Government & Communications

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

Idea to retire: IT-led service innovation

Location:
Brookings, 1775 Massachusetts Ave, NW, Washington, DC, 20036, United States
Recommendation:
2

With the rising importance of technology in our daily lives and in the transformation of governmental operations and service delivery, the idea of “IT-led service innovation” must be abandoned.

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Love is in the Air: President Obama Proposes (a Budget) and a Sentimental Anniversary

President Barack Obama released the final budget proposal of his presidency on February 9, a $4 trillion plan for the 2017 fiscal year, which starts October 1. Just over one-quarter of the $4 trillion budget is so-called discretionary spending for domestic and military programs that the President and Congress dicker over each year. The rest is for mandatory spending, chiefly interest on the federal debt and the Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid benefits that are expanding automatically as the population ages. So how does the budget proposal affect communications policy? Here’s a breakdown.

FCC Chairman Wheeler’s Remarks on 20th Anniversary of Telecommunications Act

Location:
Federal Communications Commission (FCC), 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC, 20554, United States
Recommendation:
4

The Telecommunications Act was a watershed between the era of analog networks and the competition-enhancing, converged networks of the digital era. Its authors had a vision – the vision to enact flexible and sensible policies that would allow the bounteous effects of digital networks to benefit consumers by stimulating competition and innovation.

Amid federal gridlock, lobbying rises in the states

Location:
Center for Public Integrity, 910 17th Street, NW, Washington, DC, 20006, United States
Recommendation:
2

More companies and interest groups are pushing their agendas in the states, according to a Center for Public Integrity analysis of five years of lobbyist registrations from all 50 states gathered by the National Institute on Money in State Politics.

The Annual Performance Report of the FCC for fiscal year 2015

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

This report summarizes the Federal Communications Commission’s progress in fulfilling its strategic goals and meeting its performance commitments as expressed in the Commission’s FY 2015 Annual Performance Plan.

How PBS Can Continue Explaining The Crisis Of Money In Politics During the Democratic Debate

Location:
Media Matters for America, 455 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Washington, DC, 20001, United States
Recommendation:
2

Across all nightly network broadcasts, PBS has consistently provided the most coverage of the crisis of money in politics and campaign finance reform over the last 16 months. During the upcoming debate, PBS can continue its much-needed emphasis on the issue by asking the candidates what steps they will take to address money in politics if elected president by asking the following questions.

Idea to retire: The “rock star” chief information officer

Location:
Brookings, 1775 Massachusetts Ave, NW, Washington, DC, 20036, United States
Recommendation:
1

While undeniably, a government rock star chief information officer (CIO) can be successful, success is far more likely if the CIO is a career government employee rather than ...

The President’s National Cybersecurity Plan: What You Need to Know

Location:
The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC, 20500, United States
Recommendation:
4

President Barack Obama has worked for more than seven years to aggressively and comprehensively confront the challenge of malicious cyber activity.

White House budget would fund computer science, other tech priorities

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

President Barack Obama’s $4 billion plan to help fund computer science classes in schools calls for $40 million in funding in 2017, with yearly spending quickly escalating for the next five years.

Remarks of FCC Commissioner Michael O'Rielly at the Country Radio Seminar 2016

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

Country radio is certainly one of the big success stories of the radio industry as a whole, as the top format in the US in terms of the number of stations and the top two or three in terms of audience ratings. I’m looking forward to hearing from you about how we at the Federal Communications Commission can be helpful, but given all of this good news, it seems to me that one of the best things we can do for you is to work on getting out of your way.

GCHQ Director: One Warrant Can Be Used to Hack a Whole Intelligence Agency

Location:
Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), Hubble Road, Cheltenham, GL51 0EX, United Kingdom
Recommendation:
2

The United Kingdom’s intelligence agencies may soon get their hacking powers on a stronger legal footing. But a new report questions why certain warrants designed to hack multiple computers at once are even necessary, when their more targeted equivalents are arguably just as broad.

The '96 Act and the Internet: The Myth of the Consensus Light-Touch

Location:
Brookings, 1775 Massachusetts Ave, NW, Washington, DC, 20036, United States
Recommendation:
3

Many hold the common but mistaken view that the successful Clintonera telecommunications/Internet policies reflected a bipartisan consensus that light-touch regulation was all that was necessary for the Internet to thrive. The bigger error, however, lies in the myth that all the Internet needed was the benign neglect of the government.

President Obama seeks 35 percent hike in federal cyber budget to boost defense

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

President Barack Obama is seeking a 35 percent hike in cybersecurity funding in his final budget to boost the capability of the federal government to defend itself against cyberattacks.

President Obama signs two executive orders on cybersecurity

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

Through two executive orders signed Feb 9, President Barack Obama put in place a structure to fortify the government's defenses against cyberattacks and protect the personal information the government keeps about its citizens.

Estimate puts congressional spending on tech at $288 Million

Location:
OpenGov Foundation, 1875 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC, 20008, United States
Recommendation:
2

Congress spent at least $288 million on technology services in 2014, according to an analysis by the OpenGov Foundation. The group billed the analysis as one of the best publicly available tallies of tech spending from Congress, despite many of the roadblocks in tallying up bills based on sometimes vague disbursement forms.

Statement of NTIA Head Strickling on 20th Anniversary of the Telecommunications Act of 1996

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

Twenty years ago today President Clinton signed the 1996 Telecommunications Act into law, removing regulatory barriers for our nation’s communications companies and fueling investment in broadband networks.

Jim Cicconi Reflects on 20 Years Under 1996 Telecommunications Act

Location:
AT&T, 208 South Akard St, Dallas, TX, 75202, United States
Recommendation:
2

Passage of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 offers great perspective on today’s political and policy gridlock in Washington. It signified a moment in time when an Administration and far-sighted legislators from both parties, holding different perspectives, but all keenly interested in the dawning Internet age, joined ranks to craft a statute that was far-reaching in its scope and visionary in its impact.

Remarks on Waging a Digital Counterinsurgency

Location:
Department of State, 2201 C Street NW, Washington, DC, 20520, United States
Recommendation:
2

Remarks by Richard Stengel, Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs.

The Wi-Fi in the White House is just as bad as yours

Location:
The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC, 20500, United States
Recommendation:
1

The White House may be a symbol of American strength and leadership, and an impenetrable fortress only conquered by those who dare to jump the fence, but when it comes to Wi-Fi, it's just like your home.

Was the 1996 Telecommunications Act successful in promoting competition?

Location:
Brookings, 1775 Massachusetts Ave, NW, Washington, DC, 20036, United States
Recommendation:
3

Evaluating legislative success is more art than science. Today our nation commemorates the 20th anniversary of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 becoming law, and there is now a sufficient period to evaluate whether the act has achieved what it was intended to accomplish. One of the clear legislative targets was to have competition serve as a force for broadband network development nationwide.

Telecom Act at 20: Assessing the Rewrite

Location:
USA, United States
Recommendation:
2

eb 8 marks the 20th anniversary of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, which updated the Communications Act of 1934 let cable into the phone business and phones into cable. A polling of some policymakers and watchers show their views on the impact of the principally deregulatory rule rewrite.

[From 1996]: Web Users Dress Pages in Black As A Protest of Communications Act

Location:
USA, United States
Recommendation:
2

More than a thousand World Wide Web pages donned mourning colors Feb 8 to protest provisions of a new telecommunications law. Web site owners put black background on their home pages to signify grief over the telecommunications reform bill that President Clinton signed. They believe it will diminish their First Amendment right to free speech.

Congress Starts to Get Serious About Online Privacy

Location:
New York Times, 620 Eighth Avenue, New York, NY, 10018, United States
Recommendation:
3

Congress could soon vote on a bill that would require law enforcement agencies to get a search warrant from a judge to obtain e-mails, photographs and other documents Americans have stored online. This important legislation would update the law to reflect how people use the Internet today.

GCHQ’s data-mining techniques revealed in new Snowden leak

A "Data Mining Research Problem Book" marked "top secret strap 1" details some of the key techniques used by GCHQ to sift through the huge volumes of data it pulls ...

Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board gives high marks to spying reforms

Location:
Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB), 2100 K. St NW, Washington, DC, 20036, United States
Recommendation:
3

The Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB) gave a positive assessment to the Obama Administration’s efforts to reform federal spying powers, saying the government has started to enact reforms addressing each of the nearly two dozen recommendations it made two years ago, on the heels of Edward Snowden’s leaks about American surveillance.

Chairmen Upton and Walden Press FCC on Lack of Consistent Reporting on Broadband Competition

Location:
House Commerce Committee, Independence Avenue and South Capitol Street 2123 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC, United States
Recommendation:
2

House Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) and Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR) wrote to Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler concerned with the commission’s reporting on broadband deployment, video competition, and mobile wireless competition.

Blame Politics for the US’ Embarrassingly Slow LTE

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

The US lagging behind the rest of the world in LTE is not a particularly new phenomenon. The gap is, though, getting starkly worse.

What If We Built a C-SPAN on Steroids?

Location:
Harvard Law School, Cambridge, MA, United States
Recommendation:
2

Newspapers are collapsing, statehouse coverage is on the wane and lobbyists are quietly filling the gap. Here’s a solution. The plan is to make every legislative session, every committee meeting, every public hearing, every oral argument in court, executive branch public meetings and hearings, press conferences, and non-governmental public policy events around the state available live (and archived for later on-demand viewing).

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Updates on Broadband Subsidies, and a New Safe Harbor Deal

Robbie’s Round-Up for the week of February 1-5, 2016
Progress was made in regards to broadband subsidies for those with low income. Highlights include a New America Event discussing the report "Opportunity for All?" and Google announcing a Google Fiber initiative to connect those with low income in public housing.
Also this week, a new U.S.-E.U. safe harbor deal.

Facebook censorship under the microscope

Location:
Facebook (new HQ), 1601 Willow Road, Menlo Park, CA, United States
Recommendation:
2

Drone strikes and labia surgery. On the surface, they don't appear to have much in common. But when people tried to post stories about these topics on Facebook, they were blocked. "The content you're trying to share includes a link that our security systems detected to be unsafe," read one notification. What gives? That's what nonprofit OnlineCensorship.org is trying to understand.

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