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Building a 21st Century Digital Government

President Obama has issued a directive entitled “Building a 21st Century Digital Government” that launches a comprehensive Digital Government Strategy.  According to the directive:

The innovative use of technology is fundamentally transforming how the American people do business and live their daily lives.  Exponential increases in computing power, the rise of high-speed networks, and the growing mobile revolution have put the Internet at our fingertips, encouraging innovations that are giving rise to new industries and reshaping existing ones . . . However, it is time for the Federal Government to do more . . . at a time when Americans increasingly pay bills and buy tickets on mobile devices, Government services often are not optimized for smartphones or tablets, assuming the services even available online.

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Gig.U Members Will Compete for $200 Million for Broadband Development

The University Community Next Generation Innovation Project (Gig.U) and Gigabit Squared announced the nation’s first multi-community broadband gigabit deployment with the availability of $200 million in funding. Under the Gigabit Neighborhood Gateway Program, capital is available to support up to six select Gig.U member-sponsored projects.

House Declares Cybersecurity Week with Introduction of Four Cybersecurity Bills

The U.S. House of Representatives is introducting this week four pieces of legislation for votes.  Below is a summary of each bill provided by House Speaker John Boehner:

Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (H.R. 3523), introduced by Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-MI), will help private sector job creators defend themselves from attacks from countries like China and Russia by allowing the government to provide the intelligence information needed to protect their networks and their customers’ privacy.  The bill also provides positive authority to private-sector entities to defend their own networks and to those of their customers, and to share cyber threat information with others in the private sector, as well as with the federal government on a purely voluntary basis.

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Request for Comments on Multistakeholder Process To Develop Consumer Data Privacy Codes of Conduct

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) in the U.S. Department of Commerce has issued a Request for Public Comments  in response to the report on consumer data privacy issued by The White House in February.

According to the notice, the NTIA is requesting comment on "consumer data privacy issues that warrant the development of legally enforceable codes of conduct, as well as procedures to foster the development of these codes."

The White House Releases Report on Consumer Data Privacy in a Networked World

The White House announced today a long awaited report on “Consumer Data Privacy in a Networked World:  A Framework for Protecting Privacy and Promoting Innovation in the Global Digital Economy.”  The report is “part of a comprehensive blueprint to improve consumers’ privacy protections and ensure that the Internet remains an engine for innovation and economic growth,” according to a statement from The White House.

Among the primary recommendations in the report is a call for a Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights to provide a baseline of clear protections for consumers and greater certainty for businesses.  The rights include:

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Senate Introduces the Cybersecurity Act of 2012; Holds Hearing

Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Senator Joe Lieberman (ID-Conn.), Ranking Member Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine), Commerce Committee Chairman Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.), and Select Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Ca.) introduced the Senate version of comprehensive cybersecurity legislation (S.

NSTIC to Establish a Steering Group that is Private Sector Led

The National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace (NSTIC) National Program Office has issued its “Recommendations For Establishing An Identity Ecosystem Governance Structure.”  The report is in response to an earlier Notice of Inquiry (NOI) and follows a workshop on the subject.  EDUCAUSE, Internet2, and InCommon submitted comments that were featured prominently in the final recommendations.

“A core tenet of the NSTIC is that its implementation must be led by the private sector,” according to the report.  Key recommendations from the topic areas identified in the NOI are as follows:

Cybersecurity Legislation Advances in the House

At a time when the threat of cyberattacks has been a frequent focus of media coverage (see CBS News Report, “FBI:  Cyber threat might surpass terror threat,” and USA Today report, “Cyberattacks likely to escalate this year”), the leaders of the Senate, House of Representatives, and President Obama have pledged to pass cybersecurity legislation this year.  A subcommittee of the House Homeland Security Committee took the latest step in that direction last week when it passed H.R.

NSTIC Unveils $10 Million Program for Online Identity Pilot Programs

The National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace (NSTIC) took a big step forward to gain confidence that there is more than just talk to the strategy by announcing a new Federal Funding Opportunity (FFO) for pilot programs to support the NSTIC.  The NSTIC vision is for individuals and organizations to have secure, efficient, easy-to-use and interoperable identity solutions to access online services in a manner that promotes confidence, privacy, choice and innovation.

According to the announcement:

OMB Memo Urges Government to Leverage Externally-Issued Identity Credentials

A recent memo from the Federal CIO to the CIO's of Executive Departments and Agencies is welcome news to the advocates for federated identity management.  The memo with the subject line of "Requirements for Accepting Externally-Issued Identity Credentials" mandates that "agencies are to begin leveraing externally-issued credentials, in addition to continuing to offer federally-issued credentials."  The memo begins with the observation that the use of externally-issued credentials (i.e., those that have been issued by an entity other than the federal government) will decrease the burden on uses of government information systems and reduce costs associated with managing credentials.  InCommon is included among the Trust Framework Providers that are identified among the Approved Providers and Schemes.