Global Tech Policy Update – June 2016

By Renee Dopplick, ACM Director of Public Policy
June 14, 2016


Internet of Things – The ACM U.S. Public Policy Council submitted comments on the Internet of Things to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). The comments describe the challenges and opportunities arising from IoT, including new technical and policy challenges related to privacy and security. Further, new identifiers, components, devices, and infrastructure will raise issues of computing capability, privacy, security, usability, accessibility, spectrum availability, standards, networks, and interoperability. Because IoT systems can and do operate across borders creating challenges for protecting the broader integrity of IoT systems and individual privacy, fostering and leveraging cooperation among governments and the private sector is vital to achieving an innovative and resilient IoT ecosystem. The comments will help inform a forthcoming NTIA Green Paper on IoT.

Artificial Intelligence – The ACM Public Policy staff attended the White House Workshop on Artificial Intelligence for Social Good. Speakers included ACM Fellow Henry Kautz and ACM Fellow Eric Horvitz, who received this year’s ACM-AAAI Allen Newell Award for his groundbreaking contributions in AI. The workshop was held in collaboration with the Computing Community Consortium (CCC) and the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI). The slides and videos are available online.

The next White House Workshop on Safety and Control for Artificial Intelligence on June 28 at Carnegie Mellon University will feature four ACM Fellows and one ACM award recipient: ACM Fellow Tom Dietterich, ACM Fellow Kathleen Fisher, ACM Fellow John Launchbury, ACM Fellow Jeannette Wing, and ACM/SIGART Autonomous Agents Research Award recipient Manuela M. Veloso.

Computer Science Education – A new ITIF report on improving computer science education in the United States cites the ACM Education Policy Committee’s report, Running on Empty: The Failure to Teach K-12 Computer Science in the Digital Age and the ACM/CSTA report, Bugs in the System: Computer Science Teacher Certification in the U.S.. The ITIF report’s findings are consistent with ACM’s recommendations in the Running on Empty report and its successor report published by the ACM Education Policy Committee last year titled Rebooting the Pathway to Success, including allowing computer science to count as a core graduation subject, teaching computer science in all high schools, increasing the number of qualified computer science teachers, and creating postsecondary incentives. The report adds to the growing tide of support in countries around the world for expanding access to quality computer science education and increasing the number of talented computing educators.

Informal STEM Education – ACM and six other associations co-sponsored a well-attended congressional briefing by the STEM Education Coalition Policy Forum on “Informal STEM Education 101: What We Know and Don’t: The State of the Art on Research on Outcomes in Informal STEM Education.” The standing room only briefing featured remarks by Honorary Congressional Co-Host Representative Eddie Bernice Johnson. Panelists included NSF Assistant Director of the Education and Human Resources Directorate Joan Ferrini-Mundy, University of Washington Senior Research Scientist Dr. Bronwyn Bevan, and Center for Advancement of Informal Science Education Project Director James Bell. The panel also coincided with the release of the STEM Education Coalition’s newest education policy white paper, “The Case for Investing in Out-of-School Learning as a Core Strategy in Improving Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Education.”

Human–Computer Interaction and International Public Policymaking – A new journal article by the ACM SIGCHI International Public Policy Committee outlines the importance of HCI in public policy internationally and the impacts of public policy on the HCI community. The article discusses how public policy influences HCI and explores areas where HCI could have even more impact in the future, including laws, regulations, and guidelines related to interface design, intellectual property, accessibility, usability, privacy, security, and computing research. The article was authored by 31 members from 15 countries and published in the Foundations and Trends Human–Computer Interaction.

Upcoming ACM Public Policy Meetings

• The ACM Education Policy Committee will hold its annual international meeting in Washington, D.C. on June 24, 2016 to discuss progress and possible future activities to improve and advance computer science, computing, and informatics education policy and computing workforce development.

• The ACM Europe Policy Committee will hold its monthly conference call on June 28, 2016.

• The ACM U.S. Public Policy Council will hold its next conference call on July 13, 2016 to discuss next steps for the three new working groups on algorithmic accountability, big data, and the Internet of Things, and the ongoing activities of the permanent committees on privacy, security, intellectual property, digital governance, accessibility, voting, and tech law.


Internet Governance – As an important step in the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) stewardship transition from the U.S. government to a global multistakeholder process, the U.S. Department of Commerce National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced that the proposal developed by the global Internet multistakeholder community meets the criteria for privatization of IANA functions outlined by NTIA in March 2014. Major IANA functions include managing the DNS root zone, domain names, the numbering systems, and protocol assignments. NTIA’s criteria for privatization include maintaining the Internet’s security and resiliency, maintaining openness, meeting the needs of global customers, and supporting a private multistakerholder governance model. NTIA’s assessment of the IANA Stewardship Transition Proposal favors transition, but further approvals are required. The U.S. Congress continues to debate the transition and the timing of the transition. The current IANA contract with ICANN expires on September 30, 2016.

ICANN is accepting public input on its proposed Restated Articles of Incorporation until July 6, 2016. The ICANN Board will review the comments prior to its consideration of the adoption of the Restated Articles. ICANN explains that the new governance document, once adopted, would go into effect in the event NTIA approves of the IANA Stewardship Transition Proposal and the IANA Functions Contract expires.

The ICANN56 Policy Forum will be held on 27-30 June 2016 in Helsinki, Finland. Attendance is free. Pre-registration is strongly encouraged.

Spectrum and Satellite Communications – The ITU International Satellite Communication Symposium will be held in Geneva, June 13-14, 2016. Experts will explore the latest technologies and innovations used to detect, prevent, and mitigate harmful interference in satellite communications. Non-interference is vital to ensuring public safety and to building a more resilient wireless ecosystem. Attendees will include satellite industry, operators, regulators, and broadcasters from around the world.

ITU and UN Women GEM-TECH Awards 2016 – UN Women and the ITU invite nominations for the GEM-TECH Awards, which recognize exceptional work in the areas of: (1) promoting women in the tech sector, (2) women’s digital inclusion and empowerment, and (3) new legislative and policy initiatives promoting gender-inclusive ICT access/education. Self-nominations are accepted. Nominations must be submitted by July 31.

WTO Public ForumRegistration is now open for WTO’s largest annual outreach event attended by civil society, academia, business, media, governments, parliamentarians, and inter-governmental organizations. This year’s theme is “Inclusive Trade.” Registration for this 15th annual event closes on 18 September 2016.

Human Rights Council Report on Freedom of Expression in the Digital Age – A new report of the Special Rapporteur on freedom of expression, David Kaye, to the Human Rights Council discusses legal and policy concerns related to freedom of expression online. The report identifies and explores the relevant human rights standards applicable to States and the private sector. Among its findings and general recommendations, the report recommends governments ensure meaningful opportunities for input and participation in public policy processes by the private sector, civil society, the technical community, and academia.


1st European Maker Week – Europe celebrated the inaugural European Maker Week with 500+ events in 28 countries across Europe during 30 May – 5 June 2016. Promoted by the European Commission, in-person and online events sought to engage citizens and students in creativity and innovation. The Opening Conference and celebration launch featured remarks by Director General of DG Direct Roberto Viola. Did you participate? Do you have ideas for new projects involving computing? Share your experiences and ideas online using hashtag: #EMWeek16

5G Deployment and Research – The European Commission released a roadmap for widespread deployment of the next generation of ubiquitous, ultra-high bandwidth wired and wireless communication systems by 2020. The Commission in April identified 5G and Internet of Things as among the ICT standardisation priorities for the Digital Single Market and has earmarked funding through the Horizon 2020 Programme to accelerate research developments in 5G technology. The Commission supports international cooperation on 5G. The need for 5G technology will be discussed at the EUBrazilCloudForum Workshop on Cloud Networks on 6 July 2016 in Brazil.

Intellectual Property – The European Commission’s DG GROW published a roadmap for the initiative “Modernising the Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights.” It calls for a focus on commercial-scale infringements. The initiative is supportive of a larger effort to modernize copyright protections and enforcement for the digital age. According to the roadmap, a report by the European Observatory on Infringements of Intellectual Property Rights on regional and national legislative measures and procedures to prevent and combat online copyright violations and their effectiveness is expected in 2016. Updates will be posted on a dedicated website of DG Grow.

Europe – Opportunities for Public Input

eGovernment Action Plan 2016–2020
European Commission
Posted: 2 June 2016
Deadline: Ongoing
Submit ideas for how to improve eGovernment services in the EU.

EU Copyright Reform for the Digital Age
European Commission
Deadline: 15 June 2016

Europe in My Region Blogging Competition 2016
European Commission – Regional Policy
Deadline: 17 June 2016
Blogs on Horizon 2020 projects and other computing-related activities are encouraged.

Revision of the European Interoperability Framework
European Commission
Deadline: 29 June 2016

Draft Sharing and Reuse Framework for IT Solutions
European Commission
Deadline: 29 June 2016
The results of this survey will be available in July 2016. Publication of the final version of the recommendations is anticipated later this year.

Horizon 2020 ‘Science with and for Society’ Work Programme 2018-2020
European Commission
Deadline: 4 July 2016
A short summary report on the consultation will be published by September 2016.

Evaluation and Review of the ePrivacy Directive
European Commission
Deadline: 5 July 2016

The European Single Market and the Start-up Initiative
European Commission
Deadline: 31 July 2016
Entrepreneurs and start-up communities are asked to complete a questionnaire.

Safety of Apps and Other Non-Embedded Software Used by Consumers
European Commission
Deadline: 15 September 2016


Appropriations FY2017 – The U.S. Congress continues to debate the federal appropriations bills for Fiscal Year 2017. The current FY2016 ends on September 30. With disagreements over spending priorities and whether to allow amendments, it remains unclear whether the appropriations process will be successful or scuttled. The process thus far brings good news for cybersecurity but less enthusiasm for education funding for computer science and other STEM subjects, as described next. Similar to prior years, a stopgap continuing resolution to prevent a government shutdown or omnibus bill could be the outcome.

K-12 Computer Science EducationAdvocates of computer science education are asking Congress to fund programs that support the policy goals of the Computer Science for All initiative, as proposed in the President’s FY 2017 budget proposal. The CSforAll initiative aims to expand access to quality computer science courses for all students nationwide and to increase the number of computer science educators. The Senate Appropriations Committee did not include funding in the education appropriations bill for the new Computer Science for All Development Grants and the STEM Master Teacher Corps program, which were included in the President’s FY 2017 budget proposal. The Committee noted that Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants authorize “a range of activities to support well-rounded educational opportunities including computer science.” (See Senate Report 114-274.)

The U.S. Department of Education is considering regulations and non-regulatory guidance for the new K-12 education law, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The Department recently sought public input on what types of guidance could help states, school districts, and grantees understand the law and how to implement it. Look for continued calls for public input and transition guidance for ESSA on their website.

National Week of Making – The White House and communities nationwide will be celebrating the National Week of Making, June 17 -23, 2016. Be a part of the celebration of innovation. Learn more and share your experiences online using hashtag: #NationofMakers

White House Student Science Advisors – The White House is inviting students from around the country to submit ideas on important science, innovation, and technology issues. Spread the word to students that they have until June 17 to use this short online form to submit their ideas on how computing can help change the world.

5G Deployment and Research – The National Science Foundation (NSF) announced its intention to support the development of advanced wireless research platforms enabling at-scale experimentation for the next generation of wireless technologies. The announcement observes that current wireless Internet architectures are insufficient for wireless carriers globally and thus new technologies, such as 5G and beyond, are needed for continued growth of wireless networks and the burgeoning Internet of Things (IoT).

Privacy Best Practices for Drones – In the last of a series of multistakeholder meetings on issues regarding the commercial and private use of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), convened by NTIA, a diverse group of stakeholders arrived at consensus on best practices. The final document outlines voluntary best practices for the collection, use, sharing, and security of data; user notification; and the use of drones for news reporting. The guide is intended to serve as an aid for promoting beneficial growth of innovative services, economic activity, and safer infrastructure in the United States.

Security – The Information Security and Privacy Advisory Board (ISPAB) will be holding a public meeting on June 15 -17, 2016 in Washington, D.C. ISPAB advises several federal agencies on issues pertaining to information systems and conducts reviews of proposed standards and guidelines developed by NIST. The meeting will include a discussion of topics such as the Internet of Things, cybersecurity resilience, Block Chain Protocol and the emerging ecosystem, high performance computing (HPC), and OMB updates on cybersecurity, privacy, and quantum cryptography.

United States – Opportunities for Public Input

U.S. Proposals and Positions for the 2016 World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly
National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA)
Deadline: June 16, 2016

Nominations for U.S. Presidential Awards for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring
White House
Deadline: June 17, 2016

Final Review Period: K-12 Computer Science Education Framework
Deadline: June 29, 2016

Mobile Application Vetting Services for Public Safety
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
Deadline: June 30, 2016

Systems Security Engineering: An Integrated Approach to Building Trustworthy Resilient Systems (Second Draft)
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
Deadline: July 1, 2016

Draft Guide for Cybersecurity Event Recovery
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
Deadline: July 11, 2016

Mandatory Deposit of Electronic Books and Sound Recordings Available Only Online
U.S. Copyright Office
Deadline: July 18, 2016

Nominations for National Cyber Security Hall of Fame
National Cyber Security Hall of Fame
Deadline: July 20, 2016

Nominations for the USPTO Patent Public Advisory Committee
U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
Deadline: July 25, 2016

Nominations for the USPTO Trademark Public Advisory Committee
U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
Deadline: July 25, 2016

ICT Accessibility Regulations for Local and State Governments under the ADA
U.S. Department of Justice
Deadline: August 8, 2016

Internet of Things: Identity and Access Management for Smart Home Devices Concept Paper
National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence (NCCoE)
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
Released: June 6, 2016
Deadline: Ongoing


ACM Partners with SocialCoder
An initiative to encourage computing professionals to volunteer their professional skills and knowledge to help organizations who could not otherwise afford it.
June 2016

ACM Awards Ceremony
June 11, 2016

ACM Announces Officers for 2016-2018
Terms begin July 1, 2016.

ACM SIG Officers Election Results
Terms begin July 1, 2016.

Have events to add? Please let us know at:

ACM Europe Policy Committee

The ACM Europe Policy Committee (EUACM) is a standing committee of ACM Europe. It serves as the focal point for ACM’s interaction with the EU and member states’ governmental bodies, the computing community, and the public in matters of European public policy related to computing and technology. EUACM represents a diverse community of computing practitioners, scientists, educators, researchers, and other technology professionals from government, business, academia, and the nonprofit sector. EUACM’s contributions to public policy draws from the deep scientific and technical expertise of the computing community.

ACM U.S. Public Policy Council

The ACM U.S. Public Policy Council (USACM) is chartered as the focal point for ACM’s interaction with the U.S. government, the computing community, and the public in all matters of U.S. public policy related to computing and technology. USACM represents a diverse community of computing practitioners, scientists, educators, researchers, and other technology professionals from government, business, academia, and the nonprofit sector. USACM’s contributions to public policy draws from the deep scientific and technical expertise of the computing community.

ACM Education Policy Committee

The ACM Education Policy Committee is a high-level committee of acclaimed computer scientists and educators dedicated to improving opportunities for quality education in computer science and computing-related fields. The Education Policy Committee develops initiatives aimed at shaping education policies that impact the computing field. A primary goal of the EPC is to ensure that computer science, computing, and informatics education is recognized in educational initiatives at all levels of the educational pipeline.