States and territories can submit new or updated data to the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) by Sept. 30 for consideration in state plans, Amanda Hilliard, FirstNet’s director-outreach, said in a blog posting today. The posting discussed last week’s two-day meeting in Virginia of FirstNet state points of contact (SPOCs). “State Plan development really started with the Initial Consultations that began in the fall of 2014 and continued with the data collection submissions that were due September 30, 2015. Some states and territories continue to collect additional data,” Ms. Hilliard said. “As such, FirstNet discussed with the SPOCs last week how their states/territories can submit new or updated data prior to September 30, 2016. That data can further prepare States, as well as FirstNet and our eventual network partner, as we prepare for State Plan delivery. Further guidance will be released soon.” Continue reading
A public notice was circulated to FCC Commissioners April 15 soliciting views to update the record in the agency’s 5 gigahertz band proceeding, according to the Commission’s weekly list of circulated items. The item in ET docket 13-49 was circulated ahead of planned testing to gauge the ability of Wi-Fi devices and connected-vehicle applications to share the 5850-5925 megahertz band.
Meanwhile, an order on reconsideration and review was circulated April 20 addressing an AT&T Mobility Services LLC application for an antenna structure in Eureka Springs, Ark., according to the list. Also, an erratum was circulated April 19 in IB docket 12-267, which is the FCC’s satellite licensing proceeding. The same day, an item was circulated addressing petitions for waiver of universal service high-cost filing deadlines. —Paul Kirby, email@example.com
April 21, 2016–The House encryption working group formed earlier this year (TRDaily, March 21) to examine legal and policy issues surrounding encryption technologies today laid out a “road map” for its activities for the rest of this year and said it hopes to wrap up its work by January 2017. Its final work product, the group said today, will take the form of recommendations to the House.
Between now and then, the working group’s members and staff will hold meetings with “federal, state, and local government entities, former government officials, private industry and trade associations, civil society organizations, consultants and legal experts, academia, and cryptographers,” and will participate in “site visits” to hold meetings and receive technical briefings, it said. The working group also said it is looking for input from outside groups in the form of white papers, testimony or scholarly articles that should be submitted to EncryptionWG@mail.house.gov.
Members of the working group are Reps. Bill Johnson (R., Ohio), Adam Kinzinger (R., Ill.), Yvette Clark (D., N.Y.), Joe Kennedy III (D., Mass.), Jim Sensenbrenner (R., Wisc.), Darrell Issa (D., Calif.), Zoe Lofgren (D., Calif.), and Suzan DelBene (D., Wash.). Servicing as ex officio members are House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R., Va.); the committee’s ranking member, John Conyers Jr. (D., Mich.); House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R., Mich.); and committee ranking member Frank Pallone Jr. (D., N.J.). – John Curran, firstname.lastname@example.org
Senate Democrats today argued that the Supreme Court could find itself unable to act on key issues involving cellphone data and encryption if the Senate does not consider the nomination of appellate court judge Merrick Garland as the ninth justice.
“We need a Supreme Court operating at full strength so that our police, prosecutors, and law enforcement professionals have clear guidance to keep Americans safe and Americans have a strong shield for their civil rights and liberties,” Senate Democrats said in a news release. “With only eight justices, the Court could deadlock on critical issues relating to law enforcement and individual rights, creating uncertainty and even making it possible that people in different parts of the country have different rights and liberties. If a deadlock occurs, then an important, national issue would remain undecided until the Court was able to rehear that case or until another case raising the same issue came before it.”
Two of the issues that Democrats observed could come before the court involve whether law enforcement officers need a warrant to obtain historical information from cellphones and whether the government can compel companies to decrypt wireless devices. – Paul Kirby, email@example.com
A collection of tech-sector trade groups lowered the boom on a discussion draft of legislation released last week by Sens. Richard Burr (R., N.C.), chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, and Dianne Feinstein (D., Calif.), vice chairman of the committee, that would require communications service providers and communications device and software makers to comply with court orders for information or data in connection with the investigation of specified “serious crimes.”
In an April 19 letter to the senators, the trade groups said they had “deep concerns about well-intentioned but ultimately unworkable policies around encryption that would weaken the very defenses we need to protect us from people who want to cause economic and physical harm. We believe it is critical to the safety of the nation’s, and the world’s, information technology infrastructure for us all to avoid actions that will create government-mandated security vulnerabilities in our encryption systems.” Continue reading
April 20, 2016–Fourteen “non-federal entities” are participating in the new cyber threat information-sharing network established in March by the Department of Homeland Security, and 82 others are preparing to join, a top DHS cybersecurity official told a House subcommittee today. “We will grow the system incrementally,” Andy Ozment, DHS’s assistant secretary for cybersecurity and communications, told the Oversight and Government Reform’s information technology subcommittee.
“We are not going to reach all of the American economy in just a few months. I’m very happy with our rate of growth,” Mr. Ozment testified. “It does require the participant to build some IT infrastructure on their end.”
DHS’s Automated Indicator Sharing (AIS) portal went live in mid-March, Mr. Ozment said. The portal was authorized by the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act of 2015, which was enacted late last year. The AIS initiative is designed to enable the timely exchange of cyber threat indicators among the federal government, the private sector, and non-federal entities. “We have shared over 2,000 indicators with the private sector, and we have received additional indicators that the private sector did not allow us to share onward to other companies but that we did share internally within the federal government,” Mr. Ozment told the subcommittee. Continue reading
April 20, 2016–The three-judge panel mentioned in the briefing order for challenges of the FCC’s second report and order on inmate calling services (ICS) before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit was the panel that disposed of the motions regarding the briefing schedule, and not necessarily the panel that will hear the case. It is the custom of the court to announce the panel that will consider the merits of the case later in the proceedings, “usually 30 days before the date of oral argument,” according to the court’s “Handbook of Practice and Internal Procedures.”
Comments are due May 5 and replies May 16 in ET docket 15-170 on whether the FCC should incorporate into its rules a newly published ANSI C63.26-2015 standard for compliance testing of transmitters used in licensed radio services.
The FCC is tasking the Communications Security, Reliability, and Interoperability Council with examining the end-of-life transition of SS7 protocols to IP-based technologies, according to David Simpson, chief of the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau. He mentioned a report on “60 Minutes” last weekend on SS7 vulnerabilities on mobile phones.
“The ‘60 Minutes’ report highlights the inherent risk encountered when an end-of-life technology is incrementally replaced by a new one,” Mr. Simpson said. “The demonstration shown in the segment underscores the importance of vigilance by our nation’s communications providers as they phase out SS7 and transition to IP-based networks. The Commission highlighted similar concerns in our Tech Transitions proceeding, and we have made clear that we expect communications providers to proactively assess security risks and take affirmative steps to address vulnerabilities. We will task the CSRIC to examine the end-of-life transition of SS7 to IP-based technologies.”
The FCC is finalizing a public notice seeking comments on Ligado Networks LLC’s request to modify its L-band license and reallocate the 1675-1680 megahertz band for commercial broadband use, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said in an April 7 letter released late yesterday. “I am pleased to inform you that after extensive coordination with our federal partners, we are in the final stages of preparing a public notice to seek comment on the Ligado proposals,” Mr. Wheeler said in the letter to Rep. Gerald E. Connolly (D., Va.), who wrote Mr. Wheeler on Feb. 4 asking the agency to seek comment on the requests. “I can assure you that the Commission will engage in an open and transparent process to consider Ligado’s proposals. Our analysis will be conducted in the context of our ongoing efforts to make additional spectrum available for mobile broadband services and will be comprehensive and informed by an objective engineering review of the band and input from a broad range of stakeholders.”