congress

November 19, 2019

A group of top Democratic senators from four key committees on Monday unveiled their priorities for the nation's first comprehensive privacy bill, reinvigorating a debate that had stalled for months on Capitol Hill. Some of the proposals set out by the Democrats could be non-starters for Republicans, including the clause that would allow users to sue companies over privacy violations and the fact that it does not override state privacy legislation.

November 17, 2019

Once again, Congress is poised to approve a second continuing resolution (CR) to keep the U.S. government running when the current resolution expires Nov. 21. As some congressional leaders noted, it is unlikely Congress will reach agreement on any of the 12 fiscal year (FY) 2020 spending bills by the expiration date, raising serious concerns that funding will remain flat for government agencies into, or even through, 2020.

November 15, 2019

Over the last 12 years, the U.S. patent system largely has become a compulsory licensing system, and increasingly so. This obviously has ramifications for all patent owners. And during this time period, Congress also passed the America Invents Act, which created what’s known as the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), which has made it more easy to invalidate patents in the United States. As it turns out, 90% of patents that actually get to a final decision at the PTAB are found to have a mistake.

November 14, 2019

This bill expands and improves upon the bipartisan legislation Sen. Cruz introduced in December 2018 and provides the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) the clear direction needed to advance our nation's space initiatives and investments and assert the United States' global leadership in the final frontier.

November 07, 2019

Nearly half of all public schools are considered rural and more than nine million students in the United States--roughly 20 percent of all schoolchildren--attend rural schools. Rural schools face unique barriers to providing STEM education, including a shortage of science and math teachers, high teacher turnover, and difficulty accessing online and computer-based technology.

November 06, 2019

A pair of California Democratic lawmakers on Tuesday introduced a tough privacy bill that would significantly curtail Silicon Valley's control over all Americans' personal information. The bill, introduced by Reps. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) and Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.), would create a new federal agency to oversee how the country's largest and most powerful tech companies amass and use data about their millions of users across the U.S. It would also grant all users expansive rights over their data.

November 06, 2019

Four members of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee from both sides of the aisle introduced a bill Tuesday to expand America's cybersecurity workforce. The Harvesting American Cybersecurity Knowledge through Education Act would enhance existing science education and cybersecurity programs in the National Institute of Standards and Technology, National Science Foundation, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and Department of Transportation.

November 03, 2019

The Senate passed a spending bill Oct. 31 that provides $22.75 billion for NASA in fiscal year 2020, but final agreement on funding for agency programs may still be weeks, if not months, away. On an 84–9 vote, the Senate approved a so-called “minibus” appropriations bill that combined several separate measures, including the commerce, justice and science (CJS) bill that funds NASA, NOAA and the National Science Foundation, among other agencies.

November 01, 2019

There’s nothing “free” about what companies like Facebook and Google are offering, Warner said. Established companies don’t want more transparency about how data is monetized and whether it differentiates among individuals. Whether or not data is considered property, said Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., companies are making money off its value. Out of the 95 billion dollars Facebook made last year, he said, most of the revenue came from targeted advertisements.

October 28, 2019

Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.) in letters to Amazon and Google this week raised concerns that smart speakers are "eavesdropping" on customers without their consent. In a pair of letters on Thursday, Dingell pressed Amazon executive Jeff Bezos and Google CEO Sundar Pichai over how they vet applications running on Amazon's Alexa and Google Assistant.

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