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Author Archives: P.J. Blount

Disasters Charter: Flood in Brazil

The Disasters Charter was activated for a Flood in Brazil:

Flood in Brazil

Type of Event: Flood
Location of Event: Rio Grande do Sul – Brazil
Date of Charter Activation: 04 July 2014
Charter Requestor: Brazilian Disaster and Risk Management National Centre (CENAD)
Project Management: INPE

Description of the Event
Torrential rain in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, has caused flooding which has led to two deaths and an estimated 20,000 people evacuated.

Rio Grande do Sul is Brazil’s most southern state, and borders Uruguay and Argentina. A state of emergency was declared in the state on 4 July 2014, following over a week of rain which began on 26 June. So far 115 towns and cities have been affected by the flooding across the state, which includes the state capital, Porto Allegre.
It is believed that the weather has been caused by the El Niño effect, which warms the Pacific Ocean and usually results in hot and wet summers for South America.

This latest flood follows on from another batch of torrential rain which affected southern Brazil, and particularly Rio Grande do Sul’s nearby states of Santa Catarina and Paraná, in early June. The prolonged rainfall is expected to harm the area’s agricultural production, due to saturated ground conditions. The Institute of Meteorology has reported that this was the wettest winter Brazil has experienced since 1983.


H.R. 5099: To amend the National Institute of Standards and Technology Act to remove the National Security Agency from the list of the entities consulted during the development of information systems standards and guidelines

H.R. 5099: To amend the National Institute of Standards and Technology Act to remove the National Security Agency from the list of the entities consulted during the development of information systems standards and guidelines was introduced on July 14, 2014 by Alan Grayson:

H.R.5099 — To amend the National Institute of Standards and Technology Act to remove the National Security Agency from the list of the entities consulted during the development of information… (Introduced in House – IH)

HR 5099 IH

2d Session

H. R. 5099
To amend the National Institute of Standards and Technology Act to remove the National Security Agency from the list of the entities consulted during the development of information systems standards and guidelines.

July 14, 2014

Mr. GRAYSON introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology

To amend the National Institute of Standards and Technology Act to remove the National Security Agency from the list of the entities consulted during the development of information systems standards and guidelines.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

Section 20(c)(1) of the National Institute of Standards and Technology Act (15 U.S.C. 278g-3(c)(1)) is amended by striking `the National Security Agency,’.

China-Russia Space Cooperation

Source – Space Daily:

Russia, China Ready to Cooperate in Space, Explore Mars
by Staff Writers
Harbin, China (RIA Novosti) Jul 01, 2014

Dmitry Rogozin takes part in first Russian-Chinese Expo in Harbin. Image courtesy RIA Novosti.
Russia is ready to work with China to explore the Moon and Mars, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said Monday. “If we talk about manned space flights and exploration of outer space, as well as joint exploration of the solar system, primarily it is the Moon and Mars, we are ready to go forth with our Chinese friends, hand in hand,” Rogozin said during a roundtable held within the framework of The First Russia-China Expo.

Deputy Prime Minister reminded that Russia is currently pursuing a comprehensive reform of the space industry, trying to catch up with technological progress. . . . [Full Story]

S. 2588: Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act of 2014

S. 2588: Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act of 2014 was introduced on July 10, 2014 by Sen. Dianne Feinstein. The table of contents reads:

S.2588 — Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act of 2014 (Placed on Calendar Senate – PCS)

Sec. 1. Short title; table of contents.
July 10, 2014

Library: A Round-up of Reading

Space Law
U.S. Air Force Seeks Dismissal of SpaceX Suit – Space News

Mike Gold, Tuesday, 7-1-14 – The Space Show

Secure World Foundation Newsletter – May/June 2014 – SWF

No action, but more commentary, on Shelby’s commercial crew cost language – Space Politics

U.S. Government Seeks Dismissal of SpaceX Suit – Space Policy Online

Seven Government Agencies Needed to Build a Space Company – Commercial Space Blog

U.S. Government Wants To Squash SpaceX Lawsuit – NASA Watch

IAC Scholarship Recipients 2014 – SWF

China, Russia to cooperate in satellite navigation – GPS Daily

Should Humanity Try to Contact Intelligent Aliens? –


Japan set for first arms export under new rules: report – Missile Threat

Policy Debate Aside, NASA Preparing for Orion Capsule Test Flight – Space News

Aviation Law
NYC Bar Association Releases Report on Legality of Drones – Just Security

North Carolina Set to Outlaw Hunting and Fishing Drones – IEEE Spectrum

No Verdict In Trial Of Man Accused Of Aiming Laser At A Helicopter – ANN

NTSB Special Investigation Finds Parasailing Largely Unregulated – ANN

'New' EASA Plans Vital General Aviation Conference – ANN

Exclusive: Civilian drones need costly fixes to avoid hacking, study indicates – Christian Science Monitor

Geospatial Law
US Refusal to Host Russian Navigation Stations Political – GPS Daily

Zhihua Zheng, Legal Effect of Maps in Maritime Boundary Delimitation: A Response to Erik Franckx and Marco Benatar, Asian Journal of International Law (Vol. 4, no. 2, July 2014)

Internet Providers Are Taking Legal Action Against GCHQ – Motherboard

An Anonymous Cell Pledges to Hack 'New CISPA' Supporters – Motherboard

Talking Cybersecurity – White House Blog

ISPs File Legal Complaint in Europe Over Spying – Threat Level


U.S. Mayors Call for Government Broadband, Extreme Regulation – Tech Freedom

Can Facebook Be Governed? – Cyborgology

Does the U.S. Supreme Court's Decision on the 4th Amendment and Cell Phones Signal Future Changes to the Third Party Doctrine? – TAP

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: An unfortunate story on the non-review of U.S. surveillance authority in Section 702 – Just Security

Cloud City: A Fourth Amendment Thought Experiment – Just Security

Criminal Cyberbullying Statute Violates First Amendment–New York v. Marquan – Technology and Marketing Law Blog

A Taxonomy of Cyber War IHL Questions – Lawfare

NSA Targets the Privacy-Conscious for Surveillance – Schneier on Security

Russia Sees No Progress in GLONASS Talks with US – Space Daily

The NSA Is Targeting Users of Privacy Services, Leaked Code Shows – Threat Level

Code as Law: How Bitcoin Could Decentralize the Courtroom – Motherboard

The Right to Be Forgotten Isn't Just About Fixing Reputations – Motherboard

Report: NSA collected intimate data on ordinary Americans – Salon

Library: A Round-up of Reading

Space Law
Statement of Lamar Smith Hearing on Pathways to Exploration – SpaceRef

House Lawmakers Agree on Little, but Concur NASA Needs Change To Get to Mars – Space News

ULA and SpaceX trade jabs – Space Politics

SpaceX Seeks To Amend Lawsuit Against Air Force Based on McCain Letter – Space Policy Online

Human space flight: still problematic – Doctor Linda

An contract extension from NASA for SpaceX and Sierra Nevada – Behind the Black

Questions about RD-180 Price Provide New Ammo for SpaceX – Space News

SpaceX Vs ULA Spat Heats Up – NASA Watch

Louis Friedman and Thomas D. Jones, NRC’s “Pathway to Exploration” should start with the Asteroid Redirect Mission, The Space Review

Ajey Lele, India and the satellite launch market, The Space Review

The Commercial Spaceflight Federation Comments on Interim Category XV Rule – CSF

Space Law Boom – -BisNow

CSF continues to press for human spaceflight export rule changes – Space Politics

Aviation Law
That Toy Is Now a Drone, Says the FAA – IEEE Spectrum

Delivery Drones Might Never Get Government Approval – Motherboard

Recommendations And Report Of The Stimson Task Force On US Drone Policy – Stimson Center

FAA Releases Interpretation of Rules for Model Aircraft – Aviation Law Prof Blog

FAA Weighs in on the Regulation of "Model Aircraft" – Aviation and Development Law Blog

FAA releases interpretation of the Special Rule for Model Aircraft – Flight Laws

Geospatial Law
How to remove imagery from Street View – Google Earth Blog

The Supreme Court Considers Google Street View – Madisonian

Will the U.S. Government Regulate Navigation Apps? – Directions Magazine

Google must now face lawsuit over Street View privacy invasion – Salon

The US Is Losing Its Grip on the Names and Numbers of the Internet – Motherboard

Why the Supreme Court May Finally Protect Your Privacy in the Cloud – Threat Level

Huge Privacy Win: Warrants Now Required for Searching Arrestees’ Mobile Phones – Tech Freedom

UK Police Aren't Doing Enough to Keep Personal Data Secure – Motherboard

How copyright law blocks cheap Internet TV: In Plain English – SCOTUS Blog

A “view” from the Court: Some morning Joe before Digital Day – SCOTUS Blog

Get a warrant! Today’s cellphone privacy decision in Plain English – SCOTUS Blog

The Push to Revise Europe's Data Protection Agenda – Motherboard

Symposium: In Riley v. California, a unanimous Supreme Court sets out Fourth Amendment for digital age – SCOTUS Blog

VIRTUAL CURRENCIES: Emerging Regulatory, Law Enforcement, and Consumer Protection Challenges. GAO-14-496

SCOTUS Rules That Cellphone Searches Require Warrants – IEEE Spectrum

Impact of the Aereo Supreme Court Decision on Broadcasters, Cloud Content Storage – TeleFrieden

Symposium: Inaugurating the digital Fourth Amendment – SCOTUS Blog

Can a State Withhold Water From the NSA? California Is About to Find Out – Motherboard

Does the U.S. Supreme Court's Decision on the 4th Amendment and Cell Phones Signal Future Changes to the Third Party Doctrine? – TAP

The Supreme Court's Aereo Decision: What It Says, What It Means – CommLawBlog

The Supreme Court’s Riley Decision Won’t Change Much In The Field (Guest Blog Post) – Technology and Marketing Law Blog

Aereo and the Spirit of Technology Neutrality – Consurring Opinions


Episode 23: Jillian York – UN Dispatch

What The Court Didn’t Say in Riley May be the Most Important Thing of All – Lawfare


Netflix Could Be Classified As a 'Cybersecurity Threat' Under New CISPA Rules – Motherboard

Is the Supreme Court’s Aereo Decision a Setback for Cloud Innovation? – Information Law Group

Supreme Court Sends Stupid Software Patent Back To Federal Circuit, Again – EFF

Uh oh, Aereo – Public Knowledge

The FCC and Net Neutrality: A Way Forward – EFF

EFF Sues NSA, Director of National Intelligence for Zero Day Disclosure Process – EFF

A Zombie Bill Comes Back to Life: A Look at The Senate's Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act of 2014 – EFF

FTC Releases 2014 Privacy and Data Security Update, Touting Its Efforts and Achievements in Protecting Consumer Privacy – Privacy and Security Law Blog

Guest Post: Riley v. California — An Important Step Forward, but How Far Forward? – Just Security

Steptoe CyberLaw Podcast, Episode #26: An Interview with Dmitri Alperovich – Lawfare

How Traffic Shaping Can Help the NSA Evade Legal Oversight – Schneier on Security

ISPL: Space Law and Policy Course for Students

Source – ISPL:


ISPL is pleased to announce its first space law and policy course for students, to take place Saturday, 25 October 2014 in London. Our courses and seminars have enjoyed strong interest and enrolment from university students at all levels. In response, we will offer a one-day intensive series of lectures solely for students with an interest in these areas. The course will be held on Saturday to enable students to avoid missing their regular lectures and seminars.

No previous knowledge of space law or policy is required. Students in any discipline are welcome, including law, engineering and technology, government, business and commercial studies. They will receive a solid briefing in the sources of space law, an introduction to aspects of policy, and a wide range of other related material. There is no examination during the course, but there will be ample time for discussion and questions.

ISPL space policy and law courses are normally intended for high-level practitioners and civil servants. This is an excellent opportunity for those just entering their careers to learn about the current law as it applies to the increasing range of activities in space, and about the policies that underlies the legal regime.

State Department: Joint Statement on U.S.-Germany Cyber Bilateral Meeting

Source – US State Department:

Joint Statement on U.S.-Germany Cyber Bilateral Meeting

Media Note
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
June 27, 2014
The text of the following statement was issued jointly by the Governments of the United States of America and the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany on the occasion of the US-Germany Cyber Bilateral Meeting June 26, 2014.

Begin Text:

The Governments of the United States and Germany held a Cyber Bilateral Meeting in Berlin, Germany on June 26, 2014.

This third annual U.S.-Germany Cyber Bilateral Meeting reinforced our long-standing alliance by highlighting our pre-existing collaboration on many key cyber issues over the course of the last decade and identifying additional areas for awareness and alignment. The U.S.-Germany Cyber Bilateral Meeting continued and further expanded its “whole-of-government” approach, furthering cooperation on a wide range of cyber issues and our collaborative engagement on both strategic and operational objectives.

Strategic objectives include affirming common approaches in Internet governance, Internet freedom, and international cyber security; partnering with the private sector to protect critical infrastructure; and pursuing coordination efforts on cyber capacity building in third countries. The discussions of Internet governance issues focused on continued efforts to bolster support for the multi-stakeholder model for Internet governance, particularly after the successful conclusion of the NETmundial Conference in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The United States and Germany will continue their close cooperation on these issues as the preparations for Internet Governance Forum 9 in Istanbul, Turkey are underway, and as the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is convening the multistakeholder community to develop a proposal to transition the stewardship of the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) function from the U.S. Government.

Discussions of the Information Society issues also included the preparations for the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Plenipotentiary Conference in Busan, Korea in October and the United Nations General Assembly’s 10 year review of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) focusing on development and continued efforts to realize a global, open, inclusive Internet for all. Additional strategic objectives included expanding the Freedom Online Coalition, and the application of norms and responsible state behavior in cyberspace, particularly as the UN Group of Governmental Experts is poised to start its next effort and building on the successful 2013 consensus report affirming the applicability of international law to state behavior in cyberspace.

Operational objectives comprise bilateral cybersecurity cooperation measures such as exchanging information on cyber issues of mutual concern such as critical information infrastructure protection and identifying greater cooperation measures on detecting and mitigating cyber incidents, raising awareness, combating cybercrime, and implementing the Organization for Security Cooperation in Europe (OSCE’s) confidence-building measures to reduce risk,

The bilateral meeting took place the day before the U.S.-Germany Cyber Dialogue, a multistakeholder event organized jointly by the German Foreign Office and the U.S. Department of State and focused on big data, privacy, security, economic innovation, and international cyber cooperation. The Cyber Dialogue will be hosted by German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier; John Podesta, Counselor to President Obama will also provide keynote remarks. A high level panel of both German and U.S. experts will discuss big data, privacy, security, economic innovation, and international cyber cooperation. Participants from government, industry, civil society and academia will have the chance to discuss these issues and provide input for potential solutions.

The U.S.-Germany Cyber Bilateral Meeting was hosted by Ambassador Dirk Brengelmann, Commissioner for International Cyber Policy and the German delegation included representatives from the Federal Foreign Office, the Federal Ministry of the Interior, the Federal Ministry of Defense, the Federal Chancellery, the Federal Ministry for Economics and Technology, and the Federal Office for Information Security. The U.S. delegation was led by Secretary of State’s Coordinator for Cyber Issues, Christopher Painter, and included representatives from the Department of State, the Department of Commerce, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Justice, the Department of Defense, the National Security Council and the Office of Science and Technology Policy in the Executive Office of the President.

Coordinator Painter and Ambassador Brengelmann agreed to hold the next annual Cyber Bilateral Meeting in Washington, DC in mid-2015 again in conjunction with a multistakeholder cyber dialogue.

ITU to assist in real-time monitoring of flight data

Source – ITU:

ITU to assist in real-time monitoring of flight data
ITU Membership calls for development of standards for aviation cloud
Geneva, 25 June 2014 – ITU has established a new Focus Group on Aviation Applications of Cloud Computing for Flight Data Monitoring. The group will study the requirements for the telecommunication standards to enable an ‘aviation cloud’ for real-time monitoring of flight data, including those for the protection, security and ownership of flight data and the technical mechanisms and policies to govern access to these data.
The formation of the Focus Group comes in response to the call from the Minister of Communications and Multimedia, Malaysia, Mr Ahmad Shabery Cheek in March 2014 urging ITU to develop leading edge standards to facilitate the transmission of flight data in real-time. Subsequently, an “Expert Dialogue on Real-time Monitoring of Flight Data, including the Black Box – the Need for International Standards in the Age of Cloud Computing and Big Data”, held in Kuala Lumpur, 26-27 May 2014 with the participation of airlines, aviation bodies, avionics and ICT companies, service providers, civil aviation authorities, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and other international organizations, issued a communiqué outlining a roadmap for the way forward.
Participation in the Focus Group will be open to all interests, including non-members of ITU, and it will work in close collaboration with ICAO, ICT solution providers, aircraft manufacturers, airlines and other standardization expert groups.
ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun I. Touré said that the call from Minister Shabery for an international effort to find solutions to monitor flight data in real time has been given top priority by ITU and its Membership.
“ITU has a long history of developing international telecommunication and ICT standards, policies and regulations and is offering to bring this competence to assist aviation,” said Malcolm Johnson, Director of ITU’s Telecommunication Standardization Bureau. “I applaud our membership for the urgency with which it is addressing this issue by responding so quickly to Malaysia’s call for ITU action.”
The new Focus Group will study advances in cloud computing and data analytics to develop use cases for the application of state-of-the-art data analytics and data mining techniques in real-time. It will develop technical reports to provide the foundation for standards-based aviation clouds. In close collaboration with ICAO, the envisioned reports will address questions surrounding the type of data to be transmitted and the periodicity and reliability of its transmission, as well as the mechanisms to enable data security and privacy and the prevention of data misuse. The reports will be the basis for the development of telecommunications standards providing security and providing interoperable and secure aviation cloud systems.
Note to the editor: ITU-T Focus Groups are formed in response to immediate ICT standardization demands, charged with laying the foundation for subsequent standardization work in membership-driven ITU-T Study Groups. Focus Groups are open to organizations outside ITU’s membership and they are afforded greater flexibility in their chosen deliverables and working methods.