Global Tech Policy Update – September 2016

By Renee Dopplick, ACM Director of Public Policy
October 7, 2016

ACM PUBLIC POLICY HIGHLIGHTS

Cybersecurity in the United States – The ACM U.S. Public Policy Council submitted comments to the Presidential Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity. The comments address the challenges and possible approaches to strengthening cybersecurity in the digital economy while protecting privacy and enabling innovation. The ACM Education Board and the ACM Joint Task Force on Cybersecurity Education provided expert advice and contributions. The comments will help inform the Commission’s Final Report to the President, which is due by December 1, 2016.

Artificial Intelligence – The ACM Public Policy staff attended the White House Workshop on the Safety and Control of Artificial Intelligence. Speakers included ACM Fellow Tom Dietterich, ACM Fellow Kathleen Fisher, ACM Fellow Eric Horvitz, ACM Fellow John Launchbury, ACM Fellow Jeannette Wing, and ACM/SIGART Autonomous Agents Research Award recipient Manuela M. Veloso. The workshop was held in collaboration with Carnegie Mellon University. The videos are available online.

Computer Science Education – CSforAll Consortium – ACM and CSTA announced their leadership roles in a new computer science education initiative during a White House Summit on Computer Science for All. The summit celebrated progress made in support of the U.S. President’s initiative to provide every K-12 student the opportunity to learn computer science. The new initiative, known as the CSforAll Consortium, brings together computer science education providers, schools, funders, and researchers to support the mission of expanding access to computer science education for all students. The Consortium is led by a steering committee of ACM, CSTA, Code.org, The College Board, the New York City Foundation for Computer Science Education (CSNYC) and the National Center for Women and Information Technology (NCWIT), and has a membership of 180+ organizations.

Accessibility – The ACM U.S. Public Policy Council submitted prepared remarks for the record during the public meeting of the U.S. Access Board. The U.S. Access Board approved the final text of the proposed updated accessibility regulations for the federal government. This is the last approval step before the final rule, known as the Section 508/ICT Refresh, is published and made available to the public. These regulations will have far-reaching implications and will help shape and inform future regulations for state and local entities, businesses, and organizations. The ACM U.S. Public Policy Council, in collaboration with relevant SIGs, has been participating since 2006 in this regulatory process to update the proposed regulations and strongly supports adoption of the international web accessibility standard, WCAG 2.0.

Upcoming ACM Public Policy Meetings

• The ACM Europe Policy Committee holds a monthly conference call.

• The ACM U.S. Public Policy Council will hold its next conference call on October 18, 2016 to discuss: proposed projects outlined in its recent Annual Report; 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.

• The ACM Education Policy Committee will hold a working group conference call to discuss comparative policy approaches to computer science education.

INTERNATIONAL HIGHLIGHTS

Internet Governance – The U.S. Department of Commerce National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced that the IANA contract expired on September 30, 2016. A federal judge denied a request by four state attorneys general to block the IANA transition of Internet domain name functions to a global multistakeholder community. ICANN issued a statement to mark the historic moment of the contract officially expiring: “On 1 October 2016, the IANA functions contract officially expired. As a result, the coordination and management of the Internet’s unique identifiers is now privatized and in the hands of the volunteer-based multistakeholder community.”

International Data Week – ACM sponsored this international convening of policy leaders, industry leaders, data scientists, data gatherers, and data users. Attendees discussed a range of technical and social issues related to data sharing and exchange, data-driven research, and innovation. Topics included big data, open data, maintaining scientific rigor, the role of publicly funded research, intellectual property, privacy, security, and legal frameworks. Videos are available for some panels and presentations.

EUROPE HIGHLIGHTS

Intellectual Property – The European Commission published proposed copyright reforms to modernize copyright for the digital age as consistent with the Digital Single Market Strategy for Europe. The reforms aim to facilitate cross-border access, foster the growth of online content, and provide exceptions to allow for education, research, and accessibility purposes. The European Observatory on Infringements of Intellectual Property Rights is expected to release a report on regional and national legislative measures and procedures to prevent and combat online copyright violations and their effectiveness.

EU-US Privacy Shield – The EU-US Privacy Shield Framework agreement governing cross-border flows of personal data entered into force on August 1, 2016. The Framework, negotiated by the U.S. Department of Commerce and the European Commission, allows companies to transfer users data in compliance with EU data protection requirements. The Framework replaces the previous Safe Harbor framework, which the European Court of Justice struck down a year ago.

Digital Assembly 2016 – The European Commission’s Digital Assembly in September brought together 700+ policy leaders, high-level business leaders, representatives from nonprofits, researchers, and consumer advocates for plenaries, workshops, and networking activities. This year’s theme, “Putting the Digital Single Market at the heart of Europe,” covered e-commerce, improving access to online content, automated vehicles, the Internet of Things, privacy, and high-speed Internet access. Session videos are available online.

Europe – Opportunities for Public Input

Nominations: European Inventor Award
Nominees must hold a European patent.
European Patent Office
Deadline: 12 October 2016

Interim evaluation of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology
Relevant to education, workforce development, research funding, European and national initiatives
European Commission
Deadline: 20 November 2016

Europe – New Summary Reports on Public Consultations

Summary Report on Evaluation and Review of the ePrivacy Directive
European Commission

Summary Report on U.K. Data Access and Privacy Framework Review
U.K. Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy

UNITED STATES HIGHLIGHTS

Federal Source Code Policy – The White House issued a Federal Source Code policy requiring federal agencies to share custom-developed source code across federal agencies for reuse and to release at least 20% publicly as part of a pilot program. Agencies are encouraged to release more publicly to promote broader transparency, participation, and collaboration.

Internet of Things: Security – The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) is convening public forums to discuss best practices within private industry for security upgrades and patches for devices, sensors, and other technologies related to the emergent Internet of Things (IoT).

U.S. National Privacy Research Strategy – The White House released the first-ever National Privacy Research Strategy to address how to advance innovative data use while protecting individual data privacy. The strategy prioritizes research in multidisciplinary approaches, algorithms, transparency, remediation, and recovery. The Co-Chairs of the NITRD Program stated, “With this strategy, our goal is to produce knowledge and technology that will enable individuals, commercial entities, and the Federal Government to benefit from technological advancements and data use while proactively identifying and mitigating privacy risks.” A newly formed Federal Privacy Research and Development Interagency Working Group will convene a public workshop.

United States – Opportunities for Public Input

National Broadband Research Agenda
National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA)
National Science Foundation (NSF)
Deadline: October 11, 2016

Assessing Threats to Mobile Devices and Infrastructure
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
Deadline: October 12, 2016

Draft Dramatically Reducing Software Vulnerabilities: Report to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
Deadline: October 18, 2016

Multistakeholder Forum on Internet of Things Security Upgradability and Patching
National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA)
Deadline: October 19, 2016

Draft: Systems Security Engineering Guideline: An Integrated Approach to Building Trustworthy Resilient Systems
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
Deadline: October 21, 2016

United States – Summaries and Reports on Public Consultations

White House Workshops on Future of Artificial Intelligence
White House Office of Science and Technology Policy

Workshop on Exploring the Dimensions of Trustworthiness: Challenges and Opportunities
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

Working on Fostering the Advancement of the Internet of Things
National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA)

ANNOUNCEMENTS

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.

Nominations Open for New Excellence in CS Teaching Awards
ACM, the Computer Science Teachers Association, and Infosys Foundation USA announce the Awards for Teaching Excellence in Computer Science. Up to 10 awards of $10,000 each will be given annually to recognize today’s best teachers from around the world. Applications for nominations for the awards are now available. The deadline is November 1.


Have events to add? Please let us know at: acmpo@acm.org


ACM Europe Policy Committee

The ACM Europe Policy Committee 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. The committee represents a diverse community of computing practitioners, scientists, educators, researchers, and other technology professionals from government, business, academia, and the nonprofit sector. The committee’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 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. Its 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.