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WashingTECH Tech Policy Podcast with Joe Miller

The WashingTECH Tech Policy Podcast is your resource for tech law and policy news and interviews. Each week, the WashingTECH Policy Podcast presents the latest developments across the tech policy landscape plus interviews with a diverse array of tech policy influencers.
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WashingTECH Tech Policy Podcast with Joe Miller
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Now displaying: April, 2017
Apr 25, 2017

Dr. Maya Rockeymoore (@MayaRockeymoore) leads Global Policy Solutions, a Washington, DC-based policy firm that makes policy work for people and their environments.

A former adjunct professor in the Women in Politics Institute at American University, Maya has also served as the vice president of research and programs at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation (CBCF), senior resident scholar at the National Urban League, chief of staff to Congressman Charles Rangel (D-NY), professional staff on the House Ways and Means Committee, and as a CBCF legislative fellow in the office of Congressman Melvin Watt (D-NC) among other positions.

Maya’s areas of expertise include health, social insurance, income security, education, women’s issues and youth civic participation. She is the author of The Political Action Handbook: A How to Guide for the Hip-Hop Generation and co-editor of Strengthening Community: Social Insurance in a Diverse America among many other articles and chapters. Rockeymoore serves on the board of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare and the National Association of Counties and is a member of the National Academy of Social Insurance. The recipient of many honors, she was named an Aspen Institute Henry Crown Fellow in 2004 and is the recipient of Running Start’s 2007 Young Women to Watch Award.

A regular guest on radio and television shows, Maya has appeared on NPR, CNN, Black Entertainment Television, ABC World News Tonight, Fox News, Al Jazeera and C-SPAN. Her opinions have also been quoted by the New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, LA Times, Boston Globe, Black America Web, and Houston Chronicle among other prominent national news sources.

In this episode, we discussed:

  • the potential impact of autonomous vehicles on driver jobs.
  • how the impact of autonomous vehicles will affect people of color, particularly men, in the driver job market.
  • policy recommendations for ensuring the downside economics of autonomous vehicles will not disproportionately impact drivers along racial and gender lines.

Resources

Center for Global Policy Solutions

PAPER: Stick Shift: Autonomous Vehicles, Driving Jobs, and the Future of Work by Dr. Algernon Austin, Cherrie Bucknor, Kevin Cashman, and Dr. Maya Rockeymoore (Center for Global Policy Solutions, 2017)

Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance

 

NEWS ROUNDUP

The Department of Justice is now officially considering charges against individual members of WikiLeaks. The Obama administration did not press charges against WikiLeaks on First Amendment grounds, saying that WikiLeaks should be considered a news organization. The Trump DOJ is looking to reverse that course. Matt Zapotsky and Ellen Nakashima report in the Washington Post.


The FCC deregulated broadcasters and companies offering business data services in orders released during the Commission's open meeting last week. The FCC voted to allow market forces to solely govern the prices for business data services that small businesses, schools, police departments, schools and other organizations pay for data. Democratic Commissioner Mignon Clyburn issued a strong dissent saying it is "one of the worst she has seen in her years at the Commission". The Small Business Administration's Office of Advocacy opposed the changes, as did the EU ambassador to the U.S., who said the changes would favor U.S. companies in violation of World Trade Organization norms. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai and supporters of the rule changes argued the FCC had accumulated plenty of data over the last 12 years to make an informed decision about the BDS rules.

And as far as the broadcast rules -- the Commission reinstated the UHF discount allows broadcasters to count only half of viewers who receive tv broadcasts via UHF towards the 39 percent market ownership cap. Amir Nasr has this story in Morning Consult.


FCC Chair Ajit Pai has publicly stated that he wants his agency to stay out of the federal government's review of AT&T's acquisition of Time Warner. The way to do that is to ensure that no broadcast licenses are at stake, since broadcast licenses are firmly within the FCC's jurisdiction. Well, the FCC last week approved Time Warner's sale of WPCH-TV in Atlanta to Meredith broadcasting, thus removing a broadcast license, but as Jon Brodkin notes in Ars, Time Warner still holds several additional licenses that enable Time Warner to transmit its cable network programming on HBO, CNN and its other properties. At over $2 million, AT&T contributed more than any other company to Trump's transition team.

 


The FCC is still working on overturning net neutrality, but Ajit Pai reportedly held meetings with several tech companies to get their insights on what revised rules might look like. Last week, Pai spoke with representatives from Facebook, Oracle, Cisco and Intel--Cecilia Kang has more in The New York Times.

Apr 18, 2017

Roberta Rincon is the Society of Women Engineers' (SWE) Manager of Research. Before joining SWE, Roberta Rincon was a Senior Research and Policy Analyst at The University of Texas System. She has over 15 years of experience in higher education policy research, coordinating various award and faculty recruitment programs, analyzing the impact of state legislative actions, and preparing white papers on topics ranging from classroom utilization to student success. Roberta received her B.S. in Civil Engineering from The University of Texas at Austin, an MBA and an M.S. in Information Management from Arizona State University, and recently completed her Ph.D. in Educational Policy and Planning from UT Austin.

In this episode we discussed how to:

  • reduce gender bias in STEM.
  • prevent the attrition of women away from STEM fields.
  • improve the representation of women in tenured, full-time STEM professorships.
  • improve school compliance with Title IX of the U.S. Education Amendments of 1972 (prohibiting sex discrimination in educational programs that receive federal funding).

Resources

Title IX at 45 Chapter on Women and STEM (National Coalition for Women and Girls in STEM, 2017)

Bossy Pants by Tina Fey

NEWS ROUNDUP

The FCC announced the winners of its wireless spectrum auction last week. The auction involved creating incentives for broadcasters to sell their spectrum back to the FCC, with the FCC, in turn, auctioning that spectrum to wireless carriers hungry for spectrum to expand their networks. T-Mobile won the most licenses after spending $8 billion for the spectrum, followed Dish at $6.2 billion, Comcast at $1.7 billion, and 59 other bidders. Maggie Reardon has the story in CNET.


Remember the Wheeler FCC's plan to allow travelers to make mobile phone calls in-flight? Well, it looks like you're going to have to keep that phone in airplane mode when you fly. Current FCC Chairman Ajit Pai put an order on circulation that would kill the plan, and since the FCC still only has 3 commissioners instead of the usual five, and 2 are Republican, the order is likely to pass. Laura Hautala reports in CNET.


CIA Director Mike Pompeo pledged to crack down on sites like Wikileaks and activists like Edward Snowden. Pompeo said at a Center for Strategic and International Studies event last week that these so-called transparency activists "champion nothing but their own celebrity." Pompeo did not state specifically what specific measures the CIA would take, but said the agency's approaches will be constantly evolving. Catch the story in next.gov.


The man who continued to robocall consumers on the Do-Not-Call registry will have to pay at least $65,000 to the Federal Trade Commission. The FTC announced the settlement on Thursday. Justin Ramsey will have to pay up to $2.2 million if the agency finds that he and his company lied about their finances. Brian Fung has the story in the Washington Post.


Microsoft reported that the number of foreign intelligence surveillance requests it received from the federal government for the first 6 months of 2016 was nearly double what it was the previous year. The number of requests last year stood between 1,000 to 1,499. Dustin Volz reports in Reuters.


The Federal Aviation Administration issued an order banning commercial and hobby drones from flying over 133 U.S. military bases. The drones can come within 400 feet but no more. Penalties will include fines and prosecutions. David Krevets reports in Ars.


In Google's lawsuit against Uber for allegedly stealing trade secrets pertaining to Google's autonomous vehicle technology, Uber attempted to claim Fifth Amendment protection for the due diligence report it put together when it was developing its self-driving car initiative. But the Court isn't buying it and the due diligence report will be admitted. Google claims the report will prove Uber stole 14,000 files from Google. Johana Bhuiyan and Tess Townsend have the story in Recode.

Apr 11, 2017

My guest today is Dr. Melissa A. Rasberry (@MelRasberry).  Melissa is senior technical assistance consultant at the American Institutes for Research (AIR), where she serves as the principal investigator for the CS10K Community, an online community of practice for computer science teachers sponsored by the National Science Foundation. She has created and facilitated over 35 virtual communities throughout her career, providing effective online professional learning experiences for educators. Dr. Rasberry began as a third grade teacher and a principal intern at two diverse elementary schools in Durham NC. Her professional interests span the teaching continuum—from recruitment and preparation to professional development and retention.

In this episode, we discussed:

  • how to train computer science teachers with non-CS degrees.
  • how to inspire students who do not initially see the relevance of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM).
  • how parents can prevent the “summer melt” and encourage their children to build on their STEM skills throughout the summer.

Resources:

CS10K Community

Code.org

Scratch

Evernote

You’re a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero (2013)

Apr 4, 2017

Jane Taylor is the Founder and President of Bot Shop LLC. Bot Shop is an innovative one-stop shop specializing in integrating Robotics and Energy Education into K-12 public schools, informal education, non-profits and outreach programs. As a full-service consulting firm, Bot Shop provides turnkey solutions for effectively engaging youth in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics through making. BotShop supports robots in education from the classroom to competition.

Jane Taylor began teaching middle school science in HISD in 2000 after graduating from Lamar University with a Bachelor of Science in Biology and joining Teach for America-Houston. She used robotics as an instructional tool in her science class in 2001 after securing a community grant which purchased LEGO Mindstorms RCX robots and registration fees for First LEGO League. In response to the amazing reaction from students to this new technology, Jane created a course called Project Based: STEM in 2004 and established one of the first robotics elective courses in the Houston Independent School Districts. She went on to successfully design, develop, and implement grassroots robotics competitions, after school programs, and course curricula throughout Greater Houston.

Jane currently chairs the SHEbot Initiative for Girls in STEM, is an advisor to the 4H SET AgriBotics Robotics Challenge, and has been recognized by Teach for America for her “Energy in Education” and numerous "National Teacher of the Year" awards. She earned her Bachelor’s in Biology from Lamar University and studied educational robotics at the Carnegie Mellon Robotics Academy.

In this episodes we discussed:

  • how to talk to kids about STEM subjects to help them see their relevance.
  • which toys and activities teach STEM skills and which are a waste of money.
  • how parents can help foster a home environment that is conducive to STEM achievement.

Resources

Botshoprocks.com

Arduino

Leg WeDo 2.0

Carnegie Mellon Robotics Academy

Code.org

Boss Women Pray by Kachelle Kelly

 

NEWS ROUNDUP

Republicans are bracing for a backlash from Democrats over Congress' repeal of the FCC Privacy Rules, which the President signed on Monday night. The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee has already been running attack ads against members who are up for re-electiom next year and who supported the repeal of the privacy rules. These members include Jeff Flake of Arizona and Dean Heller of Nevada. Daniel Strauss, Zack Kopplin, John Farrell, Jeff Greenfield, David Sliders, Alex Byers, Austin Wright, and Martin Matishak cover this in Politico.

 

At least one state, however, is developing its own set of privacy rules. The state of Minnesota passed its own privacy bill last week.

The FCC's net neutrality rules are expected to be on the chopping block next.

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Wikileaks has struck again, this time releasing details about the CIA's Marble Framework, which shows how the CIA obfuscates itself when it is surveilling targets. This leak is considered to be especially damaging because it demonstrates how the CIA is able to mask its identity and cover its tracks when it conducts online surveillance. Ellen Nakishima reports in The Washington Post.

--

Federal Law enforcement officials now say terrorists have figured out how to hide bombs in laptops and other devices in a way that evades airport screeners. So authorities are now considering expanding the device ban the White House began implementing a couple of weeks ago. Evan Perez reports for CNN.

--

The once-thriving White House Office of Science and Technology Policy--OSTP--which was active under the Obama administration and staffed with elite Silicon Valley insiders and technologists, is now a ghost town. Michael Shear and Cecilia Kang report for The New York Times that the office is down from 24 to just 1 staffer.

--

In another blow to the affordable internet access program known as Lifeline, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said last week that he would allow states to decide which companies can participate to dole out discounts to help low-income people afford broadband. The decision came a few months after Pai announced he'd cut 9 companies from the program. Now, in a shift, he doesn't think the federal government should be involved in providing broadband to the poor at all via the Lifeline program. Ali Breland reports in the Hill.

--

Finally, Rebecca Ballhaus at the Wall Street Journal reported that the White House has stopped keeping visitor logs. Under the Obama administration, the log was freely shared with the public online.

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