Trump signing order on principles for U.S. government AI use

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The White House said President Donald Trump is signing an executive order on Thursday setting guidance for federal agency use of artificial intelligence that aims to foster public acceptance of the technology in government decision making.

U.S. President Donald Trump participates in a medal ceremony in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, U.S. December 3, 2020. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

The order directs agencies to prepare inventories of AI-use cases throughout their departments and directs the White House to develop a roadmap for policy guidance for administrative use of AI.

Michael Kratsios, U.S. chief technology officer, said the executive order “will foster public trust in the technology, drive government modernization, and further demonstrate America’s leadership in artificial intelligence.”

The Trump administration has made artificial intelligence a priority, earlier issuing guidance to federal agencies aimed at limiting “overreach” in regulating the use of AI by private companies,

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Can Tech Companies and Local Governments Mitigate Abuses of Government Secrecy?

The 2020 election brought into sharp relief the critical role that technology companies and local governments play in securing elections and minimizing disinformation about voting. The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency’s (CISA’s) #Protect2020 Strategic Plan recognized that state and local election officials “are on the front lines” of election security, and it identified media and social media companies as key partners. Representatives from Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Twitter met with officials from the FBI, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the Department of Homeland Security before the election season to coordinate how best to secure the 2020 elections. Facebook set up an election “war room” at its headquarters. Everywhere you look you can find stories about how CISA worked extensively with state and local election officials to secure the 2020 vote.

One way that the federal government works with these two groups is by sharing

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A New Technology That Will Dangerously Expand Government Spying on Citizens

If you’re worried about the capability of government to conduct surveillance of citizens engaged in political assembly and protest, or even just personal activity, then you should be aware the technological capability of government surveillance is about to expand exponentially.

The US Air Force’s Research Lab (yes, it has its own lab) has recently signed a contract to test new software of a company called SignalFrame, a Washington DC wireless tech company. The company’s new software is able to access smartphones, and from your phone jump off to access any other wireless or bluetooth device in the near vicinity. To quote from the article today in the Wall St. Journal, the smartphone is used “as a window onto usage of hundreds of millions of computers,s routers, fitness trackers, modern automobiles and other networked devices, known collectively as the ‘Internet of Things’.”

Your smartphone in effect becomes a government listening device

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Madison City Council bans city agencies from using facial recognition technology | Local Government



City-County Building file stock photo



The Madison City Council banned late Tuesday city agencies, including the Madison Police Department, from using facial recognition technology and also pushed back a decision on Edgewood High School’s latest effort to install lights at its athletics field.

On a 17-2 vote, the council approved a new ordinance that prohibits city agencies, departments and divisions from using facial recognition technology or “information derived from a face surveillance system” with a handful of exceptions.

Following a national reckoning this year on over-policing in communities of color, Madison and other governments have scrutinized and limited the use of face surveillance systems by law enforcement.

“The technology has proven to be unreliable and faulty,” Ald. Rebecca Kemble, 18th District, said of facial recognition, describing the ban more as a moratorium. “We also don’t want this technology to be used to further worsen the racial

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Government should take bigger role in promoting U.S. technology or risk losing ground to China, commission says

Advocates of the U.S. government taking a bigger role in industrial policy got a boost Tuesday from a bipartisan commission on China, which said the government should consider getting more involved in promoting U.S. technology or risk losing its edge to Chinese products.



a man standing in front of a sign


© Ng Han Guan/AP


In its annual report, the influential U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission advised Congress to consider establishing a government committee to work with companies and U.S. allies to push their priorities at global organizations that set technology standards.

U.S. companies have traditionally handled this work themselves, but as the Chinese government orchestrates a wide effort to promote its own standards, the U.S. and its Western allies could lose control of the rules that determine how technology develops, the commission said.

“This trend threatens U.S. influence on the evolution of technology, particularly in competition with a country that seeks to promote standards as

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U.S. government must help set technology standards

U.S. companies have traditionally handled this work themselves, but as the Chinese government orchestrates a wide effort to promote its own standards, the U.S. and its Western allies could lose control of the rules that determine how technology develops, the commission said.

“This trend threatens U.S. influence on the evolution of technology, particularly in competition with a country that seeks to promote standards as a matter of coordinated industrial policy and heavily subsidizes corporate research and development,” the report said.

“We can no longer just sit back and hope for the best. We have to have an activist policy,” Michael Wessel, a Democratic appointee to the commission, said Tuesday as the report was published.

The recommendation echoes growing calls from Republicans and Democrats for the government to shed some of its free-market orthodoxy and take a bigger role in the economy to counter China and its growing high-tech exports.

Since

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Pubs, theatres, sport events dealt a blow as UK government puts pin in vaccine passport idea

Pubs, theatres and sport events were dealt a blow on Tuesday morning as senior minister Michael Gove denied that the government would plan a system of vaccine passports when a coronavirus vaccine is rolled out nationally.



Michael Gove wearing a suit and tie: Britain's Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Michael Gove arrives to attend a cabinet meeting at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) in London, Britain November 10, 2020. REUTERS/Toby Melville


Britain’s Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Michael Gove arrives to attend a cabinet meeting at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) in London, Britain November 10, 2020. REUTERS/Toby Melville

The idea would see those without a COVID-19 vaccination prevented from going to the pub or attending events — a scheme that could see the economy reopening faster.

Gove told Sky News this morning: “I certainly am not planning to introduce any vaccine passports and I don’t know anyone else in government (who is).”

Nadhim Zadhawi, the minister in charge of vaccines, said on Monday he expects that people who refuse the vaccine may be barred entry to some bars, restaurants, cinemas and sports

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ByteDance gets another extension from US government for TikTok sale

The Trump administration has once again extended the deadline for ByteDance to sell video sharing platform TikTok’s business in the US, Reuters reported. The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) has given China-based ByteDance until December 4th to either sell or spin out its US business, according to a court filing. CFIUS reportedly granted the extension “to allow time to review a revised submission” that it recently received.

President Trump said in August that TikTok and its parent company were a national security risk to the US, and issued the initial order requiring TikTok to sell its US business. Trump’s order would have blocked all US transactions with ByteDance.

In September, the US Commerce Department issued an order to block downloads of TikTok in the US. The president then said he had approved “in concept” a deal with Oracle and Walmart that called for creating a new

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UK government announces plans to write a ‘conduct’ code for Facebook and Google, starting in April 2021, but doesn’t offer an enforcement timeline

  • The UK on Friday introduced a new “pro-competition” watchdog to regulate Google, Facebook, and others.
  • The Digital Markets Unit will enforce a new code, adding data-transparency requirements and helping small businesses promote themselves online, according to the announcement.
  • Ronan Harris, vice president of Google UK & Ireland, said the search giant looks forward to “working constructively” with the new unit.
  • From April 2021, the unit “could be given powers to suspend, block and reverse decisions of tech giants,” the government said.

The UK on Friday announced a government unit to enforce a new competition code on Google, Facebook, and other tech giants, beginning in April 2021.

The business secretary, Alok Sharma, said in a statement that companies like Google and Facebook make a “significant contribution” to the UK economy, but “the dominance of just a few big tech companies is leading to less innovation, higher advertising prices and less choice

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Australian government develops its own metrics and ranks NBN highly

A year after NBN decided it didn’t like the idea of speed tests as a broadband measurement, the viewpoint has spilled over to the Bureau of Communications, Arts and Regional Research (BCARR).

In the case of the BCARR, it has paid PricewaterhouseCoopers to develop metrics that are more suitable to it. On the hit list was tossing out perennial chart-toppers like South Korea and Singapore.

“No country is easily comparable to another. For example, by global standards, Australia is wealthy and highly urbanised, but our population is also spread across a vast landmass,” the BCARR said.

“Our income and geography mean that Australia is more readily comparable with Canada than with city states like Singapore, or densely-populated countries such as the United Kingdom.”

With Singapore on the outer, the list of comparable countries included a country only 17 places higher in a ranking of places by geographic size, Qatar. The

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