This Week in Washington: Security in 5G Networks, Setting Standards, for AI and Promoting Civil Liberties in CIA Data Collection

This week, both houses of Congress sit silent during scheduled work periods, although the House Infrastructure Subcommittee will host a hearing on rural broadband Internet access in Minnesota. Back in Washington, D.C., tech and innovation think tanks kick off the week with an event on bridging the STEM education gap hosted by the Consortium for Science, Policy and Outcomes. Later in the week, the American Enterprise Institute explores issues in promoting security in 5G networks, the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation meets at the NIST headquarters in Gaithersburg to discuss standards setting for artificial intelligence tech, and the Brookings Institution focuses on the CIA’s efforts to police online channels to identify threats while balancing those activities with Americans’ civil liberties.

Tuesday, May 28 

Consortium for Science, Policy and Outcomes 

New Tools for Science Policy: Empowering Communities to Shape the Future

At 8:30 AM on Tuesday in ASU Barrett & O’Connor Center, 1800 I Street N.W., 8th Floor, Washington, D.C. 20006.

Technological progress is seen by many people to be a boon to modern society but there are others who feel a “future shock” by rapid advances. Fears regarding changes in technology are rife in science fiction where robots and artificial intelligence run dystopian worlds. The disconnect between the positive impacts of technological advances and the perception that such advances happen too fast for our society is a strong indication that more Americans need better engagement with science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) topics and education. This seminar, part of CSPO’s New Tools for Science Policy series, will explore how Arizona State University (ASU) has been addressing the gap in STEM education in partnership with museums across the United States. Speakers at this event include Rae Ostman and Paul Martin, both Faculty, School for the Future of Innovation in Society, ASU, and Co-Directors, Center for Innovation in Informal STEM Learning.

Wednesday, May 29

American Enterprise Institute 

International Economics and Securing Next-Generation 5G Wireless Networks: A Conversation With Amb. Robert Strayer

At 9:00 AM on Wednesday in AEI Auditorium, 1789 Massachusetts Ave. N.W., Washington, D.C. 20036.

The development of fifth generation, or 5G, mobile networks promise incredible advances in device connectivity that will enable new applications for connected cars, automated industrial processes, health care and much more than just smartphones. However, Huawei, a global leader in 5G development, has recently been targeted by an executive order from the Trump Administration banning the Chinese entity from participating in the rollout of America’s 5G networks due in large part to national security concerns. This event will feature a talk from Ambassador Robert Strayer, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Cyber and International Communications Policy at the U.S. State Department. After his remarks, Amb. Strayer will have a discussion with Shane Tews, Visiting Fellow, AEI. Following this will be a discussion with a panel including Zack Cooper, Research Fellow, AEI; Roger Entner, Founder, Recon Analytics; Mark Jamison, Visiting Scholar, AEI; and Peter Rysavy, Rysavy Research.

Thursday, May 30 

Information Technology and Innovation Foundation 

What’s Next in Standards Setting for AI?

At 9:30 AM on Thursday at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, 100 Bureau Drive, Red Auditorium, Gaithersburg, MD.

With artificial intelligence (AI) technological development still in its nascent stages, many have voiced fears that AI algorithms may be employed in industries such as automobiles or life insurance where they could pose risks to consumers. However, many industry players have been taking measures such as consulting with external advisory boards and establishing internal review processes to promote the development of algorithms that are both safe and effective. This February, President Donald Trump issued an executive order which calls upon the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to lead the federal government’s efforts in developing technical standards for safe AI technologies. This event will feature a discussion with a panel including Jason Matusow, General Manager, Corporate Standards Group, Microsoft; Lynne Parker, Assistant Director for Artificial Intelligence, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy; and Anthony Robbins, Vice President, North America Public Sector, NVIDIA. The panel discussion will be moderated by Joshua New, Senior Policy Analyst, ITIF’s Center for Data Innovation.

House Subcommittee on Contracting and Infrastructure

Small Businesses and Their Limitations Without Reliable Access to Rural Broadband

At 10:00 AM on Thursday at Bulltear Industries, 24543 Olinda Trail N, Scandia, MN, 55073.

There are 24 million Americans who lack reliable broadband Internet access and most of the underserved population lives in rural portions of the country. Internet access is crucial for economic development in many of these regions and this hearing, which takes place in Minnesota during the House’s scheduled district work period, will explore efforts to deploy broadband infrastructure in rural areas as well as potential policy changes made by Congress to support rural broadband. The witness panel for this hearing will include Adam Artz, Realtor, Realty Executives, Blaine, MN; Marc Johnson, Director, East Central Minnesota Educational Cable Cooperative, Braham, MN; Greg Carlson, Executive Director of Partnered & Affiliated Boards, Cambridge Presbyterian Homes, Roseville, MN; and Matt Crescenzo, Owner, Bulltear Industries, Inc., Scandia, MN.

The Heritage Foundation 

The State of China’s Economy

At 12:00 PM in Lehrman Auditorium, The Heritage Foundation, 214 Massachusetts Ave. N.E., Washington, D.C. 20002.

Trade and technology have been at the center of the trade dispute which has grown in recent years between the United States and China. As a Communist nation, China employs many state-sponsored tactics to keep the economy afloat in the face of rising labor costs and reduced consumption, but these tactics have contributed to that country’s rising debt. This event will explore the business risks of investing in China and whether a U.S.-China trade deal, which would likely involve intellectual property agreements, would improve the situation for investors. This event will feature a discussion involving Craig Allen, President, U.S.-China Business Council; Dr. Derek Scissors, Resident Scholar, American Enterprise Institute; and Wayne Morrison, Specialist in Asian Trade and Finance, Congressional Research Service. The event will be hosted by Riley Walters, Policy Analyst, Asia Economy and Technology.

Friday, May 31

The Brookings Institution

A Conversation With the CIA’s Privacy and Civil Liberties Officer: Balancing Transparency and Secrecy in a Digital Age

At 10:30 AM on Friday at Brookings Institution, Saul/Zilkha Room, 1775 Massachusetts Ave. N.W., Washington, D.C. 20036.

In the digital age, private communications and personal information have grown increasingly accessible to federal agencies and non-state actors alike. Agencies like the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) have an important role to play in surveilling online data in a secretive manner to work against threats to national security but this role has to be balanced against the need to preserve civil liberties for Americans. Much of the work of securing civil liberties within the context of CIA activities is performed by the Office of Privacy and Civil Liberties, which provides guidance on data collection activities and trains CIA personnel in privacy matters. This event features remarks from Benjamin Huebner, Privacy and Civil Liberties Officer, CIA. A discussion with Huebner will be moderated by Ryan Trapani, Federal Executive Fellow, Foreign Policy, The Brookings Institution.


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