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02/09/2016

Key Issues

Cybersecurity

Opening of new NIST cyber center offers platform to promote greater collaboration. The grand opening of the National Institute of Standards and Technology's expanded cybersecurity center of excellence on Monday provided a platform for Obama administration officials and industry representatives to highlight the need for even greater public-private collaboration both domestically and internationally. (Inside Cybersecurity)

Cybersecurity Challenges, Opportunities Discussed at Dedication of Expanded National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence. Cybersecurity challenges facing the nation were the topic of much discussion on the morning of Monday, Feb. 8, following the dedication of the new and expanded 60,000 square-foot National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence (NCCoE) facility in Maryland that is working to accelerate the development and use of secure, standards-based technology in the private sector. (Government Technology)

Officials Celebrate Newly Expanded National Cybersecurity Center Of Excellence With Ribbon Cutting. Government officials and business leaders toured and celebrated the newly expanded National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence (NCCoE) at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in Rockville on Monday. (Montgomery Community Media)

Cybersecurity gets boost in White House budget with new positions, privacy council. The Obama administration today will unveil a fiscal 2017 budget that contains $19 billion for cybersecurity efforts -- $5 billion over last year's proposal -- as part of a "national action plan" that includes new high-level commissions on long-range cyber issues and privacy protections. (Inside Cybersecurity)

Obama Makes Cybersecurity a Focal Point in Final Budget. The Obama administration announced a new cybersecurity strategy on Tuesday, calling for a 35% increase in funding to bolster private and public defenses and the creation of a new chief information security officer position for the government. (American Banker)

Obama makes final push to cement cyber legacy. President Obama on Tuesday made what is likely his last major push to bolster the government’s digital defenses before leaving office… As part of the annual White House budget proposal, the Obama administration rolled out a sweeping plan to inject billions of extra dollars into federal cybersecurity funding, establish a new senior federal cyber official and create a presidential commission on cyber that will establish a long-term road map. (The Hill)

House Oversight presses Kerry to renegotiate cyber controls. The House Oversight Committee is pushing the State Department to renegotiate parts of an international export agreement that governs cyber weapons. (The Hill)

Hacker fulfills threat to dump data on 20K FBI agents. An anonymous hacker on Monday made good on his threat to post the details of 20,000 FBI employees online, less than 24 hours after he dumped the data for 10,000 Department of Homeland Security (DHS) personnel. (The Hill)

Hackers Get Employee Records at Justice and Homeland Security Depts. In the latest cyberattack targeting the federal government, an intruder gained access to information for thousands of employees at the Justice Department and the Department of Homeland Security, but officials said Monday that there was no indication that sensitive information had been stolen. (New York Times)

Privacy

Tech Firms Push Toward a Future Without Passwords. Rohit Paul has seen the future of digital security, and it is free of pesky passwords. Recently, he needed to use a laptop to edit a vacation photo stored in Google Photos. He grabbed his wife’s computer. But the 27-year-old engineer didn’t type in Google credentials. Instead, he tapped a button on the screen of his Nexus 6P smartphone. (Wall Street Journal)

Cyber privacy from all sides. In March 2014, Schwartz became the National Security Council’s senior director on cybersecurity, putting him at the forefront of the administration’s major cyber policy push over the last year. In 2015 alone, the White House issued two executive orders on cyber — one to raise sanctions for hacking, another to encourage private sector information sharing — and shepherded through Congress the biggest cyber bill to date. (The Hill)

French Regulator Alleges Facebook Violates Privacy Laws. France’s data-protection regulator on Monday threatened to fine Facebook Inc. if the social-media site doesn’t change how it handles data about its users and others on the Internet, escalating a series of coordinated privacy probes into the social-network across five countries in Europe. (Wall Street Journal)

French regulator cracks down on Facebook over privacy concerns. France’s privacy regulator on Monday threatened to fine Facebook Inc. if it doesn’t change some of its data tracking practices and halt transatlantic transfers under a recently invalidated data flow agreement. (The Hill)

Facebook faces restrictions in France on data transfer to US, tracking of users. The French data protection authority has ordered Facebook to stop some transfers of personal data of its users to the U.S. and to change the way it handles the data of users and non-users visiting its website. (CIO)

Japan Slowly Opens the Door to the Sharing Economy. Teruko Neriki, an Airbnb host in Tokyo, gives her guests careful instructions on how to avoid trouble with the neighbors: Put out the garbage only on Tuesdays or Fridays, don’t invite anyone inside and don’t make a fuss. (Wall Street Journal)

How Employers Can Prepare for the Privacy Shield. As negotiators for the US Department of Commerce (“DOC”), Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”), and the European Commission move towards an agreement intended to allow continued US-EU data transfers, a closer look at the history of “Safe Harbor” and the implications of the proposed “Privacy Shield” framework on multinational employers leaves some questions unanswered. (Lexology)

Global Trade

Obama Presses For TTIP Conclusion In Meeting With Italian President. President Obama stressed the importance of concluding the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) after a meeting with Italian President Sergio Mattarella on Monday (Feb. 8), offering a further sign of the administration's desire to wrap up the talks before Obama leaves office next year. (Inside U.S. Trade)

Peru trade minister answers TPP critics. Magali Silva talks a good game when it comes to promoting the upside of the Trans-Pacific Partnership for Peru… Silva is adamant that Peru's small to medium-sized enterprises will be the prime beneficiaries from TPP -- a point she made passionately at last Thursday's signing of the agreement at Auckland's SkyCity. (New Zealand Herald)

Trade Minister Andrew Robb criticised for seeking TPP ratification without independent analysis. Trade Minister Andrew Robb has been slammed for failing to submit the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement to an independent economic analysis before asking Parliament to ratify it. (Sydney Morning Herald)

Encryption

McCain pushes for encryption legislation in fight against ISIS. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) is calling for legislation that would require tech firms to build their products in such a way that they can crack open encrypted content in response to legal requests from authorities. (The Hill)

Report: Encryption Is No Hurdle to Targeting Bad Guys. "[T]he FBI and other government agencies are facing a potentially widening gap between our legal authority to intercept electronic communications pursuant to court order and our practical ability to actually intercept those communications," wrote FBI General Counsel Valerie Caproni in 2011. She fretted over the growing sophistication of encryption technology and its use by the general public. "We call this capabilities gap the 'Going Dark' problem." (Reason.com)

Broadband

Botswana, South Africa delve into dynamic spectrum. South Africa's Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and Botswana Institute for Technology Research and Innovation (BITRI) will work together on dynamic spectrum access research. (IT Web Africa)

Net Neutrality

Facebook Loses a Battle in India Over Its Free Basics Program. For years, Mark Zuckerberg has had a grander vision than just connecting the more than one billion people who already use Facebook: He wants to connect the entire world. That effort hit a major roadblock on Monday, when Indian regulators banned free mobile data programs that favor some Internet services over others. (New York Times)

Indian regulator deal blow to Facebook's free web services program. India’s communications regulator issued an opinion Monday that is likely to block a controversial Facebook-administered program for delivering free web services to poor customers. (The Hill)

Tax

Commission to hand over tax documents to MEPs. The European Commission is to hand over sensitive documents on tax rulings to MEPs investigating tax deals across the bloc. In a letter to Martin Schulz, the president of the European Parliament, Jean-Claude Juncker, the president of the Commission, agreed to disclose some 5,500 documents from the Code of Conduct Group on Business Taxation, set up between EU countries and the Commission in 1997 to discuss tax competition cases and tax rulings. (PoliticoPro)

Public Sector

Feds: 325K drones now registered. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said Monday that 325,000 drones have been registered thus far under new rules that require users to provide their information to the federal government and pay a fee to fly the devices. (The Hill)

FAA research bill mandates more cyber testing. The Federal Aviation Administration’s research and development efforts would launch a new cybersecurity testing program to vet air traffic control systems before they begin operation, under legislation proposed by Rep. Steve Knight. (PoliticoPro)

Agencies Are Increasingly Reliant on Industry for Innovation. Federal research and development funds have been slashed by 15 percent since 2010, particularly in defense, which leaves today’s agency acquisition professionals more dependent than ever on industry partners for innovation, says a report released on Tuesday. (GovExec)

White House Wants To Give Agencies New Pot Of Money To Upgrade Legacy IT. The White House is seeking Congress’ help to establish a multibillion-dollar fund that federal agencies could use to upgrade aging computer networks prone to cyberattacks and system failures. (NextGov)

Environment and Sustainability

U.N. Agency Proposes Limits on Airlines’ Carbon Emissions. After more than six years of negotiations, the global aviation industry agreed on Monday to the first binding limits on carbon dioxide emissions, tackling the fastest-growing source of greenhouse gas pollution. (New York Times)

Beijing pollution: 'Lives destroyed' as smog improves at cost of jobs and growth. Beijing's air quality has improved as much as 16 per cent over the past year, but the gain has come at costs of jobs and growth, recently released figures suggest. (ABC)

Beijing's pollution: Clearer skies but loss of jobs and growth. Air quality levels in Beijing have improved as much as 16 percent over the past year, with other cities seeing as much as a 10 percent drop in key pollutants. But the cost in businesses closed down and the loss of jobs and destroyed lives has been costly. (Digital Journal)

Internet of Things

5 myths about the Internet of Things. For all the hype, the Internet of Things (IoT) is also very real and will impact how we work, live and play. In working with customers to develop connected businesses, we’ve learned a thing or two about the IoT. (Network World)

HCL to Launch Internet of Things Incubation Centre in US. HCL Technologies on Monday announced the launch of an Internet of Things (IoT) incubation centre in the US city of Redmond, with an aim to leverage Microsoft Azure IoT Suite to accelerate enterprise IoT adoption. (Gadgets)

Tech Business

Poll: Majority not ready for driverless cars. A total of 51 percent of voters said they would not ride in a driverless car, while 63 percent said they were unlikely to buy a self-driving car in the next decade, according to a new poll. (The Hill)

Viacom To Sell Snapchat Ads In Multiyear Deal. Investors have been fretting about Viacom Inc.’s cable TV fortunes and hoping the company will cook up new ways to profit in the digital economy. On Tuesday, as the media company reports quarterly results, it will have a new partnership to tout on that front. (Wall Street Journal)

Uber Riding Solo With No CFO. Uber Technologies Inc. isn’t searching for a new chief financial officer, which may be further evidence the ride-hailing company may delay a widely-expected initial public offering. (Wall Street Journal)

Zenefits CEO Parker Conrad Resigns Over Compliance Issues. Parker Conrad has resigned as chief executive of health-insurance brokerage Zenefits after coming under fire for what the highflying startup says was inadequate compliance procedures and internal controls. (Wall Street Journal)

Zenefits, in a Shake-Up, Appoints New C.E.O., Replacing Parker Conrad. Zenefits, a fast-growing San Francisco start-up that has attempted to shake up the health insurance brokerage industry, said on Monday that Parker Conrad, its co-founder and chief executive, had resigned from the company and from its board of directors. (New York Times)

ITI Member News

Google CEO Gets Equity Award of $199 Million. Alphabet Inc. granted Sundar Pichai, chief executive of the company’s main Google business, an equity award valued at nearly $200 million, making him one of the world’s highest-paid executives. (Wall Street Journal)

Apple Watch Leads The Way: 12 Million Shipments in 2015. Tim Cook might be keeping schtum about the official sales figures for the Apple Watch but that hasn’t stopped the analyst brigade from playing the guessing game. (Forbes)

Watch Out, Intel: Google Is Cozying Up To Qualcomm In The Data Center. Intel’s crown jewel these days is in the data center. It’s one of its fastest growing and most profitable divisions for the Santa Clara, Calif.-based chip maker. (Forbes)

IBM’s Watson should run for president. With every passing presidential debate, candidates’ stump speeches and jabs at each other are starting to feel more rote, even robotic. With opinion split among Democratic voters and no clear winner yet emerging from the Republicans, it might be the perfect time for an actual robot to enter the race: IBM’s Watson. (Quartz)

1600 Penn.

In the morning, the President and the Vice President will receive the Presidential Daily Briefing in the Oval Office. In the afternoon, the President will meet with House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid, Senator Chuck Schumer, and Representative Steve Israel, to discuss the President's FY2017 budget, and domestic and national security priorities for the months ahead. The Vice President will also attend.

Today on the Hill

The Senate stands adjourned until 11:00am today; following any leader remarks, the Senate will be in a period of morning business. The Senate will recess from 12:30pm until 2:15pm to allow for the weekly caucus meetings. At 2:15pm, the Senate will vote on confirmation of Scot Alan Marciel to be Ambassador of the United States of America to the Union of Burma.

On Tuesday, 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.