Author Archives: Cameron

CS Education Gets Congressional Attention

Last week was a huge one for computer science education in the Nation’s Capital. Congressmen from both parties introduced two pieces of legislation – The Computer Science Education Act and the Computer Science Education Week Resolution – intended to help strengthen computer science education. I’ve written before that the road to education reform is long, and progress will [...]

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Computing and the Common Core

K-12 computer science education might get a boost from a recently released document called the Common Core State Standards Initiative (CCSSI). This initiative is historic for the United States. For the first time forty-eight governors have come together to propose a common set of English arts and mathematics standards — which are key drivers of [...]

Posted in Education and Workforce | Comments closed

Beginning to Rethink CS Education at NSF

The President released his $3.8 trillion budget on Monday setting off a flurry of activity in the Nation’s Capital. The budget sets the Administration’s priorities for the big stuff — like how much he wants to spend on education and defense — down the minutia — like how much money the Department of Agriculture wants [...]

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Bono Still Hasn’t Found What He’s Looking For

I don’t get to blog much about technology policy issues anymore, but every once in a while something juicy comes along that is worth spending a few minutes responding to. In Sunday’s New York Times Bono (U2′s lead singer) wrote a piece advocating 10 ideas for the next decade. Among them was a call for [...]

Posted in Intellectual Property | Comments closed

A Week For Computer Science Education

Computer science education reform is going to come in fits and starts working on issues from the top down (national media, federal policy, etc.) and the bottom up (in schools, districts, states, etc.). This week the “top down” piece got a nice boost from Congress by passing a resolution designating the week of December 7 [...]

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Update on Recovery.Gov is one of the first deliverables of the massive funding package better known as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). Mandated by ARRA, the site’s mission is to track all the funding distributed under the recovery legislation in order to promote transparency. USACM has argued that one of the most important things the [...]

Posted in ACM/USACM News, Digital Government | Comments closed

Educating NITRD

As far as obscure government acronyms go, NITRD is a pretty good one. It stands for the National Information Technology Research and Development program. This program cuts across numerous federal agencies to carry out and coordinate investments in IT R&D. In 2007, the President’s Council of Advisory on Science and Technology (PCAST … another doozy [...]

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ACM Turing Award Goes to Creator of Influential Innovations in Computer Software Design

MIT’s Liskov, First U.S. Woman Ph.D. in Computer Science, Pioneered the Standard for Modern Programming Language and Software Reliability ACM, the Association for Computing Machinery, has named Barbara Liskov of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) the winner of the 2008 ACM A.M. Turing Award. The award cites Liskov for her foundational innovations to designing [...]

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USACM Applauds Increased Investment in Research

Today President Barack Obama signed into law the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. This legislation provides billions in funding intended to spur economic growth. A significant portion of the funding is dedicated to research and education investments. Below is USACM’s statement on these provisions: USACM Says Innovations in Computing Drive Economic Growth and Competitiveness NEW [...]

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Congress Finalizes Massive Boost in Science Funding

Late last night Congress released the first high-level details on the final agreement for the American Recovery and Reinvestment package. (For background, this legislation is essentially a massive funding plan intended to help jump start the American economy during the current fiscal year (FY 2009).) The final legislation reportedly contains a massive boost for several [...]

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George Mason University’s E-mail System Compromised: Sends Students Fraudulent Election Information

Early on Election Day morning (at 1:16 AM) George Mason University’s e-mail system sent out a message to students under the Provost’s name stating that the Election Day had been moved to November 5. Here is the text of the message: To the Mason Community: Please note that election day has been moved to November [...]

Posted in E-voting | Comments closed

Google Settles Key Copyright Case

This morning Google announced the settlement of a lawsuit brought against them by the Authors Guild and the Association of American Publishers over their Book Search technology. Google launched this product several years ago, which indexes books that Google scans from partnering university libraries. Book Search allowed full access to out-of-copyright material and snippets of [...]

Posted in Intellectual Property | Comments closed

Washington Post Cites Growing Voter Database Issues

Saturday’s Washington Post detailed growing concerns and political battles over the implementation of new voter registration procedures as states use newly constituted statewide voter registration databases. One of the most difficult issues to resolve is the “no match” problem when state voter registration databases are compared against federal databases (such as the Social Security Number [...]

Posted in E-voting | Comments closed

A Framework For Thinking About Surveillance

Calling on the Executive and Legislative branches of the U.S. Government to “systematically” review every counterterrorism program that deals with personal data and establish new privacy protections, the National Academies recently released a new report examining counterterrorism efforts and privacy rights. In usual academies fashion, the report is a tome. The august body convened a [...]

Posted in Privacy and Security | Comments closed

Primer on IT Workforce Issues

In June, ACM, along with CRA and the National Center for Women in Information Technology (NCWIT), hosted a roundtable discussion with government affairs officials from some of the top IT companies (Microsoft, Cisco, HP, Google, etc.). The goal was to give them perspective on workforce issues that the professional computing organizations find while working within [...]

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ACM E-Voting Expert Named to Key Federal Advisory Committee

Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) recently appointed USACM-EC member Barbara Simon to the Board of Advisors for the Election Assistance Commission. USACM had nominated her along with three other USACM members to serve on the board in the positions reserved for technical and scientific professionals. Our release on Simons appointment is below, and you can find [...]

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Supplemental Funding Bill Boosts Science Spending

Yesterday President Bush signed into law a bipartisan agreement providing supplemental funding for 2008. Most of the funding went toward operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, but Congress and the President agreed to include over $330 million to fund basic research at several Federal agencies. While the final figures are well below what the President originally [...]

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Innovation Class and Voting Standards

Last week we started a series of posts highlighting our high-level comments on the the Election Assistance Commission’s Voluntary Voting System Guidelines (VVSG). Our first post focused on the important new concept — Software Independence. Today’s post focuses on a related new concept — the Innovation Class.

Posted in E-voting | Comments closed

Software Independence and Voting Standards

Three weeks ago, USACM filed detailed comments with the Election Assistance Commission (EAC) on its draft of the Voluntary Voting System Guidelines. (Quick Review: These are proposed Federal standards for voting equipment, which are voluntary in nature but some states require manufacturers follow them.) Realizing that many people will not be able to read through [...]

Posted in E-voting | Comments closed

Congress Moves in Divergent But Similar Directions on Science Funding

Some events highlight the political silliness often infecting Washington better than others. The current fight over the supplemental war funding bill for this fiscal year is one of those occasions. The Washington Times aptly summed up the silliness when it ran the line: “House Passes War Supplemental Without War Funding.” The issue at hand is [...]

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USACM Applauds New Voting System Standards

We are doing a bit of catchup as we are behind on posting to the blog. On Monday USACM filed detailed comments with the Election Assistance Commission (EAC) on the draft 2007 Federal Voluntary Voting System Guidelines. Calling the standards a welcome step forward, USACM supported several important concepts in the draft — including software [...]

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USACM Cautions Against Filtering

Today USACM released a letter (full text below) to Senate and House of Representatives education leaders cautioning against legislation that would promote or require universities to use filters to deal with copyright infringement on their networks. Our position is that filtering technologies are ineffective and costly in the long run because they can be foiled [...]

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AP Computer Science is NOT Going Away

Today’s Washington Post has an article stating that the College Board, (the body that administers Advanced Placement courses) is doing away with several AP courses — including one computer science course. Reading the article, you’d likely reach the conclusion, as attested by e-mails I’ve seen this morning, that all AP computer science courses are being [...]

Posted in Education and Workforce | Comments closed

Call for Proposals: Computers, Freedom and Privacy Conference

The call for panel and speaker proposals has been issued for the 2008 Computers, Freedom and Privacy Conference, which is on May 20-23 in New Haven, CT. More information can be found on the conference’s website. Below is the formal notice. Note the short deadline of March 21 for proposal submissions.

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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 [...]

Posted in E-voting | Comments closed

’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.

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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 [...]

Posted in Innovation, Privacy and Security | Comments closed

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 [...]

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2007 Turing Award Winners Announced

Today ACM announced that Edmund M. Clarke, E. Allen Emerson, and Joseph Sifakis won the 2007 Turing Award. Press release is below. ACM TURING AWARD HONORS FOUNDERS OF AUTOMATIC VERIFICATION TECHNOLOGY THAT ENABLES FASTER, MORE RELIABLE DESIGNS Researchers Created Model Checking Technique for Hardware and Software Designers NEW YORK, February 4, 2008 — ACM, the [...]

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New Voting Study Addresses Usability Concerns

In the debates about the use of electronic voting machines there is a refrain that direct electronic recorder (DRE) voting machines are much easier to use and much more accurate in capturing voter intent than other voting systems. A new comprehensive usability study of five commercial e-voting machines (published by the Brookings Institution) finds that [...]

Posted in E-voting, Web Accessibility | Comments closed

Fallout from the Fiscal Year 2008 Budget

Peter Harsha at the Computing Research Association has a good analysis of the impact that Congress’ flat funding of the physical science agencies will have this year. His analysis (excerpted below) includes the National Science Foundation and the Department of Energy’s Office of Science. We thought that we add the impacts to the National Institute [...]

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’08 Tech Policy Outlook: The “Innovation Agenda”

Continuing our weekly posts reviewing key technology policy issues facing Congress, this week we tackle the so-called “innovation agenda.” This agenda has been defined by a loose collection of business, academic groups and professional/scientific societies (both ACM and CRA work on these issues) interested in improving the innovation ecosystem. The agenda is organized around four [...]

Posted in Education and Workforce, Innovation | Comments closed

MPAA’s Data Oops: How Will Congress React?

This morning the Associated Press reported that a high-profile study the Motion Picture Association of America issued in 2005 is significantly flawed. Specifically, the study said that 44 percent of the industry’s domestic losses came from students’ illegal downloading at universities. Today MPAA says that due to “human error” that figure is more like 15 [...]

Posted in Intellectual Property | Comments closed

’08 Tech Policy Outlook: E-voting

We are starting a series of weekly posts taking a high-level look at some of the hot tech policy issues in Congress for 2008. The first is an area that we’ve already covered extensively — electronic voting reform. Last year three big stories dominated e-voting issues: 1) controversy over how e-voting machines preformed during the [...]

Posted in E-voting | Comments closed

NY Times Magazine Gets E-Voting Right

This past Sunday’s New York Times Magazine has a great piece on the dynamics of electronic voting issues in the United States. The article gets a number of things right and is well worth a read. First, it discusses the relatively recent trend of local election officials asking much tougher questions about the reliability, security [...]

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NSF Education Directorate Seeking Computer Science Expertise

The National Science Foundation’s Education and Human Resources Directorate is looking for a new program director to serve as the point person on computer science education issues. The position is located within the Division of Undergraduate information and the description/duties are below: “The person selected for this position will serve as the Lead Program Director [...]

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Congress Abandons Commitment to Basic Research; Puts NIST in the Construction Business

For two years the debate about how to bolster innovation and competitiveness has consumed Washington. Numerous reports (1,2,3,4,5, we could keep going …) recommended boosting funding for basic research, and science and math education to respond to growing global competition. These drove a bipartisan consensus (and new law — the COMPETEs Act), between the President [...]

Posted in Education and Workforce, Innovation | Comments closed

USACM Comments on Senate E-Voting Legislation

With the House of Representatives e-voting reform legislation stalled, we’ve turned our attention to the Senate. Senator Feinstein (D-CA) is leading the effort to reform e-voting systems. USACM sent the Senator a detailed letter noting that her legislation largely gets the big things correct, but there are some important details that should be addressed. From [...]

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New STEM Ed. Plan Runs Into Old Obstacles

Policy fights often boil down to a rather fundamental debate — federal vs. local control. Education policy always seems to be on the front lines, particularly when it comes to K-12 education. It isn’t surprising to see familiar battle lines being draw over a new plan for coordinating Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education [...]

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IT Job Prospects and Salaries on the Rise

Continued declines in interest and enrollment in computer science has troubled the computing community for the past few years. After the dot-com bubble burst, employment fell and computer science majors rationally followed suit. However, in the past couple of years this trend has continued to puzzle the field’s leaders who hear widespread but anecdotal stories [...]

Posted in Education and Workforce | Comments closed

On Again, Off Again: E-voting Reform Stalls

Update 9/18: Apparently the title for this post is still apt. This legislation made it onto the calendar for House consideration earlier this week, but it looks like, once again, it has been pulled. We don’t expect to see action this week. The delay apparently still revolves around claims of whether the legislation unduly burdens [...]

Posted in E-voting | Comments closed

Top Tech. Advisors Call for New Focus on IT Workers and Curriculum

The President’s top advisory council on science and technology issues today released a report finding that the current supply of U.S. networking and information technology professionals is falling short of what is needed. In addition to an inadequate number of workers, the report states that worker education and training is lacking. To address this, the [...]

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Breakthrough on Innovation Legislation: Congress to Expand STEM Education Programs

Update #2: The Senate passed the final conference report late this evening (8/2/07), so the bill is headed to the President’s desk. Update: The legislation passed the House this evening (8/2/07) by a vote of 367-57. After two years of discussion, Congress has finally agreed to a comprehensive “competitiveness” legislative package intended to create, expand [...]

Posted in Education and Workforce | Comments closed

Key Senate Committee to Hold E-Voting Reform Hearing

With news that Representative Holt’s e-voting reform legislation has stalled (reported in New York Times) attention turns to the Senate this week as it holds a hearing on Senator Feinstein’s e-voting reform legislation. On Wednesday at 10:00 AM, the Senate Rules Committee will hold its first hearing on the Senator’s legislation S. 1487 — The [...]

Posted in E-voting | Comments closed

USACM Urges Revisions to REAL ID Rules

Yesterday USACM filed detailed comments on the Department of Homeland Security’s draft rules for implementing the REAL ID Act. (For background, Congress passed the controversial REAL ID Act in 2005 over the objections of many privacy, security and technology experts. See our posts (1,2) about USACM’s comments on the law.)

Posted in ACM/USACM News, Privacy and Security | Comments closed

E-Voting Reform Clears House Committee; ACM Applauds Congressional Attention

I apologize for overloading the blog today, but this has been a busy week so far. Late yesterday afternoon the Committee on House Administration passed, on a partyline vote, Representative Rush Holt’s legislation — The Voter Confidence and Increased Accessibility Act of 2007. (Here is the amended version that passed out of committee. For background [...]

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House of Representatives Honors Turing Recipient

Today the U.S. House of Representatives passed a resolution honoring Dr. Fran Allen for winning this year’s A.M. Turing award from ACM. Representative Lynn Woolsey (D-CA) introduced the resolution to bring attention to both Dr. Allen’s accomplishments and that she is the first woman to receive this award. Rep. Woolsey noted the problems that the [...]

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What to do about Botnets?

As mentioned on our blog last week (April 25) we cosponsored a Capitol Hill briefing with Microsoft about the growing threat of botnets. (See the post for more information on what botnets are.) Senators Pryor and Bennett made opening remarks about how the Internet is increasingly integrated into society and how computer security is an [...]

Posted in ACM/USACM News, Privacy and Security | Comments closed

Briefing: Learning about the Threats from Botnets

Next Wednesday at 12:00 p.m., ACM and Microsoft are sponsoring a briefing to educate policymakers about the growing threat of botnets. For those not familiar with the issue, ‘bots are malicious software (viruses, worms, etc.) that take over an unsecured computer and place it under the control of a hacker or ‘bot herder’. These computers [...]

Posted in ACM/USACM News, Privacy and Security | Comments closed

A Deeper Look At E-voting Reform: Testing Labs and Audits

We are continuing (regrettably after some delay) to take a deeper look at Representative Holt’s proposal — The Voter Confidence and Increased Accessibility Act of 2007. In my last post, I discussed his central proposal, which is to mandate that all machines produce voter-verified paper ballots that preserve privacy and are durable. Today I’m going [...]

Posted in E-voting | Comments closed

Results from ACM’s International Programing Contest are in; Global Competition Growing

ACM issued the following release after the conclusion of its 31st annual International Collegiate Programming Contest: ACM PROGRAMMING CONTEST SHOWCASES TOP TECH TALENT FROM AROUND THE WORLD ACM President Lauds Competitors, Cites Advantages of Preparing Students to Compete Globally New York, NY – March 15, 2007 – The results of the 2007 ACM International Collegiate [...]

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A Deeper Look At E-voting Reform

For the past few Congresses Representative Rush Holt (D-NJ) has taken the lead on legislation to reform electronic voting. Each year his efforts have garnered deep support from the Democratic party, but each year the legislation stalled with no Congressional action. With the Democrats now controlling Congress, Representative Holt reintroduced his legislation — the Voter [...]

Posted in E-voting, Privacy and Security | Comments closed

Chronicle Prints USACM Response to E-voting Brouhaha

Last month the Chronicle of Higher Education ran a story (subscription required) about the unique relationship the State of Georgia has with Kennesaw State University. The State contracts with KSU to assist with all of Georgia’s e-voting machines, including inspection, ballot databases and training of poll workers. The article generated quite a bit of controversy [...]

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Frances E. Allen Wins ACM’s Turing Award; First Woman To Win

ACM has named former IBM researcher as the winner of this year’s Turing Award — the “Nobel Prize in Computing.” Dr. Allen, known for her award-winning work in program optimization, is the first woman to receive the award. From today’s LA Times story: “When Allen receives the award, which comes with a $100,000 prize, at [...]

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New Offshoring Report, Same Response: Innovation is Critical

The Brookings Institution (a well-respected Washington D.C. think tank) just released a report exploring how offshoring impacts local economies in the U.S. and how public policy should respond. Unfortunately, The San Jose Mercury News wrote a story about how the study predicts that Silicon Valley will lose one out of every five computing jobs over [...]

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Congress Set to Boost Research Funding

This morning House and Senate leaders of the respective Appropriations Committees announced a deal on funding for the current fiscal year. As we’ve reported this year’s funding for most of the federal government has been limbo for months because of the national elections last year. The current Congress faced two choices — extending 2006 funding [...]

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Computing Community Urges Congress to Fix Appropriations Mess

ACM joined with several groups other leaders in the computing community expressing concern over the state of the 2007 budget (which is currently in limbo) for information technology research and development and calling on Congress to complete proposed funding increases for several key science agencies. We’ve mentioned this issue a couple of times (1,2) over [...]

Posted in ACM/USACM News, Innovation | Comments closed

NY Times: Science Agencies Hurt by Congressional Budgeting

Before the New Year, one of the stories we wrote (it is a couple of paragraphs down) was about Congress embracing a full-year “Continuing Resolution” for most federal agencies. They did this because the last Congress only completed 2 of its 13 appropriations bills and decided it would be too complex to pass two sets [...]

Posted in Miscellaneous | Comments closed

Q&A With USACM’s Chair on E-voting

Happy New Year! We usher in 2007 with a continuing story from last year — security and e-voting machines. Computerworld has a good interview with Eugene Spafford, USACM’s Chair and Director of Purdue’s Center for Education and Research in Information Assurance and Security (CERIAS) on the security of e-voting issues. The focus of the interview [...]

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Radical Education Reform in Response to Globalization

We don’t cover broad education issues on this blog, but we do cover aspects of globalization — particularly after ACM’s report on the globalization and offshoring in the software industry. It is hard to separate the two issues. Education is clearly connected to workforce issues, which are, in turn, connected to globalization. Realizing these deep [...]

Posted in Education and Workforce | Comments closed

The Duck Quacks, New House and Senate Chairs Are Named

Congress’ very short lame-duck session came to an end early Saturday morning wrapping up a largely unproductive 109th Congress in the technology policy space. In the waning hours, Congress did pass a few tech-related measures, but left almost all of the funding and competitiveness bills on the table — including funding for the President’s American [...]

Posted in E-voting, Innovation, Privacy and Security | Comments closed

USACM Urges Feds to Adopt Software Independent E-voting Systems

Update: The TDGC rejected NIST’s and the security subcommittee’s recommendations for software independent systems on a 6-6 tie vote. We’ve got a story about the meeting posted here. Update 2: The TDGC reversed course and adopted a compromise resolution that embraces the software indepence concept. David posted a story about it here. Last Thursday we [...]

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Copyright Office Grants Malware Research Exemption to DMCA

We are playing a bit of catch up after the Thanksgiving holiday, so this story is not new news but we wanted to get it on the blog anyway. Last week (the afternoon before Thanksgiving Day) the Library of Congress released its final recommendations for exemptions to the anti-circumvention provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright [...]

Posted in Intellectual Property, Privacy and Security | Comments closed

Meet the New Boss: Outlook for Technology Policy in the Next Congress

Update 11/16/06: One of the problems of doing a laundry-list type post like this is that you miss some issues, and some nuance when trying to summarize complex policy issues. Notably missing from this list are issues such as patent reform and reviving the Office of Technology Assessment (OTA). We don’t follow patent reform very [...]

Posted in E-voting, Education and Workforce, Innovation, Intellectual Property, Privacy and Security | Comments closed

Innovation Task Force to Release Report Benchmarking Competitiveness

Update: Here is a link to the final report. Tomorrow at 11:00AM, The Task Force for the Future of American Innovation, of which ACM is a member, will be releasing a report outlining many different measures of U.S. competitiveness and making the case for increased investment in basic research in the physical sciences. USACM has [...]

Posted in ACM/USACM News, Innovation | Comments closed

Election Day and E-Voting, A Running Blog

Today is Election Day across the United States. The main story is who will control Congress when the polls close, but of equal interest (at least to us) will be the experience of voters’ using e-voting equipment, considering that approximately one-third of voters will be using new, electronic, voting equipment today. In an effort to [...]

Posted in E-voting | Comments closed

Big Thinkers Thinking Big Thoughts About Computing, Part I

Update 10/30/06: Steve Lohr at the New York Times wrote a story about the symposium nicely weaving together the different presentations. Update: David posted part two of this series here. To celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the National Academies’ Computer Science and Telecommunications Board (CSTB), it held an incredible symposium yesterday with luminaries speaking about [...]

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USACM Member To Advise Government on Privacy

Last week the Department of Homeland Security appointed Annie Anton (Professor of Software Engineering at North Carolina State University and USACM-EC member) to serve on the Data Privacy and Integrity Advisory Committee. She is the second USACM member to join the panel. Dr. Lance Hoffman (George Washington University) was appointed to serve last year. The [...]

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ACM Security Experts Urge Paper Trails For Electronic Voting

Today the Committee on House Administration held a hearing titled “Electronic Voting Machines: Verification, Security, and Paper Trails.” Two USACM members testified. Barbara Simons and Ed Felten. Their testimony can be found here and here, respectively. Below is a press release on the hearing. Association for Computing Machinery Advancing Computing as a Science & Profession [...]

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USACM Members to Provide Expert Congressional Testimony on E-Voting Security and Paper Trails

This Thursday at 10:00 the Committee on House Administration will hold a hearing on security, verification and paper trail issues related to e-voting machines. Two USACM-EC members have been invited to testify — Barbara Simons, past president of ACM, and Ed Felten, professor of Computer Science at Princeton University. The hearing will be webcast.

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E-Voting Machines Vulnerable to Viruses

Professor Ed Felten at Princeton University (also a member of USACM’s Executive Committee) and two associates (Ari Feldman and Alex Halderman) released a new study today confirming the security vulnerabilities found with a popular model of Diebold direct recording electronic (DRE) voting machines by many previous studies and exposing new, potentially more serious ones. Professor [...]

Posted in E-voting | Comments closed

Offshoring Implications: Innovate to Succeed

I was planning to post part two of the Fall tech agenda next, but the U.S. General Accounting Office released a good report last week studying offshoring in the semiconductor and software industries. Actually this is the third report on this subject in the past few weeks. (We blogged about the Department of Commerce’s report [...]

Posted in Education and Workforce, Innovation | Comments closed

Fall Outlook: Congressional Tech. Policy Agenda, Part I

Congress ended their summer recess this week with just three short weeks left before heading home again to campaign for the November elections. On the technology policy front, things will likely be busy as several initiatives will wind their way through Congress, but we don’t expect many, if any, on the President’s desk before October. [...]

Posted in E-voting, Innovation, Intellectual Property | Comments closed

USACM Looks Back at FY2006

Each July ACM’s Policy Office staff and USACM’s leadership compile USACM’s annual report for the past fiscal year (which closes on July 31). In this year’s report you will find descriptions of our work on the two major policy-related studies we put out this year: the first on voter registration databases, the second on ACM’s [...]

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USACM Warns Against Technology Mandates

Last year, a Federal Court struck down the Federal Communication Commission’s attempt to mandate a copy protection regime for digital television signals, called the “Broadcast Flag.” In the decision’s wake, the battle moved from the courts to Congress with several different proposals to enact the FCC’s flag proposal into law. At the same time, momentum [...]

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National Academies: Jurisdictions May Not Be Ready for Election Day, Certification Process Generates Skepticism

July has seen a lot of attention focused on e-voting issues. First, the Brennan Center releases a major report on threats to e-voting systems. Then Congress holds a much-needed hearing on e-voting (USACM offered testimony). And this week the National Academies released an interesting new report discussing emerging problems with e-voting systems and making recommendations [...]

Posted in E-voting | Comments closed

Voice Of America: U.S. Computer Programmers Losing Ground

Voice of America ran an article today looking at issues of education and globalization and impacts on the U.S. computer science pipeline. The article starts by pointing out America’s poor showing in ACM’s international programing contest: “From 1977 until 1989, the winner was always a U.S. college team. And American students were among the top [...]

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Scientists Tell Congress It Needs Independent Scientific and Technical Advice

Today the House Science Committee held a hearing exploring Congress’ need for scientific and technical advice. (Witness lists and hearing webcast can be found here.) Eleven years ago, Congress closed the Office of Technology Assessment (OTA). This office was created in 1972 to aid Congress “in the identification and consideration of existing and probable impacts [...]

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Congress Looks into E-Voting Issues, USACM Calls on Congress and the EAC to Close Gaps in Current System

Facing a steady stream of reports about e-voting machine failures and security vulnerabilities, yesterday Congress tackled the question of whether new federal standards will improve this technology. The short answer from the witness and the Members of Congress seemed to be that the standards, while a good first step, were far short of what we [...]

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Interview with ACM’s New President, Stuart Feldman

CNET news has an interview with ACM’s new President, Stuart Feldman on topics ranging from IT education and jobs to the globalization of the IT software industry. He specifically mentions ACM’s recent globalization report and that it shows there is strong demand in the IT industry for skilled employees. Here is an excerpt from the [...]

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Blogging from Snowbird : The Image of Computing

I’m at the Computing Research Association’s (CRA) biannual biennal Snowbird conference that brings together the leaders of the computer science (CS) community. Yesterday’s opening session was a great overview of funding issues by Ed Lazowska. If you’ve been reading CRA’s blog for the past year, you’ve heard most of his talk. His main point was [...]

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USACM Chair, Eugene Spafford, Calls for More Accountability at the VA

Testifying before Congress about the recent databreach at the Veterans Affairs (VA) Department, Eugene Spafford (Spaf) argued that this breach was a policy problem rather than technology one. (His full testimony can be found here.) Noting that government, industry and academia all have systemic problems with how accountability is built into information security policies, two [...]

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USACM Releases Privacy Policy Recommendations

With security breaches revealing millions of personal records, new surveillance programs being adopted by law enforcement, calls for data to be retained longer by Internet Service Providers, the role of privacy and technology is very much on the minds of policymakers. The most common refrain from advocates is for Congress to enact a comprehensive privacy [...]

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Flagging the Senate Telecommunications Bill

Senator Ted Stevens (R-AK), Chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee has unveiled his proposal for reforming the Telecommunications Act of 1996. (He plans to take the bill up in committee on Thursday of this week.) The bill tackles a broad range of issues including universal service, video franchising, wireless networks, digital television and more. This [...]

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Computing Community Leaders Praise House Appropriators for Increasing Research Funding to Aid Competitiveness

USACM and the Computing Research Association released the following joint statement regarding Congress’ support of increased research funding: Association for Computing Machinery Advancing Computing as a Science & Profession Contacts: Peter HarshaComputing Research Association (202) 202-234-2111×106 Cameron WilsonAssociation for Computing Machinery (202) 659-9712 Washington, DC — Leaders of the Computing Research Association (CRA) [...]

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House Subcommittee Approves Substantial Increase for the National Science Foundation

Update: USACM and the Computing Research Association released a joint statement regarding Congress’ support of increased research funding. The release can be found here. This morning the Science, State, Justice and Commerce Appropriations Subcommittee passed its proposal for funding several key science agencies during the next fiscal year. The numbers for the National Science Foundation [...]

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David Bruggeman Joins Policy Office

Please join me in welcoming David Bruggeman to the ACM policy staff. David joins ACM as our Public Policy Analyst, where he will be working on a wide range of technology policy issues. He is currently working on his Ph.D in Science and Technology Studies (with a concentration in Politics and Policy) at Virginia Tech. [...]

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ACM Washington Update, Vol. 10.5 (June 6, 2006)

CONTENTS [1] Newsletter Highlights [2] Commerce Department Shelves “Deemed Export” Proposal [3] Computer Scientists Find Significant New Security Vulnerabilities In E-voting Machines [4] VA Department Loses Personal Information On 26.5 Million Vets [5] NSA Building Massive Database Of Domestic Calls [6] Innovation Bills on the Move in the Senate, House Not Far Behind [7] About [...]

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Hill Tech Happenings, Week of June 5

June 7 Markup: House Science Committee will markup three “innovation” bills (among others): HR 5356, Early Career Research Act of 2006 HR 5357, Research for Competitiveness Act of 2006 HR 5358, Science and Mathematics Education for Competitiveness Act of 2006 2:00 p.m. – 4:00p.m. 2167 Rayburn Bldg. June 8 Briefing: Internet Caucus Advisory Committee “Net [...]

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Innovation Legislation Moves Forward

Last week the Senate Commerce Committee passed its approach to bolstering U.S. competitiveness by authorizing more funding for research programs at the National Science Foundation, among other things. This is one of the many bills floating around to address this issue. Peter Harsha at the Computing Research Association has good coverage of the markup including [...]

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