President Obama’s first response to the revelations of NSA malfeasance was jarring to many, an unhappiness articulated by Pratap Bhanu Mehta. Now we have Obama’s considered response: Mr. Obama also said he was taking the “unprecedented step” of extending privacy safeguards to non-Americans, including requiring that data collected abroad be deleted after a certain period and limiting its use to specific security requirements, like counterterrorism and cybersecurity. “The bottom line,” he said, “is that people around the world — regardless of their nationality — should know that the United States is not spying on ordinary people who don’t threaten our national security.” Full report.
President Obama’s support for surveillance predates his election. I believe that he has assessed the pros and cons of surveillance and concluded that it is necessary. The question then is how it is to be regulated, so that that negative outcomes can be minimized. One possible path is a variation of the FISA oversight solution, but with greater transparency. This may be the path being explored by Senator Markey, perhaps one of the most well informed US legislators on telecom and ICT matters.
The World Bank is a classic big bureaucracy. It’s rare for a single person to change the direction of this aircraft carrier (McNamara and Wolfensohn came close). Here’s the new front runner. Interesting choice by Obama: Born in Seoul, Korea in 1959, Jim Yong Kim moved with his family to the United States at the age of five and grew up in Muscatine, Iowa. His father, a dentist, also taught at the University of Iowa, where his mother received her Ph.
This was not a fight we were involved in, but were following with peripheral vision. For those who were in the thick of it, it must be a good day. For us too, because an open Internet benefits everyone. “Let us be clear,” the White House statement said, “online piracy is a real problem that harms the American economy, threatens jobs for significant numbers of middle class workers and hurts some of our nation’s most creative and innovative companies and entrepreneurs.” However, it added, “We will not support legislation that reduces freedom of expression, increases cybersecurity risk or undermines the dynamic, innovative global Internet.
The Federal Communications Commission has a solution: reclaim airwaves from “inefficient“ users — specifically, television broadcasters — and auction them off to the highest bidder, sharing some of the proceeds with television stations that volunteer to give up airwaves, known in the trade as spectrum. It is easy to talk about spectrum refarming in the abstract. It’s quite something else to get it done. Having done it, I have the scars to prove it. President Obama said 500 MHz will be refarmed.
When government goes online, what happens to citizens who are not? This was central to our thinking when we designed e Sri Lanka. That is why such importance was placed on voice access, on the government information center. But it looks like it has not been fully thought through in the US, according to this NYT story. “You often hear people talk about broadband from a business development perspective, but it’s much more significant than that,” Mr.
I found it interesting that President Obama’s plans for broadband rest on wireless access. This meshes with our narrative re the path for our people to the Internet. Now come the details. Billions will be spent; but billions will be earned too. “It’s about connecting every corner of America to the digital age,” the president said.
President Obama’s state of the union speech yesterday contained a few references to ICTs, but I found the illustration more interesting than the target itself. Within the next five years, we’ll make it possible for businesses to deploy the next generation of high-speed wireless coverage to 98 percent of all Americans. This isn’t just about — (applause) — this isn’t about faster Internet or fewer dropped calls. It’s about connecting every part of America to the digital age. It’s about a rural community in Iowa or Alabama where farmers and small business owners will be able to sell their products all over the world.