Washington News – Alerts and Updates

By Renee Dopplick, ACM Director of Public Policy
May 11, 2015

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 computer-based systems.

* The White House named Dr. Ed Felten as Deputy U.S. Chief Technology Officer.

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

* The Senate confirmed Willie E. May as the second Under Secretary of Commerce for Standards and Technology and the 15th NIST Director.

* Vint Cerf spoke on the future of the Internet and policy issues at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

* A new agreement between the United States and CERN is anticipated to enable further scientific discoveries in particle physics and advanced computing.

* The deadline for ACM Senior Member nominations is June 3.

Tech Law

* The Senate confirmed Loretta Lynch to be Attorney General.

* The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, based in New York, ruled that the NSA’s bulk telephone metadata program was not authorized by Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act.

Privacy and Security

* The deadline for Congress to extend or reform the PATRIOT Act is May 31.

* The House is scheduled to vote on the USA Freedom Act, H.R. 2048, which would reform the PATRIOT Act and end the government’s bulk telephone metadata program.

* The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee will hold a hearing on “Securing the Border: Fencing, Infrastructure, and Technology Force Multipliers” on May 13.

* The Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Policy will hold a hearing on “Cybersecurity: Setting the Rules for Responsible Global Cyber Behavior” on May 14.

* The House Energy and Commerce Committee passed the Data Security and Breach Notification Act of 2015 by 29-20.

* The House swiftly passed the National Cybersecurity Protection Advancement Act of 2015, H.R. 1731, by 355-63 within 10 days of its introduction last month.

* The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee held a hearing on President Obama’s Precision Medicine Initiative, which aims to leverage data analytics while protecting privacy, on May 5.

* The President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology will hold a public meeting on May 15. The agenda focuses on President Obama’s Precision Medicine Initiative.

* The FTC announced that Katherine Race Brin will be the next FTC Chief Privacy Officer. Brin has been serving as the Acting CPO since December.

* The FCC announced the 37 appointees to the Consumer Advisory Committee. The first public meeting will be held June 12. The agenda includes net neutrality and the FCC’s Open Internet Order.

* The FCC held a public workshop on developments in mobile apps for 911 services on May 8.

* The Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board will hold a public meeting on May 13 at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia.

* NIST seeks public comments on a draft NIST Interagency Report on de-identifying personally identifiable information. Comments are due by May 15.

* NIST’s National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence (NCCoE) seeks public comments on a workshop report on improving cybersecurity and consumer protection. The workshop coincided with the White House Summit on Cybersecurity and Consumer Protection. Comments are due May 17.

* 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.

* NIST seeks public comments on the draft NIST Big Data Interoperability Framework. One section addresses security and privacy. Once final, the document will serve as U.S. input to the international standards community. Comments are due by May 21.

* NIST seeks public input on which sections of its Electronic Authentication Guideline need updating. It will supplement OMB’s E-Authentication Guidance for Federal Agencies. Comments are due by May 22.

* NIST will hold a workshop on cybersecurity for smart cities on May 27-28 in Gaithersburg, Maryland. The workshop will address secure, reliable, and privacy-enhancing solutions. The event is free and open to the public. Advance registration is required.

* 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.

* NIST’s National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence (NCCoE) seeks public comments on a revised draft white paper on “Attribute Based Access Control.” The project will result in a NIST Cybersecurity Practice Guide. Comments are due by June 2.

* 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. Comments are due by May 29. Reply comments are due by June 26.

* The Consumer Electronics Association predicts that small drone use in the United States could reach 1 million flights daily within 20 years.

* The FAA announced a new partnership with three companies to explore next steps for small drone operations to support news gathering, agricultural crop monitoring, and railroad inspections.

* The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, based in New York, ruled that the NSA’s bulk telephone metadata program was not authorized by Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act.

* U.S. Deputy Secretary of Commerce Bruce Andrews will lead a cybersecurity trade mission to Poland and Romania on May 11-15. The trade mission will focus on Central and Eastern Europe.

Accessibility

* The U.S. Access Board seeks 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.

* HHS seeks public comments on updates to health IT certification criteria. Comments are due by May 29.

* ACM will hold a free webinar on accessibility with Eve Andersson, Manager of Accessibility Engineering at Google, and Vicki Hanson, ACM Vice President and Past Chair of SIGACCESS, on May 15.

* The FCC held a public workshop on developments in mobile apps for 911 services on May 8.

* The FCC is initiating a one-year, two-part process to expand online direct communications for deaf, hard of hearing, and speech disabled individuals who communicate in American Sign Language (ASL).

Digital Government

* The Senate Appropriations Committee will hold a hearing on the FCC’s budget request for FY2016 on May 12. FCC Chairman Wheeler and Commissioner Pai are scheduled to testify.

* The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology will hold a hearing on “Stakeholder Perspectives on the IANA Transition” on May 13. Members will discuss whether the transition should be delayed for one year to allow the GAO to study potential consequences, as proposed in the DOTCOM Act, H.R. 805.

* The House Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on “Stakeholder Perspectives on ICANN: The .Sucks Domain and Essential Steps to Guarantee Trust and Accountability in the Internet’s Operation” on May 13.

* The House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on National Security will hold a hearing on “The EMP Threat: The State of Preparedness Against the Threat of an Electromagnetic Pulse EMP Event” on May 13.

* The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology will hold a second hearing on “FCC Reauthorization: Improving Commission Transparency” on May 15.

* The Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on “Ensuring an Informed Citizenry: Examining the Administration’s Efforts to Improve Open Government” on May 6.

* A GAO review of the FCC net neutrality rule found that the FCC “complied with the applicable requirements in promulgating the rule.”

* The FCC announced the 37 appointees to the Consumer Advisory Committee. The first public meeting will be held June 12. The agenda includes net neutrality and the FCC’s Open Internet Order.

* NIST seeks public comments on the draft NIST Big Data Interoperability Framework. One section addresses security and privacy. Once final, the document will serve as U.S. input to the international standards community. Comments are due by May 21.

* OMB invites public comments on its proposed guidance for federal CIOs to use when making IT-related budget, procurement, and workforce decisions. The guidance seeks to ensure effective implementation of the Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act (FITARA), which Congress passed in December. Comments are due by May 30.

* FCC Commissioner O’Reilly posted a blog calling for improvements to the FCC’s advisory committees.

* The FAA announced a new partnership with three companies to explore next steps for small drone operations to support news gathering, agricultural crop monitoring, and railroad inspections.

Voting

* Virginia approved immediately decertifying WinVote.

* The Federal Voting Assistance Program released two reports on Internet ballot marking security.

* The U.S. Election Assistance Commission held a public meeting on April 29.

* The U.S. Election Assistance Commission’s Standards Board and Board of Advisers held public meetings on April 28.

Intellectual Property

* Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, in his remarks on the Senate floor on May 7, urged action on the bipartisan Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) bill (S. 995/H.R. 1890), which is perceived as necessary to conclude the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) agreements.

* The Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on patent litigation practices and patent reform with a focus on the “PATENT ACT,” S. 1137, on May 7.

* The House Judiciary Committee held a hearing on “The Register’s Perspective on Copyright Review” on April 29.

* The USPTO Patent Public Advisory Committee will hold its Quarterly Meeting on May 14.

* The USPTO has transitioned to an internationally compatible classification system for technical documents used in the patent granting process.

* The U.S. Copyright Office will hold public hearings on the proposed DMCA exemptions May 19-21 in Los Angeles, California and May 26-29 in Washington, D.C. The hearing on the proposed exemption for software security research is scheduled for May 26.

* The U.S. Copyright Office launched the Fair Use Index, which provides searchable access to court opinions on fair use.