Category Archives: Privacy and Security

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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USACM Signs Letter to President Obama Urging Wide Adoption of Encryption Technology

USACM signed a letter to President Obama from a variety of civil society organizations urging him to pursue public policies that encourage the wide adoption of strong encryption technology. The letter is responsive to public statements by Obama Administration officials suggesting that U.S. companies should not provide strong encryption in products and services unless the [...]

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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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NIST Seeks Comments on Electronic Authentication Guideline

NIST seeks public input on which sections of its Electronic Authentication Guideline need updating. Given the evolving landscape of cybersecurity technological innovations and threats targeting remote authentication, NIST is considering a “significant update.” This technical guideline for federal agencies implementing electronic authentication was last updated in 2013. It supplements OMB’s E-Authentication Guidance for Federal Agencies. [...]

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U.S. Copyright Office to Hold Public Hearings on DMCA Exemptions

The U.S. Copyright Office will hold public hearings in May on the proposed exemptions to the prohibitions against circumvention of copyrighted works given in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). The public hearings will be held May 19-21 in Los Angeles, California and May 26-29 in Washington, D.C. The final agenda identifies the proposed exemptions [...]

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FCC Seeks Comments on Cybersecurity Risk Management and Best Practices Report

The FCC seeks public comments on the report on “Cybersecurity Risk Management and Best Practices” submitted by the FCC Communications Security, Reliability and Interoperability Council. The 415-page report involved 100+ cybersecurity professionals in a yearlong, multistakeholder effort to develop the first cybersecurity guidance for the communications sector, which includes the broadcasting, satellite, cable, wireless, and [...]

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Federal Agencies Seek Comments on Federal Cybersecurity Research and Development Strategic Plan

Federal agencies involved in the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) and the Networking and Information Technology Research and Development (NITRD) Program seek public input on the priorities and objectives to be included in a cybersecurity research and development strategic plan. Called for by Congress in the Cybersecurity Enhancement Act of 2014, the strategic plan [...]

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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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National Telecommunications and Information Administration Seeks Comment on Multistakeholder Process for Drones

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) issued a Request for Comments on a multistakeholder process for commercial and private use of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS or drones). The goal of the process is to develop and communicate best practices in privacy, transparency, and accountability for drone use. This multistakeholder process is required by a [...]

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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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Administration Releases Discussion Draft for Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights

On February 27 the Obama Administration released its discussion draft for a Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights.  The Administration released a framework for a Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights in 2012, calling on Congress to enact it into law. The Administration’s proposal includes the proposed Privacy Bill of Rights as well as enforcement provisions, a [...]

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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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President and FAA Act On Drone Activity

On February 15th the President issued an Executive Memorandum on the domestic use of unmanned aerial systems (UAS/drones).  That same day the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) proposed new regulations for the routine use of some small UAS.  Once those regulations are published in the Federal Register, the public will have 60 days to submit comments. [...]

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President Speaks at Cybersecurity Summit and Signs Information Sharing Executive Order

Today the White House hosted a Cybersecurity and Consumer Protection Summit at Stanford University.  The event was announced last month as part of the Administration’s rollout of cybersecurity initiatives in advance of the State of the Union address.  Discussions during the Summit touched on secure payments (part of the Administration’s BuySecure initiative), public-private collaboration, and [...]

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USACM Submits Comments For Security Research DMCA Exemption

On February 6 USACM submitted a short comment to The Copyright Office in support of an exemption to the prohibitions against circumvention outlined in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).  Our comments were in support of an exemption for Software – Security Research (Class 25 of the twenty-seven classes open for comment).  This is part [...]

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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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U.S. Copyright Office Invites Public Input for 2015 DMCA Rulemaking

The U.S. Copyright Office is accepting public input on proposed exemptions to the prohibitions against circumvention under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). This process takes place every three years. The deadline for the first round of public submissions of factual and legal support is February 6 and is limited to supporters of the proposed [...]

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Administration Includes Computing Initiatives In State of The Union Preview

This week the Obama Administration has been previewing some of the topics the President will cover in his State of the Union address.  That speech will take place next Tuesday, January 20, at 9 p.m. Eastern.  (If you watch the address via the White House website, it will include supporting charts and graphs.)  Many of [...]

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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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President Signs Cybersecurity Legislation

The President signed several cybersecurity bills toward the end of 2014.  Much of the legislation signed by President Obama affects various cybersecurity functions within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS): Federal Information Security Modernization Act (S. 2521) – Updates the Federal Information Management Security Act of 2002.  The Office of Management and Budget would oversee [...]

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Federal Spending Bill – What’s in the ‘Cromnibus’ for Tech Policy?

The House last night released the $1 trillion “Cromnibus” bill to fund the government through September 2015. It combines an omnibus spending bill for 11 of the 12 annual appropriations bills for FY 2015 and a continuing resolution (CR) for DHS funding through February. The omnibus bill includes provisions on cybersecurity, cyber theft of intellectual [...]

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USACM Members Testify Before Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board

The Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB) met in Washington D.C. on November 12 to take testimony on privacy in the context of counterterrorism programs.  The board heard from four panels of experts, two of whom were USACM members testifying in their individual roles as privacy and technology researchers.  Video of the meeting is [...]

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USPTO and NIST To Host Multistakeholder Meeting on Cybersecurity and Patents in Silicon Valley on November 14

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), in partnership with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), will host the first multistakeholder Cybersecurity Partnership Meeting on November 14 in Menlo Park, California. The public meeting will focus on the intersection of cybersecurity with intellectual property, with a particular focus on patents. The event is [...]

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USACM Submits Comments On National Privacy Research Strategy

On October 17, comments closed on a Request for Information from the Networking and Information Technology Research and Development (NITRD) program.  Agencies in this program are working on a National Privacy Research Strategy, and sought input from the public.  Specifically, the request asked for input on the privacy objectives that would inform the strategy.  The [...]

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USACM Focuses On Roadmap In Cybersecurity Framework Comments

As part of its work on the Cybersecurity Framework (Framework), the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) sought comments from stakeholders on their experiences with it.  USACM has followed the development of the Framework since the 2013 Executive Order that required it.  We submitted comments on a preliminary outline of the Framework back in [...]

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NITRD Agencies To Develop National Privacy Research Strategy

The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy has asked a steering group in the Federal Networking and Information Technology Research and Development (NITRD) Program to lead development of a National Privacy Research Strategy.  As part of this effort, there is a Request for Information (RFI) seeking comment.  Submissions (of no more than 20 [...]

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NIST Will Present Draft Privacy Engineering Objectives

On Thursday, October 2, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has a webcast scheduled to present its draft (including a discussion deck) Privacy Engineering Objectives and Risk Model.  The development of these materials has been informed by two Privacy Engineering workshops that NIST co-hosted with the International Association of Privacy Professionals. The current [...]

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The Food And Drug Administration Seeks Input On Medical Device Security

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced a workshop on medical device cybersecurity for October 21 and 22 in Arlington, Virginia.  Titled “Collaborative Approaches for Medical Device and Health Care Cybersecurity,” the event is intended for a broad audience of stakeholders engaged in health care and public health.  The workshop will be webcast, but [...]

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NIST Continues To Take Feedback On The Cybersecurity Framework

(Edited September 4 to focus on NIST activities concerning the Cybersecurity Framework) The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has posted a Request for Information on the Cybersecurity Framework, with a deadline for comments of October 10.   Developed and administered by the (NIST), the first version of the Framework was released in February of [...]

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USACM Comments On Intersection Of Big Data And Consumer Privacy

Yesterday USACM responded to a Request for Comment from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA).  In response to a recommendation in the Administration’s Big Data report released in May, the NTIA solicited public comment on how the Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights could support big data. In its comments, USACM notes that while big [...]

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ACM Europe Council and U.S. Public Policy Council Address Computing Issues in EU-US Free Trade Agreement

The ACM Europe Council and the ACM U.S. Public Policy Council presented a consensus position on policy issues relevant to the computing field to negotiators of a new EU-U.S. free trade agreement. ACM Europe Council Chair Fabrizio Gagliardi delivered the remarks for consideration at the sixth round of negotiations for the proposed Transatlantic Trade and [...]

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Supreme Court Recognizes Technology Matters

Guest blog post written by Mark Rasch, U.S. Public Policy Council member The Supreme Court has always had to consider the impact of new technologies on both individuals’ expectations of privacy and ultimately on their rights to be free from “unreasonable” searches and seizures under the Fourth Amendment. When the telephone was invented, the court [...]

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U.S. Supreme Court Tells Police to “Get a Warrant” for Cellphone Searches

The U.S. Supreme Court recently unanimously ruled that law enforcement need to obtain a warrant to search a cellphone seized incident to an arrest. The decision addressed two separate warrantless cellphone search cases before the Court – one involving a smartphone and one involving a flip-lid phone. In the new balancing of law enforcement needs [...]

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FCC Chairman Offers Thoughts On Cybersecurity

In remarks at the American Enterprise Institute on June 12, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler outlined how he sees the Commission addressing cybersecurity.  While perhaps not the first government entity that comes to mind when thinking about cybersecurity, the FCC is concerned with the operations of networks, and would certainly be interested in keeping [...]

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DARPA Launches Cyber Grand Challenge

Today marks the start of the Cyber Grand Challenge, organized by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).  The New York Times has a lengthy article on the challenge, which involves over 35 teams deploying automated cybersecurity solutions.  There’s also an extensive commercial website devoted to the event.  The teams will receive a suite of [...]

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Two Administration Big Data Reports Hint At Policy Challenges Ahead

In early May the White House and the President’s Council of Advisers on Science and Technology (PCAST) each issued reports on ‘big data’ as part of the Administration’s 90-day big data review.   John Holdren, co-chair of PCAST and the President’s science adviser, was involved with both reports.  USACM submitted comments to the Office of [...]

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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 Describes The Systems Engineering Analysis It Recommends For Surveillance Programs

In comments to both the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board and the Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies, USACM recommended the use of an independent systems engineering analysis to review the design and operation of complex processes and systems.  Our members spent some time further considering what should go into such an analysis, [...]

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USACM Supports Creation of a New Public Interest Trade Advisory Committee

USACM today strongly supported the creation of a new Public Interest Trade Advisory Committee in its comments submitted to the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR). The Public Interest Trade Advisory Committee would serve as a new mechanism for stakeholder input on trade policy issues. USACM encourages the Advisory Committee, once established, to [...]

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NIST Cloud and Mobility Forum and Workshop on March 25-27, 2014

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) will host a free NIST Cloud and Mobility Forum and Workshop on March 25-27, at its campus in Gaithersburg, Maryland. The event will include panel discussions and presentations on future directions for the accessibility, usability, reliability, security, and privacy of mobile devices and [...]

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White House Seeking Input For Its Big Data Review

Following on the announcement in January that the White House would be reviewing Big Data and its influence on privacy and the economy, the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) has been seeking input from the public and other stakeholders.  The office has already co-sponsored two conferences on big data.  The first was at [...]

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Administration Launches Big Data and Privacy Review

As part of the government response to public concerns over national security surveillance programs, the President announced in January that there would be a review of government activity related to the collection and use of ‘Big Data.’  The effort will involve several government bodies, and is led by White House Counselor John Podesta.  He will [...]

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Reports On Surveillance Programs Vary In Engagement With Technology

In January both the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB) and the President’s Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies (Review Group) issued their reports on intelligence surveillance programs.  USACM submitted comments to both PCLOB and the Review Group.  In its comments, USACM outlined technical issues and constraints that make effectively implementing these programs [...]

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PCAST Releases Cybersecurity Report

Following its November meeting, the President’s Council of Advisers on Science and Technology (PCAST) released a letter report on cybersecurity.  The report follows a classified briefing PCAST gave to the President back in February. The report encourages that the federal government and the private sector avoid static procedures on cybersecurity and pursue “a set of [...]

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Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies Hears from USACM

In light of the leaks surrounding U.S. national intelligence surveillance efforts, President Obama appointed a group to review those programs to determine if they are in the best possible balance with other national interests.  This Review Group requested comments from the public on its charge: “[W]hether, in light of advancements in communications technologies, the United [...]

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Cybersecurity Framework Now At Discussion Draft Stage

While cybersecurity legislation slowly inches forward in Congress, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is moving faster in implementing its responsibilities under the recent Executive Order on cybersecurity. Last month we noted that NIST circulated a draft outline of the Cybersecurity Framework (H/T Nextgov). Now there’s a discussion draft of the actual Framework. [...]

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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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The Executive Branch Works On Implementing the Cybersecurity Executive Order

Since the President issued an Executive Order on cybersecurity information sharing back in February, several groups have worked on implementing parts of that order. The Senate Commerce Committee has also gotten in on the act, recently approving a bill that would put some parts of the executive order into law. While a draft of the [...]

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USACM Outlines Limitations Of Computing For Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board

The Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB) is an independent federal agency established based on recommendations of the 9/11 Commission. It’s responsible for reviewing executive branch actions in relation to counterterrorism activities to ensure that privacy and civil liberties concerns are part of the conversation in developing and reviewing such policies. In light of [...]

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USACM Encourages Flexibility In Proposed Cybersecurity Framework

As part of the President’s Executive Order on Cybersecurity, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is required to develop a Cybersecurity Framework (Framework). This Framework, per Section 7 of the Executive Order, would “include a set of standards, methodologies, procedures, and processes that align policy, business, and technological approaches to address cyber risks.” [...]

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Cyber Week Recap

Plenty of techies, carrying an array of digital devices and looking for power outlets, swarmed Capitol Hill last week for the so-called “cyber week” in the U.S. House of Representatives. To give you some idea of the number of tech lobbyists on scene, Wednesday’s huddle began with the announcement that one major tech company alone [...]

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House Intelligence Committee Tries Again With CISPA

On April 10 the House Intelligence Committee will review H.R. 624, the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act. The Committee approved an almost identical bill last year, and USACM released a statement expressing serious concerns with the bill. While press reports indicate that several amendments will be up for consideration during tomorrow’s hearing, the text [...]

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Do Not Track Legislation Reintroduced in Senate

On Thursday Senator Rockefeller of West Virginia introduced legislation to establish an option for people to opt out of tracking their online activity. It is S.418 and can be reviewed online. The Senator introduced a similar bill in 2011. He did not vigorously pursue the measure, in part because of efforts by several parties to [...]

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USACM Chair Comments on Cybersecurity Executive Order

On Tuesday, as part of the State of the Union address, President Obama issued an executive order on cybersecurity. The order focuses on the cybersecurity of critical infrastructure – defined in the order as “systems and assets, whether physical or virtual, so vital to the United States that the incapacity or destruction of such systems [...]

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Federal Trade Commission Updates Online Privacy Rules For Pre-Teens

On Wednesday the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced the final updated rules for implementing the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). Passed in 1998, COPPA rules had not been updated to reflect changes in technology, most notably the rise of mobile internet access and mobile applications. The final rules will take effect on July 1, [...]

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USACM Offers Comments on Federal Cybersecurity R&D Strategy

The National Science Foundation (NSF) sought comments on the Federal Cybersecurity Research and Development Plan. The plan was released in late 2011, and NSF was interested in getting feedback from the research community on the effectiveness of the plan. Yesterday USACM submitted comments in response to this request, outlining our interests in cybersecurity research and [...]

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USACM Comments on House Cybersecurity Information Sharing Bill

In late April the House considered and passed several pieces of cybersecurity legislation. At the time USACM released a statement with general recommendations for cybersecurity bills. Of the bills that passed the House, H.R. 3523, the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA), has attracted the most concern. The bill is currently in the Senate [...]

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The House Will Engage With Cybersecurity Legislation This Week

While Congress has tried to pass major cybersecurity legislation for the last few years, this week marks what could be a major step forward in finally getting a bill to the President’s desk. The House leadership has scheduled four cybersecurity bills for votes on Thursday and Friday of this week. The bills up for consideration [...]

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USACM Offers Recommendations On Data Privacy Codes of Conduct

Part of the Obama Administration’s proposed online privacy initiative involves consumer data privacy codes of conduct. These codes would be developed through a multi-stakeholder process, and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) is responsible for convening those processes. To that end, NTIA released a request for comment in early March (the deadline was extended [...]

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Federal Trade Commission Pushes Forward With Online Privacy Initiative

Yesterday the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) released the final version of its report on consumer privacy online. It issued a draft report in December 2010 and received over 450 comments in response, including those filed by USACM. The final report retains the same general framework outlined in the December 2010 draft, and is broadly consistent [...]

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USACM Comments on the Menlo Report

On Monday USACM submitted comments to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on the Menlo Report, which was issued in September 2011. The goal of the report was to extend ethical guidelines for research involving human subjects to computer and information security research. It based its framework on the Belmont Report for 1979, which developed [...]

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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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USACM Statement on SOPA and PROTECT IP

This week, as opposing views on the Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act of 2011 (S. 968, the PROTECT IP Act, or PIPA) and the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA – H.R. 3261), come increasingly increasingly into focus—Wikipedia and other opposing organizations stage a blackout, the Motion Picture [...]

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Computing Researchers Weigh in on Changes to Human Subjects Research Regulations

The Department of Heath and Human Services is planning to revise what it calls the Common Rule – the regulations overseeing federally funded research involving human subjects. These regulations were last updated in the early 1990s, so the proposed changes try to catch up with the advances in research and in computing since that time. [...]

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Growing Trust – Cybersecurity and the Internet and Information Innovation Sector

In August USACM submitted comments on the draft green paper “Cybersecurity, Innovation and the Internet Economy” issued by the Internet Policy Task Force of the Department of Commerce. This work by the Task Force is an important recognition of how cybersecurity and privacy can support each other as they help ensure that the online environment [...]

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USACM Notes Concerns with Proposed SSA Online Authentication Process

Like many federal agencies, the Social Security Administration (SSA) is trying to provide more services in a time of limited resources. As part of its efforts to better serve the public, the SSA is working on an online authentication system to help ensure that the people it is interacting with online are indeed the people [...]

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USACM Summer Recap: Comments on NSTIC Governance

Often things slow down in the summer, but that’s not been the case for USACM this year. We’ve been busy commenting on various government proposals related to computing and will post about that work over the next few days. The National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace (NSTIC) is a government-wide effort to work with [...]

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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USACM Comments on National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace

In late June the White House issued a second Draft of the National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace. They opened a public comment process only on an Ideascale online space for three weeks. As a result, USACM was only able to generate a short list of comments on the draft strategy, which it submitted [...]

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Senator Lieberman and Colleagues Introduce Another Cybersecurity Bill

Cybersecurity legislation is sort of popular in this Congress. Several bills have been introduced, but there are enough cybersecurity bills working through the process that it’s unclear whether or not anything will be passed by the time this Congress ends in the fall. The latest cybersecurity legislation was introduced yesterday by Senators Lieberman, Collins and [...]

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USACM Comments on Internet Privacy Bill Discussion Draft

Representatives Rick Boucher (D-Virginia) and Cliff Stearns (R-Florida), who are the chair and ranking member of the House Subcommittee on Communications, Technology and Internet, introduced a discussion draft of an internet privacy bill in early May. This was done to solicit comments from the public and interested stakeholders prior to officially introducing the bill. You [...]

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Draft Internet Privacy Bill Released

Representative Rick Boucher, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Communications, Technology and the Internet released a discussion draft of an internet privacy bill. The bill, which was released with the Ranking Member of the subcommittee, Representative Cliff Stearns, addresses consumer information collected online by companies. A copy of the discussion draft is available via Rep. Boucher’s [...]

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USACM and CRA Express Concerns Over Cybersecurity Legislation

Lost within all the health care legislation coverage was the release of a new draft of S.773, the Cybersecurity Act of 2010. The new draft was released a week before the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee is scheduled to hold a markup of this legislation. The bill had made some waves last summer when [...]

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National Research Council Announces Prizes in Cyberdeterence Research

The Computer Science and Telecommunications Board (CSTB) of the National Research Council (NRC) has announced prizes for research in cyberdeterrence. The CSTB announced prizes for papers submitted that address at least one of the Questions of Interest described in their call for papers. The deadline for papers is July 9. However, the CSTB committee running [...]

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