ITI Daily News Roundup

07/09/2013

Key Issues

Global Trade

US IT body welcomes India's decision to review PMA.  Welcoming the Indian government's decision to revisit and review its Preferential Market Access (PMA) policy, a top US IT advocacy organisation has said it is hopeful it would lead to the country adopting global approaches to its procurement policies.  "There's good news from New Delhi today as the Government of India (GOI) has opted to take a closer look at its controversial policy designed to compel foreign companies to manufacture electronic products in India if they want to sell there," John Neuffer, Senior vice president Global Policy, of the Informational Technology Industry Council (ITI) said yesterday. (Economic Times/PTI)

India to review preferential policy for locally made electronic goods.  India will review a policy that gave preference to locally made electronics goods in government and private sector procurement, the government said on Monday after protests by trade groups representing global companies such as Apple Inc.  The Information Technology Industry Council welcomed India's decision to put the policy on hold for now.  “We believe the kind of market-based incentives that gave rise to India's global leaders in software and services should be the foundation of its effort to build an ICT (information and communications technology) manufacturing sector,” ITI's senior vice president John Neuffer said in a blog.  “This open approach would help to drive lasting economic strength.”  (Reuters)

India Suspends 'Buy India' Provisions.  India on Monday suspended its controversial “Buy India” guidelines after just five months.  Industry advocacy groups hope that the new policy focuses more on “market-based incentives” to expand the electronics-manufacturing industry, said John Neuffer, head of global policy at the Information Technology Industry Council, which represents companies including Google Inc. and International Business Machines Corp. (WSJ)

An Opportunity to Strengthen U.S.-China Ties.  Bilateral trade surged to about $500 billion last year, from $267.6 billion in 2006.  (WSJ op-ed/Wang Yang)

Factbox:  Key issues in annual U.S.-China Strategic & Economic Dialogue.  Top U.S. and Chinese officials will meet in Washington this week for the annual U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue, a process launched five years ago to help the world's two largest economies manage an increasingly complex relationship.  (Reuters)

Workforce

Silicon Valley not waiting for U.S. immigration reform.  While the path to U.S. citizenship sketched out in an immigration-reform bill passed by the Senate is a long one, a key part of one industry isn't waiting to see whether Congress delivers what it wants.  "The tech industry will do everything it can to get a bill passed … that makes sure the U.S. remains the center of innovation," says Dean Garfield, CEO of the Information Technology Industry Council, an industry trade group.  (USA Today)

Indian trade minister to argue against 'illegal' US Immigration Bill.  During bilateral trade talks, at the top of his agenda is the controversial bill which threatens to hurt IT companies recruiting non-Americans, and which India claims has sections violating WTO provisions.  (ZDNet)

Editorial: Immigration.  Mr. Boehner has a choice. He can let reform go forward with bipartisan support — House Republicans and Democrats together could pass a good bill. This would infuriate the hotheads in his caucus but save the Republican Party from itself. Or he can stand back and let his party kill reform. As the issue festers, a nation is watching to see whether the Republicans can work out their Steve King problem and do something difficult for their own good, and the country’s.  (NYT editorial)

Boehner: Boost border security before legalizing immigrants.  The Speaker said it's vital to have "strong border security in place" before legalizing 11 million illegal immigrants.  (The Hill)

Boehner: No vote on Senate immigration bill.  House Speaker John Boehner is sticking to his position: The House will not vote on the Senate-passed immigration bill.  “I’ve made it clear and I’ll make it clear again, the House does not intend to take up the Senate bill,” Boehner said Monday. “The House is going to do its own job in developing an immigration bill.”  (Politico)

Privacy

Privacy, civil liberties board to consider NSA surveillance programs.  The Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board will hold its first-ever public workshop on Tuesday to discuss the controversial surveillance programs used by the National Security Agency to cull phone records and monitor Internet traffic.  (The Hill)

EPIC asks Supreme Court to stop NSA surveillance.  A secret surveillance court has exceeded its legal authority by allowing the National Security Agency to collect customer telephone records from Verizon Communications, a privacy group said in a petition to the U.S. Supreme Court.  The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), in the writ of mandamus petition filed Monday, asks the Supreme Court to throw out the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court’s order allowing the NSA to collect all Verizon phone records.  (PC World)

US court rejects state-secrets defense in NSA surveillance case.  The U.S. government can no longer refuse to litigate wiretapping cases on the grounds that they would expose state secrets and undermine national security, a U.S. court has ruled.  (IDG News)

The Laws You Can’t See.  The federal surveillance court operates in secrecy as the reach of its rulings grows.  (NYT editorial)

Snowden claims Web companies gave NSA 'direct access' to systems in new video clip.  Former government contractor Edward Snowden said major tech companies like Google, Facebook and Apple provide the National Security Agency "direct access to the back ends" of Web services that people use to communicate and store data in a brief video clip released by The Guardian for the first time on Monday.

NSA/GCHQ metadata reassurances are cynical.  The public is being told that the NSA and GCHQ have 'only' been collecting metadata, not content. That's nothing to be thankful for, writes John Naughton.  (The Guardian)

U.S. firm’s Web monitoring tools detected in Iran and Sudan.  The devices, made by Blue Coat Systems, were found on government and commercial computer networks.  (Washington Post)

Brazil to probe local telecom operators over alleged U.S. spying.  Brazil's telecommunications agency said on Monday it would investigate whether local operators had violated customer privacy rules in alleged surveillance of Brazilian telecommunications data by U.S. spy agencies.  (Reuters)

Privacy group sues UK government over surveillance programs.  A privacy group has filed legal action against the U.K. government for conducting mass surveillance on citizens across the U.K., including accessing data about people located in the U.K. that is collected and passed on by the U.S. National Security Agency.  (IDG News)

Arrest Caught On Google Glass Reignites Privacy Debate.  The wearable technology, which is being tested by a select group of users, was used to record an arrest on the Jersey Shore. The incident raises questions about citizen journalism and the limits of privacy in public.  (NPR)

Cybersecurity

U.S. Downplays Spying Accusations in China Hacking Talks.  American officials focused on the hacking of corporate secrets during the first meeting of a U.S.- China cybersecurity group in Washington, downplaying their own spying operations exposed by a former government contractor.  The Obama administration officials raised accusations yesterday that the Chinese government is responsible for hacking into companies’ computers to steal intellectual property, according to an official at the meeting who asked to remain anonymous due to the sensitive nature of the discussions.  (Bloomberg)

Snowden affair clouds U.S. attempts to press China to curb cyber theft.  Revelations by former U.S. spy agency contractor Edward Snowden will make it harder for the United States to confront China at talks this week over the alleged cyber theft of trade secrets worth hundreds of billions of dollars each year.  (Reuters)

The Open Group July conference seeks to better contain cybersecurity risks with FAIR structure.  By predicting risks and potential losses accurately, IT organizations can gain agility via thoughtful priorities and thereby repeatedly reduce the odds of losses.  (ZDNet)

Tech companies look to stay ahead of hackers.  Intellectual property accounts for about 35 percent of U.S. GDP. But hackers, many of them in foreign countries, are working harder than ever to steal it.  (Marketplace)

Tax

Twin Cities companies host Washington tax-writing team.  The Max and Dave tour kicked off Monday in St. Paul, as the Washington's top tax-law writers sought input on tax reform from executives and employees at local big and small businesses.  U.S. Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., and Rep. Dave Camp, R-Mich., visited the 3M Co. in Maplewood and Baldinger Bakery, a family-owned business on the East Side, looking for citizen input on changes to the U.S. tax code.  (Pioneer Press)

Innovation

Driverless cars yield to reality: It's a long road ahead.  While driverless cars are slowly becoming more common on California roads, they’re still at an early stage of development. Nothing demonstrates this better than the amount of preparation required before a self-driving car can hit the streets.  (TechHive)

Why public libraries should follow Chicago’s lead and build maker labs.  The lab will operate through the end of the year and offer 3D printers, laser cutters, a milling machine, a vinyl cutter and software.  (GigaOM)

Regulation

Conflict Minerals Rules Stretch Supply Chain Software Capabilities.  Despite a host of software platforms geared towards new conflict mineral compliance rules, few expect company disclosures to be complete.  (WSJ)

Tech Business

Yahoo officially shuts down pioneering Silicon Valley search engine AltaVista.  Once upon a time, there was a popular search engine called AltaVista. It lives no more. On Monday, Yahoo sent AltaVista.com to the Internet graveyard to rest alongside order-almost-anything venture Kozmo.com and the butler from Ask Jeeves.  (San Jose Mercury News)

Chip Manufacturing Sector Getting Upbeat About 2014.  Microchip makers haven't shaken their penchant for boom and bust cycles. Expectations for growth in 2013 are fading, but next year is looking a lot more promising.  (WSJ)

Samsung, Apple top tech list in Fortune Global 500.  Mixed results in the Fortune 500's technology sector, as mobile is up year-over-year, cellular is about flat, but the biggest losses in the PC market, as desktops and laptops are taking a backseat for smartphones.  (ZDNet)

More ITI Member News

Intel mobile chip strategy could prove costly.  Just when Intel finally is making real progress in the desperate push to get its chips into smartphones and tablets, the tech titan finds itself in a Catch-22.  (San Jose Mercury News)

Top advisory firm backs Dell CEO's offer for PC maker.  The largest U.S. shareholder advisory firm recommended on Monday that Dell Inc stockholders vote in favor of Chief Executive Michael Dell's $24.4 billion buyout offer, increasing the odds of his prevailing against billionaire investor Carl Icahn's rival bid.  (Reuters)

EMC Acquires Identity Management Firm Aveksa.  RSA, the security division of EMC Corp. has acquired Aveksa Inc., which specializes in managing employee access to data and applications.  (WSJ)

Henry Kravis Fund and Accenture Create FinTech Lab.  A civic group launched by private equity pioneer Henry Kravis is working with Accenture to help IT startups make inroads into the city's financial institutions.  (WSJ)

Today on the Hill

Senate:  The Senate convenes at 10 a.m. ET to consider the nomination of Jennifer Dorsey to be a judge for the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada.

House:  The House convenes at noon ET and begins debating HR 2609, a $30.4 billion Energy and Water appropriations bill for fiscal 2014; the bill would increase funding for nuclear weapons and uranium programs while cutting renewable energy and efficiency programs, as well as advanced energy research.

1600 Penn.

Amid a series of White House meetings, President Obama, at 10:30 a.m. ET, will meet with members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building.  The economy and legislative priorities are on the agenda.  No public events are on the president’s schedule.

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