ITI Daily News Roundup

07/16/2013

Key Issues

Workforce

Norquist, Emanuel agree.  Both predict that House Republicans will get behind an immigration reform bill.  (Politico)

Ponnuru: Scrap the Delusional Immigration Bill.  The U.S. Senate has passed an immigration bill, and now all the great and good are urging the Republican-led House to pass it, too. It should decline.  That bill would substantially increase immigration into the U.S., especially the number of low-skilled immigrants -- something that Americans don’t want, that serves no pressing economic need and that will make assimilation harder.  (Bloomberg column)

Cybersecurity & Privacy

McAfee's Schneck likely choice for DHS cybersecurity chief.  Phyllis Schneck, vice president and chief technology officer for the public sector at McAfee, is the likely choice to be the next deputy undersecretary for cybersecurity at the Department of Homeland Security, according to two sources familiar with the matter.  (The Hill)

Tech Companies Want Warrants for User Data Access.  Google, Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft, Facebook, Twitter, Reddit and more than 50 other tech companies and industry organizations are fighting SEC access to email and other records.  (All Things D)

Google, Facebook warn of ‘abuse’ if feds can seize emails without a warrant.  Internet companies are urging the Senate to rebuff federal regulators who are seeking an exemption from privacy legislation.  (The Hill)

US 'concerned' about data collection.  Senator Ron Wyden says he believes Obama is increasingly concerned about privacy issues around NSA collection.  (The Guardian)

GOP leaders pushed to allow House vote on defunding the NSA.  Rep. Justin Amash said defense legislation could be used to stop the agency's “unconstitutional spying on Americans."  (The Hill)

Yahoo wins order to unseal files in data-gathering case.  In a rare move, the secretive U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court granted Yahoo's motion to declassify legal briefs and the court's ruling, which required the company to comply with government requests for records of certain customers' Internet activity.  (San Jose Mercury News)

Merkel Urges Europe to Tighten Internet Safeguards.  The remarks by Germany’s chancellor, Angela Merkel, reflected the anger in Europe over accounts of government surveillance by the United States National Security Agency, leaked by Edward J. Snowden.  (NYT)

IBM Monitoring Software Used in Dozens of Chinese Cities.  The tool allows Chinese officials to monitor social media and pool surveillance feeds.  (WSJ)

South Korea Blames North for June Cyberattacks.  The cyberattacks paralyzed 69 Web sites last month, including those belonging to the South Korea’s president and local media companies.  (NYT)

Malware campaign strikes Asian, European governments.  Trend Micro says it detected a targeted attack that sent malware-laden emails to representatives of 16 European countries and some Asian governments.  The bogus emails purported to come from China's defense ministry and contained a malicious attachment that exploited a now-patched vulnerability in Microsoft Office versions 2003 to 2010, wrote Jonathan Leopando, a technical communications specialist with Trend Micro.   (IDG News)

Global Trade

TPP talks stalled over tariff elimination.  The 11 TPP negotiation participants including the United States, Australia and Malaysia plan to broadly agree on the TPP free trade agreement by October.  (Kyodo)

Indian Minister Touts Local Content Policy Change, Rebuts IPR Criticism.  India's trade minister last week touted his government's move to roll back a local content policy for private-sector purchases of electronic products as being responsive to opposition from U.S. businesses and other critics, while rebutting separate criticisms from U.S. business groups over India's record of protecting intellectual property rights (IPR).  (Inside US Trade)

Barnier Says TTIP Deal 'Won't Work' If It Leaves Out Financial Regulations.  The top European Union official in charge of financial services market rules today (July 15) strongly signaled he would not accept a trans-Atlantic trade deal that includes financial services market access but fails to address “discrimination” of foreign institutions in U.S. prudential regulations.  (Inside US Trade)

Apple Ruling Heaps Doubt on 'MFN' Clauses.  Last week's court ruling that the price-matching provision in Apple's contracts with five major book publishers was part of a conspiracy to fix e-book prices heaped doubt on such provisions, called most-favored-nation clauses.  (WSJ)

Tax

Amazon under fire in Germany for low tax bill.  The German market earned Amazon around €6.8bn in 2012 – however because of European tax rules, the company only paid €3m in taxes in the country. German politicians are now calling for a change in tax law.  (ZDNet)

Amazon hires Capitol Tax Partners for lobbying.  Amazon has hired the lobbying group Capitol Tax Partners, according to disclosure forms.  The firm will lobby on "issues related to corporate tax reform."  (The Hill)

North Carolina tax deal tempers radical tax cuts.  Months of wrangling ends with compromise.  (FT)

Environment & Sustainability

Measuring cost on climate change.  Critics of the administration want calculations on greenhouse gas rules to be in the open.  (Politico)

IP Enforcement

White House, tech giants aim to keep online ads off rogue sites.  The White House and eight major tech companies unveil best practices for online ad networks aimed at cutting off revenue to Web sites "selling counterfeit goods or engaging in copyright piracy."  (CNET)

Innovation

Bill Gates Touts Contextually-Aware Computing.  Microsoft Corp. Chairman Bill Gates said contextually-aware computing will become more pervasive, making software more valuable for users.  (WSJ)

A look at the 'Hyperloop,' and other off-beat inventions in history.  Tesla's Elon Musk hopes to revolutionize transportation with a combination railgun, air hockey table and Concorde. What can he learn from past inventions?  (Marketplace)

Mobility

Spectrum Sale Clouds Value of AT&T-Leap Deal.  AT&T Inc.’s agreement to sell some of Leap Wireless International Inc. (LEAP)’s airwaves as part of its acquisition of the wireless carrier has clouded the true value of the deal.  In addition to paying $15 a share in cash, AT&T will sell a block of Leap’s spectrum in Chicago and add the proceeds to the transaction price. The question now is how much money the spectrum will fetch, and what that means for Leap’s valuation. (Bloomberg)

Australia election threatens shape of $34 billion broadband plan.  The future of an ambitious project to connect almost all Australia's far-flung inhabitants to high-speed internet, the largest infrastructure enterprise in the country's history, is hanging on the outcome of an upcoming federal election.  (Reuters)

Regulation

Walden proposes cap on Universal Service Fund.  Rep. Walden expressed skepticism about proposals to expand USF programs in a letter to the acting FCC chairwoman.  (The Hill)

Apple-Samsung phone battle to hit appeals court in August.  A court’s decision not to prevent multiple Samsung handsets from being sold in the U.S. despite their being found to infringe Apple patents will go before an appeal’s court in early August.  The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, D.C., said Monday it will hear 15 minutes of oral arguments in the case from Samsung and Apple attorneys on August 9.   (PCWorld)

Tech Business

Baidu to buy Chinese app store for $1.9 billion.  Baidu Inc, China's top search engine, plans to acquire app store 91 Wireless for $1.9 billion to strengthen its foothold in the country's highly competitive mobile computing sector.  (Reuters)

Huawei: U.S. market a 'commercial disappointment'.  Chinese telecoms equipment maker cites trade protectionism and phobia from the U.S. government as reasons for its reduced market focus, adding these will not benefit broadband users in the country.  (ZDNet)

Blavatnik invests $400m in ecommerce fund.  Russian billionaire backs venture firm Rocket Internet.  (FT)

Yahoo's Mayer Hits One-Year Mark.  Yahoo's share price has soared more than 70% since the arrival of CEO Marissa Mayer one year ago, but there isn't much evidence yet of a fundamental turnaround at the Web company.  (WSJ)

Bill Gates on education, patents, Microsoft Bob, and disease.  Speaking at Microsoft's Faculty Summit Monday, Gates took questions from an audience of researchers about the work of his foundation and other topics.  (CNET)

Airbnb Slows Hiring, Shifts Strategy.  One of technology's hottest startups, the online-accommodation rental service has recently slowed down hiring in its international operation and shifted its strategy abroad.  (WSJ)

More ITI Member News

Apple in talks to buy Israel's PrimeSense.  Apple is in early negotiations to buy Israel-based PrimeSense, a developer of chips that enable three-dimensional machine vision, for $280 million, the Calcalist new website said on Tuesday.  (Reuters)

In Battle Over Dell, a Founder Hopes to Reclaim His Legacy.  Michael Dell wants to take his company private and retool it without quarterly earnings pressure. After Dell missed the shift to mobile, he has his work cut out for him.  (NYT)

Vote on Dell Deal Is Too Close to Call.  Thursday's election that will determine the future of Dell looks to be a nail-biter after big shareholder T. Rowe Price affirmed it would oppose the $24.4 billion buyout.  (WSJ)

Hewlett-Packard expands board, adds three directors.  Although the board now has 12 members, HP said it would continue searching for additional directors. Spokesman Michael Thacker said that was in case someone resigns or the size of the board is further expanded. The company also said it is looking for a permanent non-executive chairman.  (San Jose Mercury News)

Google Picks Its Next China Leader.  Google said its current China head will step down next month and be succeeded by the chief of the company's partnerships in Europe.  (WSJ)

Today on the Hill

Senate:  The Senate convenes at 10 a.m. ET and Sen.-elect Edward Markey , D-Mass., will be sworn into service.  Afterward, votes on seven cloture motions for executive branch nominations could start, or they may also be pushed to later in the week if Senators are making progress toward a deal that would preserve the filibuster on nominations under current rules.  If cloture is invoked on any of the nominations, there would be up to eight hours for debate prior to a vote on confirmation of the nomination, except for the nomination of Thomas E. Perez for Labor secretary, which would have up to 30 hours of debate.

House:  The House convenes at 2 p.m. ET and will debate and vote on three bills under suspension of the rules:  HR 2576 — pipeline safety documents; HR 1848 — small airplane safety; and, HR 2611 — building naming.

1600 Penn.

At 11 a.m. ET, President Obama will participate in a series of interviews with Spanish language television anchors from Dallas, Denver, Los Angeles and New York to make the case for bipartisan, commonsense immigration reform.  

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