USACM writes to policymakers in Virginia on e-voting

Yesterday, USACM sent a letter to Virginia Delegate Tim Hugo, chair of the Joint Subcommittee Studying the Certification, Performance, and Deployment of Voting Equipment, regarding the issue of voter-verified paper records and electronic voting machines. The subcommittee is scheduled to hold a hearing on Monday, November 21, 2005, to address the issue (an agenda for that hearing is available here).

The letter seeks to draw the lawmaker’s attention to the e-voting position that ACM adopted last year. Readers may recall that the committee sent a similar letter to lawmakers in Hawaii earlier this year.

The full letter is available below or here as a PDF file.
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Tech Issues Flood The Hill This Week

It’s November and Congress is supposed to be long gone, but finalizing this year’s budget remains a key sticking point. While trying to strike a deal, they are looking into a host of other things. There is a bit too much going on for us to analyze right now, so we thought we would post highlights of some of this week’s developments:
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IT heavyweight joins push for preemptive federal privacy legislation

Recently, Microsoft added its voice to those calling for uniform federal privacy legislation that preempts individual state laws. Brad Smith, a senior VP and general counsel for the company, made the announcement at a recent Congressional Internet Caucus gathering:

Over the past few years … several factors have altered the privacy landscape in such a way and to such a degree that we now believe the time has come to support national privacy legislation as a component of a multifaceted approach to privacy protection. As a strong supporter of free-market solutions, Microsoft did not come to this decision without careful consideration. But it is one we now believe is the right course in order to provide meaningful protections for individuals, while avoiding unnecessary obstacles to legitimate business activities.

As we see it, the goal of federal privacy legislation should be twofold: to establish baseline privacy protections for consumers, and to provide organizations with a uniform standard on which they can build effective privacy policies and compliance efforts […]

Smith goes on to suggest a framework for federal privacy legislation that includes Continue reading “IT heavyweight joins push for preemptive federal privacy legislation”

Turing Award Winners Honored Again, Win Nation’s Highest Civilian Award

Update 11/9/05: The White House announced that it will host an online chat with Cerf and Kahn today at 4:00 EST. If you follow the link you can submit questions right now!

Yesterday the White House announced that Bob Kahn and Vinton Cerf are being awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom for their pioneering work on Internet protocols. The White House notes that they “have been at the forefront of a digital revolution that has transformed global commerce, communication, and entertainment.” This award caps a big year for the research team. As we reported earlier, they won ACM’s Turing Award, which is considered the Noble Prize for computing.

Kahn and Cerf will receive the award along with a 12 other winners at a White House ceremony next week. The winners are quite a diverse selection. Among the winners are Muhammad Ali, Alan Greenspan, General Richard B. Myers, Jack Nicklaus, and Frank Robinson.

About the Presidential Medal of Freedom:

Established by Executive Order 11085 in 1963, the Medal may be awarded by the President “to any person who has made an especially meritorious contribution to (1) the security or national interests of the United States, or (2) world peace, or (3) cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.”

Turing Award Winners Honored Again, Win Nation's Highest Civilian Award

Update 11/9/05: The White House announced that it will host an online chat with Cerf and Kahn today at 4:00 EST. If you follow the link you can submit questions right now!

Yesterday the White House announced that Bob Kahn and Vinton Cerf are being awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom for their pioneering work on Internet protocols. The White House notes that they “have been at the forefront of a digital revolution that has transformed global commerce, communication, and entertainment.” This award caps a big year for the research team. As we reported earlier, they won ACM’s Turing Award, which is considered the Noble Prize for computing.

Kahn and Cerf will receive the award along with a 12 other winners at a White House ceremony next week. The winners are quite a diverse selection. Among the winners are Muhammad Ali, Alan Greenspan, General Richard B. Myers, Jack Nicklaus, and Frank Robinson.

About the Presidential Medal of Freedom:

Established by Executive Order 11085 in 1963, the Medal may be awarded by the President “to any person who has made an especially meritorious contribution to (1) the security or national interests of the United States, or (2) world peace, or (3) cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.”

Budget Endgame: Closing a $330 Billion Gap

“Katrina changed everything” is almost a trite saying in DC now, but even unoriginal sayings can be true. Before Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Wilma slammed into the U.S., the federal budget environment was bad but improving. Now intraparty politics have pushed the GOP to negotiate among themselves on deep budget cuts over the next five years — from roughly $40 billion to $370 billion in cuts. Congress won’t be able to close that gap, but in trying IT research and development (R&D) funding is likely to face painful cuts. However, other technology programs might actually get a one-time boost from Congress because of another budget bill. Let’s take a deeper look at what is going on.
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ACM Washington Update, Vol. 9.10 (October 31, 2005)

CONTENTS

[1] Newsletter Highlights
[2] USACM Chair Warns Against Underfunding Cybersecurity Research
[3] USACM and Others Criticize DoD Export Proposal
[4] Data Security Legislation Moving Forward in Congress
[5] U.S. Passports to Get RFID Chips
[6] U.S. Resisting U.N. Pressure on Internet Governance
[7] Events in November
[8] About USACM

[An archive of all previous editions of Washington Update is available here.]
Continue reading “ACM Washington Update, Vol. 9.10 (October 31, 2005)”