The Stanford Journal of Law hosts experts in business, law, and technology to delve into global cyberthreats and cybersecurity in its annual symposium.
“The Virtual Battlefield: Securing Cyberspace in a World Without Borders,” is the topic and it will kick off Thursday night with a keynote address by Hamadoun Touré, secretary-general of the International Telecommunication Union, who presided over December’s controversial World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT).
Articles on cybersecurity and hacking have been making the news increasingly frequently in the past few years, with high-profile victims including the U. S. Army, the Federal Reserve, Facebook and the New York Times.
An upcoming Stanford Journal of International Law symposium on cybersecurity, “The Virtual Battlefield: Securing Cyberspace in a World Without Borders,” has several presentations and panels with cybersecurity experts to discuss how international law may or may not address these issues.
For those who advocate for a free and open Internet governed by the multi-stakeholder approach, treaties proposed at the 2012 World Conference on International Telecommunications in Dubai were a potential disaster, giving countries greater power to limit the rights of their citizens. But the proposed treaties also highlighted another important issue, one that touches every nation regardless of its stance on free expression.
My interest was piqued last year during a phone call with Nick Allen, a member of my CALinnovates Advisory Board. Nick told me that he was in the process of winding down his fund at Spring Ventures, which would allow him to focus his energy on a new business he founded with Sunil Paul. The new venture, called SideCar, launched in San Francisco last June. Four months later Allen and Paul raised a Series A round of $10 million from Lightspeed Venture Partners, Google Ventures, SV Angel, Mark Pincus, Lerer Ventures and a convoy of other prominent angels and VCs. The A round allowed SideCar to expand well beyond their launch city of San Francisco. SideCar now serves passengers in Seattle, Austin, DC, Philly and, now, thankfully, the City of Angels. Competition abounds, mostly in the form of Lyft, another Bay Area-based purveyor of ride-shares. You simply can’t miss Lyft’s cars driving around the city due to its clever marketing ploy of placing big, pink “carstaches” on the grill of each car in their fleet.
Shervin Talieh, founder and CEO of Drumbi, an OC-based startup, is one of the bright tech stars in Orange County who is disrupting telephony through the creation of an innovative communications platform. Many consider him to be the godfather of the burgeoning tech scene in the region.
With Drumbi’s software, there’s no wait and no automated prompts. As Talieh states on Quora, he is focused on changing the nature of consumer-to-business communications, and his platform accomplishes this bold undertaking.
Today, speechwriters in the West Wing will put the finishing touches on President Obama’s State of the Union address. The State of the Union provides every President an unparalleled opportunity to showcase his policy priorities. And the opportunity is never more valuable than in an inaugural year, when it can set the tone for the next four. This year I hope the President speaks to the digital economy and, specifically, California’s burgeoning tech sector.
In my dream scenario, the President’s speech will sketch a blueprint for building a stronger future for America. To me that means focusing some policies on Silicon Valley and San Francisco, still the headquarters of the new economy, a fact that Washington seems to forget from time-to-time. Tech-friendly policy initiatives will directly benefit the new economy, California, and the U.S. Take these, for example:
Give the app economy a boost. As consumers and businesses use more and more data, California’s burgeoning app economy could use a digital infrastructure upgrade, which could be accomplished by moving to all-IP networks across the country. A new Brookings Institution book by Robert Litan and Hal Singer, The Need for Speed: A New Framework for Telecommunications Policy for the 21st Century, offers a potential roadmap for a regulatory re-think that could help expedite the delivery of broadband to consumers and keep the new economy humming. Meanwhile, the federal government, under President Obama’s leadership, needs to speed the reallocation of underutilized spectrum, the invisible radio waves over which our connected devices communicate. If our telecommunications infrastructure clogs up like our freeways at rush hour, either because of inadequate spectrum or insufficient private investment, then our app economy will suffer.
CALinnovates and California-Based Tech Groups Ask FCC to Speed Modernization of Nation’s Communications NetworksComment supports petition seeking national conversation on speeding up transition to all-IP based networks with beta trials to measure consumer benefits
SAN FRANCISCO – CALinnovates, a tech advocacy organization, along with eight other California-based tech groups-Alphabird, Appallicious,At The Pool, Avetta, ,iSideWith, Lex Machina, MySocialCloud, and the Silicon Valley Italian Executive Council–have jointly filed comments with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) expressing support for a petition currently pending at the Commission.The petition, submitted last year by AT&T, asks the FCC to work with the private sector to begin geographically-limited beta tests to examine the complex technical and policy issues associated with the transition away from existing legacy voice networks to modern IP-based networks. The guidelines provided in the petition propose a framework that will allow the private sector and the government to address the operational, technical and policy issues related to the transition to new IP-based networks in an open and transparent process.“Startups in-and-around Silicon Valley need reliable, forward-looking high-speed networks to deliver for our customers,” said Chase Norlin, CEO of Alphabird. “Supporting the rapid development of communications infrastructure will allow us to maintain a free and open Internet, encourage private investment, and support innovation and free flowing ideas.”“Existing regulations mandate continued investment in outdated, 20th century networks that consumers are using less and less,” said CALinnovates Executive Director Mike Montgomery. “Old school networks can’t offer the infrastructure needed for seamless communication of voice, data, video, and Internet applications among various devices.”Montgomery continued, “This petition is a first step in determining how the FCC and the private sector can work together to upgrade the country’s communications infrastructure beyond the limited capabilities of networks designed for voice-only communication. The new communications ecosystem no longer operates solely through telephone companies. This filing is about updating a regulatory environment that promotes access to new technologies, protects consumers, and enhances our economic productivity.”“The beta trials deploying IP-enabled networks will help accelerate the evolution of technology and drive increased connectivity and innovation, while fostering immense capital investment,” said Montgomery. “Investing in stronger and faster IP networks will provide substantial benefits to consumers and businesses nationwide ranging from job creation to greater access to education, healthcare, training, and public safety.”
Back in 2000, George W. Bush was lambasted for butchering the English language by making up the word “Internets.” He may have unintentionally predicted the future of the Web, which, under its current governance structure, has played a vital role in creating this amazing and interconnected online world in which we live.
Unfortunately for everyone who enjoys the Internet as a free and open platform for innovation, communications and commerce, the rug may have been pulled out from underneath us. When the United Nations’ World Conference on International Telecommunications ended last week, the idea of two “Internets” became plausible.
Regardless of how well the current multi-stakeholder approach is working for most of us, conference participants charged forward with new regulations that should alarm every tech company, aspiring entrepreneur, Skype lover, blogger or Etsy shop owner in the world. In an 89-54 vote, the United States, Canada, most Western European countries and Japan came up short against the likes of China, Iran and Russia, countries not necessarily known for eagerness to enact sensible regulations on behalf of their citizenry. The vote approved the text of a treaty that would put the Internet on the road to reckless regulation in two short years.
For Los Angeles to develop and expand its high-tech industry, the city must change its public perception, a new report commissioned by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa says.
The Los Angeles Mayor’s Council on Innovation and Industry, formed by the mayor last March, released its 24-page report on Wednesday listing ways the city can work with the high-tech industry to develop it further in L.A.
On Tuesday, Novemeber 27, 2012 CALinnovates partnered with the Stanford Law School to bring together a panel of experts to discuss the upcoming World Conference on International Communications in Dubai next month. The panel included:
Ambassador David Gross, former U.S. Coordinator for International Communications and Information Policy, U.S. Department of State
Larry Irving, The Irving Group; Former Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information, National Telecommunications & Information Administration (NTIA)
Patrick Ryan, Policy Counsel, Open Internet, Google, Inc.
Larry Downes, long recognized expert in telecommunications policy served as the moderator.
You can watch the entire discussion below. And be sure to share it with friends and colleagues.