FCC Will Regulate Cable, Wireless Companies on Data Privacy

In a shift in the status quo, the Federal Communications Commission will take over the Federal Trade Commission’s power to regulate Internet access providers regarding customer privacy. The FCC already proposes new rules to shield users from unwanted use of their Internet data. Impacted cable and wireless firms are protesting that the rules would target them unfairly, putting them at a disadvantage against Internet service firms such as Facebook and Google, which will continue to be regulated by the FTC. Continue reading FCC Will Regulate Cable, Wireless Companies on Data Privacy

U.S. Renews Contract with ICANN, Delays Giving Up Oversight

The Department of Commerce announced that it would renew its contract with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) for one year (with options to extend it another three years), delaying its plans to relinquish oversight of one aspect of Internet governance. Commerce has overseen ICANN’s management of the Internet’s domain-name system since 1998. But last year, the Obama administration proposed transferring the oversight to international stakeholders, a plan that has met criticism regarding the potential impact to free expression. Continue reading U.S. Renews Contract with ICANN, Delays Giving Up Oversight

President Obama Signs Order for New Supercomputer Initiative

President Obama recently signed an executive order, the National Strategic Computing Initiative (NSCI), with the intention of creating the first exaflop supercomputer. This computer would be about 30 times faster than today’s fastest machine, and would be geared toward the development of ongoing scientific and defense research projects. Although the supercomputer would be useful for a vary of governmental projects, many see this initiative as a response to China’s 33.86 petaflop Tianhe-2, now the fastest supercomputer in the world. Continue reading President Obama Signs Order for New Supercomputer Initiative

Federal Program Hopes to Provide Affordable Internet Access

The Obama Administration announced its plan to create a program that would provide thousands of public housing residents with access to free or low-priced Internet services. In some areas broadband services could be reduced to as little as $9.95 a month. Statistics from the White House Council of Economic Advisers highlighted that fewer than half of American low-income households presently have Internet access. The ConnectHome initiative is expected to reach nearly 275,000 households, including 200,000 children. Continue reading Federal Program Hopes to Provide Affordable Internet Access

Tech Companies Urge White House to Leave Encryption Alone

Tech companies in the U.S. are urging the Obama administration not to impose policies that could potentially weaken encryption systems created to protect the privacy of consumers. “We are opposed to any policy actions or measures that would undermine encryption as an available and effective tool,” stated a letter to President Obama this week from the Information Technology Industry Council and the Software and Information Industry Association, representing companies such as Apple, Google, Facebook, IBM and Microsoft. Continue reading Tech Companies Urge White House to Leave Encryption Alone