ITI Daily News Roundup

09/10/2013

Key Issues

Workforce

Los Angeles business and labor leaders urge immigration reform.  On issues such as raising wages for hotel employees, business and labor are often on opposite sides.  But on Monday, Gary Toebben of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce and Maria Elena Durazo of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, joined forces to demand a path to citizenship for the 11 million immigrants in the country without legal status.  (Los Angeles Times)

San Diego Leaders Rally To Keep Immigration Reform Hopes Alive.  With Congress back to work, immigration reform advocates are ramping up their efforts to get a bill passed before the end of the year. But debate over the federal deficit and Syria are threatening to push immigration reform to the bottom of the legislative agenda.  Pro-immigration reform groups held a rally Monday in downtown San Diego. Mayoral candidate and Qualcomm executive Nathan Fletcher addressed the crowd in his role as chairman of San Diegans United for Commonsense Immigration Reform.  (KPBS)

Tax

Signs of Consensus on Corporate Taxes.  The chairmen of the congressional tax-writing committees said Monday that a consensus is forming in Washington around a plan to lower rates and close loopholes for U.S. corporations.  But Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., and Rep. Dave Camp, R-Mich., said they would not proceed with a rewrite of the corporate code unless they can build support for overhauling tax laws that affect individuals as well.  (Valley News)

Lessons From 'Simpler Taxes for America' Tour.  As the “Simpler Taxes for America” tour winds up on Monday at FedEx headquarters in Memphis, Tenn., what have we learned about the prospects for a tax-code overhaul in Congress?  Here are a few tentative conclusions.  (WSJ)

Privacy

Tech Companies Escalate Pressure on Government to Publish National Security Request Data.  Yahoo and Facebook filed suit to ask for permission to publish data on the national security requests they receive, and Google and Microsoft amended the suits they had already filed.  (NYT)

What can Google do?  Google says it’s going to boost its encryption efforts to better safeguard our data. It can't promise to keep us totally secure, but the effort's worth plenty of PR points.  (Marketplace)

NSA spying docs to be released.  The Justice Department is expected to release hundreds of pages of documents related to National Security Agency surveillance on Tuesday.  (The Hill)

NSA spying on Petrobras, if proven, is industrial espionage.  Reports that the United States spied on Brazilian oil company Petrobras, if proven, would be tantamount to industrial espionage and have no security justification, Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff said on Monday.  (Reuters)

Privacy imperative: balance sector-specific standards with global requirements.  Privacy protections in upcoming cybersecurity standards will have to be general enough to apply to various industry sectors but sufficiently prescriptive to conform with existing international requirements.  (Inside Cybersecurity)

Cybersecurity

Participants digging into NIST's draft cybersecurity framework for Dallas meeting.  Federal officials at this week's cybersecurity workshop in Dallas should expect pointed questions about how companies measure cost effectiveness, set priorities and demonstrate adoption under the voluntary framework for critical infrastructure being developed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology.  (Inside Cybersecurity)

Global Trade

Trumka Says Corporate-Focused TPP Could Prompt Union Campaign To Oppose.  AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said this week that a Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal that seeks to promote only corporate interests will lead the federation to “try to do a campaign” against its adoption and implementation that will involve educating people about its shortcomings and rallying voters in opposition.  (Inside US Trade)

Korea May Seek To Join TPP Negotiations, Seoul Trade Ministry Says.  South Korea is giving serious consideration to joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade negotiations before they conclude, and advocates for participation within the Seoul government are making a more forceful effort than the skeptics, according to Korean government sources.  (Inside US Trade)

WTO risks irrelevancy, new chief says.  Members must agree on measures to liberalize trade after 12 years of failed talks, he warns.  (Politico)

Azevedo Lays Out Aggressive Schedule In Effort To Rescue Bali Deal.  In his first speech since taking the helm of the World Trade Organization, Director-General Roberto Azevedo today (Sept. 9) laid out a plan to rescue negotiations on a package of trade concessions for a December ministerial meeting from the clutches of failure, even as the U.S. ambassador to WTO said a meaningful deal is only barely possible.  (Inside US Trade)

Innovation

PayPal introduces hands-free payments.  In a bid to dominate the physical retail experience, PayPal unveils a Bluetooth communicator that takes in-store payments hands-free.  (CNET)

Nokia is working on self-driving cars with Mercedes-Benz.  Nokia’s Here business, a serious rival to Google’s mapping and navigation efforts, is partnering up with Germany’s Mercedes-Benz on autonomous vehicles. Like Nissan, Merc parent Daimler wants self-driving cars on the road by 2020.  (GigaOM)

Environment & Sustainability

Russia to invest $1 billion in rare earths to cut dependence on China.  Russia will invest $1 billion in rare earths production by 2018 in a bid to become less dependent on China, which controls more than 90 percent of global supply of the elements used in sectors including defense, telecommunications and renewable energy.  (Reuters)

What you need to know about California's new consumer products law.  The clock is ticking on a law that requires companies to detail the chemicals in the products they sell. Are you prepared?  (GreenBiz)

Regulation

How eBay Could Rescue Bitcoin From the Feds.  Bitcoin exchanges are having a hard time with U.S. banks because there are big questions about whether they meet federal and state money transmission business regulations. But there’s another operation that runs both a marketplace where Bitcoins are bought and sold and a fully compliant money-transmitting business that, observers say, could rescue Bitcoin from its biggest problem.  That company is eBay, and the money transmitter is its well-known subsidiary, PayPal. (Wired)

Poland joins anti-corruption probe against HP.  The Polish Central Anti-Corruption Bureau and U.S. agencies are investigating potential violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act by an employee of an indirect subsidiary of Hewlett-Packard in Poland, the company said in a filing Monday.  (IDG News)

IP Enforcement

Patent Trolls Kill Startups — Except When They Save Them.  Santa Clara University School of Law Professor Colleen Chien surveyed about 300 venture capitalists and venture-backed startups. Seventy-five percent of the VCs said their portfolios had been on the receiving end of patent actions, and that rate rose to nearly 90 percent among VCs that deal specifically in digital tech. The rate among individual startups surveyed was much lower — 20 percent — but the impact on those that were targeted was sometimes severe.  (Wired)

Tech Business

Is Technology Taking or Making Jobs?  Americans out of a job don’t have robots to blame, ITIF’S Rob Atkinson and Ben Miller say in a new report out this morning: “More technology benefits not just the economy overall, but also workers: more and better technology is essential to U.S. competitiveness and higher living standards. The claim that increased productivity eliminates jobs is misguided speculation,” they write.  As Washington continues to grapple with a tepid economic recovery, the authors describe a reality in which increased productivity means more demand that eventually creates jobs.  (Politico Pro)

Twitter buys mobile ad network MoPub.  The information network purchases startup MoPub -- for a reported $350 million in stock -- to help it serve and automate ads on iOS and Android.

Car-for-hire app Uber joins The Internet Association.  The car-for-hire app company Uber Technologies has joined The Internet Association, a fast-growing advocacy group in Washington.  (The Hill)

Koch Industries buying Molex for $7.2b.  Koch — run by the billionaire brothers Charles and David — is buying electronic components and cables maker Molex for $7.2 billion.  (AP)

Snapchat grows to 350 million snaps everyday.  Snapchat just keeps growing. The erasable media company now sees 350 million messages sent over its platform each day.  (CNBC)

Netflix Added to Virgin Media U.K. TV in Industry First.  Netflix Inc.’s subscription-video service will be offered on Virgin Media cable systems in the U.K., marking the first time the Web-delivered product is integrated by a major pay-TV provider.  (Bloomberg)

More ITI Member News

Apple to Unveil IPhones Seeking End to Year of Struggles.  Apple Inc.’s introduction of new iPhones is a chance for the company to turn the page on a dour year that included no big new gadgets, a falling stock and stepped-up competition.  (Bloomberg)

Samsung opens doors to New York accelerator.  The Korean electronics giant hosts an event in its new offices in Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood to officially launch its outreach to startups in the city.  (CNET)

Microsoft urged to put Mulally, Lawrie on CEO shortlist.  At least three of the top 20 investors in Microsoft Corp want a turnaround expert to succeed Steve Ballmer as chief executive and have urged the technology giant's board to consider Ford Motor Co CEO Alan Mulally and Computer Sciences Corp CEO Mike Lawrie for the job, several sources familiar with the matter said.  (Reuters)

Microsoft Shuffle Leaves Out Longtime Execs.  Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) is shuffling the management of its Windows division, a move that will leave longtime executives Jon DeVaan and Antoine Leblond without senior leadership roles, according to people with knowledge of the changes.  (Bloomberg)

Facebook Opens Twitter-Like Feed.  Facebook announced its latest bid to unseat Twitter as the hub for real-time online conversations: giving a few media partners the ability to tap into its "public feed" of all the Facebook posts that are made public by members.  (WSJ)

Icahn Throws In the Towel on Dell.  Carl Icahn said he is stepping away from his months-long battle against the proposed buyout of computer maker Dell by its founder.  (WSJ)

AMD announces new embedded chips as PC business shrinks.  Advanced Micro Devices Inc, targeting new markets as personal computer sales decline, unveiled chips designed to run slot machines, factory robots, airport signs, medical equipment and other devices.  (Reuters)

BlackBerrys are vulnerable to NSA spying.  Just under 3 percent of the world uses BlackBerry. But now that its famed encryption has been reportedly broken by the NSA, will those users jump ship?  (Washington Post)

1600 Penn.

Before addressing the nation tonight at 9 ET on Syria, President Obama travels to Capitol Hill to meet separately with the Senate Democratic (12:30 p.m.) and Republican (1:45 p.m.) caucuses. 

Today on the Hill

Senate:  The Senate convenes at 10 a.m. ET with votes possible throughout the day.  Senators are expected to begin debate on S. J. Res. 21 — authorization for use of military force in Syria.  President Obama will meet separately with the Democratic and Republican caucuses.

House:  The House convenes at noon ET for legislative business, with eight bills to be considered under suspension of the rules.

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