Tag Archive | Public Policy and Regulation

Best Practices for Managing IP in Citizen Science

Teresa Scassa and Haewon Chung have published a blog post summarizing their two new reports and accompanying brief on the intellectual property issues of cReportcoveritizen science:

Titled Best Practices for Managing Intellectual Property Rights in Citizen Sciencethis brief is a guide for both citizen science researchers and participants. It covers topics such as the reasons why IP rights should be taken into account in citizen science, the types of rights that are relevant, how they might arise, and how they can be managed. We provide an explanation of licensing, giving specific examples and even parse license terms. The paper concludes with a discussion of best practices for researchers and a checklist for citizen science participants.

You can read the full reports here and here. And you can watch Teressa and Haewon discussing their report on the Commons Lab panel.

Open Government Directive: Informing Consumers through Smart Disclosure

Thank you to Beth Simone Noveck for heads up on smart data disclosure memo from OMB Administrator Cass R. Sunstein, dated September 8, 2011, “reaffirming relevance of high value data in addition to data about government.” http://ow.ly/6uPsp 

OMB Paperwork Reduction Act & Information Collection Budget for FY 2010

Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA),8 the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is required to report to Congress on the paperwork burden imposed on the public by the Federal Government and on efforts to reduce that burden. For over 30 years, OMB has complied with this requirement by issuing an Information Collection Budget (ICB). The 2011 ICB reports on the paperwork burden imposed on the public during fiscal year (FY) 2010 and explores other issues with respect to implementation of the PRA. The 2011 ICB is available on OMB’s website at: http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/inforeg_infocoll/

How Technology Is Testing the Fourth Amendment

By Jennifer Valentino-DeVries, Digits, Wall Street Journal, September 22, 2011

The Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution protects against “unreasonable searches and seizures” – but what does that mean when it comes to techniques that use technology rather than a physical search that is easy to see? In many ways, it remains unclear. But there a few key issues that courts have been considering lately when it comes to this question. First up: whether the activity being observed by the technology is outside or inside a person’s house. …

For full text of the article, visit: How Technology Is Testing the Fourth Amendment – Digits – WSJ.

E-Gov: Performance Measures for Projects Aimed at Promoting Innovation and Transparency Can Be Improved

GAO-11-775 September 23, 2011

Summary: Congress enacted the Electronic Government (E-Gov) Act in 2002 to promote better use of the Internet and other information technologies (IT), thereby improving government services for citizens, internal government operations, and opportunities for citizen participation in government. Among other things, the act established the E-Gov Fund to support projects that expand the government’s ability to carry out its activities electronically. The act also created the Office of Electronic Government within the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). The Administrator of this office is to assist the OMB Director in approving projects to be supported by the E-Gov Fund. The General Services Administration (GSA) is responsible for administering the fund and notifying Congress of how the funds are to be allocated to projects approved by OMB. GAO was asked to (1) identify and describe the projects supported by the E-Gov Fund, including the distribution of fiscal year 2010 funds among the projects and their expected benefits; and (2) for selected projects, identify their progress against goals. To do this, GAO reviewed project and funding documentation, analyzed project goals, and interviewed agency officials. Read More…

Federal Legislation Introduced Regarding Geolocation Information

Daren M. Orzechowski, Allison M. Dodd, Imtiaz Yakub, White & Case, LLC, September 2011

The collection, use and disclosure of geolocation information [(i.e., geographic location)] obtained from customers’ mobile devices has become commonplace among mobile phone providers and third party application developers. … Current federal law allows companies to collect and share this information with third parties without the need to obtain consent from their customers. … In response to these privacy concerns, two federal bills, the Location Privacy Protection Act (“LPPA”) and the Geolocational Privacy and Surveillance Act (“GPS Act”), were recently introduced. If enacted, this legislation would restrict the collection and use by non-governmental entities (and, in the case of the LPPA only, governmental entities including law enforcement agencies) of geolocation information collected by mobile devices without consumer consent. …

For full text of the article, visit White & Case LLP – Publications – Federal Legislation Introduced Regarding Geolocation Information.

New LightSquared Plan Fails To Ease GPS Interference Worries

By Debra Werner, Space News, September 9, 2011

SAN FRANCISCO — A recent proposal by LightSquared to modify its plans to deploy a U.S. broadband network in a way that would decrease its interference with GPS receivers has done little to allay concerns raised by representatives of federal agencies that rely on precise GPS signals for transportation, communications, weather forecasting, disaster response and scientific research. Government executives testifying Sept. 8 before the U.S. House Science, Space and Technology Committee called for additional testing of the proposed LightSquared network in light of the company’s plan submitted June 30 to the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to mitigate its interference on GPS receivers by concentrating its initial service to a 10-megahertz block of the L-band spectrum that is farther from the GPS spectrum band than the portion of the spectrum the Reston, Va.-based startup previously planned to use. That proposal was submitted to the FCC shortly after a government working group completed extensive testing of the LightSquared network and concluded that it would cause serious interference with GPS receivers.

For full text of the article, visit New LightSquared Plan Fails To Ease GPS Interference Worries | SpaceNews.com.

House Technology and Innovation Subcommittee Hearing – Cloud Computing

Subcommittee on Technology and Innovation | 2318 Rayburn House Office Building Washington, D.C. 20515 | 09/21/2011 – 10:00am – 12:00pm

The Next IT Revolution?: Cloud Computing Opportunities and Challenges


  • Mr. Michael Capellas, Chairman and CEO, Virtual Computing Environment Company
  • Dr. Dan Reed, Corporate Vice President, Technology Policy Group, Microsoft Corporation
  • Mr. Nick Combs, Federal Chief Technology Officer, EMC Corporation
  • Dr. David McClure, Associate Administrator, Office of Citizen Services and Innovative Technologies, General Services Administration

via Technology and Innovation Subcommittee Hearing – Cloud Computing | Committee on Science – U.S. House of Representatives.

New Congressional Research Reports on Major Disasters and Emergencies | Secrecy News

From Secrecy News, September 16, 2011:

  • “Climate Change: Conceptual Approaches and Policy Tools,” August 29, 2011
  • “Homeland Security Department: FY2012 Appropriations,” September 2, 2011
  • “Congressional Primer on Major Disasters and Emergencies,” August 31, 2011

For links to the PDF CRS reports, visit Secrecy News.

Sifting Fact from Fiction: The Role of Social Media in Conflict

Live webcast from the US Institute of Peace:

This Blogs & Bullets meeting will bring together the companies that sift through and sell this data with the activists that create it and the policy-makers who use it. We will look at the cutting-edge of technologies for analysis with experts from around the world in an effort to expand our ability to harness these new platforms for conflict management and peacebuilding. The event will be webcast live beginning at 9:00am EDT on September 16, 2011.

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