Further Reading, Other Developments, and Coming Events (9 November)

Further Reading

  • Facebook bans ‘STOP THE STEAL’ group Trump allies were using to organize protests against vote counting” By Tony Romm, Isaac Stanley-Becker and Elizabeth Dwoskin — The Washington Post. A significant portion of the online activity among those on the right wing alleging that the Biden Campaign and Democrats have stolen the election is traceable to right-wing media influencers and it is less an organic effort. Moreover, Facebook has apparently had a mixed record in locating and taking down material that is seeking to spread lies about the integrity of the election and foment violence.
  • False News Targeting Latinos Trails the Election” By Patricia Mazzei and Nicole Perlroth — The New York Times. By the metrics used in the article (although it’s not clear exactly where the Times got its data), the disinformation in Spanish on social media in 2020 exceeded the Russian disinformation campaign in 2016. Apparently, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube were not prepared or were not expecting the flood of lies, misinformation, and disinformation about President-elect Joe Biden or the Democrats generally, especially in South Florida where Republicans did much better than expected. Much of this content tied Biden to the former dictators of Cuba and Venezuela, Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez.
  • Trump’s Tweeting Isn’t Crazy. It’s Strategic, Typos and All.” By Emily Dreyfuss — The New York Times. This piece traces the evolution of a campaign to paint the Biden family as engaged in criminal activity to both smear them and to blunt any criticism of the Trump family given the many and serious allegations of lawbreaking and unethical behavior.
  • TikTok invites UK lawmakers to review algorithm after being probed on China censorship concerns” By Sam Shead — CNBC. In testimony before the United Kingdom’s (UK) Parliament’s Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee, TikTok’s head of policy in the UK said the platform used to censor content but then hedged the statement after the hearing in a statement. Prior to May 2019, the company hewed to the content wishes of the People’s Republic of China and material on Tiananmen Square was not on the platform. However, she did claim that TikTok’s data is stored in the United States with backups in Singapore, none of which goes to the PRC.
  • The Disinformation Is Coming From Inside the White House” By Matthew Rosenberg, Jim Rutenberg and Nick Corasaniti — The New York Times. Turns out much of the disinformation about alleged but unproven vote fraud is coming directly from the President, his advisers, his allies, and his family. It may come to pass that domestic disinformation, misinformation, and lies will have a larger impact than similar efforts from overseas.

Other Developments

  • Representative Ro Khanna (D-CA) introduced “The 21st Century Jobs Package” (H.R.8693) that establish a Federal Institute of Technology (FIT) and “allocates $900 billion in research & development (R&D) funding for emerging technologies like Advanced Manufacturing, Synthetic Biology, Artificial intelligence, Biotechnology, and Cybersecurity” according to his press release. In a summary, Khanna explained:
    • At the center of this proposal is the creation of a FIT, with presence in multiple locations around the country. These locations will initially take the form of additional facilities and faculty within or alongside existing universities and complementing ecosystems that are already dynamic. Over time, they will grow to include new stand-alone operations in areas without strong existing university bases. The vision, as in the past, is to marry federal resources and guidance with local initiative.
    • The proposed budget for this entire initiative is $900 billion over ten years. This would raise total public R&D spending to 1% of GDP by the end of the period, returning us to our role as an international leader. Most importantly, it would create as many as three million good new jobs per year. Many of these jobs would be in places that have fallen behind.
  • Australia’s Attorney-General has released an issues paper as a precursor of a possible rewrite of the country’s Privacy Act 1988 “to ensure privacy settings empower consumers, protect their data and best serve the Australian economy…as part of the government’s response to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s Digital Platforms Inquiry” according to the its press release. The Attorney-General explained:
    • The review will examine and, if needed, consider options for reform on matters including:
    • The scope and application of the Privacy Act including in relation to:
      • the definition of ‘personal information’
      • current exemptions, and
      • general permitted situations for the collection, use and disclosure of personal information.
    • Whether the Privacy Act effectively protects personal information and provides a practical and proportionate framework for promoting good privacy practices including in relation to:
      • notification requirements
      • consent requirements including default privacy settings
      • overseas data flows, and
      • erasure of personal information.
    • Whether individuals should have direct rights of action to enforce privacy obligations under the Privacy Act.
    • Whether a statutory tort for serious invasions of privacy should be introduced into Australian law.
    • The impact of the notifiable data breach scheme and its effectiveness in meeting its objectives.
    • The effectiveness of enforcement powers and mechanisms under the Privacy Act and the interaction with other Commonwealth regulatory frameworks.
    • The desirability and feasibility of an independent certification scheme to monitor and demonstrate compliance with Australian privacy laws
  • The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has released for comment its “Draft Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) 201-3, Personal Identity Verification (PIV) of Federal Employees and Contractors (Standard).” NIST explained in the Federal Register notice:
    • This Standard defines common credentials and authentication mechanisms offering varying degrees of security for both logical and physical access applications. The draft revision proposes changes to FIPS 201-2, Standard for Personal Identity Verification of Federal Employees and Contractors to include: Expanding specification on the use of additional PIV credentials known as derived PIV credentials, procedures for supervised remote identity proofing, the use of federation as a means for a relying system to interoperate with PIV credentials issued by other agencies, alignment with the current practice/policy of the Federal Government and specific changes requested by Federal agencies and implementers. Before recommending these proposed changes to the Secretary of Commerce for review and approval, NIST invites comments from all interested parties.
    • In the draft document, NIST stated:
      • Authentication of an individual’s identity is a fundamental component of physical and logical access control. An access control decision must be made when an individual attempts to access security-sensitive buildings, information systems, and applications. An accurate determination of an individual’s identity supports making sound access control decisions. T
      • his document establishes a standard for a Personal Identity Verification (PIV) system that meets the control and security objectives of Homeland Security Presidential Directive-12 [HSPD-12]. It is based on secure and reliable forms of identity credentials issued by the Federal Government to its employees and contractors. These credentials are used by mechanisms that authenticate individuals who require access to federally controlled facilities, information systems, and applications. This Standard addresses requirements for initial identity proofing, infrastructure to support interoperability of identity credentials, and accreditation of organizations and processes issuing PIV credentials.
  • The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced a $200 million settlement with T-Mobile “to resolve an investigation of its subsidiary Sprint’s compliance with the Commission’s rules regarding waste, fraud, and abuse in the Lifeline program for low-income consumers” according to the agency’s press release. The FCC explained:
    • The payment is the largest fixed-amount settlement the Commission has ever secured to resolve an investigation.  The settlement comes after an Enforcement Bureau investigation into reports that Sprint, prior to its merger with T-Mobile, was claiming monthly subsidies for serving approximately 885,000 Lifeline subscribers even though those subscribers were not using the service, in potential violation of the Commission’s “non-usage” rule.  The matter initially came to light as a result of an investigation by the Oregon Public Utility Commission.  In addition to paying a $200 million civil penalty, Sprint agreed to enter into a compliance plan to help ensure future adherence to the Commission’s rules for the Lifeline program.

Coming Events

  • On 10 November, the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee will hold a hearing to consider nominations, including Nathan Simington’s to be a Member of the Federal Communications Commission.
  • On 17 November, the Senate Judiciary Committee will reportedly hold a hearing with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey on Section 230 and how their platforms chose to restrict The New York Post article on Hunter Biden.
  • On 18 November, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will hold an open meeting and has released a tentative agenda:
    • Modernizing the 5.9 GHz Band. The Commission will consider a First Report and Order, Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, and Order of Proposed Modification that would adopt rules to repurpose 45 megahertz of spectrum in the 5.850-5.895 GHz band for unlicensed operations, retain 30 megahertz of spectrum in the 5.895-5.925 GHz band for the Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) service, and require the transition of the ITS radio service standard from Dedicated Short-Range Communications technology to Cellular Vehicle-to-Everything technology. (ET Docket No. 19-138)
    • Further Streamlining of Satellite Regulations. The Commission will consider a Report and Order that would streamline its satellite licensing rules by creating an optional framework for authorizing space stations and blanket-licensed earth stations through a unified license. (IB Docket No. 18-314)
    • Facilitating Next Generation Fixed-Satellite Services in the 17 GHz Band. The Commission will consider a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that would propose to add a new allocation in the 17.3-17.8 GHz band for Fixed-Satellite Service space-to-Earth downlinks and to adopt associated technical rules. (IB Docket No. 20-330)
    • Expanding the Contribution Base for Accessible Communications Services. The Commission will consider a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that would propose expansion of the Telecommunications Relay Services (TRS) Fund contribution base for supporting Video Relay Service (VRS) and Internet Protocol Relay Service (IP Relay) to include intrastate telecommunications revenue, as a way of strengthening the funding base for these forms of TRS and making it more equitable without increasing the size of the Fund itself. (CG Docket Nos. 03-123, 10-51, 12-38)
    • Revising Rules for Resolution of Program Carriage Complaints. The Commission will consider a Report and Order that would modify the Commission’s rules governing the resolution of program carriage disputes between video programming vendors and multichannel video programming distributors. (MB Docket Nos. 20-70, 17-105, 11-131)
    • Enforcement Bureau Action. The Commission will consider an enforcement action.

© Michael Kans, Michael Kans Blog and michaelkans.blog, 2019-2020. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Michael Kans, Michael Kans Blog, and michaelkans.blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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