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House approves use of Skype, ooVoo

June 28, 2011 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Members of the House and their constituents can now get more face time with each other - on their computers. On Tuesday, the House Administration Committee overcame security fears and finally approved the official use of Skype and ooVoo, video conferencing software that allows users to make calls over the ...

Google gives user data to U.S. government in almost all cases

June 28, 2011 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Google disclosed on Monday that law enforcement agencies in the United States requested user data from the company more than 8,000 times last year. As part of its Transparency Report feature, which also tracks requests to remove information, Google noted that it had processed 8,888 government requests in the United ...

Internet providers likely critical under White House cyber policy

June 22, 2011 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Internet service providers, banks, and hospitals could face federal regulation under the White House's cybersecurity proposals, top administration officials told the Senate on Tuesday. Although the legislation proposed by the White House doesn't specifically outline what private sector industries could be considered "critical infrastructure" and thus subject to more government ...

Compromise lets House start patent-bill debate

June 21, 2011 FROM NEXTGOV arrow A compromise over sweeping patent-reform legislation has cleared the way for floor debate in the House on Wednesday, but the White House%C2%A0 expressed skepticism on Tuesday about how well the fix would work. The bill, called the America Invents Act, has been held up because of a dispute over so-called ...

FCC announces plans to crack down on unauthorized phone charges

June 20, 2011 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski said on Monday he will be announcing new rules to prevent deceptive charges on telephone bills. Last week, the FCC proposed fining four companies almost $12 million for billing customers for unauthorized phone charges, a practice known as "cramming." The companies will have a ...

Interior Department turns to crowdsourcing for new logo

June 17, 2011 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The Interior Department's new logo - whatever it ends up looking like - will be a product of crowdsourcing enabled by new technology unheard of when the agency's current seal was developed nearly 100 years ago. The famous seal featuring an American bison won't be going anywhere. Rather, the Interior ...

FCC: Should the government save the media?

June 9, 2011 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Federal regulations designed to ensure that broadcasters serve the public interest are broken, allowing stations to dump local-news reporting and lowering standards for news ranging from international developments to government scandals, the Federal Communications Commission said on Thursday. "Over time, court rulings, constitutional concerns, and FCC decisions have left a ...

FCC: Should the government save the media?

June 9, 2011 Federal regulations designed to ensure that broadcasters serve the public interest are broken, allowing stations to dump local-news reporting and lowering standards for news ranging from international developments to government scandals, the Federal Communications Commission said on Thursday. "Over time, court rulings, constitutional concerns, and FCC decisions have left a ...

Commerce calls for voluntary cybersecurity codes

June 8, 2011 FROM NEXTGOV arrow A Commerce Department report on cybersecurity contained few specifics on protecting information networks, but that didn't seem to bother industry coalitions and privacy groups that oppose strict government involvement in cybersecurity. Business groups welcomed the Commerce Department's call for voluntary codes of conduct to keep information safe on the Internet. ...

GPS industry and LightSquared spar over responsibility for interference issue

June 8, 2011 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The GPS industry and the wireless broadband company LightSquared joined forces to test whether the nationwide broadband network that LightSquared plans to build would cause interference for the GPS system. But as preliminary reports indicate that the network could, in fact, render GPS devices useless, the partnership is ending fast ...