Tag Archive | Senate

Senate Holds Hearing on Drones

WASHINGTON, D.C.— The U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation held a hearing on Wednesday, January 15, 2014, at 2:30 p.m. to examine the growth of unmanned aerial systems (UAS), commonly referred to as “drones”, in the United States, including the potential economic benefits of drone operations, and the progress of steps taken to facilitate the development of the industry through the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 (P.L. 112-95). The hearing included consideration of safety and privacy issues surrounding the operation of drones in the United States.

Watch the video of the hearing here.

Majority Statement

Senator John D. (Jay) Rockefeller IV
Chairman
U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation

Panel Testimony

Texas proposes one of nation’s “most sweeping” mobile privacy laws

by Cyrus Farivar, Ars Technica, March 6, 2013

Privacy experts say that a pair of new mobile privacy bills recently introduced in Texas are among the “most sweeping” ever seen. And they say the proposed legislation offers better protection than a related privacy bill introduced this week in Congress.If passed, the new bills would establish a well-defined, probable-cause-driven warrant requirement for all location information. That’s not just data from GPS, but potentially pen register, tap and trace, and tower location data as well. Such data would be disclosed to law enforcement “if there is probable cause to believe the records disclosing location information will provide evidence in a criminal investigation.”

For full text of the article, please visit Texas proposes one of nation’s “most sweeping” mobile privacy laws | Ars Technica.

 

California Location Privacy bill moves to full Senate vote

By Michelle Maltais, LA Times, May 1, 2012

Most of the California Location Privacy Bill to require a warrant to access location information from cellphones is moving on for consideration by the full Senate. What isn’t moving forward is the section requiring wireless providers to produce a detailed report on the information they provide to government agencies. Senate Bill 1434, introduced by state Sen. Mark Leno (D-San Francisco), was recently approved by the Senate Public Safety Committee with an amendment.

For full text of the article, visit California Location Privacy bill moves to full Senate vote – latimes.com.

Is Google Drone View in Our Future? US Airspace Opened for Commercial and Private Drones

English: Wasp IIII small unmanned aircraft system

Image via Wikipedia

Congress Welcomes the Drones by Kashmir Hill, Forbes, February 7, 2012

The Senate passed a $63 billion bill Monday to provide four years of funding for the Federal Aviation Administration.  … The FAA is also required under the bill to provide military, commercial and privately-owned drones with expanded access to U.S. airspace currently reserved for manned aircraft by Sept. 30, 2015. That means permitting unmanned drones controlled by remote operators on the ground to fly in the same airspace as airliners, cargo planes, business jets and private aircraft. … Once the FAA changes the rules, a company such as Google for example could finally buy drones and use them for mapping purposes. …

For full text of the article, visit Congress Welcomes The Drones – Forbes. See also the summary with links on Secrecy News Blog, click here.

GAO to Evaluate Federal Coordinating Investments in Geospatial Data

Government Accountability Office

Image by dcdan via Flickr

In a letter dated December 8, 2010 from the GAO to Mr. Douglas A. Glenn, Director, Office of Financial Management, Department of the Interior:

“The General Accountability Office (GAO) is initiating an evaluation of Federal initiatives aimed at coordinating investments in geospatial data — specifically, activities coordinated by the Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) and OMB. …. GAO is beginning this work in response to a request made by the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.

The two key questions for this engagement are:

1. Have Federal initiatives been effectively established and implemented to coordinate investments in geospatial data?
2. Does unnecessary duplication of investments in geospatial data continue to exist?”

The GAO conducted a similar study in 2004, titled “Geospatial Information: Better Coordination Needed to Identify and Reduce Duplicative Investments? (GAO-04-703, June 2004).”

To conduct this evaluation, the GAO plans to contact representatives from DOI and OMB, as well as members of the Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) Executive Committee, Steering Committee, Coordination Group, Secretariat staff, other working groups, and community.

TODAY: Senate Hearing on Privacy and Data Security

Privacy and Data Security: Protecting Consumers in the Modern World

Jun 29 2011 at 10:00 AM in the Russell Senate Office Building – 253

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Chairman John D. (Jay) Rockefeller IV today announced a full committee hearing on privacy and data security. The hearing will examine how entities collect, maintain, secure, and use personal information in today’s economy and whether consumers are adequately protected under current law. The Commerce Committee will hear from representatives from relevant government agencies as well as business and consumer advocate stakeholders.

Please note the hearing will also be webcast live via the Senate Commerce Committee website at http://commerce.senate.gov.

Witness Panel 1

Witness Panel 2

  • Mr. Scott Taylor, Vice President and Chief Privacy Officer, Hewlett-Packard Company
  • Mr. Stuart Pratt, President and CEO, Consumer Data Industry Association
  • Ms. Ioana Rusu, Regulatory Counsel, Consumers Union
  • Mr. Tim Schaaff, President, Sony Network Entertainment International
  • Mr. Thomas M. Lenard Ph.D., President and Senior Fellow, Technology Policy Institute

via Hearings – U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, & Transportation.

Storm Brewing: Commercial Data Bill Of Rights Introduced

by Dan Rowinski, ReadWriteWeb, April 18, 2011 8:15 AM

Senators John Kerry, and John McCain introduced a bill to the Senate floor last week entitled “The Commercial Privacy Bill Of Rights” that would reform and codify how Internet user data could be used online.On the surface, this seems like the type of altruistic bill that falls in to the no-brainer area of Congressional legislation. Privacy, protection, trust, accountability. All the good political buzzwords apply. Yet, it is not that simple. Data is the lifeblood of the Web and the use of consumer data and the bill would allow the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Commerce to have a significant hand in regulation of how data is collected and used by companies. Advertisers, innovators and consumer groups are concerned with the bill, not so much because of the wording of the legislation, but rather the amount of control it places in the hands of the FTC and whether or not that is necessary.

via Storm Brewing: Commercial Data Bill Of Rights Introduced.

Senate Commerce Committee Hearing on NASA Budget

Realizing NASA’s Potential: Programmatic Challenges in the 21st Century

NASA

Tuesday, Mar 15 2011 2:30 PM, Russell Senate Office Building – Room 253, Washington, D.C.

The U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation announces the following full committee hearing titled, Realizing NASA’s Potential: Programmatic Challenges in the 21st Century. Witnesses include: Mr. Douglas R. Cooke Associate Administrator, Exploration Systems Mission Directorate; Mr. William Gerstenmaier, Associate Administrator, Space Operations Mission Directorate; Mr. Leland D. Melvin, Associate Administrator, Education; Dr. Jaiwon Shin, Associate Administrator, Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate; Dr. Edward J. Weiler, Associate Administrator, Science Mission Directorate; Dr. Woodrow Whitlow Jr., Associate Administrator, Mission Support Directorate.

 

Two High-priority Climate Missions Dropped from NASA’s Budget Plans

By Turner Brinton, Space News, February 25, 2011

WASHINGTON — Even though NASA’s Earth science budget is slated to rise next year, the U.S. space agency has been ordered by the White House to shelve a pair of big-ticket climate change missions that just last year were planned for launch by 2017. With U.S. President Barack Obama under pressure to rein in federal spending, the White House eliminated funding for the Climate Absolute Radiance and Refractivity Observatory (CLARREO) and Deformation, Ecosystem Structure and Dynamics of Ice (DESDynI) missions, Steve Volz, associate director for flight programs at NASA’s Earth Science Division, said in a Feb. 24 interview. The multiyear budget plan NASA sent Congress a year ago called for spending $1.2 billion between 2012 and 2015 to develop CLARREO and DESDynI, two of the four top-tier missions recommended by the National Research Council’s 2007 Earth Science decadal survey.  …

For full text of the article, visit: Two High priority Climate Missions Dropped from NASAs Budget Plans | SpaceNews.com.

Defining Internet “freedom”: Ars interviews Senator Al Franken

Al Franken, Senator from Minnesota

Image via Wikipedia

Defining Internet “freedom”: Ars interviews Senator Al Franken

By Nate Anderson, Arc Technica, February 28, 2011

Since winning election to the US Senate in 2008, Al Franken (D-MN) has become one of that chamber’s top net neutrality defenders. With the House uninterested in compromise on the issue, the real push to gut the FCC‘s existing net neutrality order will take place this year in the Senate. … Franken has even gone so far as to call net neutrality the “First Amendment issue of our time.” Those are tough words, but Franken remains convinced of their truth, even as he supports a controversial plan to censor websites over concerns about piracy and counterfeiting. (That legislation, called the Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act or COICA, is currently under consideration.) Franken carved a few minutes out of his busy schedule to speak with Ars about net neutrality, the ways that elected officials talk about it, and why COICA really isn’t a bad idea—it just needs a few tweaks and a new coat of paint. …

For full text of article, visit Defining Internet “freedom”: Ars interviews Senator Al Franken.

Two-week measure postpones shutdown

Two-week measure postpones shutdown

By: David Rogers, Politico, February 25, 2011 10:29 AM EST

Threats of a government shutdown next week had all but disappeared by late Friday as Democrats reacted favorably to a Republican plan that would keep agencies operating past Mar. 4 while making a first down payment toward a larger budget deal.The two-week peace is only temporary but gives House and Senate leaders through Mar 18 to try to resolve conservative demands for more than $60 billion in spending cuts, all concentrated in the second half of this fiscal year.

For full article, visit Two-week measure postpones shutdown – POLITICO.com Print View.

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