December 10th Meetup: EFF-Austin’s Gameplan For The Next Session Of The Texas Legislature

EFF-Austin had some mild but exciting success during the last legislative session. Without much of a plan in mind, we sought out bills that touched on technology topics and reached out to senators and representatives with our notes on what could be improved. They listened, and this time, we are heading in to the legislative session with a plan.

Join the EFF-Austin team as we present our legislative agenda for the 86(R) session, including what our strategy is, what our current areas of interest are, the materials we will be sharing with the legislators, and how you can get involved.

Alex Shahrestani is the current EFF-Austin Vice President, and is leading the legislative efforts for this coming session. He’s an attorney with a passion for technology and the law, with a background in computer science. This is his second legislative session in Texas, with experience both on behalf of EFF-Austin and in the office of a legislator.

He will be joined by UT Law’s Legislative Lawyering Clinic students who have been assigned to assist EFF-Austin in its policy goals for the coming session.

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Join us for the discussion from 7:00PM-9:00PM, followed by drinks and camaraderie from 9:00PM-10:00PM at Firehouse Lounge (605 Brazos St).

Capital Factory is located at 701 Brazos Street, on the 16th floor of the Omni Hotel. Once on the 16th floor, there should be a sign at the front desk directing you to our meetup. If there is no sign, and no one is on duty at the desk, we are usually in the room to the left of the front desk.

Talk will be livestreamed at https://www.youtube.com/user/austintechlive

Parking for the Omni Garage can be validated at the Capital Factory front desk, reducing the cost from $18 to $7. Details: https://capitalfactory.com/parking/

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EFF-Austin’s Gameplan For The Next Session Of The Texas Legislature

Monday, Dec 10, 2018, 7:00 PM

Capital Factory
701 Brazos Street Suite 150 Austin, TX

16 Activists Attending

EFF-Austin had some mild but exciting success during the last legislative session. Without much of a plan in mind, we sought out bills that touched on technology topics and reached out to senators and representatives with our notes on what could be improved. They listened, and this time, we are heading in to the legislative session with a plan. Joi…

Check out this Meetup →

https://www.facebook.com/events/2184412728484555/

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Habeas Data Book Signing With Cyrus Farivar!

NOTE THE TIME CHANGE. OUR MEETUP IS ON TUESDAY EVENING IN OCTOBER, NOT MONDAY.

Our speaker this month is Cyrus Farivar. Cyrus Farivar is the Senior Business Editor at Ars Technica and the author of The Internet of Elsewhere. He is also a radio producer and has reported for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, National Public Radio, Public Radio International, The Economist, Wired, The New York Times, and others.

Cyrus will be here to read excerpts from and sign copies of his new book, Habeas Data, about 50 years of privacy law in America. This event is presented in conjunction with BookPeople, who will have staff on hand with copies of Cyrus’ book for you to buy.

https://cyrusfarivar.com/blog/2018-book-tour/
https://www.bookpeople.com/

You are being watched. Whether through your phone or your car or
your credit card, caught on a CCT camera or tracked through your online
viewing history, government agencies know where you are, and are quietly collecting your most intimate, mundane, and personal information.

Is this even legal? Habeas Data shows how the explosive growth of
surveillance technology has outpaced our understanding of the ethics,
mores, and laws of privacy.

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Join us for the discussion from 7:00PM-9:00PM, followed by drinks and camaraderie from 9:00PM-10:00PM at Firehouse Lounge (605 Brazos St).

Capital Factory is located at 701 Brazos Street, inside the Omni Hotel/Austin Centre. We will be in the MobilityX classroom on the ground floor. If you need help finding it, there should be someone on duty at the Capital Factory front desk to assist you.

Talk will be livestreamed at https://www.youtube.com/user/austintechlive

Parking for the Omni Garage can be validated at the Capital Factory front desk, reducing the cost from $18 to $7. Details: https://capitalfactory.com/parking/

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Habeas Data Book Signing With Cyrus Farivar!

Tuesday, Oct 9, 2018, 7:00 PM

Capital Factory
701 Brazos Street Suite 150 Austin, TX

14 Activists Attending

NOTE THE TIME CHANGE. OUR MEETUP IS ON TUESDAY EVENING IN OCTOBER, NOT MONDAY. Our speaker this month is Cyrus Farivar. Cyrus Farivar is the Senior Business Editor at Ars Technica and the author of The Internet of Elsewhere. He is also a radio producer and has reported for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, National Public Radio, Public Radio I…

Check out this Meetup →

https://www.facebook.com/events/2118243351839528/

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More Digital Inclusion For Diverse Communities?

The “Access Broadband Act” aims to expand broadband internet accessibility by establishing the “Office of Internet Connectivity and Growth”.

The office would  “connect with communities that need access to high-speed internet and improved digital inclusion efforts through various forms of outreach,” as well as share training, strategies and other guidance to propagate the adaptation of and access to broadband internet. It would function as part of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, whose duties include “advising the President on telecommunications and information policy issues,” “administering grant programs that further the deployment and use of broadband and other technologies in America,” and “developing policy on issues related to the Internet economy, including online privacy, copyright protection, cybersecurity, and the global free flow of information online.”

Another function of the office would be to more easily streamline the financial assistance application process for entities and organizations proposing projects that would promote and make broadband internet more accessible to a variety of communities. This would be accomplished by establishing a universal application for all entities to use. The Bill also states that a website would be established for applicants to “learn about and apply for support through any Federal broadband support program.”

Fully titled the “Advancing Critical Connectivity Expands Service, Small Business Resources, Opportunities, Access, and Data Based on Assessed Need and Demand Act,” one could question if it would cater more to businesses or work toward providing equal access among all demographics to the internet.

The NITA provides millions of dollars in grants to a wide variety of projects across the country, ranging from state and data development to infrastructure and sustainable adaptation. Many projects allegedly benefiting Texas communities have received funding from the NITA designed to make internet accessible to otherwise shorthanded communities.

The Mission Economic Development Agency was awarded $3,724,128 for the Latino Microprise Tech Net, which opened several computer centers around the country, two of which were located in Texas. According to the NITA website, the centers offered resources for developing and teaching digital literacy, financial education, online banking, resume creation, and job searches.

Technology For All, Inc. was awarded $9,588,279 for its Texas Connects Coalition project. The project currently supports 94 computer centers across Texas. These centers assist low-income communities with the opportunity for basic computer training, social networking, and applying for jobs.

Given the NITA’s record of providing financial support to projects that aim to increase digital inclusion among diverse communities, this bill may be a true benefit to the financially disadvantaged.

The Bill has been received by the Senate and referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.