ITI Daily News Roundup

05/21/2013

Key Issues

Workforce

Immigration bill nears finish line.  Sen. Leahy schedules more markup sessions.  (Politico)

Sen. Hatch: No deal yet on tech-backed H-1B visa amendments.  Time is running out for Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) to reach a compromise on the amendments.  (The Hill)

Conservatives declare opposition to Senate immigration bill.  Conservative leaders blast bill as "bloated and unweildy" package similar to ObamaCare or Dodd-Frank.  (The Hill)

AFL-CIO picks fight with Facebook, Google over immigration bill.  The labor federation is rallying opposition to a series of tech industry-backed amendments from Sen. Orrin Hatch.  (The Hill)

New woes for House immigration bill.  The Democratic leadership expresses private concern about language regarding health care.  (Politico)

Tax

End the circus on tax reform.  Slanted political rhetoric ignores the hard work of repairing an antiquated tax system.  (Politico op-ed/Dean Garfield)

Assailing corporations is a poor competitiveness strategy.  The United States is in a race for global innovation advantage that requires policies that promote a competitive business climate to attract investment instead of repel it. It is in this context that tomorrow’s Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs's Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations hearing on “Offshore Profit Shifting and the U.S. Tax Code” should be understood.  (The Hill op-ed/Rob Atkinson)

Apple’s Web of Tax Shelters Saved It Billions, Panel Finds.  Timothy D. Cook, Apple's chief executive, is expected to come under sharp questioning at a Congressional hearing on Tuesday.  A Congressional inquiry’s findings were remarkable both for the tens of billions of dollars involved and for Apple’s audacity in saying some of its subsidiaries were stateless and beyond any tax authority’s reach.  (NYT)

Apple Paid Scant Taxes on Billions in Earnings.  Apple paid no corporate income tax to any national government on tens of billions of dollars in income over the past four years, a Senate investigation found.  (WSJ)

Apple urges reform of US tax system.  Little or no tax on foreign profits is an option being considered.  (FT)

Apple tax fallout set to have global impact.  Many countries to have lost revenues in avoidance schemes.  (FT)

Cameron Refrains From Google Tax Talk.  U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron held back from discussing the tax affairs of Google Inc. (GOOG) during a meeting with business leaders who included the California-based company’s executive chairman, Eric Schmidt.  (Bloomberg)

South Korea plans tax incentives for R&D, tech startups.  The range of economic measures include include tax breaks for angel investors and venture capitalists, policy tweaks to make it easier to disinvest and reinvest capital, and a new exchange providing more access to funding.  (ZDNet)

Cybersecurity & Privacy

Chinese hackers gained access to surveillance data, U.S. officials say.  Hackers who breached Google database may have sought to identify Chinese spies under U.S. scrutiny.  (Washington Post)

SIIA Says Companies Should Address Privacy Concerns with 'Good Data Stewardship'.  But the group was short of details on how and when companies should retain customer information, highlighting the murkiness of maintaining user privacy in the era of Big Data.  (WSJ)

Global Trade

Official: Japan Pushing For U.S. To Delay July Round Until After It Joins.  The Japanese government has urged the United States and other countries participating in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) talks to delay an expected July negotiating round until Tokyo can formally join the negotiations at the end of that month, according to Assistant U.S. Trade Representative Barbara Weisel.  (Inside US Trade)

Intellectual Property' Mess Holding Up the TPP.  As negotiators are seeking to finish up the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement as soon as possible (they had originally promised a done deal by October), it appears that the controversial "intellectual property" chapter is causing the most problems, according to Sean Flynn, who is at the current negotiating round in Lima.  (Techdirt)

U.S. and Europe Set to Settle Chinese Solar Panel Cases.  The plan that is starting to take shape in the world’s largest antidumping and antisubsidy trade cases would essentially carve up the solar panel market into a series of regional markets.  (NYT)

Regulation

For regulators, Google is the new Microsoft.  There's no question that Google practically has a monopoly on Web search. And with the rapid growth of its Chrome browser, it's starting to dominate there as well.  (San Jose Mercury News)

A Ruling Could Support F.C.C.’s Net Neutrality Defense.  Supreme Court justices said that courts should defer to regulatory agencies in weighing how they carry out their mandates.  (NYT)

Mignon Clyburn cracks the glass ceiling.  The acting FCC chairwoman takes the helm.  (Politico Pro)

Innovation

For the Word on the Street, Courts Call Up an Online Witness.  Courts are looking to Urban Dictionary, a crowdsourced Web site, as one way to define words on which a case may turn.  (NYT)

Tech Business

Cisco: Big Data Is the Network, Too.  The head of Cisco says that the computer business and networking are collapsing into each other, as sensors and a bigger Internet deliver more information to analyze. The implication is a lot of expensive acquisitions.  (NYT)

Amazon wins key cloud security clearance from government.  Amazon.com Inc has been given a security clearance by the U.S. government that will make it easier for federal agencies to use its cloud computing services.  (Reuters)

Yahoo’s Flickr to offer massive 1 terabyte of storage for free.  Yahoo also announced that it is giving all users 1 terabyte of storage, or about 1,000 gigabytes, that they can use for photos and video.  (LA Times)

More ITI Member News

Apple CEO Cook Testifies to Congress as Steve Jobs Never Did.  Apple Inc. (AAPL) Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook is going somewhere his predecessor never ventured: the witness table at a congressional hearing on Capitol Hill.  Cook will be questioned today by U.S. senators during a hearing on the company’s untaxed overseas billions. His congressional debut, following an appearance at President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address in February, shows the iPhone maker can no longer afford to keep the low profile in Washington that co-founder Steve Jobs maintained.  (Bloomberg)

Embattled Dell Finds Success in Servers.  The growth of the server business, a bright spot for Dell, reflects the demand for private clouds, according to Forrest Norrod, general manager of Dell's server solutions.  (WSJ)

Dell backs away from OpenStack public cloud, steps up to Enstratius.  Dell has changed up its cloud strategy again. As of Monday, it has officially backed off on plans to anoint OpenStack as the basis its upcoming public cloud and said it will rely instead on third parties to offer that capability. Dell will act as the single-source supplier front-ending all these diverse clouds, and that decision makes Enstratius, which Dell bought two weeks ago, the focal point of its cloud strategy.  (GigaOM)

Customer Service Is Next Job for IBM’s Watson.  Keeping track of what consumers like and dislike is a beefy computing problem.  (All Things Digital)

Microsoft's new Xbox battles mobile gaming.  The new Xbox merely has to catch up with the past eight years of digital devices.  (Marketplace)

Nokia Siemens unveils tools to boost mobile video performance.  Mobile network builder Nokia Siemens Networks unveiled tools to optimize video performance on mobile devices on Monday, just in time for the CTIA Wireless trade show that begins Tuesday in Las Vegas. (PC World)

SAP to bring in autistic workers as software testers and programmers.  Those on the autistic spectrum often display highly focused and analytical traits. SAP is the latest company – and the first major multinational – to move to harness these characteristics for IT-related work.  (GigaOM)

Today on the Hill

Senate:  At 10 a.m. ET, the Senate resumes consideration of a five-year farm bill with talk that amendments may be offered that would extend current rates on federal student loans and address the IRS targeting issue.

House:  The House convenes at noon ET will consider six measures under suspension of the rules; three of them relate to veterans.

Committee Notes:  

The Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations holds its hearing on taxes with Apple witnesses at 9:30 a.m. ET in Dirksen 106.

The Senate Judiciary Committee continues its work on the immigration reform legislation at 10:30 a.m. ET in Hart 216.

The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology holds a hearing on cybersecurity and the supply chain at 2 p.m. ET in Rayburn 2123.  ITI's Dean Garfield is a witness.

The House Financial Services Subcommittee on Monetary Policy and Trade holds a hearing on SEC reporting requirements on conflict minerals sourcing at 2 p.m. ET in Rayburn 2128.  ITI's Rick Goss is a witness.

1600 Penn.

At 10 a.m. ET, President Obama will make remarks on the tornado recovery efforts underway in Oklahoma.  Then, at 11 a.m., the president and vice president will meet with DREAMers who have received Deferred Action and U.S. citizen family members of undocumented immigrants on immigration reform.

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