The Dev Download keeps you up-to-date with the latest tech policy news. The Download is published each Wednesday, ensuring you and your team are informed on what policymakers are talking about.
ENCRYPTION & CYBERSECURITY
U.S. Issues First Government Guide on Responding to Cyber Attacks (Reuters, 7/26)
On Tuesday, the White House issued an emergency response manual in the event of a major cyber attack. Critics say the manual includes no protocols for a response against would-be perpetrators. The manual comes on the heels of reports that Russian state actors are responsible for a hack of the Democratic National Committee.
Spy Agency Consensus Grows that Russia Hacked D.N.C. (New York Times, 7/26)
American intelligence agencies have “high confidence” that the Russian government played a part in stealing emails and documents from the Democratic National Committee. However, what the agencies were not able to yet determine was whether the hacking represented a concerted effort to manipulate the 2016 presidential election, or was instead part of fairly routine intelligence gathering that most nation states engage in.
Ransomware Advice Service to Tackle Extortion Gangs (BBC, 7/25)
European police agency Europol and cybersecurity experts are working together to combat ransomware, used by hackers to encrypt data to extort a ransom payment. The product is a website called No More Ransom, which gives victims advice and contact information for tackling ransomware gangs.
Snowden Designs Phone Case to Spot Hack Attacks (BBC, 7/22)
Whistleblower Edward Snowden has created a phone case intended to protect users from hacks by detecting when data from a phone is sent unexpectedly. For aid workers, activists, politicians, business leaders, and other potential targets, the case has the potential to keep their location and information secure.
PRIVACY & GOVERNMENT SURVEILLANCE
Illinois Governor Signs New Law Requiring Stricter Rules for Stingrays (Ars Technica, 7/25)
Illinois will now require law enforcement officials obtain court approval before using a person’s cellphone to locate and track their location without their knowledge. The law is yet another example that government can both protect security interests and conduct thorough investigations while also protecting Americans’ constitutional right to privacy.
TRANSATLANTIC DATA TRANSFERS
EU Watchdogs Permit Privacy Shield to Run for One Year (BBC, 7/26)
The recently agreed upon Privacy Shield agreement provides the framework for how companies transfer data between the U.S. and EU. While the agreement was approved by EU governments, the 28 data protection authorities had not yet commented. However, this week the EU watchdog authority said they will not challenge the agreement for at least a year until next summer’s first annual review.
Microsoft Fires Back on Safe Harbor Violations (The Hill, 7/21)
Authorities in France have accused Microsoft of working under now-expired data transfer policies, but the company has pushed back on the charges. Microsoft claims they instead rely on a “variety of legal mechanisms,” and promises to work with French agencies remedy complaints.
INTERNET OF THINGS
The Assimilation of Robots into the Workforce as Peers, Not Replacements (TechCrunch, 7/24)
Co-founder and president of 5D Robotics David Bruemmer discusses the ways robots can complement human work capacity and the unfounded fear of robotics replacing the existing workforce.
TECH & POLITICS
Airbnb, Uber See Crucial Role in 2016 Vote (The Hill, 7/26)
The leading companies in the sharing economy used the Democratic National Convention this week to rally support for the on-demand economy as a way to help the middle class and provide additional options to consumers.
Comparing Trump and Clinton on Tech Policy (Fortune, 7/23)
While Secretary Clinton wants to expand STEM education, increase capital available to startups, bring broadband to underserved communities, and strike a balance between privacy and security interests, Donald Trump advocates for tougher trade policies, closing the internet, and creating encryption backdoors. When it comes to technology, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are worlds apart.
If It Doesn’t Already, Silicon Valley Will Probably Learn to Really Like Tim Kaine (Recode, 7/23)
Secretary Hillary Clinton’s running mate, Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia, has a history of supporting free trade, balancing privacy and security, and encouraging technology in education. Kaine may win over many who see Donald Trump and Mike Pence’s positions as less favorable to the industry.
Hawaii Sponsors Month-Long Hackathon (GovTech, 7/25)
In late August, coders will have the opportunity to hack an entire state, thanks to Hawaii’s Annual Code Challenge. Participants will spend the month devising solutions for state problems with the potential to have their projects implemented in the future.