Several senators have formed a caucus to fight censorship of the Internet outside the United States. The Global Internet Freedom Caucus, formed this week, includes Democrats and Republicans.
Earlier this month some House members formed a similar caucus.
Members of Congress and the Obama administration have become increasingly focused on promoting Internet freedom as a part of a foreign policy agenda.
Since Google said in January that it was no longer willing to go along with the Chinese government's censorship of Google.cn, a version of Google for China, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has given a speech backing Internet freedom. The Senate unanimously adopted a resolution Feb. 2 supporting Clinton’s position.
The Senate caucus is led by Sens. Ted Kaufman (D-Del.) and Sam Brownback (R-Kan.). Other caucus members include: Sens. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), John McCain (R-Ariz.), Mike Johanns (R-Neb.), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Jim Risch (R-Idaho) and Robert Menendez (D-N.J.).
Posted on Mar 26, 2010 at 7:21 PM0 comments
Three technology trade associations remain worried about provisions in a cybersecurity bill in the Senate that involve certification requirements for cybersecurity professionals.
TechAmerica, the Business Software Alliance, and the Information Technology Industry Council have sent a letter to Sens. John Rockefeller (D-W. Va.) and Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) praising the senators for their efforts to highlight cybersecurity and strengthen cooperation between government and industry on computer security. However, the groups said “in aiming to strengthen a public-private partnership, the bill creates a compliance-focused framework that we think could hamper effective risk management, which we understand is not the intent.”
Under the latest draft of the bill, released on March 17, a presidential administration would collaborate with companies that control critical infrastructure to identify the best training, accreditation, and certification programs for cybersecurity employees. Cybersecurity professionals that do specific types of jobs would have to go through those programs.
The idea of requiring certification and accreditation for industry officials has been controversial since it was proposed in the original draft of the bill last April.
“The technology industry welcomes efforts to shore up the cybersecurity profession and increase the qualified cadre of cybersecurity professionals that are trained to defend our corporate and government networks,” the groups wrote. “However, an employee certification program as currently proposed could be conceived in a way that is too bureaucratic and burdensome, and the implementation of which may not even achieve our mutual goal of improving our cybersecurity workforce.”
The bill cleared the Senate Commerce Committee earlier today and is on its way to the full Senate for further consideration.
Posted on Mar 24, 2010 at 7:21 PM0 comments
Can playing a really intense video game or becoming immersed in a cyber virtual world actually help you do your real world job better?
That's not just an argument for gamers, but the organization that conducts research for intelligence agencies is also interested in finding out specifically how virtual world prowess carries over to the real world.
The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Agency (IARPA) wants focused, quantitative research on how gaming and virtual world immersion could boost problem-solving skills, critical thinking, teamwork and persistence. IARPA issued a request for information on March 12 and plans to hold an upcoming workshop on this topic, and possibly issue a solicitation for research.
“It is well known that analysts can be hampered by problems of groupthink, premature attachment to early hypotheses, confirmation bias, and cultural bias, for example,” the RFI stated. “Might gaming environments provide an antidote?”
IARPA said studies to date show that immersive environments can affect real world performance, but the agency said much of that previous research has focused on case studies and gross-level effects.
The agency said it’s interested in identifying the important environmental variables, such as image and sound quality, level of immersion, amount of repetition, and cultural background, that control those effects. So far, few metrics have been developed, IARPA said.
Responses to the RFI are due April 12.
Posted on Mar 17, 2010 at 7:21 PM1 comments