National Journal Online

ICANN Hires Cryptography Pioneer

The nonprofit corporation that manages the Internet's address system has hired a pioneer in the development of modern cryptography to help head up its security efforts. Whitfield "Whit" Diffie will serve as the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers' vice president of information security and cryptography. He will be responsible for the design, development and implementation of security methods for ICANN-managed networks, the group said in a news release.

Posted: Friday, May 14, 2010 - 10:28am

Anti-Terror Efforts Put NRA Under The Gun

Top advocacy and lobbying stories in this week's National Journal: (subscription) "Anti-Terror Efforts Put The NRA Under The Gun:" Should suspects on the terrorist watch list be able to easily purchase a handgun? "Brawl Over Alcohol Regulations:" Wine and beer producers are squaring off against wholesalers in a fight that could impact future market share.

Posted: Friday, May 14, 2010 - 9:30am

FCC Chief Pushes Back On Broadband

From this morning's Earlybird: • Federal Communications Commission chair Julius Genachowski "fired back Thursday at critics of his controversial proposal to subject broadband to additional regulation with a spirited defense of the agency's actions," CongressDailyAM (subscription) reports.

Posted: Friday, May 14, 2010 - 9:00am

Corporate Governance Measure Draws Fire

From this morning's Earlybird: • "Businesses far from Wall Street have intensified their efforts to kill a largely overshadowed provision of the Senate's financial regulation bill giving shareholders more ammunition to shake up corporate boards," the Washington Post reports. • "The highly contentious lobbying battle between merchants and banks over Sen. Dick Durbin's (D-Ill.) amendment on 'interchange fees' is reaching new heights, as several trade groups are planning to declare the measure a 'key vote' for their membership," Roll Call (subscription) reports.

Posted: Friday, May 14, 2010 - 9:00am To Move To The Cloud

The White House announced Thursday that the Web site that tracks the multibillion-dollar economic stimulus program is moving to a cloud platform, reported. The Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board said it will place into an environment in which hardware and services are shared, and not owned by the government. is the first governmentwide system to move to the cloud, the White House said.

Posted: Thursday, May 13, 2010 - 3:56pm

Stolen VA Laptop Contains Veterans' Personal Data

A laptop belonging to a contractor working for the Veterans Affairs Department was stolen earlier this year and the personal data on hundreds of veterans stored on the computer was not encrypted, a violation of a VA information technology policy, said the top-ranking Republican on the House Veterans Affairs Committee.

Posted: Thursday, May 13, 2010 - 3:45pm

Another Internationalized Domain Name Goes Live

The group that manages the Internet's address system announced Thursday more progress in its effort to implement internationalized Internet addresses with the implementation of changes that will allow users to type domain names using Cyrillic letters. Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers President Rod Beckstrom announced Thursday that Internet addresses, also called domain names, using the Russian Federation's country-code domain name, .rf, can now be written using Cyrillic letters.

Posted: Thursday, May 13, 2010 - 3:35pm

Boucher Invites FCC Critics To Weigh In

House Energy and Commerce Communications Subcommittee Chairman Rick Boucher, D-Va., Thursday invited broadband providers and other stakeholders unhappy with the FCC's proposal to reclassify some aspects of broadband as a telecommunications service to work with Congress to seek a legislative fix, CongressDaily reported. FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski announced last week he was launching a proceeding to apply a limited number of provisions under Title II of the Communications Act to broadband, which is currently treated as a lightly regulated information service under Title I.

Posted: Thursday, May 13, 2010 - 3:15pm

Barton Disputes Need To Boost Broadband Access, Adoption

Some Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce voiced skepticism Thursday about the need to promote broadband adoption and access, saying current levels of adoption show that government intervention is unnecessary.

Posted: Thursday, May 13, 2010 - 2:44pm

Big Spill Lawyering

Offshore drilling company bigwigs who testified at a House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing this week and deftly maneuvered around tough queries about the Gulf of Mexico oil spill had lots of K Street counsel. Among the law firms retained to help fend off lawmakers' queries were Patton Boggs for Halliburton, Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom for Transocean, and Williams & Connolly for Cameron, say Hill sources. The biggest name in the room, BP, seems to have relied heavily on its own attorneys.

Posted: Thursday, May 13, 2010 - 12:33pm