ITI Daily News Roundup

12/19/2014

Key Issues

Tech Business

At the heart of Obama’s Cuba doctrine? The Internet. How disconnected is Cuba, the land where a decades-old U.S. embargo has left many residents drive vintage automobiles from the 1950s and '60s? Only 5 percent of the island nation's 11 million residents have the ability to get onto the Internet. (Washington Post) 

For An Island Trapped In The '50s, An Instant Digital Revolution. This week's historic agreement between the U.S. and Cuba to reinstate diplomatic relations after decades of silence could launch a digital revolution in the island nation. (NPR) 

Instagram deletes millions of accounts in spam purge. Photo-sharing app Instagram has removed millions of accounts believed to be posting spam, angering many legitimate users. (BBC)

New York Regulator Outlines Changes to Bitcoin Rules. New York State’s proposed Bitcoin regulations are coming into sharper focus. (New York Times)

The Virtual Currency Taking Over the World isn’t the One You Think. With the rise of the Internet, the world may be on the verge of evolving a new currency—one that more closely lives in the digital world, and one that can be transmitted directly from one individual and received and processed by another as easily as an email or a text message. (Security Week) 

Broadband

Connecticut communities join together for gigabit broadband. Connecticut takes the first step toward launching a gigabit broadband network that officials hope will spur competition and lead to higher-speed service at lower prices. (CNET) 

Net Neutrality

Group of 36 Democrats Call for Quick FCC Action on Net Neutrality Rules. A group of 36 House and Senate Democrats wrote to Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler Thursday,  saying it’s “time for action” on net neutrality rules, and that those rules should reclassify broadband service as a common carrier with “appropriate forbearance.” (Roll Call) 

Tax

Finance chairman: Web rules won’t lead to new taxes. The head of the Senate Finance Committee is pushing back against analysis alleging that tough rules on Internet service companies will lead to new billions of dollars worth of new taxes. (The Hill)

Luxembourg Agrees to Share Details of Corporate Tax Deals. Luxembourg agreed Thursday to share with the European Commission information on tax deals secured by multinational companies with operations in the small nation. (Wall Street Journal) 

Privacy

German researchers discover a flaw that could let anyone listen to your cell calls. German researchers have discovered security flaws that could let hackers, spies and criminals listen to private phone calls and intercept text messages on a potentially massive scale – even when cellular networks are using the most advanced encryption now available. (Washington Post)

Why campaigns won’t stop using our data: Because the data says we like it. Recent revelations about how the ride-on-demand company Uber handles the records of its users was a healthy reminder of just how much data about each one of us is floating around out in the world. (Washington Post) 

Cybersecurity

Another OPM background check contractor breached. The Office of Personnel Management confirmed Thursday afternoon that more than 48,000 federal employees may be at risk after a background check contractor’s network was breached. (FedScoop)

Cyberattack on German Iron Plant Causes ‘Widespread Damage’. A German federal agency has acknowledged in a report Wednesday that a cyberattack caused physical damage to an iron plant in the country. It was a rare admission by a government tying a cyber action to actual physical destruction. (Wall Street Journal)

New homeland chairman says info-share, breach notification are priorities. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), who assumes the chairmanship of the homeland security committee in January, sees legislation on information sharing and a national breach notification standard as the top policy priorities on cybersecurity in 2015. (Inside Cybersecurity)

Obama adviser sees potential for cyber norms with China and Russia. The United States, China and Russia have the potential to reach agreement on cyberspace norms of behavior to avoid launching cyber attacks against critical civilian infrastructure and military control systems for nuclear weapons, according to Obama administration adviser Richard Danzig. (Inside Cybersecurity) 

Washington tries to tackle hackers behind Sony attack. Washington made the woes of cyberattack victim Sony Pictures its own on Thursday as the White House acknowledged that the devastating strike against the big Hollywood studio was a matter of national security that would be met by a forceful government response. (Reuters) 

IP Enforcement

Google: Hollywood Is 'Trying to Secretly Censor the Internet'. Google is going after the major movie studios with guns blazing after learning of a secret legal campaign against it. (National Journal)

Sony aftershocks stoke D.C. piracy debate. Cybersecurity questions and box office turmoil aside, another storyline is resonating with tech policymakers after the high-profile hacking of Sony Entertainment: The relationship between Hollywood and Silicon Valley is still complicated when it comes to the piracy debate in Washington. (Politico Pro) 

Global Trade

Democrats urge officials to leave out investor-state dispute provisions in major trade deals. Several House and Senate Democrats are urging the Obama administration to leave out provisions in a two major trade deals they say could lead to changes in U.S. finanical regulations. (The Hill)

EU leaders seek to overcome hostility to U.S. trade deal. EU leaders defended plans for the world's biggest trade deal with the United States, seeking on Thursday to counter hostility in Europe and clear the way for the accord to be agreed by the end of 2015. (Reuters)

Pritzker: U.S.-China meeting on trade irritants ‘very productive’. Chinese officials on Thursday agreed to streamline the approval of U.S. pharmaceutical and medical devices and promised fair treatment for American companies targeted for investigation under China’s anti-monopoly law. (Politico Pro)

Senior White House Official Signals Administration Wants TPA Prior To TPP Deal. A senior White House economic official has publicly signaled that the Obama administration is seeking congressional approval of Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) legislation prior to concluding the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations, which he said were in their final stages. (World Trade Online)

U.S. trade strategy suffers second blow in days at WTO. The World Trade Organization on Thursday ruled Washington had unfairly penalised imports of Chinese solar panels and other goods, the second time the body has faulted Washington's tactics in 10 days. (Reuters) 

Environment and Sustainability

Carbon dioxide satellite mission returns first global maps. Nasa's Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO-2) has returned its first global maps of the greenhouse gas CO2. (BBC)

Companies with the Best CSR Reputations Named. Google has the best corporate social responsibility reputation, beating out Microsoft who held the top spot in 2012 and 2013, according to Reputation Institute’s annual CSR RepTrak. (Environmental Leader)

Public Sector

NIST can help you measure the cloud. The National Institute of Standards and Technology has released a draft guide aimed at helping agencies find the cloud service provider that is right for them. (FCW) 

VA bringing latest cyber tools to bear to improve network defenses. The Veterans Affairs Department is among the first agencies to turn on advanced cybersecurity capabilities known as Einstein 3 Accelerated. (Federal News Radio)

Innovation

We did it! We 3D printed in space. Stuck in space without a part you desperately need? That’s not such a big deal anymore, thanks to a 3D printer that arrived at the International Space Station last month. (Gigaom)

Mobility

Mobile’s Rise Poses a Riddle for Banks. This year, for the first time, U.S. customers interacted with their banks more through mobile devices than any other means, according to a new study by consultancy Bain & Co. Mobile. (Wall Street Journal)

ITI Member News

Apple's Cook makes 'substantial' donation for gay rights in U.S. South. Apple Inc Chief Executive Tim Cook, the highest-profile U.S. business leader to publicly acknowledge being gay, has made a "substantial" donation to a gay rights effort in his native Alabama and two other southern U.S. states, activists said on Thursday. (Reuters)

Exclusive: Google aiming to go straight into car with next Android - sources. Google Inc (GOOGL.O) is laying the groundwork for a version of Android that would be built directly into cars, sources said, allowing drivers to enjoy all the benefits of the Internet without even plugging in their smartphones. (Reuters)

Microsoft sues fake tech support service, warns of holiday scams. Microsoft filed a lawsuit on Thursday against a bogus tech support service that allegedly used the company’s name to persuade victims, many of them seniors, to pay hundreds of dollars for worthless advice or even viruses. (Gigaom)

Sony: Europe holiday sales of PlayStation 4 'inventory challenged'. The head of Sony Computer Entertainment, the Japanese electronic group's video gaming division, said holiday sales of its PlayStation 4 gaming console in Europe were so strong that it was fighting to keep up with demand. (Reuters)

1600 Penn.

In the afternoon, President Obama will hold a news conference in the Brady Press Briefing Room. In the evening, the First Family will travel to Honolulu, Hawai’i. 

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