AUTHOR ARCHIVES

Laura Ryan

National Journal Laura is a staff correspondent for National Journal covering technology. She is grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, and attended Wellesley College, where she received a B.A. in American Studies.
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Monkeys Can't Get a Copyright

August 22, 2014 If a monkey takes a selfie, it does not qualify for copyright protection in the U.S., even if the monkey's skills rival those of Kim Kardashian. The same goes for portrait-painting elephants. In the newest edition of the office's guidelines released Tuesday, the U.S. Copyright Office is crystal-clear that only ...

The Real Reason You Can’t Text 911

August 8, 2014 Imagine there is an intruder in your home. You are hiding under the bed. You have your cell phone. Dialing 911 might give away your hiding place, so you decide to send a text message. You better hope you live in Vermont, Maine, or one among the handful of counties ...

The Real Reason You Can’t Text 911

August 8, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Imagine there is an intruder in your home. You are hiding under the bed. You have your cell phone. Dialing 911 might give away your hiding place, so you decide to send a text message. You better hope you live in Vermont, Maine, or one among the handful of counties ...

The FCC Is Getting Serious About Enforcing Its Last Remaining Net-Neutrality Rule

July 23, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The Federal Communications Commission warned Internet providers on Wednesday that they will face penalties if they mislead their customers about the connection speeds they're offering. This rule, called the "Open Internet Transparency Rule," is the only surviving piece of the net-neutrality rules struck down by a federal court in February. ...

Teachers Give Failing Grade to Obama's Push for Tech in Schools

June 24, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Teachers are unimpressed with the Obama administration's plan to upgrade technology in schools. Dennis Van Roekel, the president of the National Education Association, said he is "beyond frustrated" with a plan announced Friday by Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler. "We feel the chairman is missing the opportunity to seize ...

Why Terrorists Love Twitter

June 2, 2014 "Try to think like a terrorist for a second. Would you like to get—free-of-charge—satellite services? Of course, you would," says Gabriel Weimann. "Now think about Google Earth." Indeed, it was Google Earth that members of the terrorist group Lashkar-e-Tayyiba used to help plan the 2008 Mumbai terror spree that killed ...

Why Terrorists Love Twitter

June 2, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow "Try to think like a terrorist for a second. Would you like to get—free-of-charge—satellite services? Of course, you would," says Gabriel Weimann. "Now think about Google Earth." Indeed, it was Google Earth that members of the terrorist group Lashkar-e-Tayyiba used to help plan the 2008 Mumbai terror spree that killed ...

FTC Lifts the Veil on Companies That Sell Your Data

May 27, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Do data brokers know more about you than your own mother? The Federal Trade Commission Congress thinks they might, and the agency released a report Tuesday urging Congress to push for more transparency and accountability for the companies that harvest and sell consumer information. "The extent of consumer profiling today ...

The FCC Chief Just Told the Cable Execs to 'Put Away Their Party Hats'

May 1, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The head of the Federal Communications Commission is warning cable industry leaders not to abuse their power over Internet access—lest they find themselves on the receiving end of tougher federal regulation of the Internet. Speaking at the National Cable and Telecommunications Association's annual Cable Show on Wednesday, FCC Chairman Tom ...

The U.S. Is Vulnerable to Terrorism in Space

April 18, 2014 Space terrorism is a growing threat to U.S. national security, according to a new report. And an attack on a U.S. satellite—or damage to one from another country's debris—could have astronomical effects on national security, says the report from the Council on Foreign Relations. The U.S. is more reliant on ...