big data
Blockchain binary

A bill introduced in the House today would bring together the Department of Commerce and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), along with private industry, to create a standardized definition of blockchain technology.






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Privacy issues

The Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration has issued a request for public comment “on ways to advance consumer privacy while protecting prosperity and innovation.”  The comment solicitation, NTIA indicated, is unlikely to lead to any rulemaking process at least in the near term. 






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SEC

Altaba, which holds Yahoo’s remaining assets following the purchase of the company’s internet assets by Verizon in 2017, said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that it has reached an agreement in principle to settle consumer class action litigation relating to Yahoo’s disclosures in 2016 and 2017 of data breaches impacting three billion user accounts.






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U.S. Patent Trademark Office USPTO Commerce

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) sees innovative products every day, but now it’s looking for one of its own: an innovative solution that can help determine if a patent application is truly unique.






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Census 2020

Tim Ruland, the CISO at the Census Bureau, announced his retirement via LinkedIn, with his last day scheduled for September 27.






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social media, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Thursday issued a solicitation for “a web-based subscription to a Commercial-Off the Shelf (COTS) social media monitoring tool that provides emailed alerts to SEC staff based on keyword searches for relevant topics with ability to monitor social media sites.”






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The Federal Trade Commission has issued a warning about a new scam that targets men by claiming to know a personal secret about them and demanding a ransom in bitcoin.






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FirstNet

The First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet), a Federal government entity within the Department of Commerce that is working with AT&T to build out a nationwide broadband communications network for first responders, said today that Sue Swenson is stepping down as chair of the FirstNet board, and Jeffrey Johnson is resigning as vice chair.






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U.S. Patent Trademark Office USPTO Commerce

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) said today that an internal IT systems failure–that has shut down its major electronic database for patent-related activities since last Wednesday–has yet to be remedied, and that teams are working to restore service following an ongoing five-day outage.






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U.S. Census Bureau CIO Kevin Smith said that the Department of Homeland Security performed penetration tests this year that were unable to break through Census’ data safeguards, confirming the strength of Census’ cybersecurity programs for both its self-response website and in-field mobile devices.






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The House today approved by voice vote the ACCESS BROADBAND Act (HR 3994), which would direct the Department of Commerce (DoC) to establish an Office of Internet Connectivity and Growth within the National Telecommunications and Information Administration.






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Following a July 16 letter by former government officials requesting disclosure of 2020 Census cybersecurity policies, the U.S. Census Bureau issued a statement today affirming its “robust cybersecurity program” and ensuring interested parties that cybersecurity remains paramount at the bureau. However, it said it was declining to reveal all of its encryption policies “as a matter of data security.”






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Members of the House Energy and Commerce’s Committee’s Communications and Technology Subcommittee expressed broad agreement today that the Federal government needs to do more to promote the availability of broadband service in underserved and unserved areas of the United States, but appeared to signal little in the way of any unified sentiment to coalesce around any of several existing bills that aim for that goal.






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CGI Federal has won a task order worth an estimated $530 million to provide services under the Continuous Diagnostics and Mitigation (CDM) Program to CDM’s Group C Federal agencies, a CGI spokesperson confirmed today.






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The House Energy and Commerce Committee today approved by voice vote a measure that would direct Federal agencies to study Internet of Things (IoT) technologies and whether to regulate them, along with two others aimed at spurring further rollout of broadband services in mostly rural areas of the United States.






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Members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Communications and Technology Subcommittee sparred today over competing bills that would address online data privacy generally and protection of customer proprietary network information (CPNI) specifically, but appeared to make little headway toward consensus on how to proceed on legislative measures that have languished in the committee since being introduced last year.






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