Tech News Roundup

03/27/2017

Key Issues

Tech Politics

Trump taps Kushner to lead a SWAT team to fix government with business ideas. President Trump plans to unveil a new White House office on Monday with sweeping authority to overhaul the federal bureaucracy and fulfill key campaign promises - such as reforming care for veterans and fighting opioid addiction - by harvesting ideas from the business world and, potentially, privatizing some government functions. (Washington Post)

Silicon Valley sends ambassador to Trump's coal country. President Donald Trump won this state by a landslide after promising to reopen Appalachia's coal mines and put its miners back to work. But here, along the banks of Paint Creek in eastern Kentucky's legendary coal fields, some displaced workers are pinning their hopes instead on Silicon Valley. (Politico)

Trump vs. Congress: Now What?. On Monday, Jan. 9, less than two weeks before President Trump's inauguration, the House speaker, Paul Ryan, hosted a dinner at his office in the Capitol with members of Trump's inner circle. (New York Times)

Cybersecurity

North Korea's Rising Ambition Seen in Bid to Breach Global Banks. When hackers associated with North Korea tried to break into Polish banks late last year they left a trail of information about their apparent intentions to steal money from more than 100 organizations around the world, according to security researchers. (New York Times)

Up to 4.8 million Social Security numbers compromised in 10-state breach. Personal information and Social Security numbers tied to as many as 4.8 million accounts hosted on a multi-state job board system were compromised between Feb. 20 and March 14, America's Job Link Alliance (AJLA) revealed this week. (StateScoop)

Immigration

Immigrants Are Making the U.S. Economy Stronger. Immigration is the topic of the day. The political right, after once embracing a laissez-faire policy toward immigration -- President Ronald Reagan signed an amnesty for undocumented immigrants and President George W. Bush tried unsuccessfully to do the same -- appears to want to choke off the inflow of newcomers. (Bloomberg)

Graduates have propelled the decline in the number of EU workers in Britain since the country voted for Brexit last year, an analysis of official data shows. (Financial Times)

Broadband/Communications
Charter promises Trump a broadband push, but no extra Internet connections. Charter CEO Tom Rutledge met with President Donald Trump today, and he made a splashy promise to "invest $25 billion in broadband infrastructure and technology in the next four years." (Ars Technica)
President Donald Trump and the Charter Communications CEO Friday touted a $25 billion investment plan and re-upped a 20,000 jobs pledge, but analysts who track the company said the spending commitment isn't any fresher than the jobs promise the company had made last year. (Politico Pro)
Colorado lawmakers advance bill for rural broadband, but would it build networks?. Colorado's Senate committee approved a bill Thursday to allow counties to raise funding for broadband networks in rural areas, yet one analyst says new rollouts will still be dependent on sustainable financial incentives for broadband providers. (StateScoop)
Privacy

Push for Internet Privacy Rules Moves to Statehouses. Now that Republicans are in charge, the federal government is poised to roll back regulations limiting access to consumers' online data. States have other ideas. (New York Times)
C.I.A. Developed Tools to Spy on Mac Computers, WikiLeaks Disclosure Shows. The C.I.A. developed tools to spy on Mac computers by injecting software into the chips that control the computers' fundamental operations, according to the latest cache of classified government documents published on Thursdayby WikiLeaks. (New York Times)
Global Trade

May to Set Out Plans for Post-Brexit U.K. Regulation on March 30. Theresa May's government will follow its initiation of the Brexit process this week by setting out how it's going to bring thousands of European Union regulations under U.K. control. (Bloomberg)
Encryption

WhatsApp must not be 'place for terrorists to hide'. Khalid Masood killed four people in Westminster this week. It is understood his phone had connected to messaging app WhatsApp two minutes earlier. (BBC News)

Technology companies must cooperate more with law enforcement agencies and should stop offering a "secret place for terrorists to communicate" using encrypted messages, British interior minister Amber Rudd said on Sunday. (Reuters)
U.K. Tells WhatsApp to Open Up to Intelligence Services. U.K. Home Secretary Amber Rudd said Facebook Inc.'s WhatsApp messaging system should open its encryption to security services and urged online companies to be more aggressive in shutting down sites exploited by terrorists. (Bloomberg)
Tax

Dealt a Defeat, Republicans Set Their Sights on Major Tax Cuts. Picking themselves up after the bruising collapse of their health care plan, President Trump and Republicans in Congress will start this week on a legislative obstacle course that will be even more arduous: the first overhaul of the tax code in three decades. (New York Times)
Republicans' Tax Overhaul Could Face Its Own Slings and Arrows. Bruised and beaten by an intraparty fight over health care, Republicans are heading for what they see as safer political ground: A major tax bill. But they might be heading right into another minefield. (Wall Street Journal)
With healthcare bill dead, Republicans turn to taxes. After failing to repeal Obamacare, Republicans in the U.S. Congress quickly pivoted on Friday to President Donald Trump's next priority: overhauling the federal tax code, but their plan has already split the business community. (Reuters)
Tax reform next? Maybe not. Republicans' spectacular failure to repeal and replace Obamacare threatens to sabotage another cornerstone of their agenda, tax reform - because of simple math. (Politico Pro)
Artificial Intelligence

The Treasury Secretary is 'not worried at all' about robots taking jobs. Here's why he could be wrong. Companies are investing heaps of money to develop artificial-intelligence technologies that promise to transform industries as varied as transportation, finance and health care. That all adds up to big economic change, technologists warn. (Washington Post)
Baidu Expands U.S. Research Space With New Silicon Valley Site. Baidu Inc. plans to double its footprint in Silicon Valley with a second research and development facility, seeking to gain an edge in artificial intelligence technology. (Bloomberg)
Robots to affect up to 30% of UK jobs, says PwC. However, the report from accountancy firm PwC also predicted that the nature of some occupations would change rather than disappear. (BBC News)

Environment/Sustainability

California Upholds Auto Emissions Standards, Setting Up Face-Off With Trump. California's clean-air agency voted on Friday to push ahead with stricter emissions standards for cars and trucks, setting up a potential legal battle with the Trump administration over the state's plan to reduce planet-warming gases. (New York Times)
U.S., in Reversal, Issues Permit for Keystone Oil Pipeline. During his presidential campaign, Donald J. Trump repeatedly hailed the Keystone XL pipeline as a vital jobs program and one that sharply contrasted his vision for the economy with that of Hillary Clinton. (New York Times)
Workforce/Diversity

As Uber Grew Hastily, Diversity Took a Backseat. Efforts to hire more women and people of color at Uber Technologies Inc. have been long hindered by a peculiar constraint. Members of the recruiting team were denied access to information about the company's diversity makeup, according to several people familiar with Uber's hiring apparatus. (Bloomberg)
New cyber warriors face culture shock. The U.S. military services continue to stand up cyber recruiting and training programs, but they are also confronting the need for cultural changes to integrate a new generation of cyber warriors. (FCW)
The March for Science is forcing science to reckon with its diversity problem. The March for Science, planned for April 22 on the National Mall in Washington, DC, has a lot of momentum in its favor. President Donald Trump's blueprint budget proposal released last week contains cuts that would "cripple" science funding as we know it. Many scientists are livid. (Vox)
Internet of Things

Uber Suspends Tests of Self-Driving Vehicles After Arizona Crash. Uber said on Saturday that it was suspending the testing of its self-driving vehicles, a day after one of the vehicles was involved in a collision in Tempe, Ariz. (New York Times)
Uber suspends self-driving cars after Arizona crash. Pictures posted online showed the car on its right side on an Arizona street, next to another badly damaged vehicle. (BBC News)
Watchdogs worried about DOJ's tech. Watchdogs and lawmakers are concerned about the Justice Department's inability to track its spending for contracts, its staffing deficiencies and the use of unreliable tech. (FCW)
Why Trump's budget bodes well for IT transformation. The recent release of the Trump administration's budget proposal sent shockwaves through government. (FCW)
OPM tells agencies how to get ready for workforce reorganization, furloughs. The Office of Personnel Management is telling agencies how to prepare for an upcoming government reorganization. (Federal News Radio)

Federal CIOs' 5 key steps to IT modernization. There's an urgent need to modernize federal agencies' technology. At least two-thirds - and in some cases more - of the federal IT budget in recent years has gone toward the operations and maintenance of outdated legacy systems that are often older than some of the personnel in charge of their upkeep. (FedScoop)
Tech Business
Uber tells U.S. court customers must arbitrate disputes. A U.S. appeals court in New York on Friday weighed arguments over whether Uber Technologies Inc [UBER.UL] customers gave up their right to sue the company when they registered for its popular taxi hailing service. (Reuters)
YouTube's Better-Than-TV Pitch Undermined by Offensive Video. Four years ago, Robert Kyncl, YouTube's business lead, confessed a mistake. "I thought that YouTube was like TV. But it isn't," he said at Google's annual advertising show. "YouTube talks back. It's interactive. And YouTube is everywhere." (Bloomberg)
Baidu Expands U.S. Research Space With New Silicon Valley Site. Baidu Inc. plans to double its footprint in Silicon Valley with a second research and development facility, seeking to gain an edge in artificial intelligence technology. (Bloomberg)
Uber Rival Grab Raising $1.5 Billion in New Funding Round. Grab, Uber Technologies Inc.'s largest rival in Southeast Asia, plans to raise more than $1.5 billion in a new funding round backed by SoftBank Group Corp., people familiar with the matter said. (Bloomberg)
AT&T/DirecTV give in to government demands in collusion lawsuit settlement. DirecTV and its owner, AT&T, have promised the US Department of Justice that they will not illegally share information with rival pay-TV providers in order to keep the price of TV channels down. (Ars Technica)
Retail Instincts Propel Investor to Venture Capitalism's Top Tier. Kirsten Green had only dabbled in investing in start-ups before she began a venture capital fund in 2012. What she had instead was years of experience covering the retail business as an analyst on Wall Street. (New York Times)

ITI Member News

Twitter explores subscription-based option for first time. Twitter Inc (TWTR.N) is considering whether to build a premium version of its popular Tweetdeck interface aimed at professionals, the company said on Thursday, raising the possibility that it could collect subscription fees from some users for the first time. (Reuters)
Apple Bites Back With iPhone Court Win in China. A Chinese court has overturned a ruling against Apple Inc. over iPhone patents, a win for the tech giant in one of its toughest markets. (Wall Street Journal)
Amazon's Ambitions Unboxed: Stores for Furniture, Appliances and More. Last Sunday in Palm Springs, Calif., Jeffrey P. Bezos, the chief executive of Amazon, climbed into the cockpit of a 13-foot robot and began flailing his arms as though warming up for a workout, causing the robot's enormous appendages to mimic his movements. (New York Times)

1600 Penn.

In the morning, President Donald J. Trump will receive his daily intelligence briefing. The President will then participate in a roundtable with women small business owners. In the afternoon, the President will have lunch with Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. The President will then sign bills.

Today on the Hill

Today, the House will meet at 12:00 p.m. for morning hour and 2:00 p.m. for legislative business. Votes will be postponed until 6:30 p.m.
The Senate will convene at 3:00 p.m. and proceed to executive session to resume consideration of the Protocol to the North Atlantic Treaty of 1949 on the Accession of Montenegro.
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