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Guest Post on Cybersecurity Legislation from Chris Bronk

What follows is a guest post from Chris Bronk, Information Technology Policy Fellow at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy. He’s a new member of USACM, but the post reflects only his thoughts on the Cybersecurity Act of 2012, and not necessarily those of USACM. Digesting the New Senate Cybersecurity Legislation by Chris Bronk [...]

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Has the Cybersecurity Logjam Broke?

Congress has been making noise about passing comprehensive cybersecurity legislation for most of the last two years, prompted in part by the Obama Administration’s cyberspace policy review in 2009. Nearly two years later, the Administration has released a legislative proposal in cybersecurity that may help push legislation further along. Depending on how you count, there [...]

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Hill Tech Happenings, Week of May 9

May 12 Hearing: The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee will hold a hearing on the economic impacts of cyber attacks (previously scheduled for late March). 10 a.m., 253 Russell Building

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Sony-Prompted Hearing Features Testimony from USACM Chair

Prompted by the massive data breaches of Sony’s networks, the Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade of the House Energy and Commerce Committee held a hearing May 3 on data theft and its effects on consumers. One of the witnesses was USACM Chair Eugene Spafford. The committee has a webpage on the hearing, which includes [...]

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USACM Chair to Testify on Data Breaches

Prompted by the recent data breaches of the PlayStation Network and the email marketing company Epsilon, the Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade Subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee will hold a hearing this Wednesday, May 4, on data breaches. They have invited USACM Chair Eugene Spafford to testify. His testimony will focus on the [...]

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Hill Tech Happenings, Week of May 2

May 3 Hearing: The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee will hold a hearing on updating the Presidential Records Act to better handle electronic records. 9:30 a.m., 2154 Rayburn Building May 4 Hearing: The Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade of the House Energy and Commerce Committee will hold a hearing on the threat of [...]

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Policy Highlights from Communications of the ACM – February 2011 (Vol. 54, No. 2)

Below is a list of items with policy relevance from the February issue of Communications of the ACM. As always, much of the material in CACM is premium content, and free content one month may slip behind a pay wall the next. You need to be a member of ACM or a subscriber to CACM [...]

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Policy Highlights from Communications of the ACM – January 2011 (Vol. 54, No. 1)

Below is a list of items with policy relevance from the January issue of Communications of the ACM. As always, much of the material in CACM is premium content, and free content one month may slip behind a pay wall the next. You need to be a member of ACM or a subscriber to CACM [...]

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Administration Issues National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace

Last Friday the Obama Administration released its National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace (NSTIC), a plan to leverage private sector tools to make it easier for some kinds of transactions to happen online. This would include both consumer and government transactions, and attempt to establish a system where identity can be confirmed online in [...]

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USACM Vice-Chair Testifies on Challenges of Electronic Employment Verification

On April 14, Dr. Annie Ant?n, Vice Chair of USACM and Professor in the Computer Science Department of North Carolina State University, testified in front of the Social Security Subcommittee of the House Ways and Means Committee. She was one of the witnesses at a hearing on the Social Security Administration’s role in verifying employment [...]

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Hill Tech Happenings, Week of April 11

April 12 Hearing: The Subcommittee on Federal Financial Management, Government Information, Federal Services, and International Security of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee will hold a hearing on executive branch plans to combat wasteful IT spending 10:30 a.m., 342 Dirksen Building The Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism of the Senate Judiciary Committee will [...]

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Hill Tech Happenings, Week of April 4

April 6 Hearing: The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on the Electronic Communications Privacy Act. 10 a.m., 226 Dirksen Building The Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, Competition and the Internet of the House Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on Internet commerce. 10:45 a.m., 2141 Rayburn Building

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Hill Tech Happenings, Week of March 28

UPDATE: The March 29 hearing on cyber attacks has been postponed. No new date has been scheduled. March 29 Hearing: The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee will hold a hearing on the economic impacts of cyber attacks. 2:30 p.m., 253 Dirksen Building March 30 Hearing: The Subcommittee in Intellectual Property, Competition and the Internet [...]

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Google Books Settlement Remains Unsettled

The ongoing saga of the Google Books case will continue, according to a recent opinion from the judge overseeing the negotiated settlement. Google Books prompted a 2005 suit for copyright infringement because the service offered snippets of copyrighted material for viewing free-of-charge. The parties in the class action suit have been wrestling over a settlement [...]

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Policy Highlights from Communications of the ACM – December 2010 (Vol. 53, No. 12)

Below is a list of items with policy relevance from the December issue of Communications of the ACM. As always, much of the material in CACM is premium content, and free content one month may slip behind a pay wall the next. You need to be a member of ACM or a subscriber to CACM [...]

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ACM Washington Update Vol. 15.2 (March 16 2011)

CONTENTS [1] Newsletter Highlights [2] 2010 ACM A.M Turing Award Recognizes Les Valiant [3] USACM Supports Defense Against FY ‘11 Cuts [4] USACM Comments on Federal Trade Commission Online Privacy Report [5] USACM Joins Statement of Concern Over Expansion of Intercept Law [6] Senate Passes Patent Reform Bill [7] About USACM [An archive of all [...]

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Hill Tech Happenings, Week of March 14

March 14 Hearing: The Intellectual Property, Competition and the Internet Subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on promoting and protecting Internet commerce 4 p.m., 2141 Rayburn Building March 15 Hearing: The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on the Freedom of Information Act in the digital age 10:15 a.m., 226 [...]

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Senate Passes Patent Reform Bill

On March 8 the Senate passed a bill intended to reform the patent system. S. 23, the Patent Reform Act of 2011, would take steps to harmonize the U.S. patent system with those in the rest of the world. The most notable change amongst them is to make the U.S. system based on the first [...]

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2010 ACM A.M. Turing Award Recognizes Les Valiant

Les Valiant, the T. Jefferson Coolidge Professor of Computer Science and Applied Mathematics at Harvard’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, has been recognized for his work in machine learning and the theory of computation with the 2010 ACM A.M. Turing Award. The Award, which comes with a $250,000 prize, is supported in part by [...]

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USACM Supports Defense Against FY ‘11 Science Cuts

USACM signed a letter sent to the Senate leadership last week urging them to resist the deep cuts to science agency budgets approved recently by the House of Representatives. The cuts would be for the remainder of the current fiscal year. The letter was organized by the Task Force on American Innovation and over 165 [...]

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Hill Tech Happenings, Week of March 7

March 8 Meeting: The President’s Council of Advisers on Science and Technology will meet 10 a.m., Marriott Metro Center, 775 12th Street NW, Washington, D.C. (webcast also available) March 9 Meeting: The Data Privacy and Integrity Advisory Committee of the Department of Homeland Security will meet. 1 p.m., Government Printing Office, 732 North Capitol Street, [...]

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Hill Tech Happenings, Week of February 28

March 2 Meeting The Information Security and Privacy Advisory Board will hold one of its periodic meetings. 8:30 a.m., Homewood Suites by Hilton, 1475 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. (continues through March 4, meeting should be webcast) March 3 Information Security and Privacy Advisory Board meeting continues (see March 2) 8:30 a.m., 1475 Massachusetts Avenue, [...]

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USACM Comments on Federal Trade Commission Online Privacy Report

On February 18th, USACM submitted comments in response to the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) preliminary staff report concerning online privacy. Titled “Protecting Consumer Privacy in an Era of Rapid Change,” the report outlines a proposed privacy framework involving the following general principles: Companies should integrate privacy into their regular business operations (a Privacy by Design [...]

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USACM Joins Statement of Concern Over Expansion of Intercept Law

Today the Center for Democracy and Technology released a statement it developed to respond to possible changes to the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA). USACM is one of the organizations that signed on to the statement. The statement was developed due to press reports that there are efforts within the executive branch to [...]

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ACM Washington Update Vol. 15.1 (February 16 2011)

CONTENTS [1] Newsletter Highlights [2] USACM Comments on Proposed Web Accessibility Guidance [3] USACM Responds to Department of Commerce Online Privacy Report [4] Computers Freedom And Privacy Conference 2011 [5] NITRD Program Asked for Input on K-12 Computer Science Education [6] President Signs COMPETES Act Reauthorization [7] About USACM [An archive of all previous editions [...]

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Hill Tech Happenings, Week of February 14

This week the President released his Fiscal Year 2012 budget request. As a result, there will be several events, many of them today, where federal agencies discuss their portion of the request. Congressional hearings on this request will follow over the next few weeks. February 15 Hearing: The Committee on House Administration will hold a [...]

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DC ACM Chapter Co-Hosts Discussion on Digital Government

On February 17th, the D.C. Chapter of the Association for Computing Machinery and the New America Foundation will co-host a panel discussion, “The Open Government Directive: A Year Later.” The Open Government Directive was established by the Obama Administration in order to encourage the disclosure of more federal information online in a usable and accessible [...]

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Hill Tech Happenings, Week of February 7

February 10 Hearing: The Immigration Policy and Enforcement Subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on the E-Verify program, an electronic employment eligibility verification system. 10 a.m., 2141 Rayburn Building Markup: The House Science, Space and Technology Committee will meet to formally organize. 2 p.m., 2318 Rayburn Building

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Policy Highlights from Communications of the ACM – November 2010 (Vol. 53, No. 11)

Below is a list of items with policy relevance from the November issue of Communications of the ACM. As always, much of the material in CACM is premium content, and free content one month may slip behind a pay wall the next. You need to be a member of ACM or a subscriber to CACM [...]

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USACM Responds to Department of Commerce Online Privacy Report

Last month the Internet Policy Task Force (a Commerce Department group drawing on expertise from the Patent and Trademark Office, the International Trade Administration, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration) released a report on commercial data privacy. This complemented the release in the same month of a [...]

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Save the Date – Computers, Freedom and Privacy Conference 2011

The Computers, Freedom and Privacy Conference (CFP) will take place this year June 14 through the 16th in Washington D.C. ACM is one of the conference sponsors. This year’s theme is “The Future is Now.” The CFP, the 21st, will take place at the Georgetown University Law Center. The conference, as the name suggests, tackles [...]

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USACM Comments on Proposed Web Accessibility Rules

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was passed in 1990, and did not address the Internet. However, the Department of Justice established, most notably through a case involving Target, established that the ADA provisions applied to websites. However, the Department has not been forthcoming with guidance on how websites can be made compliant with the [...]

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Hill Tech Happenings, Week of January 31

January 31 Event: The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation will host an event on the bandwidth cost of online piracy. noon, 1101 K Street NW February 2 Briefing: The National Immigration Law Center will hold a briefing on the impacts of a mandatory electronic employment verification scheme. 10 a.m., 2456 Rayburn Building

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Let the Feds Know Your Thoughts on K-12 Computer Science Education

The federal government asks for advice about education fairly regularly. But it isn’t often that it asks specifically what is needed to advance K-12 computer science education. So I was pleasantly surprised when one federal program asked some key questions about K-12 CS education. Members of our community have the opportunity to speak up about [...]

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Hill Tech Happenings, Week of January 10

January 13 Meeting: The Technical Guidelines Development Committee of the Elections Assistance Commission will meet (continues January 14) 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., 100 Bureau Drive, Gaithersburg, MD (also webcast) January 14 Meeting: The Technical Guidelines Development Committee of the Elections Assistance Commission continues its meeting. 8:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m., 100 Bureau Drive, Gaithersburg, MD (also webcast)

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President Signs COMPETES Reauthorization

On Tuesday President Obama signed into law the reauthorization of the America COMPETES Act. The bill continues (among other things) the increasing funding trend for the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the National Science Foundation, and the Office of Science at the Department of Energy started with the American Competitiveness Initiative introduced by President [...]

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ACM Washington Update Vol. 14.5 (January 2011)

CONTENTS [1] Newsletter Highlights [2] FCC Draws Line in the Net Neutrality Sand [3] Computer Science Education Week Extends its Reach [4] USACM Vice Chair Felten Appointed as First FTC Chief Technologist [5] Web Accessibility Bill Becomes Law [6] USACM Expresses Concern Over Intellectual Property Piracy Bill [7] ACM and CSTA Release Report Outlining Challenges [...]

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FCC Draws Line in the Net Neutrality Sand

In what is arguably the end of the beginning of the fights over net neutrality, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted yesterday, 3-2 to establish rules intended to “preserve the Internet as an open network enabling consumer choice, freedom of expression, user control, competition and the freedom to innovate.” Since both court and legislative challenges [...]

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Commerce Department and Federal Trade Commission Seek Guidance on Online Privacy

In the first half of December the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Commerce Department’s Internet Policy Task Force (IPTF) each issued reports focused on privacy online. In both cases the reports are meant as the next step in a process of consultation and feedback between these agencies, the public, and relevant stakeholders. As the [...]

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PCAST Issues Report on NITRD program

On December 16 the President’s Council of Advisers on Science and Technology (PCAST) issued the latest in its Congressionally required assessments of the Networking and Information Technology Research and Development program (NITRD). The report is now available at: http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/microsites/ostp/pcast-nitrd-report-2010.pdf You can watch the webcast of the report release here: http://www.tvworldwide.com/events/pcast/101216/ If you want to review [...]

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Computer Science Education Week Extends Its Reach

This is a repost from Blog@CACM, the blog connected to Communications of the ACM It was written by Debra Richardson, Chair of the 2010 Computer Science Education Week, and ACM Director of Public Policy Cameron Wilson. The 2nd annual Computer Science Education Week (CSEdWeek) wrapped up last week, and thanks to some incredible partner support [...]

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White House Issues Federal IT Reform Plan

Last Thursday the national Chief Information Officer (CIO), Vivek Kundra, issued an implementation plan for reforming federal information technology. It’s a very detailed effort, and some parts of the plan will require Congressional authorization. The full plan is available online. As Mr. Kundra explains in a blog post, the plan comes as part of an [...]

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Hill Tech Happenings, Week of November 29

December 2 Hearing: The Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection of the House Energy and Commerce Committee will hold a hearing on ‘do-not-track’ legislation. This would establish something similar to the do-not-call list for websites. 10:30 a.m., 2123 Rayburn Building

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Start December with an Update on Social Innovation

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. December starts with an opportunity to learn more about new developments in social innovation – digital tools that help connect people with each other and with organizations. On the first the New America Foundation will host an event on technology, social innovation and civic participation. Researchers from the University of Maryland (including [...]

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Hill Tech Happenings, Week of November 22

November 22 Event: The AAAS Center for Science, Technology and Security Policy will host a panel discussion on cybersecurity moderated by former national cybersecurity adviser Richard Clarke. USACM Chair Gene Spafford is part of the panel. 3 p.m., 1200 New York Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C.

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Cybersecurity Policy Discussion Will Include USACM Chair

On November 22, former national cybersecurity adviser Richard Clarke will discuss cybeersecurity and cybersecurity policy at the AAAS in Washington, D.C. As part of the discussion, a panel of experts will join Mr. Clarke to discuss the challenges of forming and implementing government cybersecurity policy. One of those experts is USACM Chair Eugene Spafford. He [...]

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Hill Tech Happenings, Week of November 15

Congress returns to Washington this week for a ‘lame-duck’ session. Beyond some kind of budget action, the legislative agenda is a bit uncertain. November 17 Hearing: The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee will hold a hearing on securing critical infrastructure. 10:30 a.m., 342 Dirksen Building November 18 Markup: The Senate Judiciary Committee will [...]

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USACM Vice Chair Felten Appointed as First FTC Chief Technologist

Ed Felten, noted computer science researcher, Director of Princeton’s Center for Information Technology Policy, and one of USACM’s Vice Chairs, has been appointed Chief Technologist at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). This is a new position for the Commission (the Federal Communications Commission has had one for years), and Felten will serve for a one-year [...]

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Policy Highlights from Communications of the ACM – October 2010 (Vol. 53, No. 10)

Below is a list of items with policy relevance from the October issue of Communications of the ACM. As always, much of the material in CACM is premium content, and free content one month may slip behind a pay wall the next. You need to be a member of ACM or a subscriber to CACM [...]

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ACM and CSTA Release Report Outlining Challenges in K-12 Computer Science Education

At a National Press Club event earlier today, ACM and the Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA) released its report Running on Empty. According to the report, roughly two-thirds of the country have few computer science education standards for secondary school education, and most states treat high school computer science courses as simply an elective and [...]

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National Academies Releases Report on Cyberattack Deterrence

Coming from a call for papers and workshop held earlier this year, the Computer Science and Telecommunications Board of the National Academies has released Proceedings of a Workshop on Deterring CyberAttacks: Informing Strategies and Developing Options for U.S. Policy. The report focuses on the papers presented at a June workshop, and range from general technical [...]

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Policy Highlights from Communications of the ACM – September 2010 (Vol. 53, No. 9)

Below is a list of items with policy relevance from the September issue of Communications of the ACM. As always, much of the material in CACM is premium content, and free content one month may slip behind a pay wall the next. You need to be a member of ACM or a subscriber to CACM [...]

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USACM Expresses Concern About IP Piracy Enforcement Bill

The Senate Judiciary Committee recently introduced the Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act to fight piracy of intellectual property. That is an appropriate goal for Congress to pursue, but the means by which it would happen in the proposed legislation raised concerns amongst several commercial, library and public interest groups. As currently written, the bill [...]

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Hill Tech Happenings, Week of September 27

September 28 The Data Privacy and Integrity Advisory Committee of the Department of Homeland Security will meet. 8:30 a.m., Carl Hayden Room, Government Printing Office, 732 North Capitol Street, N.W., Washington, D.C.

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Policy Highlights from Communications of the ACM – August 2010 (Vol. 53, No. 8)

Below is a list of items with policy relevance from the August issue of Communications of the ACM. As always, much of the material in CACM is premium content, and free content one month may slip behind a pay wall the next. You need to be a member of ACM or a subscriber to CACM [...]

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Hill Tech Happenings, Week of September 20

September 22 Hearing: The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on the Electronic Communications Privacy Act. 10 a.m., 226 Dirksen Building The Consumer Protection, Product Safety and Insurance Subcommittee of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee will hold a hearing on S. 3742, the Data Security and Breach Notification Act of 2010. 2:30 [...]

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CS Education in the States

If you’ve read a recent piece I co-wrote in Communications of the ACM (membership required), you know that the States largely drive education decisions in the US. Because of this, our community has to play “wack-a-mole” when we hear about issues that pop up in the fifty states affecting computer science education. Luckily, the Computer [...]

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Make Recovery.Gov Web 2.0 Friendly

All eyes are on one piece of legislation currently being considered by Congress — The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. This legislation is essentially a massive funding plan intended to help jump start the American economy during the current fiscal year (FY 2009). We’ve been reporting about the science funding provisions of the Act, which [...]

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USACM Makes E-Government Recommendations

With the explosion of user-created content on the web, it is clear that the Federal government should take advantage of this trend by adopting policies that promote the reuse of government data. To help achieve this goal, USACM released the following recommendations and statement on enabling open government. (The press release for this statement can [...]

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ACM Urges Obama To Include Computer Science As A Core Component Of Science And Math Education

Yesterday President-Elect Obama announced his intention to nominate Arne Duncan for the Secretary of Education. Mr. Duncan is currently CEO of Chicago’s school system. On the heels of this announcement, ACM’s Education Policy Committee released a new policy brief to the incoming President making several recommendations to strengthen the state of the computer science education [...]

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New Math and Science Study Shows Rising Elementary Math Scores, Significant Challenges

Yesterday the National Center for Education Statistics released the 2007 Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS). This study assesses math and science at the 4th and 8th grade levels. (Computer science concepts are not tested.) Because the data is presented by NCES (and funded by the U.S. Federal Government) the report is very [...]

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ACM Washington Update, Vol. 10.6 (July 6, 2006)

CONTENTS [1] Newsletter Highlights [2] USACM Releases Privacy Policy Recommendations [3] David Bruggeman Joins ACM’s Policy Office [4] Computing Community Praises Proposed Increases in Science Funding [5] USACM’s Chair Testifies before House Veteran’s Affairs Committee [6] Congress Focuses on Legislating Digital Rights Management [7] Snowbird Conference: The Image of Computing [8] About USACM

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House Fully Funds President’s Science Initiative

Earlier this week the House of Representatives passed legislation to fully fund the President’s American Competitiveness Initiative. CRA’s blog has all the details. With passage of the bill the House is on record supporting an 8 percent increase for the National Science Foundation, and a 14 percent increase to the National Institute of Standards and [...]

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