Melissa Norr at the CRA Policy Blog gives an excellent overview of yesterday’s testimony before the House S&T committee on the NITRD Act of 2009 (which hasn’t been introduced yet but is expected soon). The CRA’s Peter Lee, Deborah Estrin of the University of California, Los Angeles, and Chris Greer of the Networking and Information Technology Research and Development National Coordinating Office testified.
All three witnesses praised the legislation for incorporating the PCAST recommendations for NITRD and for addressing a need in the research infrastructure.
…Questions from the Members of Congress ranged from agency participation in NITRD to security to education. Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey (D-CA) asked about the need for intervention in the education system to fill the pipeline of scientists particularly for attracting women and minorities….Congressman Todd Akin (R-MO) and Congressman Lincoln Davis (D-TN) both brought up the issue of national security, noting that there are daily attacks from other countries on our systems with the intent of uncovering sensitive data and that our networks are vulnerable to hacking. Greer noted that security is always a challenge at the forefront of NITRD. Estrin and Lee both stated that there are numerous research projects underway attempting to increase the security of networks and Estrin emphasized the necessity of having security parameters that are usable by the average person.