Daily Archives: February 19, 2009

Stem Cell Debates

New Post article updates discussion regarding impending federal policy changes. One possible change:

Among the issues the guidelines will address is whether funding should be limited to cells from leftover embryos that are destined for destruction at infertility clinics.

The arguments by opponents to “liberalization” of federal policy include:

Opponents have argued that research on human embryonic stem cells has become unnecessary because of scientific advances in the interim, including promising studies involving adult stem cells and the ability to turn adult cells into cells that appear to have many of the properties of embryonic cells..

Legislation has been proposed, include SB 169 in Georgia, to prohibit the use of  “left over” embryo’s from IVF procedures.  And, the definition within SB 169 would also seem to prohibit using adult stem cells that mimic embryonic stem cells as such stem cells may indeed lead to cloning a human, or at the very least fulfill the definition of cloing, see:

‘Human embryo’ means an organism with a human or predominantly human genetic
constitution from the single-celled stage to approximately eight weeks development that
is derived by fertilization (in vitro or in utero), parthenogenesis, cloning (somatic cell
nuclear transfer), or any other means from one or more human gametes or human diploid
cells.

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Cyber Security Policy Tools – parental control

What you don’t know, can hurt your kids:

Because parents generally don’t understand that Internet features exist on these devices, they are not supervising their use (other than for choice of game content for sex or violence). They are often shocked to learn that their kids are using voice-over-Internet phone technologies (VoIP) to scream at or chat with anyone else playing the game.

Even when strong parental controls exist, such as with Xbox 360 or Wii, parents don’t think about setting them and rarely know they are available.

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Evolving governance issues

BBC story on the Facebook policy dispute is interesting from a policy perspective.  First the chronology:

  1. Facebook publishes a change in terms regarding Facebook’s “ownership” of individual data published on the site
  2. Individuals protest via social network tools
  3. Organizations, mainly nonprofit groups focused on privacy issues, raise the stakes, threaten action via judicial and regulatory (FTC) venues
  4. Facebook withdraws proposed terms
  5. Facebook creates online group to discuss “Facebook Bill of Rights and Responsibilities
  6. Organizations withdraw their threatened legal/regulatory actions

And this happened within a week.  Is this a new “governance” paradigm that can resolve societal issues within short periods of time, with little “old” government interference?

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Filed under cyber policy, privacy