ITI Tech News Roundup


Key Issues

Tech Business

Can Republicans Get Ahead In The 2016 Digital Race? Just after midnight Monday, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz scooped his own big announcement by about 10 hours. Ahead of a planned speech, he posted the news of his presidential bid on Twitter. (NPR) 

Europe Wants to Bring Its Industry Online Before Google, Apple Make It Obsolete. Europe’s plan to compete with the U.S. and Asia in the new digital economy is simple: bring its traditional hardware industry online before the likes of Google GOOGL -1.82% and Apple build their own automated cars and connect the world’s objects to the Internet with their proprietary software. (WSJ)

Hillary’s nerd squad. Hillary Clinton is assembling a technology team that signals a significant departure from her 2008 presidential run, led by President Barack Obama veterans and geared toward recasting her analog-era image. (Politico)

London steps up fight for spoils from financial tech boom. From the shabby streets of east London, some of the brightest minds in technology and banking are plotting a revolution. (Reuters) 

Silicon Valley is seizing the customers. All around, technology companies are no longer content to provide the machinery for consumer companies — they are serving the customers themselves. (FT) 

U.S. farm groups to press FAA for fewer drone restrictions. American farmers want the Federal Aviation Administration to relax proposed regulations on commercial drones so the unmanned aircraft can be used over longer distances at any time of day or night, farm group representatives said on Wednesday. (Reuters)

Net Neutrality

'You're Playing God with the Internet!' Republican Shouts at FCC Chief. Congressional Republicans are united in their anger over new net neutrality regulations—but no one could match the fury displayed by Rep. Louie Gohmert on Wednesday. (National Journal)


Congress wants to open up vast troves of federal airwaves for your cell phone. Every time you send a text or receive a mobile phone call, you're using wireless spectrum — invisible airwaves that transport all those bits and bytes from local cell towers to people like you and me. (Washington Post)


Foxconn Leads Fight to Save Business Tax Breaks in China. Foxconn and other foreign businesses in China are fighting to save tax breaks and other benefits promised by Chinese cities and provinces, as Beijing ramps up a campaign against big spending by local governments. (WSJ) 


Back to the drawing board on student data privacy bill. The Student Digital Privacy Act, spearheaded by Reps. Luke Messer and Jared Polis, has been delayed to tweak the language and get privacy advocacy groups on board. (FedScoop)

Tech Giants Call For “Clear, Strong And Effective End” To NSA’s Phone Metadata Surveillance. As expected, technology companies, tech trade groups and privacy organizations sent a letter today to the President Barack Obama, various members of Congress, and governmental security officials, urging reform of the U.S. government’s surveillance practices. (TechCrunch)


Data breach bill moves forward in the House. Legislation to create a national data security and breach notification standard moved forward Wednesday over objections from Democratic lawmakers. (The Hill)

The Smartest Hackers In The Room (Hint:They're Not The Humans). Next month, unmanned computers all over the globe will face off in a dress rehearsal for a Las Vegas hacking tournament run by the U.S. military. (NextGov) 


Ellen Pao trial ends on plea for gender equality in the tech industry. After hearing compelling closing arguments, the jury now gets to decide the winner in Silicon Valley's highest-profile sex discrimination case. (CNET)

General Assembly And 500 Startups Partner For Accelerator Prep Program. General Assembly and 500 Startups are putting their collective heads together to provide an accelerator prep program designed for alumnae of GA’s programs. (TechCrunch) 

Immigrant students start hunger strike for NY Dream Act. About 50 immigrant students who live illegally in New York state have started a hunger strike after a proposal that would allow them to apply for state financial aid for college was not included in the state's budget, some of the students said Wednesday. (WSJ) 

New York subway campaign targets minority coders. Calling all would-be advertising geniuses who understand the importance of a society that can write computer code – your ideas are needed. (USA Today) 

Global Trade

China promises more openness for possible Beijing 2022 Olympics. China says blocked US sites will be open to Web users during the Olympics, should Beijing be chosen as the venue for the games. But, it says, who in China wants to use them, anyway? (CNET)

EU to Open Extensive E-Commerce Sector Probe. The European Union is set to open a sweeping investigation into whether Internet commerce firms like Inc. are violating the bloc’s antitrust laws by restricting cross-border trade. (WSJ)

Public Sector

Delta rocket blasts off from Florida with improved GPS satellite. An unmanned Delta 4 rocket blasted off from Florida on Wednesday to deliver the ninth of 12 next-generation Global Positioning System satellites into orbit. (Reuters) 

House committee passes online reforms for FOIA. The bill would strengthen the office that acts as the FOIA ombudsman and create an online portal for FOIA requests. (FedScoop) 

Intel community's MUG tackling enterprise IT adoption. The major IT transformation program to better connect all 17 intelligence community agencies is in the adoption phase. (Federal News Radio)

Pentagon official: DoD-VA info sharing improving, but work remains. Sharing of electronic health records between the military and Veterans Affairs is improving, but there is still room for improvement, according to the Defense official in charge of making the disparate systems work together. (FCW) 

Environment and Sustainability

The forgotten ingredient in green buildings? People. American buildings use 40 percent of our nation's energy and contribute about 40 percent of our greenhouse gas emissions. (GreenBiz)

Lawmakers seek $2M for US-Israel energy projects. A bipartisan House coalition of more than 100 lawmakers is seeking $2 million to fund energy projects between the U.S. and Israel. (The Hill)

ITI Member News

Apple and Beats Developing Streaming Music Service to Rival Spotify. In what would be the biggest change to its music strategy in years, Apple is pressing ahead with a sweeping overhaul of its digital music services that would allow the company to compete directly with streaming upstarts like Spotify. (NY Times)

Drones Beaming Web Access Are in the Stars for Facebook. In classical mythology, Aquila is the eagle carrying Jupiter’s thunderbolts skyward. At Facebook, it is the code name for a high-flying drone, indicative of the social networking company’s lofty ambitions. (NY Times)

Feds: We didn't give Google a free pass. Federal regulators are pushing back against suggestions that they gave Google a free pass under antitrust law, potentially out of deference to the Obama administration. (The Hill) 

Japan's Panasonic says ready for $8.4 billion M&A spree as profit jumps. Japanese electronics supplier Panasonic Corp said it was ready to spend 1 trillion yen ($8.4 billion) on acquisitions over the next four years, emboldened by a stronger profit outlook for its automotive and housing technology businesses. (Reuters)

Twitter's Periscope app takes on Meerkat with live video streamed from your phone. The microblogging social network wants you to broadcast live video from your mobile, and encourage other 'streamers with floating hearts. (CNET)

1600 Penn.

In the afternoon, President Obama will travel to Birmingham, Alabama to host a roundtable and deliver remarks on the economy at Lawson State Community College. Later in the afternoon, the president will return to Washington, D.C. 

Today on the Hill

The House will meet at 9:00 a.m. for legislative business. Last votes expected no later than 3:00 p.m.

The Senate will convene at 9:30 a.m. and resume consideration of S.Con.Res.11, the budget resolution. Debate time on the budget resolution will expire at noon and Senators will proceed to a long series of roll call votes.

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