Welcome to the Monday Morning News Kick Off. It was an eventful weekend in the nation's capital with severe storms, power outages, and a heat wave. We hope everyone was able to safely return to work this morning, or has settled in to enjoy vacation and the upcoming holiday.
This week kicks off with news about the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, new tools for mapping commute times, a look at fire devastation in the Western U.S., the vulnerability of GPS signals, and commentary on satellite export laws.
House Intelligence Committee Votes to Reauthorize the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act
The House Intelligence Committee marked up the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) Amendments Act Reauthorization Act June 28 and voted unanimously, 17-0, to pass the bill out of the committee. The original bill, which was created in 2008, is scheduled to expire at the end of this year. House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers and Ranking Member C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger stated that the reauthorization of FISA is a top priority for the committee.
Mapping Commute Times
Trulia has developed a series of commuter heat maps that can illustrate the time it would take you to get anywhere in a given city from your home base. These maps could prove essential for learning the lay of the land in a new city or choosing a new home, and could stand to give Google Maps a run for their money, according to Fast Company.
Satellite Images of Fire Devastation in the Western U.S.
Wired Science has published a slideshow of images collected from NOAA, NASA and the USGS depicting the severe damage from the wild fires raging in the Western United States.
The Vulnerability of Unencrypted GPS Signals
A group of researchers from the Radionavigation Lab at the University of Texas at Austin used only $1,000 worth of equipment to "hijack" a small drone and higlight the vulnerabilities of unencrypted GPS signals. The team demonstrated their findings for representatives of the FAA and DHS, warning them that GPS interference isn't limited only to jamming. IT World has published an extensive round-up of coverage and video.
Commentary: Overhaul Satellite Export Laws
Marion Blakey, president and CEO of the Aerospace Industries Association, published a commentary piece in AOL Defense calling for the reform of restrictive laws governing the export of commercial satellites. Blakey describes the laws as "an outmoded and counterproductive system intended to enhance national security while inadvertently undermining America's domestic space industry."