ITI Daily News Roundup

09/09/2013

Key Issues

Privacy

NSA and GCHQ decryption attempts offer 'substantial potential for abuse'.  Tech companies respond to revelations that spy agencies subverted security but say they were unaware of program.  (The Guardian)

Google Racing to Encrypt Data Amid NSA Spying Backlash.  Google is racing to encrypt the torrents of information that flow among its data centers around the world in a bid to thwart snooping by the NSA and the intelligence agencies of foreign governments, company officials said Friday.  (Huffington Post)

NSA Can Access Most Smartphone Data, Der Spiegel Reports.  The U.S. National Security Agency is able to crack protective measures on iPhones, BlackBerry and Android devices, giving it access to users' data on all major smartphones, according to a report Sunday in German news weekly Der Spiegel.  (AP)

Consumers worried about NSA intrusions have little recourse.  Cybersecurity and privacy experts fear NSA programs will leave 'back door' open for criminals, foreign governments.  (San Jose Mercury News)

Yahoo Says U.S. Agencies Request Most Data.  Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO) said it received 12,444 requests for user data from the U.S. government in the first half of this year, more than any other country for which it shares information about data collection.  (Bloomberg)

Snowden Documents Show U.S. Spied on Petrobras, Globo TV Reports.  The U.S. government spied on Brazil’s state-controlled oil company, Petroleo Brasileiro SA, Globo TV reported yesterday, citing classified documents obtained by former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden.  (Bloomberg)

India govt reportedly monitors Web activities, without ISP knowledge.  Indian government said to have deployed Lawful Intercept and Monitoring systems to track Internet activities of citizens, separate from similar systems used by telcos in the government's Central Monitoring System project.  (ZDNet)

Workforce

Immigration Reform Falls to Back of Line.  With the Syria debate and the budget crowding the House agenda, any action on a bill overhauling the immigration system may be delayed until well into 2014.  (NYT)

House Immigration Reform Measure Pushed By Group Of Republicans.  In the five weeks since he declared his support for a comprehensive immigration overhaul, U.S. Rep. Daniel Webster has gotten an earful.  As Congress returns to work this week after its summer break, Webster faces perhaps an even tougher crowd: fellow Republicans.  Webster is among about two dozen GOP lawmakers who support an eventual path to citizenship for millions of people who are living in the U.S. illegally. These Republicans are facing the daunting challenge of trying to persuade colleagues to follow them. (AP)

Immigration reform hits a GOP hurdle.  Those seeking a standard-bearer for the do-nothing Congress need look no farther than Rep. Bob Goodlatte, a Virginia Republican. When it comes to delay, denial and delusion, Mr. Goodlatte is an exemplar.  (Washington Post editorial)

Labrador: Immigration reform unlikely this year.  Lawmakers are returning to the nation’s capital after a five-week break and have unfinished business on immigration.  But Idaho Republican Rep. Raul Labrador has expressed an increasing skepticism that any changes will pass this year, saying wide political differences and more pressing issues, such as Syria and the national debt, will prevent progress. (AP)

Tax

Reform outdated US tax code while there's still time.  We are two former governors of Tennessee, from two different political parties, and our views differ at times. But we are in full agreement when it comes to reforming the U.S. tax code.  (The Tennessean column/Dunn and Bredensen)

Shanghai may offer corporate tax benefits in free trade zone.  Shanghai may offer tax advantages to companies who operate in its free trade zone (FTZ) the official Shanghai Securities News reported on Monday, as leaks of potential reforms and industrial policies in the zone fan stock market speculation.  The report cited anonymous insider sources saying that the government will implement preferential policies related to the taxation of assets in the free trade zone, without giving further detail. (Reuters)

Global Trade

House Republican Opposition To TAA Emerges As Latest Obstacle To Fast-Track Bill.  Strong opposition by House Republican members to a renewal of the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program in its current form is the latest obstacle to efforts to craft a new fast-track negotiating authority bill, which House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) have vowed to develop this year, according to informed sources.  (Inside US Trade)

South Korea Eager To Follow Japan Into TPP.  The South Korean government is considering asking participants in the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade talks to allow it to join.  (Nikkei)

India DoT secretary shares views on latest telecom policies.  Department of Telecommunications (DoT) secretary MF Farooqui has shared his views on latest telecom policies in India.  He says decision to delay PMA was not aimed at assisting countries or foreign telecom vendors. PMA guidelines will undergo changes. The new changes are designed to focus on utilizing the strong capabilities of India’s ecosystem. It will give boost to software sector and manpower driven assembly of products here. Ultimate objective of PMA will not be changed.   (Telecom Lead)

India in Reverse.  The country needs decisive reforms to revive growth, control inflation and support the rupee.  (NYT editorial)

Regulation

Google Made New Offer to Settle Antitrust Probe, EU Says.  Google Inc. gave European Union regulators a new proposal to settle an almost three-year-old EU antitrust probe into the way it operates its search services.  (Bloomberg)

Policy, not tech, threatens the Internet's progress, Cerf warns.  The main threat to the future of the Internet lies in attempts to control the Internet through governance policy, according to Google executive and "godfather" of the Internet, Vint Cerf.  Speaking recently at the Campus Party event at the O2 in London, Cerf said that technical issues such as the the rollout of IPv6 across networks by ISPs and introduction of DNSSEC protection provide less of a threat to the continued development and freedom of the web than the "tension" around introducing rules for how the web is run.  (Computerworld)

Verizon-F.C.C. Court Fight Takes On Regulating Net.  Verizon and other companies that spent billions of dollars to build their Internet pipelines are fighting the F.C.C.  (NYT)

Environment & Sustainability

The helium cliff?  The nation's reserve is on the verge of being shut down, setting off alarm bells.  (Politico)

G20 countries agree to phase down potent greenhouse gas.  Leaders attending the Group of 20 summit of the world's biggest economies in St. Petersburg, Russia, agreed on Friday to phase down the use of certain potent greenhouse gases known to damage the climate.  (Reuters)

To map and protect: Microsoft's bid to save at-risk plant life.  The tech giant's chief environmental strategist provides a peek at a project to identify the world's most biodiverse regions.  (GreenBiz)

American Chemistry Council pushes to dilute toxin laws.  In the bare-knuckle war over toxic chemicals, the fight between industry and activists has shifted noticeably from Washington, D.C., to state venues such as the golden-domed Capitol that rises over Hartford like a lordly manse.  (Salon)

Innovation

From Myspace’s Ashes, Silicon Start-Ups Rise.  Almost every member of Myspace’s founding team has begun a new venture, and many are among the leaders of Los Angeles’s blossoming start-up industry, Silicon Beach.  (NYT)

A Kind of Digital 'Perfect Storm.'  A 'perfect storm' of mobile, cloud, social and Big Data technology are amplifying the power of one another and making "all kinds of new innovations" possible, says Guest Columnist Irving Wladawsky-Berger.  (WSJ)

Nissan smart watch links car and driver.  Like tech from a cyberpunk novel, Nissan announced a new smart watch that will link drivers intimately with their cars, showing both driving telemetry such as speed, and driver heart rate.  (CNET)

Tech Business

Apple’s Next Unveiling Could Make or Break a Business.  The annual iPhone unveilings draw fans, entrepreneurs and technology executives who are praying that a new function does not make their company obsolete.  (NYT)

Picturing Sales at Instagram.  At Facebook's Instagram unit, Emily White is the point person charged with turning a billion-dollar acquisition that has never made a cent into a real business. Ad sales, she said, are expected to begin in the next year.  (WSJ)

NEC sets up research facility in Singapore.  NEC opens research facility in Singapore to tap analytics and big data technologies to resolve infrastructure challenges locally and globally, with special focus on safety, security, and smart energy.  (ZDNet)

Amazon denies plans to offer free smartphone this year.  Internet retailer says it has no plans to launch a smartphone this year and says if it ever does, it won't be free.  (CNET)

Deloitte gobbles enterprise software specialists.  Firm buys SAP, Oracle and software-as-a-service implementation firms to boost growth.  (ZDNet)

Old-school tech companies changing with the times.  From employee perks to the color of their office walls, the old guard of Silicon Valley is taking cues from the new. (San Jose Mercury News)

More ITI Member News

Worries That Microsoft Is Growing Too Tricky to Manage.  Many feel that a more focused, nimble collection of mini-Microsofts could respond more effectively to the never-ending flow of disruptive technologies nibbling at its foundations.  (NYT)

Microsoft rank and file unsettled but optimistic.  An optimistic mood tempered with a dash of anxiety has spread across Microsoft's leafy campus in the Seattle suburbs, as the world's biggest software maker embarks on one of the most tumultuous periods in its 38-year history.  (Reuters)

As mobile market matures, Apple bets big in China.  As Apple unveils its new iPhones and an overhauled mobile operating system this week, the question that may determine the products' success isn't "What can I do with them?" but "Whose technology will they work with?"  (USA Today)

Broadcom a pathfinder on location.  Broadcom is set to make indoor navigation easier and our online lives faster with two developments – the networking chipmaker is launching a new location-finding platform and acquiring the Israeli fibre-optics company BroadLink for $195m.  The FT talks with CEO Scott McGregor.  (FT)

Dell set to seal shareholder backing.  Vote on Thursday likely to approve $24.8bn buyout.  (FT)

Nokia turns to Microsoft's €1.5bn buyout loan to pay for NSN.  Nokia is pre-paying the financing it raised to buy out Siemens' stake in NSN, thanks to the offer of a loan from Microsoft.  (ZDNet)

AOL completes acquisition of video advertiser Adap.tv.  Internet firm AOL hopes to tap further into programmed video advertising with the acquisition of Adap.tv.  (ZDNet)

Today on the Hill

As both chambers prepare for a debate on U.S. military action in Syria, members will consider other bills in their first day back to the Capitol after the August recess.  The House convenes at 2 p.m. ET will consider two measures under a suspension of the rules -- HR 2052/foreign direct investment and HR 2844/Federal Communications Commission oversight.  The Senate convenes at 2 p.m. ET with votes expected on two judicial nominations for New York State. 

1600 Penn.

There are no public events on President Obama’s schedule.

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