Category Archives: policy tools

Mapping the knowledge universe : “Researchers need tools for searching and for navigating the scholarly landscape”

Interest in bibliometric research using eigenfactors….  an article requiring some time to digest…

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Filed under Information, Innovation, policy tools, Science

Policy tools – regulatory

Condon of CNET recounts Thomas Friedman and Chris Savage discussing the policy window currently open for regulating technology:

“Reaching the most democratic solutions will require making the Internet policy process as interactive as the Net,” said Nathan James, the program and outreach manager for the Media and Democracy Coalition, an affiliation of consumer, public interest, and labor groups.”If we don’t hear from a diversity of perspectives now, how will we ever know we charted the best course?”

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Filed under cyber policy, policy tools

Cybersec – paying attention

From CNET (Stephanie Condon).   Sen. Jay Rockefeller says:

“I regard this as a profoundly and deeply troubling problem to which we are not paying much attention,” Rockefeller said a hearing this week, referring to cybersecurity.

So, according to Ms. Condon’s report, Sens. Rockefeller and Snow are drafting legislation to create the Office of the National Cybersecurity Advisor with omnipotent powers to disconnect any piece of critical networks which threaten US security.

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Filed under cybersecurity, policy tools

Credit Card Vendors policing cybersec

PIC agreements as a tool to secure cyberspace… at least it’s a private sector approach to a market problem.  SecurityFix notes:

According to a message posted at TrafficConverter2.biz and its sister sites, the program’s credit card payment processor pulled the plug on them shortly after our story ran.

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Regulatory Transparency – will it change your behavior?

A relatively new policy tool, mandatory disclosure of infromation with a regulatory intent, is being proposed as a means to deal with the net neutrality issue.  In an article announcing Obama’s choice of Leibowitz as FTC chair,  Cnet reports:

On the issue of Net neutrality, Leibowitz stood out from his colleagues in June 2007 when the FTC released a report stating no new laws were necessary. Leibowitz issued an opinion saying existing antitrust laws may not have been “adequate to the task” of Internet broadband regulation.

“Will carriers block, slow or interfere with applications?” Leibowitz asked at a public hearing held by the FTC in November 2006. “If so, will consumers be told about this before they sign up? In my mind, failure to disclose these procedures would be…unfair and deceptive.”

Researchers believe that in order for such transparency to be effective a) the user behavior must be changeable via better information and b) the disclosers’ behavior (i.e. internet access providers AT&T and Comcast) must be changeable in reaction to the users’ choices.  I question whether the users will have a choice even if they possess perfect information to act upon (not even gonna get into the details of whether the information disclosed is comprhensible by the average user)>

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Filed under broadband, Policy, policy tools

CyberSecurity Updates

Univ Florida – breach – 97,000 id’s

Norton unveils product to help parents manage children’s access to the web.  Has the market done what Government could not?

Citing a Rochester Institute of Technology study that found a huge gap between the percentage of parents versus children who report no online supervision, Symantec says that Online Family is intended to bridge that gap by “fostering communication” between parents and their kids. According to the RIT study, only 7 percent of parents think their children have no online supervision, while 66 percent of kids think they go unsupervised.

Perhaps this tool will alleviate this columnist’s fears (tip to Parry Aftab ) regarding making wireless available throught the house:

It’s not a matter of trust. It’s about trying to be a responsible online parent by keeping cyber-dangers away from vulnerable kids.

However, no matter how weak the signal, Mayhem Manor will have to keep logs for two years of all who access the internet should these proposals become law— primarily for law enforcement to help protect children from predators, the authors say:

“While the Internet has generated many positive changes in the way we communicate and do business, its limitless nature offers anonymity that has opened the door to criminals looking to harm innocent children,” U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, a Texas Republican, said at a press conference on Thursday. “Keeping our children safe requires cooperation on the local, state, federal, and family level.”

However, it seems that the Recording Industry, Motion Picture Industry, and publishers are salivating over this prospect to provide them names, instead of John Does, to occupy the banners of their lawsuits:

So would individuals and companies bringing civil lawsuits, including the Recording Industry Association of America and other large copyright holders, many of which have lobbied for similar data retention laws in other countries.

When filing lawsuits over suspected online piracy, lawyers for the RIAA and other plaintiffs typically have an Internet Protocol address they hope to link with someone’s identity. But if the network operator doesn’t retain the logs, the lawsuit can be derailed.

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Filed under cybersecurity, policy tools, public failure, Uncategorized

Cyber Policy – Tracking law breakers

Seems some folks in Congress believe that all access point providers should maintain a log of users to be accessible by law enforcement.

Republican politicians on Thursday called for a sweeping new federal law that would require all Internet providers and operators of millions of Wi-Fi access points, even hotels, local coffee shops, and home users, to keep records about users for two years to aid police investigations.

…Translated, the Internet Safety Act applies not just to AT&T, Comcast, Verizon, and so on–but also to the tens of millions of homes with Wi-Fi access points or wired routers that use the standard method of dynamically assigning temporary addresses. (That method is called Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol, or DHCP.)

Good synopsis by DeClan McCullagh.

And this headline sums up the Congressional approach to problem solving that the two bills above represent:

New Congress SO last century

And one last comment, taken from Scott Cleland at precursor, indicating where policymakers should be focusing their energies:

Out of sight — out of mind.

It is very troubling that in all the public discourse about the future of the Internet, cloud computing, and appropriate Internet public policy, there is so little discussion or coverage of the real and growing threat of Internet cyber attacks on our people, economy, government, and network-infrastructure.

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Filed under federal cyber security, Policy, policy tools, privacy