Week 4: Tom Marvolo Snowden

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Monday, June 22, 2015


Elias Kim

The end of a hard week motioned in the beginning of a very full weekend. On Saturday, a couple interns and I made our way back down to the Nationals’ Stadium for DC’s annual beer and wine festival. Newly legal, I am a novice on the intricacies of craft beer. With over 100 options from across the country, the festival proved to be a good introduction. On Sunday, I went down to the Navy Yard to play soccer with a men’s league team affiliated with DC United. The brutal sun and famous DC humidity were unable to stop me from playing, though I was certainly exhausted. I met up with some of the other SPS interns later that night for all-you-can-eat sushi, a favorite pastime of mine.

The beginning of the work week was filled with hearings and events. On Monday, I attended a lecture that was part of an ongoing series about the U.S.-China relationship. This particular lecture was about the recent OPM security breach and was presented by an expert cyber-security analyst who referred to the infamous Edward Snowden as “he who must not be named”. One of the most interesting piece of information he brought up was that attacks on government databases are pretty commonplace from both sides, but it is the corporate espionage attempts that are unacceptable from an American standpoint. Tuesday was very similar in composition, as I attended a subcommittee hearing on EPA ozone regulations. As the EPA always seems to be a source of controversy, I was interested to see the partisan battle first hand. Later that day, we went to see the opening statements for a full committee markup of the “DotCom Act,” a measure to hand over internet domain rights to a multi-stakeholder governance system.

The next day, the markup reconvened and the committee passed the bill through unanimously. Afterwards, I had the chance to speak with our committee’s chief counsel about my recent interest in cyber-security and internet governance. He gave me a long term assignment, which I began to look into. I also went with the other interns in my office to a briefing about the national historical preservation fund. That night, I met up with a friend from school to see a Nationals game. Unfortunately, the Nationals lost and the game ended early due to rain.

The end of the week provided me with an opportunity to become “CSPAN famous,” as I was allowed behind the scenes of our health subcommittee’s GMO hearing. I then focused on writing a paragraph of the memo for the upcoming Vehicle-to-Vehicle technology hearing, ending the day by attending a reception hosted by our committee for the legislative affairs workers in all of the agencies in our jurisdiction. I met several members of the EPA and NIH contingents, and talked to them about their experience with the world of science policy. On Friday afternoon, I made the trip up to New York City to see my friend who had been in Chile for the past 5 months!

Elias Kim