Monthly Archives: October 2004

USACM & CRA Issue Joint Letter in Support of NIST Funding

USACM and the Computing Research Association (CRA) recently sent a joint letter to Congressional appropriators in support of funding for the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) laboratories. In the letter, USACM and CRA describe the crucial and broadly beneficial nature of NIST’s work and voice support for funding levels equal to (or higher) [...]

Posted in ACM/USACM News, Innovation | Comments closed

Diverse groups criticize passenger screening program

“A diverse set of organizations submitted comments this week criticizing the Homeland Security Department’s revised airline passenger pre-screening system known as Secure Flight, hoping to thwart the effort before it gets off the ground. Organizations such as the American Civil Liberties Union, Business Travel Coalition, Electronic Privacy Information Center and American Conservative Union filed their [...]

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Judge Dismisses Touch-Screen Voting Suit

“MIAMI – Eight days before Election Day, a federal judge ruled Monday that Florida’s touch-screen voting machines do not have to produce a paper record for use in case a recount becomes necessary. U.S. District Judge James Cohn said that the machines “provide sufficient safeguards” by warning voters if they have not cast a vote [...]

Posted in E-voting | Comments closed

Electronic Voting Raises New Issues

” Electronic voting systems that were touted as the solution to the paper ballots and hanging chads of the 2000 presidential election have become a new source of controversy as experts debate the reliability of software that operates the new systems, whether local election officials have the technical competence to run them and how there [...]

Posted in E-voting | Comments closed

Presidential candidates comment on technology policy

Peter Harsha has an interesting post on CRA’s Computing Research Policy weblog about CompTIA’s recent questions for the Bush and Kerry campaigns about technology policy.

Posted in Miscellaneous | Comments closed

F.C.C. to Seek Net Telephone Oversight

“FCC Chairman Michael Powell said Tuesday that he would seek broad regulatory authority for the federal government over Internet-based telephone services to avoid stifling the emerging market. Powell told a receptive audience at an industry conference that letting states regulate Voice over Internet Protocol,or VoIP, services would lead to a patchwork of conflicting rules like [...]

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Researchers and registrars debate e-voting

From Slashdot: Paper Trail writes “There’s a fascinating discussion going on right now over at A group of computer scientists, journalists, voting activists, and county registrars are discussing the e-voting mess in an online forum that runs all this week. The panel is a who’s who of e-voting: Avi Rubin, David Dill, David Jefferson, [...]

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F.T.C. Files First Lawsuit Against Spyware Concerns

“The Federal Trade Commission formally announced yesterday its first assault against spyware – bits of computer code that surreptitiously install themselves on the computers of Internet users to track their activities, push them to Web sites, barrage them with advertisements, and otherwise wreak havoc with their machines. The commission filed a lawsuit in a federal [...]

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E-voting recommendation adopted by Council of Europe Committee of Ministers

“The Council of Europe Committee of Ministers [has agreed to] the first international legal text on e-voting in elections and referendums. The recommendation sets out a blueprint for governments planning to use new technologies for future elections and referendums. [...] The legal and technical guidelines of the Council of Europe indicate how to build, run [...]

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ACLU concerned about plans to use RFID tags in driver’s licenses

“Testimony Before the Virginia Legislature on House Joint Resolution 162, Considering the Creation of Smart Driver’s Licenses [...] I [Chris Calabrese, Counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union’s Technology and Liberty Program] am going to talk today about the numerous very real and practical problems associated with placing RFID chips in drivers’ licenses. They include: [...]

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Commentary: Are The Copyright Wars Chilling Innovation?

“[...] Today’s turmoil over copyrights contains a disturbing new twist, however. Digital technology — from MP3 players to software that makes it easy to build Web pages — shatters almost all of the technical barriers to duplicating and sharing copyrighted works. That has caused unparalleled anxiety among copyright holders. As a result, music and movie [...]

Posted in Innovation, Intellectual Property | Comments closed

D.C. showdown looms over file swapping

“[...] Technology companies and the record industry are nearing a last-minute showdown on Capitol Hill over a controversial bill [the Induce Act, S. 2560] aimed at quelling file swapping. [...] A round of negotiations between the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and technology organizations closed this week without reaching compromise, according to people familiar [...]

Posted in Intellectual Property | Comments closed

Senate postpones today’s scheduled Induce Act review

“The Senate Judiciary Committee has postponed a final review of the Induce Act after negotiations among the principal parties involved in crafting the bill collapsed. Technology organizations, consumer groups and the entertainment industry failed to reach a consensus on the language of the proposed bill, which would make it illegal to encourage copyright infringement. “It’s [...]

Posted in Intellectual Property | Comments closed

Induce Act Talks Sputter

“After four days of painstaking negotiations, technology and consumer groups said they have failed to reach a consensus with the entertainment industry on the language of the Induce Act, a proposed bill making it illegal to encourage copyright infringement. Nevertheless, the bill, introduced by Sens. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont), is still scheduled [...]

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PPI report: RFID legislation unwarranted

The Progressive Policy Institute has published a report (PDF) on radio frequency identification (RFID) technology, cautioning the government against early efforts to regulate the technology: [...] PPI believes that the call for RFID legislation is not yet warranted. Instead, industry should continue its efforts to educate customers about RFID technology and to notify them when [...]

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ACM Washington Update Vol. 8.9 (September 30, 2004)

CONTENTS [1] ACM Leadership Approves Position Statement on Voting Systems [2] USACM Joins Diverse Coalition Seeking Hearings on the Induce Act [3] USACM Launches New Web Site and Tech Policy Weblog [4] Congress to Take Action on 9/11 Commission Recommendations [5] International Developments in Cybercrime, Spam, and Internet Governance [6] Upcoming Events of Interest to [...]

Posted in ACM/USACM News | Comments closed

Senate interest in large-scale data mining network

“The Senate could pass a bill as early as Wednesday evening that would let government counter-terrorist investigators instantly query a massive system of interconnected commercial and government databases that hold billions of records on Americans. The proposed network is based on the Markle Foundation Task Force’s December 2003 report, which envisioned a system that would [...]

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Appeals court to reconsider e-mail snoop case

“A federal appeals court said Tuesday that it will reconsider its June 29 decision that dismissed a case against a man accused of snooping on clients’ e-mail messages. In that case, which has drawn fire from Capitol Hill, a three-judge panel said that Bradford Councilman, a former executive for an online bookseller, did not violate [...]

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House passes Bono spyware bill

“Companies and others that secretly install “spyware” programs on people’s computers to quietly monitor their Internet activities would face hefty federal fines under a bill the House passed Tuesday. [...] The House proposal, known as the “Spy Act,” adds civil penalties over what has emerged as an extraordinary frustration for Internet users, whose infected computers [...]

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President Bush, Senator Frist name health IT group members

“A new commission to set a strategy and timeline for implementing health care IT standards is taking shape. On Friday, President Bush and Senate majority leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) named the initial members of the Commission on Systemic Interoperability. The group, by November of next year, must recommend standards that will serve as the foundation [...]

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Schneier: Passport radio chips send too many signals

“Since the terrorist attacks of 2001, the Bush administration – specifically, the Department of Homeland Security – has wanted the world to agree on a standard for machine-readable passports. Countries whose citizens currently do not have visa requirements to enter the United States will have to issue passports that conform to the standard or risk [...]

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FCC’s Robert Pepper Interviewed

“[...] Robert Pepper is the FCC’s chief of policy development, which requires him to be a kind of government futurist, advising Chairman Michael Powell on which regulations are wise and which would be harmful. He’s also co-chairman of the FCC’s Internet Policy Working Group. Previously, Pepper directed the Annenberg Washington Program in Communications Policy Studies. [...]

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E-Voting Fans: The Disabled

“[...] While many voter rights’ advocates are fighting to decertify electronic voting machines, arguing they’re not reliable, one bloc remains steadfast behind the new equipment — disabled voters who say the machines give them long-denied privacy. “The need for greater access by millions of people should not be overshadowed by this concern about security to [...]

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U.S. Cybersecurity Chief Abruptly Resigns

“The government’s cybersecurity chief has abruptly resigned after one year with the Department of Homeland Security, confiding to industry colleagues his frustration over what he considers a lack of attention paid to computer security issues within the agency. Amit Yoran, a former software executive from Symantec Corp., informed the White House about his plans to [...]

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