Better Broadband Better Lives

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Josh Peterson

Josh Peterson has 32 articles published.

ValidSoft CEO Talks Privacy Technology

WASHINGTON, August 3, 2011 – U.S. customers may soon begin seeing data security technology involving ATMs and cell phones that would work without tracking people thanks to the efforts of a European security software company. Patrick Carroll, CEO of ValidSoft Limited, discussed the company's real-time fraud detection software VALid-POS last week. The program is already in the works to be deployed through a deal with Visa Europe. Carroll believes his firm's technology answers current privacy issues lawmakers and industry professionals have been trying to tackle for several years. Keep Reading

AT&T’s Newly Proposed Economic Model For Merger Riles Opposition

WASHINGTON, July 28, 2011 – Sen. Al Franken (D-MN.) sent a filing to the Federal Communications Commission and Department of Justice Tuesday requesting the denial of the merger between wireless carriers AT&T and T-Mobile. Less than 24 hours after AT&T submitted its most recent economic model to the FCC and DOJ for the proposed merger with T-Mobile, the junior senator from Minnesota weighed in on the conflict, stating that the merger would drive up prices for consumers and likely cost thousands of jobs. Keep Reading

New Zealand Broadband Plan Sheds Light on U.S. Plan

WASHINGTON, July 22, 2011 – Broadband experts examined whether New Zealand’s ‘Ultra-Fast Broadband Initiative’ contained lessons that could be applied to the U.S.’ own broadband situation Tuesday at a New America Foundation Panel (NAF). Panelist Blair Levin, Communications and Society Fellow at the Aspen Institute and one of the primary authors of the National Broadband Plan, exhibited confidence in America’s broadband future. Keep Reading

Broadband's Impact

New Tools to Measure Home Broadband Connections Now Available

WASHINGTON, July 20, 2011 – Consumers now have a new way to capture and record actual data about the speeds and quality of their broadband service. Representatives from New America Foundation’s Open Technology Initiative (OTI), Google and Georgia Institute of Technology proclaimed the arrival Tuesday of Broadband Internet Service BenchMark (BISMark). BISMark is a project of M-Lab, a private sector-academia open-source technology collaboration. The technology uses consumer grade commercial wireless routers to capture data on a user’s broadband speed, and stores it on a Google database for the user to analyze. Users can apply for a router through a link on ProjectBismark.com. Keep Reading

Cybersecurity

Langevin Makes the Case for Establishment of White House Cyber Security Director

WASHINGTON, July 20, 2011 – Despite bipartisan agreement over the need for effective cyber security legislation, members remain divided over authority and enforcement specifics. In an opinion piece in the Saturday edition of the Washington Post, Rep. Jim Langevin (D-RI) critiqued another article published early July in which Sens. Joe Liebermann (ID-CT), Susan Collins (R-ME) and Tom Carper (D-DE) recommended proposed legislation that would grant the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) statutory authority to work with industry to identify and evaluate critical cyber infrastructure and establish best practices between government and the private sector in order to improve security. Keep Reading

Cybersecurity

Pentagon Announces Buildup of Cyber Defenses

WASHINGTON, July 18, 2011 – The Defense Department announced late last week a plan to proactively deal with cyber intrusions through a collaborative buildup of civilian and military network defenses. The DoD Strategy for Operating in Cyberspace (DSOC) is the first unified strategy for conducting operations in cyberspace between the Defense Department’s military, intelligence and business operations. The DoD is coordinating its cyber security efforts with the Department of Homeland Security and private companies responsible for maintaining critical infrastructure through threat information sharing and more robust network protection. The program is called Defense Industrial Base (DIB) Cyber Pilot. Keep Reading

FCC/Universal Service

Rural Telecom Associations Raise Concerns Over USF Reform

WASHINGTON, July 18, 2011 – The FCC should consider costs and service areas of rural broadband customers as it reforms the Universal Service Fund (USF) to include broadband expansion, urged members of congress and rural telecom associations Thursday. The rural telecom associations announced at the Capitol building the inauguration of a DC-based print advertising campaign to highlight the economic harm of the FCC’s current proposal. The associations believe that USF reform as it is presently being considered would result in lost jobs, poor health care coverage and stifled innovation due to blocked access to global markets. Keep Reading

New America Foundation: New Media Only Minor Component of Arab Spring

WASHINGTON, July 14, 2011 – Despite U.S. media portrayals of the Arab Spring as spontaneous and enabled by social media, Middle East experts said Wednesday at New America Foundation that the revolutions were part of a decades-long train of events. Future Tense, a project of the D.C.-based think tank, held a conference to discuss the role of new media in the Arab revolutions of the past year. The afternoon was filled with several different panels and speakers, all experts on the Middle East or social media that presented to a room overflowing with students, embassy and government officials and media professionals. Keep Reading

Cybersecurity/Privacy

FTC and DOJ Forum: Child ID Theft By Family Members Most Damaging

WASHINGTON, July 13, 2011 – Child ID Theft more commonly occurs via organized crime, but the most severe damage happens when done by family members, experts concluded at a joint Child ID Theft forum Tuesday. Federal Trade Commission and Department of Justice held the forum one day after hacktivist group ‘Anonymous’ attacked U.S. government security contractor, Booz Allen Hamilton, resulting in the theft of 90,000 military email addresses. Keep Reading

Experts Cast Doubt Over UK Consumer Group’s IP Address Shortage Claims

WASHINGTON, July 12, 2011 – A British consumer group claimed Monday that nearly four out of ten of the nation's 20.9 million broadband users worry about increasingly limited Internet access, though experts in the field called into question the findings, pointing to the impending implementation of the next generation of Internet Protocol addresses. With the world population set to approach 7 billion people this year, according to the United Nations, there is concern that the world is running out of Internet Protocol (IP) addresses. IP addresses are unique online identifiers that act like phone numbers for individual computers. Keep Reading

Intellectual Property

Klobuchar Streaming Bill Language Causes Concern

WASHINGTON, July 11, 2011 – Proposed legislation introduced last month with the intent to target digital pirates whose activities hurt American jobs has instead raised the eyebrows of critics, who worry the bill would adversely affect millions of YouTube users. “Intellectual property is vital to our nation’s economy, and our businesses rely on trademark and… Keep Reading

FCC and FTC Deregulation Under Review As Key to Job Growth

WASHINGTON, July 7, 2011 – What was originally billed as a federal agency confessional before House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations on Thursday turned into a search to create American jobs and economic growth. Monday, the subcommittee held its fourth hearing to improve the regulatory review system. With the national unemployment rate at 9.1 percent, burdensome regulations from federal agencies are seen by both sides of the aisle and agency representatives to contribute to the problem. An Executive Order the President issued in January sought to streamline federal agencies by having them do a retrospective review of existing regulations and discard those they determined outdated and unnecessary. Keep Reading

Cybersecurity/Privacy

Senate Considers Recommendations for Data Privacy and Security Bills

WASHINGTON, July 1, 2011 – The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee assembled Wednesday its third hearing this legislative session on data privacy and security. In a hearing rushed so that members could make it to the Senate floor in time to vote, members and witnesses from government agencies and private sector entities testifying before the senate committee reiterated support for federal data security legislation. Consumer privacy bills such as the Do Not Track Online Act of 2011, Commercial Bill of Rights Act of 2011 and reintroduction of the Data Security and Breach Notification Act are all currently before the committee. Keep Reading

New America Foundation and Creative Commons Hold Copyright Talk

WASHINGTON, June 30, 2011 – The New America Foundation's Open Technology Initiative along with Creative Commons co-sponsored an event Wednesday evening to discuss the challenges of copyright laws in a digital age. Catherine Casserly, CEO of Creative Commons, delivered the keynote speech in which she presented the mission of Creative Commons, its growth beyond early adopters into the mainstream and the organization’s new book, The Power of Open. Creative Commons is a non-profit company that provides authors, creators and innovators with a set of tools within the boundaries of copyright law to allow for their work to be easily distributed, edited, remixed and built upon. Keep Reading

Cybersecurity

Federalist Society Explores Legal Issues Surrounding Cyber Conflict

WASHINGTON, June 30, 2011 – The Federalist Society convened Tuesday to discuss the complex and interconnected legal and policy issues of cyber security in relation to the law of armed conflict, privacy and legislative action. Morning and afternoon panels comprised of national security and economic security experts presented to the legal society the difficulties of applying the law of armed conflict towards cyber threats. The new threat conditions introduced by cyber intrusions and attacks do not fit the old paradigm of doing warfare. Panelists agreed, however, that the new rules should not be determined before major cyber conflicts have taken place. Keep Reading

Cybersecurity/Privacy

Center for American Progress Panelists Explore FTC’s Role in Child Privacy Protection

WASHINGTON, June 28, 2011 – A Center for American Progress panel assembled Monday explored the challenges presented by emerging Internet technology privacy issues with respect to Federal Trade Commission enforcement, child safety and free speech rights. Julie Brill, FTC Commissioner, addressed private sector and government solutions for protecting consumer data privacy in her keynote speech to a packed house of policy analysts, advocacy groups and government officials at the Center’s Washington, D.C. headquarters. Keep Reading

China a Concern as Senate Judiciary Reviews IP Law Enforcement Efforts

WASHINGTON, June 23, 2011 – Federal law enforcement agencies testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday regarding the current state of federal intellectual property rights enforcement and the challenges to enforcing IP laws due to a complex relationship with China. Witnesses from federal law enforcement agencies reported that the increasing complexity of prosecuting IP crimes due to their international and transnational nature has made cooperation and collaboration with foreign law enforcement agencies a high priority. Keep Reading

Congress/Cybersecurity/Senate

Senate Subcommittee Evaluates Administration’s Cybersecurity Legislation Proposals

WASHINGTON, June 22, 2011 – The Senate Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism evaluated the Obama administration’s cyber security legislation proposal with respect to its own proposed cyber security proposals during a hearing Tuesday. Subcommittee members discussed with executive branch representatives the elements of the administration’s proposals to improve cyber security and individual privacy. Among the topics of the hearing were national data breach standards, the voluntary information sharing proposal and the recommendations for increased criminal penalties against cyber crime committed against critical infrastructure and racketeering. Keep Reading

Foreign Policy Research Institute Holds Cybersecurity Talk

WASHINGTON, June 17, 2011 –,The Philadelphia-based Foreign Policy Research Institute presented expertise on the emerging threat in cyberspace Thursday to journalists, private sector industry leaders, government officials and strategists in Washington. Lawrence Husick, Senior Fellow at Foreign Policy Research Institute’s (FPRI) Center on Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism, offered his expertise on leveraging technology as a defining characteristic of the modern terrorist. His presentation centered on the rapidly evolving nature of cyber attacks, and the lack of a comprehensive private sector cybersecurity initiative. Keep Reading

House Subcommittee Debates Cyber Theft Measure

WASHINGTON, June 16, 2011 – Just days after Senate email accounts were hacked, the House Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade held a hearing Wednesday to discuss a draft bill that would require companies to minimize the amount of data collected from consumers and notify them within two days of a data breach. Subcommittee members met with witnesses to clarify the ambiguous language of a discussion draft of Subcommittee Chairman Rep. Mary Bono Mack’s (R-CA) Secure and Fortify (SAFE) Data Act. The measure addresses the increasing threat of data theft, in the wake of high-profile cyber attacks on Sony, Epsilon, Lockheed-Martin and other U.S. companies. Keep Reading

TechFreedom Panel Criticizes Search Engine Bias Claims

WASHINGTON, June 15, 2011 – TechFreedom, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank, assembled a panel of law professors gathered at the Capitol on Tuesday to discuss search engine bias and recent antitrust cases involving Google. The recently-established conservative policy group moved the event to the Capitol building to make it more accessible for Senate staffers and private businessmen to attend. Keep Reading

State Department Funds Shadow Internet Networks to Protect Free Speech Rights

WASHINGTON, June 13, 2011 – The U.S. State Department has acknowledged funding the establishment of independent "shadow" internet and cell-phone networks in countries with oppressive regimes, according to a Sunday New York Times article. The effort is part of a broader "liberation technology movement" critical in the recent popular uprisings in Iran, Egypt, Libya and Syria - the more recent events are commonly referred to as the "Arab Spring." The liberation technology refers to the use of information technology to expand political, social, and economic freedom. Keep Reading

Senate Committee Passes Public Safety Spectrum Bill

WASHINGTON, June 9, 2011 – The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation passed a deficit reducing measure Wednesday to reallocate the D-Block spectrum to public safety and gain federal funding to realize a nationwide, interoperable public safety broadband network. The measure, known as the Strengthening Public-safety and Enhancing Communications Through Reform, Utilization, and Modernization (SPECTRUM) Act of 2011, is seen by proponents as a way to both reduce the federal deficit and honor first responders who lost their lives due to communications network failures during the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Keep Reading

FCC/People

FCC Announces Shakeups in Division Posts

WASHINGTON, June 8, 2011 –The Federal Communications Commission announced a flurry of new hiring in some of the agency's top spots this week with new blood due to take over three of the Commission's upper-level posts. Tuesday Rick Kaplan as the new Chief of the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau. On Monday, Robert Naylor was announced as the new Chief Information Officer, and Marius Schwartz as the new Chief Economist in the Office of Strategic Planning & Policy Analysis (OSP). The recent lineup change by the FCC was announced in three separate press releases in less than 24 hours. Keep Reading

U.N. Special Rapporteur: Internet Censorship Violation of Basic Human Rights

WASHINGTON, June 6, 2011 – The UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of opinion and expression, Frank La Rue, presented his report on freedom of expression and the Internet to the Human Rights Council in Geneva on Friday, concluding that Internet access is a basic human right. In what was hailed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation as a ‘landmark report,’ La Rue’s report also declared that disconnecting individuals from the Internet goes against international law. Keep Reading

Bono Mack: Sony Data Breach Is Cybersecurity ‘Ground Zero’

WASHINGTON, June 3, 2011 – The House Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade met on Thursday to learn the lessons from recent large-scale customer data breaches at Sony and Epsilon. The hearing examined the risks of the unprecedented data breaches, which Rep. Mary Bono Mack (R-CA), Chair of the subcommittee, called a ‘ground zero’ for cyber attacks. Other members of the subcommittee also assessed current investigation efforts by those companies, and gathered input and support to craft new data breach legislation. Keep Reading

Cybersecurity

Cyberattacks May Also Be Acts of War

WASHINGTON, June 1, 2011 - Cyberwar is war and the United States will treat it as such, reported The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday. "If you shut down our power grid, maybe we will put a missile down one of your smokestacks," said an unnamed military official. Keep Reading

House Subcommittee Weighs Consequences of New Obama Cybersecurity Proposal

WASHINGTON, May 27, 2011 - House Subcommittee members received answers long on ideas but short on specifics when they probed Obama administration officials during a hearing Wednesday on the President's cybersecurity review. The House Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, Competition, and the Internet explored the ramifications of the Obama administration’s Cyberspace Policy Review in an oversight hearing that featured two witness panels representing federal and private interests. Keep Reading

House Subcommittee Examines Digital Goods Tax Bill

WASHINGTON, May 24, 2011 - The Subcommittee on Courts, Commercial and Administrative Law held a hearing Monday on a bill that would define limits on taxes for virtual goods and services on the Internet. The proposed legislation, known as the “Digital Goods and Services Tax Fairness Act of 2011” aims to “promote neutrality, simplicity, and fairness in the taxation of digital goods and digital services.” The legislation would restrict taxing authority to the jurisdiction of the customer's tax address. Keep Reading

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