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Posts by Anne L. Kim
September 30, 2014
The Bureau of Engraving and Printing has started the process of distributing thousands of currency readers to the blind and visually impaired and a recommendation recently released by the Government Accountability Office pretty much boils down to this: evaluate the program to figure out if it actually works.
September 29, 2014
The next changes Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler wants to see to the program that provides subsidies for Internet service in public schools and libraries known as E-Rate: addressing high speed broadband access by schools and libraries in rural areas.
In prepared remarks for an education technology event in Washington on Monday, Wheeler said that “75 percent of rural public schools today are unable to achieve the high-speed connectivity goals we have set.” He pointed to lack of access to fiber networks and the cost of paying for it when it’s available.
In addition to the Federal Communications Commission being scheduled to vote on a proposal to eliminate the sports blackout rule, several net neutrality-related events are happening this week, including the FCC’s economics-focused Open Internet roundtable session.
September 26, 2014
The week wraps up with the Federal Trade Commission’s 100-year birthday. Here’s a look at some of the highlights from this week in Washington and a few Technocrat posts from this week, in case you missed them.
The Application Developers Alliance, which *surprise* represents app developers, is just a couple years old and has roughly 40,000 individual and nearly 180 companies as members. The policy issues they focus on are data and patents and Technocrat talked with the group’s vice president for policy, law and government affairs, Tim Sparapani. He was previously Facebook’s public policy director and senior legislative counsel at the American Civil Liberties Union.
Q: What are your top policy issues that you’re working on right now?
A: Well, it’ll be no surprise that most of them revolve around data.
And, you know, because our members are the experts in how to build new and novel technologies, using both businesses’ and the public’s data, there are a whole host of questions that arise from that.
So, they sort of span the globe of things. But mostly it’s about how we can use data wisely and well to benefit consumers and the public writ large.
Sometimes people sort of truncate this by calling it a privacy debate. Well, it’s a lot more than that. You know, it’s a really a sort of a debate about whether data can be used to solve a series of societal problems, as our members believe it can be. And whether we can provide increasingly customized and personalized services and benefits to individuals, which give them tools and services that before the app industry arose used to cost them a whole lot of money, and now we can hopefully give them to them for free or nearly so. So it’s also about consumer benefit.
September 25, 2014
Google has been a critic of data localization and at a panel discussion Thursday, the company’s director of information security and law enforcement laid out more details of the negatives he sees in such proposals by foreign countries. Among them: inefficiencies, cost and security issues.
September 24, 2014
At a net neutrality forum Wednesday, FCC commissioner Mignon Clyburn’s opening statement focused on mobile broadband while commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel focused her questions on paid prioritization.
The forum was hosted by California Democrat Doris Matsui in Sacramento. The FCC is in the process of rewriting net neutrality rules after its 2010 rules were mostly struck down by an appeals court earlier this year.
Utah Republican Jason Chaffetz sits on the House Judiciary subcommittee with jurisdiction over intellectual property and information technology issues, is a prolific user of Twitter and is interested in the intersection of security, technology and privacy.
CQ Roll Call’s updated profile of Chaffetz went online (subscription) earlier this week and a significant portion of it looks at his work and stances on tech policy issues, including: online gambling, music royalty rates and legislation that would allow states to collect sales taxes on online purchases made by residents, even when the retailer is out of state.
September 23, 2014
Kenneth Cukier say big data will make our lives better, but that there are problems we need to keep in mind. Among them: elimination of some jobs.
“There is another problem,” says Cukier in this video posted on YouTube Tuesday of a Ted Talk from earlier this summer. “Big data is going to steal our jobs.”
Tax issues being debated on the Hill that could affect tech companies and have been in the spotlight lately include whether to allow states to require online retailers outside their borders to collect their sales taxes and whether to make the Internet tax moratorium permanent. CQ Roll Call’s Katy O’Donnell in a recent story looks abroad.