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The information revolution launched by the Internet has reached into every corner of our lives, from communication and entertainment to commerce and government.
A threat is a communicated intent to inflict harm or loss on another. Unlike the many physical threats that mankind has engineered over the centuries to project individual, tribal or national dominance, the cyberthreat relies on a new medium cyberspace.
In recent years, the question of whether and how the government should regulate the Internet has moved to the forefront of the telecommunications debate. Before we can answer that question, we must look at existing law to determine whether Congress has even granted the government this authority.
American technological leadership in telecommunications requires companies to make significant investments in research and development. This research and development leads to innovations such as text messaging, cable television and high-speed Internet access that probably would not have emerged without patent protection. Patents protect investment, keep innovation in the marketplace and create countless jobs..
Americas economic recovery as well as its ability to stay ahead of the cutting edge of global technological development are both becoming increasingly centered on the future of patent reform.
Ten years ago, if someone were to mention a BlackBerry, I would have assumed they were talking about their breakfast or dessert. Today, it is part of the way we work. The information technology sector continues to be a vital part of Americas competitiveness. As the industry continues to expand, the U.S. must fight to remain as the leader to help home-grown businesses thrive and to provide jobs for American workers.
The 9/11 attacks and Hurricane Katrina showed what happens when public safety officials lack a reliable means to communicate in the midst of a disaster. Lives were imperiled and lost and response efforts impeded when communication networks failed and firefighters and police could not share urgent information with each other.
The Internet and new technologies have transformed the way we live, work and shop. Geographic boundaries are no longer barriers. You could download a movie from India legally, of course sitting on a beach in Florida, while participating in a videoconference in Washington, D.C.
Over the past 80 years, Las Vegas casinos have changed from dusty Western saloons with a poker table and one-armed bandits to glittering 21st-century resort destinations known around the globe. Along with this evolution, Nevada has developed the worlds foremost expertise in the regulation of the gaming industry.
Last year, I introduced legislation that would tax Internet gambling and generate as much as $40 billion for the federal government and $30 billion for state governments. Its a companion bill to legislation introduced by Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) that would legalize and regulate Internet gambling, which, save for a handful of exceptions, is banned.
Federal electronic records that document our nations history, preserve our rights and maintain critical archival materials are at great risk. There is growing concern, inside and outside of Congress, about federal agencies management of vital electronic records. Many agencies do not have updated or workable plans to preserve them, and in the digital age, that is totally unacceptable.
The federal government and leading technology firms have a symbiotic relationship. Historically, the public sector has made pure science investments that were too risky or expensive for individual companies. These investments laid the groundwork for dramatic technological advancement and private-sector growth.