Friday, June 8, 2018

Starks Nominated to Succeed Clyburn on FCC

Geoffrey Starks, an assistant chief of the FCC's Enforcement Bureau, has been nominated by President Trump to become an FCC Commissioner. Once confirmed by the Senate, he would fill the Democratic vacancy on the Commission created by the departure of Mignon Clyburn at the end of her term.

 A graduate of Harvard and Yale Law School, Starks worked for the Department of Justice before joining the Enforcement Bureau three years ago, according to a report on Politico. His first task at the FCC was to go after fraud, abuse and waste in the Universal Service Fund, which is intended to assure the availability of basic telecommunications services – including broadband internet – to all Americans. At press time, no date had been set for confirmation hearings in the Senate.

ARRL Issues "White Paper" on Proposed Governance Changes

The ARRL has issued a "white paper" to offer background and context to proposed changes in its Articles of Association and By-Laws, as well as the so-called "code of conduct" for directors and vice directors. It essentially says that proposed changes regarding personal liability of directors, vice directors and officers are needed to bring the wording into compliance with Connecticut state law; and that it wants to add ARRL's informal name, "ARRL, the national association for Amateur Radio," to the formal name of American Radio Relay League, Inc., that is already in those documents.

Regarding the "code of conduct," the paper says the process of reviewing the entire code and developing any recommended changes "would take longer than anticipated" and would likely not be ready for presentation to the board of directors at its summer meeting this month. The complete white paper is at <>.

Army MARS Urging Members to Unplug Computers from the Internet

Citing the prevalence of cybersecurity threats, the leadership of Army MARS (Military Auxiliary Radio System) is urging all members to use computers that are not connected to the internet for their MARS activities. 

According to the ARRL Letter, Army MARS Headquarters Operations Officer David McGinnis, K7UXO, says "we assume that all computer systems in private citizens' hands are infected with hostile software code of some sort and are not secured," regardless of antivirus and malware protection programs. 

McGinnis says this is only a recommendation at this point, but notes that certain exercises will require the use of computers that are "air-gapped" from the internet.