Monday, April 30, 2018

FCC's Pathway Recent Graduate Opportunity ( Electronic Engineer, GS-855)

"The incumbent of this position will be a bargaining unit employee and be a part of the Federal Communications Commission's Office of Engineering and Technology and receive on-the-job-training. The incumbent will receive training on the agency's policy and rulemaking processes and other administrative processes for government agencies. The incumbent will receive technical training covering a wide variety of telecommunications services and technologies. The incumbent will receive training on engineering and policy principles relevant to the fast paced telecommunications industry. In this position, the incumbent may conduct and analyze basic engineering studies, telecommunication system proposals and/or telecommunications technology proposals in order to authorize new and innovative services. The incumbent will assist more senior staff in the analysis of petitions, requests for proposals before the FCC to determine viability and the need for FCC action. The incumbent may conduct studies and perform summaries and/or communicate findings with senior staff. The incumbent may prepare written material, including summaries, memorandum letters, E-mail correspondence and other written documents to individuals within and outside the agency. 

The incumbent may be tasked with performing propagation analysis of terrestrial, satellite and/or airborne systems or evaluating the emission characteristics of various transmitters to validate the co-existence with neighboring systems. Projects may also involve various computer software engineering and scientific applications. The incumbent will be required to effectively communicate with individuals within and outside the agency on a variety of topics related to the FCC and engineering principles. The incumbent will be required to assist and work with other FCC staff."

FTC Warns Gator Group, Tinitell that Online Services Might Violate COPPA

Press Release "The staff of the Federal Trade Commission sent letters to two foreign companies that market electronic devices and apps that appear to collect geolocation data from children, warning that the companies may be in violation of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) Rule.
The letters were sent to China-based Gator Group Co., Ltd., and Sweden-based Tinitell, Inc., which both provide online services. Gator Group advertises an app and a device called the Kids GPS Gator Watch, which it markets as a “child’s first cell phone.” Tinitell has also marketed an app that works with a mobile phone worn like a watch, which is also designed for children. Although Tinitell has stopped selling the devices, they will continue to operate through September 2018. Copies of the letters were also sent to the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store, which make the apps available to consumers in their stores.
The FTC’s COPPA Rule requires companies collecting personal information from children under the age of 13 to post clear privacy policies and to notify parents and get their consent before collecting, using or sharing personal information from a child.
In its letters to the two companies, the FTC noted that even though they are based outside the United States, foreign companies are required to comply with COPPA when their services are directed to children in the United States or they knowingly collect information from U.S.-based children.
The online services offered by both companies appear to be directed to children and to collect precise geolocation information from children. The letters note that a review of both companies’ services reveal that they do not appear to provide direct notice of their collection practices and do not seek verifiable parental consent before collecting, using or disclosing personal information as required by COPPA.
The letters encourage the companies to review their online services, policies and procedures to ensure they are in compliance with COPPA."

FTC to Host Cryptocurrency Workshop on June 25

Press Release "The Federal Trade Commission will host a workshop in Chicago on June 25 to examine scams involving cryptocurrencies.
The “Decrypting Cryptocurrency Scams” workshop will bring together consumer groups, law enforcement, research organizations, and the private sector to explore how scammers are exploiting public interest in cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin and Litecoin and to discuss ways to empower and protect consumers.
Cryptocurrencies are digital assets that use cryptography to secure or verify transactions. They are not created by a government or central bank, but they can be exchanged for U.S. dollars or other government-backed currencies.
As consumer interest in cryptocurrencies has grown, so has interest from scammers, who are always looking for new ways to take advantage of consumers. Scams involving cryptocurrencies include deceptive investment and business opportunities, bait-and-switch schemes, and deceptively marketed mining machines. The FTC has worked to educate consumers about cryptocurrencies and hold fraudsters accountable.
The workshop, which is free and open to the public, will be held starting at 1 pm Central Time at DePaul University located at 1 East Jackson Blvd., Suite 8005, Chicago, IL 60604. Pre-registration is not required, but attendees are encouraged to register for the event at (link sends e-mail). This event will be webcast on the FTC’s website. A link will be posted on the event page on the day of the event."

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

NTIA Asks ICANN to Investigate GoDaddy Masking WHOIS Information, Review Accredited Registrar Issues

"Today, NTIA Administrator David Redl sent a letter to ICANN Board of Directors Chair Cherine Chalaby requesting an investigation into GoDaddy’s throttling of Port 43 access and masking of WHOIS information. GoDaddy’s recent actions masking information in certain WHOIS fields “are of grave concern for NTIA given the U.S. Government’s interest in maintaining a WHOIS service that is quickly accessible for legitimate purposes,” the letter said. The WHOIS service provides information associated with the registration of domain names and is critical for a range of purposes including law enforcement, cybersecurity, and intellectual property rights protection. The letter also encourages ICANN to examine allowing non-ICANN accredited registrars to offer services that manage specific DNS resource records. “With the growing sophistication of domain names registrants and third party content delivery networks seeking to offer enhanced security features … NTIA sees merit in examining the roles other parties could play,” the letter said."