Digital Policy Roundup: Busy Policy Week Taking Shape, and Some Key Stuff You Might Have Missed

This week’s shaping up to be very busy. Particularly the calendar for Wednesday, featuring activity on issues ranging from mobile broadband, to cyber to digital learning (see full list in the calendar section).

Cybersecurity is headlining the week once again, as the Senate continues to move forward with all deliberate speed to finalize and introduce comprehensive cybersecurity legislation (still expected to be on the floor in the first half of February), while a key House Subcommittee will markup cybersecurity info. sharing legislation (H.R. 3674).

On the privacy front, the EC last week formally released its long-awaited proposal to comprehensively reform the EU’s 1995 data protection rules for online privacy. The proposal includes two legislative proposals setting out the Commission’s objectives: a Regulation setting out a general EU framework for data protection, and a Directive on protecting personal data processed for the purposes of prevention, detection, investigation or prosecution of criminal offences and related judicial activities. SIIA released a statement in response, highlighting our deep concerns and expressing our commitment to seek revisions to ease administrative burdens and make it easier for global companies to demonstrate compliance with the EU privacy regime.

Also, in the “you might have missed it” column, here’s a list of recent developments we’re tracking over the last couple weeks that should be of interest to many SIIA members:

Earlier this month, the PTO submitted two reports to Congress mandated by the recently passed patent reform legislation the “America Invents Act”: (1) the Prior User Rights Defense Study, which concludes that the AIA provisions are consistent with similar rights of major trading partners and that there is no evidence of a negative impact on innovation, and (2) the International Patent Protection for Small Business Study, which concludes that many small businesses may benefit from extending patent rights internationally, but few small businesses are aware of the need, and how to do this.

On January 19th, the White House released a memo announcing “Principles for Federal Engagement in Standards Activities to Address National Priorities.” The memo is the result of a lengthy assessment by the NSTC Subcommittee on Standards, led by officials at NIST, OSTP and USTR re: the Government’s role in standards, which included outreach to SIIA and many of our member companies, and it follows a broader set of proposed recommendations released in October 2011.

In December, official Chinese Government website sources reported that the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) issued its 12th Five Year Plan for the Software and Information Technology Services Industry, a document which describes the blueprint and goals for developing the software and IT services industry through direct funding mechanisms, 10 development ‘focus points,’ and 8 mega-engineering projects. Additionally, the plan calls for revenues from the domestic software and IT services sector to exceed 400B RMB, overall Y/Y growth of over 25%, and for exports to exceed 60B USD. MIIT has not released the plan to the public. For more information, please see SIIA Chinese partner USITO.

David LeDuc is Senior Director, Public Policy at SIIA. He focuses on e-commerce, privacy, cyber security, cloud computing, open standards, e-government and information policy.

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