Science & Technology

White House Proposes New Cybersecurity Measures

President Obama “will announce a handful of new consumer cybersecurity proposals on Monday, citing the growing threat of identity theft, data breaches and online fraud to Americans,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

“In a speech at the Federal Trade Commission in Washington, Mr. Obama will unveil two legislative proposals designed to protect consumers’ personal and financial information, as well as the privacy of student data collected by schools and corporations… The proposals, which would outline corporate responsibilities in the event of a data breach and curtail companies’ ability to sell student data or advertise to students, will need a vote from Congress.”

“The president will also announce new voluntary commitments from companies in the financial services, energy and education sectors—all designed to help safeguard vulnerable consumer data. Those include new promises from banking giants J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. and Bank of America Corp. to offer their customers free access to their credit scores, a move designed to cut down on financial fraud.”

Obama Embraces His Liberal Side by Endorsing Net Neutrality

Rebecca Leber: “On Monday, President Barack Obama effectively endorsed ‘net neutrality’the idea that Internet providers should treat all content equally, without giving or selling preferential treatment to some. In doing so, Obama has picked a big fight with corporate lobbyistsand created a stark contrast with the Republican Party.”

“The net neutrality episode is a reminder that Democrats, like Obama, also take strong stands against big business from time to timeand Republicans rarely do.”

John Judis adds “Obama didn’t just uphold the important principle of net neutralitythat internet providers not be allowed to discriminate among providers and customersbut he did so in the only way that counted: by advocating that the FCC change the classification of internet companies from ‘information providers’ to ‘telecommunications companies.’ That’s a seemingly technical change, but it lies at the heart of whether government can force megaliths like Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T to act in the public interest.”

FCC Plans New Net Neutrality Rules

The Federal Communications Commission said it “will craft new rules to prevent Internet service providers from charging companies like Netflix or Google a toll to reach consumers at the highest speeds,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

“The guidelines are expected to ban broadband providers from blocking or slowing down access to any websites. Supporters say the concept, known as net neutrality, is crucial to keeping the Internet open and allowing smaller companies to compete with the biggest content providers. But the courts have ruled against the FCC’s last two attempts to enforce net neutrality on companies like Comcast and Verizon Communications that provide Internet connections to households and businesses.”