ACM Washington Update
September 5, 2014
Vol. 18, Issue 8
ACM Washington Update


CONTENTS:


NEWSLETTER HIGHLIGHTS

ACM Washington Update recaps ACM’s initiatives in the U.S. technology policy arena monthly.  Please forward this newsletter to friends and colleagues in the computing community.  View more details on each item below, as well as on the blog. Follow USACM on Twitter and Facebook

  • The White House launches the U.S. Digital Service to improve the digital experience of citizens and companies interacting with the government.
  • Randal Bryant, an ACM Fellow and former dean of Carnegie Mellon University's School of Computer Science, has accepted an assignment with the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) to work on Big Data issues.
  • The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and the National Economic Council invite public input on the 2015 update of the Strategy for American Innovation.
  • The U.S. Department of Justice is accepting comments on proposed changes to its regulations for captioning and audio descriptions in movie theaters under Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
  • The National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) requests feedback on the voluntary Cybersecurity Framework for reducing cyber risks to critical infrastructure.

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WHITE HOUSE LAUNCHES U.S. DIGITAL SERVICE AND DIGITAL RESOURCES

The White House announced the launch of the U.S. Digital Service, a team of experts that will work to improve the digital experience for citizens and companies interacting with the government. It will be led by Mikey Dickerson, who was an integral part of the team that helped revamp the HealthCare.gov website. It is comparable to the 18F team at the General Services Administration, an in-house innovation center similar to those more commonly found outside of government. Both encourage the reuse of government-derived code and open source code when practical.
 
The Administration released the Digital Services Playbook, a baker's dozen of 'plays' derived from best practices in digital services. In addition, a TechFAR Handbook identifies parts of the Federal Acquisition Regulation designed to implement Digital Services Playbook plays.

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ACM FELLOW RANDAL BRYANT JOINS WHITE HOUSE STAFF TO TACKLE BIG DATA

Randal Bryant, a Professor of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University, has accepted a temporary assignment to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). Bryant, an ACM Fellow since 2000 and the 1998 recipient of ACM's Paris Kanellakis Theory and Practice Award, will work on Big Data issues as an adviser to OSTP Deputy Director for Policy Tom Kalil. As Assistant Director for Information Technology Research and Development, he expects to work on applications of large-scale information sources to government operations.
 
Bryant recently completed a decade of service as Dean of Carnegie Mellon's School of Computer Science, and has been with the university for 30 years. Bryant's research is in formal verification of hardware systems, and his Kanellakis Award recognized his work in symbolic model checking.

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WHITE HOUSE INVITES PUBLIC COMMENTS ON STRATEGY FOR AMERICAN INNOVATION

The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and the National Economic Council invite public input on the 2015 update of the Strategy for American Innovation, last updated in 2011. Comments are due by September 23.
 
Among the 25 questions in the call for comments, the strategy requests specific comments on new challenges and opportunities for intellectual property given the increased diversity of models in the digital marketplace, including big data-driven and Internet-enabled innovation. The announcement also asks for comments on skilled workforce development, education, and R&D priorities.
 
For additional information, read an overview of the current Strategy for American Innovation. For specific topics, browse the Table of Contents.

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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE INVITES PUBLIC COMMENTS ON MOVIE CAPTIONING AND AUDIO DESCRIPTIONS

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) is accepting comments on proposed changes to its regulations for captioning and audio descriptions in movie theaters under Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The proposed rule strengthens requirements for movie theaters to provide effective communications for patrons with hearing and vision disabilities through access to text-based captions and audio descriptions. Comments are due September 30.
 
The DOJ requirements include:
  • Closed or open captions and audio descriptions for movies shown with digital cinema systems
  • Number of captioning and audio devices available for patrons based on number of seats
  • Trained staff for operating and demonstrating the equipment
  • Public information about caption and audio availability
 
The DOJ also is seeking input on setting a compliance date for the remaining analog screens.
 

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NIST CONTINUES TO TAKE FEEDBACK ON THE CYBERSECURITY FRAMEWORK

The National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) posted a Request for Information on the Cybersecurity Framework, with an October 10 deadline for comments. Developed and administered by NIST, the first version of the Framework was released in February, along with a Roadmap.
 
The broad categories in the NIST request are:
  • Awareness of the Cybersecurity Framework
  • Experiences wth the Cybersecurity Framework
  • Roadmap for the future of the Cybersecurity Framework
 
NIST is hosting its 6th workshop on the Framework October 29-30 in Tampa. An agenda is not yet available, but NIST indicates the target audiences are owners and operators of critical infrastructure and cybersecurity staff. Registration is available online.

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ABOUT

About Washington Update -- ACM Washington Update is produced by the ACM Public Policy Office. It highlights activities of the U.S. Public Policy Council of ACM (USACM), and the ACM Education Policy Committee (EPC) as well as other events in Washington that affect the computing community.

About USACM -- The U.S. Public Policy Council of ACM (USACM) is the focal point for ACM's interactions with U.S. government organizations, the computing community, and the U.S. public in all matters of U.S. public policy related to information technology.

About EPC -- The ACM Education Policy Committee engages policymakers and the public on public policy issues that relate to computing and computer science and the computing field.

Views expressed are not necessarily those of ACM. To send comments, please write to acmpo@hq.acm.org.

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