Government & Communications

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

Using Innovative Technology in Planning for the 2020 Census

Location:
Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue, NW Room 4830, Washington, DC, 20230, United States
Recommendation:
2

This week I am visiting Los Angeles (CA) County to observe the last phase of the 2016 Census Test, currently underway here in California as well as in Harris County (TX).

FCC Reform Bill Passes House

Location:
Capitol Building, East Capitol Street, NE and 1st Street, NE, Washington, DC, 20002, United States
Recommendation:
3

The House has passed a Federal Communications Commission reform bill (HR 2589) that would require the FCC to publish changes to its rules within 24 hours of their adoption, with a caveat for dissenters.

FTC Testifies Before Congress about Proposed Bills That Address the Agency’s Ability to Protect Consumers and Competition

Location:
Federal Trade Commission (FTC), 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC, 20580, United States
Recommendation:
3

In testimony before Congress, the Federal Trade Commission presented its views on 17 bills Congress is currently considering with respect to the agency’s jurisdiction and operations.

FTC To Host September Workshop On Testing Effectiveness of Consumer Disclosures

Location:
Federal Trade Commission (FTC), 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC, 20580, United States
Recommendation:
3

The Federal Trade Commission will host a public workshop on Sept 15, 2016, to examine the testing and evaluation of disclosures that companies make to consumers about advertising claims, privacy practices, and other information.

Tom Wheeler, independent agency

Location:
American Enterprise Institute (AEI), 1150 Seventeenth Street, Washington, DC, 20036, United States
Recommendation:
2

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler’s time as chairman has been marked by concerns of overt partisanship. These concerns stem from the fact that the FCC has seemingly been more partisan under Chairman Wheeler than under the leadership of any other chairman in recent history.

Facebook’s Trending Topics Are None of the Senate’s Business

Location:
Harvard Law School, 1585 Massachusetts Avenue Wasserstein Hall/Caspersen Student Center Milstein West A, Cambridge, MA, 02138, United States
Recommendation:
3

Chairman Thune’s letter demanding details about Facebook’s editorial process claims to be based on the Senate Commerce Committee’s “oversight authority.” But oversight of what, exactly?

Machine Bias: There’s software used across the country to predict future criminals. And it’s biased against blacks.

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

Risk assessments, computer programs that produce a score based on the likelihood of person committing a future crime, are increasingly common in courtrooms across the nation.

Clinton e-mail hacker ‘Guccifer’ expected to plead guilty

Location:
Alexandria, VA, United States
Recommendation:
2

A Romanian hacker who claimed to have broken into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s personal e-mail server is expected to plead guilty to US criminal charges in a federal court.

In China, Government Workers Push Rosy, Diverting Views Online

Location:
China, China
Recommendation:
2

China heavily censors its Internet, limiting what its people can see or say online to channels that the government can control. But China’s managing of its message does not end there. It also taps untold masses of people to cheer for its side on online message boards and social media.

Fake in China: 488 million social media posts a year

Location:
People's Republic of China, Beijing, China
Recommendation:
2

The Chinese government cranks out 488 million fake social media posts a year in an effort to divert attention away from sensitive issues, a new study estimates. The researchers describe a "massive secretive operation" carried out by government employees, highlighting just how far China is willing to go to control news and information.

CommLawBlog: FCC Overhauls Lifeline Program

Location:
Fletcher, Heald and Hildreth, 1300 North 17th St, Arlington, VA, 22209, United States
Recommendation:
3

The federal Lifeline program – a program overseen by the Federal Communications Commission and originally designed to provide subsidized phone service to low-income households – has never been a model of efficiency or consistency. Now the FCC has taken dramatic steps to overhaul the program.

House defense bill elevates cyber force, defying White House

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

The defense authorization bill that cleared the House May 18 would elevate the US military’s cyber unit to a standalone warfighting entity — despite direct opposition from the White House.

Examining the Multistakeholder Plan for Transitioning the Internet Assigned Number Authority

May 24 2016 - 10:00am - 2:00pm
Location:
Senate Commerce Committee, Constitution Avenue and 1st Street, NE Russell Senate Office Building - 253, Washington, DC, 20002, United States

The hearing will examine the proposed transition of oversight of the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA), a department of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) that allocates Internet IP addresses and domain names, to the global multistakeholder community.

FCC Launches Consumer Complaint Data Center

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

The Federal Communications Commission today launched its new online Consumer Complaint Data Center to provide greater transparency into consumer complaints received by the Commission. This online platform will provide the public with more information about consumer complaints and tools to customize how they view the data.

Giving Consumers Greater Access to FCC Complaint Data

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

Greater transparency is one of the goals of our Consumer Help Center, which for over a year now has been the FCC’s primary online destination for learning about consumer telecommunications issues, filing informal consumer complaints and finding out what other consumers are concerned about. In keeping with that commitment, we have made more and more consumer-complaint data publicly available through the Consumer Help Center – publishing weekly updates to a variety of charts, maps and spreadsheets. All the while, though, we’ve had something more in mind: handing the keys to the data directly to the public. And so, we’re pleased to unveil our new Consumer Complaint Data Center, which will make available granular complaint data that is automatically updated daily, resulting in more up-to-date data being made available to the public.

FCC consumer database includes 22,000 network neutrality complaints

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

Consumers have filed more than 22,000 network neutrality complaints against companies since Nov. 2014, according to the Federal Communications Commission.

Republicans renew attempts to delay Internet domain handoff

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

Republicans in Congress are again attempting to block the government's plan to hand off oversight of the Internet domain name system. A House Appropriations subcommittee advanced a funding bill for Commerce, Justice and Science that included a provision barring the government from using funds to make the transition through 2017. The language is nearly identical to similar policy riders that made their way into funding bills in the past few years.

CBO Scores Bill That Would Require Prompt Release of New FCC Orders

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

H.R. 2589 would establish deadlines for the publication of certain information developed by the Federal Communications Commission. Under this bill, the text of any decisions that are subject to a vote by the FCC commissioners would have to be published on the agency’s website within 24 hours after the secretary of the commission receives the text of any dissenting statements.

3 Highlights from the 2016 Gigabit City Summit

Location:
Kansas City, MO, United States
Recommendation:
2

More than 75 city representatives convened at the 2016 Gigabit City Summit in Kansas City (MO, highlighting do's and don'ts in civic tech. Here are three civic tech highlights from day two of the event. 1) KC makes an open data comeback. 2) Boston is a model for innovation. 3) Tips to jumpstart civic tech.

Knight Foundation, Columbia University launch First Amendment Institute, $60 million project to promote free expression in the digital age

Location:
Columbia University, 2950 Broadway, New York, NY, 10027, United States
Recommendation:
3

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and Columbia University announced the creation of the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University. The $60 million effort will seek to preserve and expand First Amendment rights in the digital age through research and education, and by supporting litigation in favor of protecting freedom of expression and the press.

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Cities, Technology, the Next Generation of Urban Development, and the Next Administration

Location:
Kansas City, KS, United States
Recommendation:
2

First, we know American cities will lead the economy, as cities do around the world. Second, the cities that will lead the most are those who take the greatest advantage of the macro-trends that create economic growth, social progress. Third, while the current short-term, news cycle driven attention span and resulting dysfunction in DC may well continue, cities will continue to actually take long-term actions. Fourth, more cities will focus on the gigabit/connected cities opportunity. In that light, we should set an agenda for how the next administration can move the country forward by helping the cities that want to lead in this century’s city led, global information economy.

The Fight Over Privacy and Secrecy in Government Investigations

Location:
Washington, DC, United States
Recommendation:
1

The debate over privacy has intensified since the battle between Apple and the Justice Department emerged over unlocking the iPhone of one of the San Bernardino shooters. Add to that the question of whether it is appropriate for the government to ask a court to prohibit a company from revealing that it is seeking customer information, and the intertwined issues of privacy and secrecy will force Congress to finally deal with the world of digital information.

Bridges Mark Zuckerberg Destroyed

Location:
Iran, Iran
Recommendation:
2

The open web could have been a remedy at a time when closed borders rule. But Mark Zuckerberg destroyed it.

It’s not too late for Obama to confront the ethics of technology in our world

Location:
Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH, 03755, United States
Recommendation:
1

Is it time to create a presidential commission on technoethics?

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Cities, Technology, the Next Generation of Urban Development, and the Next Administration

My topic today is Cities, Technology, the Next Generation of Urban Development and the Next Administration. It’s a challenge, as we cannot know who will be the next President. One could look to prediction markets or polls but this campaign is as predictable as a game of basketball pitting the best offense in baseball versus the best defense in football. Both major party candidates will be playing in a different game than the one that got them to the final round. Further, not in my lifetime has there been an election in which the political variation is so great. The Presidency, Congress and the Courts could all shift, with a wide ideological delta. Nonetheless we can know some things about the next four years related to this conference.

China Quietly Targets US Tech Companies in Security Reviews

Location:
China, China
Recommendation:
2

Chinese authorities are quietly scrutinizing technology products sold in China by Apple and other big foreign companies, focusing on whether they pose potential security threats to the country and its consumers and opening up a new front in an already tense relationship with Washington over digital security.

Evaluating the privacy properties of telephone metadata

Location:
Stanford Law School, 559 Nathan Abbott Way, Stanford, CA, 94305, United States
Recommendation:
2

Since 2013, a stream of disclosures has prompted reconsideration of surveillance law and policy. One of the most controversial principles, both in the United States and abroad, is that communications metadata receives substantially less protection than communications content. Several nations currently collect telephone metadata in bulk, including on their own citizens. In this paper, we attempt to shed light on the privacy properties of telephone metadata. Using a crowdsourcing methodology, we demonstrate that telephone metadata is densely interconnected, can trivially be reidentified, and can be used to draw sensitive inferences.

FCC: Glitch, Backlog Delaying Broadband Privacy Comments

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

Federal Communications Commission press secretary Kim Hart has tracked down the problem with the missing Protect Internet Freedom (PIF) broadband privacy comments, which she says was a mixture of failure to communicate on the commenter side and a major comment backlog on the FCC's end due to comments on data plans and set-tops.

Sen Nelson Advises FCC Inspector General on Lifeline Investigation

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

Senate Commerce Committee Ranking Member Bill Nelson (D-FL.) has some advice for how the Federal Communications Commission Inspector General should conduct an investigation into FCC leaks.

Congress hits FDIC cyber breach that ‘boggles the mind’

Location:
Capitol Building, East Capitol Street, NE and 1st Street, NE, Washington, DC, 20002, United States
Recommendation:
3

A series of cybersecurity incidents at the federal office safeguarding bank deposits has seriously shaken the confidence of House members who were dismayed by agency testimony.

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