Archive for December, 2016

A Positive Step in the Encryption Debate

posted by in Cybersecurity, Privacy December 21, 2016

The members of the House Encryption Working Group took on a seemingly impossible task this year when they set out to bridge the gap between the two sides of this noisy and difficult debate. That makes the result of their work – a series of balanced findings that summarizes their careful consideration of these issues – that much more important.

All sides should thank them for it, and we should pledge to work together toward responsible solutions in the next Congress.

As the Working Group notes, encryption plays a crucial role in securing the data of all Americans in our increasingly digital lives. Legislative mandates that undermine the technology would only serve to make everyone less secure. At the same time, the report recognizes – and BSA strongly supports – the important work of law enforcement in protecting our safety and pursuing criminals. To help investigators and prosecutors do their jobs, it will be important to examine new efforts at cooperation between law enforcement and the technology community and to consider new investigative tools and techniques.

The Working Group’s report is the culmination of months’ worth of work by a bipartisan group from the Energy and Commerce Judiciary committees. BSA appreciates their efforts, and we urge Congress to build on the Working Group’s thoughtful report by engaging in a broad dialogue that continues to examine all facets of the encryption debate.

We shouldn’t understate the difficult path that lies ahead. Addressing these concerns while maintaining the greatest possible security will not be an easy task. But with all sides working together, we can develop policies that ensure users the strongest possible digital security and provide law enforcement with the tools they need to keep us safe. BSA looks forward to working with Congress to finding workable solutions that protect security for everyone.

BSA Celebrates the Software of 2016

posted by in Industry December 20, 2016

With 2016 coming to a close, BSA’s global staff took some time to look back and name the software that helped them the most this year.

BSA Celebrates the Software of 2016

Building on a Constructive Conversation

posted by in Industry December 16, 2016

Wednesday’s meeting between President-elect Trump and executives from numerous software and technology companies has been reported with great fanfare. Rather than the tense exchange that many pundits predicted, the sit-down provided an opportunity for a constructive conversation. This is a welcome development, and it points to a real opportunity for government and industry to work together to help bolster the $1 trillion impact that the software industry has all across the US economy.

Here are some ways we can work toward that goal: The president-elect and software companies can help grow jobs in the United States by focusing on efforts to bolster STEM education and improve training programs. The incoming administration can also ensure that the path forward on trade ensures a level playing field in the digital space. Across the administration’s developing agenda – from efforts to make reduce government waste and improve services to projects to update infrastructure – software and software companies can offer real expertise and improvements.

Making progress here will require hard work and engagement and we look forward to working toward these goals.

Is It Santa or Software?

posted by in Industry December 15, 2016

The holiday season is in full swing and many of us are shopping for presents. We’ve talked a lot on TechPost about how software affects almost every aspect of our daily lives, and gift-giving is no exception. From making the present to capturing the joy, software is helping us out this holiday season.

Let’s say you want to buy a stuffed bear for your baby niece – let’s call her Zoe. Software can help you every step of the way.

Making

There would be no stuffed bears without the toy companies that design and make them. Before we even start to think about gifts, toymakers are hard at work preparing for the holiday season. Software allows manufacturers to get instant feedback from their customers to design the best possible product. Design software combines 3D modeling with IoT development tools, so that manufacturers can build smart components into their products right from the start. So not only can designers model the bear’s features from 360 degrees, they can also plan to program an “intelligent assistant” so the bear can speak to Zoe.

Shopping

Once you find the perfect bear, it’s time to buy it. Software and chip technology protect your information by generating a unique one-time code for every transaction that verifies the card’s authenticity. The chip also encrypts your information during the transaction to guard against identify theft. Banks use software to flag suspicious purchases and alert you of any potential credit card fraud.

Shipping

Software helps get the bear to Zoe quickly and accurately. During peak holiday season, companies like UPS each deliver around 30 million packages. Telematic sensors in tens of thousands of delivery trucks track engine performance, improve routes, and anticipate maintenance or route problems in advance. Shipping companies use data collected by vehicle sensors to save millions of gallons of fuel through more efficient logistics. Thanks to GPS tracking and AI, companies can predict weather patterns and anticipate delays. Cloud computing helps expand these systems to the thousands of additional employees hired during the holiday rush, and makes sure the bear gets to Zoe on time.

Sharing the Joy

Zoe loves her bear and her mom texts you a photo of her giggling with her new toy. Photo software helps ensure the picture is of the highest resolution and the lighting is just right. Once Zoe’s mom has a great photo, she sends it to you over a wireless network that runs on software. Wherever you are in the world, you can share in the joy.

In the mad rush between buying presents and spending time with family and friends, we may not realize how much work software does behind the scenes. Whether it’s a stuffed bear or the latest tech gadget, software helps businesses and people select, purchase, create, send, and receive their gifts on time. In the season of giving, software is doing just that.

Happy Holidays from BSA!