Washington News – Alerts and Updates

By Renee Dopplick, ACM Director of Public Policy
April 13, 2015

* 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 of pairing-based cryptography and its application in identity-based encryption.

* ACM named Jennifer Widom the 2015-2016 Athena Lecturer for her pioneering foundations, architecture, and applications of database systems. The lecture will be on June 2 at the ACM SIGMOD Conference in Australia.

* The Senate passed a resolution calling for a national strategy on the Internet of Things.

* The White House invites nominations for the National Medal of Science. Nominations are due by April 27.

* The White House invites nominations for the National Medal of Technology and Innovation. Nominations are due by June 1.

Intellectual Property

* The USTR released the 2015 National Trade Estimate Report on Foreign Trade Barriers, which includes several updates on the protection of intellectual property rights in various countries.

* The ninth round of U.S.-EU negotiations on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) agreement will take place in New York City from April 20-24. The stakeholder forum will be on April 23.

* The House Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on Chairman Goodlatte’s patent reform bill, the Innovation Act, H.R. 9, on April 14.

* The House Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet held a hearing on “Patent Reform: Protecting American Innovators and Job Creators from Abusive Patent Litigation.”

* The Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on “The Impact of Abusive Patent Litigation Practices on the American Economy.”

* The FTC took action against a patent assertion entity for using deceptive tactics.

* The USPTO hosted a two-day Summit on Patent Quality on March 25-26.

* The USPTO is accepting public comments on enhancing patent quality. Comments are due by May 6.

* The U.S. Copyright Office will hold public hearings on the 27 proposed exemptions to the DMCA’s prohibition against circumvention of technological measures that control access to copyrighted works. The public hearings will be held on May 19-21 in Los Angeles, California and on May 26-29 in Washington, D.C. Requests to testify must be submitted by April 20.

Tech Law

* The FAA is accepting public comments on proposed regulations for the non-hobby or non-recreational use of small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS/drones). Comments are due by April 24.

Privacy and Security

* President Obama issued an Executive Order on April 1 authorizing sanctions against foreign individuals and other entities engaged in malicious cyber activities that pose a significant threat to U.S. national security, foreign policy, economic, or financial interests.

* The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security will hold a hearing on “From Protection to Partnership: Funding the DHS Role in Cybersecurity” on April 15.

* The House Energy and Commerce Committee will markup the Data Security and Breach Notification Act of 2015 on April 14-15.

* The House and Senate Intelligence Committees approved cybersecurity legislation focused on information sharing — the Protecting Cyber Networks Act, H.R. 1560, and the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act of 2015, S. 754.

* The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee approved the Driver Privacy Act, S. 766, on retrieving data from vehicle event data recorders.

* The House Intelligence Committee held a hearing on “The Growing Cyber Threat and Its Impact on American Business.”

* The FTC formed a new Office of Technology Research and Investigation to expand its capacity to assess new technology from a consumer protection perspective.

* The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Internet Policy Task Force seeks public comments on a new multistakeholder process for cybersecurity issues. Comments are due by May 18.

* The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) seeks public comments on the multistakeholder process to communicate best practices in privacy, transparency, and accountability for commercial and private drone use. Comments are due by April 20.

* The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) announced a new pilot grant program for privacy enhancing technologies that embrace and enhance the National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace. Grant applications are due by May 28.

* The United Nations Human Rights Council decided to create the position of a Special Rapporteur on the right to privacy. The Special Rapporteur, to be appointed, will consider and report on the right to privacy in the digital age.

Accessibility

* The National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) is accepting public comments on a roadmap for usability and accessibility in voting technologies. Comments are due by April 30.

* The U.S. Access Board is accepting public comments on the proposed updated accessibility requirements for federal information and communications technology covered by Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act and Section 255 of the Telecommunications Act. Comments are due by May 28.

* The U.S. Access Board will hold a public hearing on the proposed updated accessibility requirements for federal information and communications technology on April 29 in Salt Lake City, Utah.

* The U.S. Access Board unanimously elected Sachin Dev Pavithran to be its new Chair.

* The U.S. Justice Department announced that it reached a settlement agreement with edX Inc., a nonprofit provider of online courses, to make its website, platform, and mobile apps “fully accessible” to individuals with disabilities.

Digital Government

* The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government held a budget hearing on the Federal Communications Commission.

* The House Judiciary Committee held a hearing titled “Wrecking the Internet to Save It? The FCC’s Net Neutrality Rules.”

* Jason Goldman started his job last week as the first-ever White House Chief Digital Officer, leading the Office of Digital Strategy. He previously worked at Twitter, Google, and Medium.

Voting

* The National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) is accepting public comments on a roadmap for usability and accessibility in voting technologies. Comments are due by April 30.

* The U.S. Election Assistance Commission held a public meeting on March 31. The Commission approved updates to the Voluntary Voting Systems Guidelines and to the manuals for the Testing and Certification Program and the Voting System Test Laboratory Program.