VVSG Comment Period Extended

In November the EAC began a 120 day comment period on the next iteration of the Voluntary Voting System Guidelines, which are the Federal standards for all voting equipment. Today the EAC extended that deadline by another 60 days, pushing it to roughly May 5. USACM plans to file comments.

To review and comment on the standards follow this link.

Hill Tech Happenings, Week of February 25

February 26
Hearing:
The Research and Science Education Subcommittee of the House Science and Technology Subcommittee will hold an oversight hearing on the National Science Foundation.
10 a.m., 2318 Rayburn Building

February 27
Hearing:
The Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee will hold a hearing on election administration. The Commissioners of the Election Assistance Commission are scheduled to testify.
10 a.m., 2359 Rayburn Building
Continue reading “Hill Tech Happenings, Week of February 25”

’08 Tech Policy Outlook: Health Privacy and Health IT

A policy goal – like privacy protections – that has been tried repeatedly over the last few years has been legislation or other efforts to encourage the adoption of health information technology. Previous attempts have stalled somewhere in the halls of Congress, and the most recent health legislation – HIPAA – the Health Insurance Portability and Acountability Act has prompted criticism from some that the bill overregulates and from others that health privacy is at risk. This year there are two bills that legislators will try and navigate through Congress that stand the best chance of becoming law. There will no doubt be others, but the two I will discuss below have already attracted the attention of those groups interested in health privacy and health information technology (like with many other issues, privacy is a factor in health information technology).

The Wired Act, S 1693, sponsored by Senator Kennedy (D-MA) and co-sponsored by 12 other senators (including the two Democratic presidential contenders), was introduced last year and has been approved by the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. Its focus is on health information technology. The bill, in its current form (which is available online), would do the following (among other things):
Continue reading “’08 Tech Policy Outlook: Health Privacy and Health IT”

'08 Tech Policy Outlook: Health Privacy and Health IT

A policy goal – like privacy protections – that has been tried repeatedly over the last few years has been legislation or other efforts to encourage the adoption of health information technology. Previous attempts have stalled somewhere in the halls of Congress, and the most recent health legislation – HIPAA – the Health Insurance Portability and Acountability Act has prompted criticism from some that the bill overregulates and from others that health privacy is at risk. This year there are two bills that legislators will try and navigate through Congress that stand the best chance of becoming law. There will no doubt be others, but the two I will discuss below have already attracted the attention of those groups interested in health privacy and health information technology (like with many other issues, privacy is a factor in health information technology).

The Wired Act, S 1693, sponsored by Senator Kennedy (D-MA) and co-sponsored by 12 other senators (including the two Democratic presidential contenders), was introduced last year and has been approved by the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. Its focus is on health information technology. The bill, in its current form (which is available online), would do the following (among other things):
Continue reading “'08 Tech Policy Outlook: Health Privacy and Health IT”

’08 Tech. Policy Outlook: Filtering Reality

This year action on large or overarching changes to copyright policy is a long-shot. Nonetheless, Congress may address two copyright issues related to technology policy — increased penalties related to copyright infringement and technology-based filtering of protected content. With filtering legislation already moving through Congress, this post takes a closer look at this issue.

Continue reading “’08 Tech. Policy Outlook: Filtering Reality”

'08 Tech. Policy Outlook: Filtering Reality

This year action on large or overarching changes to copyright policy is a long-shot. Nonetheless, Congress may address two copyright issues related to technology policy — increased penalties related to copyright infringement and technology-based filtering of protected content. With filtering legislation already moving through Congress, this post takes a closer look at this issue.

Continue reading “'08 Tech. Policy Outlook: Filtering Reality”

Increases Proposed for Basic Research Agencies; NIST Proposes New Cyber Security Program

For the past few years we’ve been following funding for three key physical science agencies — The National Science Foundation (NSF), The Department of Energy Office of Science (DoE), and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Last week the President released his proposed budget for fiscal year 2009, which contains some healthy increases for these agencies. Below is snapshot table of the proposal and a more detailed look at NIST’s budget, and, as usual, CRA has in-depth coverage as well.

Continue reading “Increases Proposed for Basic Research Agencies; NIST Proposes New Cyber Security Program”

Task Force Recommends Dismissing Florida 13 Contest

As noted in a previous blog post, this morning the Task Force on the contested Florida 13th District election met briefly to hear the final report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO). The GAO was asked to review the election machines (and previously conducted tests of those machines) used in Sarasota County in order to determine their role in the high undervote rate for that particular election.

In testimony this morning (available at the GAO website), the GAO indicated in their testing that they could find no evidence that the voting machines contributed to the undervotes. Since the scope of their investigation was limited to the machines, they cannot – and did not – make any conclusions about what did contribute to the undervotes. The GAO report does note that a paper trail would have made their investigations a lot easier by providing an independent means of confirming the accuracy of the machine vote.

As a result of this testimony, the Task Force voted unanimously to recommend that the Committee on House Administration dismiss the contest of the 2006 election in Florida’s 13th District. The full committee will act soon on this recommendation. How the public responds to this, in Florida or elsewhere, is anyone’s guess.

USACM Submits Letter Commenting on New Holt Legislation

Yesterday USACM sent a letter to Representative Rush Holt commenting on his newest piece of electronic voting legislation, HR 5036. The bill, the Emergency Assistance for Secure Elections Act of 2008, provides money to jurisdictions that rely on DRE voting machines to purchase paper trail systems in time for the general election. At the same time, USACM indicated a need for further electronic voting reform, such as the reforms discussed in Rep. Holt’s other e-voting legislation, HR 811, currently stalled in the House.

From the letter:
Continue reading “USACM Submits Letter Commenting on New Holt Legislation”

ACM to Cosponsor Tribute to Jim Gray

On May 31, 2008, ACM, IEEE-CS and the University of California, Berkley, along with family and colleagues, will host a tribute and a technical symposium honoring Dr. Jim Gray. Dr. Gray has been missing at sea since January 2007. He is a former Turing Award winner (widely considered as the top prize in the computing field) and was considered a visionary in the field of computing, particularly as a database expert.

Some details are below. Here is the website:

http://www.eecs.berkeley.edu/ipro/jimgraytribute

Tribute to Honor Jim Gray
May 31, 2008
University of California, Berkeley

A Tribute to Honor Jim Gray: Legendary computer science pioneer, known for his groundbreaking work as a programmer, database expert, engineer, and his caring contributions as a teacher and mentor.

General Session
Zellerbach Hall, UCB
9:00 am – 10:30 am

Speakers:
Shankar Sastry, Joe Hellerstein, Pauline Boss, Mike Olson, Paula Hawthorn, Mike Harrison, Pat Helland, Ed Lazowska, Mike Stonebraker, David Vaskevitch, Rick Rashid, Stuart Russell
All are welcome. Registration is not required.

Technical Session
Wheeler Hall, UCB
Please see website for session times.

Presenters:
Bruce Lindsay, John Nauman, David DeWitt, Gordon Bell, Andreas Reuter, Tom Barclay, Alex Szalay, Curtis Wong, Ed Saade, Jim Bellingham
All are welcome. Registration is required, see below.