. Require significant security measures with respect to the use of RFID technology in all other state-issued ID cards, including provisions for strong encryption, authentication measures, and shielding devices.
Continue reading “California bill would limit state’s use of RFID in identification cards”

California bill would limit state's use of RFID in identification cards

With things relatively quiet in Washington just now (it is August, after all), we have a chance to take a closer look at an interesting law that is pending in the California legislature: S.B. 682, Senator Simitian’s “Identity Information Protection Act.” The bill has two main purposes:

1. Prohibit the inclusion of “contactless integrated circuit” devices or other devices that use “radio waves to broadcast personal information to be read remotely” (i.e., RFID technology) in state-issued driver’s licenses, student ID cards (K-12), healthcare and other benefit cards, and public library cards.

2. Require significant security measures with respect to the use of RFID technology in all other state-issued ID cards, including provisions for strong encryption, authentication measures, and shielding devices.
Continue reading “California bill would limit state's use of RFID in identification cards”