Hill Tech Happenings – Week of April 11

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Hearing: To examine the status of innovative technologies in advanced manufacturing
Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee
10 am | 366 Dirksen Senate Office Building

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Hearings: Seven Communications Bills
House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology
10:15 am | 2322 Rayburn House Office Building
Addressing broadband and spectrum issues

Markup: H.R. 699, Email Privacy Act
House Judiciary Committee
10:30 am | 2141 Rayburn House Office Building

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Hearing: Blackout! Are We Prepared to Manage the Aftermath of a Cyber-Attack or Other Failure of the Electrical Grid?
House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings, and Emergency Management
10 am | 2167 Rayburn House Office Building

Hearing: Evaluating Veterans’ Affairs IT: Scheduling Modernization and Choice Consolidation
House Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee on Health, Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations
10 am | 334 Cannon House Office Building

Hearing: Oversight of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade
10 am | 2123 Rayburn House Office Building
Discussing self-driving vehicles

Hearing: International Trade Commission Patent Litigation
House Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet
10 am | 2141 Rayburn House Office Building

Hearing: Can the IRS Protect Taxpayers Personal Information?
House Science, Space, and Technology Subcommittee on Research and Technology
10 am | 2318 Rayburn House Office Building

Hill Tech Happenings, Week of March 14

House and Senate committees continue to hold FY17 hearings. Members face deadlines for programmatic and language submissions for consideration in FY17 appropriations bills.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Markup: H.R. 2666: No Rate Regulation of Broadband Internet Access Act
House Energy and Commerce Committee
5 pm | 2322 Rayburn House Office Building

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Budget Hearing: Federal Communications Commission
House Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government
2 pm | 253 B-308 Rayburn House Office Building

Hearing to Examine the Future of Self-Driving Cars
Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee
2:30 pm | 253 Senate Russell Office Building

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Budget Hearing: National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
House Science, Space, and Technology Subcommittee on Research and Technology
10 am | 2318 Rayburn House Office Building

Budget Hearing: National Science Foundation
House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies
10:30 am | H-309 The Capitol

Disrupter Series: Digital Currency and Blockchain Technology
House Energy and Commerce: Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade
11 am | 2123 Rayburn House Office Building

Budget Hearing: U.S. Cyber Command: Preparing for Operations in the Cyber Domain
House Armed Services Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities
2 pm | 2212 Rayburn House Office Building

Hearing: VA Cybersecurity and IT Oversight
House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on Information Technology
2 pm | 2247 Rayburn House Office Building

Hearing: Army Unmanned Aircraft Vehicle and Air Force Remotely Piloted Aircraft Enterprises
Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities
2:30 pm | SR-222 Russell Senate Office Building

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Privatizing the Internet Assigned Number Authority
House Energy and Commerce: Communications and Technology
10:15 am | 2123 Rayburn House Office Building

Nominations for 5th Annual FCC Chairman’s Awards for Advancement in Accessibility

Two weeks left for nominations for the 5th Annual FCC Chairman’s Awards for Advancement in Accessibility. The Chairman’s Awards aim to highlight and encourage innovation in accessible technologies, standards, and best practices that will benefit people with disabilities. The deadline for nominations is March 31, 2016.

Nominations can include a product, service, technology, or practice introduced publicly in 2015. Individuals, businesses, organizations, or other public or private entities can submit nominations. Self-nominations also will be accepted.

Criteria include:

  • Unique and inventive
  • Extent to which disability needs are addressed and/or impacted by the effort
  • Number of people likely to benefit
  • Affordability and availability
  • Whether recognition would help foster additional innovation and accessibility

Nominations should include a brief description of the innovation, the award category, the date the innovation was introduced to the public, and why the innovation qualifies for the Chairman’s Award.

The winners will be recognized at a ceremony to be held in Washington, D.C. in June 2016.

For more information, visit the FCC’s website.

Hill Tech Happenings, Week of March 7

Senate Committees hold hearings on the proposed budget request for fiscal year 2017. This week is a designated district work period for the House.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Field Hearing: Commercializing on Innovation: Reauthorizing the Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer Programs Part II
House Small Business Subcommittee on Contracting and the Workforce
1 pm | Lynn Massachusetts City Council Chambers

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Hearing: Up in the Air: Examining the Commercial Applications of Unmanned Aircraft for Small Businesses
Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee
10 am | 428A Russell Senate Office Building

USACM Comments on DMCA Section 1201

USACM submitted comments to the U.S. Copyright Office for its study on the effectiveness of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) and the permanent and temporary exemptions allowing lawful circumvention of technological measures of copyrighted works. The U.S. Copyright Office will use the public input to inform its report to Congress and its recommendations on possible legislative, regulatory and policy reforms.

The DMCA and its exemptions have important implications for lawful, noninfringing uses of copyrighted works, such as socially beneficial reverse engineering, encryption research, computer privacy and security research, accessibility for people with disabilities, and educational activities.

The DMCA forbids the circumvention of technological measures controlling access to copyrighted content, subject to some limited exemptions. Eight permanent exemptions allow for circumvention for certain permissible activities, such as security testing, reverse engineering, data privacy protections, controlling Internet access by minors, education, law enforcement, some uses of analog devices, and ephemeral recordings. As required by Section 1201 of the DMCA, the Register of Copyrights conducts triennial rulemakings to consider temporary exemptions where the prohibition would adversely affect noninfringing uses during the upcoming 3-year period.

Given the lack of adequate protections of the permanent exemptions, USACM has supported and helped achieve temporary exemptions for certain types of noninfringing computing-related activities. USACM’s input during the triennial rulemakings has helped show that the permanent exemptions provide inadequate civil and criminal liability protections for computing professionals engaged in noninfringing uses that benefit consumers, educators, and the public.

In the most recent triennial rulemaking, USACM’s comments helped contribute to the granting of a special exemption for security research on voting machines and a security research exemption for computing programs used to operate consumer-oriented devices and machines, land vehicles, and medical devices. The voting exemption went into effective immediately in October 2015. The security research exemption, to become effective in October 2016, excludes research into systems such as nuclear power plants and air traffic control systems. The security research “must not put members of the public at risk” and needs to be primarily for the purpose of promoting “security or safety.” Research must be conducted “in a controlled setting designed to avoid harm to individuals or the public.” In cases of medical devices, the research cannot be on medical devices “that are being used, or could be used, by patients” or for “patient care.”

Highlights from USACM’s comments for the Section 1201 study:

• Presumptive Renewals
USACM urges the Copyright Office to favor presumptive renewals of triennial exemptions in cases where there is no credible opposition. This will help improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the triennial rulemaking process. The current requirements to provide the factual and legal evidence anew each time can result in significant inefficiencies and duplication of effort by all parties and the Copyright Office. Shifting the burden to require interested parties to show why the renewal should not be granted could help focus the examination on any significant changes, such as in the marketplace or in technological advancements. Further, the more efficient processes of presumptive renewals could allow the Copyright Office to more effectively examine petitions for new exemptions.

• Treatment of Non-Copyright Policy Issues
USACM urges the Copyright Office to clarify that non-copyright policy issues are outside the scope of Section 1201. This includes privacy and security measures used for non-copyright purposes, reverse engineering, security and privacy research, and other research and development activities. These activities should not require exemptions because they do not constitute infringement. If the Copyright Office concludes that they are within the scope of Section 1201, they should be protected as permissible activities under expanded permanent exemptions.

• Permanent Exemptions
To the extent that the Copyright Office finds noninfringing activities as within the scope of Section 1201, USACM would favor statutory amendments that provide more effective permanent exemptions to enable socially beneficial reverse engineering, encryption research, computer privacy and security research, accessibility for people with disabilities, and educational activities. This would ensure that Section 1201 targets only those circumventions that enable copyright infringement.

Read the full-text of USACM’s comments.

About USACM
The comments were developed by the ACM U.S. Public Policy Council (USACM), which serves as the focal point for ACM’s interaction with the U.S. government in all matters of U.S. public policy related to information technology. USACM is comprised of computer scientists, educators, researchers, and other technology professionals. USACM members have experience with privacy, security, data mining, and machine learning algorithms that are used to extract patterns and understanding from large datasets.

Hill Tech Happenings, Week of February 29

The House Appropriations Committee and the Senate Appropriations Committee will hold budget hearings this week.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Hearing: The Encryption Tightrope: Balancing Americans’ Security and Privacy
House Judiciary Committee
1 pm | 2141 Rayburn House Office Building

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Hearing: Smart Health: Empowering the Future of Mobile Apps
House Science, Space, and Technology Subcommittee on Research and Technology
10 am | 2318 Rayburn House Office Building

Hearing: Geolocation Technology and Privacy
House Oversight and Government Reform Committee
10 am | 2154 Rayburn House Office Building

Hearing: Oversight of the FCC
Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee
10 am | 253 Russell Senate Office Building

Hearing: Commercializing on Innovation: Reauthorizing the Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer Programs
House Small Business Committee
11 am | 2360 Rayburn House Office Building

Budget Hearing- Department of Energy, Science
House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies
1:30 pm | 2362-B Rayburn House Office Building

Budget Hearing – Library of Congress and United States Copyright, Program Project and Activity Review
House Appropriations Subcommittee on the Legislative Branch
2:30 pm | HT-2 The Capitol

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Markup: S. 2555, the MOBILE NOW Act
Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee
10 am | 253 Senate Russell Office Building
The bill addresses spectrum usage and wireless broadband services.

Hearing: Disrupter Series: Wearable Devices
House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade
10 am | 2123 Rayburn House Office Building

Budget Hearing- National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Ocean Worlds Budget
House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies
10:30 am | H-309 The Capitol

NIST Seeks Public Comments on the Use of Randomness to Protect Data

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is seeking public comment on draft design principles and requirements for randomness in cryptography and security applications. Comments are due by May 9.

The 75-page Second Draft of Special Publication on the Recommendation for the Entropy Sources Used for Random Bit Generation (SP 800-90B) proposes validation processes and testing requirements to assess an entropy source’s performance.

“This draft document proposes a lot of tests that you can use to validate your entropy source to tell you how good a job it is doing,” says NIST’s Elaine Barker, one of the publication’s authors. “When you’re assessing your process for generating randomness, you want to make sure nothing is broken and that it is performing consistently. We would like the public’s input on ways we can improve these tests.”

Commentators are especially encouraged to provide feedback on several open issues, including:

  • Requirements for validation testing and post-processing functions
  • Entropy assessment when using a conditioning component
  • Multiple noise sources when sources are independent versus dependent
  • Health testing, including the Repetition Count test and the Adaptive Proportion test

Conformance testing for its implementation will be within the framework for the Cryptographic Algorithm Validation Program (CAVP) and the Cryptographic Module Validation Program (CMVP).

Hill Tech Happenings, Week of February 22

The House Appropriations Committee is holding 26 budget and oversight hearings this week. All open hearings will be webcast.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Hearing: ESSA Implementation in States and School Districts: Perspectives from Education Leaders
Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee
10 am | 430 Dirksen Senate Office Building

Hearing: Budget Hearing – Department of Commerce
House Appropriations Committee – Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies
4:30 pm | H-309 The Capitol

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Hearing: Unlocking the Secrets of the Universe: Gravitational Waves
House Science, Space, and Technology Committee
10 am | 2138 Rayburn House Office Building

Hearing: Examining the Policies and Priorities of the U.S. Department of Education
House Education and the Workforce Committee
10 am | 2175 Rayburn House Office Building

Hearing: Establishing Accountability at the World Intellectual Property Organization: Illicit Technology Transfers, Whistleblowing, and Reform
House Foreign Affairs Committee
2 pm | 2172 Rayburn House Office Building

Hearing: Department of Defense Fiscal Year 2017 Science and Technology Programs: Defense Innovation to Create the Future Military Force
House Armed Services Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities
2 pm | 2212 Rayburn House Office Building

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Hearing: World Wide Threats
House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence
9 am | HVC-210 The Capitol

Hearing: An Examination of Changes to the U.S. Patent System & Impacts on America’s Small Businesses
Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee
10 am | 428A Russell Senate Office Building

Hearing: The Space Leadership Preservation Act and the Need for Stability at NASA
House Science, Space, and Technology Committee
10 am | 2318 Rayburn House Office Building

Hearing: Next Steps for K-12 Education: Upholding the Letter and Intent of the Every Student Succeeds Act
House Education and the Workforce Committee
10 am | 2175 Rayburn House Office Building

Hearing: Probing DHSs Botched Management of the Human Resources Information Technology Program
House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Oversight and Management Efficiency
10 am | 311 Canon House Office Building

Hearing: International Conflicts of Law Concerning Cross Border Data Flow and Law Enforcement Requests
House Judiciary Committee
10 am | 2141 Rayburn House Office Building

Hearing: Emerging Cyber Threats to the United States
House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, and Security Technologies
2 pm | 311 Canon House Office Building

Friday, February 26, 2016

Hearing: Disrupter Series: 3D Printing
House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade
10 am | 2123 Rayburn House Office Building

Nominations for 5th Annual FCC Chairman’s Awards for Advancement in Accessibility

The FCC invites nominations for the 5th Annual FCC Chairman’s Awards for Advancement in Accessibility. The Chairman’s Awards aim to highlight and encourage innovation in accessible technologies, standards, and best practices that will benefit people with disabilities. The deadline for nominations is March 31, 2016.

Nominations can include a product, service, technology, or practice introduced publicly in 2015. Individuals, businesses, organizations, or other public or private entities can submit nominations. Self-nominations also will be accepted.

Criteria include:

  • Unique and inventive
  • Extent to which disability needs are addressed and/or impacted by the effort
  • Number of people likely to benefit
  • Affordability and availability
  • Whether recognition would help foster additional innovation and accessibility

Nominations should include a brief description of the innovation, the award category, the date the innovation was introduced to the public, and why the innovation qualifies for the Chairman’s Award.

The winners will be recognized at a ceremony to be held in Washington, D.C. in June 2016.

For more information, visit the FCC’s website.