Washington News – Alerts and Updates

By Renee Dopplick, ACM Director of Public Policy
June 9, 2015

General Announcements

* USACM signed a letter to President Obama from a variety of civil society organizations urging him to reject proposals that require U.S. companies to deliberately weaken the security of their products. The letter encourages a focus on public policies to promote the wide adoption of strong encryption technology.

* USACM submitted comments to the U.S. Access Board on the updated federal accessibility standards and guidelines for information and communication technology (ICT) under Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act and Section 255 of the Telecommunications Act.

* Read Vint Cerf’s interview with U.S. CTO Megan Smith in this month’s edition of the Communications of the ACM.

* NIST will hold a Cloud Computing Forum and Workshop on July 7-10.

* The House approved the FY16 Commerce, Justice, and Science Appropriations bill, H.R. 2578. The Senate Appropriations Committee will markup its bill on June 10-11.


* The President signed into law the USA Freedom Act, H.R. 2048, which reforms the PATRIOT Act and limits the government’s bulk telephone metadata program.

* NIST invites public comments on the draft Privacy Risk Management for Federal Information Systems. Comments are due by July 13.

* The NIST Information Security and Privacy Advisory Board will hold its quarterly public meeting on June 10-12.

* GSA is seeking public comments on the federated digital identity credentialing model of Connect.gov, which aims to create a single sign-on model for accessing online governmental services. Comments are due by June 19.

* The Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board sent a letter to DHS to provide feedback on the DHS Cybersecurity Report released in April.

* The IRS reported a data breach affecting 200k accounts.

* OPM announced a data breach affecting 4 million federal employees and contractors.

* The UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, David Kaye, addresses encryption and anonymity in his annual report to the UN Human Rights Council. The Council will consider the report at its upcoming 29th Session to start on June 15.

* The UN Human Rights Council is expected to name the Special Rapporteur on the right to privacy at its upcoming 29th Session to start on June 15.


* The U.S. Copyright Office held a public hearing on the proposed DMCA security research exemption. Steve Bellovin testified in support of the exemption.

* The federal Cyber Security and Information Assurance Research and Development Senior Steering Group seeks public comments on a new federal cybersecurity research and development strategic plan to be developed by the federal agencies involved in the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) and the Networking and Information Technology Research and Development (NITRD) Program. Comments are due by June 19.

* DHS invites public comments on the formation of new public-private organizations to share cybersecurity information. Comments are due by July 10.

* The U.S. Department of Commerce is revising export regulations relevant to technology and software. Comments are due by July 20 for intrusion software. Comments are due by August 3 for definitions.

* The NIST Information Security and Privacy Advisory Board will hold its quarterly public meeting on June 10-12.

* The FCC invites reply public comments on the report on “Cybersecurity Risk Management and Best Practices” submitted by the FCC Communications Security, Reliability and Interoperability Council. Reply comments are due by June 26.

* The ITU released the Global Cybersecurity Index (GCI) report, summarizing each country’s level of commitment to the ITU’s Global Cybersecurity Agenda.


* Miss the ACM Learning Webinar on accessibility with Eve Andersson and Vicki Hanson on May 15? Watch the archived webcast.

* The FCC announced the seven winners of the FCC Advancement in Accessibility Awards.

* GSA’s 18F, a software development office that provides digital services to federal agencies, has drafted an online Accessibility Guide to help federal agencies implement best practices.

* The Google Disability Impact Challenge is accepting big ideas to make the world a more inclusive place. Submissions are due by September 30.

Digital Governance

* The FCC Consumer Advisory Committee will hold its first public meeting on June 12. The agenda includes net neutrality and the FCC’s Open Internet Order.

* ICANN President and CEO Fadi Chehadé announced he will step down in March 2016.

* The ICANN Global Consumer Research Study report provides information on consumer awareness and experience with top-level domains and the domain name system.

* The U.S. Secretary of State should create a new Science and Technology Advisory Board of independent experts to advise on non-defense issues, according to a new report released by the National Research Council.

* The Congressional Internet Caucus Advisory Committee hosted a panel discussion on “Internet Governance, ICANN and Congress.Sucks: Where is Control of the Internet Going?” on June 5.

* The White House invites suggestions for new open government initiatives.


* The San Francisco Elections Commission is accepting public comments on a draft study on open source voting systems. Comments are due by June 19.

Intellectual Property

* The Senate Judiciary Committee approved a patent reform bill, the PATENT ACT, S. 1137, with amendments.

* The House Judiciary Committee will consider a Manager’s Amendment to a patent reform bill, the Innovation Act, H.R. 9, on June 11.

* The U.S. Copyright Office held public hearings on the proposed DMCA exemptions May 19-21 in Los Angeles, California and May 26-29 in Washington, D.C.

Tech Law

* The U.S. Courts Standing Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure approved changes to the requirements for warrant searches of computers and digital files under Rule 41 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure at its meeting on May 28-29. The changes to Rule 41 still need to go through more approval steps, including by the Judicial Conference this fall and then the U.S. Supreme Court, before they become effective.