Hill Tech Happenings, Week of July 30

The Senate will consider cybersecurity legislation this week. Several amendments will be introduced and debated on the floor.

July 31

The Oversight of Government Management, the Federal Workforce and the District of Columbia Subcommittee of the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee will hold a hearing on federal data security and privacy law.
10 a.m., 628 Dirksen Building

The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation is hosting a briefing on spectrum allocation policies for mobile technology.
12 noon, B-318 Rayburn Building

The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee will review pending legislation, including a bill to extend a law concerning investigations of online activity across borders.
2:30 p.m., 253 Russell Building
ETA: House markup on its similar bill takes place the same afternoon.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee will meet to consider pending bills, including one to extend the law concerning investigations of online activity across borders.
4 p.m., 2123 Rayburn Building

August 1

The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee will hold a hearing on legislation related to taxing sales handled over the Internet.
2:30 p.m., 253 Russell Building

Hill Tech Happenings, Week of July 23

July 24

The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation is holding a briefing on assistive voting technology for veterans.
9:30 a.m., 188 Russell Building

The House Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on sales and use tax laws, including sales conducted online.
10 a.m., 2141 Rayburn Building

July 25

The Intellectual Property, Competition and the Internet Subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on cloud computing technology and challenges.
12:30 p.m., 2141 Rayburn Building

Hill Tech Happenings, Week of July 16

July 17

The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing on the electric grid and cybersecurity.
10 a.m., 366 Dirksen Building

July 18

The Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology and the Law of the Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on facial recognition technology, including its online applications.
2:30 p.m., 226 Dirksen Building

July 19

The President’s Council of Advisers for Science and Technology (PCAST) will meet.
9 a.m., 2101 C Street NW, Washington

USACM Makes Recommendations On Continuity Of E-Government

One of the consequences of the recent East Coast storm was that several cloud computing services were knocked off line for several hours. As government services and information make greater use of the web and cloud services, interruptions to those services will have a greater impact during the next outage. To address such a situation, USACM has developed recommendations for federal agencies to better prepare for when storms or other challenges increase the stress on providing government information and services online. We submitted those recommendations to U.S. Chief Information Office Steven VanRoekel earlier this week.

While the USACM recommendations are focused on federal agencies, the nature of the suggestions could be adapted for state and local governments.

  • Agencies should prepare plans and procedures to minimize website interruption and/or disruption. Under the guidance of the Federal Chief Information Officer (CIO) in collaboration with agency Chief Information Officers, federal agencies should develop the capacity to have backup sites available in the event that an agency website is rendered inoperable. Such a plan would include a prioritization of services and information in the event a full backup is not possible under particular circumstances.
  • The Federal CIO should develop plans to minimize website interruption/disruption for the Executive Office of the President and the federal government. Such plans would include practices and principles that agencies can use in general, or customize to fit their specific digital public services and agency needs. Such practices and principles could include a chain of control for websites and designations of alternate personnel in case primary website personnel are unavailable.
  • Federal government plans should coordinate federal e-government tools and resources with local and state e-government services. The federal government should exchange best practices with state and local governments and develop communication protocols for information exchange among key-government agency contacts in the event of outages and/or reduced services. This communication exchange should also go from state and local governments to the federal government as appropriate.

USACM will be circulating the recommendations over the next few weeks, and exploring possible next steps in this area.

Hill Tech Happenings, Week of July 9

July 10

Deputy Chief Technology Officer Daniel Weitzner will be featured in a discussion on federal Internet policy making.
12 noon, The Hudson Institute, 1015 15th St. NW, Washington. (also available online)

July 12

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration will host a day long meeting on developing a consumer data privacy code of conduct for mobile phone services.
9:30 a.m., Department of Commerce Building, 14th and Constitution, Washington, D.C.

The program office for the National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace (NSTIC) is hosting a webinar covering the newly announced steering group and upcoming meeting. (Registration required)
1 p.m., online only (Register here)