ISOC North America Newsletter: March 2017

ISOC North America Newsletter: March 2017

Welcome to the March 2017 edition of the Internet Society North American Bureau’s monthly newsletter! 

In the News:

  • Ottawa Retains Title as Canada’s Most Tech-Intensive City
    “According to analysts Expert Market, 71 per cent of respondents would set up their new tech business in Ottawa. The respondents ranked quality of living, high salary averages, the number of available tech jobs in the city and tech diversity as reasons for their choice. Calgary was ranked second, with Montreal in third. Ryan Gibson, the Lead Marketing Strategist for Invest Ottawa, said demand for top tier tech talent in Ottawa is high. He said that like many cities, there are too many tech jobs in Ottawa and not enough qualified applicants. That’s one of the reasons Invest Ottawa has launched an online campaign to draw in more prospective employees, including many in the United States.”
  • Canadian Policymakers Exploring Potential of Blockchain Tech
    “Experts say Canada has shown considerable potential in these early days of blockchain — and they believe it’s key for the country to help create conditions to keep the momentum going. Ottawa has taken notice; widening the path for more blockchain development would fit nicely with the Trudeau government’s stated goal of increasing innovation as a way to help jump-start Canada’s lacklustre economy.”
  • Trump Budget Proposal Retains Funding for Internet Governance, Despite Cuts Elsewhere
    “According to the proposal, the Trump administration will continue supporting the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s participation in “multi-stakeholder forums” on internet governance and digital commerce. On the campaign trail, Trump opposed an NTIA plan to give up oversight of the technical functions that make the internet work. Going through with the plan could empower countries like China and Russia to censor online speech, Stephen Miller, national policy director for the campaign, said last September in a statement on Trump’s campaign website.”
  • Lessons for Business from the CIA Data Breach
    “The primary issue for organizations is that the insider threat represents a multi-competency problem, says Jeff Pollard, an analyst with Forrester Research. It is a multi-stakeholder issue that affects everyone from IT, security teams and app developers to business unit leaders, human resources and general counsel, he says.”An [organization] has to know what their sensitive data is, who has access, how data is used and stored and how data flows through their own environment and partner environments,” Pollard says. In addition, there also must understand how data is used normally, so that they can begin to identify anomalies. “It’s a tremendously complicated endeavor to pull data from all those systems together, define a baseline, and then begin policing usage,” he says.”
  • .africa Domain Name Launches After Overcoming Final Legal Hurdles
    “The aim for .africa is to “foster relationship within the continent and portray Africa as an internet community”. Africans will be able to connect better with the world, by businesses being able to create their website. More than thirty years after the first domain name .com was launched, Africa has finally launched its own domain name — dotAfrica (.africa), a generic Top Level Domain (gLTD). According to Lucky Masilela,  the CEO of the South African based company (ZA Central Registry) that will manage the gTLD, .africa is going to be a market disruptor that will assist in lowering the cost of domain names.”
  • New York State Considering Right-to-Be-Forgotten Legislation
    “The state of New York wants to tell you what’s appropriate to post online and what should be removed. The concept behind the European Union’s “right to be forgotten” has crossed the Atlantic, and two state lawmakers in New York want to attempt to institute it here. The “right to be forgotten” in the European Union originated from a court ruling demanding Google and search engines remove links to a story that embarrassed a Spanish man because it detailed a previous home repossession. The story was not factually inaccurate. He insisted it was no longer relevant and that it embarrassed him, and the court agreed he had the right to have the information censored from search engines.”
  • Facebook and Instagram Ban Developers from Using User Data for Surveillance
    “Our goal is to make our policy explicit,” Facebook said in its announcement on Monday. “Over the past several months we have taken enforcement action against developers who created and marketed tools meant for surveillance, in violation of our existing policies; we want to be sure everyone understands the underlying policy and how to comply.” The ACLU praised the policy reform and said: “Written policies must be backed up by rigorous oversight and swift action for violations.”
  • San Francisco Supervisor Working City Wide High-Speed Plan
    “If it becomes reality, San Francisco would be the largest city in the country to implement citywide high-speed Internet. City officials are currently targeting speeds of 1 gigabit per second. The average Internet speed in the U.S. is 31 megabits per second according to the most recent data published by the Federal Communications Commission, so this could be about 30 times faster.”
  • FCC Chairman Focuses on Broadband Access Expansion in New Speech
    “In a speech Wednesday at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pai made the case to lawmakers that broadband should be a priority in the bill, because it’s a driving force for economic growth. He also offered ideas on what should be included in the legislation to encourage the deployment of high speed internet infrastructure. First, he said any money going directly to projects should be administered through the FCC’s Universal Service Fund “to maximize the impact of these investments” and “to minimize waste.” Second, he urged Congress to include his proposal for Gigabit Opportunity Zones, which offer tax incentives to broadband providers building in low-income neighborhoods.”
  • Acting FTC Commissioner Backs Self-Regulation of IoT
    “Maureen Ohlhausen, the commission’s sole Republican and its acting chair under Trump, said the FTC was primarily a law enforcement agency and called for wait-and-see approach to enforcement during a discussion at a conference of cybersecurity professionals on Monday at the Nasdaq. She also defended the use of big data to offer consumers different prices for the same good and said she wanted manufacturers of internet-connected household devices to decide best practices among themselves. The event was held by the National Cybersecurity Alliance and Nasdaq.”
  • Future of Tech Policy Uncertain Under a Trump Administration
    “One area where many tech insiders see the potential for advancing longstanding goals of promoting smart-grid technology and high-speed broadband deployments is in the massive infrastructure package that Trump has called for. Much of that proposed $1 trillion undertaking would focus on physical infrastructure like roads and bridges, but it is critical that policymakers include strong provisions bolstering the technology build-outs that will support future job growth, argues Karen Kornbluh, a veteran of the Bill Clinton and Barack Obama administrations who currently serves as Nielsen’s executive vice president of external affairs.”
  • Congress Takes A Crash Course in Blockchain
    “Schweikert, a Republican from Arizona, co-chairs the recently launched Congressional Blockchain Caucus. He and fellow co-chair, Democratic Representative Jared Polis of Colorado, say they created it in response to increasing interest and curiosity on Capitol Hill about blockchain technology. “Members of Congress are starting to get visits from people that are doing things with the blockchain and talking about it,” says Polis. “They are interested in learning more, and we hope to provide the forum to do that.”|
  • Vint Cerf Warns Against Cuts in Research Funding at SXSW
    “In particular, Cerf warned against cuts in federal funding for “curiosity research,” long-term projects with an uncertain payoff. He advised against hoping that the private sector can step in, saying even Google hesitates at that level. Cerf saw another threat to “permissionless innovation” in the Federal Communications Commission’s steps to undo net-neutrality rules that ban internet providers from blocking or slowing sites or charging them for priority delivery. “We need to have a legal framework to enforce the net neutrality rules, and right now the only framework we have is Title II,” he said, referring to the legal clause giving the FCC authority to regulate “common carriers” like phone companies that provide open access to their customers.”


ISOC’s Work:

  • New Appointments to the Public Interest Registry Board of Directors
    “The Internet Society today announced that Jeffrey Bedser has been appointed to the Public Interest Registry (PIR) Board of Directors.  He will serve a term of three years as will returning board member Eric Burger.  Hartmut Glaser is also a returning board member who will serve a term of one year. These appointments will begin at a PIR Board retreat scheduled next month.”
  • ISOC Celebrates 25 Years of Fighting for an Internet for All, Launches New Initiatives
    “We have reached an important milestone in our history as well as a unique opportunity to leverage our essential work in access and trust. The value of our experience over the last 25 years lies in its application for the future. That is why we are planning a year when we look back at our roots while also looking forward to the next 25 years in support of the Internet.”
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