Bipartisan, bicameral LEADS Act essential to the future of digital privacy

Fred Humphries, Microsoft on the Issues Blog,  Friday, February 27, 2015

The bipartisan Law Enforcement Access to Data Stored Abroad (LEADS) Act of 2015, introduced today in the U.S. House of Representatives, offers essential reforms that rectify outdated privacy laws. We commend the sponsors – Reps. Tom Marino and Suzan DelBene – for introducing this critical legislation. Today’s introduction builds on what is now bipartisan, bicameral momentum for this effort. Senators Orrin Hatch, Chris Coons and Dean Heller introduced the Senate companion of LEADS earlier this month.

France asks U.S. authorities and Internet firms to cooperate more closely in terror investigations

Jeff Gould by Jeff Gould, SafeGov.org
Friday, February 27, 2015

On a recent visit to Silicon Valley, France’s Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve listed the reasons why he would like to see better U.S. cooperation in cases like the Charlie Hebdo attack. Before citing those reasons, let’s briefly review how things are supposed to work. Most countries have what are called Mutual Legal Assistance Treaties (MLATs) that establish standard procedures for cooperation with the police and legal authorities of other countries.

FCC Approves Net Neutrality Rules, Setting Stage For Legal Battle

Thomas Gryta, Wall Street Journal,  Thursday, February 26, 2015

The Federal Communications Commission voted Thursday to regulate Internet service like a public utility, expanding the U.S. government’s oversight of a once lightly regulated business at the center of the country’s commercial and social activity. The 3-2 vote, along party lines, starts the clock ticking on an expected legal challenge from the telecom and cable industries. The move marks a turn in the government’s approach to the Internet—from a hands off policy dating back two decades to encourage the Web’s growth to a more interventionist posture as commercial issues have multiplied.

Google's Quiet Dominance Over The 'Ad Tech' Industry

Allen Grunes, Forbes,  Thursday, February 26, 2015

A few months ago, display advertising on the Internet mysteriously vanished for more than an hour. On more than 55,000 websites such as BuzzFeed and Forbes, spaces that usually display advertisements went blank. It turned out that Google’s behemoth online advertising platform, DoubleClick, was to blame. The DoubleClick ad server had crashed, disrupting the entire infrastructure by which advertisers buy billions of dollars of ads across millions of websites. Think about it: In an era of global competition, one company’s network crash broke the Internet.

Kudos to the FCC

Tracy Mitrano, Inside Higher Ed,  Thursday, February 26, 2015

Wow, they did it, they really did it! The F.C.C. revised its initial rule offering about net neutrality and fast lanes to change the Internet categorization from “information service” to “telecommunications” and brought the entire mobile phone market also into that umbrella. That process was a true demonstration of democracy in action as the shift responded to the over four million comments to the original proposal and a strongly worded intention by President Obama last November. Here is what we all hope to see as a result of this new categorization: resources to build out broadband, improve disability services and create greater digital and information literacies

Oakland Police Test Cloud Storage for Body Camera Video

Justine Brown, Government Technology,  Thursday, February 26, 2015

The Oakland, Calif., Police Department is piloting a new Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS)-capable cloud storage platform for body-worn camera video that may help officers better manage the deluge of video they now capture and store. “Many police departments have told us they have been unable to explore the benefits of the cloud due to concerns with CJIS security policies,” said Steve Lovell, former president of VIEVU, a Seattle-based maker of wearable police cameras. In response, VIEVU and Microsoft recently collaborated to make a CJIS-capable version of VIEVU’s VERIPATROL platform for the Microsoft Azure Government cloud. “Because VIEVU is CJIS-capable, police departments will be able to use the cloud to view, modify and share video data with a convenient, on-demand solution that is capable of meeting regulatory requirements,” said Lovell.

How much cloud is too much cloud?

Colby Hochmuth, FCW,  Thursday, February 26, 2015

The average public sector organization uses 721 cloud services. A recent study found that only one third of federal agencies met a June 2014 deadline to meet FedRAMP security guidelines -- but that report didn’t cover what cloud services employees are bringing to work with them, known as shadow IT. Skyhigh Networks’ fourth quarter 2014 report looked at what cloud services are most prevalent in government organizations and the risks associated with such services.

Data protection rules: the overlooked reason for Apple’s Athenry move

Karlin Lillington, Irish Times,  Thursday, February 26, 2015

As the EU prepares its new data protection Regulation, indications are that data protection challenges will be handled by the data protection commissioner in the country in which a multinational has its EU headquarters. For many of the big data handling tech companies, that country is already, Ireland. Yet even having a data centre well-placed in Europe might not be enough to shield data from the long arm of US law. The current, ongoing American court case in the US in which Microsoft is contesting the right of a US court to directly demand the company hand over emails held in its Irish data centre highlights the real concerns big data multinationals now have - and the alarm customers outside the US may feel if such access is deemed lawful. That’s why so many technology companies have rowed in behind Microsoft in this critical case. If Microsoft loses this case, it is no overstatement to say the future of big data businesses and cloud computing looks utterly chaotic.

Privacy and cybersecurity get political legs

Cameron F. Kerry, Brookings,  Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Seeing cybersecurity and privacy take center stage in recent months has been a striking turn. A week ago, I joined some 800 government and industry leaders mixed with Stanford students at the White House Summit on Cybersecurity and Consumer Protection, where President Obama signed an executive order to improve cyber threat information-sharing. He and other members of his administration renewed calls for legislation to encourage such sharing by providing liability protection and guarding how personal information is shared; and corporate executives made up an amen chorus for use of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to manage cyber risk.

10 Cloud Roadblocks and What to Do About Them

Mike Ferrara, CMSWire,  Wednesday, February 25, 2015

As organizations face growing pressure to properly manage their digital content growth, cloud vendors have been marching out a series of improvements in an attempt to gain their favor. One such example is Microsoft’s recent announcement about achieving ISO 27018 and HITRUST compliance. Consumer cloud services are ubiquitous and cloud adoption is steadily climbing in the enterprise. Yet IT organizations still lack experience on how to approach cloud services.