The use of computers and the Internet in conducting warfare in cyberspace.
Cyberwarfare and Cybersecurity
A number of readers have reached out to us at Benton asking for help figuring out where to find all the pools of broadband support appropriated by Congress over the past year. So we've decided to create this placeholder for all the funding we've seen in the CARES Act, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, and the American Rescue Plan.
With great drama, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 became law on December 27, 2021. The $2.3 trillion COVID relief and government spending bill extended unemployment benefits and ensured the government can keep running. The $900 billion COVID relief provision includes over $7 billion to help improve connectivity in the U.S.
Millions of records that the Federal Communications Commission’s top lawyer once fought to hold back from state law enforcement officials now serve as key evidence in a year-long probe into cases of Americans being impersonated during the agency’s latest net neutrality proceeding.
Verizon is pledging to stop selling information on phone owners’ locations to data brokers, stepping back from a business practice that has drawn criticism for endangering privacy. The data has allowed outside companies to pinpoint the location of wireless devices without their owners’ knowledge or consent. Verizon said that about 75 companies have been obtaining its customer data from two little-known CA-based brokers that Verizon supplies directly — LocationSmart and Zumigo.
Some White House officials view next-generation 5G wireless service as a “key area of competition,” and they say that the threat from China, in particular, justifies a “moonshot” government effort like the construction of the interstate highway system. A National Security Council memo urges the Trump administration to consider extraordinary efforts to clear the way for the new technology or even to help build it in order to counter the growing economic and political threat from China’s aggressive efforts to develop 5G.
SpaceX can keep launching broadband satellites despite a lawsuit filed by Viasat, a federal appeals court ruled June 20. Viasat sued the Federal Communications Commission in May 2021 and asked judges for a stay that would halt SpaceX's ongoing launches of low Earth orbit (LEO) satellites that power Starlink Internet service.
The Federal Communications Commission adopted an Order that incorporates changes to the FCC's rules consistent with the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, which appropriated $1.895 billion for the Secure and Trusted Communications Networks Reimbursement Program. The Order is another step in ongoing FCC action to protect the communications networks from those who would harm the United States. Key changes include:
The platform ID.me is run by a software company in Virginia, and it’s now a required part of more than 20 states’ unemployment programs. For many people, the ID.me process is simple: they use their smartphones to scan their faces and upload pictures of their government-issued identity cards. The images are checked by a facial recognition system. ID.me is meant to block scammers who are using fake or stolen identities to claim unemployment benefits, but the process is also cutting off an unknown number of people who don’t have the right technology or the right identification.
The House Commerce Committee will delve into a slate of nine bills aimed at securing wireless networks. The bills focus on changes to the Federal Communications Commission and National Telecommunications and Information Administration related to both tech and cybersecurity policy, with an eye toward Chinese dominance in telecoms.
As we continue to work to bring the pandemic to a close, I am already thinking about the lessons we have learned that should influence how we work toward the goal of broadband for all: