ITI Daily News Roundup

01/30/2015

Key Issues

Tech Business

Analysis: The week that was in tech earnings. This was the week that was in tech earnings: the good (Apple), the bad (eBay) and the bizarre (AT&T). (USA Today)

China Further Tightens Grip on the Internet. Gmail has become almost impossible to use here, and in recent weeks the authorities have gummed up Astrill, the software Ms. Jing and countless others depended on to circumvent the Internet restrictions that Western security analysts refer to as the Great Firewall. (New York Times)

Hard-Driving Uber Gives Compromise a Try. Uber Technologies Inc. has followed a pugnacious expansion strategy as it rolled into 277 cities around the world, sometimes skirting local laws and daring regulators to stop the smartphone-based car service. (Wall Street Journal)

Jay Z splashes out $56 million on Spotify rivals WiMP and Tidal. Jay Z might have 99 problems, but a streaming service ain't one. The rapper is splashing out $56 million on Swedish company Aspiro, which runs WiMP and high-quality audio service Tidal. (CNET) 

Loretta Lynch’s top 5 challenges. The set of challenges facing Lynch as Attorney General are so daunting she could wonder why she wanted the job. Cybercriminals are testing the tech-challenged government’s ability to keep up, relations between police and minority groups are badly frayed and the public is sharply divided over the legitimacy of widespread surveillance. (Politico) 

Super Bowl a no-drone zone, while ads swarm on social. Facebook will target users with real-time ads during the big game and the FAA warns against flying drones near the stadium on Sunday. Perhaps the next Super Bowl will unleash drones to hunt down drones. (CNET)

Tencent inks exclusive online partnership for NBA games in China. The National Basketball Association and Tencent Holdings Ltd said Friday the Shenzhen-based Internet giant will be the only company in China to stream the league's online content. (Reuters) 

Mobility

4G spectrum auction ends, raising a record $45BIt took a grueling two and half months, but the Federal Communications Commission auction of new 4G airwaves is finally over. (Gigaom) 

Feds Order Cell Companies to Pinpoint 911 CallersCellular companies will have to automatically deliver more-accurate data about the location of 911 calls under regulations approved Thursday. (National Journal)

Broadband

BAM! The FCC just defined broadband as 25 Mbps down and 3 Mbps up. The Federal Communications Commission just took a bold step and redefined broadband as 25 Mbps for downstream speeds and 3 Mbps for upstream speeds, a move that FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler had hinted at earlier this month in a speech at International CES. (Gigaom) 

Cablevision sues Verizon, alleges false WiFi advertising. Cablevision Systems Corp on Thursday sued Verizon Communications Inc, accusing it of falsely advertising to consumers on television, radio and the Internet that its WiFi service is the fastest available. (Reuters) 

UK’s BT lays out gigabit broadband plans with a hint of a threat. BT is stepping up its superlatives. “Superfast” broadband speeds are so 2014 – now the British telecoms giant is planning a shift to “ultrafast” broadband of up to 500 megabits per second (Mbps) or, for those willing to pay a premium, a whole gigabit per second. (Gigaom) 

Net Neutrality

FCC chairman warns: The GOP’s net neutrality bill could jeopardize broadband’s ‘vast future’. The head of the Federal Communications Commission doesn't like that Republicans want to take away his agency's powers to police Internet providers. And on Thursday, he said as much in a lengthy speech to reporters. (Washington Post)

Tax

After Vodafone, India changes tax rules to boost investment. The Indian government has asked tax officials to apply the principle behind a tax ruling in favour of Vodafone Group Plc(VOD.L) to all similar cases, a major boost to foreign firms including Royal Dutch Shell PLC (RDSa.L). (Reuters)

GOP warns IRS: Botched tax season is on you. Senate Republicans have a message for the IRS commissioner: It’s on you if this tax season is miserable for taxpayers. (The Hill) 

Rand Paul Finds Democratic Partner for Offshore Tax Holiday. Senators Rand Paul and Barbara Boxer are proposing a tax incentive for U.S. companies to bring home their offshore cash stockpiles and pledging to use that revenue to fund highways. (Bloomberg) 

Privacy

Google to change privacy policy after investigation by UK data watchdog. Search engine Google (GOOGL.O) has agreed to better inform users about how it handles their personal information after an investigation by Britain's data protection regulator found its privacy policy was too vague. (Reuters) 

It’s warrant time: Do you know where your data is? The furor over Google’s decision to turn over European Wikileaks’ employees’ emails in response to a U.S. warrant highlights a big problem for users trying to keep control of their personal data: They generally don’t know where it is. (Politico Pro)

Study shows credit card metadata is not as anonymous as thought. Only four vague points of information are sufficient to identify individuals through credit card metadata, and that doesn't include name, address, or credit card number, a study by MIT has revealed. (ZDNet) 

Watchdog: White House has done little on surveillance reform. A federal privacy watchdog tasked with reviewing the National Security Agency’s controversial spy programs said Thursday the White House has agreed to many of its suggested reforms but taken little action. (The Hill)

Cybersecurity

China's new tech rules play to local firms' strengths. Draft Chinese government regulation would force technology vendors to meet stringent security tests before they can sell to China's banks, an acceleration of efforts to curb the country's reliance on foreign technology that has drawn a sharp response from U.S. business groups. (Reuters)

Global DDoS attacks increase 90 percent on last year. The increase of distributed denial-of-service attacks during Q4 2014 was driven by the rise of the Internet of Things, and the increasing exploitation of web vulnerabilities and botnet building. (ZDNet)

Obama returning to Bay Area for cybersecurity — and fundraising. The White House announced last month that it will host the Feb. 13 summit on Cybersecurity and Consumer Protection at Stanford to bring together “major stakeholders to help shape public and private sector efforts to protect consumers and companies from growing network threats.” (SFGate)

Rosengren Says Fed Has Big Role to Play in Cybersecurity. The Federal Reserve has an important role to play in ensuring the nation’s financial system is resilient against cyberattacks, a top official said Friday. (Wall Street Journal)

Senate Commerce panel announces hearing on NIST framework. The Senate Commerce Committee announced on Thursday that it will hold a hearing on Feb. 4 to examine experiences so far with the framework of cybersecurity standards developed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology. (Inside Cybersecurity) 

U.S. consistently raised concerns with China on IT rules: trade office. The United States administration has consistently pressed China about the impact of regulations on U.S. information technology firms, a spokesman for the U.S. Trade Representative said on Thursday. (Reuters) 

Workforce

Ky. ponders teaching computer code as foreign language. With nearly a quarter of the state lacking access to broadband Internet, computer code may already seem like Greek to many students in Kentucky. Now one lawmaker wants to put it on that level officially. (USA Today)

IP Enforcement

Casting Blame on Harry Reid, John Cornyn Charts Path Forward on Patent Reform. Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn has one message for tech companies and start-up entrepreneurs pleading with lawmakers to pass patent reform: With Harry Reid no longer in power, Congress is poised to get the job done this session. (National Journal) 

Global Trade

Obama to Dems: 'Get informed, not by reading the Huffington Post'. President Obama on Thursday asked wary House Democrats to hold their fire while the administration negotiates several trade deals opposed by scores of liberal lawmakers. (The Hill)

With Focus On TPP, TPA, U.S. Emphasizes 'Technical Work' In TTIP Until Mid-2015. Senior U.S. trade officials have made clear to the European Commission that Washington's focus on concluding the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and renewing Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) will make it impossible to focus on the major political issues in the U.S.-European Union free trade talks in the first half of 2015, according to sources close to the negotiations. (World Trade Online)

Environment and Sustainability

Offshore Wind Farm Leases Draw Few Bids From Wary Industry. Not too long ago, in 2013, the Obama administration began auctioning off leases for offshore wind farms up and down the Eastern Seaboard, hoping to spur a nascent industry. (New York Times)

US and Europe string new transmission lines for clean energy projects. The U.S. and Europe are making major investments in transmission infrastructure that finally will create a renewable energy backbone — driving billions of dollars in new projects and bringing clean energy to much more of the population. (GreenBiz) 

Public Sector

Air Force to Open Additional Satellite Launches to Competition, Potential Boon for SpaceX. Pentagon will announce plans next week to open more space rocket launches to competition, paving the way for Elon Musk ’s Space Exploration Technologies Corp. to try to win its first military business, according to U.S. officials familiar with the plan. (Wall Street Journal) 

Can North Carolina set the national standard for electronic IDs? A secure way for citizens to access government services online — without identifying yourself in person — could be on its way to North Carolina, and maybe even the rest of the country. (FedScoop)

Halvorsen to industry: 'Let's be real' with each other on cloud data. Acting Defense Department CIO Terry Halvorsen on Jan. 29 called on commercial cloud providers to own up to the challenges of data liability and information sharing, measures he sees as instrumental to the Pentagon reaping the benefits of the commercial cloud. (FCW)

Innovation

Smart Guns: How Close Are We Really? The Seattle Smart Gun Symposium revealed an ambitious community of technologists seeking to take on the feverish front known as the American gun owner, and unveiled more questions than answers. (GovTech)

ITI Member News

Facebook Tests Bluetooth ‘Beacons’ to Feed Users Local Content. Facebook FB +2.31% Thursday said it would begin testing a service to deliver information about shops and landmarks to users who are nearby, in part by using localized transmitters known as “beacons.” (Wall Street Journal)

Google fourth-quarter revenue misses Wall Street target, shares fall. Google Inc's (GOOGL.O) (GOOG.O) revenue grew 15 percent in the fourth quarter, falling short of Wall Street's target on declining online ad prices and unfavorable foreign exchange rates. (Reuters)

U.S. prosecutor to drop insider trading charges over IBM deal. U.S. prosecutors said on Thursday they will drop charges against five men accused of insider trading ahead of an IBM Corp acquisition after an appellate court ruling limited the ability of authorities to pursue such cases. (Reuters)

1600 Penn.

In the morning, President Obama will deliver remarks at the White House about investments to improve health and treat disease through precision medicine. 

Today on the Hill

The House is not in session. The Senate will convene at 10:30 a.m. and begin a period of morning business.

 

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