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

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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.

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Senate Subcommittee Evaluates Administration’s Cybersecurity Legislation Proposals

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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.

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Foreign Policy Research Institute Holds Cybersecurity Talk

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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.

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House Subcommittee Debates Cyber Theft Measure

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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.

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Commerce Dept. Recommends Public-Private Partnership on Cybersecurity

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WASHINGTON, June 9, 2011 – The Department of Commerce released its Cybersecurity, Innovation and the Internet Economy green paper on Wednesday, advising cooperation between the government and private sector to implement ways to address cybersecurity issues.

The Internet Policy Taskforce, a department-wide group created in April 2010, wrote the green paper with the goal of addressing the pressing issues surrounding cyber security.

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Leahy Introduces Data Security Bill

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WASHINGTON June 8, 2011 – Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, re-introduced a bill Tuesday that would establish a national standard for the notification to consumers by corporations when data breaches occur.

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD) cosponsored the Personal Data Privacy and Security Act, a reiteration of bills by the same name that have failed in each of the three previous Congresses.

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

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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.

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

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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.

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Cyberattacks May Also Be Acts of War

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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.

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House Subcommittee Weighs Consequences of New Obama Cybersecurity Proposal

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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.

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Chertoff, Genachowski Join FCC Cybersecurity Roundtable

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WASHINGTON May 17, 2011- As part of National Small Business Week, the Federal Communications Commission assembled leading experts for a cybersecurity roundtable discussion on Monday and unveiled a set of new partnerships aimed at educating the public.

“A recent Symantec study found that American small businesses lose billions annually to cyber-attacks, and 74 percent of small and medium businesses reported being affected by cyber-attacks in the past 12 months,” said FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski. “The average cost of each cyber-attack to small and medium sized businesses is nearly $200,000.”

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University of Washington Wins National Cyber Defense Challenge

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WASHINGTON, Monday, April 18, 2011 ­– The University of Washington’s Computer Science and Engineering Cyber Defense Team won first place in the 5th annual National Collegiate Cyber Defense Challenge (NCCDC), with Texas A&M following in second place and the University of Louisville in third.

The three-day challenge was held April 16-18th at the Hilton San Antonio Hotel. The competition was created in 2005 to spur regular cyber security exercises amongst post-secondary level students. The contestants are made up of winning teams from each regional challenge, with nine teams competing in this year’s challenge.

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North American Electric Reliability Corporation Creates Cyber Attack Task Force

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WASHINGTON March 3, 2011- The North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) has announced the formation of a Cyber Attack Task Force to evaluate and help protect the U.S. power grid in the event of an online assault. NERC is an independent, international organization that seeks to ensure the “reliability of the bulk power system in North…

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‘Kill Switch’ Legislation Faces Uphill Battle in Light of Egypt Crisis

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WASHINGTON, February 4, 2011 – Senate lawmakers are considering a measure that would allow the President to declare a national cyber emergency and give him the power to use an internet “kill switch” which could shut down internet access nationally.

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Rockefeller to Focus on Fraud, Cybersecurity

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WASHINGTON, January 24, 2011 – The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV (D-WV), released his legislative agenda for the upcoming year on Friday. The senator plans to prioritize three broad areas: economic security and growth, proactive homeland security and consumer protection. “In the new Congress,” said Rockefeller…

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International Telecom Group Opens Global Conference With an Eye on Broadband

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WASHINGTON, October 7, 2010 – The International Telecommunications Union this week opened its three-week conference in Mexico with a call by its secretary general for delegates to be “bold and visionary” in reaching agreements providing a sound platform for the development of information and communications technologies.

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India Wants Access to Communications Networks

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WASHINGTON, September 3, 2010 – The Indian government has announced that it will give notice to all communications services that it would like access to their networks. In the aftermath of last year’s Mumbai terror attacks, the government wants to be able to access communications networks to monitor for terrorist activities.

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FCC Seeks Input as It Embarks on Crafting Cybersecurity Plan

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WASHINGTON, August 12, 2010 – The Federal Communications Commission is seeking public comment on a cybersecurity roadmap to identify vulnerabilities to communications networks or end users as it endeavors to help craft a national plan to protect the nation.

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UAE Retreats from BlackBerry Ban, Germany Steps Forward With Concerns

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The Saudi government has decided to back down from its threat to shutter the BlackBerry corporate messenger service in the United Arab Emirates, saying it is making progress in talks with device maker Research in Motion. Meanwhile, Germany’s interior minister told a German newspaper that the German government is recommending banning the use of the BlackBerry and iPhone because of increased attacks on Germany networks.

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Smart Grid Cyber Security Legislation Passes Senate Committee

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WASHINGTON August 6, 2010 – The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee has approved legislation that gives the Secretary of Energy the power to issue orders regarding threats to the electric grid.

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UAE BlackBerry Ban Highlights State Threat to Broadband Freedom

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LONDON, August 4, 2010 – The plan announced this week by the United Arab Emirates to ban use of BlackBerry Messenger, e-mail and web browsing services by Oct. 11 unless the company allows it to access the encrypted messages on demand has drawn universal condemnation from freedom and privacy groups, but more a muted governmental response.

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United States Woefully Lacking a Cohesive Cyberspace Strategy, Says GAO

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WASHINGTON, August 3, 2010 – Federal agencies have not provided top-level leadership for the United States on cybersecurity issues, according to a new report by the Government Accountability Office. Additionally, the United States possesses no “clear vision” of how cybersecurity impacts national goals. Rather, the nation has engaged in an ad hoc selection of cybersecurity measures.

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Verizon Releases New Study on Cybercrime

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WASHINGTON, August 2, 2010 – According to a study on Cybercrime released by Verizon Wireless almost half of security breaches in the United States Government are committed with the help of insiders with knowledge of the system.

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Cybersecurity Conference Considers Challenges; Debates Need for New Solutions

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WASHINGTON July 28, 2010 –Speaking at a conference on cybersecurity hosted by the Department of Commerce yesterday, one expert argued that when it comes to cybersecurity threats, “we don’t need a new strategy.” The speaker, Philip Reitinger of the Department for Homeland Security, made the observation in the introduction to his remarks on how combating cybersecurity might be accomplished in the current climate.

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White House Hosts Cybersecurity Conference; Discusses Solutions

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WASHINGTON, July 19, 2010 –White House Cybersecurity Coordinator and Special Assistant to the President Howard Schmidt has announced that 12 of 19 Federal agencies would be newly covered by EINSTEIN intrusion detection software. The decision came in the context of a series of talks regarding cybersecurity at the White House – talks in which President Obama himself participated.

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OMB and DHS Clarify Cybersecurity Responsibility and Activities within the Executive Branch

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WASHINGTON, July 12, 2010- The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and the Cybersercurity Coordinator recently released a joint memo in which their specific responsibilities were outlined following the regulations in the Federal Information and Security Management Act of 2002 (FISMA).

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Experts Debate Causes, Cures for Cyber Bullying and High Risk Behaviors

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WASHINGTON, June 29, 2010 – The best way to avoid cyber bullying is not to be a teenage girl, said an expert on Tuesday at a panel discussion hosted by the Progress and Freedom Foundation. The remarks, made by Michael McKeehan, Verizon’s executive director of internet and technology policy, were in response to a question on “high risk behaviors” that lead children to become targets of online bullies.

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Cyber-security Bill Moves Out of Committee

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WASHINGTON, June 25, 2010 –The Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental affairs has passed the Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act of 2010; as has been reported before this act has gained a fair bit of controversy for its internet kill switch provision. If signed into law the act would also create a cyber-security center within the Department of Homeland Security.

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