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Broadband Plan Do-Over
Source: Network World

It was no surprise that the Federal Communications Commission’s National Broadband Plan stirred up some controversy when it was released in March, given its goal of providing all Americans with affordable, high-speed Internet access in 10 years at a potential cost of $350 billion — much of that shouldered by industry.

One of the plan’s authors now says he wishes he and his colleagues had done a better job of explaining why broadband is essential to economic growth and the functioning of a civic society. That is more important than what much of the attention focused on — the speed of the wireline network to the most rural residents.

“It's not about speed; it's about use,” said Blair Levin, a fellow at the Aspen Institute, in an interview with David Ramli of the IDG News Service. Levin also talked about the prospect of extending fiber-optic lines to every U.S. home and how U.S. broadband plans compare with those in other developed countries.

Myths of Password Protection
Source: InfoWorld

You’d think everyone would know by now how to make sure their passwords are secure. But at least one security expert says that isn’t the case.

In a post on InfoWorld’s “Security Adviser” blog, Roger Grimes writes that despite companies’ progress in strengthening their password security policies, confusion is rampant. He said he’s heard security vendors give incorrect advice and seen knowledgeable security teams operate on mistaken assumptions.

Grimes dispels a few myths, including the importance of length vs. complexity when it comes to passwords because “though you may give users 64,000 different symbols to choose among for their password, most people use the same 40 or so characters.”

Fortunately, he offers a list of ways to improve password policies, such as using two-factor authentication and enhancing employee education.

Cybersecurity and the New Congress
Source: Computerworld

Amid all the speculation about what the midterm elections mean for the Obama administration, one area is likely to be among the least contentious in the new Congress: cybersecurity and related privacy issues.

“Some course corrections are to be expected for sure, but security experts say that cybersecurity privacy efforts are more likely to garner bipartisan support than many other issues that will come before Congress,” writes Jaikumar Vijayan of Computerworld.

However, don’t look for the Republican-led House to impose any new cybersecurity regulations on industry, even in the critical infrastructure arena. “And Republican lawmakers in general have been somewhat less keen than their Democratic counterparts to push issues such as net neutrality,” Vijayan writes.

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