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Information Technologies – Documents on the Web – June 2009


TELECOMMUNICATIONS: Preliminary Observations about Consumer Satisfaction and Problems with Wireless Phone Service and FCC’s Efforts to Assist Consumers with Complaints
Mark Goldstein, Director, Physical Infrastructure Issues. Government Accountability Office (GAO). Testimony before the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, U.S. Senate. June 17, 2009. 22 pages.

The use of wireless phone service in the United States has risen dramatically over the last 20 years, with an estimated 270 million subscribers as of December 2008. Concerns have been raised in recent years about the quality of this service, including specific concerns about billing and carriers’ contract terms, such as fees charged for terminating service before the end of a contract period. This testimony provides preliminary information on consumers’ current satisfaction with wireless phone service and problems consumers have experienced with this service, and FCC’s efforts to assist wireless consumers with complaints.

Access to Broadband Networks: The Net Neutrality Debate
Angele A. Gilroy. Congressional Research Service (CRS). June 1, 2009. 12 pages.

As congressional policymakers continue to debate telecommunications reform, a major point of contention is the question of whether action is needed to ensure unfettered access to the Internet. The move to place restrictions on the owners of the networks that compose and provide access to the Internet, to ensure equal access and non-discriminatory treatment, is referred to as net neutrality. There is no single accepted definition of net neutrality. Most agree, however, that any such definition should include the general principles that owners of the networks that compose and provide access to the Internet should not control how consumers lawfully use that network, and they should not be able to discriminate against content provider access to that network.

Federal Communications Commission (FCC). May 22, 2009. 83 pages.

For many Americans, a world without broadband is unimaginable. But we have not succeeded in bringing broadband to everyone. For years, large parts of rural America have languished on the sidelines of the digital revolution. Rural governments and businesses are missing opportunities to function more efficiently and effectively. Shortly after President Obama took office, his administration began to play an important leadership role in the effort to expand broadband penetration throughout the nation. The solutions for rural broadband should reflect consideration of the full range of technological options available, and should not elevate the need for short-term progress over longer-term objectives.

GLOBAL POSITIONING SYSTEM: Significant Challenges in Sustaining and Upgrading Widely Used Capabilities
Cristina T. Chaplain, Director, Acquisition and Sourcing Management. Government Accountability Office (GAO). Testimony before the Subcommittee on National Security and Foreign Affairs, Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, U.S. House of Representatives. May 7, 2009. 15 pages.

The Global Positioning System (GPS), which provides position, navigation, and timing data to users worldwide, has become essential to U.S. national security and a key tool in an expanding array of public service and commercial applications at home and abroad. The United States provides GPS data free of charge. The Air Force, which is responsible for GPS acquisition, is in the process of modernizing GPS. In light of the importance of GPS, the modernization effort, and international efforts to develop new systems, GAO was asked to undertake a broad review of GPS. Specifically, GAO assessed progress in acquiring GPS satellites, acquiring the ground control and user equipment necessary to leverage GPS satellite capabilities, and evaluated coordination among federal agencies and other organizations to ensure GPS missions can be accomplished.

Information Security: Cyber Threats and Vulnerabilities Place Federal Systems at Risk
Gregory C. Wilshusen, Director, Information Security Issues. Government Accountability Office (GAO). Testimony before the Subcommittee on Government Management, Organization, and Procurement, Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, U.S. House of Representatives. May 5, 2009. 21 pages.
The need for a vigilant approach to information security has been demonstrated by the pervasive and sustained computerbased (cyber) attacks against the United States and others that continue to pose a potentially devastating impact to systems and the operations and critical infrastructures that they support. GAO was asked to describe cyber threats to federal information systems and cyberbased critical infrastructures and control deficiencies that make these systems and infrastructures vulnerable to those threats.

TELECOMMUNICATIONS: Broadband Deployment Plan Should Include Performance Goals and Measures to Guide Federal Investment
Government Accountability Office (GAO). Report to the Chairman, Committee on Energy and Commerce, U.S. House of Representatives. May 2009. 44 pages.

The United States ranks 15th among the 30 democratic nations of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) on one measure of broadband (i.e., high-speed Internet) subscribership. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has regulatory authority over broadband, and several federal programs fund broadband deployment. This congressionally requested report discusses the federal broadband deployment policy, principal federal programs, and stakeholders’ views of those programs; how the policies of OECD nations with higher subscribership rates compare with U.S. policy; and actions the states have taken to encourage broadband deployment.

CybeRspACe polICy RevIew: Assuring a Trusted and Resilient Information and Communications Infrastructure
Executive Office of the President. April 17, 2009. 76 pages.

The architecture of the Nation’s digital infrastructure, based largely upon the Internet, is not secure or resilient. Without major advances in the security of these systems or significant change in how they are constructed or operated, it is doubtful that the United States can protect itself from the growing threat of cybercrime and state-sponsored intrusions and operations. The U.S. digital infrastructure has already suffered intrusions that have allowed criminals to steal hundreds of millions of dollars and nation-states and other entities to steal intellectual property and sensitive military information. Other intrusions threaten to damage portions of U.S. critical infrastructure. These and other risks have the potential to undermine the Nation’s confidence in the information systems that underlie economic and national security interests.

Beyond Voice: Mapping the Mobile Marketplace
Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Staff Report. April 2009. 54 pages.

Mobile devices, once associated only with voice telephone service, have become the launching pads for new data-driven technologies and services. Today, consumers use their mobile devices for myriad purposes including “chatting” through text messaging, taking pictures, browsing the Web, making purchases, listening to music, viewing videos, playing games across cyberspace, and keeping track of friends and relatives. This report explores these new developments and their impact on mobile commerce (“M-commerce”).

Broadband Infrastructure Programs in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act
Lennard G. Kruger. Congressional Research Service (CRS). March 20, 2009. 14 pages.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA, P.L. 111-5) provides $7.2 billion primarily for broadband grant programs to be administered by two separate agencies: the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) of the Department of Commerce (DOC) and the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The unprecedented scale and scope of the ARRA broadband programs, coupled with the short time frame for awarding grants, presents daunting challenges with respect to program implementation as well as Congressional oversight. Congress is closely monitoring how equitably and effectively broadband grants are allocated among states and the various stakeholders, and to what extent the programs fulfill the goals of short term job creation and the longer term economic benefits anticipated from improved broadband availability, access, and adoption.

Broadband Internet Access and the Digital Divide: Federal Assistance Programs
Lennard G. Kruger and Angele A. Gilroy. Congressional Research Service (CRS). March 19, 2009. 30 pages.

It is expected that the Obama Administration will ultimately develop a national broadband policy or strategy that will seek to reduce or eliminate the "digital divide" with respect to broadband. It is likely that elements of a national broadband policy, in tandem with broadband investment measures in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, will significantly shape and expand federal policies and programs to promote broadband deployment and adoption. A key issue is how to strike a balance between providing federal assistance for unserved and underserved areas where the private sector may not be providing acceptable levels of broadband service, while at the same time minimizing any deleterious effects that government intervention in the marketplace may have on competition and private sector investment.

Net Neutrality: Background and Issues
Angele A. Gilroy. Congressional Research Service (CRS). March 19, 2009. 9 pages.

Concern over whether it is necessary to take steps to ensure access to the Internet for content, services, and applications providers, as well as consumers, and if so, what these should be, is a major focus in the debate over telecommunications reform. Some policymakers contend that more specific regulatory guidelines may be necessary to protect the marketplace from potential abuses which could threaten the net neutrality concept. Others contend that existing laws and Federal Communications Commission (FCC) policies are sufficient to deal with potential anti-competitive behavior and that such regulations would have negative effects on the expansion and future development of the Internet. A consensus on this issue has not yet formed, and the 111th Congress, to date, has not introduced stand-alone legislation to address this issue.

Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative:
Legal Authorities and Policy Considerations
John Rollins and Anna C. Henning. Congressional Research Service (CRS). March 10, 2009. 21 pages.

Federal agencies report increasing cyber-intrusions into government computer networks, perpetrated by a range of known and unknown actors. In response, the President, legislators, experts, and others have characterized cybersecurity as a pressing national security issue. Like other national security challenges in the post-9/11 era, the cyber threat is multi-faceted and lacks clearly delineated boundaries. Some cyber attackers operate through foreign nations military or intelligence-gathering operations, whereas others have connections to terrorist groups or operate as individuals. Some cyber threats might be viewed as international or domestic criminal enterprises.

TELECOMMUNICATIONS: Long-Term Strategic Vision Would Help Ensure Targeting of E-rate Funds to Highest-Priority Uses
Government Accountability Office (GAO). Report to Congressional Requesters. March 2009. 83 pages.

The Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Schools and Libraries Universal Service Support Mechanism -- also known as the E-rate program -- is a significant source of federal funding for information technology for schools and libraries, providing about $2 billion a year. As requested, GAO assessed issues related to the E-rate program’s long-term goals, including key trends in the demand for and use of E-rate funding and the implications of these trends; the rate of program participation, participants’ views on requirements, and FCC’s actions to facilitate participation; and FCC’s performance goals and measures for the program and how they compare to key characteristics of successful goals and measures.


The opinions expressed in these publications do not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Government

The SAFETY Act: Obama Cyber Plans and the Private Sector
Jena Baker McNeill. The Heritage Foundation. WebMemo No. 2490. June 17, 2009. 2 pages.

On May 29, the Obama Administration released the results of its 60-day cyber review. The review correctly emphasized the vital role of the private sector in any future national cybersecurity strategy. Involving the private sector effectively, however, will require a liability protection regime -- one that encourages industry to invest in cybertechnologies that protect against acts of cyberterrorism.

Home Broadband Adoption 2009
John Horrigan. The Pew Internet & American Life Project. June 17, 2009. 50 pages.

This report shows 63% of adult Americans now have broadband Internet connections at home, a 15% increases from a year earlier. April’s level of high-speed adoption represents a significant jump from figures gathered since the end of 2007 (54%). The growth in home broadband adoption occurred even though survey respondents reported paying more for broadband compared to May 2008. Last year, the average monthly bill for broadband Internet service at home was $34.50, a figure that stands at $39.00 in April 2009.

The State of Music Online: Ten Years After Napster
Mary Madden. The Pew Internet & American Life Project. June 15, 2009. 18 pages.

In the decade since Napster’s launch, selling recorded music has become as much of an art as making the music itself. The music industry has been on the front lines of the battle to convert freeloaders into paying customers, and their efforts have been watched closely by other digitized industries -- newspapers, book publishing and Hollywood among them.

The Confluence of Cyber Crime and Terrorism
Steven P. Bucci. The Heritage Foundation. Heritage Lecture No. 1123. June 12, 2009. 7 pages.

Today the world faces a wide array of cyber threats. The majority of these threats are aimed at the Western democracies and the Western-leaning countries of other regions. The reason for this is simple: They are ripe targets. These countries are either highly dependent, almost completely in some cases, on cyber means for nearly every significant societal interaction or are racing toward that goal.

Wireless Taxation, Economic Growth and Economic Opportunity
Robert D. Atkinson. Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF). June 9, 2009. 7 pages.

In a testimony before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Commercial and Administrative Law, the author discusses why discriminatory taxes on wireless services have a negative impact on economic growth and innovation. According to him, at minimum, any given tax should not significantly change consumer behavior, be borne predominately by low-income consumers or households, and inhibit economic growth -- and a discriminatory tax on wireless services would violate all three principles.

An Economic Perspective on a U.S. National Broadband Plan
Robert Hahn and Scott Wallsten. Technology Policy Institute. June 8, 2009. 23 pages.

This paper responds to the U.S. Federal Communications Commission’s April 2009 request for guidance in designing a national broadband plan. The authors argue that the U.S. market for Internet services is working well overall, as evidenced by nearly ubiquitous coverage, rapid adoption, large investments, and increasing speeds. Still, it is not working well for all people in all places, and the authors offer a framework consisting of nine recommendations for considering policies intended to mitigate those issues.

KnowPrivacy: The Current State of Web Privacy, Data Collection, and Information Sharing University of California, Berkeley, School of Information. June 1, 2009. 44 pages.

Online privacy and behavioral profiling are of growing concern among both consumers and government officials. In this report, the authors examine both the data handling practices of popular websites and the concerns of consumers in an effort to identify problematic practices. They conclude by offering potential solutions to realign privacy practices with consumers’ expectations.

Thomas M. Lenard and Lawrence J. White. Technology Policy Institute. June 2009. 57 pages.
This paper evaluates the structure and governance of ICANN. In particular, it reviews ICANN’s structure and functions, and also the structures of a number of other organizations that perform a roughly comparable range of private-sector and quasi-governmental coordination and standard-setting functions, to explore what might be applicable to ICANN.

Cyberbullying Legislation: Why Education is Preferable to Regulation
Berin Szoka and Adam Thierer. The Progress & Freedom Foundation (PFF). Progress on Point Volume 16, Issue 12. June 2009. 26 pages.

Cyberbullying is a rising online safety concern. Evidence suggests that cyberbullying is on the rise and can have profoundly damaging consequences for children. In the wake of a handful of high-profile cyberbullying incidents that resulted in teen suicides, some state lawmakers began floating legislation to address the issue. More recently, two very different federal approaches have been proposed. One approach is focused on the creation of a new federal felony to punish cyberbullying, which would include fines and jail time for violators. The other legislative approach is education-based and would create an Internet safety education grant program to address the issue in schools and communities.

COPPA 2.0: The New Battle over Privacy, Age Verification, Online Safety & Free Speech Berin Szoka and Adam Thierer. The Progress & Freedom Foundation (PFF). Progress on Point Volume 16, Issue 11. June 2009. 36 pages.

Online privacy, child safety, free speech and anonymity are on a collision course. The 1998 Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) already mandates certain online privacy protections for children under 13, but many advocate expanding online privacy protections for both adolescents and adults. Furthermore, efforts continue at both the federal and state levels to institute new regulations, such as age verification mandates, aimed at ensuring the safety of children online. There is an inherent tension between these objectives: attempts to achieve perfectly “safe” online environments will likely require the surrender of some privacy and speech rights, including the right to speak anonymously.

Online Classifieds
Sydney Jones. The Pew Internet & American Life Project. May 22, 2009. 14 pages.

The number of online adults who have used online classified ads has more than doubled in the past four years. Almost half (49%) of Internet users say they have ever used online classified sites, compared with 22% of online adults who had done so in 2005. On any given day about a tenth of Internet users (9%) visit online classified sites, up from 4% in 2005. These findings highlight the growing importance of such sites to Internet users and reflect the changes in the audience for classified ads -- both those who place them and those who make purchases -- that have devastated a key revenue source for traditional newspapers.

Social Networking and National Security: How to Harness Web 2.0 to Protect the Country James Jay Carafano. The Heritage Foundation. Backgrounder No. #2273. May 18, 2009. 6 pages.

The growth of Web 2.0, its expanding global reach, and potential new technologies to further its use and adoption argue that today's social networking is a change in the form of human communication that cannot be ignored. Online social networks have impacted every field of human endeavor from education to health care. National security is no exception.

Normalizing Broadband Connections
George S. Ford. Phoenix Center for Advanced Legal and Economic Public Policy Studies. Perspectives # 09-01. May 12, 2009. 9 pages.

As governments around the world, including the United States, place increased emphasis on the deployment and adoption of broadband technology, it becomes increasingly important that countries have appropriate and correct benchmarks by which to measure progress. The most-cited international statistics comparing broadband adoption are the broadband subscriptions per capita “rankings” published twice a year by the OECD. In this document, the author explains the fundamental flaws in the OECD’s approach -- namely that measuring fixed broadband subscriptions per capita is not a “penetration” measurement because fixed broadband is purchased on a per-location, not per-person basis -- and outlines one possible method of comparing broadband adoption among industrialized economies: the number of broadband connections per telephone lines.

Federal Government Policy on the Use of Persistent Internet Cookies: Time for Change or More of the Same? Daniel Castro. Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF). May 2009. 13 pages.

In the digital world a decade is a long time, yet federal government websites are using the same restrictive policy on “cookies“ (small data files stored on a user’s computer) established during the Clinton administration. In this report, the author looks at the origins of this federal government policy, the current uses of persistent cookies, and proposes a new framework for the use of persistent cookies on government websites given current trends in e-government. The goal, he argues, should be to loosen the restrictions on the use of cookies and balance privacy against other equally important goals such as usability, accessibility and transparency.

Thomas M. Lenard and Paul H. Rubin. Technology Policy Institute. May 2009. 56 pages.

The commercial use of information on the Internet has produced substantial benefits for consumers. But, as the use of information online has increased, so have concerns about privacy. This paper discusses how the use of individuals’ information for commercial purposes affects consumers, and the implications of restricting information availability in the interest of privacy.

Getting Students More Learning Time Online: Distance Education in Support of Expanded Learning Time in K-12 Schools
Cathy Cavanaugh. Center for American Progress. May 2009. 28 pages.

Complementary changes within the K-12 education community are sweeping schools in the form of one-to-one computing, online learning for students and teachers, and differentiated instruction. Students can choose from among schools, courses, and powerful educational tools and resources that never before existed. As a result, education for many students today bears little resemblance to their parents’ education. This transformation is a positive change when students are connected with the tools and opportunities that meet their individual needs.

A Historic Opportunity: Wedding Health Information Technology to Care Delivery Innovation and Provider Payment Reform
Todd Park and Peter Basch. Center for American Progress. May 2009. 29 pages.

The $19 billion health information technology investment authorized under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act’s HITECH program presents a landmark opportunity to catalyze improvement of the U.S. health care system. This key piece of President Obama’s policy agenda encourages doctors and hospitals to embrace health IT solutions in order to strengthen and modernize the infrastructure upon which the health care system runs. This critical health IT investment program will fail, however, if it is treated as a pure technology implementation program.

Nicholas Bloom, Luis Garicano, Raffaella Sadun and John Van Reenen. National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER). Working Paper No. 14975. May 2009. 58 pages.

Empirical studies on information communication technologies (ICT) typically aggregate the "information" and "communication" components together. The authors show theoretically and empirically that these have very different effects on the empowerment of employees, and by extension on wage inequality. Using an original dataset of firms in the US and seven European countries, they study the impact of ICT on worker autonomy, plant manager autonomy and spans of control. They find that better information technologies (Enterprise Resource Planning for plant managers and CAD/CAM for production workers) are associated with more autonomy and a wider span of control. By contrast, communication technologies (like data networks) decrease autonomy for both workers and plant managers.).

The Internet's Role in Campaign 2008
Aaron Smith. The Pew Internet & American Life Project. April 15, 2009. 92 pages.

Some 74% of Internet users -- representing 55% of the entire adult population -- went online in 2008 to get involved in the political process or to get news and information about the election. This marks the first time that a Pew Internet & American Life Project survey has found that more than half of the voting-age population used the Internet to get involved in the political process during an election year. Several online activities rose to prominence in 2008. In particular, Americans were eager to share their views on the race with others and to take part in the online debate on social media sites such as blogs and social networking sites.

Smart Grid, Smart Broadband, Smart Infrastructure: Melding Federal Stimulus Programs to Ensure More Bang for the Buck
Peter Swire. Center for American Progress. April 2009. 16 pages.
To use the economic stimulus funding in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 far more efficiently to achieve a diverse set of closely related goals, construction of the electricity grid and the broadband network should go hand in hand, and be combined with other parts of the Act, such as health care information technology, education reform, weatherization initiatives, and future policy initiatives to create a nationwide smart infrastructure.

ICANN’s Economic Reports: Finding the Missing Pieces to the Puzzle
Michael D. Palage. The Progress & Freedom Foundation (PFF). Progress Snapshot Volume 5, Issue 4. April 2009. 10 pages.
The global business community and a number of national governments have expressed significant concerns about ICANN’s proposal for processing large numbers of applications for new Top Level Domains (gTLDs) such as .BLOG, .NYC or .WEB. The community has been especially concerned about the economic reports used by ICANN to justify its decisions as to whether, and how, to implement applications for new gTLDs. Among the greatest sources of concern has been the failure of ICANN staff to issue a complete public response to the ICANN Board’s October 2006 demand that ICANN Staff commission an independent study by a reputable economic consulting firm or organization to deliver findings on economic questions relating to the domain registration market.

The Mobile Difference
John Horrigan. The Pew Internet & American Life Project. March 25, 2009. 129 pages.
Some 39% of Americans have positive and improving attitudes about their mobile communication devices, which in turn draws them further into engagement with digital resources -- on both wireless and wireline platforms. Mobile connectivity is now a powerful differentiator among technology users. Those who plug into the information and communications world while on-the-go are notably more active in many facets of digital life than those who use wires to jack into the Internet and the 14% of Americans who are off the grid entirely.

The First Annual New Millennium Research Council Survey on Consumers, Cell Phones and the Economy
New Millennium Research Council (NMRC). March 2009. 46 pages.
Deepening concerns about the recession already have caused millions of U.S. consumers to cut back on their cell phone spending and millions more are poised to join their ranks if the economic downturn continues as expected for another six months, according to this survey. The resulting shift in consumer habits is likely to come at the expense of contract-based cell phone service as more consumers seek to save money by using prepaid cell phones and cutting out cell phone “extras.”

Innovation and Cybersecurity Regulation
James A. Lewis. Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). March 2009. 3 pages.
The market has failed to secure cyberspace. A ten-year experiment in faith-based cybersecurity has proven this beyond question. A new Federal approach to cybersecurity will fail if it does not elicit actions that the private sector will not otherwise perform. Finding a new and more balanced approach will not be easy. The intellectual heritage of deregulation lives in assertions such as any regulation to improve security will hurt innovation. Innovation is a complex process, and simple statements about cause and effect deserve only skepticism.

Net Neutrality, Unbundling, and their Effects on International Investment in Next-Generation Networks
Scott J. Wallsten and Stephanie Hausladen. Technology Policy Institute. March 2009. 24 pages.

This paper examines the net neutrality debate in countries outside the U.S., particularly in the EU. Most appear to have endorsed the idea of net neutrality and believe that policies promoting unbundling -- mandatory network sharing -- will ensure neutral networks. The authors argue that unbundling may not necessarily affect incumbent incentives to prioritize certain traffic. Because unbundling can affect investment incentives, they use a new dataset to examine empirically the effects of unbundling on investment in new fiber networks in Europe. They find a significant negative correlation between the number of unbundled DSL connections per capita and the number of fiber connections.

Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3). U.S. Department of Justice. March 2009. 28 pages.

The 2008 Internet Crime Report is the eighth annual compilation of information on complaints received and referred by the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) to law enforcement or regulatory agencies for appropriate action. From January 1, 2008 - December 31, 2008, the IC3 website received 275,284 complaint submissions. This is a (33.1%) increase when compared to 2007 when 206,884 complaints were received. These filings were composed of complaints primarily related to fraudulent and non-fraudulent issues on the Internet.

The Rise of the Intranet Era: Media, Research and Policy in an Age of Communications Revolution
Sascha Meinrath and Victor Pickard. New America Foundation. February 20, 2009.

If the previous ten years were "The Internet Decade," then the next decade may be dubbed the "Age of the Intranet." This study explores the notion of a "community Intranet" -- an expanded network of networks spanning a neighborhood, municipality, or geographic region. By amplifying community interconnectedness, Intranets promise to enable new forms of political and democratic engagement that expand upon present day networks and models of cooperation. Intranets are often decentralized and ad-hoc, with no one entity owning the entire infrastructure or controlling expansion of or access to the infrastructure. These arrangements create new challenges for surveillance and command and control as well as new opportunities for participatory media and information dissemination.

Shane Greenstein and Ryan C. McDevitt. National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER). Working Paper No. 14758. February 2009. 64 pages.

How much economic value did the diffusion of broadband create? The authors provide benchmark estimates for 1999 to 2006. They observe $39 billion of total revenue in Internet access in 2006, with broadband accounting for $28 billion of this total. Depending on the estimate, households generated $20 to $22 billion of the broadband revenue. Approximately $8.3 to $10.6 billion was additional revenue created between 1999 and 2006. That replacement is associated with $4.8 to $6.7 billion in consumer surplus, which is not measured via Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

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Documents on the Web are available at:

The opinions expressed in these publications do not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Government

National Cybersecurity Strategy
: Key Improvements Are Needed to Strengthen the Nation's Posture
David Powner, Director, Information Technology Management Issues. 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. March 10, 2009. 18 pages.

Pervasive and sustained computer-based attacks against federal and private-sector infrastructures pose a potentially devastating impact to systems and operations and the critical infrastructures that they support. To address these threats, President Bush issued a 2003 national strategy and related policy directives aimed at improving cybersecurity nationwide. Congress and the Executive Branch, including the new administration, have subsequently taken actions to examine the adequacy of the strategy and identify areas for improvement. GAO has, nevertheless, identified this area as high risk and has reported on needed improvements in implementing the national cybersecurity strategy. In this testimony, GAO summarizes key reports and recommendations on the national cybersecurity strategy and the views of experts on how to strengthen the strategy.

Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative
: Legal Authorities and Policy Considerations
John Rollins. Congressional Research Service (CRS). March 10, 2009. 21 pages.

Federal agencies report increasing cyber-intrusions into government computer networks, perpetrated by a range of known and unknown actors. In response, the President, legislators, experts, and others have characterized cybersecurity as a pressing national security issue. Like other national security challenges in the post-9/11 era, the cyber threat is multi-faceted and lacks clearly delineated boundaries. Some cyber attackers operate through foreign nations’ military or intelligence-gathering operations, whereas others have connections to terrorist groups or operate as individuals. Some cyber threats might be viewed as international or domestic criminal enterprises. This report discusses the legal issues and addresses policy considerations related to the Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative (CNCI).

Broadband Internet Access and the Digital Divide
: Federal Assistance Programs
Lennard G. Kruger and Angele A. Gilroy. Congressional Research Service (CRS). February 20, 2009. 30 pages.

Economic stimulus legislation enacted by the 111th Congress includes provisions that provide federal financial assistance for broadband deployment. On February 17, 2009, President Obama signed P.L. 111-5, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). The ARRA provides a total of $7.2 billion for broadband, consisting of $4.7 billion to NTIA/DOC for a newly established Broadband Technology Opportunities Program and $2.5 billion to existing RUS/USDA broadband programs. It is expected that the Obama Administration will ultimately develop a national broadband policy or strategy that will seek to reduce or eliminate the “digital divide” with respect to broadband. It is likely that elements of a national broadband policy, in tandem with broadband investment measures in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, will significantly shape and expand federal policies and programs to promote broadband deployment and adoption. A key issue is how to strike a balance between providing federal assistance for unserved and underserved areas where the private sector may not be providing acceptable levels of broadband service, while at the same time minimizing any deleterious effects that government intervention in the marketplace may have on competition and private sector investment.

The Evolving Broadband Infrastructure: Expansion, Applications, and Regulation
Patricia Moloney Figliola, Angele A. Gilroy and Lennard G. Kruger. Congressional Research Service (CRS). February 19, 2009. 28 pages.

Over the past decade, the telecommunications sector has undergone a vast transformation fueled by rapid technological growth and subsequent evolution of the marketplace. Much of the U.S. policy debate over the evolving telecommunications infrastructure is framed within the context of a “national broadband policy.” The way a national broadband policy is defined, and the particular elements that might constitute that policy, determine how and whether various stakeholders might support or oppose a national broadband initiative. The issue for policymakers is how to craft a comprehensive broadband strategy that not only addresses broadband availability and adoption problems, but also addresses the long term implications of next-generation networks on consumer use of the Internet and the implications for a regulatory framework that must keep pace with evolving telecommunications technology.

Self-Regulatory Principles For Online Behavioral Advertising
Federal Trade Commission (FTC). February 2009. 55 pages.

Since the emergence of “e-commerce” in the mid-1990s, the online marketplace has continued to expand and evolve, creating new business models that allow greater interactivity between consumers and online companies. This expanding marketplace has provided many benefits to consumers, including free access to rich sources of information and the convenience of shopping for goods and services from home. At the same time, the ease with which companies can collect and combine information from consumers online has raised questions and concerns about consumer privacy. This Report constitutes the next step in an ongoing process to examine behavioral advertising that involves the FTC, industry, consumer and privacy organizations, and individual consumers. Some companies and industry groups have begun to develop new privacy policies and self-regulatory approaches, but more needs to be done to educate consumers about online behavioral advertising and provide effective protections for consumers’ privacy.

Infrastructure Programs: What's Different About Broadband?
Charles B. Goldfarb and Lennard G. Kruger. Congressional Research Service (CRS). January 22, 2009. 25 pages.

Broadband network deployment projects represent large scale, long term investments that affect the overall productivity of economic activity in the geographic areas in which they are built, and thus fit the conventional definition of infrastructure. But they also have several characteristics that distinguish them from traditional infrastructure projects. The leadership in both houses of Congress as well as the Obama administration have announced plans to include a broadband component in the infrastructure portion of any economic stimulus package. At the least, the unique characteristics of broadband infrastructure impose very complex policy objectives for any broadband infrastructure program -- to foster infrastructure investment that would not otherwise be made and to create additional jobs and spending, without distorting competition among the different broadband network technologies, without discouraging investment and innovation by independent applications providers that need access to broadband networks, and without subsidizing multiple inefficient providers unnecessarily.

Privacy Law and Online Advertising:
Legal Analysis of Data Gathering By Online Advertisers Such As Double Click and Nebu-Ad
Kathleen Ann Ruane. Congressional Research Service (CRS). January 16, 2009. 14 pages.

To produce revenue, websites have placed advertisements on their sites. Advertisers will pay a premium for greater assurance that the advertisement they are purchasing will be seen by users that are most likely to be interested in the product or service offered. As a result, technology has been developed which enables online advertisements to be targeted directly at individual users based on their web surfing activity. This practice is widely known as “behavioral” or “e-havioral” advertising. This individual behavioral targeting has raised a number of privacy concerns. There are no current federal regulations specific to online behavioral advertising. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has put forth a number of guiding principles intended to aid the industry in creating self-regulatory principles. The FTC maintains that self-regulation is preferable to government intervention in this case. The 110th Congress has expressed interest in this issue.

Health Information Technology: Federal Agencies' Experiences Demonstrate Challenges to Successful Implementation
Valerie C. Melvin, Director, Human Capital and Management Information Systems Issues. Government Accountability Office (GAO). Testimony before the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, U.S. Senate. January 15, 2009. 25 pages.

As GAO and others have reported, the use of information technology (IT) has enormous potential to help improve the quality of health care and is important for improving the performance of the U.S. health care system. Given its role in providing health care, the federal government has been urged to take a leadership role to improve the quality and effectiveness of health care, and it has been working to promote the nationwide use of health IT for a number of years. Achieving widespread adoption and implementation of health IT, however, has proven challenging, and the best way to accomplish this transition remains subject to much debate. At the committee's request, this testimony discusses important issues identified by GAO that have broad relevance to the successful implementation of health IT to improve the quality of health care.


Measuring the Effectiveness of the Broadband Stimulus Plan
Scott Wallsten. Technology Policy Institute. March 17, 2009. 6 pages.

The newly enacted economic stimulus package includes $7.2 billion in grants, loans, and loan guarantees to bring broadband to rural areas lacking high-speed Internet services. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 charges government agencies not only with choosing grant recipients and setting performance benchmarks, but also with measuring results. Only a carefully preplanned evaluation strategy will enable them to accurately assess the effectiveness of the broadband stimulus.

Using Competitive Bidding to Reform the Universal Service High Cost Fund
Scott Wallsten. Technology Policy Institute. Testimony before the Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, and the Internet, Committee on Energy and Commerce, U.S. House of Representatives. March 12, 2009. 4 pages.
According to the author, the current universal service program high cost fund is inefficient, inequitable, and growing at an alarming rate, having increased from $1.7 billion in 1999 to $4.2 billion in 2007. Especially because the program is funded by taxes on telecommunications services paid by all users, including low-income people, the program is in urgent need of reform. The current high-cost mechanism is not only expensive, but also discourages competition and does little to benefit consumers. In order to increase buildout, increase penetration, and reduce costs, he adds, one must eliminate the current system and replace it with competitive procurement.

The Need for Speed: The Importance of Next-Generation Broadband Networks
Rob Atkinson, Stephen Ezell, Daniel Castro and George Ou. The Information Technology & Innovation Foundation (ITIF). March 5, 2009. 38 pages.

This report argues that supporting the deployment of faster broadband networks will be crucial to enabling next-generation Web-based applications and services that will play important roles in improving quality of life and boosting economic growth. While getting broadband service to the Americans who lack it is an important policy target, next-generation broadband will deliver a wave of new benefits to consumers, society, businesses, and the economy.

Promoting Platform Parity: Equal Pay for Equal Music
Daniel Castro. The Information Technology & Innovation Foundation (ITIF). WebMemo. March 4, 2009. 3 pages.

This WebMemo argues that Congress should promote technology neutral policies that do not unfairly advantage or disadvantage any particular technology or business model. Moreover, Congress should ensure that the rules and regulations governing the royalty rate setting process are fair and reasonable for all broadcast platforms. As Congress considers “The Performance Rights Act,” a bill to eliminate the exemption on performance royalties that terrestrial radio has enjoyed for years, it should keep these principles in mind.

Thomas M. Lenard and Lawrence J. White. Technology Policy Institute. March 2009. 53 pages.

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has operated under a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) since 1998. The MOU was replaced in September 2006 by the Joint Project Agreement (JPA) between ICANN and the DOC, which expires in August 2009. At that time, a decision needs to be made about ICANN’s future. Should the JPA tie with the U.S. Government be retained? Or should the link be wholly severed, as ICANN advocates? And, in either case, what governance structure would best promote Internet efficiency and innovation? This paper evaluates the structure and governance of ICANN to help inform the upcoming decision. In particular, it reviews ICANN’s structure and functions, and also the structures of a number of other organizations that perform a roughly comparable range of private-sector and quasi-governmental coordination and standard-setting functions, to explore what might be applicable to ICANN.

Twenty Most Important Controls and Metrics for Effective Cyber Defense and Continuous FISMA Compliance
John Gilligan. Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS). Draft 1.0. February 23, 2009. 40 pages.

Securing our Nation against cyber attacks has become one of the Nation’s highest priorities. To achieve this objective, networks, systems, and the operations teams that support them must vigorously defend against external attacks. Furthermore, for those external attacks that are successful, defenses must be capable of thwarting, detecting, and responding to follow‐on attacks on internal networks as attackers spread inside a compromised network. A central tenet of the US Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative (CNCI) is that ‘offense must inform defense’. In other words, knowledge of actual attacks that have compromised systems provides the essential foundation on which to construct effective defenses.

Losing Our Technology Advantage
Darrell M. West. Brookings Institution. StateTech Magazine. February 17, 2009.

Once on the cutting edge of technological innovation and access, U.S. high-tech now lags behind. The erosion of high-tech leadership has serious consequences for commerce, politics and entertainment. The slow speed on America’s information superhighways means many Americans are not able to take full advantage of advanced media applications such as the downloading of film and video for entertainment. At the same time, government agencies are not able to guarantee confidentiality of medical records, employment data or official transactions. Schools are not able to take advantage of online instructional material requiring fast download speeds. And businesses do not have the infrastructure required to develop new jobs. Striving to stay competitive, the United States must invest more in its technology infrastructure. This includes tax credits for private-sector research and development, greater support for higher education, and adult training programs that help workers transition to a 21st century economy.

Twitter and status updating
Amanda Lenhart and Susannah Fox. The Pew Internet & American Life Project. Data Memo. February 12, 2009. 6 pages.

In the past three years, developments in social networking and Internet applications have begun providing Internet users with more opportunities for sharing short updates about themselves, their lives, and their whereabouts online. Users may post messages about their status, their moods, their location and other tidbits on social networks and blogging sites, or on applications for sending out short messages to networks of friends like Twitter, Yammer and others. As of December 2008, 11% of online American adults said they used a service like Twitter or another service that allowed them to share updates about themselves or to see the updates of others.

The Next Wave of E-Government
Daniel Castro and Robert Atkinson. The Information Technology & Innovation Foundation (ITIF). StateTech Magazine. February 2, 2009.

The first two waves of the IT revolution offered state and local IT leaders amazing opportunities to make government more efficient, improve services and increase transparency. Today, an emerging third wave is making it possible for governments to solve pressing public problems in fundamentally new ways.

The Digital Economy Fact Book, Tenth Edition
Grant Eskelsen, Adam Marcus and W. Kenneth Ferree. The Progress & Freedom Foundation (PFF). February 2009. 192 pages.

Events in the past year have illustrated how business models continue to change and evolve in response to the widespread use of the Internet and other digital technologies. Communications network policies have dominated policy discussions in Washington, including network management practices and network access policies. Debates on how to best update public safety communication networks for first responders continue in light of the failed public private spectrum proposal. New online advertising models have opened new revenue streams but have also raised privacy and market power concerns. The entertainment and media sectors continue to seek a balance between fully exploiting online avenues of distribution and copyright protection. The fallout from these events is sure to shape the evolution of e-commerce for years to come. The new administration is expected to drive public policy concerning the tech and telecom industries in a new direction. In the long term, it may be the administrations’ positions on macro issues relating to free trade, liberal movement of capital and labor, and education policy that will have the greatest impact on the communications and technology sectors over the next several years.

The Internet and Local Wages: Convergence or Divergence?
Chris Forman, Avi Goldfarb and Shane Greenstein. National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER). Working Paper No. 14750. February 2009. 51 pages.

Did the diffusion of the Internet lead to convergence or divergence of local wages? The authors examine the relationship between business use of advanced Internet technology and regional variation in US wage growth between 1995 and 2000. They show that business use of advanced Internet technology is associated with wage growth but find no evidence that the Internet contributed to regional wage convergence. Advanced Internet technology is only associated with wage growth in places that were already well off in terms of income, education, population, and industry. Overall, advanced Internet explains one-quarter of the difference in wage growth between these counties and all others.

Generations Online in 2009
Sydney Jones and Susannah Fox. The Pew Internet & American Life Project. Data Memo. January 28, 2009. 9 pages.

Over half of the adult Internet population is between 18 and 44 years old. But larger percentages of older generations are online now than in the past, and they are doing more activities online, according to surveys taken from 2006-2008. Contrary to the image of Generation Y as the "Net Generation," Internet users in their 20s do not dominate every aspect of online life. Generation X is the most likely group to bank, shop, and look for health information online. Boomers are just as likely as Generation Y to make travel reservations online. And even Silent Generation Internet users are competitive when it comes to email.

John B. Horrigan. The Pew Internet & American Life Project. Data Memo. January 21, 2009. 3 pages.

Investment in broadband has become part of the broader discussion about President Obama’s economic stimulus package. Even though the size of the stimulus and the share that might be devoted to broadband are still unspecified, it seems likely that the new Administration will take steps to encourage investment in broadband infrastructure. Although job creation is the main topic in this debate, there are really three policy goals associated with broadband in the stimulus package: creating new jobs, creating new broadband subscribers, and improving the broadband experience for all subscribers through faster networks.

Adults and social network websites
Amanda Lenhart. The Pew Internet & American Life Project, Data Memo. January 14, 2009. 17 pages.
The share of adult Internet users who have a profile on an online social network site has more than quadrupled in the past four years -- from 8% in 2005 to 35% in 2009. Still, younger online adults are much more likely than their older counterparts to use social networks, with 75% of adults 18-24 using these networks, compared to just 7% of adults 65 and older. At its core, use of online social networks is still a phenomenon of the young. Overall, personal use of social networks seems to be more prevalent than professional use of networks, both in the orientation of the networks that adults choose to use as well as the reasons they give for using the applications. Most adults, like teens, are using online social networks to connect with people they already know.

Improving Quality of Life Through Telecommuting
Wendell Cox. The Information Technology & Innovation Foundation (ITIF). January 14, 2009. 24 pages.

The number of jobs filled by telecommuters could grow nearly four-fold to 19 million and deliver substantial economic, environmental and quality of life benefits for the United States over the next 12 years. Spurred by advances in IT, especially the spread of broadband, telecommuting is already the fastest growing mode of getting from home to work. Thanks to its potential to cut costs, increase productivity, and expand the universe of potential employees, telecommuting is also emerging as a standard business strategy for a larger number of organizations. This report calls for government to pursue policies to accelerate and maximize telecommuting, including spurring the deployment and adoption of broadband, which is an essential facilitator of telecommuting.

The Digital Road to Recovery: A Stimulus Plan to Create Jobs, Boost Productivity and Revitalize America
Robert Atkinson, Daniel Castro and Stephen Ezell. The Information Technology & Innovation Foundation (ITIF). January 7, 2009. 22 pages.

Investing in new economy digital infrastructures will provide significant opportunities not just for short-term stimulus and job creation, but also longer term economic and social benefits. This report provides a detailed analysis and estimate of the short-term jobs impacts of spurring investment in three critical digital networks: broadband networks, the smart grid (making the electric distribution system intelligent) and health IT, and outlines policy steps to spur this investment. It finds that investments in America’s digital infrastructure will spur significant job creation in the short run. Specifically, it estimates that spurring an additional investment of $30 billion in America’s IT network infrastructure in 2009 will create approximately 949,000 U.S. jobs.

Benjamin Lennett and Sascha Meinrath. New America Foundation, Wireless Future Program. Issue Brief #24. January 2009. 6 pages.

Although members of Congress and the incoming Obama administration have all expressed interest in a national effort to promote universal broadband, the discussion thus far has lacked a coherent means to correct the current market failures and keep pace as other nations have raced ahead. Critical questions remain unanswered; namely, what will a government investment look like and how will it create a more open, competitive, affordable, universally accessible high-speed communications network, and avoid reinforcing the deficiencies that have lead to our current woeful international standing?

The Broadband Bonus: Accounting for Broadband Internet’s Impact on U.S. GDP
Shane Greenstein and Ryan C. McDevitt. Technology Policy Institute. January 2009. 64 pages.

How much economic value did the diffusion of broadband create? The authors provide benchmark estimates for 1999 to 2006. They observe $39 billion of total revenue in Internet access in 2006, with broadband accounting for $28 billion of this total. Depending on the estimate, households generated $20 to $22 billion of the broadband revenue. Approximately $8.3 to $10.6 billion was additional revenue created between 1999 and 2006. That replacement is associated with $4.8 to $6.7 billion in consumer surplus, which is not measured via Gross Domestic Product (GDP). An Internet-access Consumer Price Index (CPI) would have to decline by 1.6% to 2.2% per year for it to reflect the creation of value. These estimates both differ substantially from those typically quoted in Washington policy discussions, and they shed light on several broadband policy issues, such as why relying on private investment worked to diffuse broadband in many US urban locations at the start of the millennium.

Final Report of the Internet Safety Technical Task Force to the Multi-State Working Group on Social Networking of State Attorneys General of the United States. December 31, 2008. 278 pages.

Many youth in the United States have fully integrated the Internet into their daily lives. For them, the Internet is a positive and powerful space for socializing, learning, and engaging in public life. Along with the positive aspects of Internet use come risks to safety, including the dangers of sexual solicitation, online harassment, and bullying, and exposure to problematic and illegal content. The Multi-State Working Group on Social Networking, comprising 50 state Attorneys General, asked this Task Force to determine the extent to which today’s technologies could help to address these online safety risks, with a primary focus on social network sites in the United States. To answer this question, the Task Force brought together leaders from Internet service providers, social network sites, academia, education, child safety and public policy advocacy organizations, and technology development.

Simply Green: A Few Steps in the Right Direction toward Integrating Sustainability into Public Sector IT

Center for Digital Government. December 2008. 24 pages.

There may be no single, simple answer to the complex issue of climate change. Yet there are simple steps that the public sector IT community can take in responding to renewed concerns about environmental sustainability while institutionalizing greater efficiencies into its operations.

lundi 16 février 2009


"Parmi les gens qui n'ont rien à dire, je préfère ceux qui se taisent"
Pierre DAC


Pew Research Center’s Project on Excellence in Journalism, February 11, 2009
In the past two decades, the makeup of the Washington D.C. press corps has been fundamentally transformed. While the old media have shrunk alarmingly, two new elements have risen up to virtually replace them in number. What are the implications for news consumers in the U.S. and abroad? This report on the changing Washington media landscape addresses those questions.

mercredi 21 janvier 2009


Source: US Embassy

Securing Cyberspace for the 44th Presidency
CSIS Commission on Cybersecurity for the 44th Presidency. Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). December 2008. 96 pages.

Inadequate cybersecurity and loss of information has inflicted unacceptable damage to U.S. national and economic security. America’s failure to protect cyberspace is one of the most urgent national security problems facing the new administration that will take office in January 2009. This report lays out a series of recommendations for a comprehensive national approach to securing cyberspace.

Critical Infrastructure Protection: DHS Needs to Fully Address Lessons Learned from Its First Cyber Storm Exercise
Government Accountability Office (GAO). Report to Congressional Requesters. September 2008. 39 pages.

Federal policies establish the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) as the focal point for the security of cyberspace. As part of its responsibilities, DHS is required to coordinate cyber attack exercises to strengthen public and private incident response capabilities. One major exercise program, called Cyber Storm, is a large-scale simulation of multiple concurrent cyber attacks involving the federal government, states, foreign governments, and private industry. To date, DHS has conducted Cyber Storm exercises in 2006 and 2008. GAO agreed to identify the lessons that DHS learned from the first Cyber Storm exercise, assess DHS's efforts to address the lessons learned from this exercise, and identify key participants' views of their experiences during the second Cyber Storm exercise.

The President's Identity Theft Task Force Report
Federal Trade Commission (FTC). September 2008. 70 pages.

Two years ago, the President launched a new era in the fight against identity theft by issuing an executive order establishing the Identity Theft Task Force. The executive order charged 15 federal departments and agencies with crafting a comprehensive national strategy to combat more effectively this pernicious crime, which afflicts millions of Americans each year and, in some cases, causes devastating damage to its victims. One year later, on April 11, 2007, the Task Force submitted its Strategic Plan to the President. The Strategic Plan examined the nature and scope of identity theft and offered a far-reaching series of recommendations to reduce its incidence and impact. This report documents the Task Force’s efforts to implement the Strategic Plan’s recommendations.

Building Cyber Security Leadership for the 21st Century
James Jay Carafano and Eric Sayers. The Heritage Foundation. Backgrounder No. 2218. December 16, 2008. 7 pages.

The issue of cyber security, cyber competitiveness, and cyberwarfare has weighed heavily on the minds of policymakers as the severity and complexity of mali­cious cyber attacks have intensified over the past decade. These attacks, directed against both the public and private sectors, are the product of a heterogeneous network of state and non-state actors whose actions are motivated by a host of factors. Helping to ensure that the federal government achieves a high level of competency on cyber security issues is an imperative for the next Congress.

Voir Securité Internet


Sources: US Embassy

Obama’s Online Opportunities
John B. Horrigan. The Pew Internet & American Life Project. Data Memo. December 4, 2008. 3 pages.
There is no shortage of suggestions to the incoming Obama administration about what to do about communications policy in the United States. America’s middling standing in world rankings on broadband adoption has served as a call to arms for the new administration to develop a national broadband strategy to boost the economy, aid the environment and improve delivery of health care and government services.

Radio Communications: Congressional Action Needed to Ensure Agencies Collaborate to Develop a Joint Solution
Government Accountability Office (GAO). Report to the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, U.S. Senate. December 2008. 59 pages.

The Integrated Wireless Network (IWN) was intended to be a collaborative effort among the Departments of Justice (DOJ), Homeland Security (DHS), and the Treasury to provide secure, seamless, interoperable, and reliable nationwide wireless communications in support of federal agents and officers engaged in law enforcement, protective services, homeland defense, and disaster response missions. GAO was asked to determine the extent to which the three departments are developing a joint radio communications solution.

Telecommunications Task Group Final Report
Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). October 28, 2008. 23 pages.
The Telecommunications Infrastructure of the United States is arguably one of the fundamental enablers of virtually all other critical infrastructures on which the nation depends. This paper describes the current status of cyber security within the telecommunications infrastructure, defines the interdependencies between the telecommunications infrastructure and the other critical infrastructures, and develops recommendations for expanding and enhancing the cyber security of the collective telecommunications infrastructure.

National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). U.S. Department of Commerce. November 2008. 21 pages.

In May 2003, the President committed the Administration to the development of a United States Spectrum Policy that promotes economic prosperity and national security through the 21st century. Since then, the Executive Branch has worked to implement the President’s Spectrum Policy Initiative. Pursuant to the President’s directive, NTIA has developed this plan to expand on existing policies that identify and implement incentives that are appropriate to Federal Government users; and address incentives more broadly and develop possible legislative recommendations to increase the FCC’s incentive authority.

Lowering the Cost of Play: Improving Energy Efficiency of Video Game Consoles
Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). Issue Paper. November 2008. 29 pages.

More than 40 percent of all homes in the United States contain at least one video game console. Video game consoles consumed an estimated 16 billion kilowatt-hours per year -- roughly equal to the annual electricity use of the city of San Diego. This issue paper provides recommendations for users, video game console manufacturers, component suppliers and the software companies that design games for improving the efficiency of video game consoles already in homes as well as future generations of machines.

New Millennium Research Council. December 4, 2008. 34 pages.

A combination of consumer uncertainty and myths about prepaid phones may account for the lower level of use in the U.S.: although about four out of five Americans (79 percent) own a cell phone, fewer than one in five (16 percent) of Americans with cell phones have a prepaid phone. Of the balance, 85 percent have “postpaid”/contract-based service where they pay a monthly fee.

Distance Isn’t Quite Dead: Recent Trade Patterns and Modes of Supply in Computer and Information Services in the United States and NAFTA Partners
Jacob Funk Kirkegaard. Peterson Institute for International Economics. Working Paper No. 08-10. October 2008. 73 pages.

This paper describes developments in US and regional NAFTA trade patterns in computer and information services (C&IS) in recent years, with particular emphasis on the relative importance of and trends in different modes of supply of C&IS. The study of C&IS trade warrants attention due to C&IS’s general characteristics as an enabling technology, which, as input to other sectors and products, have been found to positively affect productivity in the United States. Secondly, C&IS trade is intuitively among the most digitizable of commercial services and accordingly can be expected to be perhaps the most internationally tradable among commercial service categories. Investigating C&IS trade trends might therefore reveal early results also relevant for other, less immediately digitizable commercial services.

Derek Slater and Tim Wu. New America Foundation. Wireless Future Program. Working Paper #23. November 2008. 17 pages.

For the vast majority of homes, copper wires remain the principal means of getting broadband services. The deployment of fiber optic connections to the home would enable exponentially faster connections, and few dispute that upgrading to more robust infrastructure is essential to America’s economic growth. The costs of such an upgrade, however, are daunting for private sector firms and even for governments. These facts add up to a public policy challenge. In this paper, the authors propose and describe a new way to encourage broadband deployment.

The Durable Internet: Preserving Network Neutrality without Regulation
Timothy B. Lee. Cato Institute. Policy Analysis No. 626. November 12, 2008. 44 pages.

An important reason for the Internet’s remarkable growth over the last quarter century is the “end-to-end” principle that networks should confine themselves to transmitting generic packets without worrying about their contents. Not only has this made deployment of Internet infrastructure cheap and efficient, but it has created fertile ground for entrepreneurship. On a network that respects the end-to-end principle, prior approval from network owners is not needed to launch new applications, services, or content. In recent years, self-styled “network neutrality” activists have pushed for legislation to prevent network owners from undermining the end-to end principle. Although the concern is understandable, such legislation would be premature. Physical ownership of Internet infrastructure does not translate into a practical ability to control its use. Regulations are unnecessary because even in the absence of robust broadband competition, network owners are likely to find deviations from the end-to-end principle unprofitable.

Internet sur Internet


Source: france.usembassy

A Policymaker's Guide to Network Management
George Ou. Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF). December 2008. 58 pages.

In this report, the author explains how advanced networks actually work and documents how, if Internet service providers (ISPs) are to provide customers a good Internet service and operate their networks efficiently, they must be able to allocate bandwidth between users and apply network management tools to shape traffic from multiple applications. He argues, however, that ISPs can and should do this in a fair and non-discriminatory manner.

News and information as digital media come of age
Persephone Miel and Robert Faris. Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University. December 2008. 52 pages.

Every day, more people turn to the Internet as a primary source of news: reading blogs, visiting aggregators and online news sites, watching video clips, listening to podcasts, and opening links in emails from friends. Members of this growing audience are not only consumers of the news -- many are shaping the news agenda for themselves and others: selecting, combining, and commenting on stories as well as creating their own. The United States is now several years into what promises to be a transformation of the media. It is driven by the rapid expansion of the number of people and organizations newly engaged as authors, editors, and publishers. In the United States and other developed countries, this expansion is occurring in tandem with serious contractions in the traditional news media. This paper explores the impact of the remarkable array of new media structures that have arisen to take advantage of these new opportunities and evaluates the problems and limitations associated with these changes.

The Future of the Internet III
Janna Quitney Anderson and Lee Rainie. The Pew Internet & American Life Project. Report. December 14, 2008. 138 pages.

Experts expect major tech advances as the phone becomes a primary device for online access, voice-recognition improves, and the structure of the Internet itself improves. They disagree however about whether this will lead to more social tolerance, more forgiving human relations, or better home lives.

Adults and video games
Amanda Lenhart, Sydney Jones and Alexandra Rankin Macgill. The Pew Internet & American Life Project. Data Memo. December 7, 2008. 9 pages.
More than half -- 53% -- of all American adults play video games of some kind, whether on a computer, on a gaming console, on a cell phone or other handheld device, on a portable gaming device, or online. About one in five adults (21%) play everyday or almost everyday. While the number of video gamers among adults is substantial, it is still well under the number of teens who play, as fully 97% of teens play video games.

Internet Overtakes Newspapers As News Source
Andrew Kohut and Michael Remez. The Pew Research Center for the People & the Press. December 23, 2008. 7 pages.
The Internet, which emerged this year as a leading source for campaign news, has now surpassed all other media except television as a main source for national and international news. Currently, 40% say they get most of their news about national and international issues from the internet, up from just 24% in September 2007. For the first time, more people say they rely mostly on the Internet for news than cite newspapers (35%). Television continues to be cited most frequently as a main source for national and international news, at 70%.

Sascha D. Meinrath. New America Foundation. Wireless Future Program. Issue Brief #24. December 2008. 4 pages.

As municipalities rethink their broadband strategies, they should be looking to implement five best practices to support liberation and avoid lock-in: build hybrid infrastructures, utilize open technology, prioritize competition, think holistically, and Embrace change as the new status quo.

When Technology Fails

John B. Horrigan and Sydney Jones. The Pew Internet & American Life Project. Data Memo. November 16, 2008. 14 pages.

Modern information and communication technologies open doors to a wealth of information. But many users find it difficult to set up these devices and frustrating when they break. Half (48%) of adults who use the Internet or have a cell phone say they usually need someone else to set up a new device for them or show them how to use it. And many users of various devices and services encounter breakdowns from time to time. Coping with these failures helps to distance users from technology use.

From "Dinosaurs" to Digital: An Examination of Ongoing Innovations in Copyright Industries
Andrea Siwek. The Progress & Freedom Foundation. Progress on Point # 15.19. December 2008. 10 pages.

Cynics often argue that in the digital age “old media” has become obsolete. Despite such hyperbole, “old media” remains viable in the digital age. Various business model and technology innovations across a broad range of mediums are ensuring that these industries do not get bypassed as a result of new technologies. The Internet has changed two fundamental aspects for copyright industries and creators: the cost of distributing content and the means by which it is distributed. This paper explores how the traditional media industries are working innovatively to adapt to these changes to have not only a presence but a purpose in the digital age.

Staying the Course: Online Education in the United States, 2008
Elaine Allen and Jeff Seaman. The Sloan Consortium. November 2008. 28 pages.

The number of students taking at least one online course continues to expand at a rate far in excess of the growth of overall higher education enrollments. The most recent estimate, for fall 2007, places this number at 3.94 million online students, an increase of 12.9 percent over fall 2006. This study is aimed at answering some of the fundamental questions about the nature and extent of online education.

Voir Teleformation