THIS WEEK IN WASHINGTON
The United States Cyber Command is targeting individual Russian operatives to try to deter them from spreading disinformation to interfere in elections, telling them that American operatives have identified them and are tracking their work, according to officials briefed on the operation. The campaign, which includes missions undertaken in recent days, is the first known overseas cyberoperation to protect American elections.
Broadcasting Cable Hill Says Third-Party Cybersecurity Monitoring is Key
The House Energy & Commerce Committee has released a white paper on cybersecurity practices following its investigation into coordinated vulnerability disclosure (CVD), i.e, outside parties tipping companies or agencies off to those vulnerabilities. Those third parties are an essential part of the discovery process given the “complexity of modern information systems and networks,” says the committee, which translates to the growing “internet of everything” world.
A hack was detected earlier this month in a government computer system that works alongside HealthCare.gov, exposing the personal information of approximately 75,000 people, according to the agency in charge of the portal. In a statement to CNN, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) said the system that was exposed through the hack was the Direct Enrollment pathway. The statement detailed that the agent and broker accounts that were associated with the hack were “deactivated, and — out of an abundance of caution — the Direct Enrollment pathway for agents and brokers was disabled.”
Char-Koosta News Rural communities deserve broadband access
Montana is one of the poorest states in terms of Internet connectivity, according to data compiled by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Ninety-two percent of Montanans who live in urban areas have access to high-speed Internet; however, that figure for rural Montanans is only fifty-nine percent. In other words, two out of five rural Montanans do not yet have broadband access. TV White Spaces could help bridge the digital divide so Montanans can access high-speed Internet.
The FCC has set rules for the use of white space spectrum and established an administrator of a national database to identify channels that can be used by devices accessing the shared spectrum. But there have been problems with the database’s accuracy, and there’s not yet an ecosystem of devices, which means it could be a while before the technology is widely used by consumers.
Dancing Crow Farm in rural Washington state is the pilot site for FarmBeats, a new project that hopes to make farmers more productive by arming them with data. The main innovation is in how FarmBeats sensors transmit data. Most farms have poor or no access to the Internet. In the United States, 20 percent of people living in rural areas don’t have access to even the slowest broadband speeds. Most farm data systems require expensive transmitters to connect, but FarmBeats relies on a clever workaround: it uses TV white space.
NY Daily News Education key to fixing cyber insecurity
Maryland has distinguished itself as the cyber security capital of the United States. This state houses more than 12,000 information technology and cyber security companies, 17 higher education institutions that have been designated National Academic Centers of Excellence in Cyber Defense, more than 60 government agencies tasked with protecting our nation from cyber-crime, and the U.S. Cyber Command.
Operatives behind Russian-linked bots used tools from U.S. startups, including IFTTT Inc., to supercharge social-media misinformation campaigns and meddle in elections. Data disclosed this week by Twitter Inc.showed that hundreds of accounts affiliated with the Russia-based Internet Research Agency used services offered by IFTTT, RoundTeam Inc. and Dlvr.it Inc. to automate and disperse their divisive messages more widely.
Apple CEO Tim Cook speaking to an international privacy conference Wednesday said he supported the European Union’s data privacy law, enacted in May, and called for the U.S. to pass similar protections. The need for consumer protections is important because technological advances have led to the development of “a data industrial complex,” Cook said. “Our own information, from the everyday to the deeply personal, is being weaponized against us with military efficiency.”
THINK TANK/TECH TRADE ASSOCIATION HIGHLIGHTS
Information Technology Industry Council
- News release on consumer data privacy: ITI released a legislative roadmap that advances the privacy rights of consumers and defines the responsibilities of companies in using personal data while continuing to enable the innovations that transform our lives. The new Framework to Advance Interoperable Rules (FAIR) on Privacy includes specific recommendations that give consumers more control and a clearer understanding about how their personal data is used. (ITI News Releases – Leading Tech Group Unveils Framework to Advance Consumer Privacy, Oct. 22, 2018)
The App Association
- Blog on 5G Summit: Last month, the GPS Innovation Alliance (GPSIA) and ACT | The App Association (App Association) had the honor of participating in a 5G Summit hosted by the White House. It was there that top leaders in government, including from the White House, Congress, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), outlined their vision for fostering 5G deployment. (The App Association blog – GPS: A Driving Force in the 5G Revolution, Oct. 24th, 2018)
- Report on the global internet landscape: Today, the global and open model for the internet is under pressure, and we risk drifting towards an internet that we do not want. Amidst a massive global dialogue about cyber norms we are losing sight of the forest in favor of individual trees. The ultimate prize is not individual norms about what should be attacked and by whom, but instead the norm that the internet should be a place that is global and open to the free flow of content, not narrowly sovereign and closed. The ultimate trajectory of this process will depend just as much, if not more, on domestic developments in a group of undecided states that we coin the “Digital Deciders.” (New America Cybersecurity Initiative – The Digital Deciders, Oct. 23, 2018)
Note: Voices for Innovation regularly shares a range of opinion articles and press releases from organizations in and publications covering tech policy. These pieces are meant to educate our audience, not endorse specific platforms or bills.