(BBC) The White House has appointed its cyber tsar, following a seven-month search. Howard Schmidt, a former eBay and Microsoft executive who advised President Bush, was appointed after others turned down the job. Mr Schmidt has been set the task of uniting various disparate agencies and organisations to shore up the country's defence against cyber attack. See also Obama cyber czar choice worries about smartphones, social networking (Network World).
(News.com) Barack Obama, in his first official action as president, signed the Memorandum on Transparency and Open government, a short document that declared, "We shall work together to ensure the public trust and establish a system of transparency, public participation and collaboration. Openness will strengthen our democracy and promote efficiency and effectiveness in government." Beth Noveck was a principal contributor to the memorandum, and the first member of the Obama-Biden transition's Technology, Innovation, and Government Reform team, which advised the president-elect on ways to incorporate technology into his larger reform goals.
(News.com) The joint U.S.-Canada North American Aerospace Defense Command's annual NORAD Santa tracker program has presences on Facebook, Twitter and Picasa Web. Google - which, like all the corporate partners in the program, offers its assistance at no cost to taxpayers - has dozens of people working on helping to track Santa. Those people provide technical consulting and server provisioning for the NORAD Santa Web site, as well as helping put together YouTube videos, information for Google Maps and Google Earth and, soon, a new service that will allow people to use their mobile phones to track Santa on Christmas Eve. It also helps out by providing and monitoring a Gmail account for the program.
(Press Release) The INHOPE network is delighted to announce the appointment of Birgit Roth as the new Secretary General. Birgit Roth was Public Policy manager, Government Relations & Regulatory Affairs for Deutsche Telekom AG. Ms Roth was previously a Member of the German Parliament for the Speyer-Neustadt constituency.
The INHOPE Association of Internet Hotlines was founded in 1999. The general public can report illegal internet content such as child pornography to hotlines. The hotline confidentially then reviews each report, referring illegal material onto the relevant law enforcement agencies or Internet Service Providers for further action. Today, there are thirty members of INHOPE worldwide, including members from Europe, Asia, North America and Australia. INHOPE is part funded by the EC Safer Internet Programme.
(IWF) The 2008 IWF Board award for most significant contribution to combating illegal content on the internet has been awarded to Richard Swetenham, Head of the European Commission eContent and Safer Internet Unit. The Internet Services Providers' Association (ISPA UK) has been organising the UK Internet Industry Awards since 1999 to herald the best of the internet industry and to celebrate innovation and best practice. One of the Special ISPA Awards is the Internet Watch Foundation Award. The awards ceremony took place in London on Friday 14 March 2008.