This Week in Tech: Cybersecurity takes center stage at conference


Although the order has been released, it’s unclear how long implementation will take and whether companies will participate in the voluntary program.

The administration also recently rolled out a strategy aimed at protecting U.S. companies' intellectual property and keeping other countries from stealing American trade secrets via hacker attacks. The release of the strategy follows a report from security firm Mandiant that alleges an elite military unit of Chinese hackers in Shanghai is likely behind a spate of hacker attacks on U.S. companies and the government.

Google Chief Internet Evangelist Vint Cerf will speak Wednesday on the importance of preserving anonymity and pseudonyms on the Internet.

FBI Director Robert Mueller on Thursday will outline the cyber threats facing the U.S. and describe why strong partnerships with the private sector are crucial to helping the bureau combat these threats. Later in the day, the White House’s Daniel will discuss the administration's approach to handling cyberattacks and espionage threats.

Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will give a keynote at the conference on Friday.

While officials from Washington are on the West Coast, some leading Bay Area tech startups will be on the Hill on Tuesday and Wednesday to meet with lawmakers and White House officials. Representatives from Etsy, Lyft, Yelp and other startups will participate in the "Startup Day on the Hill" event, which is hosted by the San Francisco-based political organization Engine Advocacy. The group represents tech entrepreneurs and startups.

The group plans to lobby on policy issues critical to entrepreneurs, such as reforming the immigration system for highly skilled and educated workers. Sens. Jerry MoranGerald (Jerry) MoranMicrosoft embraces California law, shaking up privacy debate It's time for Congress to establish a national mental health crisis number Overnight Defense: Top diplomat changes testimony to indicate quid pro quo | Dem offers measure on Turkish human rights abuses in Syria | Warren offers plan to address veteran suicide rates MORE (R-Kan.) and Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenHillicon Valley: Amazon to challenge Pentagon cloud contract in court | State antitrust investigation into Google expands | Intel agencies no longer collecting location data without warrant Intelligence agencies have stopped collecting cellphone data without warrants: letter Alcohol industry races to save tax break by year-end deadline MORE (D-Ore.), and Reps. Jared Polis (D-Colo.), Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) and Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) are among the legislative hosts for the trip.

Meanwhile, two subcommittees for the House Science panel will hold a joint hearing on challenges facing cybersecurity research and development. PayPal Chief Information Security Officer Michael Barrett is slated to testify at the hearing.

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee will hold a hearing Wednesday morning on reforming the process used by the government to acquire new information technology. The hearing also will cover a draft bill by Issa, the panel’s chairman, on the subject.

Also on Wednesday, the House Communications and Technology subcommittee will hold a hearing to investigate whether the broadband stimulus is working.

The 2009 stimulus bill included more than $7 billion to fund the expansion of broadband Internet networks. The project is overseen by the Commerce and Agriculture departments.

In a note, the subcommittee said it will investigate “whether taxpayers are getting good return on their investment, examine recent allegations of waste, and discuss measures that might be taken to avoid certain pitfalls in the future.”