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  • Federal Communications Commission approves use of Galileo Global Navigation Satellite System in the United States

    Federal Communications Commission approves use of Galileo Global Navigation Satellite System in the United States


    Washington, DC - - (November 15, 2018) - - Today, the Federal Communications Commission granted in part the European Commission’s request for a waiver of the Commission’s rules so that non-Federal devices in the United States may access specific signals transmitted from the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) known as Galileo.

    With today’s action, consumers and industry in the United States will now be permitted to access certain satellite signals from the Galileo system to augment the U.S. Global Positioning System (GPS), and thus benefit from improved availability, reliability, and resiliency of these position, navigation, and timing services in the United States.

    Since the debut of the first consumer handheld GPS device in 1989, consumers and industry in the United States have relied on the U.S. GPS to support satellite-based positioning, navigation, and timing (PNT) services that are integral to everyday applications ranging from driving directions to precision farming.

    The Order approved today finds that the Galileo GNSS is uniquely situated as a foreign GNSS system with respect to the U.S. GPS, since the two systems are interoperable and radiofrequency compatible pursuant to the 2004 European Union/United States Galileo-GPS Agreement. Specifically, the Order permits access to two of the Galileo system’s satellite signals – the E1 signal that is transmitted in the 1559-1591 MHz portion of the 1559-1610 MHz Radionavigation-Satellite Service (RNSS) frequency band and the E5 signal that is transmitted in the 1164-1219 MHz portion of the 1164-1215 MHz and 1215-1240 MHz RNSS bands. These are the same RNSS bands in which the U.S. GPS satellite signals operate.

    The Order does not grant access to the Galileo E6 signal, which is transmitted over the 1260-1300 MHz frequency band, since this band is not allocated for RNSS in the United States or used by the U.S. GPS to provide PNT services. The Commission noted that granting access to the Galileo E6 signal could constrain U.S. spectrum management in the future in spectrum above 1300 MHz, where potential allocation changes are under consideration.

    Action by the Commission November 15, 2018 by Order (FCC 18-158). Chairman Pai, Commissioners O’Rielly, Carr, and Rosenworcel approving and issuing separate statements.

    IB Docket No. 17-16



    Credit: Federal Communications Commission
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  • About the Federal Election Commission

    in News

    About the Federal Election Commission

    About the Federal Election Commission



    (November 6, 2018) - - According to information obtained from their publications, the Federal Election Commission (FEC) administers the federal campaign finance laws, but has no jurisdiction over the laws relating to voting, voter fraud and intimidation, ballot access or election results.

    More information about the Federal Election Commission is located at www.fec.gov .




    Information source: Federal Election Commission
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  • U.S. Department of the Interior to Commemorate Four Hundred Years of African-American History

    U.S. Department of the Interior to Commemorate Four Hundred Years of African-American History



    Fifteen Federal Commission Members Appointed to Lead the Anniversary Commemoration in 2019


    Washington, DC - - (November 2, 2018) - - U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke today announced the appointment of a 15-member commission to coordinate the commemoration of the 400-year anniversary of the arrival of the first enslaved Africans to the English colonies in 1619.

    The 400 Years of African-American History Commission, established by Congress on January 8, 2018, will plan, develop, and carry out programs and activities throughout the United States to recognize and highlight 400 years of African-American contributions. The bill had bipartisan support, and included sponsors from 23 States and the District of Columbia.

    “I am honored to appoint this group to oversee such an important milestone in African-American history,” said Secretary Zinke. “As with President Trump’s recent designation creating Camp Nelson National Monument, as well as with the five historic sites designated into the African American Civil Rights Network this past year, this commission will help expand the understanding and appreciation of all facets of African-American history and culture.”

    Commission members, many of whom are leaders in the African-American history community, are appointed by the Secretary to serve for the life of the commission, through July 1, 2020. The Secretary received recommendations from governors, members of congress, civil rights and historical organizations, and the Smithsonian Institution. Support for the commission will be provided by the National Park Service. The new commission members include:
    • Mr. Terry E. Brown, Superintendent, Fort Monroe National Monument, National Park Service, Virginia
    • Mr. Lonnie Bunch III, Founding Director, Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture; former President, Chicago Historical Society; Former Associate Director for Curatorial Affairs, National Museum of American History, Washington, D.C.
    • Mr. Ron Carson, Founder, Appalachian African-American Cultural Center; Black Lung Program Director, Stone Mountain Health Services, Pennington Gap, Virginia
    • Ms. Kenya Cox, NAACP Kansas State President; Executive Director of the Kansas African American Affairs Commission, Office of the Governor, Wichita, Kansas
    • Reverend Nora “Anyanwu” Cox, Minister and Founder, Holy Spirit Healing Ministry; Retired Nurse; Community Advocate and Activist, Wichita, Kansas
    • Dr. Rex Ellis, Associate Director for Curatorial Affairs, Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture; Former Vice President, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation; Board of Trustees, Fort Monroe Authority, Williamsburg, Virginia
    • Mr. Ted Ellis, Artist and Cultural Historian; Art Ambassador, National Juneteenth Organization, Friendswood, Texas (formerly of New Orleans, Louisiana)
    • Mr. Glenn Freeman, President, Omaha Chapter, Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge, a patriotic, civic organization; retired decorated Air Force Chief Master Sergeant; Omaha, Nebraska
    • Dr. Joseph Green, Jr., Pastor, and Co-Founder Antioch Assembly; Founder/CEO, Josiah Generation Ministries; Founder, The 2019 Movement, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
    • Mr. Hannibal Johnson, Attorney, Author, and Independent Consultant specializing in diversity and inclusion/cultural competence issues and non-profit governance, Tulsa, Oklahoma
    • Mr. Kenneth Johnson, CEO, Johnson, Inc., Richmond-based marketing and communications firm; Board of Trustees, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, Virginia
    • Mr. Bob Kendrick, President, Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, Kansas City, Missouri
    • Mr. George Martin, Managing Partner, McGuireWoods law firm, Richmond office; Member, 2019 Commemoration (VA) Steering Committee, Richmond, Virginia
    • Dr. Myron Pope, Vice President for Student Affairs, University of Central Oklahoma; Adjunct Instructor, Department of African and African-American Studies, The University of Oklahoma; Advisory Board Member, Foundation for Oklahoma City Public Schools, Edmond, Oklahoma



    Fort Monroe National Monument. Photo by National Park Service




    “Fort Monroe plays a significant role as the site of the first arrival of enslaved Africans in English North America and later, a safe haven for freedom seekers during the American Civil War,” said Superintendent Brown. “During this anniversary we are honored to lead the conversation about the resilience and contributions of African Americans, including the impact that slavery and laws that enforced racial discrimination had on the United States.”

    The commission is expected to begin meeting later this year and begin to encourage civic, patriotic, historical, educational, artistic, religious, economic, and other organizations to come together to participate in anniversary activities.




    Credit: U.S. Department of the Interior...
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  • Federal Trade Commission Seeks Comment on Proposed Rule Implementing Law Providing Free Credit Monitoring for Active Duty Military Consumers

    Federal Trade Commission Seeks Comment on Proposed Rule Implementing Law Providing Free Credit Monitoring for Active Duty Military Consumers



    (November 1, 2018) - - Today, the Federal Trade Commission published the following information:

    The Federal Trade Commission is seeking comment on a proposed rule to implement a 2018 law requiring the nationwide consumer reporting agencies to provide free electronic credit monitoring services for active duty military consumers.

    The Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act, passed earlier this year, mandated that the FTC issue a rule regarding certain requirements of the law. The FTC’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) proposes a rule that would require the nationwide consumer reporting agencies (CRAs) to provide a free electronic credit monitoring service that would notify active duty military members within 24 hours of any “material” additions or modifications to their credit files. It states that contact information, appropriate proof that the consumer is an active duty member of the military, and proof of the consumer’s identity may be required to take advantage of this service.

    The proposed rule specifies how military consumers may prove their active duty status, such as providing a copy of their active duty orders. It also sets forth key terms such as “electronic credit monitoring service,” which is defined as a service through which the CRAs provide, at a minimum, electronic notification of material additions or modifications to a consumer’s file. In addition, the proposed rule prohibits the CRAs from requiring active duty military consumers to agree to terms or conditions, or representing that consumers must purchase a product or service in order to obtain the free credit monitoring service.

    The NPRM seeks comment on these provisions and other aspects of the proposed rule such as:
    • Are the restrictions on secondary uses and disclosures of information collected from an active duty military consumer requesting the credit monitoring service necessary?
    • Are the methods used to verify appropriate proof of active duty military status adequate?
    • Does the definition of “material additions or modifications” adequately cover the changes to a consumer’s file that should require notification?
    • Is the proposed ban on marketing until after an active duty military consumer who has indicated an interest in obtaining the free credit monitoring service has been enrolled in that service necessary? Does it impose undue burdens on the CRAs?

    The proposed NPRM will be published in the Federal Register shortly along with instructions on how to submit comments. The deadline for submitting comments is January 7, 2019.

    The Commission vote to approve publishing the NPRM in the Federal Register was 5-0.



    Credit: Federal Trade Commission
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  • U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Adopts Rules to Modernize Property Disclosures Required for Mining Registrants

    U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Adopts Rules to Modernize Property Disclosures Required for Mining Registrants




    Washington, DC - - (October 31, 2018) - - The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) today announced that it has voted to adopt amendments to modernize the property disclosure requirements for mining registrants, and related guidance, under the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. The amendments will provide investors with a more comprehensive understanding of a registrant’s mining properties, which should help them make more informed investment decisions. The amendments also will more closely align the Commission’s disclosure requirements and policies for mining properties with current industry and global regulatory practices and standards.

    Under the final rules, a registrant with material mining operations must disclose specified information in its Securities Act and Exchange Act filings concerning its mineral resources, in addition to its mineral reserves. Current Commission rules and guidance permit the disclosure of non-reserve estimates only in limited circumstances. Requiring the disclosure of mineral resources in addition to mineral reserves will provide investors with important information concerning the registrant’s operations and prospects.

    “The final rules will modernize the Commission’s mining property disclosure regime by improving the quality and reliability of information provided to investors and by harmonizing disclosures with international standards, including removing the restriction on disclosure of mineral resource estimates that may have placed U.S. registrants and investors at a disadvantage,” said SEC Chairman Jay Clayton. “We appreciate the valuable input that we have received from a diverse group of interested parties that helped inform the Commission and shape the final rules.”

    The final rules include several other requirements designed to further the protection and understanding of investors. The final rules also reflect a number of changes to the rules proposed in June 2016 in response to commenters.

    The final rules provide a two-year transition period so that a registrant will not be required to begin to comply with the new rules until its first fiscal year beginning on or after Jan. 1, 2021.




    * * *

    FACT SHEET

    Modernization of Property Disclosures for Mining Registrants




    Action

    The Commission has adopted amendments to modernize the property disclosure requirements for mining registrants, and related guidance, under the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. The amendments more closely align the Commission’s disclosure requirements and policies for mining properties with current industry and global regulatory practices and standards. In addition, the amendments rescind Industry Guide 7 and consolidate the disclosure requirements for registrants with material mining operations in a new subpart of Regulation S-K.

    These amendments are intended to provide investors with a more comprehensive understanding of a registrant’s mining properties, which should help them make more informed investment decisions.

    Highlights of the Final Rules

    Under the final rule amendments, as proposed and consistent with global standards as embodied by the Committee for Reserves International Reporting Standards (“CRIRSCO”), a registrant with material mining operations must disclose specified information in its Securities Act and Exchange Act filings concerning mineral resources that have been determined on one or more of its properties. Current Commission rules and guidance permit the disclosure of non-reserve estimates, such as mineral resources, only in limited circumstances. Requiring the disclosure of mineral resources in addition to mineral reserves will provide investors with important information concerning the registrant’s operations and prospects.

    Also as proposed, and consistent with the CRIRSCO standards, the final rule amendments require a registrant’s disclosure of exploration results, mineral resources, or mineral reserves in Commission filings to be based on and accurately reflect information and supporting documentation prepared by a mining expert--the “qualified person.” This requirement will further the protection of investors by helping to foster proper risk assessment and disclosure, which is key to an investor’s understanding of each stage of a mining project.

    As proposed, the final rule amendments require a registrant to obtain a dated and signed technical report summary from the qualified person or persons, which identifies and summarizes the information reviewed and conclusions reached by each qualified person about the registrant’s mineral resources or mineral reserves determined to be on each material property. A registrant must file the technical report summary as an exhibit to the relevant Commission filing when disclosing mineral reserves or mineral resources for the first time or when there is a material change in the mineral reserves or mineral resources from the last technical report summary filed for the property. The technical report summary filing requirement will not only help ensure that the registrant’s disclosure in the Commission filing is accurate and reliable, but also will enhance investor understanding of a registrant’s material mining properties.

    Principal Changes from the Proposed Rules

    The final rule amendments include a number of changes to the proposed rules in response to commenters. These changes would more closely align the Commission’s mining property disclosure requirements with the CRIRSCO standards and thereby help decrease, relative to the proposed rules, the compliance burden and costs for the many registrants that are subject to one or more of the CRIRSCO-based codes, while preserving important investor protections. For example, among the changes, the final rules:
    • Require a qualified person to use a price for each commodity that provides a reasonable basis for establishing estimates of mineral resources or mineral reserves, which may be a historical or forward-looking price, as long as the qualified person discloses and explains his or her reasons for using the selected price, including the material assumptions underlying the selection
    • Provide that a qualified person will not be subject to expert liability under Section 11 of the Securities Act for certain aspects of specified modifying factors outside the expertise of the qualified person that are based on information provided by the registrant and are discussed in the technical report summary or other parts of the registration statement
    • Eliminate the proposed quantitative presumptions regarding when a registrant’s mining operations, and when a change in previously reported estimates of mineral resources or mineral reserves, are deemed to be material
    • Eliminate the proposed summary disclosure provision requiring specific items of information in tabular format about a registrant’s top 20 properties and, instead, adopt a more principles-based approach by requiring the registrant to provide investors with an overview of its properties and mining operations
    • Reduce the number of summary and individual property disclosure provisions requiring tables from seven, as proposed, to two, and permit other required disclosure to be in either narrative or tabular format
    • Permit, but not require, a registrant to file a technical report summary to support its disclosure of
    ...
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  • Federal Communications Commission Office of Engineering and Technology Requests Comment on Phase I Testing of Prototype U-NII-4 Devices

    Federal Communications Commission Office of Engineering and Technology Requests Comment on Phase I Testing of Prototype U-NII-4 Devices



    Public Notice and comment site published


    (October 29, 2018) - - Today, the Federal Communications Commission published information relating to Phase I Testing of Prototype U-NII-4 Devices. Included in that information was the following:

    The Commission’s Office of Engineering and Technology (OET) is requesting comment on the report for Phase I of tests performed to evaluate potential sharing solutions between the proposed Unlicensed National Information Infrastructure (U-NII) devices and Dedicated Short Range Communications (DSRC) operations in the 5850-5925 MHz (U-NII-4) frequency band.

    (To view the public notice, please press HERE.)


    (Published reports and detailed summary of the testing methodology, measurements, and observations:


    Attachment A

    Attachment B

    Attachment C

    Attachment D
    )



    Credit: Federal Communications Commission
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  • U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Investor Advisory Committee to Hold Nov. 7 Telephone Meeting

    U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Investor Advisory Committee to Hold Nov. 7 Telephone Meeting




    Washington, DC - - (October 25, 2018) - - The Securities and Exchange Commission’s Investor Advisory Committee will meet telephonically on Nov. 7 at 2 p.m. Eastern Time. The public is invited to listen to the meeting live using the dial-in details provided below. A recording of the meeting will be archived on the committee’s webpage for later listening.

    The committee will discuss the SEC’s Proposed Regulation Best Interest and Form CRS Relationship Summary (which may include a Recommendation of the Investor as Purchaser Subcommittee). The agenda for the meeting is available here.

    Members of the committee represent a wide variety of investor interests, including those of individual and institutional investors, senior citizens, and state securities commissions. For a full list of committee members, see the committee’s webpage.

    The Investor Advisory Committee was established to advise the SEC on regulatory priorities, the regulation of securities products, trading strategies, fee structures, the effectiveness of disclosure, and on initiatives to protect investor interests and to promote investor confidence and the integrity of the securities marketplace. The committee is authorized to submit findings and recommendations to the Commission.

    Conference Call Details: The public may dial in to the meeting toll-free by calling (800) 260-0702 in the United States or (651) 291-1170 outside the United States. Access Code: 455778.




    Credit: U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
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  • Federal Trade Commission Announces Sessions on Consumer Privacy and Data Security As Part of its Hearings on Competition and Consumer Protection in the 21st Century

    Federal Trade Commission Announces Sessions on Consumer Privacy and Data Security As Part of its Hearings on Competition and Consumer Protection in the 21st Century



    (October 26, 2018) - - As part of its Hearings Initiative, the Federal Trade Commission will hold four days of hearings in December and February to examine the FTC’s authority to deter unfair and deceptive conduct in data security and privacy matters.

    The December hearings will focus on data security and will take place December 11-12, 2018 at the FTC Constitution Center Auditorium, 400 7th St., SW, Washington, DC. The hearings on consumer privacy will take place in the same venue on February 12-13, 2019.

    The data security hearings will include five panel discussions and additional discussion of research related to data breaches and data security threats. The first day’s panel discussions will examine incentives to invest in data security and consumer demand for data security. Discussions on the second day will focus on data security assessments, the U.S. framework related to consumer data security, and the FTC’s data security enforcement program.

    The FTC hearings on consumer privacy will provide the first comprehensive re-examination of the FTC’s approach to consumer privacy since 2012.

    “The FTC has a long record of protecting consumers’ privacy interests through enforcement, education, and policy work,” said FTC Chairman Joe Simons. “The upcoming data security and privacy hearings will provide an opportunity to reexamine the Commission’s work in light of changing technologies, legal regimes, and business models.”

    Staff has already begun developing the agenda for the December data security hearing. The FTC is seeking comments from the public on what the agenda for the two-day consumer privacy hearing should include. To be included for consideration, the FTC is seeking comment by December 21 on specific questions to be discussed at the February event.

    In addition, FTC staff welcomes comments on both the data security and privacy hearings until March 13, 2019. If any entity has provided funding for research, analysis, or commentary that is included in a submitted public comment, such funding and its source should be identified on the first page of any submitted comment.

    The FTC will release agendas for the data security and privacy hearings closer to the dates of the hearings.

    Additional sessions of the FTC Hearings initiative will be held throughout the fall and early winter. The following hearings are upcoming:

    November 1, 2018
    Georgetown University Law Center’s Hart Auditorium
    • Vertical Merger Analysis and the Consumer Welfare Standard
    November 6-8, 2018
    American University Washington College of Law
    • Big Data, Privacy, and Competition
    November 13-14, 2018
    Howard University School of Law
    • Algorithms, Artificial Intelligence, and Predictive Analytics
    The events are part of an ongoing initiative examining whether broad-based changes in the economy, evolving business practices, new technologies, or international developments might require adjustments to competition and consumer protection enforcement priorities of the Commission. These public events, in conjunction with the public comment process, will provide the FTC with a broad and diverse range of viewpoints and stimulate evaluation of key enforcement and policy issues.

    The FTC Hearings On Competition and Consumer Protection in the 21st Century will accommodate as many attendees as possible; however, admittance will be limited to seating availability. Reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities are available upon request. Request for accommodations should be submitted to Elizabeth Kraszewski via email at ekraszewski@ftc.gov or by phone at (202) 326-3087. Such requests should include a detailed description of the accommodation needed. Please allow at least five days advance notice for accommodation requests; last minute requests will be accepted but may not be possible to accommodate.




    Credit: Federal Trade Commission...
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  • Federal Trade Commission Gives Final Approval to Settlement with Uber

    Federal Trade Commission Gives Final Approval to Settlement with Uber




    (October 26, 2018) - - The Federal Trade Commission has given final approval to a settlement with Uber Technologies, Inc. over allegations that the ride-sharing company deceived consumers about its privacy and data security practices.

    In its complaint, the FTC alleged that Uber failed to monitor employee access to consumers’ personal information on an ongoing basis and to reasonably secure sensitive consumer data it stored in the cloud. As a result of its failure to take reasonable measures to secure both rider and driver data, the company suffered two breaches. The first breach occurred in or about May 2014 when an intruder gained access to personal information about Uber drivers. Uber suffered a second, larger breach of drivers’ and riders’ data in October-November 2016, and failed to disclose that breach to consumers or the FTC for more than a year, despite being the subject of an ongoing FTC investigation of its data security practices during that time.

    Following the second data breach, the FTC negotiated an expanded and revised settlement with Uber. Under the final settlement, Uber could be subject to civil penalties if it fails to notify the FTC of certain future incidents involving unauthorized access to consumer information, which includes both driver and rider information. The company is also prohibited from misrepresenting how it monitors internal access to consumers’ personal information and the extent to which it protects the privacy, confidentiality, security, and integrity of personal information. In addition, Uber must implement a comprehensive privacy program and for 20 years obtain biennial independent, third-party assessments, which it must submit to the Commission, certifying that it has a privacy program in place that meets or exceeds the requirements of the FTC order.

    The FTC received three comments on the revised settlement with Uber. The Commission voted 4-0-1 to approve the final complaint and order as well as responses to the three commenters. Commissioner Christine S. Wilson did not participate. Commissioners Rohit Chopra and Rebecca Kelly Slaughter issued separate statements.




    Credit: Federal Trade Commission
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  • Federal Trade Commission Announces PrivacyCon 2019 and Calls for Presentations

    Federal Trade Commission Announces PrivacyCon 2019 and Calls for Presentations


    (October 24, 2018) - - As part of its efforts to address evolving privacy and data security challenges, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is announcing a call for presentations for its fourth annual PrivacyCon, to be held on June 27, 2019.

    PrivacyCon 2019 aims to bring together a diverse group of stakeholders, including researchers, academics, industry representatives, consumer advocates, and government regulators, to discuss the latest research and trends related to consumer privacy and data security.

    “The FTC’s annual PrivacyCon event seeks to spur new research on privacy and security issues,” said Andrew Smith, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “It helps us keep our finger on the pulse of important developments in technology, economics, and consumer privacy so that we can ground our policymaking in real data.”

    The FTC is seeking research presentations on a wide range of consumer privacy and security issues, with a particular focus on the economics driving those issues. The call for presentations seeks empirical research responding to several questions, including:
    • What new privacy and security issues arise from emerging technologies such as the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, and virtual reality?
    • What are the greatest threats to consumer privacy today?
    • How can one quantify the costs and benefits to consumers of keeping data about them private?
    • What are the incentives for manufacturers and software developers to implement privacy and security by design in their goods or services and keep security up to date?
    • Is there evidence that the market is able to provide efficient levels of privacy and data security?

    Information on how to submit presentations can be found on the event page. The deadline for submitting a presentation for PrivacyCon 2019 is March 15, 2019.

    PrivacyCon 2018 featured presentations on such topics as the privacy implications of email tracking, security issues with browser extensions, privacy risks associated with connected toys, and consumer privacy expectations related to Internet of Things devices.





    Credit: Federal Trade Commission
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  • U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Launches New Strategic Hub for Innovation and Financial Technology

    U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Launches New Strategic Hub for Innovation and Financial Technology



    Washington, DC - - (October 18, 2018) - - The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission today announced the launch of the agency's Strategic Hub for Innovation and Financial Technology (FinHub).

    The FinHub will serve as a resource for public engagement on the SEC's FinTech-related issues and initiatives, such as distributed ledger technology (including digital assets), automated investment advice, digital marketplace financing, and artificial intelligence/machine learning. The FinHub also replaces and builds on the work of several internal working groups at the SEC that have focused on similar issues.

    The FinHub will:

    • Provide a portal for industry and the public to engage directly with SEC staff on innovative ideas and technological developments;
    • Publicize information regarding the SEC's activities and initiatives involving FinTech on the FinHub page;
    • Engage with the public through publications and events, including a FinTech Forum focusing on distributed ledger technology and digital assets planned for 2019;
    • Act as a platform and clearinghouse for SEC staff to acquire and disseminate information and FinTech-related knowledge within the agency; and
    • Serve as a liaison to other domestic and international regulators regarding emerging technologies in financial, regulatory, and supervisory systems.

    The SEC's FinHub will be led by Valerie A. Szczepanik, Senior Advisor for Digital Assets and Innovation and Associate Director in the SEC's Division of Corporation Finance, and staffed by representatives from the SEC's divisions and offices who have expertise and involvement in FinTech-related issues.

    "The SEC is committed to working with investors and market participants on new approaches to capital formation, market structure, and financial services, with an eye toward enhancing, and in no way reducing, investor protection," said SEC Chairman Jay Clayton. "The FinHub provides a central point of focus for our efforts to monitor and engage on innovations in the securities markets that hold promise, but which also require a flexible, prompt regulatory response to execute our mission."

    "SEC staff across the agency have been engaged for some time in efforts to understand emerging technologies, communicate the agency's stance on new issues, and facilitate beneficial innovations in the securities industry," said Ms. Szczepanik. "By launching FinHub, we hope to provide a clear path for entrepreneurs, developers, and their advisers to engage with SEC staff, seek input, and test ideas."

    For more information, visit the new FinHub page, which replaces the FinTech@sec.gov address that was established in connection with the issuance of DAO Report on July 25, 2017. To contact FinHub staff, use the form available at the FinHub page.





    Credit: U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
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  • U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Announces 2018 Government-Business Forum to Be Held at The Ohio State University

    U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Announces 2018 Government-Business Forum to Be Held at The Ohio State University



    Washington, DC - - (October 18, 2018) - - The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced it is partnering with the National Center for the Middle Market at The Ohio State University Max M. Fisher College of Business to host the SEC’s annual Government-Business Forum on Small Business Capital Formation on Dec. 12. This annual forum provides a platform to highlight additional measures to improve small business capital formation.

    “We have made it a priority to reach out to small businesses across the country,” said Chairman Jay Clayton. “Holding this event in Columbus, one of the top five best cities for entrepreneurs and startups, will give us the opportunity to hear directly from small businesses and their investors on ways to improve our regulatory system.”

    The morning session will feature a panel discussion exploring how capital formation options are working for small businesses, such as those in the Midwest. Participants will then work in groups to formulate specific policy recommendations. Information on the panel participants and the full agenda will be announced in the coming weeks and will be available on the forum webpage .

    The forum will begin at 9 a.m. Eastern Time and will be open to the public. It will be held in the Fawcett Center on the campus of The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. The opening remarks and panel discussion will be webcast live. The breakout group sessions will not be webcast but will be accessible by teleconference for those not attending in person. Anyone wishing to participate in a breakout group either in person or by teleconference must register online by Dec. 7.

    Members of the public are invited to suggest recommendations or topics to be discussed at the forum by calling the SEC’s Office of Small Business Policy at (202) 551-3460.

    Information on ways small businesses can raise capital is available at https://www.sec.gov/smallbusiness .



    Credit: U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission...
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  • Location of Federal Communications Commission Releases in Connection with Hurricane Michael

    Location of Federal Communications Commission Releases in Connection with Hurricane Michael



    (October 18, 2018) - - The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) says that all FCC releases in connection with Hurricane Michael may be found at https://www.fcc.gov/Michael .




    Credit: Federal Communications Commission...
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  • Texas Company Will Pay 3 Million Dollars to Settle Federal Trade Commission Charges That it Failed to Meet Accuracy Requirements for its Tenant Screening Reports

    Texas Company Will Pay $3 million to Settle Federal Trade Commission Charges That it Failed to Meet Accuracy Requirements for its Tenant Screening Reports


    (October 16, 2018) - - Today, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) published the following information:

    A Texas company has agreed to pay $3 million to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that the company failed to take reasonable steps to ensure the accuracy of tenant screening information that it provided to landlords and property managers, a violation of federal law that caused some potential renters to be falsely associated with criminal records.

    The FTC’s complaint alleges that RealPage, Inc. violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) by failing to take reasonable steps to ensure the accuracy of tenant screening information provided to its clients. The amount RealPage has agreed to pay as part of the settlement is the largest civil penalty the FTC has obtained against a background screening company.

    “You shouldn’t get turned down for an apartment because someone has the wrong information about you,” said Andrew Smith, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “This case shows that, especially with today’s tight rental market, we will hold tenant screening companies responsible for the accuracy of their reports.”

    The FTC alleges that from at least January 2012 until September 2017, RealPage used broad criteria to match applicants to criminal records and only applied limited filters to the results, and did not have policies or procedures in place to assess the accuracy of those results.

    RealPage compiled screening reports through an automated system that used the applicant’s first name, middle name when available, last name, and date of birth when searching for criminal records. Its matching criteria only required an exact match of an applicant’s last name along with a non-exact match of a first name, middle name, or date of birth, the FTC alleges. For example, if RealPage searched an applicant named Anthony Jones born on October 15, 1967, it would deem a match if it found a criminal record for Antony Jones 10/15/67, Antonio Jones 10/15/67 and Antoinette Jones 10/15/67.

    Because RealPage’s screening reports associated some potential renters with criminal records that did not belong to them, those renters may have been turned down for housing or other opportunities, according to the complaint.

    In addition to the civil penalty, the proposed settlement also requires RealPage to maintain reasonable procedures to assure the maximum possible accuracy of the information it includes about individuals in its consumer reports. In addition, RealPage is subject to compliance and reporting requirements.

    The Commission vote authorizing the staff to file the complaint and stipulated final order was 5-0. The FTC filed the complaint and final order in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Dallas Division. NOTE: The Commission files a complaint when it has “reason to believe” that the law has been or is being violated and it appears to the Commission that a proceeding is in the public interest. Stipulated final orders have the force of law when approved and signed by the District Court judge.



    Credit: Federal Trade Commission
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  • U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Investigative Report: Public Companies Should Consider Cyber Threats When Implementing Internal Accounting Controls

    U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Investigative Report: Public Companies Should Consider Cyber Threats When Implementing Internal Accounting Controls



    Washington, DC - - (October 16, 2018) - - The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) today issued an investigative report cautioning that public companies should consider cyber threats when implementing internal accounting controls. The report is based on the SEC Enforcement Division's investigations of nine public companies that fell victim to cyber fraud, losing millions of dollars in the process.

    The SEC's investigations focused on "business email compromises" (BECs) in which perpetrators posed as company executives or vendors and used emails to dupe company personnel into sending large sums to bank accounts controlled by the perpetrators. The frauds in some instances lasted months and often were detected only after intervention by law enforcement or other third parties. Each of the companies lost at least $1 million, two lost more than $30 million, and one lost more than $45 million. In total, the nine companies wired nearly $100 million as a result of the frauds, most of which was unrecoverable. No charges were brought against the companies or their personnel.

    The companies, which each had securities listed on a national stock exchange, covered a range of sectors including technology, machinery, real estate, energy, financial, and consumer goods. Public issuers subject to the internal accounting controls requirements of Section 13(b)(2)(B) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 must calibrate their internal accounting controls to the current risk environment and assess and adjust policies and procedures accordingly. The FBI estimates fraud involving BECs has cost companies more than $5 billion since 2013.

    "Cyber frauds are a pervasive, significant, and growing threat to all companies, including our public companies," said SEC Chairman Jay Clayton. "Investors rely on our public issuers to put in place, monitor, and update internal accounting controls that appropriately address these threats."

    Stephanie Avakian, Co-Director of the SEC Enforcement Division, said, "In light of the facts and circumstances, we did not charge the nine companies we investigated, but our report emphasizes that all public companies have obligations to maintain sufficient internal accounting controls and should consider cyber threats when fulfilling those obligations."

    The issuance of the SEC's report coincides with National Cybersecurity Awareness Month .

    In consultation with the Division of Corporation Finance and the Office of the Chief Accountant, the SEC's investigations were conducted by Brent Wilner, Creighton Papier, and Maria Rodriguez, and supervised by Diana Tani, John Berry, and Michele Layne of the Los Angeles Regional Office.




    Credit: U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
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