After a quiet August things are really picking up in Washington. Congress’ attention is squarely focused on the suffering and hardship caused by hurricane Katrina. ACM’s President Dave Patterson issued a statement to ACM members with suggestions on what the technology community can do to help.
While dealing with this disaster will likely remain Congress’ primary focus for the rest of the year, there are some key technology issues that are still pending. Among the most pressing is identity theft legislation. As we have reported, House and Senate members have introduced several competing proposals (here is a comparison of the major bills). Considering the full legislative schedule this fall, it isn’t clear whether or not these bills will slip into next year. In addition, Congress is still working on legislation to regulate spyware, transition from analog to digital television, funding for information technology research and development, and patent reform among others. The Administration is engaged on several fronts of technology policy including proposed restrictions foreign researchers access to technology and new guidelines for voting systems. We will preview or cover some of the key points on these issues as they move forward.
ACM will also be releasing two major studies sometime later this year. The first examines global job migration trends resulting from outsourcing and offshoring of IT jobs. The second outlines issues related to statewide voter registration databases. Federal law requires states to have these systems installed by first of next year.