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Government

Submission + - NIST asks for help in building cybersecurity framework (gcn.com)

Presto Vivace writes: "NIST to build cybersecurity framework, with your help

The Cybersecurity Framework will be a set of voluntary standards and best practices to guide industry in reducing cyber risks to the networks and computers that support critical infrastructure vital to the nation's economy, security and daily life, according to the NIST announcement published in the Federal Register .

The first meeting will be held April 3 at NIST headquarters in Gaithersburg, Md. Registration information is available here.

If you have concerns about cybersecuirty or privacy, I urge you to participate in these discussions."

Government

Submission + - NIST issues a Request for Information concerning the Cybersecurity Framework (nist.gov)

Presto Vivace writes: "NIST has issued a RIF for Cybersecurity Framework(PDF), which will soon be published in the Federal Register. The Information Technology Laboratory of NIST has created a web site for Cybersecurity Framework.

Clearly, much depends upon how this is implemented. I would encourage all those who are interested to participate in the process. Now is the time to speak out, before the Executive Order is implemented."

Government

Submission + - Obama to issue an Executive Order on cyber security (thehill.com)

Presto Vivace writes: "Sources: White House to issue cybersecurity order Wednesday

The White House began crafting the executive order after Congress failed to pass cybersecurity legislation last year. Officials said the threat facing the United States was too great for the administration to ignore and that it needed to take action as Congress grappled with passing a bill.

So will this be CISPA by presidential fiat? We will have to see the Executive Order when it comes out; but I cannot deny that I have a bad feeling about this."

Government

Submission + - The sequestration process is not transparent (correntewire.com)

Presto Vivace writes: "A close examination of the the OMB's Report Pursuant to the Sequestration Transparency Act of 2012 reveals that is it totally opaque. Corrente Wire offers a Appendix B Preliminary Sequestrable / Excempt Classicafication and turned it into a handy online spreadsheet. Slashdotters who are civil servants and/or scripting enthusiasts are particularly invited to comment."
Government

Submission + - The Trillion Dollar Platinum Coin, from bloggers to mainstream (correntewire.com)

Presto Vivace writes: "How did the idea of using coin seigniorage to sideline the debt ceiling debate travel from economics and political bloggers to mainstream news media? A timeline, History of the Proof Platinum Coin Concept, 2010-2013 documents the discussion with links. Origin and Early History of Platinum Coin Seigniorage In the Blogosphere gives the background."
Government

Submission + - Direct the US Mint to make a single platinum trillion dollar coin! (whitehouse.gov) 1

Presto Vivace writes: "Direct the United States Mint to make a single platinum trillion dollar coin!

With the creation and Treasury deposit of a new platinum coin with a value of $1 trillion US Dollars, we would avert the absurd-yet-imminent debt ceiling faceoff in Congress in two quick and simple steps! While this may seem like an unnecessarily extreme measure, it is no more absurd than playing political football with the US — and global — economy at stake.

Sign the petition. This would end the theatrics once and for all. We could go back to discussing the actual problems of our country."

Government

Submission + - Paul Krugman Goes Platinum! (correntewire.com)

Presto Vivace writes: "Paul Goes Platinum!

Paul Krugman blogged about platinum coins. In the context of answering a question about whether we can “print money,” to get around the debt ceiling, he answers no, and then says:

The peculiar exception is that clause allowing the Treasury to mint platinum coins in any denomination it chooses. Of course this was intended as a way to issue commemorative coins and stuff, not as a fiscal measure; but at least as I understand it, the letter of the law would allow Treasury to stamp out a platinum coin, say it’s worth a trillion dollars, and deposit it at the Fed — thereby avoiding the need to issue debt.

An admirably brief statement of the basic idea, but followed then by this puzzler:

In reality, to pursue the thought further, the coin really would be as much a Federal debt as the T-bills the Fed owns, since eventually Treasury would want to buy it back. So this is all a gimmick — but since the debt ceiling itself is crazy, allowing Congress to tell the president to spend money then tell him that he can’t raise the money he’s supposed to spend, there’s a pretty good case for using whatever gimmicks come to hand.

So, it's gimmicks for gimmicks to get around the debt ceiling, and no notion on Paul Krugman's part that Platinum Coin Seigniorage (PCS) might have a much broader use than simply countering a gimmick the Republicans are using to try to trash the social safety net and drown the Government in a bathtub.

"

Government

Submission + - Platinum coin seigniorage (correntewire.com)

Presto Vivace writes: "The President's Leverage: He Can Go Platinum!

mint a $6.7 T coin to pay back all debt held by the Fed, and all Intra-governmental debt, including that owed to Social Security, Medicare, and a host of other other agencies. That would create $6.7 T in headroom relative to the debt ceiling, that's more than enough to carry us through the 2016 elections without breaching the ceiling. Again, this wouldn't result in any “money” immediately going into circulation, but over time SS and Medicare payments to individuals and organizations would be adding to bank reserves without any reserves being withdrawn from the private sector due to debt issuance.

"

Government

Submission + - Platinum Coin Seigniorage (correntewire.com)

Presto Vivace writes: "Beyond the MSM: the New Wave of Brief Blog Posts on Platinum Coin Seigniorage

About that, I can only say that PCS gives to the presidency the power to prevent an abuse of power by the Congress, namely the debt ceiling legislation itself, and also gives the President the power to avoid interest bearing debt instrument-based financing of Congressional deficit spending appropriations if he/she desires. I think both of these are very good things, especially since the key power of controlling the purse strings still remains with the Congress, and not with the President. It seems to me that any greater leverage that falls to the President as a result of using PCS is leverage that can always seized back by Congress anytime it wants to do its collective job and represent the majority of the American people. On the other hand, if it wants to continue to represent narrow and plutocratic interests seeking to block any Federal spending that doesn't directly benefit them, then PCS profits may be viewed as a check on such an abuse of power by the Congress, and a reminder to Congress that the "how are we gonna pay for it" excuse for not legislating Federal programs people desperately need won't work anymore!

"

Government

Submission + - NSA targeting domestic computer systems (cnet.com)

Presto Vivace writes: "The National Security Agency's Perfect Citizen program hunts for vulnerabilities in "large-scale" utilities, including power grid and gas pipeline controllers, new documents from EPIC show.

The NSA's so-called Perfect Citizen program conducts "vulnerability exploration and research" against the computerized controllers that control "large-scale" utilities including power grids and natural gas pipelines, the documents show. The program is scheduled to continue through at least September 2014.

Perfect Citizen? Who thinks up these names?"

Government

Submission + - The TPP, it is as bad as you think it is (opednews.com)

Presto Vivace writes: "The TPP is not just another horrible trade agreement. According this this article by Laurel Sutherlin it is a huge corporate power grab: Meet the TPP: A Worldwide Corporate Power Grab of Enormous Proportions

The TPP is called a "trade agreement,' but in actuality it is a long-dreamed-of template for implementing a binding system of global corporate governance as bold as anything the world's wealthiest elite has attempted before. Of the 26 chapters under negotiation, only a few have to do directly with trade. The other chapters enshrine new rights and privileges for major corporations while weakening the power of nation states to oppose them. The TPP essentially proposes to establish a parallel system of justice where companies can sue countries in a tribunal of judges composed of unaccountable international trade lawyers with little to no process for appeal.

Say goodbye to due process of law. Draft texts of the proposal have appeared on Wikileaks and the website of Citizen's Trade Campaign. The EFF has an overview of the TPP."

Government

Submission + - Google, AT&T, and Verizon in closed meeting w/ (businessweek.com)

Presto Vivace writes: " Business Week reports that:

The companies and senior FCC aides have been holding private meetings since June over the regulations, known as net neutrality rules, according to disclosure statements on the agency’s website. Issues include the extent of FCC power over Internet service providers, and whether phone and cable companies can favor some traffic, such as making their own videos run faster.

Art Brodsky says that the FCC is playing a dangerous game of "lets make a deal" If you are an Application Service Provider or sell SaaS, or are a Web 2.0 company, any threat to net neutrality is a threat to your business model. If you have an opinion about net neutrality, now is the time to make yourself heard. Note — comments to the FCC or any other regulatory agency are considered public records and will be made available to the public."

Government

Submission + - Trusted identities in Cyberspace (vortex.com)

Presto Vivace writes: "White House Proposes Vast Federal Internet Identity Scheme

The White House has just released the draft of a rather chilling document — tellingly hosted on Department of Homeland Security servers — that proposes the creation of a vast, federally-led "Trusted identities in Cyberspace" infrastructure that would potentially reach into nearly every aspect of Internet use, from financial transactions to comments on blogs. The White House is seeking public comments on the proposal.

Anyone who has an opinion about this, now would be a good time to speak out."

Government

Submission + - Cybersecurity Bill Grants Pres Emergency Powers (executivegov.com)

Presto Vivace writes: "DHS Proposes Cybersecurity Bill to Grant President Emergency Powers

The bill would allow the president to take control over a complying cyber network to stop incoming data from a particular country upon an attack. It will also organize and condense federal efforts to regulate cyberspace and create the National Center for Cybersecurity and Communications (NCCC). Lieberman explained that it is through these and other elements that the bill would “allow agencies to move away from the system of after-the-fact paperwork compliance to real-time monitoring to secure critical systems.”

Without a copy of the bill it is difficult to make a judgment."

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