Category Archives: Digital Government

Hill Tech Happenings, Week of July 6

Tuesday, July 7, 2015 Briefing: Informal STEM Education 101: A Briefing for Policymakers on the Basics of “What We Mean when We Talk about Informal STEM Education” STEM Education Coalition 2 PM | 2325 Rayburn House Office Building (RSVP to Coalition) Wednesday, July 8, 2015 Hearing: Encryption, Technology, and the Balance Between Public Safety and [...]

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Hill Tech Happenings, Week of June 22

House Floor H.R. 805, Domain Openness Through Continued Oversight Matters (DOTCOM) Act of 2015 H.R. 1626, DHS IT Duplication Reduction Act of 2015, as amended H.R. 1637 Federally Funded Research and Development Sunshine Act of 2015, as amended H.R. 2200, CBRN Intelligence and Information Sharing Act, as amended H.R. 1646, Homeland Security Drone Assessment and [...]

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Vint Cerf Interviews U.S. CTO Megan Smith

ACM Past President Vint Cerf interviewed U.S. Chief Technology Officer Megan Smith for this month’s Communications of the ACM magazine. She spoke on key policy objectives, the need to increase the number of students in STEM fields, and the landscape of U.S. technology competitiveness in the global economy. Smith formerly served as a Vice President [...]

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Hill Tech Happenings, Week of June 15

House Floor Possible consideration of trade legislation. See below for Tuesday’s scheduled floor action. Monday, June 15, 2015 Hearing: Commercial Cyber Espionage and Barriers to Digital Trade in China U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission 9 am | 608 Dirksen Senate Office Building Briefing: “Making a Maker” and Undergraduate Research Congressional STEM Education Caucus and [...]

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FCC Net Neutrality Rules Take Effect

The FCC’s Open Internet Order became effective on June 12. The Order imposes new bright-line net neutrality rules that prohibit broadband providers from blocking, throttling, and prioritizing paid “fast lanes.” The rules apply to both fixed and mobile broadband Internet service. The Order also reclassifies broadband Internet access service as a “telecommunications service” under Title [...]

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FCC Renews Consumer Advisory Committee

The renewed FCC Consumer Advisory Committee held its first public meeting on June 12. The Committee is comprised of 37 appointed representatives from industry, academia, consumer organizations, disability organizations, and regulatory agencies. FCC Chairman Wheeler reappointed Debra Berlyn, representing the National Consumers League, as the Chair. Its mandate is to provide guidance to the FCC [...]

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Hill Tech Happenings, Week of June 8

Monday, June 8, 2015 Congressional briefing: Carnegie Mellon University and IEEE-USA on “What Can Be Done Today to Dramatically Improve Cybersecurity” with Jeremy Epstein, John Haller, and Rob Seacord. 3 pm | 2168 Rayburn House Office Building Tuesday, June 9, 2015 Nominations: LaVerne Horton Council To be Assistant Secretary for Information and Technology at the [...]

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Washington News – Alerts and Updates

General Announcements * USACM signed a letter to President Obama from a variety of civil society organizations urging him to reject proposals that require U.S. companies to deliberately weaken the security of their products. The letter encourages a focus on public policies to promote the wide adoption of strong encryption technology. * USACM submitted comments [...]

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Washington News – Alerts and Updates

General Announcements * USACM submitted comments on the NIST roadmap for usability and accessibility of future elections. USACM’s comments highlight the importance of usable and accessible voting technologies and systems and the need to improve and ensure the right of all voters to cast their votes independently and privately using secure, reliable, usable, and trustworthy [...]

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Washington News – Alerts and Updates

* ACM named Michael Stonebraker of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) recipient of the 2014 ACM A.M. Turing Award for fundamental contributions to the concepts and practices underlying modern database systems. * ACM named Dan Boneh recipient of the 2014 ACM-Infosys Foundation Award in the Computing Sciences for his groundbreaking contributions to the development [...]

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Washington News – Alerts and Updates

* Congress continues to hold budget hearings. * The White House invites nominations for the National Medal of Science. The deadline is April 27. * The White House invites nominations for the National Medal of Technology and Innovation. The deadline is June 1. Voting * The U.S. Election Assistance Commission will hold a roundtable to [...]

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Washington News – Alerts and Updates

* USACM sent congratulatory letters to the three new Commissioners of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission. The letter recommends reestablishing the Technical Guidelines Development Committee, updating the Voluntary Voting Systems Guidelines, updating the testing and certification manuals, and establishing standards for Internet delivery of blank ballots and registration forms. * ACM Immediate Past President Vint [...]

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Washington News – Alerts and Updates

General News • USACM submitted a statement to the U.S. Copyright Office in support of a proposed security research exemption to the prohibitions against circumvention under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). Multiple committees collaborated on the statement. • The U.S. Copyright Office now invites public comments from opponents to the 27 proposed exemptions to [...]

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Washington News – Alerts and Updates

General News • USACM issued a press statement on President Obama’s comments on privacy and security in his State of the Union address. • ACM’s Annual Report FY2014, published this month in the Communications of the ACM, features activities and accomplishments by USACM. • The Identity Ecosystem Steering Group (IDESG), which was called for in [...]

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Washington News – Alerts and Updates

General News • The 114th Congress convened last week with Republicans controlling both the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate. The House has 246 Republicans, 188 Democrats, and 1 vacancy due to Rep. Michael Grimm’s resignation on January 5. The Senate has 54 Republicans, 44 Democrats, and 2 Independents who caucus with the Democrats. [...]

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White House Launches U.S. Digital Service and Digital Resources

On Monday the White House announced the launch of the U.S. Digital Service.  According to the Administration, the Digital Service is a team of digital experts that will work with agencies to improve and simplify the digital experience for citizens and companies interacting with the government.  It will be led by Mikey Dickerson, who was [...]

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USACM Contributes To Big Data Review

As part of the Administration’s review of big data, privacy and the economy, the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) issued a Request for Information (RFI) in March.  The RFI sought comments on the public policy implications of big data, alone with some insights on the potential benefits of big data and the technology [...]

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USACM Provides Input On Next Version Of Open Government National Action Plan

As part of the Obama Administration’s Open Government Initiative, it released a National Action Plan in September 2011. Based in part on its progress on the first version of the Plan, the government is working on version 2.0, and requested input from the public. USACM submitted comments yesterday. A summary of our recommendations to the [...]

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Federal CIO Council Announces Re-Organization

The Federal CIO Council is the primary cross-agency group for information technology management in the government. On Friday the Council announced a major reorganization. Now led by the federal Chief Information Officer, the Council coordinates federal IT management policies, and works with the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the Office of Management and [...]

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Highlights from Clayton Lewis on “The Future of Inclusive Design”

At the FCC today, Computer Science Professor Clayton Lewis asserted a new paradigm for accessibility is emerging and that this paradigm may require changes to public policies related to accessibility, such as Section 508, and intellectual property laws. Professor Lewis, a member of the ACM U.S. Public Policy Council, kicked off today’s FCC’s Accessibility and [...]

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White House Open Data Executive Order Echoes USACM Recommendations

In early May the White House issued an Executive Order outlining a policy to make open and machine readable the ‘default’ for new and ‘modernized’ government information. This Open Data Policy would be implemented for federal agencies over the next few months, with quarterly progress reports following the initial rollout. While the Administration rightly notes [...]

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White House Staff Indicates Machine-Readable Data Will Become Normal Practice; Echoes USACM Recommendations From 2009

During his appearance at a meeting of the President’s Council of Advisers on Science and Technology, federal Chief Technology Officer Todd Park indicated that there would be new government data policies announced in 2013. This follows on the Digital Government Strategy announced in the summer of 2012. One of these policies will be to “makes [...]

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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, [...]

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Former Microsoft Executive to Replace Kundra as Federal CIO

Shortly before Vivek Kundra’s scheduled departure from the position of federal Chief Information Officer, the White House has named his replacement. Steven VanRoekel moves into the position from the U.S. Agency for International Development, where he was its Executive Director of Citizen and Organizational Engagement. He worked for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) before that, [...]

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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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Government Agencies Release Open Government Plans

On Wednesday several federal agencies released open government plans, which is a requirement of the Open Government Directive issued late last year by the Obama Administration. The affected agencies can be found at the Open Government Dashboard, or at the agency’s Open Government page (http://[agency URL].gov/open). They include the major physical science funding agencies: the [...]

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Administration Finally Releases Open Government Initiative

After a few months of waiting, the Obama Administration released its Open Government Initiative last week. The initiative was just the start of what appears to be several steps from this administration to increase the amount of government data made available to the public, and continues a trend started with usaspending.gov, data.gov, regulations.gov, and other [...]

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USACM Comments on Government Website Policy on Web Tracking Technologies

In response to a request for comment from the Office of Science and Technology Policy, today USACM submitted comments on how federal government websites should use web tracking technologies. These technologies include, but are not limited to, cookies, little bits of code that can be deposited on your computer to help the web site your [...]

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Track Federal IT Spending Online

Chief Technology Officer Vivek Kundra unveiled the IT Dashboard yesterday. The focus of this website is providing detail on all information technology investments by the various federal agencies. It’s a graphics-intensive effort, with charts and graphs at your disposal to help examine individual projects, individual agencies, and comparisons across projects and agencies. What’s covered by [...]

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White House To Try Online Brainstorming for Open Government

One of the earliest official actions of the Obama Administration was to issue a memorandum requesting a set of recommendations to inform an Open Government Directive. USACM has expressed interest in technical principles and standards that would support such an effort, and released a set of recommendations to that effect. In late May the White [...]

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Update on Recovery.Gov

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 [...]

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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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Wash. Post: Feds To Mandate Windows for Government-wide Granting System

Update: Dave Schroeder from University of Wisconsin-Madison informs us that his university has developed a useful client for Mac users trying to navigate the system: “The University of Wisconsin has released a standalone package for using Grants.gov on Mac OS X as a service to the community. The package uses Citrix client software and a [...]

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