Government & Communications

Attempts by governmental bodies to improve or impede communications with or between the citizenry.

Court reminds State to produce Clinton e-mails in ‘shortest’ time possible

Location:
U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, 333 Constitution Ave, NW, Washington, DC, 20001, United States
Recommendation:
1

An appeals court gently warned the State Department to release relevant public documents quickly from among the large batch of e-mails Hillary Clinton turned over to the agency from her private server.

End the Supreme Court’s Ban on Cameras

Location:
Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP, 575 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY, 10022, United States
Recommendation:
2

Despite countless entreaties over the years from groups calling for “sunshine” and “transparency,” and giant changes in technology and communication, the Supreme Court has been unmoved and still does not allow any live broadcast of its proceedings.

Can the Defense Department Rekindle Romance With Silicon Valley?

Location:
Department of Defense, Washington, DC, 20301, United States
Recommendation:
2

After spending two decades largely ignoring the very Silicon Valley tech start-up culture that it helped bankroll in the 1970s and ’80s, questions remain about a new Defense Department push to reconnect with the California tech world, especially in a post-Snowden era where trust between the two sides has been eroded.

Feds Say Encrypting Data is Key but Don't Want to Pony up the Cash

Location:
Washington, DC, United States
Recommendation:
2

Despite an increasing volume of data traveling across federal networks, a majority of federal IT managers recently polled do not believe that data is secure. Only about a quarter of the 200 respondents from 60 agencies were certain of their network data’s safety, according to the recently released report by research company, Market Connections.

Net Vitality: Identifying the Top-Tier Global Broadband Internet Ecosystem Leaders

Location:
Media Institute, 2300 Clarendon Blvd, Arlington, VA, 22201, United States
Recommendation:
2

This is the first-ever quantitative and qualitative composite analysis of the global broadband Internet ecosystem, viewed in a country comparative context. The development of this index helps identify the top-tier global broadband Internet leaders -- an elite grouping of five countries that distinguish themselves as pacesetters for future benchmarking and best practices analyses.

Broadcasting Board of Governors

Apr 29 2015 - 9:00am - 10:45pm
Location:
Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), 330 Independence Avenue, SW Room 3321, Washington, DC, 20237, United States

The Board will receive a report from the Interim Chief Executive Officer and Director of BBG. The Board will also receive a review of the Office of Cuba Broadcasting.

Comcast Finds Golf and 128 Lobbyists Can’t Sell US on Merger

Location:
Comcast, 1500 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA, 19102-2148, United States
Recommendation:
3

Comcast spends more than any other company lobbying Washington. Its chief executive has golfed with President Barack Obama. Its executives raise cash for Democrats -- all for when they need something in return. This time, it didn’t work.

Here’s where the presidential candidates stand on the NSA scooping up Americans’ phone records

Location:
USA, United States
Recommendation:
2

Where the 2016 Presidential hopefuls stand on the phone records program -- which scoops up information including who Americans call and the length of those conversations, but not their content -- has a new urgency because the part of the Patriot Act that authorizes that phone records program, Section 215, is set to expire on June 1.

The new German spying scandal is a big deal

Location:
Germany, Germany
Recommendation:
2

German media organizations, such as Der Spiegel and Die Zeit, are reporting on a spying scandal that threatens to create new controversy over the National Security Agency.

Here Are the Agency Websites Google Doesn’t Think are Mobile Friendly

Location:
Washington, DC, United States
Recommendation:
2

Google’s newly implemented policy to adjust mobile search rankings based on a website’s mobile friendliness could leave some federal websites on a Google search engine’s dreaded second page -- at least when users search from a smartphone.

Why Politicians Hate the Press

Location:
USA, United States
Recommendation:
2

It’s not hard to get political reporters started on how pols and their flaks deny the press access, feed us talking points and, in some cases, flat-out lie. But every story has two sides (or a few), so in fair journalistic tradition, we asked a handful of outspoken politicians to critique the political press corps and tell us exactly what their beef is with the fourth estate.

At RSA Conference, Computer Security Done Right and Wrong

Location:
RSA Conference 2015, San Francisco, CA, United States
Recommendation:
1

The annual RSA security conference in San Francisco (CA) is one of the largest gatherings of computer security professionals and companies in the world. It is also an opportunity for complaining and perhaps just a bit of navel gazing.

Cybersecurity: Actions Needed to Address Challenges Facing Federal Systems

Location:
Government Accountability Office (GAO), 441 G St., NW, Washington, DC, 20548, United States
Recommendation:
1

Because of the risk posed by certain cyberthreats, it is crucial that the federal government take appropriate steps to secure its information and information systems. However, the Government Accountability Office has identified a number of challenges facing the government’s approach to cybersecurity.

The Sun Must Go Down on the Patriot Act

Location:
American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), 125 Broad St, New York, NY, 10004, United States
Recommendation:
2

lmost 13 years later, the most egregious part of the Patriot Act, Section 215 -- which underlies the National Security Agency's call-records program -- is scheduled to expire on June 1. Unless Congress can coalesce around far-reaching reform, it should simply let the provision expire.

The Free Internet Is A Global Priority

Location:
Capitol Building, E Capitol St NE & 1st St NE, Washington, DC, United States
Recommendation:
3

In my view, the trade promotion authority bill I introduced last week, along with the Trans Pacific Partnership that is still being negotiated, both present real opportunities to preserve and protect an open Internet around the world.

Senators Zero in on ‘Inaccurate’ IT Dashboard Ratings

Location:
Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, Constitution Avenue and 1st Street, NE Dirksen Senate Office Building, room 342, Washington, DC, 20002, United States
Recommendation:
1

The leaders of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee are cracking down on agency chief information officers who don’t appear to be accurately reporting the risks associated with large-scale IT projects. They’re starting with the Treasury Department.

White House correspondents urge campaigns to be more transparent

Location:
White House Correspondents' Association, 600 New Hampshire Avenue, Washington, DC, 20037, United States
Recommendation:
3

The White House Correspondents' Association plans to send its newly released declaration of principles and practices to all of the presidential campaigns, with the expectation that the campaigns will follow the protocols for press access.

The police are secretly using fake cellphone towers to spy on people

Location:
USA, United States
Recommendation:
2

Did you know that law enforcement can track your cellphone with a fake cell tower? It's true -- and devices that do this, known as stingrays, are at the center of a growing scandal.

Senate Majority Leader McConnell fast-tracks Patriot Act legislation

Location:
US Capitol, East Capitol Street, NE and 1st Street, NE, DC, 20515, United States
Recommendation:
2

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) introduced legislation to extend controversial sections of the Patriot Act. He didn't offer any comments on the legislation, but fast-tracked it so it could be placed on the Senate's calendar without having to go through the committee process.

US warns of risks from deeper encryption

Location:
San Francisco, CA, United States
Recommendation:
1

The head of the US Department of Homeland Security has warned the cybersecurity industry that encryption poses “real challenges” for law enforcement.

Lawyers’ Group Seeks Overhaul of a Postal Service Surveillance Program

Location:
National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL), 1660 L St. NW, Washington, DC, 20036, United States
Recommendation:
2

A Postal Service surveillance program that records the information on the outside of letters and packages delivered to people suspected of criminal activity should be overhauled because of a lack of oversight, according to a report by the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.

Eritrea and North Korea Are World’s Most Censored Countries, Advocacy Group Says

Location:
Committee to Protect Journalists, 330 7th Avenue, New York, NY, 10001, United States
Recommendation:
2

The Committee to Protect Journalists, a press advocacy group in New York, released its list of the world’s 10 most censored countries; the severity of control over freedom of expression and thought in Eritrea and North Korea puts them at the top.

Legislative Trifecta Unveiled As FCC Transparency Set to Take Center Stage

Location:
House Subcommittee on Communications, Technology and Internet, Independence Avenue and South Capitol Street, Washington, DC, 20003, United States
Recommendation:
3

Members of the House Commerce Committee’s Communications and Technology Subcommittee unveiled three draft proposals to improve transparency at the Federal Communications Commission.

NSA reform bill could hit snag in Senate

Location:
Capitol Building, E Capitol St NE & 1st St NE, Washington, DC, United States
Recommendation:
2

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) isn't ready to endorse a House plan that would reauthorize expiring portions of the Patriot Act while curbing the government’s surveillance powers.

Jeb Bush praises President Obama over NSA spying

Location:
National Security Agency, MD, 20755-6000, United States
Recommendation:
2

Jeb Bush, a likely presidential contender, said that President Barack Obama’s greatest accomplishment was keeping in place controversial spying programs at the National Security Agency.

The NSA’s Split-Key Encryption Proposal is Not Serious

Location:
National Security Agency, MD, 20755-6000, United States
Recommendation:
1

The US Government has been busy on the encryption front in both positive and negative ways. On the positive front, there is a major effort underway to move all government websites to HTTPS. But on the problematic and negative side of the ledger, we once again turn to the National Security Agency.

Google posts largest lobbying quarter to date

Location:
Google (DC), 1101 New York Ave, NW, Washington, DC, 20005, United States
Recommendation:
2

Google racked up a nearly $5.5 million lobbying tab in the first three months of the new Congress, its largest lobbying quarter to date.

Americans’ Views on Open Government Data

Location:
Pew Research Center, 1615 L Street, NW, Washington, DC, 20036, United States
Recommendation:
2

This report is based on the first national survey that seeks to benchmark public sentiment about the government initiatives that use data to cultivate the public square. The results cover all three levels of government in America -- federal, state and local -- and show that government data initiatives are in their early stages in the minds of most Americans.

Will millennials gaining influence, surveillance reform is inevitable

Location:
American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), 125 Broad St, New York, NY, 10004, United States
Recommendation:
2

A large and important segment of our society sees Edward Snowden as hero and whistleblower -- and its members are the future.

Modernizing the FCC.gov Website

Location:
Federal Communications Commission (FCC), 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC, 20554, United States
Recommendation:
2

In August, the Federal Communications Commission team began a six-month research and design project to dramatically improve the usability and functionality of FCC.gov and its subdomains. The outcome of these collaborative efforts resulted in an interactive prototype of what the improved FCC.gov will look like, as well as an outline of how website content will be organized and structured based on our research findings.

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