Archive for the ‘policy’ tag
Many of the U.S. Department of Defense’s recently-purchased 650,000 iOS devices are still sitting in a government warehouse awaiting creation of polices on how they can be used, a source familiar with the situation recently informed VentureBeat.
“Most of them have not been deployed and are still sitting in a warehouse,” the source said. “They haven’t yet been able to build an implementation guide on how to use them.”
In March, the DoD purchased 120,000 iPads, 100,000 iPad minis, 200,000 iPod touches, and 210,000 iPhones, for an estimated cost of $200-250 million. It was a big win for Apple, which is making significant inroads into government — formerly BlackBerry territory.
But before the military allows the use of wireless devices such as iPhones or BlackBerries, they must be approved for operation in sensitive areas, and there must be a very specific and detailed implementation and deployment plan in place.
A large part of that is the creation of policy for approved use, and one of the overarching documents the DOD has used in the past is DoD Directive 8100.02, which says in part that cellular devices are not allowed into areas where classified information is discussed, stored, or processed without written approval.
The problem, apparently, is that appropriate directives for the new iOS devices have not yet been written.
“They have no policies for use of them yet,” my source told me. “And there’s no way to prove that the WiFi is turned off.”
One solution the DoD implemented for the iPads, which were intended for use by military recruiters but were also tasked for the flight bags of military flight bags for the USAF, was to hand them off to a second party after delivery from Apple to crack open the cases and “snip the WiFi radio” to disable it, and then close them up again.
Apparently the DoD reached a special agreement with Apple to maintain warranty eligibility, which would normally be voided after opening the case.
I have contacted the DoD for any comment on this story, and will update it as I learn more.
photo credit: Indiana Jones and the Lost Ark
It’s difficult to connect with our members of congress, who have busy schedules traveling between their hometowns and Washington D.C., but YouTube is trying to make things a bit easier.
This week YouTube is rolling out enhanced channels for everyone in congress, which will now provide them with enhanced features like live streaming video. The new channels will also allow constituents to more easily follow events, hearings, and such that their congressperson conducts.
The move is nice, especially because the YouTube channels fit into the daily routine of most people — meaning they probably spend some time every day watching videos on YouTube. I’m guessing the same can’t be said for C-SPAN, the public access channel dedicated to government dealings.
Over the last year, Google and YouTube has significantly stepped up its efforts to provide video coverage for the government. It’s encouraged congress members to conduct live Google Hangouts via Google+, which allows constituents to ask questions via video chat. It also set up its own political hub to help collect coverage of the 2012 presidential election as well as provided coverage of the Republican National Convention.
Congress photo via Shutterstock
The Obama administration is rumored to announce Tom Wheeler as its pick for the next head of the Federal Communications Commission later today, according to a Wall Street Journal report that cites unnamed sources familiar with the matter.
Former FCC chairman Julius Genachowski stepped down from the position back in March after a four-year stint. If the WSJ report proves true it wouldn’t be a complete surprise, as many speculated that Wheeler would be among the top candidates for consideration. The report indicates that Obama will make a formal announcement as soon as Wednesday
As for Wheeler, he’s currently a partner at Washington, D.C.-based venture capital firm Core Capital Partners, which manages $350 million in investments across two different funds. Wheeler has plenty of experience working with communications companies and organizations. He’s former CEO of trade organization former President of the National Cable Television Association (NCTA), former CEO of the Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association (CTIA), a board member of PBS, and co-founder investor relations service company SmartBrief. Wheeler also has a rather though background in crafting communications policy and serves on President Obama’s Intelligence Advisory Board.
Basically, not only is Wheeler familiar with the telecommunications world, but also with the startup world, which should please the tech community. Personally, he sounds like a shoo-in for the position, but he’ll still need to gain a vote of approval from the Senate.
If you’re curious about his stances on the communications industry, he writes a column called Mobile Musings. Some of his stances are definitely forward thinking, but not so much that I’d label him a futurist. For example, he theorizes that mobile payments startup ISIS — which allows you to pay for goods using your mobile device — could eventually use its technology to shape the way elections are conducted. And as the WSJ notes, Wheeler was a fan of the merger between AT&T and T-Mobile, which later fell apart after the Federal Trade Commission filed a suit to block it. His logic was that the FCC was missing a huge opportunity to add further regulation to the wireless carrier industry.
We’re reaching out to both Wheeler and the FCC for comment, and will update this post with any new information.
Photo via wiredbike/Flickr
Bad cyber security legislation CISPA is likely to fail if it goes to a vote on the Senate floor, according to comments made by Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.V.), chairman of the committee on commerce, science and transportation, today.
CISPA, or the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, is a bill that will allow major companies to share cyber threat data with the government (and each other) to prevent attacks on their networks. Many critics have spoken out against CISPA because it doesn’t specify what information can be shared and what it will be used for beyond preventing cyber attacks. The CISPA passed a vote in the House last week, despite threats of a presidential veto.
“We’re not taking [CISPA] up,” Rockefeller told U.S. News. “Staff and senators are divvying up the issues and the key provisions everyone agrees would need to be handled if we’re going to strengthen cybersecurity. They’ll be drafting separate bills.”
CISPA isn’t technically dead because the Senate hasn’t brought the bill to a vote. And even though there’s promise of carving CISPA’s various cybersecurity issues into separate bills, it could easily morph into something that’s very much like the original piece of legislation that was passed by the House.
It’s worth noting that this is the second go-around for CISPA. Last year the bill also passed successfully in the House — and the Senate version of CISPA bill even had the White House stamp of approval. Yet, the Senate is also where CISPA met its demise the first time, so maybe there is some hope that Rockefeller’s comments will hold true. Still, the White House is still pushing for some type of cybersecurity legislation to pass into law, and has even laid the groundwork for companies to voluntarily start participating in a CISPA-style coalition.
Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, whose strict telecommuting policy was believed by many to be — for lack of a better phrase — ruining it for everyone, has clarified that her company’s internal policies were not intended to be a statement on how all offices should be run, not even her own.
In February, Mayer’s image as the newly minted CEO of Yahoo took a turn for the worse when a leaked memo appeared on AllThingsD that outlined a new policy for bringing remote workers back into the office.
An early report estimated that several hundred Yahoo employees, mostly salespeople, would feel the effects, which sources later added would also extend to those who had arranged to work from home part-time.
While Yahoo staffers grumbled about the change, even outsiders complained that the male-dominated tech industry would be doomed if even its most famous female CEO, who is also a new mother, refused to maintain a flexible work policy for her employees. At the time, the company declined to comment on “internal matters.”
Mayer finally explained her decision to bring certain remote workers back into the office to attendees of yesterday’s Great Place to Work conference at the Hyatt Regency Century City in Los Angeles. According to Fortune, the policy will only impact around 200 out of Yahoo’s 12,000 employees.
Although the CEO acknowledged that “People are more productive when they’re alone,” she defended her decision with the reasoning that “they’re more collaborative and innovative when they’re together. Some of the best ideas come from pulling two different ideas together.”
Mayer added that her decision “was wrongly perceived as an industry narrative” and repeated the company’s statement that Yahoo’s previous policy on telecommuting is “not what’s right for Yahoo right now.”
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Worth thinking about that the next time you’re annoyed at a customer.
Or when you’re dreaming up a policy designed to punish a few outlier customers while it actually annoys all of them.
Tell me again why the gift certicates you sell have an expiration date?
Vanessa from Google announced a new PO Box policy in the Google Places Help forums.
The new policy forbids you to place your PO Box information in both the address 1 or 2 fields. Previously, if you had a PO Box…
“Why?” is the most important question, not asked nearly enough.
Hint: “Because I said so,” is not a valid answer.
- Why does it work this way?
- Why is that our goal?
- Why did you say no?
- Why are we treating people differently?
- Why is this our policy?
- Why don’t we enter this market?
- Why did you change your mind?
- Why are we having this meeting?
- Why not?
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