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Public Comments on Big Data and Consumer Privacy in the Internet Economy

August 13, 2014 Comments off

Public Comments on Big Data and Consumer Privacy in the Internet Economy
Source: National Telecommunications & Information Administrataion

See Federal Register Notice: Request for Comments.

Comments (PDFs) from:

Alessandro Acquisti
American Civil Liberties Union, Center for Digital Democracy, Consumer Action, Consumer Federation of America, Consumer Watchdog, Common Sense Media, Privacy Rights Clearinghouse
Anonos
Application Developers Alliance
ARM Holdings
ARTICLE 29 Data Protection Working Party
Solon Barocas, Edward W. Felten, Joanna N. Huey, Joshua A. Kroll, and Arvind Narayanan
Center for Data Innovation
Center for Democracy & Technology
Center for Digital Democracy
Center on Privacy & Technology at Georgetown University Law Center
Center for Urban Science + Progress
Common Sense Media
Computer & Communications Industry Association
Consumer Bankers Association, American Bankers Association
CTIA—The Wireless Association
Direct Marketing Association
Electronic Frontier Foundation
Electronic Transactions Association
Chris Hoofnagle
Future of Privacy Forum
IMS Health
The Information Accountability Foundation
Information Technology Industry Council
Interactive Advertising Bureau
The Internet Association
Internet Commerce Coalition
Knowledge Ecology International
The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, American Civil Liberties Union
Microsoft Corporation
Maureen K. Ohlhausen, Commissioner, Federal Trade Commission
Online Trust Alliance
James Overby
Public Knowledge, Benton Foundation, Center for Digital Democracy, Common Cause, Consumer Federation of America, Consumer Watchdog, Free Press, New America Foundation’s Open Technology Institute, U.S. PIRG, World Privacy Forum
Reed Elsevier Inc.
Jessica Rich, Director, Bureau of Consumer Protection, Federal Trade Commission
Charles B. Solin
Software & Information Industry Association
TechFreedom, International Center for Law and Economics
Technology Policy Institute
U.S. Chamber of Commerce
U.S. Public Policy Council of the Association for Computing Machinery
World Privacy Forum

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NTIA Releases Interim Progress Report on Administration’s Plan to Free Up More Spectrum

June 6, 2014 Comments off

NTIA Releases Interim Progress Report on Administration’s Plan to Free Up More Spectrum
Source: National Telecommunications and Information Administration

NTIA today released the Fourth Interim Progress Report on the Obama Administration’s initiative to identify and make available 500 megahertz of federal and non-federal spectrum for commercial wireless broadband use by 2020. This report also includes a plan for federal agencies to conduct quantitative assessments of their actual spectrum usage in 960 megahertz of additional spectrum, as directed in President Obama’s June 2013 Memorandum.

NTIA Seeks Comment on Big Data and the Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights

June 4, 2014 Comments off

NTIA Seeks Comment on Big Data and the Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights
Source: National Telecommunications and Information Administration

The U.S. Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) is seeking public comment on how developments related to “big data” impact the Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights.

Today, NTIA issued a Request for Comments on how issues raised by big data impact the Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights, the Obama Administration’s framework for privacy protections released in February 2012. Today’s action was called for in the White House’s big data and privacy working group report on how big data is transforming the way we live and work. Counselor to the President John Podesta convened senior government officials, including U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, to conduct the wide-ranging review of big data and privacy, and the group presented its findings to President Obama on May 1.

“As recommended in the big data and privacy working group report, the Commerce Department is taking the lead in examining big data issues and their impact on the Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights and our economy,” Secretary Pritzker said. “The Obama administration takes personal privacy very seriously, and we must ensure the necessary privacy protections along with big data developments. Today’s request for comments is part of our continuing dialogue among government, business, consumers, entrepreneurs and other stakeholders about maximizing the benefits and minimizing the risks of big data.”

“As the White House’s big data report notes, there are many potential societal benefits from the use of big data,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information and NTIA Administrator Lawrence E. Strickling. “We are now asking the public to help us assess how big data might impact the protections called for in the Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights.”

NTIA Releases 3 Case Studies Examining Impact of Broadband Grants Program on Connecting Libraries

April 22, 2014 Comments off

NTIA Releases 3 Case Studies Examining Impact of Broadband Grants Program on Connecting Libraries
Source: National Telecommunications and Information Administration

In 2010, as part of the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP), NTIA awarded more than $200 million in matching grants to establish or upgrade public computer centers (PCCs) throughout the United States. More than 2,000 of those centers are operated by public libraries, from Maine to Arizona. These grants complement the $3.4 billion in infrastructure investments that have allowed BTOP grant recipients to connect more than 1,300 libraries nationally with ultra-fast broadband, providing a significant down-payment on President Obama’s ConnectED initiative.

Today we are releasing the first three of 15 PCC and broadband adoption case studies. These focus on the impact of grants in Delaware, Texas and Michigan. The release coincides with an important hearing on libraries and broadband, sponsored by the federal Institute for Museum and Library Services, or IMLS. The case studies were conducted for NTIA by an independent research firm, ASR Analytics, which analyzed the impact these PCCs are having in their local communities.

What kinds of impact are these expanded libraries having in their communities? The case studies, based on site visits, interviews, and publicly available data from the awardees’ quarterly reports to NTIA, tell a story of increased demand for library services that have helped the country continue to turn the corner on the economic recovery. The libraries are meeting an urgent need by giving people access to information and job skills they need to be competitive in a 21st century workplace.

Testimony of Assistant Secretary Strickling at Hearing on “Ensuring the Security, Stability, Resilience, and Freedom of the Global Internet”

April 2, 2014 Comments off

Testimony of Assistant Secretary Strickling at Hearing on “Ensuring the Security, Stability, Resilience, and Freedom of the Global Internet”
Source: National Telecommunications and Information Administration

The Domain Name System (DNS) is a critical component of the Internet infrastructure. It allows users to identify websites, mail servers and other Internet destinations using easy-to-understand names (e.g.,www.ntia.doc.gov) rather than the numeric network addresses (e.g., 170.110.225.163) necessary to retrieve information on the Internet. A July 1, 1997, Executive Memorandum directed the Secretary of Commerce to privatize the Internet DNS in a manner that increases competition and facilitates international participation in its management. In June 1998, NTIA issued a statement of policy on the privatization of the Internet DNS, known as the DNS White Paper.[1] The White Paper concluded that the core functions relevant to the DNS should be primarily performed through private sector management. To this end, NTIA stated that it was prepared to enter into an agreement with a new not-for-profit corporation formed by private sector Internet stakeholders to coordinate and manage policy for the Internet DNS. Private sector interests formed ICANN for this purpose, and, in the fall of 1998, NTIA entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with ICANN to transition technical DNS coordination and management functions to the private sector.

The MOU did not simply turn over management of the DNS to ICANN. Rather, the purpose of this agreement was to design, develop, and test mechanisms, methods, and procedures to ensure that the private sector had the capability and resources to assume important responsibilities related to the technical coordination and management of the DNS. The MOU evolved through several iterations and revisions as ICANN tested these principles, learned valuable lessons, and matured as an organization.

The MOU culminated in 2009 with the Affirmation of Commitments (Affirmation). The Affirmation signified a critical step in the successful transition to a multistakeholder, private-sector led model for DNS technical coordination, while also establishing an accountability framework of ongoing multistakeholder reviews of ICANN’s performance. To date, two iterations of the Accountability and Transparency Review Team (ATRT) have occurred. These teams, on which NTIA has participated actively with a broad array of international stakeholders from industry, civil society, the Internet technical community and other governments, have served as a key accountability tool for ICANN – evaluating progress and recommending improvements. We have seen marked improvements in ICANN’s performance with the implementation of the 27 recommendations made by ATRT1 and have full confidence this maturation will continue with the ongoing implementation of the 12 recommendations of ATRT2.

Throughout the various iterations of NTIA’s relationship with ICANN, NTIA has played no role in the internal governance or day-to-day operations of ICANN. NTIA has never had the contractual authority to exercise traditional regulatory oversight over ICANN.

See also: 4/02/2014 IANA Transition Testimony and Related Material

Expanding Broadband Access to Businesses Nationwide

November 25, 2013 Comments off

Expanding Broadband Access to Businesses Nationwide
Source: National Telecommunications and Information Administration

Just as more Americans are finding broadband essential to life at work and home, most businesses also need high-speed Internet service to remain competitive. The nation has made good headway in efforts to expand broadband access to work places, according to a new report from the U.S. Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and Economic and Statistics Administration (ESA).

The report, “Broadband Availability in the Workplace,” comes a week after Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker unveiled the department’s “Open for Business Agenda,” which prioritizes supporting the digital economy as a great engine of economic growth in the 21st Century. The agenda also highlights the importance of data, such as this new report, to power the economy and help inform business decisions, enable start-ups, and fuel new companies.

Nearly all jobs in the United States are located in areas with at least basic wired or wireless broadband service, which is defined as service with an advertised download speed of 3 megabits per second (Mbps) and an upload speed of 768 kilobits per second (Kbps), according to the report. Using data collected by NTIA’s State Broadband Initiative (SBI) and the Census Bureau, which is part of ESA, the report also finds that between 2011 and 2012 the number of jobs located in areas with access to broadband download service speeds of 50 Mbps or greater increased from 56 percent to 75 percent. Employers located in areas that have robust broadband may have an advantage compared with otherwise similar competitors. (Note that the analysis looks at the change over time in broadband availability to jobs in 2010, rather than whether businesses relocated jobs as a result of better broadband.)

Request for Comments on Department of Commerce Green Paper, Copyright Policy, Creativity, and Innovation in the Digital Economy

November 6, 2013 Comments off

Request for Comments on Department of Commerce Green Paper, Copyright Policy, Creativity, and Innovation in the Digital Economy
Source: National Telecommunications & Information Administration

On October 3, 2013, the Department of Commerce’s Internet Policy Task Force (Task Force) published a notice of public meeting and a request for public comments on five issues critical to economic growth, job creation, and cultural development that were identified in the Department’s Green Paper on Copyright Policy, Creativity, and Innovation in the Digital Economy (Green Paper). The purpose of this notice is to announce a change in the date of the public meeting and additional opportunities for the submission of public comments. The public meeting (previously scheduled for October 30, 2013) will now be held on December 12, 2013. The deadline for the submission of pre-meeting comments is November 13, 2013. Post-meeting comments are due on or before January 10,2014.

Exploring the Digital Nation: America’s Emerging Online Experience

August 19, 2013 Comments off

Exploring the Digital Nation: America’s Emerging Online Experience (PDF)
Source: National Telecommunications and Information Administration

This report, based on data from the Census Bureau’s July 2011 Current Population Survey (“CPS”) Computer and Internet Use Supplement, updates and substantially expands on the previous study in this series, Exploring the Digital Nation: Computer and Internet Use at Home, issued in 2011. For the first time in eight years, this study goes beyond new findings on computer and Internet adoption in the United States to also present data on Americans’ online activities – what Americans do once they connect to the Internet. The dataset contains information collected from more than 53,000 households, reporting on what Americans do online – including enjoying entertainment, communicating with friends, job searching and training, and researching health conditions and care, among other activities.

Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) Quarterly Program Status Report

July 24, 2013 Comments off

Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) Quarterly Program Status Report (PDF)
Source: National Telecommunications and Information Administration

Pursuant to Section 6001(d)(4) of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA or Recovery Act) (Public Law No. 111-5), the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) provides this Quarterly Report on the status of the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP or Program). This Report focuses on the Program’s activities from January 1 to March 31, 2013.

The Recovery Act appropriated $4.7 billion for NTIA to establish BTOP to increase broadband access and adoption; provide broadband training and support to schools, libraries, healthcare providers, and other organizations; improve broadband access to public safety agencies; and stimulate demand for broadband.1 The Recovery Act also provided funding for NTIA to develop and maintain a comprehensive nationwide map of broadband service capability and availability, and to implement the State Broadband Data and Development Act and the Broadband Data Improvement Act.

In 2009 and 2010, NTIA invested approximately $4 billion in 233 BTOP projects benefitting every state, as well as five territories and the District of Columbia. The portfolio of projects initially included:

  • 123 infrastructure projects totaling $3.5 billion in federal grant funds to construct broadband networks;
  • 66 Public Computer Center (PCC) projects totaling $201 million in federal grant funds to provide access to broadband, computer equipment, computer training, job training, and educational resources to the public and vulnerable populations; and
  • 44 Sustainable Broadband Adoption (SBA) projects totaling nearly $251 million in federal grant funds to support innovative projects that promote broadband adoption, especially among vulnerable population groups where broadband technology traditionally has been underutilized. As of March 31, 2013, 182 BTOP projects remained in active status, and 42 BTOP projects had completed their project activities.

Additionally, through the State Broadband Initiative (SBI), NTIA granted approximately $293 million to 56 recipients, which included one grant for each of the 50 states, five territories, and the District of Columbia. With this funding, states are collecting and validating data biannually on the availability, speed, type, and location of broadband services, as well as the broadband services used by community anchor institutions, such as schools, libraries, and hospitals. NTIA makes the data available in several formats and uses the data to update the publicly searchable, interactive National Broadband Map, launched on February 17, 2011, in accordance with the Recovery Act’s requirements.

These grants also support states’ efforts to foster the efficient and creative use of broadband technology to better compete in the digital economy. These state-led efforts vary depending on local needs, but include programs to assist small businesses and community anchor institutions in using technology more effectively, investigate barriers to broadband adoption, develop innovative applications that increase access to government services and information, and establish state and local task forces to expand broadband access and adoption.

Two Years and Five Updates for the National Broadband Map

February 4, 2013 Comments off

Two Years and Five Updates for the National Broadband Map

Source: National Telecommunications & Information Administration

Nearly two years ago, NTIA launched the National Broadband Map, and today we are updating it, as we have every six months since its inception. The map provides the first-ever detailed datasets of broadband availability across the country, and it would not be possible without a unique partnership between the federal government, states, and the voluntary participation of many broadband providers.

With funding from NTIA, made available by the Recovery Act, each state undertook a massive effort to locate broadband availability by census block, essentially dividing the country into more than 11 million distinct areas. A census block is the smallest unit of geography for which population or other data are available, and on average has a population of about 28 people. With these data, we can now see change at a granular and national level every six months.

The results of the latest data collection, current as of June 30, 2012, are now online. The Map offers many ways to use the data. Try comparing different regions of the country or viewing data for a single provider. Many national statistics are also available in the reports. Here you will see that 98 percent of Americans now have access to wired or wireless broadband at advertised download speeds of at least 3 Mbps and upload speeds of at least 768 kbps. However, only 93 percent of Americans have access to these basic broadband speeds through wired services. Today, 81 percent of the country has access to wireless speeds of at least 6 Mbps, leaving us only 17 percentage points away from reaching the President’s goal of ensuring that 98 percent of Americans have access to 4G services.

Contraband Cell Phones in Prisons: Possible Wireless Technology Solutions

October 26, 2011 Comments off

Contraband Cell Phones in Prisons: Possible Wireless Technology Solutions (PDF)
Source: National Telecommunications and Information Administration

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) submits this report in response to a direction from Congress in December 2009 that NTIA, in coordination with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP), and the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), develop a plan to investigate and evaluate wireless jamming, detection, and other technologies that might be used to prevent contraband cell phone use by prison inmates. NTIA has identified and evaluated several technology solutions for this report that can be used in a prison environment, including jamming, managed access, and detection techniques. In the preparation of this report, NTIA sought input from the FCC, NIJ, and BOP regarding their efforts to combat contraband cell phone use.

The Administration believes that contraband cell phone use by prison inmates to carry out criminal enterprises is intolerable and demands an effective solution. Prison officials should have access to technology to disrupt prison cell phone use in a manner that protects nearby public safety and Federal Government spectrum users from harmful disruption of vital services, and preserves the rights of law-abiding citizens to enjoy the benefits of the public airwaves without interference.

To obtain public input on these issues to assist in developing this report, NTIA issued a Notice of Inquiry (NOI) in May 2010 soliciting comment on a series of detailed questions to help identify, clarify, and characterize these solutions. NTIA received comments from forty-six sources. In addition to providing input regarding the three technologies identified in the NOI, commenters identified additional technologies for consideration.

Working in coordination with its Institute for Telecommunication Sciences, NTIA performed both laboratory and field measurements on a selected jammer. NTIA subsequently analyzed the results of those measurements to determine, as far as possible, the potential impact of that jammer on other authorized radio operations.

This report discusses the characteristics and capabilities of the various technologies and considers the potential interference effects that they may have on authorized radio services, including commercial wireless, public safety communications, and 9-1-1 calls. Three possible wireless technology solutions were identified in the NOI that commenters further expounded upon: jamming, managed access, and detection.

NTIA — Testimony of Karl Nebbia at Hearing on Sustaining GPS for National Security

September 19, 2011 Comments off

Testimony of Karl Nebbia at Hearing on Sustaining GPS for National Security
Source: National Telecommunications and Information Administration

In implementing its spectrum management objectives, NTIA is intently focused on enabling federal agencies to perform their missions while ensuring, to the greatest extent possible, that those agencies use and share spectrum efficiently and effectively. To do so, NTIA concurrently:

  • manages frequency assignment and coordination, with a strong focus on mitigating and preventing interference;
  • leads and manages the Interdepartment Radio Advisory Committee (IRAC), which is comprised of representatives from 19 federal agencies that provide advice to NTIA on spectrum policy matters;
  • reviews and certifies spectrum support for new federal systems;
  • coordinates satellite operations;
  • conducts border coordination and international negotiations; and
  • performs spectrum engineering and analysis.

In managing spectrum use by federal agencies, NTIA works very closely with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), which has the authority to regulate non-federal uses of spectrum, as well as interstate and foreign telecommunications under the Communications Act of 1934.

Last summer, President Obama directed NTIA to collaborate with the FCC to identify and make available over the next decade an additional 500 megahertz of spectrum for fixed and mobile wireless broadband by either reallocating or creating opportunities to share spectrum currently used by commercial or federal users.[1] The goal is to nearly double over the next decade the amount of spectrum that is currently available for commercial wireless broadband. By doing so, the NTIA and FCC will help spur innovation, expand economic growth and job creation, and preserve America’s global technology leadership. To date, NTIA has identified 115 megahertz of federal spectrum for reallocation and is currently evaluating another 95 megahertz of spectrum with the goal of making a recommendation on that band by next month.

Testimony: Federal Government Spectrum Use

July 11, 2011 Comments off

Testimony of The Honorable Lawrence E. Strickling, Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information, National Telecommunications and Information Administration, Before the Committee on Energy and Commerce, Subcommittee on Communications and Technology, U.S. House of Representatives: Federal Government Spectrum Use
Source: National Telecommunications and Information Administration

Beginning with his June 2010 Executive Order, and more recently in the Wireless Innovation and Infrastructure Initiative (also known as the National Wireless Initiative) announced in February of this year, President Obama has set forth a bold vision for spurring innovation, expanding economic growth and job creation, and preserving America’s global technology leadership, by doubling over the next ten years the amount of spectrum available for commercial wireless broadband.

With increased access to broadband, businesses will grow faster and create more jobs, students of all ages will have greater access to education and job training, and public safety officials nationwide will finally have access to state-of-the-art, secure, interoperable mobile communications. The end products of the President’s National Wireless Initiative promise to help grow the economy in several ways. First, valuable spectrum that is currently underutilized will be freed up through voluntary incentive auctions. Second, and perhaps most importantly, a decade after the attacks of September 11th, our nation’s first responders and other public safety service providers finally will have access to the modern communications system they need to help keep us all safe and secure. Finally, the President’s initiative also will yield important benefits for American taxpayers by reducing the deficit.

The National Wireless Initiative leverages the rollout of next generation, “4G” wireless technology that is now being deployed in the United States by several carriers, and that promises considerable benefits to virtually every corner of our economy and society. As much as 10 times faster than current high speed wireless services, 4G wireless technology will spur innovation in new and improved information devices such as smartphones, tablets and laptops, which in turn will spur increased economic growth and job creation in areas such wireless services, equipment and application. It will put cutting-edge broadband-driven capabilities – such as instantly downloading the floorplan of a burning building – into the hands of police, firefighters and other first responders, allowing them to more quickly and accurately assess and respond to emergency situations. By catalyzing private investment and innovation and reducing the deficit, this initiative will help the United States – its businesses, its students, its entrepreneurs and all its citizens — win the future and better compete in the 21st century economy.

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