Government & Communications

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

What's your 'Inside Threat Score?' It Could Determine If You Keep Your Clearance

Location:
Pentagon, Washington, DC, 20301-1400, United States

Your eligibility to perform secret government work could one day be decided by a number that looks like a credit score, and factors in your social media activities. According to the head of the new US security clearance agency, the idea is to regularly vet individuals with access to classified information on their likelihood to go rogue, as one would be rated on their likelihood to default on a loan.

Supreme Court approves rule change to expand FBI hacking power

Location:
Supreme Court of the United States, One First Street, NE, Washington, DC, United States
Recommendation:
5

The Supreme Court approved a rule change that would let US judges issue search warrants for access to computers located in any jurisdiction despite opposition from civil liberties groups who say it will greatly expand the FBI's hacking authority.

Statement of Commissioner O'Rielly on HR 2593

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

Given my outspoken involvement in Federal Communications Commission process related issues, I want to commend [Rep Bob Latta’s (R-OH)] effort to bring the public into the loop on FCC decisions pushed to the staff level.

Encryption Without Tears

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

In an increasingly digital world, strong encryption of devices is needed to prevent criminal misuse of data. But technological innovation must not mean placing individuals or companies above the law.

Facebook breaks content restriction record after Paris attacks

Location:
Facebook, 1601 S California Avenue, Palo Alto, CA, 94304, United States
Recommendation:
3

Facebook restricted a record amount of content at the request of governments around the world in the second half of 2015 — an increase almost solely attributed to a single image showing the devastation after the November terrorist attacks in Paris.

Sen Wyden rallies opposition to new fed hacking powers

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

Sen Ron Wyden (D-OR) is trying to block the Justice Department's request to expand its remote hacking powers, after the Supreme Court signed off on the proposal April 28.

Census Bureau hopes to use data from other government agencies in 2020

Location:
Census Bureau, 4600 Silver Hill Road, Suitland, MD, 20746, United States
Recommendation:
2

Anyone who has filed a US tax return, applied for a Social Security number or signed up for Medicare has given personal data to the government. So when the Census Bureau counts the American public, can it use the information that other federal agencies have already collected?

Senate Commerce Committee Approves FCC Reauthorization and Six Other Bills

Location:
Senate Commerce Committee, Constitution Avenue and 1st Street, NE Russell Senate Office Building - 253, Washington, DC, 20002, United States
Recommendation:
4

The Senate Commerce Committee approved the reauthorization for the Federal Communications Commission, six other bills, and nominations.

Rupert Murdoch’s ‘man in Washington’ is leaving top lobbyist post at 21st Century Fox

Location:
21st Century Fox, 1211 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY, 10036, United States
Recommendation:
2

Michael Regan, the longtime chief lobbyist for Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox, is leaving the media empire at the end of June.

New study: Snowden’s disclosures about NSA spying had a scary effect on free speech

Location:
Oxford University, Wellington Square, Oxford, OX1 2JD, United Kingdom
Recommendation:
2

A new study provides some insight into the repercussions of the Snowden revelations, arguing that they happened so swiftly and were so high-profile that they triggered a measurable shift in the way people used the Internet.

Google to FCC: Privacy Pledge Unnecessary

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

Google is taking issue with the Federal Communications Commission's proposal to have third parties, like Google, voluntarily adhere to cable-like customer privacy rules in exchange for getting access to cable operator set-top content.

Commercial Spectrum Enhancement Act (CSEA) Annual Progress Report for 2015

Location:
National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), 1401 Constitution Ave, Washington, DC, 20230, United States
Recommendation:
2

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration submits this report pursuant to Section 207 of the Commercial Spectrum Enhancement Act (CSEA), which requires annual reporting on federal agencies’ progress to relocate wireless communications systems from spectrum or share spectrum that has been reallocated to commercial use.

FBI Plans to Keep Apple iPhone-Hacking Method Secret

Location:
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), 935 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW J. Edgar Hoover Building, Washington, DC, 20535-0001, United States
Recommendation:
3

The Federal Bureau of Investigation plans to tell the White House it knows so little about the hacking tool that was used to open a terrorist’s iPhone that it doesn’t make sense to launch an internal government review about whether to share the hacking method with Apple.

Encryption Fight: How Many Times Can The Government Cry Wolf?

Location:
USA, United States
Recommendation:
2

In two high-profile cases now, the government has gone to court to force Apple to help break into a criminal's iPhone—only to abandon its legal effort at the eleventh hour before a crucial hearing or filing deadline. The question is, now that the government has thrown in the towel in two cases, will it will try again in a new case in some other court? And if it does, will the judge believe that it has truly exhausted all other means and needs Apple’s assistance?

Campaign Legal Center Pushes FCC for Enhanced Ad Disclosure

Location:
Campaign Legal Center, 215 E Street NE, Washington, DC, 20002, United States
Recommendation:
3

The Campaign Legal Center says the Federal Communications Commission is failing to do its job, and in the process failing the American people, by not launching a rulemaking to tighten disclosure requirements for TV and radio political ads.

President Obama Stresses Need to Monitor Data in Fighting Terrorism

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

The trans-Atlantic debate over digital privacy rights versus the surveillance needs of intelligence agencies was put under a spotlight April 25, as President Barack Obama called for continued access by law enforcement officials to thwart terrorism, while some European privacy advocates urged greater restraint.

Spies see obstacles for calculating surveillance of Americans

Location:
Director of National Intelligence, Washington, DC, 20511, United States
Recommendation:
3

Federal intelligence officials would face multiple obstacles in calculating the number of Americans whose data is swept up in a large surveillance regime meant to target foreigners, the nation’s top spy said April 25.

Sec of Commerce Pritzker Discusses Importance of Digital Economy at 2016 Hannover Messe Digital Transformation of Industry Conference

Location:
Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington, DC, 20230, United States
Recommendation:
3

US Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker delivered remarks at the Digital Transformation of Industry Conference hosted by the European Commission (EC) during the 2016 Hannover Messe.

CBO Scores the E-mail Privacy Act

Location:
Congressional Budget Office (CBO), Second and D Streets, SW Ford House Office Building 4th Floor, Washington, DC, 20515-6925, United States
Recommendation:
3

The E-mail Privacy Act (HR 699) would amend the Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986 (Public Law 99-508) to change current law relating to the privacy of certain personal communications.

Commission on presidential debates considers taking crowdsourced questions

Location:
Commission on Presidential Debates, Washington, DC, United States
Recommendation:
3

The Commission on Presidential Debates will start discussions on the formats of the four general election debates fall 2016 (three presidential, one vice presidential). And while the commission, made up of former party officials, politicians and some academics, is keen to incorporate new technologies and even open debate formats, they’re grappling with the question of how to seamlessly weave together the traditional role of a moderator, as both writer and presenter of questions, and that of a voting public that is used to having its voices heard on social media.

How a Senator used Facebook ads to influence employees in a single DC building

Location:
Department of the Interior, 1849 C Street, NW, Washington, DC, 20240, United States
Recommendation:
2

For a glimpse into just how precise Facebook ad targeting is getting, look to Washington (DC). Specifically look to 1849 C Street, NW, a few blocks from the White House, where you’ll find the headquarters for the Department of the Interior, the federal agency tasked with managing national parks, federal land and natural resources.

CBO Scores the MEGABYTE Act (S 2340)

Location:
Congressional Budget Office (CBO), Second and D Streets, SW Ford House Office Building 4th Floor, Washington, DC, 20515-6925, United States
Recommendation:
2

The MEGABYTE Act of 2015 (S 2340) would amend federal laws related to managing the federal government’s licenses for information technology software. The bill would require the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to issue a directive to each federal agency to develop a comprehensive policy for software licensing including a complete inventory of software licenses and to develop a mechanism to track, maintain, and analyze software use.

White House Police Data Initiative Highlights New Commitments

Location:
The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC, 20500, United States
Recommendation:
2

April 21, the Administration is announcing that 53 jurisdictions, covering more than 41 million people, have now committed to the Police Data Initiative, with over 90 data sets released to date.

Justice Department withdraws another demand for Apple’s help with passcode

Location:
US District Court for the Eastern District of New York, 225 Cadman Plaza East, Brooklyn, NY, 11201, United States
Recommendation:
2

The Justice Department notified a federal court in Brooklyn that it no longer needs Apple’s help in pulling data from a drug dealer’s iPhone after someone came forward with a passcode.

Stonewalled by NSA, Members of Congress Ask Really Basic Question Again

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

A bipartisan group of lawmakers is none too happy that the executive branch is asking them to reauthorize two key surveillance programs next year without answering the single most important question about them.

Google's Remarkably Close Relationship with the Obama White House

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

Over the past seven years, Google has created a remarkable partnership with the President Barack Obama White House, providing expertise, services, advice, and personnel for vital government projects. The Intercept teamed up with Campaign for Accountability to present two revealing data sets from that forthcoming project: one on the number of White House meetings attended by Google representatives, and the second on the revolving door between Google and the government.

National Security Letters are now constitutional, judge rules

Location:
US District Court for the Northern District of California, 450 Golden Gate Ave, San Francisco, CA, 94102, United States
Recommendation:
3

A Judge who in 2013 declared that National Security Letters (NSLs) were unconstitutional has now changed her mind in an unsealed ruling made public April 21.

Senate Commerce Committee Tees Up FCC Bills

Location:
Senate Commerce Committee, Constitution Avenue and 1st Street, NE Russell Senate Office Building - 253, Washington, DC, 20002, United States
Recommendation:
3

The Senate Commerce Committee has scheduled a mark-up April 27 on a pair of Federal Communications Commission-related bills, including the first FCC reauthorization in a quarter century.

Tech’s plan to encrypt web now covers ‘millions’ of sites

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

A tech sector initiative to secure Internet browsing for the entire web now covers millions of websites. The campaign, Let’s Encrypt, offers encryption certificates to websites, free of charge. As of April 21, Let’s Encrypt had issued two million certificates.

When it comes to engagement with citizens, the government is finally paying attention

Location:
sutherland, United States

The acceleration of technological changes in how the private sector delivers goods and services has raised expectations among citizens that government agencies can do the same – or even find ways to do better.

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