ITI Daily News Roundup

05/20/2013

Key Issues

Workforce

Canada Tries To Poach High-Tech Workers From The U.S.  Alongside a freeway in Northern California is a billboard which reads: Pivot to Canada. The billboard is urging high-tech immigrants living in the U.S. to pay attention to Canada. Canada wants to attract highly-skilled, foreign-born tech workers who are fed up with the visa process that they must follow to remain in the U.S.  (NPR)

Models Strut Into U.S. as Programmers Pray for Visas.  Ravi Shanker, a graduate of the Indian Institute of Technology, a top engineering school, is praying for an H-1B visa to enter the U.S. He needs all the divine intervention he can get, because he’s not just vying with other software engineers for the high-skill work permits. His other rivals? Fashion models.

Tech Industry Pushes to Amend Immigration Bill.  The technology industry got much of what it wanted in a bill that overhauls federal immigration law.  But in the give-and-take of political bargaining, the legislation emerged with some provisions the industry considers unappealing. Now its lobbyists are feverishly working to get rid of them.  Whether it gets its way could shape, in part, the fate of the overall package — and with it, the fate of millions of migrants to this country.  (NYT)

Union That Enforces Immigration Law Opposes Bill.  A council representing immigration workers will join forces with a similar group to lobby against the overhaul.  (NPR)

House Immigration Group Decides to Punt on Guest Worker Program.  One day after announcing their deal, members of the House bipartisan immigration group and their aides acknowledged Friday that they still have to iron out some of the last remaining issues.  (CQ Roll Call)

Hon Hai Confirms Employee Deaths.  Two Hon Hai employees have fallen to their deaths in China since late April, highlighting the continued struggles the Apple supplier is facing as it tries to manage its growing workforce in mainland China.  (WSJ)

Tax

Apple faces grilling over US tax rate.  Accounting boosted tech group’s payment from 15% to 25%.  (FT)

EU Turns to Tax Policy as Growth Languishes.  European Union leaders struggling to find a consensus on how to overcome the debt crisis and revive economic growth will use a summit meeting this week to focus on fighting tax evasion and on the bloc’s energy policy.  (Bloomberg)

At Google we aspire to do the right thing. So we welcome a debate on international tax reform.  The chairman of Google responds to criticism that companies such as his are not paying their fair share of taxes.  (London Observer)

Google chairman Eric Schmidt softens line on tax loopholes.  Google's chairman, Eric Schmidt, has said he welcomes promises by international leaders to crack down on tax loopholes exploited by the search firm and other multinational internet businesses that take billions of pounds of sales from the UK through overseas companies, which HM Revenue & Customs cannot tax.  (The Guardian)

Ex-employee set to reveal Google’s tax plans.  Former sales executive ready to hand over documents to HMRC.  (FT)

India's tax hunt claims Infosys, demands $105.3 million.  Tech firms haven't had it easy in India. Vodafone, Google and Samsung have faced India's ire, and now Infosys is added to the list.  (ZDNet)

States Bank On Online Sales Tax.  Congress hasn't yet agreed to end tax-free shopping on the Internet, but some states already are planning how they'll spend the money.  (WSJ)

Global Trade

US business keen to promote 'fast track' trade deals.  A political clash looms as US lawmakers debate whether to give Barack Obama authority to pass planned trade deals with the EU and 11 Pacific nations swiftly through Congress.  (FT)

Trade Negotiations Closer to Home.  Trade proponents from both parties have pledged to debate this summer whether to delegate the Hill’s trade-negotiating authority to the administration and to set any pacts on a “fast track” that would limit debate, ban amendments and guarantee an up-or-down vote on a signed deal.  Complicating matters, some question whether the administration may shy away from a debate in which the toughest opponents may hail from the president’s own party on Capitol Hill and from labor unions and other liberal-aligned groups.  (CQ Weekly)

Former Chilean TPP Negotiator Warns of Potential Costs of TPP Deal.  As the 17th round of Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) talks got underway here last week, Chile's former chief negotiator issued a stark warning to the governments of Chile, Peru and Mexico to defend their interests in the negotiations or risk having the TPP turn into a threat to their economic and social development.  (Inside US Trade)

Trans-Pacific Partnership protest movement expands.  The Fair Deal Coalition, formed to tackle concerns with the intellectual property provisions of the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP), is launching a global publicity and education campaign.  (Computerworld New Zealand)

EU cites Chinese telecoms Huawei and ZTE for trade violations.  Europe's top trade official for the first time late on Friday officially cited Chinese mobile telecommunications equipment makers Huawei and ZTE Corp for violating anti-dumping and anti-subsidy guidelines.  (Reuters)

Cybersecurity & Privacy

Chinese Hackers Resume Attacks on U.S. Targets.  A cyberunit of the People’s Liberation Army in China appears to have resumed its attacks using different techniques, hitting several of the same victims it has gone after in the past.  (NYT)

FBI urges banks to share data, tactics to fight cyberattacks.  The FBI has reportedly briefed bank executives on a wave of cyberattacks that have lashed the industry since last summer as part of a new policy designed to foster cooperation between the state and private sectors.  (PC World)

Fighting back against cybercrimes.  For all the wonders of the digital revolution, there is a turbulent and largely hidden underside of theft and disruption that grows by the day; the losses are often not counted in stacks of $20 bills but rather in millions of dollars of intellectual property stolen or compromised. Computer networks are vital to American capitalism and society but remain surprisingly vulnerable to hijack and hijinks.  (Washington Post editorial)

Business intelligence is also security intelligence: RSA.  If system logs weren't originally created for security, why isn't business data also being used? And can we automate defensive decisions where we can create self-defending networks?  (ZDNet)

Environment & Sustainability

IBM's 'Building Whisperer' on the future of smart buildings.  IBM's Dave Bartlett dishes on his efforts with the company's Smarter Planet campaign and why he is so optimistic about his work.  (GreenBiz.com)

German minister calls EU move on China solar 'grave mistake.'  German Economy Minister Philipp Roesler said the European Commission made a "grave mistake" by agreeing to impose punitive import duties on solar panels from China and urged the Commission to work to prevent the eruption of a trade conflict.  (Reuters)

Innovation

IBM, Siemens among companies targeting cities for data analytics.  Companies say cities can use data to improve operations, empower citizens.  (Washington Post)

Regulation

Technology patent trolls snubbed in Congress.  Technology companies and legislators are doubling down on the fight against patent trolls.  Microsoft, the Consumer Electronics Association, and the Software Alliance are backing proposed legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives that would do away with anonymous patents, a shell game played by patent trolls to try to hide their identity.  (PC World)

Keep the Internet Free at Home and Abroad.  We are at risk of an Internet “cold war” if the U.S. does not stand up to dangerous proposals from repressive regimes to control the Internet. As governments and members of civil society and industry gather in Geneva for the World Telecommunication/ICT Policy Forum, countries of the like continue to push efforts to give their governments new powers to suppress their citizens’ unfettered access to the Internet.   (CQ Roll Call op-ed/Soderberg)

Tech Business

Yahoo Is Planning to Buy Tumblr for $1.1 Billion.  Yahoo’s move aims to make up for years of missing out on the growth of social networks and mobile devices.  (NYT)

Yahoo Deal Shows Power Shift.  Yahoo has agreed to pay $1.1 billion for Tumblr, a six-year-old company with more than 100 million users but very little revenue, a deal that highlights the shifting balance of power in the technology business.  (WSJ)

What Tumblr’s sale means for New York startup ecosystem.  New York startup ecosystem will get a big boost from the $1.1 billion sale of Tumblr to Yahoo. The exit, one of the biggest New York has seen shows that with content becoming important, New York is finding its footing on the startup stage.  (GigaOM.com)

More ITI Member News

Google: America's third political party.  At last week's I/O conference, Google's Larry Page didn't speak like a CEO. He spoke like a politician.  (CNET)

Facebook Gets Serious About Making Money.  On the eve of Facebook's IPO anniversary, how the company tackles revenue is one of the biggest challenges in its short public life.  (WSJ)

New Xbox more than a game console for Microsoft.  Microsoft Corp is set to make a splash this week with the eagerly awaited unveiling of its new Xbox game console, eight years after the last version, as it seeks a larger share of the $65 billion a year global computer gaming industry.  (Reuters)

Today on the Hill

Senate:  At 2 p.m. ET, the Senate will proceed to the consideration of a five-year farm policy bill. The chamber also will consider several judicial nominations.  At 10 a.m., the Senate Judiciary Committee continues its work on the bipartisan Gang of 8 immigration reform legislation in Dirksen room G-50.

House:  The House begins work at 2 p.m. ET and will consider two measures under a suspension of the rules, including a measure that would establish definitions and penalties for nuclear terrorism and maritime hijacking.

1600 Penn.

Just after 2 p.m. ET, President Obama meets at the White House with President Thein Sein of Myanmar, also known as Burma, which is trying to move past the military dictatorship that has run the country in recent decades.  Press Secretary Jay Carney is scheduled to brief reporters at 12:30 p.m. at 1:30 p.m.  (The White House updated the schedule at 10:53 a.m.)

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