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Author Archives: P.J. Blount

ITU to work on standards for future Flight Data Recorders

Source – ITU:

ITU to work on standards for future Flight Data Recorders
Big data, cloud computing to be used to relay ‘black box’ data in real time,
ITU urged to take up challenge
Dubai, 1 April, 2014 – The Malaysian Minister for Communications and Multimedia called upon ITU to develop leading edge standards to facilitate the transmission of flight data in real time. He was speaking at the opening of the ITU World Telecommunication Development Conference taking place in Dubai.
This follows the tragic disappearance of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 on 8 March while on a routine flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. A number of countries have joined the search for the missing aircraft and its 239 passengers and crew, currently deploying search aircraft and vessels to scour vast tracts of the southern Indian Ocean.
“I believe that data from aircraft, including from the black box could be continuously transmitted and stored in data centres on the ground,” said Ahmad Shabery Cheek, Malaysian Minister for Communications and Multimedia. “I urge ITU to work with industry to develop a better way to constantly monitor flight data and what is happening in the cockpit. With the advancements in ICT today, we should be able to retrieve and analyse this data without necessarily locating the black box. I believe that this simple change may have brought a different outcome today. In this context, I cannot help but note that whilst communications technologies have evolved drastically in the past five years, the story of the black box remains unchanged from 30 years ago.”
“I would like to express my heartfelt sympathy and concern for the uncertainty surrounding the fate of so many people on board MH370,” said ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun I. Touré. “We must ensure that aircraft can be tracked in real time so that such an unprecedented and tragic incident does not occur again. ITU is committed to work on the standards that will take advantage of big data and state-of-the-art cloud computing.”
All commercial airlines and corporate aircraft are required to install and use ‘black boxes’ to track a number of flight parameters. The flight data recorder (FDR) is designed to record the operating data from an aircraft’s systems, including pressure altitude, airspeed, vertical acceleration, magnetic heading and position of control systems. Cockpit Voice Recorders, or CVRs, record what the crew say and monitor any sounds that occur within the cockpit. These monitoring equipment provide investigators with vital clues about the cause of an accident.
“ITU will invite avionics and aircraft manufacturers along with satellite operators and airlines to work on new standards to track aircraft in real time,” said Malcolm Johnson, Director of ITU’s Standardization Bureau. “We share the anxiety expressed by Minister Ahmad Shabery Cheek and will take steps to urgently address this situation.”
“Inmarsat would be happy to work with ITU to develop a global solution to the challenge of tracking commercial aircraft,” said Chris McLaughlin, Senior Vice President External Affairs of Inmarsat, the British satellite telecommunications company which helped provide clues to the possible track flown by the missing Boeing 777-200. “We recognize that this will require developing expertise in the interest of passengers and operators to further increase safety in the air.” Inmarsat was awarded ITU’s Humanitarian Award in 2012.
Media-relevant videos can be accessed at the WTDC-14 Newsroom: http://youtu.be/itrFWXK4Np0; http://bit.ly/1mojk3Z
Photos are available at: www.flickr.com/photos/itupictures/13554364034/

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European Parliament legislative resolution of 2 April 2014 on the proposal for a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Council Directive 64/432/EEC as regards computer databases which are part of the surveillance networks in the Member States (COM(2011)0524 – C7-0229/2011 – 2011/0228(COD))

Source – EU Parliament:

European Parliament legislative resolution of 2 April 2014 on the proposal for a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Council Directive 64/432/EEC as regards computer databases which are part of the surveillance networks in the Member States (COM(2011)0524 – C7-0229/2011 – 2011/0228(COD)) (Ordinary legislative procedure: first reading)

The European Parliament ,

– having regard to the Commission proposal to Parliament and the Council (COM(2011)0524),

– having regard to Article 294(2) and Article 43(2) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, pursuant to which the Commission submitted the proposal to Parliament (C7-0229/2011),

– having regard to Article 294(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

– having regard to the opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee of 7 December 2011(1) ,

– having regard to the undertaking given by the Council representative by letter of 10 July 2013 to approve Parliament’s position, in accordance with Article 294(4) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

– having regard to Rule 55 of its Rules of Procedure,

– having regard to the report of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety and the opinion of the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development (A7-0201/2012),

1. Adopts its position at first reading hereinafter set out;

2. Calls on the Commission to refer the matter to Parliament again if it intends to amend its proposal substantially or replace it with another text;

3. Instructs its President to forward its position to the Council, the Commission and the national parliaments.

(1) OJ C 43, 15.2.2012, p. 64.

FSU wins Manfred Lachs Space Law Moot Court Competition North American Rounds

On March 29, 2014 the final round of the North American Region’s Manfred Lachs Space Law Moot Court Competition was held. Florida State University came in first, and McGill University came in second. Other awards include:

  • Best Brief: Georgetown University
  • Best Oralist: Jim Burleson, Florida State University
  • Best New Team: William and Mary

Congrats to all the teams for great job! This judge was impressed with your hard work.

H.R. 4295: Protecting Airline Passengers from Sexual Assaults Act of 2014

H.R. 4295: Protecting Airline Passengers from Sexual Assaults Act of 2014 was introduced on March 25, 2014 by Eleanor Norton (Del. D.C.):

H.R.4295 — Protecting Airline Passengers from Sexual Assaults Act of 2014 (Introduced in House – IH)

HR 4295 IH

113th CONGRESS
2d Session

H. R. 4295
To direct the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration to collect and maintain data on the number of sexual assaults that occur on aircraft during flights in passenger air transportation, and for other purposes.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
March 25, 2014

Ms. NORTON introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure

A BILL
To direct the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration to collect and maintain data on the number of sexual assaults that occur on aircraft during flights in passenger air transportation, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

This Act may be cited as the `Protecting Airline Passengers from Sexual Assaults Act of 2014′.
SEC. 2. SEXUAL ASSAULT DATA.

(a) In General- Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration shall establish a program to collect and maintain data on the number of sexual assaults that occur on aircraft during flights in passenger air transportation.
(b) Data Availability- The Administrator shall make available to the public on the primary Internet Web site of the Federal Aviation Administration the data maintained under subsection (a).
(c) Definitions- In this section, the following definitions apply:
(1) AIR TRANSPORTATION- The term `air transportation’ has the meaning given that term in section 40102(a)(5) of title 49, United States Code, and includes intrastate air transportation.
(2) AIRCRAFT- The term `aircraft’ has the meaning given that term in section 40102(a)(6) of title 49, United States Code.
(3) INTRASTATE AIR TRANSPORTATION- The term `intrastate air transportation’ has the meaning given that term in section 40102(a)(27) of title 49, United States Code.

Alumni Paper: Environmental Overreach: The EU’s Carbon Tax on International Aviation

Ole Miss Law Alum (J.D., cum laude, Certificate in Remote Sensing, Air, and Space Law 2010) has published a new paper titled Environmental Overreach: The EU’s Carbon Tax on International Aviation in the Washington and Lee Journal of Energy, Climate, and the Environment. He currently serves as Managing Director, Taxes in the Legislative and Regulatory Policy Department of Airlines for America. Congrats, Surya!

FACT SHEET: The Administration’s Proposal for Ending the Section 215 Bulk Telephony Metadata Program

Source – The White House (see also the President’s Statement):

The White House
Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release March 27, 2014
FACT SHEET: The Administration’s Proposal for Ending the Section 215 Bulk Telephony Metadata Program

On January 17, 2014, President Obama gave a speech at the Department of Justice on his Administration’s review of certain intelligence activities. During this speech, he ordered a transition that would end the Section 215 bulk telephony metadata program as it previously existed and establish a new mechanism to preserve the capabilities we need without the government holding this bulk metadata. The President made clear that he was ordering this transition to give the public greater confidence that their privacy is appropriately protected, while maintaining the tools our intelligence and law enforcement agencies need to keep us safe. This fact sheet describes the steps the Administration has taken to implement this transition, details the President’s proposal for a new program to replace the Section 215 program, and outlines the steps the Administration will be taking in the near future to realize the President’s vision.

Ending the Section 215 Bulk Telephony Metadata Program as it Existed

On January 17, 2014, the President directed the first step in the transition of the Section 215 program; that the Department of Justice (DOJ) to seek to modify the program to ensure that:

Absent an emergency situation, the government can query the telephony metadata collected pursuant to the program only after a judge approves the use of specific numbers for such queries based on national security concerns; and
The results of any query are limited to metadata within two hops of the selection term being used, instead of three.
On February 5, 2014, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) approved the government’s request to modify the program.

The President’s Proposal to Replace the Section 215 Program

For the second step in the transition, the President instructed the Attorney General and the Intelligence Community (IC) to develop options for a new program that could match the capabilities and fill the gaps that the Section 215 metadata program was designed to address without the government holding the bulk telephony metadata records. The President further instructed the Attorney General and the IC to report back to him with options for alternative approaches before the program comes up for reauthorization by the FISC on March 28th.

Consistent with this directive, DOJ and the IC developed options designed to meet the criteria the President laid out in his speech — to preserve the capabilities we need without the government holding this metadata. The Administration has also consulted with Congress, the private sector, privacy and civil liberties groups, and other interested groups.

On the basis of these consultations, and after having carefully considered the available options, the President has decided on a proposal that will, with the passage of appropriate legislation, allow the government to end bulk collection of telephony metadata records under Section 215, while ensuring that the government has access to the information it needs to meet its national security requirements. Under the President’s proposal, a new program would be created with the following key attributes:

the government will not collect these telephone records in bulk; rather, the records would remain at the telephone companies for the length of time they currently do today;
absent an emergency situation, the government would obtain the records only pursuant to individual orders from the FISC approving the use of specific numbers for such queries, if a judge agrees based on national security concerns;
the records provided to the government in response to queries would only be within two hops of the selection term being used, and the government’s handling of any records it acquires will be governed by minimization procedures approved by the FISC;
the court-approved numbers could be used to query the data over a limited period of time without returning to the FISC for approval, and the production of records would be ongoing and prospective; and
the companies would be compelled by court order to provide technical assistance to ensure that the records can be queried and that results are transmitted to the government in a usable format and in a timely manner.
The President believes that this approach will best ensure that we have the information we need to meet our intelligence requirements while enhancing public confidence in the manner in which this information is collected and held.

The Path Forward

Legislation will be needed to implement the President’s proposal. The Administration has been in consultation with congressional leadership and members of the Intelligence and Judiciary Committees on this important issue throughout the last year, and we look forward to continuing to work with Congress to pass a bill that achieves the goals the President has put forward. Given that this legislation will not be in place by March 28 and given the importance of maintaining the capabilities in question, the President has directed DOJ to seek from the FISC a 90-day reauthorization of the existing program, which includes the substantial modifications in effect since February.

ITU: Global thrust to achieve universal broadband connectivity

Source- ITU:

Global thrust to achieve universal broadband connectivity
ITU World Telecommunication Development Conference opens in Dubai, United Arab Emirates
MEDIA ACCREDITATION OPEN
Dubai, 30 March 2014 – The sixth ITU World Telecommunication Development Conference (WTDC-14) opened today in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, with a call to achieve universal broadband connectivity. Under the theme ‘Broadband for Sustainable Development’, the conference will focus on development priorities in telecommunications and information and communication technologies (ICT) and agree on the programmes, projects and initiatives to implement them.
Mr Mohamed Nasser Al Ghanim, Director General of the Telecommunication Regulatory Authority of the United Arab Emirates and Head of the UAE delegation was elected Chairman of the Conference. He noted that the focus on the theme ‘Broadband for Sustainable Development’ brings attention to the critical aspect of leading edge ICT in enhancing a nation’s development. “Since the beginning of this Millennium, mobile cellular subscriptions have continued to rise, social media usage has rocketed, and an ever increasing number of people across the globe have been able to access the Internet, making use of the immeasurable quantity of information that greater connectivity provides,” said Mr Al Ghanim. “Yet one of the most persisting concerns that face us all is the ‘digital divide’. Serious practical solutions are required to close the gap and stem this endemic inequality of access.”
“ICTs, and in particular broadband networks, offer perhaps the greatest opportunity we have ever had to make rapid and profound advances in global social and economic development,” Said ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun Touré at the opening ceremony of WTDC-14. “By delivering efficiencies across so many areas, from education and healthcare to transportation, water and energy, broadband networks can quickly pay for themselves, creating a virtuous circle of investment, productivity and human development.”
The Director of ITU’s Telecommunication Development Bureau, Mr Brahima Sanou said that in the recent past, the growth of ICTs and their relevance in advancing the economic and social well-being of people have been extraordinary. “Yet, despite progress, significant challenges remain,” Mr Sanou said. “And that is the reason we are here. We need to create conditions for entrepreneurships and innovation; we need to create conducive and enabling regulatory environments to reach digital inclusion for all.” Mr Sanou stressed that “we should work together to put ICTs in the hands of ordinary people”.
One of the expected outcomes of WTDC-14 is the Dubai Action Plan – which will set the agenda for telecommunication and information and communication technologies development over the next four years. The dialogue, which will shape the future of the telecommunication and ICT sector and its contribution to social and economic development, will focus on:
Sound policies and regulatory frameworks that will foster investment and further develop telecom/ICT networks
Improved access to ICT applications to provide people with services such as education, health, and empower them with the means to achieve sustainable development
Increased safety and security in the use of telecoms/ICTs
Capacity building in the area of ICTs
Emergency telecommunications
WTDC-14 opened with the screening of a film on telecommunication and ICT development. Some 1650 participants from around 150 countries attended the Conference opening, including over 60 ministers and high-level delegates.
BROADBAND FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
An Executive Strategic Dialogue on Broadband for Sustainable Development was held on Saturday, 29 March.
The event provided a platform for an interactive debate on the trends, challenges and opportunities of the telecom/ICT sector. In particular, it focused on strategies and policies directed towards broadband development worldwide.
Noting that there are almost 1.5 billion smart phones in use, and that number is likely to double in the next few years, ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun I. Touré said, “The broadband universe is evolving incredibly quickly, especially with the advent of mobile broadband, which is the fastest growing technology in human history. Most of this growth will come in developing countries, if the pattern of recent years continues to be repeated – with 90 per cent of the mobile growth and over 80 per cent of the growth in Internet users coming from the developing world over the past four years.” Dr Touré stressed that we need to continue measuring progress in order to see what still needs to be done and added: “What we decide and define here in Dubai over the next two weeks will shape not just the future of ICT development over the next four years – but the future shape of the very world we live in.”
In his opening remarks, Brahima Sanou, Director of ITU’s Telecommunication Development Bureau said, “We still have the huge challenge of bridging the ‘broadband divide’ by exploring, debating and innovating the best ways to reinforce impact related to deploying broadband infrastructure and making broadband-based services and applications affordable.”
Mr Sanou added: “I do not doubt that the impact of broadband is significantly reinforced by the power of the mobile revolution. With more than 6.8 billion mobile subscriptions worldwide, we need, now more than ever, to join forces to empower people – no matter where they live – and contribute to socio-economic development.”
The keynote speaker was Mr Gerd Leonard, Futurist and CEO of The Futures Agency (Switzerland). Panellists included Mr John Nasasira, Minister of Information and Communication Technologies, Uganda; Mr Mohamed Nasser Al Ghanim, Director General, Telecommunications Regulatory Authority, UAE; Mr. Yoon Jong-Rok, Vice-Minister, Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning, Republic of Korea; Ms Kathryn C. Brown, Chief Executive Officer, Internet Society; Mr Samer Halawi, Chief Executive Officer, Thuraya; Mr Luigi Gambardella, Chairman of Executive Board, European Telecommunications Network Operators’ Association; and Ms Lobna Smida, Policy Expert in Accessibility, Tunisia.
A series of events during WTDC-14 will address a number of ICT development issues:
www.itu.int/en/ITU-D/Conferences/WTDC/WTDC14/Pages/item.aspx?ItemID=677.

European Parliament legislative resolution of 2 April 2014 on the proposal for a decision of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing a space surveillance and tracking support programme (COM(2013)0107 – C7-0061/2013 – 2013/0064(COD))

Source – EU Parliament:

European Parliament legislative resolution of 2 April 2014 on the proposal for a decision of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing a space surveillance and tracking support programme (COM(2013)0107 – C7-0061/2013 – 2013/0064(COD)) (Ordinary legislative procedure: first reading)

The European Parliament ,

– having regard to the Commission proposal to Parliament and the Council (COM(2013)0107),

– having regard to Article 294(2) and Article 189(2) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, pursuant to which the Commission submitted the proposal to Parliament (C7-0061/2013),

– having regard to Article 294(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

– having regard to the opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee of 10 July 2013,(1)

– having regard to the undertaking given by the Council representative by letter of 5 February 2014 to approve Parliament’s position, in accordance with Article 294(4) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

– having regard to Rule 55 of its Rules of Procedure,

– having regard to the report of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy and the opinions of the Committee of Foreign Affairs and the Committee on Budgets (A7-0030/2014),

1. Adopts its position at first reading hereinafter set out;

2. Calls on the Commission to refer the matter to Parliament again if it intends to amend its proposal substantially or replace it with another text;

3. Instructs its President to forward its position to the Council, the Commission and the national parliaments.

Library: A Round-up of Reading

Space Law
Up in arms: Poland accelerates missile defense plan amid Ukraine crisis – RT

Britain Looks To End Tax on Satellite and Launch Insurance – Space News

Astrosociological Insights: Volume 3, Issue 1 (March 2014)

NASA suspends cooperation with Russia for non-ISS issues because of Crimean crisis – Flight Laws

NASA Cuts Russian Ties Over Crimea in Favor of Resuming U.S. Human Spaceflight – IEEE

In Missing Airliner’s Wake, China Aims for 50 More Spy Satellites – Motherboard

NASA Can’t Ethically Send Astronauts on One-Way Missions to Deep Space – Motherboard

If NASA Has a Plan to Get Its Astronauts Home without Russia, It’s Not Saying – Motherboard

How Russia could strangle the U.S. space program – Salon

Aviation Law
GSA Should Clarify Its Reporting Exemption and Collect Additional Data on Executives’ Use of Aircraft for Nonmission Purposes. GAO-14-151

FAA Pursues Rulemaking On Third Class Medical Issue – ANN

Flight MH 370: US law firm plans lawsuit against Boeing and Malaysian Airlines – Flight Laws

Parliament Approves Emissions Deal Exempting Long-haul Flights – Aviation Law Prof Blog

THE FLIGHT-DATA RECORDER’S SLOW EVOLUTION – Elements

Geospatial Law
How Your Location Data Is Being Used to Predict the Events You Will Want to Attend – MIT Technology Review

Google “Street View” case may be headed for SCOTUS Review – Privacy and Security Law Blog

Updated Location Privacy Protection Act Introduced – Privacy and Security Law Blog

Cyberlaw
Comment Submitted to USTR – Information Society Project

Bitcoins run hot and cold – Babbage

Wi-Fi Deployment to Accelerate after FCC Allocates 100 MHz of Unlicensed Spectrum – Broadband Law Deployment Advisor

Brazil’s “Internet Bill of Rights” Regains Momentum in Congress – CDT

UN Human Rights Body Urges the US to Respect Privacy Rights of People Worldwide – CDT

White House Still Silent on Warrantless Email Snooping – CDT

CDT Files Comments in White House “Big Data” Review – CDT

Don’t Let Domestic Politics Derail the NTIA Transition – CDT

CDT Submits Comments to the UN on the Right to Privacy in the Digital Age – CDT

Industrial Policy for Big Data – Concurring Opinions

Schneier on the NSA, Google, Facebook Connection But What About Phones? – Concurring Opinions

Facebook Privacy Dinosaur – Concurring Opinions

ZunZuneo: A Tale of Failed Transparency and Gross Surveillance – Cyborgology

Court Orders Government Not to Destroy Evidence in EFF Cases Against the NSA – EFF

An NSA “Reform Bill” of the Intelligence Community, Written by the Intelligence Community, and for the Intelligence Community – EFF

EFF Files Supreme Court Brief Defending Internet Streaming Service – EFF

Philippines: Inching Toward Censorship – EFF

OUR ROUTERS, OURSELVES – Elements

Secure protocols for accountable warrant execution – Freedom to Tinker

Historic E.U. Net Neutrality Win Shows Maturing Digital Rights Advocacy – Freedom to Tinker

MAPPING OUT THE IANA TRANSITION – IGP

Cookies that give you away: The surveillance implications of web tracking – Freedom to Tinker

Attorney General Harris Unveils Cybersecurity Guide for California Businesses – InfoLawGroup

Steptoe Cyberlaw Podcast, Episode #12: An Interview with Jim Lewis – Lawfare

Steptoe Cyberlaw Podcast Episode #13: An Interview with Michael Allen – Lawfare

Mining Big Data for Public Opinion on NSA – Lawfare

Congress Considers the IANA Transfer to ICANN – Lawfare

Schneier on the NSA, Google, Facebook Connection But What About Phones? – Madisonian

James Clapper Finally Admitted the NSA Used PRISM to Spy on US Citizens – Motherboard

The EU Voted to Save Net Neutrality – Motherboard

The secret is out: U.S. built “Cuban Twitter” to stir up political unrest – Salon

Statement regarding suspension of some NASA activities with Russian Government representatives

Source – NASA:

Statement regarding suspension of some NASA activities with Russian Government representatives:

Given Russia’s ongoing violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, NASA is suspending the majority of its ongoing engagements with the Russian Federation. NASA and Roscosmos will, however, continue to work together to maintain safe and continuous operation of the International Space Station. NASA is laser focused on a plan to return human spaceflight launches to American soil, and end our reliance on Russia to get into space. This has been a top priority of the Obama Administration’s for the past five years, and had our plan been fully funded, we would have returned American human spaceflight launches – and the jobs they support – back to the United States next year. With the reduced level of funding approved by Congress, we’re now looking at launching from U.S. soil in 2017. The choice here is between fully funding the plan to bring space launches back to America or continuing to send millions of dollars to the Russians. It’s that simple. The Obama Administration chooses to invest in America – and we are hopeful that Congress will do the same.