This Week in Tech: Do Not Track effort at a crossroads

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Justin Brookman, newly appointed co-chairman of the group and director of the Center for Democracy & Technology’s Project on Consumer Privacy, said he expects stakeholders “will express a desire to move forward.”

“We've had a couple calls under the new leadership now, and so far the new structure seems to be working,” Brookman said. The new approach includes having the group “focus on a few issues at a time” and “move to consensus.”

When the group can’t agree, its leaders will call for objections and “pick the least objectionable option,” he said.

If the group does not want to move forward, it would be “better to end it now than spend another two years squabbling and not coming to resolution because people aren't invested in the process,” Brookman said.

In other technology happenings, the Telecommunications Industry Association will hold its annual conference from Monday to Thursday at the National Harbor in Maryland.

Speakers will include National Security Agency Director Gen. Keith Alexander, Federal Communications Commission Acting Chairwoman Mignon Clyburn and National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Director Patrick Gallagher.

Reps. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) and Doris Matsui (D-Calif.) are also scheduled to speak, along with executives from Verizon, AT&T, Samsung and Amazon.

Leading critics of NSA surveillance will speak at the Cato Institute on Wednesday. Speakers include Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Reps. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) and James Sensenbrenner Jr. (R-Wis.), who are all working on legislation to limit NSA spying.

Others slated to appear include Jameel Jaffer of the American Civil Liberties Union, David Lieber of Google and Sharon Bradford-Franklin of the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board.

The deadline for NIST's preliminary cybersecurity framework is Thursday. The framework, which would set voluntary cybersecurity rules for critical infrastructure, is part of the president's executive order on cybersecurity from earlier this year.

James Hock, a Commerce Department spokesman, said the framework would not be released if the government is still closed on Thursday. He said NIST might have to delay the framework even if the government reopens before Thursday.

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