ITI Daily News Roundup

10/22/2014

Key Issues

Tech Business

D.C. disconnect: Old laws vs. new tech. Silicon Valley races every day to create flashy new products and anticipate the next wave of consumer demand. But when it comes to technology laws, Washington is stuck in the days of dial-up. (Politico Pro)

GOP Works to Improve Targeting of Voters. For the approaching midterm elections, the RNC had hoped for a single national hub to collect data for races across the nation. Instead, it has had to enter into an uneasy alliance with various groups chasing goals similar to its own. (Wall Street Journal) 

Hatch outlines GOP's tech agenda. Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) on Tuesday outlined his priorities for technology legislation in the next Congress — keying in on patent and immigration reform, as well as updates to email privacy protections. (The Hill) 

Net Neutrality

Obama Talks Up Net Neutrality, But Could Do More to Defend It. President Obama recently said he is "unequivocally committed" to net neutrality. Back in 2007, candidate Obama pledged that he would take a "backseat to no one" on the issue. But on a key issue in the debate, the White House has thus far kept quiet. (National Journal) 

Tax

Hungary plans to impose new tax on Internet traffic. Hungary's government plans to levy a new tax on Internet data transfers, according to the draft 2015 tax bill submitted to parliament late on Tuesday, which could hit Internet providers and the country's telecommunications companies. (Reuters)

Luxembourg Tax Deals Under Pressure. Confidential tax arrangements for multinational companies like Amazon and Fiat save taxes but now are under pressure from the EU. (Wall Street Journal) 

Tax Inversion Lobbying Booms as Corporations Fight Obama. The number of companies lobbying the U.S. government on tax inversions more than doubled in the quarter ended Sept. 30, as they sought to prevent Congress and the Obama administration from imposing new restrictions. (Bloomberg)

Privacy

FTC taps Washington Post reporter for tech role. The Federal Trade Commission has named Ashkan Soltani, a consumer privacy consultant and researcher, to be its next chief technologist. (Politico)

Hillary Clinton praises Udall on NSA reform. Hillary Clinton praised Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.), a leading critic of the National Security Agency, for his work on intelligence reform during a campaign stop Tuesday. (The Hill) 

Science Committee Chairman: NSF shouldn't study Twitter political discussion. House Science, Space and Technology Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) on Tuesday blasted a research project funded by the National Science Foundation to study political messages on Twitter. (The Hill)

Tech boosts lobbying on health data, drones. Tech companies aren’t just selling consumers and investors on their latest gambits in health tracking and delivery drones. They’re increasingly making the pitch to Washington regulators, too. (Politico Pro) 

Where's the NSA reform? Our view. After leaks last year revealed a vast web of government surveillance of innocent Americans, the outrage in Washington could hardly be contained. (USA Today Editorial) 

Who's Catching Your Cellphone Conversations?  With the right equipment, people can hijack your cellphone, listen to your calls and read your texts, alarming privacy rights advocates and tech experts alike. (NPR)

Cybersecurity

After JPMorgan Breach, a Greater Push to Fortify Wall Street Banks. This summer’s huge cyberattack on JPMorgan Chase and a dozen other financial institutions is accelerating efforts by federal and state authorities to push banks and brokerage firms to close some gaping holes in their defenses. (New York Times)

Hacker, Terrorist Threats Spur Bases to Build Power Grids. Fear that utility companies remain vulnerable to hackers, terrorists and natural disasters has the Pentagon pushing construction of independent power grids at military bases across the U.S. (Wall Street Journal)

Key Republican says cyber bill has 80 percent chance of passage. House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas) says his cyber information sharing bill has an 80 percent chance of becoming law during Congress’s lame-duck session. (The Hill)

NIST issues first draft of cyber-physical 'framework elements'. A National Institute of Standards and Technology working group has issued its first document on the cybersecurity of cyber-physical systems as part of a broad effort to create a framework and roadmap on the topic. (Inside Cybersecurity)

U.S. government probes medical devices for possible cyber flaws. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is investigating about two dozen cases of suspected cybersecurity flaws in medical devices and hospital equipment that officials fear could be exploited by hackers, a senior official at the agency told Reuters. (Reuters)

U.S. national security prosecutors shift focus from spies to cyber. The U.S. Justice Department is restructuring its national security prosecution team to deal with cyber attacks and the threat of sensitive technology ending up in the wrong hands, as American business and government agencies face more intrusions. (Reuters) 

Global Trade

Australian Officials Raise Hopes For Common TPP Tariff Concessions. Ahead of the latest round of Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) talks underway here, Australian trade officials drove home the point to domestic business representatives that the final deal will be truly plurilateral in terms of market access, raising hopes among industry groups that Japan will extend the same tariff concessions it grants to the United States to all other TPP countries. (World Trade Online)

Azevedo asks for ideas as WTO hits a brick wall. World Trade Organization chief Roberto Azevedo will begin consulting with WTO ambassadors on Wednesday to try to work out how to pick up the pieces after global trade negotiations appeared to suffer a final defeat on Tuesday. (Reuters)

Environment and Sustainability

Environmental Issues Become a Force in Political Advertising. Ads mentioning energy, climate change and the environment — over 125,000 spots and climbing on the Senate side — have surged to record levels during the 2014 midterm election cycle, reflecting the priorities of some of the nation’s wealthiest donors, with Democrats now pouring millions into campaigns to match Republicans, according to an analysis by Kantar Media/CMAG, which tracks political advertising. (New York Times)

For E.U. Climate Meeting, Deep Divisions and High Stakes. The leaders of the 28 members of theEuropean Union are set to meet here on Thursday to reassert their global leadership in climate protection, but they will first need to finesse deep divisions over how to generate and distribute energy. (New York Times)

Wind farms outstrip nuclear power. The UK's wind farms generated more power than its nuclear power stations on Tuesday, the National Grid says. (BBC)

Public Sector

Army evolves its network integration process. The Army is making changes to the process to include more of an emphasis on laboratory testing, and it's also tempered its hopes that commercial technologies can fill the gaps in its current capabilities. (Federal News Radio)

Here’s what local governments care about when it comes to connected cities. Private businesses aren’t the only ones tapping into the opportunities of the connected world. Local governments have taken notice, too. From monitoring parking meter data to tracking a city’s microclimates, progressive urban areas are all about the new world of sensors. (Gigaom)

Innovation

DHS sees wearables as the future for first responders. Robert Griffin, the new deputy undersecretary for the Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate, knows data is the last thing people are thinking about in a life-threatening situation. He also knows that first responders aren’t like most people. (FedScoop)

ITI Member News

Apple’s iCloud service suffers cyber-attack in China, putting passwords in peril. A sophisticated cyber-attack has targeted Apple’s iCloud service in China, in an apparent attempt to collect user names, passwords and other private information as the company releases its newest round of iPhones in the world’s most populous country. (Washington Post)

Broadcom Swings to Profit. Broadcom Corp. swung to a profit in the third quarter, driven by growth in its broadband and connectivity business and cost-cutting as it moves to close its cellular-chip business. (Wall Street Journal)

EMC Said to Absorb VCE Joint Venture as Cisco Reduces Stake. EMC Corp. (EMC) is buying out much of Cisco Systems Inc. (CSCO)’s stake in joint venture VCE, which sells high-end data center equipment, according to people with knowledge of the matter. (Bloomberg)

Google leaps into new virtual reality. A group of investors led by Google has ploughed $542m into an ambitious private company that claims to have invented a new form of virtual reality, in the second biggest technology venture capital funding round of the year after Uber raised $1.2bn in June. (Financial Times)

Intel Capital dishes out $28M to Chinese wearable, mobile makers. Intel's investment unit distributes the first batch of its US$100 million China Smart Device Innovation Fund to several Chinese companies including EyeSmart Technology and Shenzhen Fibocom Industrial Development. (ZDNet)

Lufthansa close to deal with IBM for IT infrastructure unit.
German airline Lufthansa (LHAG.DE) is close to a deal to sell its IT infrastructure unit to IBM (IBM.N), including an outsourcing agreement for the services, as part of a shake-up of its technology activities, it said on Wednesday. (Reuters)

Samsung donates 3,000 smartphones to help Ebola fight. The company says that the phones, worth about $1 million, will be used in 60 Ebola medical clinics in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. (CNET)

VMware satisfies earnings expectations for Q3 riddled with spinoff speculation. VMware's CFO credited the uptick to the virtualization company's "newer businesses," which he defined as mobility, networking, storage, and hybrid cloud. (ZDNet)

Yahoo Reports Rising Revenue. Yahoo Inc. reported a slight increase in revenue, possibly easing the pressure facing chief executive Marissa Mayer . (Wall Street Journal)

1600 Penn.

President Obama will meet with Ebola Response Coordinator Ron Klain and members of his team this afternoon. In the evening, the president will meet with senior advisors in the Oval Office. 

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