Government & Communications

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

What President Obama Did for Tech

Location:
The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC, 20500, United States
Recommendation:
3

Change in government is slow. That didn’t stop a lot from happening in government during President Barack Obama’s two terms, including many technology firsts, but that’s to be expected, because the world changed a lot too. Chronicling President Obama’s tech legacy isn’t a matter of tallying everything he did, but isolating what he did differently from what another person in his position might have.

Sen Schumer joins call for updates to mobile emergency alerts

Location:
Federal Communications Commission (FCC), 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC, 20554, United States
Recommendation:
3

Sen Charles Schumer (D-NY) joined the chorus of New York officials calling for changes to a key mobile emergency alerts system after bombings in Manhattan and New Jersey.

FCC Has Failed to Protect Voters' Right to Know Who Is Behind Political Ads in Election 2016

Location:
Campaign Legal Center, 215 E Street NE, Washington, DC, 20002, United States
Recommendation:
4

The Campaign Legal Center, Common Cause, Sunlight Foundation and Benton Foundation filed a complaint with the Federal Communications Commission urging the agency to take immediate action against WCPO-TV of Cincinnati (OH) for failure to comply with the longstanding public file requirements of Section 315 of the Communications Act.

Donald Trump and the Return of Seditious Libel

Location:
ProPublica, 55 Broadway, New York, NY, 10006, United States
Recommendation:
3

In 2016, for the first time since at least Richard Nixon, the leader of one of our major political parties has pledged to limit press freedom by restricting criticism of his prospective rule. But Nixon’s threats were private, revealed only by his own taping system, while Donald Trump’s are very public, loud and clear.

What are the big tech companies lobbying for this election?

Location:
Google, 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain View, CA, 94043, United States
Recommendation:
2

When US presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump debate, they will undoubtedly be watched carefully by senior executives of – and lobbyists for – the country’s largest technology companies. Both candidates have been vocal on some key issues near and dear to the hearts of technology companies – such as global trade. So both trade and technology appear to be on the agenda, but what else do the tech companies want Clinton and Trump talking about?

Cops are raiding the homes of innocent people based only on IP addresses

Location:
Electronic Frontier Foundation, 454 Shotwell Street, San Francisco, CA, 94110-1914, United States
Recommendation:
2

Internet Protocol (IP) addresses can be incredibly useful for a police investigation, but they can also lead cops astray.

Government lawyers don’t understand the Internet. That’s a problem.

Location:
Washington, DC, United States
Recommendation:
1

Federal government lawyers are struggling to grasp the increasingly technical cases that come before them. Both federal prosecutors and the attorneys who represent executive agencies in court are bungling lawsuits across the country because they don’t understand what they’re talking about. Too few lawyers have the skill set or the specialized knowledge to make sense of code, networks and the people who use them, and too few law schools are telling them what they need to know.

ICANN -- A Regulator in Need of Antitrust Oversight

Location:
Technology Policy Institute, 1401 Eye NW, Washington, DC, 20005, United States
Recommendation:
3

The pending transition of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) away from US government oversight has involved in-depth discussion about how to maintain an open Internet free from government control. What has received considerably less attention in these discussions is how ICANN has performed while under US oversight—especially as a regulator.

Government lawyers don’t understand the Internet. That’s a problem.

Location:
Politico, 1100 Wilson Blvd, Arlington, VA, 22209, United States
Recommendation:
3

The government’s lawyers are struggling to grasp the increasingly technical cases that come before them. Both federal prosecutors and the attorneys who represent executive agencies in court are bungling lawsuits across the country because they don’t understand what they’re talking about.

House Passes Modernizing Government Technology Act

Location:
Capitol Building, E Capitol St NE & 1st St NE, Washington, DC, 20001, United States
Recommendation:
3

One week after Rep Will Hurd (R-TX) introduced new IT legislation to the House of Representatives, designed to thrust government into 21st-century technologies, the Modernizing Government Technology Act passed on a voice vote.

Washington’s weird war on “free”

Location:
American Enterprise Institute (AEI), 1150 Seventeenth Street, Washington, DC, 20036, United States
Recommendation:
3

No good deed goes unpunished. Try giving away free stuff to consumers, and Washington gets very suspicious.

Let’s Talk About Free Speech

Location:
John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, 200 South Biscayne Blvd, Miami, FL, 33131, United States
Recommendation:
3

What is the state of the First Amendment on college campuses?

Spending bill doesn't include Cruz internet fight

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

A push by Sen Ted Cruz (R-TX) to block the Obama Administration from handing over management of the internet is not part of a short-term spending bill backed by Senate GOP leadership. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) filed the continuing resolution (CR) without Cruz's initiative, which had gotten fierce pushback from Democrats and the White House. Sen Cruz said that he was "profoundly disappointed" that the provision is being left out.

FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai Statement on Internet Governance

Location:
Federal Communications Commission (FCC), 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC, 20554, United States
Recommendation:
1

Two years ago, when the Department of Commerce first announced its intent to relinquish its role in overseeing the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority, I argued that the burden of proof was on those favoring this momentous change. When it comes to Internet governance, I do not believe the transition should take place on October 1. Getting it right is far more important than getting it done right now, and additional time to consider the merits of the transition would benefit all stakeholders.

Trump backs Ted Cruz’s Internet domain crusade

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

Sen Ted Cruz (R-TX) has yet to endorse Donald Trump for president, but Donald Trump is endorsing Ted Cruz’s top legislative priority. Trump announced that he supports a GOP-led push to delay a planned end to the US government’s role managing a group that oversees Internet domain names.

With terror in spotlight, government requests for Twitter data surge

Location:
Twitter (new home), 1355 Market Street, San Francisco, CA, 94103, United States
Recommendation:
3

At a moment when governments around the world are working harder to confront the Islamic State and its propagandists on the web, Twitter said requests from officials to strip tweets from the service grew by nearly 13 percent in the past six months.

What is a “Regulatory Backstop?”

Location:
Technology Policy Institute, 1401 Eye NW, Washington, DC, 20005, United States
Recommendation:
3

A fun aspect of this Federal Communications Commission’s modus operandi of announcing new rules and rule changes by op-ed and “fact-sheet” is all the hours one can spend speculating on what the upcoming rule will say. In my case, that mostly involves not having enough information to facilitate useful discussion and epic confusion about how to evaluate proposals that aren’t actually proposals.

Agency Review Bill (REVIEW Act) Gets White House Pushback

Location:
The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC, 20500, United States
Recommendation:
3

The White House came out strongly against the Require Evaluation Before Implementing Executive Wishlists (REVIEW) Act of 2016 (HR 3438), joined by public interest group Public Knowledge.

Former Justice official: US' own electoral meddling leaves little room for complaint

Location:
Harvard University Institute of Politics, 79 John F. Kennedy St., Cambridge, MA, 02138, United States
Recommendation:
3

Even if the Russian government was behind the hack of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and various other political organizations and figures, the US government's options under international law are extremely limited, according to Jack Goldsmith, a Harvard law professor and former US assistant attorney general.

Remarks of Commissioner O'Rielly at the International Bar Association Conference, Communication Committee Session

Location:
Federal Communications Commission (FCC), 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC, 20554, United States
Recommendation:
3

The following discussion of network neutrality, cybersecurity, privacy, encryption and the right to be forgotten boils down to an overarching, fundamental debate: how do we ensure the continued functionality and growth of the Internet.

Does the US government protect Internet freedom or threaten it?

Location:
Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles, CA, United States
Recommendation:
2

It’s curious to see lawmakers who are otherwise zealous promoters of deregulation and free markets argue against privatizing the world’s most important communications medium. More important, they’re wrong about the facts and wrong about the effect of stopping the planned transition.

Open government advocacy group Sunlight Foundation cuts staff, suspends reporting tools

Location:
Sunlight Foundation, 1818 N Street NW, Washington, DC, 20036, United States
Recommendation:
3

The Sunlight Foundation, a nonprofit and nonpartisan advocacy group that supports open government and tracks money in politics, announced that it was cutting staff and suspending its data-driven projects and reporting tools.

Senate hearing highlights continued information problems at the FCC

Location:
American Enterprise Institute (AEI), 1150 Seventeenth Street, Washington, DC, 20036, United States
Recommendation:
1

Recently, all five Commissioners of the Federal Communications Commission yet again found themselves facing tough questions in a Senate oversight hearing which highlighted the partisan nature of policymaking at the FCC.

New Yorkers Just Received a Terrible Emergency Alert

Location:
New York City, NY, United States
Recommendation:
2

At around eight o’clock am Sept 19, anyone in New York City who has emergency alerts turned on got a blaring message on their smartphone. Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEAs for short), are to be used, according to the Federal Communications Commission, in three cases: Amber Alerts, alerts from the president, and alerts involving imminent threats to safety. This alert serves none of those purposes.

Ted Cruz is wrong about how free speech is censored on the Internet

Location:
US Capitol, East Capitol Street, NE and 1st Street, NE, DC, 20515, United States
Recommendation:
3

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) wants to engineer a United States takeover of a key Internet organization, ICANN, in the name of protecting freedom of expression. We hope Congress will avoid the risk of breaking apart the extraordinary technical platform that connects the whole world.

No pardon for Edward Snowden

Location:
Washington Post, 1150 15th St NW, Washington, DC, 20071, United States
Recommendation:
3

Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor who blew the cover off the federal government’s electronic surveillance programs three years ago, has his admirers.

Chairman Wheeler’s Shell Game With Set-Top Box Rules

Location:
Georgetown University, 36th Street, NW & Prospect St, NW Walsh Building Room 395, Washington, DC, United States
Recommendation:
3

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler has served up a “compromise” rule on set-top boxes. After the original proposal was met with overwhelming opposition, Chairman Wheeler retreated and reconfigured a new version of the same old rule. Much like the dealer in three-card monte, Chairman Wheeler has changed the game to appear responsive to the players when, in fact, he still holds the “money card.”

Panel approves bill to replace outdated federal systems

Location:
Capitol Building, E Capitol St NE & 1st St NE, Washington, DC, 20001, United States
Recommendation:
3

Until Sept 13 when the bills merged, Reps Will Hurd (R-TX) and Steny Hoyer (D-MD) had rival plans to modernize the government’s outdated communications systems. Two days later, the new Modernizing Government Technology Act has already left committee.

How Digital is Your State?

Location:
Government Technology, 100 Blue Ravine Road, Folsom, CA, 95630, United States
Recommendation:
3

Just as a school teacher roots for his students, the Center for Digital Government is hopeful every two years that each respondent to its Digital States Survey will astound with reports of their technological feats.

How Should We Govern Government Hacking?

Sep 19 2016 - 9:15am - 12:30pm
Location:
New America, 740 15th Street NW Suite 900, Washington, DC, 20005, United States

Never before has the issue of government hacking, and the shadowy market for hacking tools, been more in the public eye than in 2016. How should policymakers and the public respond?

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