Monthly Archives: January 2005

ACM Washington Update Vol. 9.1 (January 31, 2005)

CONTENTS [1] Cameron Wilson Begins as ACM Policy Office Director [2] Numerous Briefs Filed in MGM v. Grokster Case [3] New Legislation on National Standards for Driver’s Licenses [4] PITAC Approves Report on Federal Cybersecurity R&D [5] White House Names New Homeland Security Director [6] Upcoming Events [7] About USACM [An archive of all previous [...]

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Congress Puts Spyware on Hit List

“The powerful House Commerce Committee on Wednesday made anti-spyware legislation a top priority, with members hoping to vote it out of committee in the next two to three weeks. “This is on the fast track, and we hope to be marking this bill up in the very near future,” said committee chairman Joe Barton (R-Texas). [...]

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U.S. Asks High Court to Curb File Swapping

“The government’s top lawyer has asked the Supreme Court to overturn the ruling that allowed the makers of online song- and movie-swapping software to stay in business. The legal brief, filed late yesterday by Acting Solicitor General Paul D. Clement, supports the entertainment industry’s bid to shut down song-swapping networks such as Kazaa and Grokster [...]

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Tech Firms to Seek Legal Protection From Pirating

“Several large technology corporations will urge the U.S. Supreme Court today to continue to shield businesses and innovators from legal responsibility if their products or services are used by consumers for illegal acts. The companies, including industry giants Microsoft Corp., Yahoo Inc., Google, America Online Inc. and Apple Computer Inc., will argue in court filings [...]

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Powell to Resign FCC Chairmanship

“Michael K. Powell will step down as chairman of the Federal Communications Commission after nearly four often-rocky years as the government’s top media and telecommunications regulator, the agency has confirmed. Powell, 41, the son of outgoing Secretary of State Colin L. Powell, informed his bureau heads this morning of his decision, which he said was [...]

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State bill could cripple P2P

“A bill introduced in California’s Legislature last week has raised the possibility of jail time for developers of file-swapping software who don’t stop trades of copyrighted movies and songs online. The proposal, introduced by Los Angeles Sen. Kevin Murray, takes direct aim at companies that distribute software such as Kazaa, eDonkey or Morpheus. If passed [...]

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One Last Election Lesson

“The November election may feel like ancient history, but it is still going on in North Carolina. The state has been unable to swear in an agriculture commissioner because a single malfunctioning electronic voting machine lost more ballots than the number of votes that separate the two candidates. The State Board of Elections, the candidates [...]

Posted in E-voting | Comments closed

French researcher charged with violating copyright laws

Ed Felten has an interesting post on his “Freedom To Tinker” weblog right now regarding a French researcher who has been charged with violating copyright laws for publishing the results of his research. CNET has the story, here, as well.

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Sen. Hatch to chair new intellectual property subcommittee

Senator Orrin Hatch will be the chair of a new intellectual property subcommittee in the Senate Judiciary Committee, according to National Journal’s Technology Daily [subscription req'd]. As chair of the full Judiciary Committee in the 108th Congress, Hatch sponsored the controversial “Induce Act,” which ultimately failed to win approval. USACM was very involved in the [...]

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Ridge wants fingerprints in passports

“The United States should issue passports that include a full set of the bearer’s fingerprints, Tom Ridge, the departing secretary of homeland security, said Wednesday. Mr. Ridge said the change would induce foreign governments to do the same on the passports they issue. Privacy advocates promised to fight the Ridge suggestion, in part because it [...]

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Snooping by satellite

“When Robert Moran drove back to his law offices in Rome, N.Y., after a plane trip to Arizona in July 2003, he had no idea that a silent stowaway was aboard his vehicle: a secret GPS bug implanted without a court order by state police. Police suspected the lawyer of ties to a local Hells [...]

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Privacy at DHS

“Privacy advocates interested in Secure Flight and other Homeland Security Department screening programs say the incoming secretary at DHS must form a good relationship with the agency’s chief privacy officer, Nuala O’Connor Kelly. Kelly has had a good rapport with Tom Ridge, outgoing DHS secretary, said Jim Dempsey, executive director of the Center for Democracy [...]

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DHS losing another computer security official

“The Homeland Security Department official in charge of protecting the nation’s physical and computer infrastructure is stepping down at the end of the month in the latest in a string of departures at the department’s struggling cyber-security division. The announcement by Robert P. Liscouski, the department’s assistant secretary for infrastructure protection, comes as technology executives [...]

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DHS nominee a data-mining advocate

“Michael Chertoff, the appeals court judge who President Bush today nominated to become Homeland Security secretary, was an early advocate of data mining to pinpoint terrorists. From 2001 to 2003, he spearheaded the Justice Department’s legal counterattack against al-Qaida as assistant attorney general for the Criminal Division. In that job, he sponsored the use of [...]

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Pew survey on future of the Internet

The Pew Internet & American Life Project has released The Future of the Internet, a survey of technology experts and scholars evaluating where the Internet is headed in the next ten years. The full report is available (PDF) here.

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President’s 2006 budget request said to be leaner on technology spending

“[...] Mr. Bush plans to submit his budget to Congress early next month. Officials at the affected agencies said he would propose a virtual freeze for the National Science Foundation and a very small increase for the National Institutes of Health. [...] For the current fiscal year, Congress cut the budget of the National Science [...]

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Cem Kaner on e-voting auditability

Responding to an earlier letter to the editor in the NY Times, Cem Kaner (professor of software engineering at the Florida Institute of Technology, IEEE e-voting working group member, and USACM member) has written a letter focusing on e-voting auditability and the standards-making process: I serve on the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers P1583 [...]

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New chair for U.S. Election Assistance Commission

“In a ceremony led by Members of Congress, the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) today installed the Hon. Gracia Hillman as chair of the agency. [...] Hillman, a former executive director of the League of Women Voters of the U.S., will hold the EAC leadership position for one year. She is a Democratic appointee who [...]

Posted in E-voting | Comments closed

New privacy laws in California

“Californians entered the new year with the assurance their cell phone numbers cannot be automatically added to the 411 database, the ability to sue spammers and the comfort of knowing rental car companies cannot track their travels, thanks to a spate of privacy-enhancing laws that went into effect Jan. 1. Those outside California’s borders may [...]

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