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WashingTECH Tech Policy Podcast with Joe Miller

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Aug 21, 2018

techpolicypodcast_washingtech_otessa_ghadar

 

Bio

Otessa Marie Ghadar (Instagram: @otessa_, @dcwebfest, @2020newmedia, @hardDCcore)  is an award-winning digital storyteller who uses writing, filmmaking, photography, and technology to share her narratives and build communities. As one of the web series medium’s earliest adopters, Otessa is a true forerunner of digital media. Starting in 2006, Otessa’s web series "Orange Juice in Bishop’s Garden" is now the longest continually running show online, with an international audience in over 145 countries. 

Otessa founded the DC Web Fest (one of the first of its kind & now in its 7th year) out of the need for digital content creators to showcase their works, inspiring creativity and innovation. 

As an Adjunct Professor at American University, and through additional guest lecturing, Otessa uses her passions to guide the next generation of digital storytellers. Stemming from her knowledge and expertise, she published the world’s first new media textbook called "The Wild West of Film."

In addition to speaking, she also enjoys exhibiting her work, having shown work as part of FotoWeek DC, Transformer Gallery, The National Museum for Women in the Arts, amongst others. 

A newly initiated Google Next Generation Policy leader, Otessa works diligently to increase technology awareness and innovation among minority and marginalized communities

She resides in Washington DC, and is currently working on her next trans-media project -- the Young Adult Science Fiction series, "Lemma."

She Completed her Graduate Film Studies at Columbia University's film school in NYC.

Resources

Otessa Marie Ghadar

DC Web Fest

hardDCCore series

She So Crazy series

Orange Juice in Bishops Garden series

The Wild West of Film by Otessa Ghadar

20/20 Productions: perfect vision new medi

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/otessa_

News Roundup

HUD and DOJ back Facebook advertising discrimination lawsuit

The Departments of Housing and Urban Development and Justice last week backed a lawsuit that housing justice advocates brought back in March alleging that Facebook allows advertisers to discriminate against certain groups. The lawsuit alleges that Facebook facilitates unlawful discrimination by allowing advertisers to exclude keywords that are closely associated with those groups and zip codes in which certain demographics reside. HUD filed a formal administrative complaint, which was then followed up by a statement of interest by the DOJ.

Former Tesla security employee files whistleblower complaint

Tesla’s problems escalated a bit last week-the week following Founder and CEO Elon Musk’s August 7th tweet saying that investors were interested in taking the company private. A former Tesla security employee named Martin Trip has now filed a whistleblower complaint with the Securities and Exchange Commission claiming that he was fired for raising allegations internally that Tesla had failed to report to investors the theft of some $37 million in raw materials from the Gigafactory -- Tesla’s lithium-ion battery production plant in Nevada. The complaint also alleges that Tesla spies on employees and that some Tesla employees engage in drug trafficking.

The SEC is already investigating Tesla and Elon Musk to determine whether Musk’s tweet was designed to inflate share prices.

Pushback on Google’s China Plans

According to a companywide meeting transcript obtained by Reuters, Google CEO Sundar Pichai announced last week that, contrary to rumors, the company is not close to launching a search engine in China. To launch such a search engine, Google would need to comply with China’s censorship regulations, a move that has raised internal resistance from many Google employees.

In other Google-related news, a new class action lawsuit alleges that Google continues to track users after they turned off their location settings. The case is Patacsil v Google Inc, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California.

Alex Jones drama continues

The Department of Justice is suing the alleged operators of a pirate radio station in Austin, Texas who were allegedly using a makeshift facility in an apartment complex to illegally broadcast Alex Jones’ conspiracy theories to 90.1FM without a license, via an extension cord. The FCC levied a $15,000 fine against the station operators back in 2014, but the station owners refuse to pay it, claiming that the FCC doesn’t have jurisdiction to levy the fine.

Meanwhile, Vimeo joined the long list of internet companies that have booted Alex Jones for violating their terms of service. Twitter has also suspended Jones. President Trump tweeted that internet companies are discriminating against conservative content and that he may “get involved”

Pai: White House called him regarding Sinclair

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai told the Senate Commerce Committee during an oversight hearing last week that White House counsel Don McGahn contacted him to make a “status inquiry” immediately after Pai announced back in July that he and the FCC had serious concerns about the ill-fated merger of Sinclair and Tribune Media.  But Pai insists that the White House did not interfere in the proceeding.

Melania Trump speaks out on cyberbullying

First Lady Melania Trump spoke out against cyberbullying at a Rockville summit on Monday as part of her Be Best initiative. The remarks come days after President Trump called Omarosa Manigault a “dog” on Twitter, underscoring a disconnect between the East and West wings of the White House on their approaches to cyberbullying.

Netflix signs Kenya Barris

Finally, Netflix has signed showrunner Kenya Barris to a multi-year deal to produce a new tv series. Barris created ABC’s successful “black-ish” about an upper-middle class black family, as well as last summer’s movie hit “Girl’s Trip”. The Wall Street Journal reports that Barris negotiated an early exit from the Disney-owned TV network after it refused to air a black-ish episode that featured a plot about athletes kneeling during the national anthem. Barris will be joining Shonda Rhimes at Netflix.

Jul 31, 2018

 

 

Jennifer Becker: Confronting Tech-Enabled Domestic Violence (Ep. 148)

Legal Momentum's Jennifer Becker joined Joe Miller for Part 2 of our series on how perpetrators use technology to engage in domestic violence.

Bio

Jennifer Becker is Deputy Legal Director and National Judicial Education Program (NJEP) Senior Attorney. At Legal Momentum, Jennifer is engaged in a range of litigation, education, and policy on issues of gender-based discrimination and violence, including efforts to strengthen state gender-based violence statutes and reauthorization of the federal Violence Against Women Act. Jennifer has presented nationally and internationally on issues related to gender equality and gender-based violence. Jennifer is engaged in NJEP’s judicial training and technical assistance efforts and has developed and presented information about sexual assault and the intersection of sexual assault and domestic violence at national and state judicial conferences and multidisciplinary conferences.

Jennifer is a former sex crimes and child abuse prosecutor, having served for seven years in the Bronx County District Attorney’s Office in Bronx, NY. During that time she handled hundreds of such cases throughout all stages of the criminal justice process. Prior to joining Legal Momentum, Jennifer was the Title IX Coordinator for the New York City public school system, a district of more than 1 million students and 135,000 employees. In that role she was responsible for overseeing gender equity compliance, including responding to and investigating sexual harassment and sexual misconduct in schools. Jennifer has developed and conducted trainings for attorneys and non-legal staff on substantive issues related to gender equity laws, discrimination, criminal law, and litigation techniques and strategies. 

Jennifer is an active member of the New York City Bar Association Sex and Law Committee and co-chair of the New York County Lawyers Association Women in Law Committee. She is a graduate of CUNY Law School and Quinnipiac University. 

Resources

Legal Momentum

Thermostats, Locks and Lights: Digital Tools of Domestic Abuse (N.Y. Times, June 23, 2018)

News Roundup

Facebook posts biggest single-day loss in stock market history

Facebook’s market value dropped $119 billion Thursday after the company released a poor quarterly report.  The single-day drop was the biggest in stock market history and represented 19% of Facebook’s market cap , taking it down to $510 billion. In its quarterly report, Facebook reported usership that fell short of expectations by 20 million active daily users, and its  revenue fell short of analyst estimates by some $130 million for the second quarter. And at $1.72 Facebook’s earnings per share was also two cents lower than Thompson Reuters had estimated.

Facebook and Amazon set lobbying records in 2Q18

Facebook and Amazon set new lobbying records for themselves in the second quarter, spending over $7 million combined on its lobbying efforts. This is according to lobbying disclosure records. Facebook spent $3.6 million to deal with the Cambridge Analytica and Russian hacking debacles. Amazon spent some $3.47 million.  Google spent its fair amount on lobbying as well, coming in at $5.9 million for the second quarter alone. Ali Breland reports in Politico.

Is Trump doing enough to stave off Russian attacks on the midterms?

President Donald Trump met with members of the National Security Council on Friday to discuss cyber threats to the rapidly approaching midterm election. The White House released a statement that said in part, “The president has made it clear that his Administration will not tolerate foreign interference in our elections from any nation state or other malicious actors.” The statement made no specific mention of Russia.  

But the president tweeted that he is concerned that Russia might help Democrats—even though Russian President Vladimir Putin stated during the infamous Helsinki Summit that he wanted Trump to be re-elected in 2020. In addition, the Daily Beast reported that Russian hackers recently attempted to access Senator Claire McCaskill’s emails as she launched her 2018 re-election bid. Senator McCaskill acknowledged the attempt, saying it was “not successful”.

House Democrats said that the White House’s effort to prevent election interference is insubstantial. They want a more robust action plan from the White House. And Politico reported that most states are unprepared for cyberattacks. Even though Congress appropriated $380 million back in March to help states replace their voting machines, Politico reports that only 14 states and DC plan to do so before he 2020 presidential election.

Over in the UK, British lawmakers are proposing that tech companies be held liable for publishing fake news on their sites.

Facebook signs binding agreement with Washington State not to help advertisers target customers on the basis of race

Facebook signed a binding agreement with Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson last week in which the company promised not to allow advertisers to target users on the basis of race. This would include ads for housing, employment, credit, insurance and “public accommodations”. However, advertisers may not need to target race directly. They could target and exclude on the basis of race using non-racial proxies for race. Facebook could potentially still have the ability to cross-reference facial recognition data and users’ likes and dislikes to build psychometric profiles that show trends that correlate with race, which advertisers could then use without creating a paper trail.

 

DOJ Investigates Sinclair

Finally, the Justice Department is now investigating whether Sinclair, Tribune and others engaged in anticompetitive behavior that affected advertising sales rates. The Wall Street Journal reports that the DOJ is looking into whether Sinclair and Tribune coordinated in such a way as to generate higher rates for tv ad spots. The DOJ had stumbled upon potential evidence of coordination practices as it was reviewing Sinclair’s proposed $3.9 billion acquisition of Tribune, which is now in the hands of administrative law judge after the FCC voted unanimously not to approve the acquisition.

Jul 17, 2018

 

Natalie Salmanowitz: How Virtual Reality Can Help Mitigate Implicit Bias (Ep. 146)

Bio

Natalie Salmanowitz (@nsalmanowitz) is a rising 3L at Harvard Law School and is originally from the San Francisco Bay Area. After studying neuroscience at Dartmouth College, she went to Duke University for a master’s degree in Bioethics and Science Policy before spending a year at Stanford Law School as a fellow in the Neuroscience and Society Program.

Resources

The Impact of Virtual Reality on Implicit Racial Bias and Mock Legal Decisions by Natalie Salmanowitz (Journal of Law and the Biosciences, 2018)

What Money Can’t Buy by Michael J. Sandel

News Roundup

FBI indicted 12 Russians in connection with 2016 DNC Hack

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced a DC Grand Jury indictment of 12 Russians charged with hacking the Democratic National Committee (DNC) in 2016. They’re all GRU members, which is Russia’s intelligence agency. And one of the defendants is accused of hacking into state election systems themselves. Intelligence officials say Russia intended for the hacks to help Donald Trump. But during a presser following his closed-door meeting with Russian president Vladimir Putin in Helsinki on Monday, the President sided with Russia. This was met with strong rebukes from U.S. intelligence officials and Republicans.

Meanwhile, U.S. Director of National Intelligence Dan Coates warns of an imminent “crippling cyber attack on our critical infrastructure”. He names Russia as “the most aggressive foreign actor, no question.” And CNN reports that a Kremlin-linked internet company, Mail.Ru, had access to a Facebook app that collected user data without their consent.

FCC changes consumer complaint rules

The Republican-led Federal Communications Commission passed a new rule last week that will require consumers to pay a $225 fee to file formal complaints with the agency. Democrats were livid, with Democratic Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel calling the rule change “bonkers”, and FCC Chairman Pai passed the rules over the objections of Democratic representatives Frank Pallone and Mike Doyle. They’re concerned the rule change will dilute the impact of informal complaints.

Purdue study: Airbnb benefits local economies in white neighborhoods. Black and Latino neighborhoods? Not so much.

A new study of Purdue University, that looks at Bureau of Labor Statistics and Yelp data, has found that Airbnb’s economic benefits local economies—with one wrinkle: it’s mainly neighborhoods that are predominantly white. The study specifically looked at the spillover effect to local economies when Airbnb guests stay there by evaluating how many new jobs were created in area restaurants. Apparently, Airbnb guests are less likely to eat at restaurants surrounding Airbnbs in neighborhoods where the black or Latino population exceeds 50%, than they are in predominantly white neighborhoods.

U.S. Lifts Ban on ZTE

The Trump administration lifted its ban against ZTE on Friday. The ban required U.S. companies to refrain from contracting with Chinese telecom manufacturer ZTE because U.S. intelligence officials accused ZTE of lying about how it was handling sanctions against Iran and North Korea.

Justice Department to appeal AT&T/Time Warner

Finally, The Justice Department announced that it would be appealing the DC Court of Appeals decision approving AT&T’s acquisition of Time Warner. This re-opens litigation that could have major implications for how courts and the federal government will consider vertical mergers.

Jul 10, 2018

George Joseph: Palantir and the Police (Ep. 145)

Palantir and the police have joined forces in Los Angeles to crunch the city's suspect database. George Joseph joined Joe Miller to discuss what this means for local communities and individuals who are disproportionately targeted by surveillance.

Bio

George Joseph (@GeorgeJoseph94) is criminal justice reporgter at The Appeal. Formerly, he was a reporting fellow at Demos focusing on surveillance, immigration, law enforcement, and the entry of big data in criminal justice systems. His work has appeared in outlets such as The Guardian, NPR, The Atlantic, The Nation, The Verge, Slate, and CityLab.

Resources

The Appeal

The LAPD Has a New Surveillance Formula, Powered by Palantir by George Joseph

 

Trump nominates Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court

President Trump has nominated Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. The Washington Post’s Ann Marimow reports that even though Kavanaugh clerked for the justice he would replace—Justice Anthony Kennedy—Kavanaugh’s ideology is far to the right of Kennedy’s, and he has a broad view when it comes to presidential authority. For example, in his 12 years as a judge on the DC Circuit Court of Appeals, Kavanaugh has supported military tribunals for terrorism suspects and restructuring the consumer financial protection bureau. As far as tech is concerned, Kavanaugh issued a dissent in the case that upheld the FCC’s 2015 net neutrality rules, arguing that Congress did not provide the FCC with clear statutory authority to issue the rules. Kavanaugh needs just 50 votes to be confirmed by the Senate.

Trump’s trade war

China’s Commerce Ministry on Friday accused Trump of using bullying tactics to launch “the biggest trade war in economic history”, after the White House began implementing a 25% tariff against Chinese goods, which will cost China an estimated $34 billion, according to CNN. China retaliated with another $34 billion worth of tariffs against American produce. The tech sector decries Trump’s tariffs, with ITI’s Josh Kallmer saying they would harm American consumers and businesses. Trump may have another $16 billion worth of tariffs coming against China later this month.

Facebook faces more scrutiny

As if the scrutiny of Facebook couldn’t get any worse, the FBI, Securities and Exchange Commission, and Federal Trade Commission will now join the wide-ranging investigation into how it and Cambridge Analytica shared the data of 71 million Americans in 2015. The investigation is trying, among other things, to understand more about why Facebook failed to disclose its data-sharing practices.

It was also reported last week that Facebook suffered another mishap in late May and early June in which a bug caused it to temporarily unblock accounts that some 800,000 users had previously blocked. The company also came under fire for deleting a post containing references to “Indian savages”—it turns out the post was an excerpt from the Declaration of Independence—so Facebook apologized for that as well.  Meanwhile, Mark Zuckerberg has surpassed Warren Buffet for the third spot on the list of the world’s richest people. Zuck is work $81.6 billion—behind Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates.

Inspector General: DC Metro susceptible to cyberattack

The DC Metro is susceptible to cyberattack, according to a leaked Inspector General’s report that was presented to Metro’s board of directors last month. The report cites vulnerabilities that threaten Metro’s rail traffic control systems, gas and fire sensors, the power grid, station ventilation, an voice and data communications. Martine Powers reports in the Washington Post.

Report: Amazon still selling Nazi paraphernalia

Amazon is still selling Nazi paraphernalia, according to a new report by the Partnership for Working Families and the Action Center on Race & the Economy. The report listed a swastika pendant, cross burning baby onesie for girls, stickers and decals, and even music among the products. Amazon had promised last year to stop selling items featuring the Confederate flag but the company was found to have kept a lot of those products active.

Twitter deleted 70 million accounts in May and June

Finally, Twitter deleted 70 million fake accounts and bots in May and June this year, according to the Washington Post. This would significantly reduce Twitter’s user base, but lately the social media company has been increasing its usership, which has led to more investment in the company. The Washington Post reports that Twitter has been deleting accounts at the same rate in July.

May 30, 2017

How can policymakers balance consumers' need for targeted, relevant content against such consumers' desire for privacy? Anindya Ghose (@aghose) is a Professor of Information, Operations and Management Sciences and a Professor of Marketing at New York University's Leonard N. Stern School of Business. He is the Director of the Center for Business Analytics at NYU Stern, and the co-Chair of the NYU-AIG Partnership on Innovation for Global Resilience. He is the NEC Faculty Fellow and a Daniel P. Paduano Fellow of Business Ethics at NYU Stern. He has been a Visiting Associate Professor at the Wharton School of Business. He also serves as the main Scientific Advisor to 3TI China . He was recently named by Business Week as one of the "Top 40 Professors Under 40 Worldwide" and by Analytics Week as one the "Top 200 Thought Leaders in Big Data and Business Analytics". His rise from assistant to full professor in 8.5 years at NYU Stern is widely regarded as one of the fastest in the history of the entire Information Systems and Marketing academic disciplines in business schools globally.

He has consulted in various capacities for Berkeley Corporation, CBS, Dataxu, Facebook, NBC Universal, OneVest, Samsung, and 3TI China, and collaborated with Alibaba, China Mobile, Google, IBM, Indiegogo, Microsoft, Recobell, Travelocity and many other leading Fortune 500 firms on realizing business value from IT investments, internet marketing, business analytics, mobile marketing, digital analytics, social media, and other areas. He has published more than 75 papers in premier scientific journals and peer reviewed conferences, and has given more than 200 talks internationally. He is a frequent keynote speaker in executive gatherings and thought leading events globally. His research has received 12 best paper awards and nominations. He is a winner of the NSF CAREER award and has been awarded 14 grants from Google, Microsoft and several other corporations.

His research analyzes the economic consequences of the Internet on industries and markets transformed by its shared technology infrastructure. He has worked on product reviews, reputation and rating systems, digital marketing, sponsored search advertising, wearable technologies, mobile commerce, mobile advertising, crowdfunding, and online markets. He also plays a senior advisory role to several start-ups in the Internet space. He has been interviewed and his research has been profiled numerous times in the BBC, Bloomberg TV, CNBC, China Daily, The Economist, Financial Times, Fox News, Forbes, Knowledge@Wharton, Korean Broadcasting News Company, Los Angeles Times, Marketplace Radio, MSNBC, National Public Radio, NBC, Newsweek, New York Times, New York Daily, NHK Japan Broadcasting, Reuters, Time Magazine, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Xinhua,and elsewhere. He teaches courses on social media, digital marketing, business analytics and IT strategy at the undergraduate, MBA, EMBA, MSBA, and Executive Education level in various parts of the world including the US, India, China, and South Korea.

He is on the Research Council of the Wharton Customer Analytics Institute, a faculty affiliate with the Marketing Science Institute and the Sloan Center for Internet Retailing at the University of California, Riverside. He serves as an Associate Editor of Management Science and a Senior Editor of Information Systems Research. Before joining NYU Stern, Dr. Ghose worked in GlaxoSmithKline, as a Product Manager in HCL-Hewlett Packard, and as a Senior E-Business Consultant with IBM. He has a B. Tech in Engineering from the Regional Engineering College (NIT) in Jalandhar, and an M.B.A in Finance, Marketing and Systems from the Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta. He received his M.S. and Ph.D. from Carnegie Mellon University's Tepper School of Business.

In this episode, we discussed:

  • the 9 key forces shaping the mobile economy that entrepreneurs and policymakers alike need to know.
  • the future of mobile technology as a key driver of marketing.
  • how policymakers should balance privacy policy against consumers' desire for targeted and relevant content.

Resources

Tap: Unlocking the Mobile Economy by Anindya Ghose (MIT Press: 2017)

Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future by Ashlee Vance (Ecco: 2017)

 

NEWS ROUNDUP

The Federal Communications Commission released the text of its proposal to undo the Obama-era net neutrality rules. The rules classify internet service providers as "common carriers", thus bringing ISPs within the FCC's jurisdiction. The rules also outlaw blocking, throttling and paid prioritization of site traffic.

Comments are due to the Commission by August 17th--they even seek comment on whether such rules are necessary--which, of course, the Commission settled on two years ago when it pulled together countless comments from members of the public who said, "yes--they are necessary"--So it's like we're just going around and around--net neutrality is the gift that keeps on giving--for lobbyists, that is.


President Trump released his fiscal year 2018 budget request last week, which calls for numerous cuts to entitlement programs, as well as education. However, the budget calls for $228 million to modernize the federal government's IT--or phase out clunkier technologies in favor of technologies that are more secure and efficient. That $228 million amount is significantly less than the $3.1 billion called for by the Obama administration. Billy Mitchell covers this story in FedScoop.


Apple reported last week that the federal government's requests for user data skyrocketed in the second half of 2016 to almost double what it was in the first half of the year. Apple reports on the number of requests using ranges instead of revealing the exact number of data requests.  In the first half of 2016, the federal government made between 2,750 and 2,999 data requests. However, during the second half of 2016 the number of requests jumped to between 5,750 and 5,999. Joe Uchill reports in the Hill.


Private drone users will no longer need to register their drones with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). This is following a DC Circuit Court of Appeals decision to overturn the rules. The court held that the rules violated another statute that precluded the FAA from promulgating rules pertaining to model aircraft. Tim Wright covers this in Air & Space.


The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that the American Civil Liberties Union and Wikimedia Foundation can indeed pursue a lawsuit the two parties brought against the National Security Agency. They argue that the NSA violated Wikimedia's First and Fourth Amendment rights when the agency tapped into Wikimedia's backbone network because Wikimedia has such a large footprint, tapping into just a part of it can have constitutional implications. Adi Robertson has the story in The Verge.


Finally, big box retailer Target has settled with 47 states in connection with a widespread data breach in 2015 in which hackers obtained the credit card information of millions of customers. The settlement amount was $18.5 million and is being distributed based on each state's size.Wyoming, Wisconsin and Alabama don't appear to be part of the settlement.  The terms of the settlement also require Target to separate cardholder data from the rest of its computer network, as well as undergo an independent assessment of its data security practices.  Rachel Abrams has the story in The New York Times.

Jan 3, 2017

Tom Kamber (@thomaskamber) is the founder and executive director of OATS, where he has helped over 20,000 senior citizens get online, built more than 30 free technology centers, created the seniorplanet.org digital community, and launched the Senior Planet Exploration Center—the country’s first technology-themed community center for older adults. His work has been covered in major national media, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, The Washington Post, National Public Radio, Univision, MSNBC, and the TODAY Show. Tom is active in shaping technology policy and serves on the City of New York’s Broadband Task Force, and on the State of New York’s Broadband Adoption Task Force.

Tom teaches courses on social entrepreneurship and philanthropy at Columbia University and has published widely in academic journals on topics including housing policy, crime and geography, advertising strategy, broadband technology, and technology adoption by senior citizens.

Prior to founding OATS, Tom worked as a tenant organizer working with low-income residents in Harlem and the South Bronx. He has a B.A. in Latin from Columbia College and a PhD in Political Science from the City University of New York.

In this episode, we discussed:

  • key challenges older adults face getting online.
  • how OATS helps older adults use technology to stay engaged and enhance their overall quality of life.
  • specific policy recommendations for ensuring older adults are both connected and actively using technology.

Senior Planet

This Chair Rocks by Ashton Applewhite

SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome by Mary Beard

NEWS ROUNDUP

Missy Ryan, Ellen Nakashima and Karen DeYoung of the Washington Post report that the Obama administration has announced sanctions against Russia for executing cyberattacks on American institutions, including the Democratic National Committee, and releasing sensitive material to the public, in an effort to sway the November presidential election in favor of Donald Trump. The sanctions include the shutting down of two Russian facilities in Maryland and on Long Island which U.S. officials believe were used to collect intelligence. President Obama also expelled 35 Russian agents believed to be involved in the hacks. The President also said the U.S. may undertake covert activity to undermine Russia.

But the Kremlin has vigorously denied the hacks, with Russsian President Vladimir Putin calling President Obama's response "irresponsible diplomacy". Yet, Putin has said Russia will hold off on a tit-for-tat response and not expel U.S. agents working in Russia or close American facilities there, until they see how Trump will respond following the inauguration on January 20th. Camila Domonoske has the story for NPR.

Here's the link to the DHS and FBI report on the Russian intrusion, which has been dubbed Grizzly Steppe.

Andrew Kramer has a nice piece in the New York Times describing how Russians recruited hackers for its cyberwar against the United States. 

--

Ellen Nakashima also reported in the Washington Post that President Obama has signed a bill that would work to split U.S. Cybercommand from the National Security Administration in order to promote administrative efficiency. But the split can't happen unless it is approved by the defense secretary and the chair of the Joint Chiefs of staff, which may or may not happen under the Trump administration. 

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House Speaker Paul Ryan wants to stop sit-ins by members of Congress on the House floor. Speaker Ryan introduced a rules package last week which would attempt to curtail live streaming on the house floor by imposing sanctions of $500 for the first livestreaming offense and $2,500 for each subsequent offense, with ethical citations also a possibility. Back in June, Democrats had live-streamed a sit-in on the House floor to protest Republicans' failure to introduce gun control legislation. The livestream was organized in response to the fact that Republican leaders had turned off tv cameras in the chamber, preventing the public from viewing the sit-in on C-Span.   

 

Nov 8, 2016

David Robinson (@dgrobinson) is a Principal at Upturn, a public interest technology and policy consulting firm. Prior to co-founding UpTurn, David was the Associate Director of Princeton's Center for Information Technology Policy. He also launched The American, a national magazine of business and economics at the American Enterprise Institute, growing The American's website to more than 1.5 million unique visits in its first year.

David holds a JD from Yale, was a Rhodes Scholar, and graduated magna cum laude with a degree in Philosophy from Princeton.

In this episode we discussed:

  • what predictive policing is.
  • how predictive policing technologies fall short of their marketing claims.
  • how predictive policing enables disparities within the criminal justice system.
  • what policymakers should consider as they incorporate predictive policing technologies into their law enforcement activities.

Resources:

UpTurn

Daily Rituals: How Artists Work by Mason Currey

Asana

NEWS ROUNDUP

Julia Angwin and Terry Parris Jr. at Pro Publica raised a lot of red flags last week when they reported that Facebook allows advertisers to exclude audience segments on the basis of race. Angwin and Parris discovered a chilling echo of race-based redlining in real estate where African Americans and other minority groups were prevented from buying real estate in predominantly white neighborhoods. Angwin and Parris purchased an ad on Facebook targeting Facebook users who are house hunting and allowed them to exclude anyone who was African American, Asian-American or Hispanic.

But the Fair Housing Act of 1968 makes it illegal “"to make, print, or publish, or cause to be made, printed, or published any notice, statement, or advertisement, with respect to the sale or rental of a dwelling that indicates any preference, limitation, or discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin.”

Facebook says it does what it can to prevent discrimination.

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Did FBI Director James Comey break the law when he announced 11 days before the election that his agency was re-opening the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails? Several leading experts say it was. Passed in 1939, the Hatch Act limits federal employees, with a few exceptions, such as the President, from engaging in activities that would impact the outcome of an election.

Legal experts such as former Chief White House Ethics attorney Richard Painter, who filed a formal ethics complaint against Comey and the FBI last week, think there was no other reason for Comey to make the disclosure other than to impact the outcome of the election.

Comey did, however, announce to members of Congress on Sunday that the agency will not recommend charges against Hillary Clinton based on the emails discovered on former Congressman Anthony Weiner's computer.

Lauren Hodges has the story reporting for NPR. You should also read Painter’s Op-Ed in The New York Times.

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1.4 million people “checked in” to Standing Rock on Facebook, even though they weren’t actually there, to support opponents of the Dakota Access Pipeline. Rumors had spread that the police were monitoring Facebook to crack down on protesters. But how exactly do the police use social media data to surveil protests?  Jeff Landale has the analysis in Christian Science Monitor.

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A new University of Washington and Stanford study of 1,500 rides found Uber and Lyft drivers discriminate against black passengers. For example, blacks waited 30% longer for rides--5 minutes and 15 seconds--versus 4 minutes for white passengers, according to the study. The ride cancellation rate was also 6 points higher, or 10.1 %, for black sounding names compared to white sounding names. Elizabeth Weise has the story at USA Today.

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Mobile browsing as surpassed desktop browsing for the first time. This is according to a new report from StatCounter. Mobile browsing now accounts for over 51% of all online browsing actvitiy. Check Samuel Gibbs’ story in the Guardian.

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Black Lives Matter is opposing the Trans Pacific Partnership arguing the trade deal would further disenfranchise blacks by sending capital to nations with lower wages and poorer working conditions,  allowing employers to avoid domestic courts, increase mobility for workers with higher paying jobs but no one else, and prevent the formation of unions.

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AT&T had a tough legal and regulatory week

The Dodgers Channel, owned by Time Warner Cable, offered customers exclusive access to live Dodgers games.  Even though Time Warner Cable owned the Dodgers Channel, the company attempted to license it to other cable providers, which would have provided each licensees’ customers access to the games.  But, as Brian Fung reports in the Washington Post, the Department of Justice is now suing AT&T and its subsidiary, DirectTV, for colluding with their LA competitors, including Cox and Charter, to make sure none of them agreed to license the Dodgers Channel from Time Warner Cable. This way, the three companies could take comfort in knowing they wouldn’t lose subscribers.  Charter of course has now acquired Time Warner Cable.

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Finally,  the FCC says AT&T incorrectly interpreted FCC rules when it sued the City of Louisville in federal court for granting Google access to utility poles in order to build out its fiber network. AT&T had said the FCC’s pole attachment rules pre-emept state rules.  However, the FCC submitted a statement of interest to the Department of Justice saying the federal pole attachment rules do not pre-empt state rules at all and, in fact, defer to state regulations where states show they have the situation under control with its own regulations. John Brodkin has the story in Ars Technica.

Sep 27, 2016

Mitch Stoltz (@mitchstoltz) is a Senior Staff Attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Mitch works on cases where free speech and innovation collide with copyright and trademark law. His current projects include improving the legal environment for mobile software developers and tinkerers, fighting the use of copyright as a tool for censorship, litigation on the copyright status of mandatory safety codes, and legal analysis in the field of Internet television and video. Mitch also counsels clients on Internet video technology and open source software licensing.

Before joining EFF, Mitch was an associate at Constantine Cannon LLP in Washington DC, where he worked on antitrust and copyright litigation on behalf of consumer technology, advertising, medical, and transportation companies. He also represented technology companies and trade associations before the Federal Communications Commission and other agencies.

Long ago, in an Internet far far away, Mitch was Chief Security Engineer for the Mozilla Project at Netscape Communications (later AOL), where he worked to secure Web browsers against malicious Internet content and coordinated the security research efforts of hackers on three continents.

Mitch has a JD from Boston University and a BA in Public Policy and Computer Science from Pomona College, where he co-founded the student TV station Studio 47. When not working, he can be found tinkering with electronics or chasing new levels of suffering on a bicycle.

In this episode we discussed:

  • key issues in the FCC's controversial set-top box proceeding.
  • why copyright law does not apply in the context of set-top box manufacturers providing access to content consumers have already paid for.

Resources:

THE NEWS

Yahoo! was the latest target of what Yahoo company officials say was yet another state-sponsored hack into the servers of American institutions. It’s believed to be the largest hack of a single company, according to David Gelles of The New York Times. Some 500 million Yahoo user accounts were breached.

The intrusion came as company officials were putting the final touches on Verizon’s proposed $4.8 billion acquisition of Yahoo! Now experts are wondering whether the transaction is going to go through.
----
Jessica Guynn at USA Today obtained an email from Google revealing the tech giant’s plans to open a diversity-focused tech lab in Oakland, California. The city is more than half African American and Latino. The tech lab, which is a partnership with MIT Media Lab, is called Code Next, and it is slated to open in October. Code Next is expected to work with the Oakland Unified School District in its efforts to bring more minority students into the tech sector pipeline.
----
Jessica Guynn at USA Today also reported on Facebook’s new voter registration drive, which the company launched on Friday in the U.S. The company sent out voter registration reminders that sends users to vote.usa.gov, where they are guided through the registration process.
----

VR Company Oculus is doing damage control after it was discovered that the company’s co-Founder, Palmer Luckey, donated $10,000 to a group called Nimble America, which is basically a trolling site that calls itself a QUOTE “shitposting” meme generator to help drump up support for Donald Trump among younger voters.

Luckey apologized to his company and its partners. He says he is a libertarian who supports Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson.

Kyle Orland and Ars Technica has the full story.
----
Dating app Tinder and music streaming site Spotify announced a new partnership last week. Jacob Kastrenakes at the Verge reported last week that Tinder users will now be able to see each others’ last few songs they listened to. All users, whether they are Spotify users or not, will be able to feature their one favorite song on their profile.
----
Catherine Ho at the Washington Post reports that John Boehner is headed to Squire Patton Boggs-a major lobbying and law firm. Boehner has also joined the board of Reynolds American--the maker of Camel cigarettes. Boehner will reportedly not be lobbying congress but will instead be advising corporate clients on global business development.
----
Last week, the Government Accountability Office reported grim news to the President’s Commission on Enhancing Cybersecurity. The report states the number of cyber incidents involving the federal government has jumped 1,300% between 2005 and 2015. Joe Davidson at the Washington Post has the story.

Sep 20, 2016

My guest today is Yolanda Rondon (@yolandarondon)—Staff Attorney for the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC). Her work focuses on immigration and on issues related to the surveillance, racial profiling, employment discrimination and hate crimes committed against Arab Americans.

Prior to joining ADC, Yolanda worked for the Legal Aid Society of Cleveland and as a clerk for Chief Administrative Judge Charetta Harrington at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. While in law school, she served as a law clerk in Israel, working on cases involving Eritrean and Ethiopian refugees.

Yolanda has written numerous briefs and appeared in an amicus brief before Supreme Court of the United States in EEOC v. Abercrombie and Fitch: This was the case in which a devout Muslim woman applied for a job at clothing retailer Abercrombie & Fitch and didn’t get the job—she was told it was because she wore a headscarf and the company had a no caps policy.

Yolanda is a graduate of the State University of New York College at Buffalo and received a SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence. She earned her Juris Doctor at the Case Western Reserve University School of Law in 2013.

In this episode, we discussed:

  • Historical examples of the surveillance of Arab Americans pre- and post-September 11th.
  • How incidental data collection practices circumvent Constitutional due process and Fourth Amendment requirements.
  • Key policy considerations policymakers should consider regarding the surveillance of Arab-Americans and other people of color.

Resources:

Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC)

Injustices: The Supreme Court's History of Comforting the Comfortable and Afflicting the Afflicted by Ian Millhiser

THE NEWS

Michael Shear at the New York Times reported that last week that DCLeaks.com released Colin Powell's emails to the public, and the Democratic National committee was hacked into once again, an act many officials still believe was committed by the Russian government.

Powell's emails revealed how he *really* feels about Donald Trump and the Clintons. He wrote that Trump embraced a QUOTE "racist" movement when he questioned President Obama's nationality. About Hillary, Powell wrote about his resentment towards Clinton "minions", as he called them, who sought to QUOTE "drag" Powell into the Clinton email controversy by revealing the fact that Powell himself kept at least some of his official communications off the State Department’s servers when HE served as State Secretary. He said he had to  QUOTE “throw a mini tantrum” in the Hamptons to get Clinton staffers to keep him out of it.

Powell also called Dick Cheney an idiot in one of the emails and referred to former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld as “the idiot Rummy”.

But Powell saved his worst vitriol for Bill Clinton, suggesting that Clinton still cheats on Hillary.

Also, William Cummings at USA Today reports that Guccifer 2.0 hacked into the DNC once again last week, this time revealing information on the DNC’s finances as well as personal contact info, including Clinton running mate Tim Kaine’s personal mobile phone number.

Interim DNC chairwoman Donna Brazile is urging DNC staffers not to visit Wikileaks for fear the site would install malware on their computers.

---

Nicholas Fandos at The New York Times reports that the 14th Librarian of Congress took the helm last week when she was sworn in by Chief Justice John Roberts. Dr. Carla D. Hayden is the first African American and first woman to serve in the role

Previously, Dr. Hayden was the Chief Librarian for the City of Baltimore, where she overhauled the library system.Dr. Hayden kept a branch of the library open during the violent aftermath of the police involved killing of Freddie Gray. Two protected the library while stores in the area were looted and burned.

Dr. Hayden plans to improve digital access to the Library of Congress. She is the first new Library of Congress since 1987, but Congress passed a bill last year imposing a ten-year term limit on the position.

----

Ben Sisario over at The New York Times reported thatsongwriters are now suing the Justice Department for the DOJ’s decision last month to uphold the 1941 consent decree the agency entered into with music rights clearinghouses ASCAP and BMI.

The songwriter want what is known as fractional licensing whereby, if multiple songwriters contribute to a song, they can all get paid royalties based on their individual contribution. But the Department of Justice basically said, listen, that’s too complicated -- each license is a 100% license and we’re not going to cut up the license into little pieces. We’re gonna do it the way we’ve always done it: ASCAP and BMI must have a 100% right to license the song--anything less and the music can’t be included it in the blanket licenses broadcasters and streaming music services rely on to play the music.

The songwriters say this arrangement has them earning a pittance for songs they wrote.

----
Facebook and Israel are working together to reduce incitement on the social media site. The Associated Press in Jerusalem reports the collaboration comes amidst the Israeli government pushing for new anti-incitement legislation. Some advocates say this is a slippery slope towards censorship.

----

For the first time, theCity of New York coordinated with the Office of Emergency Management to send out a city-wide emergency alert to millions of New Yorkers that described the suspect responsible for the bombs that detonated in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood and in New Jersey, Ahmad Khan Rahami. The text contained a description of Rahami and is credited with putting the entire city on high alert, leading to Rahami’s apprehension on Monday morning. An FCC working group released a report recommending improvements to the nation’s Emergency Alert System on Monday. Kavell Waddell has the full story in the Atlantic.

----

Chris Isidore at CNN Money reports that, apparently,AT&T was charging customers in poor areas $30 or more per month for shoddy broadband speeds below 3 megabits per second, even though customers whose speeds were just a couple of megabits higher got it for as little as $5. The average high speed internet in the U.S. is 15 megabits per second.

ATT’s discounted prices for customers getting at least 3 megabits per second were part of the company’s merger conditions when the FCC approved its acquisition of DirectTV. AT&T first said it was sticking to the strict parameters of that condition, but then when it got some negative press for jacking customers with even slower speeds, the company said, “Ok, ok, ok, ok … we’ll change the policy.”

----

Oversight of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the organization that oversees .com and .net registrations, is set to transfer from the U.S. to a multistakeholder model on October 1st. Conservatives are trying to prevent that from happening while progressives and leading tech companies wrote in a letter to Congress QUOTE “a global internet is essential for our economic and national security” END QUOTE Dustin Volz at Reuters has the story. Senator Ted Cruz held up the government funding bill on Monday in an attempt to delay the transition.

——

Finally, Senior White House Official Valerie Jarrett visited San Quentin state prison to acknowledge the efforts of the Last Mile, which teaches prison inmates how to code. Jessica Guynn at USA Today reports that Jarrett said the program is critical for preventing recidivism rates by ensuring inmates can find a job once they’re released. Last Mile co-Founder Beverly Parenti has appeared on this podcast, which you can find on ... episode Episode 33.

Michael Shear at the New York Times reported that last week that DCLeaks.com released Colin Powell's emails to the public, and the Democratic National committee was hacked into once again, an act many officials still believe was committed by the Russian government.

Powell's emails revealed how he *really* feels about Donald Trump and the Clintons. He wrote that Trump embraced a QUOTE "racist" movement when he questioned President Obama's nationality. About Hillary, Powell wrote about his resentment towards Clinton "minions", as he called them, who sought to QUOTE "drag" Powell into the Clinton email controversy by revealing the fact that Powell himself kept at least some of his official communications off the State Department’s servers when HE served as State Secretary. He said he had to  QUOTE “throw a mini tantrum” in the Hamptons to get Clinton staffers to keep him out of it.

Powell also called Dick Cheney an idiot in one of the emails and referred to former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld as “the idiot Rummy”.

But Powell saved his worst vitriol for Bill Clinton, suggesting that Clinton still cheats on Hillary.

Also, William Cummings at USA Today reports that Guccifer 2.0 hacked into the DNC once again last week, this time revealing information on the DNC’s finances as well as personal contact info, including Clinton running mate Tim Kaine’s personal mobile phone number.

Interim DNC chairwoman Donna Brazile is urging DNC staffers not to visit Wikileaks for fear the site would install malware on their computers.

---

Nicholas Fandos at The New York Times reports that the 14th Librarian of Congress took the helm last week when she was sworn in by Chief Justice John Roberts. Dr. Carla D. Hayden is the first African American and first woman to serve in the role.

Previously, Dr. Hayden was the Chief Librarian for the City of Baltimore, where she overhauled the library system.Dr. Hayden kept a branch of the library open during the violent aftermath of the police involved killing of Freddie Gray. Two protected the library while stores in the area were looted and burned.

Dr. Hayden plans to improve digital access to the Library of Congress. She is the first new Library of Congress since 1987, but Congress passed a bill last year imposing a ten-year term limit on the position.

----

Ben Sisario over at The New York Times reported that songwriters are now suing the Justice Department for the DOJ’s decision last month to uphold the 1941 consent decree the agency entered into with music rights clearinghouses ASCAP and BMI.

The songwriter want what is known as fractional licensing whereby, if multiple songwriters contribute to a song, they can all get paid royalties based on their individual contribution. But the Department of Justice basically said, listen, that’s too complicated -- each license is a 100% license and we’re not going to cut up the license into little pieces. We’re gonna do it the way we’ve always done it: ASCAP and BMI must have a 100% right to license the song--anything less and the music can’t be included it in the blanket licenses broadcasters and streaming music services rely on to play the music.

The songwriters say this arrangement has them earning a pittance for songs they wrote.

----

Facebook and Israel are working together to reduce incitement on the social media site. The Associated Press in Jerusalem reports the collaboration comes amidst the Israeli government pushing for new anti-incitement legislation. Some advocates say this is a slippery slope towards censorship.

----

For the first time, the City of New York coordinated with the Office of Emergency Management to send out a city-wide emergency alert to millions of New Yorkers that described the suspect responsible for the bombs that detonated in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood and in New Jersey, Ahmad Khan Rahami. The text contained a description of Rahami and is credited with putting the entire city on high alert, leading to Rahami’s apprehension on Monday morning. An FCC working group released a report recommending improvements to the nation’s Emergency Alert System on Monday. Kavell Waddell has the full story in the Atlantic.

----

Chris Isidore at CNN Money reports that, apparently, AT&T was charging customers in poor areas $30 or more per month for shoddy broadband speeds below 3 megabits per second, even though customers whose speeds were just a couple of megabits higher got it for as little as $5. The average high speed internet in the U.S. is 15 megabits per second.

ATT’s discounted prices for customers getting at least 3 megabits per second were part of the company’s merger conditions when the FCC approved its acquisition of DirectTV. AT&T first said it was sticking to the strict parameters of that condition, but then when it got some negative press for jacking customers with even slower speeds, the company said, “Ok, ok, ok, ok … we’ll change the policy.”

----

Oversight of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the organization that oversees .com and .net registrations, is set to transfer from the U.S. to a multistakeholder model on October 1st. Conservatives are trying to prevent that from happening while progressives and leading tech companies wrote in a letter to Congress QUOTE “a global internet is essential for our economic and national security” END QUOTE Dustin Volz at Reuters has the story. Senator Ted Cruz held up the government funding bill on Monday in an attempt to delay the transition.

——

Finally, Senior White House Official Valerie Jarrett visited San Quentin state prison to acknowledge the efforts of the Last Mile, which teaches prison inmates how to code. Jessica Guynn at USA Today reports that Jarrett said the program is critical for preventing recidivism rates by ensuring inmates can find a job once they’re released. Last Mile co-Founder Beverly Parenti has appeared on this podcast, which you can find on ... episode Episode 33.

Sep 13, 2016

Chelsea Collier (@ChelseaMcC) is dedicated to fostering collaboration across the public and private sector in order to connect and engage communities to solve civic challenges. Her current focus on Smart Cities unifies her experience in tech, policy, social impact, civic engagement and entrepreneurship.

Chelsea is a Zhi-Xing Eisenhower Fellow and will travel to China this Fall to study Smart City innovation. She documents her research on a community platform she created, Digi.City, and is a contributor to RCR Wireless and Industrial IoT 5G. Chelsea is a Co-Founder of Impact Hub Austin, a local co-working and community space for social and civic enterprises that is a part a global network of more than 80 Impact Hubs around the world.

She is also co-Founder of two other start-ups, Wake Up, a professional and personal development company and Mable, a social enterprise that produces modular furniture from sustainable materials manufactured in the USA. Through her consulting company, Intercambio, she advises multiple startups and projects that seek to make a positive impact on the world.

From 2012-2015, Chelsea was the Executive Director Texans for Economic Progress (TEP) and now engages as a Strategic Advisor where she continues to facilitate dialogue between the statewide technology community and elected officials, advocating for greater access to tech education, entrepreneurship and infrastructure. Prior, she served as the Founding Director for RISE, an annual Austin-based entrepreneurs conference, Marketing Director at Rev Worldwide. a mission-focused fintech start-up; and served in the Texas Governor’s Office in Economic Development.

She is active in several organizations that encourage economic solutions to global challenges including St Edwards’ University’s Dean’s Advisory & Development Council for The Bill Munday School of Business, an Executive Committee member of The Seton 50, Advisor to the World Economic Forum Global Shapers, UnltdUSA and Food + City. She served as Vice Chair and Commissioner for the City of Austin Community Technology & Telecommunications Commission from 2013 - 2015. She is a Leadership Austin graduate (2010); Austin Under 40 Award recipient in Science & Technology (2015) and a BPE Ascendant Award recipient (2013), and an ABJ Profiles in Power Finalist (2013).  Chelsea has masters and bachelor degrees in Advertising from the University of Texas at Austin.

In this episode, we discussed:

  • what "Smart Cities" are and how they are making cities more livable and citizen-friendly.
  • examples of ways in which cities are using next-generation technology to improve law enforcement and city services.
  • key political, regulatory and political challenges cities face as they seek to apply smarter uses of technology.

Resources:

InterCambio Group

Digi.City

YouCanBook.me (scheduling app)

Full Contact (contact management)

Give and Take by Adam Grant

TECH POLICY NEWS

US officials are investigating a potential Russian effort to disrupt this year’s US presidential elections, according to Dana Priest at the Washington Post. The investigation was precipitated by alleged Russian hacks into the Democratic National Committee and Wikileaks release of 20,000 hacked DNC emails. Russia has denied the accusations, although, as Bloomberg notes, Russian President Vladimir Putin did say the DNC hacks were a public service.

Julian Hattem at The Hill noted last week that Department of Homeland Security Chief Jeh Johnson attempted to downplay the Russian threat. Johnson said the vastness of all of the nation’s dispersed local and state voting systems would make it difficult for any hack to alter the ballot count. But officials are still worried that even a hint of the ballots being compromised could cause unrest.
----
The FCC has proposed rules that would open up the set top box market to competition. Currently, subscribers are paying an average of $231 per year to lease set top boxes from cable providers. And these set top boxes aren’t required to list content from over-the-top competitors like Netflix. The new rules would clear the way for cable subscribers to buy a set top box of their choice, they would also require cable providers to develop free apps that enable consumers to download all their programming to their chosen devices. The cable industry is obviously incensed. The Commissioners will vote on the new rules at the next Open Meeting on September 29th at the FCC. If you want to file comments, it’s proceeding 16-42. In the meantime, you can check out my interview with Brian Woolfolk on episode 36 to get caught up on the basics of this proceeding.
----
According to a new FBI report, Hillary Clinton and her staff were lackadaisical about keeping confidential communications secure while Clinton served as Secretary of State, even though Clinton herself had authorization to decide which communications were confidential and which weren’t. But former Secretary of State Colin Powell also indicated last week that his communications weren’t kept all that secure either, stating that he had used a separate internet connection over a private phone line to communicate about State Department business off the State Department’s servers. Sean Gallagher at Ars Technica and Quartz have the coverage here.
----
President Obama has announced the appointments of the nation’s first Chief and Deputy Chief Information Officers.  Retired Brigadier General Gregory J. Touhill, who currently serves as a Deputy Assistant Secretary for Cybersecurity and Communications at the Department of Homeland Security, will take the helm as CISO and Grant Schneider, current Director of Cybersecurity on the National Security Council staff at the White House will serve as Deputy.
----

Finally, another Obama administration staffer is leaving the White House to join the tech sector. Rachel Racusen, who last week ended her stint as White House strategic communications adviser, will join Snapchat’s New York team next week to serve as Director of Communications at the growing social media company.  Juliet Eilperin at the Washington Post notes that Racusen joins a long line of former White House officials to join the tech sector, including former press secretary Jay Carney who went to Amazon and Dan Pfeiffer at GoFundMe.

Aug 9, 2016

Jermane Bond (@JermaneBond) is a Senior Fellow at the National Collaborative for Health Equity where he leads efforts to address the determinants of health for boys and men of color. His research interests include men’s preconception health and reproductive life planning, paternal involvement in pregnancy outcomes and racial and ethnic disparities in infant mortality. With funding from the Office of Minority Health in the Department of Health and Human Services, Dr. Bond formed the Commission on Paternal Involvement in Pregnancy Outcomes, (a transdisciplinary working group of social scientist and public health professionals) to raise awareness for the importance of paternal involvement in pregnancy and family health by reframing debates, informing research, policy and practice to support greater involvement of expectant fathers in pregnancy. Dr. Bond is a member of the American Public Health Association, the American College of Epidemiology and serves on several editorial boards, including the Maternal and Child Health Journal and the American Journal of Public Health. He received a B.A. from Morehouse College, and a Ph.D. from Howard University.

In this episode, we discussed:

  • Health disparities within the black community.
  • Specific health disparities affecting black men.
  • How health technology can play a vital role in creating better outcomes for black men.

Resources:

----

This Week's News

The Federal Trade Commission plans to crack down on celebrity product endorsements on social media. The agency thinks the endorsements aren’t transparent enough because they often don’t contain an explicit statement that the endorsement is actually a paid advertisement. So this will affect celebrities like DJ Khaled who promotes Ciroc vodka on Snapchat and other celebrities who earn revenue from sponsorships in exchange for giving products their stamp of approval.
 
The FTC has brought lawsuits against several companies that secure product endorsements from celebrities.
 
But marketing executives think this is an overreach, saying the these celebrity influencers recognize the trust their audiences place in them and would never violate that rapport by endorsing products they don’t actually believe in.
 
Experts are advising celebrity endorsers to know include hashtags in their sponsored posts, with #ad being the preferred indicator, although these hashtags often get jumbled up with a bunch of other hashtags.
 
Sarah Frier and Matt Townsend at Bloomberg have more.
 
----
 
The U.S. is concerned that voting machines will be hacked on election day. Remember that crazy 2000 election that was ultimately decided by the Supreme Court? Well, picture that scenario—except no one even knows where to start counting—since the entire system was hacked.
 
The problem is that with more than 9,000 voting districts in the U.S., it’s quite a task to monitor all those. So the Obama administration is considering whether to designate voting machines as “critical infrastructure”.
 
Check out Julie Hirschfeld Davis’ Coverage in The New York Times.
 
----
 
So if you’re in or around a court house, you may want to watch what you say—even if you’re talking to your own lawyer. Apparently, the FBI placed bugs in and around the San Mateo County courthouse while they were investigating an alleged foreclosed homes bid-rigging scheme. The FBI started out sending under-cover agents with wires, but apparently the agents fell out of favor with the suspects who began sharing less information with the undercover agents. So the FBI decided to try and capture the suspects’ conversations at the courthouse. But they went ahead and captured EVERYONE’S conversations—including people discussing their sex lives.
 
In any case, US District Judge Charles Breyer issued an order last week suppressing over 200 hours of audio recordings because he found the suspects had a legit expectation of privacy and so the surveillance tactic violated the Fourth Amendment. But technically, the FBI can keep placing bugs outside courthouses, since another federal judge in San Mateo issued the exact opposite ruling in another case—saying the suspects didn’t adequately protect their own privacy.
 
Joe Mullen covers this story over at Ars Technica.
 
----
 
Privacy Shield went into effect last week. That’s the privacy deal worked out between the U.S. and European Union after lawyer and PhD student Max Schrems — who is Austrian — successfully challenged Facebook’s privacy protection practices. Schrems filed 22 complaints against Facebook in Ireland, which ultimately led the EU to strike down the so called Safe Harbor—which for 16 years had governed transatlantic data exchanges between European citizens and servers in the United States. After the Safe Harbor was struck down, tech companies had to make individual agreements, which proved cumbersome, while the U.S. and E.U negotiated an alternative arrangement that would protect Europeans’ private data from the prying eyes of the National Security Agency.   The result is the Privacy Shield. But 28-year-old Schrems thinks Privacy Shield still isn’t good enough.
 
Adam Satariano and Stephanie Bodoni covered this for Bloomberg.
 
----
 
In a letter to Congress, the U.S. Copyright Office weighed in on the Federal Communications Commission’s proposed rules to open up set-top boxes to competition. The goal is to allow consumers to choose which set-top box they access content from, instead of being stuck with the box that they lease from their cable provider for an average of $231 per year. The U.S. Copyright Office wrote that the FCC’s proposed rules would give rise to widespread copyright infringement.
 
The Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Mitch Stolz argues that the Copyright Office’s legal analysis is full of holes, mainly because it fails to account for the fact that copyright law doesn’t confer any rights with respect to how the technology that consumers use to access the actual, copyrighted material, is designed.
 
Check out Mitch Stolz’ analysis at EFF and John Bergmayer analysis at Public Knowledge.
 
----
 
The Justice Department has decided it will not update the consent decrees performing rights organizations ASCAP and BMI entered into back in 1941. Those agreements set the standard for how media outlets would pay royalties. But, of course, the Internet wasn’t around then, and ASCAP and BMI had sought to have the consent decrees updated for the digital age. The Department of Justice declined and actually are adding a rule requiring ASCAP and BMI to get clearance from all of the artists who contributed to a song, and pay each of them their share of royalties. This is known as 100% licensing.
 
ASCAP and BMI, of course, were not happy with the decision, arguing that it would lead to musicians being paid less for their works.
 
Ben Sisario has the full story and analysis in the New York Times.
 
---
 
Finally, a former technician a the FBI has pled guilty to charges that he spied for the Chinese government, providing sensitive intelligence to Chinese officials, in exchange for travel reimbursements, cash and even prostitutes. Kun Shan Chun, a Chinese-born naturalized U.S. citizen faces 10 years in prison.
 
Camila Domonoske covered this story for NPR.
Aug 2, 2016

Jessica Gonzalez (@JGonzalezNHMC) is the Executive Vice President and General Counsel of the National Hispanic Media Coalition. Jessica oversees all NHMC operations from headquarters in Pasadena, California. Jessica has testified before the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House of Representatives, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), and has been interviewed on television and radio. Additionally, she played an instrumental role in drafting the historic Memorandum of Understanding between Comcast Corporation and leading national Latino leadership organizations. Before joining NHMC, Jessica was a staff attorney and clinical teaching fellow at Georgetown Law’s renowned Institute for Public Representation (IPR). At IPR Jessica represented NHMC and other consumer, civil rights and public interest organizations before the FCC, the NTIA and in the Courts of Appeal. While in law school, Jessica clerked at the Media Access Project in Washington, DC, and prior to law school she was a public high school teacher in Los Angeles, California. Jessica earned a Master of Laws (LLM) degree from Georgetown Law, a JD from Southwestern Law School, where she worked on the Journal of Law and Trade in the Americas and the Journal of International Media and Entertainment Law, and a BA in Communication Studies and Spanish from Loyola Marymount University. She is licensed to practice law in California and the District of Columbia. Jessica serves on the Executive Board of Directors of the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda and sits on the FCC’s Diversity and Open Internet advisory committees. In recognition of her public service accomplishments and commitment to mentoring, Harvard Law School selected Jessica as a Wasserstein Public Interest Fellow for the 2013-2014 school year.

In this episode, we discussed:

  • the relationship between media ownership diversity and hate speech.
  • the FCC's role in promoting media ownership diversity and where it has fallen short.
  • the psychological impact of hate speech.
  • how making broadband more affordable can help counter the effects of hate speech.

Resources:

National Hispanic Media Coalition

Why Not Me?  by Mindy Kaling

Jul 26, 2016

Jennifer Pozner (@jennpozner) is founder and executive director of Women In Media & News (WIMN), a media analysis, education and advocacy group. She’s also the author of  Reality Bites Back: The Troubling Truth About Guilty Pleasure TV.  

A widely published journalist, Jennifer serves on the board of editors of In These Timesmagazine. Her work has appeared in corporate media outlets such as Newsday, Chicago Tribune and the Boston Phoenix, independent magazines such as Ms. magazine, The American Prospect, and Bitch: Feminist Response to Pop Culture, and online media such as WomensEnews, AlterNet, and Salon, among others.

Jennifer has appeared as a media commentator on NBC, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, ABC News Now, GRITtv, Democracy Now!, National Public Radio, and Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.” She’s gone head to head with Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity and Joe Scarborough.

Forbes has named Jennifer one of “20 Inspiring Women To Follow On Twitter” and BizTech Day’s list of “25 Influential Business Women in New York City You Should Follow on Twitter” has included Jennifer  alongside Tyra Banks, Martha Stewart and Vera Wang.

In this episode we discussed:

  • tropes and archetypes in reality tv.
  • reality TV as anti-civil rights propaganda.
  • how reality TV affects young girls' perceptions of themselves in relation to the world.

Resources:

Reality Bites Back

The Crunk Feminist Collective

The Establishment

Feminist Blogosphere

We Were Feminists Once by Andi Zeisler

Jul 19, 2016

Matt Wood (@mattfwood) is Policy Director at Free Press. Matt helps shape Free Press’ efforts to protect the open internet, prevent media concentration, promote affordable broadband deployment and safeguard press freedom. He’s served as an expert witness before Congress on multiple occasions. Before joining Free Press, he worked at the public interest law firm Media Access Project and in the communications practice groups of two private law firms in Washington, D.C. Before that, he served as editor-in-chief for the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review, worked for PBS, and spent time at several professional and college radio and television stations. Matt earned his B.A. in film studies from Columbia University and his J.D. from Harvard Law School.

In this episode, we discussed:

  • how the telecom sector is likely to respond to the D.C. Circuit's recent decision to uphold the FCC's net neutrality rules.
  • legislative approaches and emerging business models which are potentially harmful to net neutrality principles despite the ruling.
  • how the relationship between traditional civil rights organizations and progressive groups is likely to evolve following ruling.

Resources

Free Press

U.S. Telecom v. FCC (D.C. Cir. 2016)

Jul 12, 2016

Marcus Jiménez is  Founder and CEO of Sticky Docs—a content creation, data visualization and publishing platform for enterprises of all kinds. In 2014, Sticky Docs was the winner of the Tabby Business Award for Best Enterprise Marketing app.  Marcus has also been recognized by Agency Post, the American Marketers Association, the Art Director’s Club, The Society of Publication Designers, and the ADCOLOR® Industry Coalition, where he was honored as a Change Agent Award Recipient, and currently serves on its Board of Directors.

In this episode, we discussed: 

  • a process for better storytelling to make your white papers and other information products more relevant and engaging.
  • Marcus' new incubator that helps entrepreneurs from underrepresented groups learn to run successful companies.
  • the top 3 things you should be doing to make your content stand out from the pack.

Resources

StickyDocs

HueCoLab

The Third Wave: An Entrepreneur's Vision of the Future by Steven Case

FlipBoard (iOS|Android)

Jun 7, 2016

Joe Torres (@JosephATorres) is Senior External Affairs Director at Free Press. Joseph advocates in Washington to ensure that our nation’s media policies serve the public interest and builds coalitions to broaden the movement's base. Joseph writes frequently on media and Internet issues and is the co-author of the New York Times bestseller News for All the People: The Epic Story of Race and the American Media.

He is the 2015 recipient of the Everett C. Parker Award, which recognizes an individual whose work embodies the principles and values of the public interest.

In this episode, we discussed:

  • The historic underpinnings of today's racial narrative in the media.
  • How net neutrality and the internet can circumvent persistent gaps in traditional media ownership diversity.
  • The policy implications arising from how consumers access news on modern platforms such as Facebook and Google.

Resources:

Free Press

News for All the People: The Epic Story of Race and the American Media by Juan Gonzalez and Joseph Torres (2012).

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander (2012)

Dark Matters: On the Surveillance of Blackness by Simone Brown (2015)

Forgotten Dead: Mob Violence Against Mexicans in the United States by William D. Carrigan (2013)

Latino USA Podcast

Microphone Check Podcast

Alt.Latino Radio

May 31, 2016
Bruce Lincoln (@brucelincoln) is the co-founder of Silicon Harlem, which is focused on transforming Harlem into a hub for tech and innovation. He is also a senior fellow of the Columbia University Institute for Tele-Information at the Columbia Business School, and was previously the entrepreneur in residence at Columbia’s Center for Technology, Innovation and Community Engagement (CTICE).
 
Bruce has been involved in cutting edge technology product development and technology commercialization since the late 80's, when as the first Ford Fellow in Educational Technology, he was one of the early CD ROM content developers for Apple. He also developed the first program to bring broadband to public schools in New York City.
 
In this episode we discussed:
  • How New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio's administration has worked to ensure New York City's tech sector is as diverse as the city itself.
  • How local community organizations such as Silicon Harlem can help ensure youth are engaged in tech from an early age.
  • How to use technology to stimulate mom-and-pop businesses in Harlem and beyond.

Resources

Silicon Harlem

The Structure of Scientific Revolutions by Thomas Kuhn

Constructivism, Technology, and the Future of Classroom Learning by Erik F. Strommen and Bruce Lincoln (Education & Urban Society, 1992)

May 24, 2016

Wayne Sutton (@waynesutton) is a serial entrepreneurCo-founder of Change catalyst . Change Catalyst is dedicated to exploring innovative solutions to diversity and inclusion in tech through the Tech Inclusion Conference, consulting and workshops. Wayne’s experience includes years of establishing partnerships with large brands to early stage startups. As a leading voice in diversity and inclusion in tech, Wayne shares his thoughts on solutions and culture in various media outlets where he has been featured in TechCrunch, USA Today, CNN, and The Wall Street Journal. In addition to mentoring and advising early stage startups, Wayne’s life goal is to educate entrepreneurs who are passionate about using technology to change the world.

In this episode we discussed:

  • The critical pain points tech companies are experiencing when it comes to diverse hiring.
  • Which tech companies are blazing trails in diversity, setting the standard for the rest of the industry.
  • How recent grads can cope with issues related to workplace discrimination and harassment.
  • How policy can help impact trends in diverse hiring in tech.

Resources

Change Catalyst

Diversity in High Tech Report by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (2016)

Mindset by Carol Dweck

Trello

Slack

Evernote

Headspace

Insight Timer (iTunes|Android)

Jawbone - Up 24

Nuzzle

May 17, 2016

Catherine McCullough (@TechonTires) ( is Executive Director of the Intelligent Car Coalition. Ms. McCullough was raised in Washington and has worked in politics and policy for over twenty-five years. She speaks regularly on issues such as data use, privacy, cybersecurity, autonomous vehicles, driver attention, the government’s role in technological innovation, and more.

Ms. McCullough is a regular contributor to The Huffington Post; serves on panels for conferences such as SXSW Interactive, CTIA Super Mobility, and CE Week-New York; has appeared on shows such as The Communicators; has published op-eds for beltway publications; and is regularly interviewed by media outlets that cover connected car issues. She is an attorney and also holds degrees in Journalism and Political Science.

Prior to her work with the Coalition, Ms. McCullough advised leading companies on critical public affairs matters and served as a Counsel for the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. At the Commerce Committee she worked on subcommittees that oversaw many Internet, privacy, auto safety, insurance, and consumer product liability issues.

In this episode, we discussed:

  • how the Department of Transportation classifies the different types of autonomous vehicles.
  • the likely timeline on which the auto industry will release autonomous vehicles to consumers.
  • the dangers of autonomous driving, particularly with respect to cybersecurity and distracted driving.

Resources

Intelligent Car Coalition (@TechonTires)

Drive Mode

Apr 26, 2016

Brian Woolfolk (@brianpwoolfolk) is a seasoned attorney with over 20 years of government relations and congressional investigations experience. He represents a broad array of clients with matters before Congress and federal agencies. Brian also counsels clients involved in high profile Congressional Investigations. In addition, he advises clients on compliance with federal election, lobbying disclosure and gift ban regulations.

Prior to his tenure in private practice, Brian served as a Democratic counsel on the US House Judiciary Committee and advised members and staff on constitutional, environmental, antitrust, criminal justice and investigative issues. Brian also served as legislative counsel to Congressman Robert C. (Bobby) Scott of Virginia, currently the Ranking Member of the Education and Workforce Committee.

In this episode we discussed:

  • How cable networks make money outside of advertising.
  • How the FCC's proposed set-top box rules can help improve content diversity.
  • The "big picture" of policies affecting modern media diversity.

Resources:

Unlock the Box

The Black Count by Tom Reiss

Apr 5, 2016

Beverly Parenti (@thebev) is co-founder and Executive Director of The Last Mile—a nonprofit focused on providing education and training inside prison that can result in gainful employment upon reentry, thereby reducing recidivism and helping redirect spending from prisons to education. 

 
Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan recently visited San Quentin prison to spend time with inmates who are participating in Last Mile’s coding boot camp called Code.7370. On the day of his visit, Zuckerberg wrote on Facebook QUOTE “We can’t jail our way to a just society.” END QUOTE
 
Last Mile’s programming is one of the most requested prison education programs in the U.S. It’s the FIRST program to offer a computer programming curriculum that teaches men and women to become software engineers. The Last Mile will be in six prisons (including 2 women’s facilities by the end of this year, and expand outside of California next year.
 
 
In this episode we discussed:
  • The critical need for programming to not only train inmates on technical skills, but also help them find redemption through their work.
  • How The Last Mile grew from an entrepreneurship training program into a program that includes software engineering as a central component.
  • How policymakers can begin to develop similar programs to help train inmates in their local detention facilities.
  • The Last Mile's revolutionary inmate training method that is spreading nationwide.

Resources:

The Last Mile

The Life We Bury by Allen Eskens

Mar 29, 2016

Yondi K. Morris-Andrews (@YondiMorris) is a founding partner of Knight, Morris & Reddick Law Group (@KMRLawGroup). She specializes in various practice areas including corporate, entertainment, and real estate transactions. With her corporate clients, Mrs. Morris-Andrews works mostly with start-up companies, offering them advice on how to form as an entity, while drafting and negotiating contracts on the company’s behalf. Morris-Andrews offers creative solutions for her entrepreneur clients, and is able to guide them as they grow from the start-up phase to experienced businesses. She has been hired by her clients to act as general counsel, handling any needs that might arise from the day-to-day responsibilities of running a business.

For her entertainment clients, Morris-Andrews drafts and reviews contracts including licensing, agent and artist agreements, and will negotiate deals on her client’s behalf. Ranging from an independent play writer to a talent management company, Morris-Andrews assists her clients in whatever their legal needs might be.

Another area of great interest to Morris-Andrews is real estate; representing clients in the buying and selling of both residential and commercial properties. Morris-Andrews works closely with clients and agents on her deals, and as a Chicago native, has insight regarding various neighborhoods and what her clients should consider when buying or selling their home.

Morris-Andrews is also a co-founder of KMR Legal Staffing.

Morris-Andrews earned her B.A. from Spelman College and J.D. from the Northwestern University School of Law.

In this episode we discussed:

  • KMR Law Group's amazing story about how they started and the road ahead.
  • How to choose a business structure.
  • Intellectual property pitfalls every startup should look out for.

Resources:

Knight, Morris & Reddick Law Group, LLC

KMR Law Group on Facebook

KMR Law Group on Instagram

KMR Legal Staffing

Year of Yes: How to Dance it Out, Stand in the Sun and Be Your Own Person by Shonda Rhimes

Wunderlist

Mar 22, 2016

John Bergmayer (@bergmayer) is a Senior Staff Attorney at Public Knowledge, specializing in telecommunications, Internet, and intellectual property issues. He advocates for the public interest before courts and policymakers, and works to make sure that all stakeholders--including ordinary citizens, artists, and technological innovators--have a say in shaping emerging digital policies.

In this episode we discussed:

  • a brief history of net neutrality, what it means and how we got to where we are today.
  • what "zero rating" is and how it affects media diversity, competition and consumers.
  • how Comcast's Stream TV may violate one of the promises Comcast made in exchange for the FCC's approval of its merger with NBC/Universal in 2011.
  • the factors the FCC will use to determine whether Comcast's "Stream TV" violates the FCC's net neutrality rules.

Resources

Public Knowledge

Public Knowledge's FCC Complaint Regarding Comcast's Stream TV Service

Google Inbox

The Comedians: Drunks, Thieves, Scoundrels and the History of American Comedy by Kliph Nesteroff

The Deal of the Century by Steve Coll

Mar 15, 2016

Lateef Mtima is a Professor of Law at the Howard University School of Law. After graduating with honors from Amherst College, Professor Mtima received his J.D. degree from Harvard Law School, where he was the co-founder and later editor-in-chief of the Harvard BlackLetter Journal.

He is admitted to the New York and Pennsylvania bars and has practiced intellectual property, bankruptcy, and commercial law, including a decade in private practice with the international law firm of Coudert Brothers.

Currently a member of the Advisory Council for the United States Court of Federal Claims, Professor Mtima has held the post of Distinguished Libra Visiting Scholar in Residence at the University of Maine School of Law, is a past President of the Giles S. Rich Inn of Court for the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, and was a member of the founding Editorial Board for the American Bar Association intellectual property periodical Landslide.

Professor Mtima is the Founder and Director of the Institute for Intellectual Property and Social Justice, an accredited Non-governmental Organization Member of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).

In this episode, we discussed

  • How intellectual property laws and policies can affect social justice outcomes.
  • The FCC's net neutrality rules and what's at stake for diverse content producers if the DC Circuit Court of Appeals strikes the rules down.
  • The state of play of the law regarding how the NCAA compensates student athletes.

Resources

Howard University's Intellectual Property Law Program

Institute for Intellectual Property and Social Justice

Intellectual Property, Entrepreneurship and Social Justice by Lateef Mtima (2015)

Diversity in Intellectual Property, Edited by Irene Calboli and Srividhya Ragavan (2015)

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