This Week in Washington IP: Examining the DMCA, Space Situational Awareness and Counteracting Algorithmic Bias week in Washington IP events on Capitol Hill, the Senate IP Subcommittee will hold the first of several hearings designed to explore the need to modernize Internet copyright law under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Elsewhere in the Senate, committee hearings will focus on cybersecurity for government and business communities as well as supporting key areas of space research. Over in the House of Representatives, Tuesday’s schedule features a busy lineup of hearings that will discuss, among other topics, commercialization of university research, issues related to autonomous vehicles and meeting workforce needs in the cybersecurity industry. On Wednesday, the House Task Force on Artificial Intelligence will address the reinforcement of bias by AI systems utilized in the financial industry.

Tuesday, February 11

Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs

What States, Locals and the Business Community Should Know and Do: A Roadmap for Effective Cybersecurity

At 9:30 AM on Tuesday in 342 Dirksen Senate Office Building.

The coordination of cybersecurity efforts between governments at the federal, state and local level will be a topic of tremendous importance during 2020 as the United States nears its next presidential election this November. Encouraging the use of frameworks with strong data protections is also important in many areas where collaboration across different levels of government is necessary, including border control and emergency response to catastrophic weather events. The witness panel for this hearing will include the Honorable Christopher C. Krebs, Director, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, U.S. Department of Homeland Security; Amanda Crawford, Executive Director, Department of Information Resources, State of Texas; and Christopher DeRusha, Chief Security Officer, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Protection Office, State of Michigan.

House Subcommittee on Research and Technology

More Hires, Fewer Hacks: Developing the U.S. Cybersecurity Workforce

At 10:00 AM on Tuesday in 2318 Rayburn House Office Building.

A shortage of labor with the requisite skills to handle cybersecurity work is a global issue, as more than 80% of employers surveyed across eight countries have reported a need in their organizations for greater cybersecurity skills. Workforce projections have indicated that by 2022, the shortfall of skilled cybersecurity workers will reach 1.8 million unfilled positions around the world. The witness panel for this hearing will include Rodney Petersen, Director, National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education, National Institute of Standards and Technology; Dr. Ambareen Siraj, Professor, Computer Science, and Director, Cybersecurity Education Research and Outreach Center, Tennessee Tech University; Joseph Sawasky, President and CEO, Merit Network, Inc.; and Sonya Miller, HR Director, IBM Security and Enterprise & Technology Security.

House Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Commerce

Autonomous Vehicles: Promises and Challenges of Evolving Automotive Technologies

At 10:00 AM on Tuesday in 2123 Rayburn.

While self-driving cars continue to advance technologically and many state legislatures have approved measures to embrace this new mode of transportation, concerns over cybersecurity issues, testing driverless vehicles on public roads and maintaining safe levels of driver engagement have caused lawmakers at the state and federal level to consider steps that would promote the safer integration of autonomous vehicles onto our nation’s roadways. The witness panel for this hearing will include Cathy Chase, President, Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety; John Bozzella, President and CEO, Alliance for Automotive Innovation; Daniel Hinkle, State Affairs Counsel, American Association of Justice; Mark Riccobono, President, National Federation of the Blind; Gary Shapiro, President and CEO, Consumer Technology Association; and Jeff Tumlin, Director of Transportation, San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency.

House Subcommittee on Innovation and Workforce Development

The Innovation Pipeline: From Universities to Small Businesses

At 10:00 AM on Tuesday in 2360 Rayburn.

America’s ability to dominate the world in technological innovation during the 20th century relied a great deal on the network between academic institutions with robust research activities and small businesses capable of commercializing the advances in technology coming from those universities. The witness panel for this hearing will include Dr. John Younger, Vice President of Science and Technology, University City Science Center; Dr. Sheila Martin, Vice President of Economic Development and Community Engagement, Association of Public and Land-grant Universities; Dr. Ethan Mann, Vice President of Marketing and Business Technologies, Sharklet Technologies, Inc.; and Dr. Gregory Crawford, President, Miami (OH) University.

House Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics 

Space Situational Awareness: Key Issues in an Evolving Landscape

At 2:00 PM on Tuesday in 2318 Rayburn.

The situational awareness of the U.S. commercial space sector will be part of the focus of a study by the nonprofit think tank RAND Corporation and commissioned by the U.S. Space Force. The study is designed to aid the U.S. Space Force in implementing commercial space technologies and better understand the risk of employing such technologies during an armed conflict. The witness panel for this hearing will include Dr. Brian Weeden, Director of Program Planning, Secure World Foundation; Daniel Oltrogge, Co-Director, Space Safety Coalition, Founder and Administrator, Space Safety Coalition, AIAA Space Traffic Management Space Governance Task Force Chairman; Joanne Gabrynowicz, Professor Emerita of Space Law, University of Mississippi Law Center; Danielle Wood, Director of the Space Enabled Research Group, Assistant Professor of Media Arts & Sciences and Aeronautics & Astronautics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; and Dr. Ruth Stilwell, Adjunct Professor, Norwich University, Senior Non-Resident Scholar, Space Policy Institute, George Washington University.

Senate Subcommittee on Intellectual Property

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act at 22: What Is It, Why Was It Enacted, and Where Are We Now

At 2:30 PM on Tuesday in 226 Dirksen.

This hearing is the first in a series that was first announced last December by Senate IP Subcommittee Chairman Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC) on the subject of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). In an opinion piece posted on The Hill, Chairman Tillis indicated that his subcommittee would look at ways to modernize the DMCA to address copyright issues related to rapid technological advancements. This hearing will have two witness panels, the first of which will include the Honorable Edward Damich, Senior Judge, U.S. Court of Federal Claims; Jonathan Band, Owner, Jonathan Band PLLC; Robert Schwartz, Partner, Constantine Cannon; and Steve Metalitz, Partner, Mitchell, Silberberg & Knupp LLP. The second witness panel will include Sandra Aistars, Clinical Professor Senior Scholar and Director, Copyright Research & Policy, Center for the Protection of IP, Antonin Scalia Law School, George Mason University; Rebecca Tushnet, Frank Stanton Professor of the First Amendment, Harvard Law School; Jessica Litman, John F. Nickell Professor of Law, University of Michigan Law School; and Mark Schultz, Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company Chair in Intellectual Property Law Director, Intellectual Property and Technology Law Program, University of Akron School of Law.

Wednesday, February 12

Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation 

Space Missions of Global Importance: Planetary Defense, Space Weather Protection, and Space Situational Awareness

At 10:00 AM on Wednesday in 216 Hart Senate Office Building.

The U.S. has been making an effort to maintain international leadership in the growing commercial space sector in order to support the agency’s research and national security goals. The Senate Science Committee will also focus on policies and programs designed to help the U.S. achieve research goals in key areas such as planetary defense. The witness panel for this hearing will include Dr. Thomas Zurbuchen, Associate Administration, Science Mission Directorate, National Aeronautics and Space Administration; William Murtagh, Director, Space Weather Prediction Center, National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration; Kevin O’Connell, Director, Office of Space Commerce, Department of Commerce; and Dr. Moriba Jah, Associate Professor, Advanced Sciences and Technology Research in Astronautics, University of Texas.

House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology

Full Committee Markup

At 10:00 AM on Wednesday in 2318 Rayburn.

On Wednesday morning, the full House Science Committee will convene a meeting to mark up several bills related to technological development in the energy sector, including H.R. 2986, the Better Energy Storage Technology (BEST) Act; H.R. 4230, the Clean Industrial Technology (CIT) Act; H.R. 5374, the Advanced Geothermal Research and Development Act; and H.R. 5428, the Grid Modernization Research and Development Act.

House Subcommittee on Technology Modernization 

Data Privacy and Portability at VA: Protecting Veterans’ Personal Data

At 10:00 AM on Wednesday in 210 House Visitors Center.

Last November, a report from the Veterans Affairs Inspector General found that employees at the Veterans Benefits Administration had neglected to redact sensitive personal information from a large number of claims records for three years. This failure to redact is not only a potential violation of the Privacy Act of 1974 but also leaves that data at risk of being captured by identity thieves. The witness panel for this hearing has yet to be announced.

House Task Force on Artificial Intelligence 

Equitable Algorithms: Examining Ways to Reduce AI Bias in Financial Services

At 2:00 PM on Wednesday in 2128 Rayburn.

Algorithmic decision-making supported by artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning technologies can aid many types of organizations by improving their ability to spot patterns that may improve productivity. However, ethical concerns have been raised by those who believe that the use of algorithms can reinforce historical biases against various stakeholders in ways that might violate existing laws against discrimination. The witness panel for this hearing will include Dr. Phillip Thomas, Assistant Professor and co-director of the Autonomous Learning Lab, College of Information and Computer Sciences, University of Massachusetts Amherst; Dr. Makada Henry-Nickie, David M. Rubenstein Fellow, Governance Studies, Race, Prosperity, and Inclusion Initiative, Brookings Institute Dr. Michael Kearns, Professor and National Center Chair, Department of Computer and Information Science at the University of Pennsylvania; and Ms. Bärí A. Williams, Attorney and Emerging Tech AI & Privacy Advisor.

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One comment so far.

  • [Avatar for Pro Say]
    Pro Say
    February 11, 2020 03:34 pm

    Sure, sure . . . hearings on this, hearings on that.

    Bill markups on this, bill markups on that.

    All while some of the most important innovations — including those which could save untold 10’s of 100’s of thousand human lives — the world has ever known (and those which will never be known) . . . are able to be protected most everywhere in the world where it matters . . . except in America.

    Except in America.