Judiciary Committee May Study Cybersecurity Provision Before Implementing It As Part of PIPA

EFF-Austin just received this press release from the Computer and Communications Industry Association:

Contact:
Heather Greenfield
202-783-0070 ext 113
hgreenfield@ccianet.org
Ed Black
202-783-0070 ext 110

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
January 12, 2012

Washington – Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy has put out a statement may add a provision to study the impact of DNS blocking before that provision within the controversial PROTECT IP bill (PIPA) would take effect. The offer to suspend the timing of DNS blocking comes after cybersecurity experts in the Obama administration and those implementing the latest cybersecurity measure known as DNSSEC have warned PIPA and the latest cybersecurity measures the government has spent the last ten years developing are incompatible. Internet engineers and cybersecurity experts have written to Congress about their serious concerns.

The following can be attributed to Computer & Communications Industry Association President & CEO Ed Black:

“I hope this statement signals a recognition they didn’t understand this issue when the bill was drafted. We hope this means they will step back, talk to stakeholders, identify and focus on the real problem they’re trying to solve and target that. But it seems more likely to be aimed at newer opponents of the bill that haven’t absorbed how harmful the legislation would still be, even if there was a firm commitment to remove DNS blocking, which there isn’t.

“This DNS blocking was the tip of the iceberg in terms of the broad range of real problems with the approach of SOPA and PIPA. The DNS blocking was easy to understand and remove. Those who value the functioning of the Internet and the jobs that depend on it should now focus on the provisions of the legislation that still cause much collateral damage to the Internet.

“Those pushing this flawed bill discounted a lot of early concerns voiced by Internet experts about the bill. The DNS blocking was just one glaring flaw that would harm cybersecurity. There are a lot of other concerns they seem to continue to ignore about the collateral damage to the Internet that are also well founded. If the offer to further study the DNS blocking provision were a sign of real willingness to step back in general and rethink this bill, then it would be meaningful.”

About CCIA:
CCIA is an international, nonprofit association of computer and communications industry firms, representing a broad cross section of the industry. CCIA is dedicated to preserving full, fair and open competition throughout our industry. Our members employ more than 600,000 workers and generate annual revenues in excess of $200 billion.

Slides from Michael Hathaway’s talk “Smart Grid and the Internet”

Last night, Michael Hathaway of Tiga Energy Services brought us up to speed on the real story behind Smart Grid, which his organization sees as “a business strategy, not a technology.” He pointed out several pitfalls that utilities are walking into, not the least of which is a speculative investment-driven bubble formed by disruptive technology vendors who are largely ignorant of the history and state of the electric utility industry. Efforts towards creation of parallel, proprietary two-way communication networks into customer homes will likely be abandoned once it is recognized that privacy and security concerns will outweigh any potential benefits.

Here’s the slidedeck from Michael’s presentation:
EFF Austin (Sep 7, 2011) – Michael Hathaway – Smart Grid and the Internet

EFF Austin September Meeting: Michael Hathaway on “Smart Grid and the Internet”

Thanks to everyone who came out last month to hear Jon Lebkowsky [ @JonL ] guide us through and to the past and future Internet.

This month, we’ll be hearing former EFF Austin Board member Michael Hathaway present information from the world of modernizing electric utilities and the regulatory bodies that love them in a talk entitled “Smart Grid and the Internet.” Here’s the summary:

Michael Hathaway, CEO of Tiga Energy Services, Inc, www.tigaenergy.com, will share his unique and controversial perspective on the Smart Grid as it mirrors the evolution of the Internet.

He will outline the similarities between these two industries, explore lessons learned from the Internet and ponder the various scenarios for Smart Grid ranging from it transforming our lives to becoming a dot-com bubble.

This will not be a conventional industry overview of the Smart Grid, so bring an open mind and lots of questions!

Michael Hathaway is a technology executive whose career spans the the early days of digital audio, the broadband & multimedia revolution, to the rapid evolution of the energy industry occurring today. He currently heads up Tiga Energy Services, a network communications and cyber security firm that serves the energy industry.

Michael is always an engaging and passionately rational speaker and conversationalist. It’ll be a good talk and we’re all sure to learn.

We meet on First Wednesdays at The Flying Saucer [ @FlyingSaucerAus ] from 7-9pm. So that puts us on Wednesday September 7th. Parking is available on the surface lots, in the garages, and in the field adjacent to the SFC Farmer’s Market, which takes place every Wednesday in the commons field. We’re in the reserved room in the back right corner as you walk into the Saucer. We’re raising bandwidth issues with Flying Saucer, so for now bring your wireless access device of choice if you got em; any less pressure on the network infrastructure helps. And we have our own VGA cable this time to avoid that “everything is yellow” jaundiced-effect. Power strips will be available on side tables.

Map

When: 7PM Wednesday, September 7th, 2011
Where: Flying Saucer, 815 W 47th St at the Triangle.
Hashtag: #EFFatx

You can also sign up for the event on the Facebook. Like us if you do.