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Technology & Science Archive

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Data Breach Response May Be Limited to Notification

In the aftermath of major hacking attacks at retail giants Target and Neiman Marcus, lawmakers have been searching for a way to move forward on data security legislation and seem to have arrived on one area of limited bipartisan consensus — creating a federal standard requiring companies to disclose data breaches.

A Bipartisan Solution to Improve American Innovation | Commentary

Contrary to popular belief, Congress could enact bipartisan legislation on behalf of American innovators and businesses — reforms to our patent system are one such example.

Bipartisan Road Map for Protecting and Encouraging American Innovation | Commentary

Throughout our nation’s history, great ideas have powered our economic prosperity and security, from the Industrial Revolution to the Internet age. Safeguarding those great ideas were so important to our Founding Fathers that they included patent protection in the U.S. Constitution. Article I, Section 8, Clause 8 of the Constitution charges Congress with overseeing a patent system to “promote the progress of science and useful arts.”

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CDC Plans to Map DNA of Disease-Causing Viruses

Many public health experts see the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as the premier disease detection agency not just for the United States but for the entire planet.

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Members Talk Startups and Immigration at SXSW

As the weather turned unseasonably cold for the third day of South By Southwest, discussions about entrepreneurship and immigration heated up.

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Women of Congress Promote STEM Education, Careers

“All I could visualize, to be perfectly honest, was being a teacher, a social worker and a secretary,” said Rep. Susan A. Davis, D-Calif.

Moving Forward on E-Waste Management | Commentary

Three years ago, a dozen leading consumer electronics companies collaborated to create the “Billion Pound Challenge.” The goal: recycle one billion pounds of electronic devices annually, enough to fill an entire NFL stadium. As of last April, the industry was more than halfway to its original goal, with 585 million pounds responsibly recycled — up from 300 million pounds in 2010. But now a patchwork of state rules mandating recycling is inadvertently complicating this effort to reach our billion-pound stretch goal.

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Groups Push Broadband Changes for Net Neutrality

As the Federal Communications Commission begins an effort to rewrite its net neutrality rules, some public interest groups want the agency to take a greater step to reclassify the way it regulates broadband services.

Timeline of the FCC and Broadband

Aug. 5, 2005 — The Federal Communications Commission adopts a policy statement that consumers are entitled to: access their choice of legal Internet content, use services and run applications of their choosing, and have competition among network, application, service and content providers.

Realizing the Digital Future Means Letting Go of the Past | Commentary

Apparently some members of Congress think about more than re-election.

President Grant and Funding Research for Oral Cancer | Commentary

This Presidents Day, please take a moment to reflect on Ulysses S. Grant, the only U.S. president to die of cancer. Pain from oral cancer left him mute and unable to eat solid food. A man whose voice had commanded the attention of kings and queens was left to communicate with his physician through penciled notes. These handwritten missives leave an intimate and harrowing account of Grant’s debilitation and pain. Biographer Horace Green found the majority of these notes “too pitiful for print.”

FTC's Data Security Grab Is Adjudication without Authority | Commentary

What happens when a government agency adjudicates without authority, assuming Congress will simply provide forgiveness, rather than ask for permission? That is the question that is being asked this week after the Federal Trade Commission petitioned Congress for powers it does not currently have regarding data breaches and cybersecurity while already exercising the very powers they seek.

Congress' Airplane Cellphone Ban Should Be Grounded | Commentary

Congress has been unable to do anything about most of the important problems facing Americans, but it’s having no trouble drumming up bipartisan support for needless regulations aimed at solving problems that don’t yet exist. The House Transportation Committee’s latest coup is a proposed ban on cellphone calls on airplanes, which would effectively curb any extension of the Federal Communications Commission’s recent decision to allow in-flight phone usage after years of prohibition. Although many people may find other passengers’ phone conversations to be annoying, so long as they do not present a safety threat, it’s not the government’s business to legislate them.

Cyberthreats Require Collaboration Not Confrontation | Commentary

As retailers, every day we seek to provide customers the goods and services they want at the best value. But retailers also know that consumers demand more than just a good deal, they expect to be treated fairly and honestly. Consumers also expect that their purchases are made in an environment where personal information is secure.

Modernized Telecom Policy Must Reflect That Change Is the Only Constant | Commentary

Eighteen years ago this month, when Congress last updated the regulation of telecommunications, it was both right on time and too soon.

Security Secrets Create Hurdles for Lawmakers

While lawmakers this week were looking to get to the bottom of the recent data breaches at Target and Neiman Marcus and possibly craft legislation to respond to those attacks, they were faced with a stark reality from the investigations: They and the public won’t be getting solid answers anytime soon.

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Retailers Push Back on Proposed Banking Legislation Following Massive Data Security Breaches

Retailers including Target and Neiman Marcus made the rounds on Capitol Hill this week, testifying at three days’ worth of hearings with the dual mission of apologizing for recent large-scale data breaches and discouraging any new regulatory legislation.

Can the Right Technology End Distracted Driving? | Commentary

At any given moment during any given day, hundreds of thousands of drivers in the United States are using their phones while behind the wheel — talking, texting or searching for information — and endangering their lives and the lives of those around them. Technology may be part of our daily habits, but using these devices while driving is becoming a fatal vice that threatens to undo the remarkable progress we have made to improve highway safety. According to the National Safety Council, as many as a quarter of today’s automobile crashes involve drivers talking or texting on their phones, and there is no sign of the problem abating.

Wheeler Puts Digital Networks on Fast Track | Commentary

Off to a quick start, 2014 is sure to be an eventful year for national telecommunications policy. The leadership of the House Energy and Commerce Committee has initiated a yearlong process to evaluate the need for comprehensive statutory telecommunications reform. Simultaneously, the Federal Communications Commission has started a groundbreaking project that will lead to the complete transition of communications users from outdated, single-purpose telephone technology to modern, multifunction Internet-based technologies.

As Data Meets Farm Fields, Concerns Begin to Grow

Farmers no longer just have to worry about whether it will rain too much or too little, or whether prices for their crops will be high enough to cover their costs. Now, growers increasingly are on edge about big data.

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