GOVERNMENT DOCUMENTS:Information Research Center (IRC)
Embassy of the United States of America
Management Improvements Needed on the Department of Homeland Security’s Next Generation Information Sharing System
Government Accountability Office (GAO). Report to Congressional Committees. October 2008. 58 pages.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is responsible for coordinating the federal government's homeland security communications with all levels of government. In support of this mission, DHS implemented, and has been enhancing, the Homeland Security Information Network (HSIN). It also has proposed a follow-on system, called Next Generation HSIN (HSIN Next Gen). GAO was asked to determine whether DHS has stopped further improvements on HSIN and if so, the department's rationale for doing so and plans for acquiring its proposed follow-on system HSIN Next Gen, and whether the department is effectively managing the HSIN Next Gen acquisition.
DIGITAL TELEVISION TRANSITION:
Information on the Implementation of the Converter Box Subsidy Program and Consumer Participation in the Program
Mark L. Goldstein, Director, Physical Infrastructure. Government Accountability Office (GAO). Testimony before the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, U.S. Senate. September 23, 2008. 16 pages.
DIGITAL TELEVISION TRANSITION: Information on the Implementation of the Converter Box Subsidy Program and Consumer Participation in the Program
Mark L. Goldstein, Director, Physical Infrastructure. Government Accountability Office (GAO). Testimony before the Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet, Committee on Energy and Commerce, U.S. House of Representatives. September 16, 2008. 16 pages.
DIGITAL TELEVISION TRANSITION: Implementation of the Converter Box Subsidy Program Is Under Way, but Preparedness to Manage an Increase in Subsidy Demand Is Unclear
Government Accountability Office (GAO). Report to Congressional Requesters. September 2008. 46 pages.
The Digital Television Transition and Public Safety Act of 2005 requires all full-power television stations in the United States to cease analog broadcasting after February 17, 2009, known as the digital television (DTV) transition. The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) is responsible for implementing a subsidy program to provide households with up to two $40 coupons toward the purchase of converter boxes. In this requested report, GAO examines what consumer education efforts have been undertaken by private and federal stakeholders and how effective NTIA has been in implementing the converter box subsidy program, and to what extent consumers are participating in the program.
ELECTRONIC WASTE: HARMFUL U.S. EXPORTS FLOW VIRTUALLY UNRESTRICTED BECAUSE OF MINIMAL EPA ENFORCEMENT AND NARROW REGULATION
John B. Stephenson, Director, Natural Resources and Environment. Government Accountability Office (GAO). Testimony before the Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific, and the Global Environment, Committee on Foreign Affairs, U.S. House of Representatives. September 17, 2008. 21 pages.
ELECTRONIC WASTE: EPA Needs to Better Control Harmful U.S. Exports through Stronger Enforcement and More Comprehensive Regulation
Government Accountability Office (GAO). Report to the Chairman, Committee on Foreign Affairs, U.S. House of Representatives. August 2008. 67 pages.
Increasingly, U.S. consumers are recycling their old electronics to prevent the environmental harm that can come from disposal. Concerns have grown, however, that some U.S. companies are exporting these items to developing countries, where unsafe recycling practices can cause health and environmental problems. Items with cathode-ray tubes (CRT) are particularly harmful because they can contain 4 pounds of lead, a known toxin. To prevent this practice, since January 2007, EPA began regulating the export of CRTs under its CRT rule, which requires companies to notify EPA before exporting CRTs. In this context, GAO examined the fate of exported used electronics, the effectiveness of regulatory controls over the export of these devices, and options to strengthen federal regulation of exported used electronics.
CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE PROTECTION:
DHS Needs to Better Address Its Cybersecurity Responsibilities
Government Accountability Office (GAO). Testimony before the Subcommittee on Emerging Threats, Cybersecurity, and Science and Technology, Committee on Homeland Security, U.S. House of Representatives. September 16, 2008. 19 pages.
Recent cyber attacks demonstrate the potentially devastating impact these pose to the U.S. computer systems and to the federal operations and critical infrastructures that they support. They also highlight that the United States need to be vigilant against individuals and groups with malicious intent, such as criminals, terrorists, and nation-states perpetuating these attacks. Federal law and policy established the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) as the focal point for coordinating cybersecurity, including making it responsible for protecting systems that support critical infrastructures, a practice commonly referred to as cyber critical infrastructure protection. Since 2005, GAO has reported on the responsibilities and progress DHS has made in its cybersecurity efforts. GAO was asked to summarize its key reports and their associated recommendations aimed at securing the U.S. cyber critical infrastructure.
Actions Needed to Better Protect Los Alamos National Laboratory’s Unclassified Computer Network
Government Accountability Office (GAO). Report to Congressional Committees. September 2008. 49 pages.
The Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), which is operated by the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), has experienced security lapses protecting information on its unclassified computer network. The unclassified network contains sensitive information. GAO assessed the effectiveness of the security controls LANL has in place to protect information transmitted over its unclassified computer network, assessed whether LANL had implemented an information security program for its unclassified network, and examined expenditures to protect LANL's unclassified network from fiscal years 2001 through 2007.
Trends in Telephone Service
Industry Analysis and Technology Division. Wireline Competition Bureau. Federal Communications Commission (FCC). August 2008. 178 pages.
This report presents information about the size, growth, and development of the telephone industry, including data on market shares, minutes of calling, number of lines, and telephone subscribership. It also provides information about access charges, telephone rates and price changes, consumer expenditures for service, employment, infrastructure, international telephone traffic, local competition, long distance carriers, residential telephone usage, and universal service support.
CYBER ANALYSIS AND WARNING: DHS Faces Challenges in Establishing a Comprehensive National Capability
Government Accountability Office (GAO). Report to the Subcommittee on Emerging Threats, Cybersecurity, and Science and Technology, Committee on Homeland Security, U.S. House of Representatives. July 2008. 67 pages.
Cyber analysis and warning capabilities are critical to thwarting computer-based (cyber) threats and attacks. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) established the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) to, among other things, coordinate the nation's efforts to prepare for, prevent, and respond to cyber threats to systems and communications networks. GAO's objectives were to identify key attributes of cyber analysis and warning capabilities, compare these attributes with US-CERT's current capabilities to identify whether there are gaps, and identify US-CERT's challenges to developing and implementing key attributes and a successful national cyber analysis and warning capability.
Roundtable Discussion on Phishing Education
Division of Consumer and Business Education and Division of Marketing Practices. Federal Trade Commission (FTC). July 2008. 15 pages.
Phishing uses deceptive spam that appears to be coming from legitimate, well-known sources to trick consumers into divulging sensitive or personal information, such as credit card numbers, other financial data, or passwords, either through a reply email or a link to a copycat of the purported source’s website. During the July 2007 Spam Summit of the Federal Trade Commission, panelists identified consumer and business education as a key tool for helping to reduce the number of consumers who fall victim to phishing scams.
THINK TANKS AND RESEARCH CENTERS:
The opinions expressed in these publications do not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Government
The Pew Internet & American Life Project. October 19, 2008. 44 pages.
The Internet and cell phones have become central components of modern family life. Among all household types, the traditional nuclear family has the highest rate of technology usage and ownership. Households with a married couple and minor children are more likely than other household types -- such as single adults, homes with unrelated adults, or couples without children -- to have cell phones and use the Internet. Cell phones allow family members to stay more regularly in touch even when they are not physically together. Moreover, many members of married-with-children households view material online together.
A Comparison of the Technology Policies of Barack Obama and John McCain
Arlene Holen. Technology Policy Institute. Policy Perspective. October 8, 2008. 4 pages.
This comparison is drawn from and adheres closely to statements on the presidential candidates’ websites. Both websites list technology among the issues most important to their campaigns. The comparison summarizes the candidates’ views on key issues and highlights important similarities and differences. Both candidates share the goals of strengthening American science, technology and innovation; developing a skilled workforce; enhancing intellectual property protection; and encouraging a modern communications infrastructure. Some of their policy approaches are quite different however. For example, they differ sharply in emphasizing increased federal spending vs. tax incentives to achieve policy goals and in their positions on network neutrality.
Comparing the Candidates’ Technology and Innovation Policies
Stephen J. Ezell and Robert D. Atkinson. Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF). September 29, 2008. 19 pages.
Innovation drives long-term national economic growth and has in fact been responsible for 80 percent of the growth in the U.S. economy since World War II. This places technology and innovation squarely at the center of the issue -- the economy -- that voters have identified as the most important in the 2008 Presidential election. Both John McCain and Barack Obama’s campaigns increasingly recognize the central role that science, technology, and innovation play in economic growth and have developed specific policy positions on these issues. This ITIF policy brief compares and assesses the candidates’ technology and innovation policies across a number of specific issues areas, including: taxes, R&D funding, broadband and net neutrality, e-government, digital transformation, education and workforce development, trade, patent and intellectual property, and energy and the environment.
BEING ONLINE IS NOT ENOUGH: STATE ELECTIONS WEB SITES
The Pew Center on the States. October 2008. 36 pages.
Many of those going to the polls on November 4 will be first-time voters who will need to know how to register to vote, where to vote and, likely, who and what are on the ballots for the 2008 elections. Today’s technology should make it easier for these first-time voters. While it is clear that the Internet helps people search for and use information, it is not clear, however, that voters will in fact find the information they are looking for or that the information they do find will help them vote in the coming elections.
Digital Quality of Life: Understanding the Personal and Social Benefits of the Information Technology Revolution
Robert D. Atkinson and Daniel D. Castro. Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF). October 2008. 185 pages.
In the new global economy, information technology (IT) is the major driver of both economic growth and improved quality of life. In its 2007 report, the ITIF documented how IT, since the mid-1990s, has been the principal driver of increased economic growth not only in the United States but also in many other nations. IT is also at the core of dramatic improvements in the quality of life for individuals around the world. In this new report, the authors show how IT is the key enabler of many, if not most, of today’s key innovations and improvements in our lives and society -- from better education and health care, to a cleaner and more energy-efficient environment, to safer and more secure communities and nations.
Do High Call Termination Rates Deter Broadband Deployment?
T. Randolph Beard and George S. Ford. Phoenix Center for Advanced Legal and Economic Public Policy Studies. Policy Bulletin No. 22. October 2008. 9 pages.
Does the current way by which providers compensate each other for the exchange of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), wireless, local and long-distance calls inhibit broadband deployment? The question is timely, as the Federal Communications Commission is presently considering a comprehensive intercarrier compensation reform proposal that would establish lower and more uniform rates for the transport and termination of all forms of traffic, regardless of point-of-origin and technology.
The Lobby that Cried Wolf
Benjamin Lennett. New America Foundation. Wireless Future Program. Issue Brief #23. October 2008. 14 pages.
In an October 2007 letter to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), executives from the four largest TV networks told the Commission that proposals to allow low-power Wi-Fi type devices to operate on vacant TV channels, “could cause permanent damage to over-the-air digital television reception." Such a dire warning would ring alarm bells for policymakers, if not for the fact that similar nightmare scenarios have been predicted before. In numerous public relations and lobbying campaigns, broadcasters and their respective lobbies have relied upon similar doomsday pronouncements to inhibit competition and maintain their exclusive control over the valuable, but grossly under-utilized, broadcast spectrum.
Net Neutrality Regulation in the United States
Barbara S. Esbin. The Progress and Freedom Foundation (PFF). Progress Snapshot Release 4.21. October 2008. 3 pages.
The United States moved closer to “Net Neutrality” regulation this year when the Federal Communications Commission found that Comcast, a cable broadband Internet service provider, violated a set of Internet policy principles the FCC adopted in 2005 by limiting peer-to-peer (P2P) traffic. The ruling was the culmination of a ten-year effort that began as a call for wholesale “open access” to the cable platform for third-party Internet service providers.
The Pew Internet & American Life Project. September 24, 2008. 57 pages.
The majority of employed adults (62%) use the Internet or email at their job, and many have cell phones and Blackberries that keep them connected even when they are not at work. Working Americans express mixed views about the impact of technology on their work lives. On the one hand, they cite the benefits of increased connectivity and flexibility that the Internet and all of their various gadgets afford them at work. On the other hand, many workers say these tools have added stress and new demands to their lives.
Teens, Video Games and Civics
The Pew Internet & American Life Project. September 16, 2008. 76 pages.
The first national survey of its kind finds that virtually all American teens play computer, console, or cell phone games and that the gaming experience is rich and varied, with a significant amount of social interaction and potential for civic engagement. Game playing, however, sometimes involves exposure to mature content, with almost a third of teens playing games that are listed as appropriate only for people older than they are.
The DTV Coupon Program: A Boon to Retailers, not Consumers
Scott Wallsten. Technology Policy Institute. Policy Perspective. September 15, 2008. 4 pages.
In principle, the DTV coupon program reduces the cost to households of the digital transition by allowing them to spend $40 less on a converter box than they otherwise would. This analysis reveals, however, that coupon program has created a floor on the price of these converter boxes. Because consumers pay $0 with the coupon for any box priced $40 or less, retailers have little incentive to reduce the price below $40. An analysis of converter box prices at retailers around the country suggests that the coupon program has increased the price of converter boxes by $21-34.
USE OF CLOUD COMPUTING APPLICATIONS AND SERVICES
John B. Horrigan. The Pew Internet & American Life Project. Data Memo. September 12, 2008. 9 pages.
Some 69% of online Americans use webmail services, store data online, or use software programs such as word processing applications whose functionality is located on the web. In doing so, these users are making use of “cloud computing,” an emerging architecture by which data and applications reside in cyberspace, allowing users to access them through any web-connected device.
Cybersecurity Economic Issues: Corporate Approaches and Challenges to Decisionmaking
Rand Corporation. Research Brief. September 2008. 5 pages.
This research brief presents findings that address key cybersecurity concerns, perceptions of the importance of cybersecurity, and considerations for cybersecurity investment decisions. In particular, it suggests that companies, the government, and other organizations can help improve our understanding of cybersecurity economics by monitoring cybersecurity incidents and responses, soliciting and using standard terminology and measures, and sharing data whenever possible.
Time for a Post-Partisan Broadband Debate
Robert D. Atkinson. Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF). September 2008. 4 pages.
In the last few years, the debate over broadband policy has become increasingly partisan and bitter. In this Report, the author argues that it is time to move beyond the partisan bickering. By reviewing the merits and shortcomings of each side’s position, the author draws a blueprint for pragmatic broadband progress in the areas of the U.S. broadband position, net neutrality, the role of competition and overall broadband policy.
THE ECONOMICS OF AUCTIONING DTV WHITE SPACE SPECTRUM
Michael Calabrese and Gregory Rose. New America Foundation. Wireless Future Program. Working Paper #22. September 2008. 31 pages.
A one-time auction of the guard band and other vacant channels in each local television market -- so-called "spectrum white space" -- would provide minimal revenue to the Treasury, while simultaneously ensuring that most of this unused "beachfront" spectrum will remain fallow, stifling the broadband services and innovation that could generate far more long-term economic activity. Alternatively, opening unlicensed access to the DTV white space for use by all American homes and businesses would do far more to promote opportunities for broadband deployment, innovation and efficient utilization of this spectrum.
Podcast Downloading 2008
Mary Madden and Sydney Jones. The Pew Internet & American Life Project. Data Memo. August 28, 2008. 5 pages.
As gadgets with digital audio capability proliferate, podcast downloading continues to increase. Currently, 19% of all Internet users say they have downloaded a podcast so they could listen to it or view it later. This most recent percentage is up from 12% of Internet users who reported downloading podcasts in an August 2006 survey and 7% in a February-April 2006 survey. Still, podcasting has yet to become a fixture in the everyday lives of Internet users, as very few Internet users download podcasts on a typical day.
Whither the internet?
The Pew Internet & American Life Project. August 27, 2008. 6 pages.
Last November, hundreds of government, industry leaders and Internet activists from around the world gathered in Rio de Janeiro for the second Internet Governance Forum. A survey conducted at the forum shows attendees want an online Bill of Rights and more competition among service providers
The Engaged E-patient Population
Susannah Fox. The Pew Internet & American Life Project. August 26, 2008. 4 pages.
The Pew Internet Project estimates that between 75% and 80% of Internet users have looked online for health information. Information gathering has become a habit for many Americans, particularly those in the 55% of households with broadband connections. For example, 78% of home broadband users look online for health information, compared with 70% of home dial-up users. Home broadband users are twice as likely as home dial-up users to do health research on a typical day -- 12% vs. 6%.
KEY NEWS AUDIENCES NOW BLEND ONLINE AND TRADITIONAL SOURCES
The Pew Research Center for the People & the Press. August 17, 2008. 129 pages.
For more than a decade, the audiences for most traditional news sources have steadily declined, as the number of people getting news online has surged. Today, however, a sizable minority of Americans find themselves at the intersection of these two long-standing trends in news consumption. Integrators, who get the news from both traditional sources and the Internet, are a more engaged, sophisticated and demographically sought-after audience segment than those who mostly rely on traditional news sources. Integrators share some characteristics with a smaller, younger, more Internet savvy audience segment, Net-Newsers, who principally turn to the web for news, and largely eschew traditional sources.
Search Engine Use
Deborah Fallows. The Pew Internet & American Life Project. Data Memo. August 6, 2008. 6 pages.
The percentage of Internet users who use search engines on a typical day has been steadily rising from about one-third of all users in 2002, to a new high of just under one-half (49%). With this increase, the number of those using a search engine on a typical day is pulling ever closer to the 60% of Internet users who use email.
State and Federal Electronic Government in the United States, 2008
Darrell M. West. Governance Studies. The Brookings Institution. August 2008. 19 pages.
This report assesses the nature of American state and federal electronic government in 2008 by examining whether e-government effectively capitalizes on the interactive features available on the World Wide Web to improve service delivery and public outreach. Although considerable progress has been made over the past decade, e-government has fallen short of its potential to transform public-sector operations. This report closes by suggesting how public officials can take maximum advantage of technology to improve government performance.
Improving Technology Utilization in Electronic Government around the World, 2008
Darrell M. West. Governance Studies. The Brookings Institution. August 2008. 32 pages.
Despite the great promise of technological advancement, public sector innovation has tended to be small-scale and gradual. Factors such as institutional arrangements, budget scarcity, group conflict, cultural norms and prevailing patterns of social and political behavior have restricted government actions. Because governments are divided into competing agencies and jurisdictions, policymakers struggle to get bureaucrats to work together in promoting technological innovation. Budget considerations prevent government offices from placing services online and using technology for democratic outreach. Cultural norms and patterns of individual behavior affect the manner in which technology is used by citizens and policymakers.
Previous issues of Information Technologies -- Documents on the Web are available at: http://france.usembassy.gov/economics.html
Voir aussi: Index de l'Internet