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Key Issues


US seeks to drop Internet from UN telecoms talks.  The head of the U.N. group, Hamadoun Toure, insists the 11-day talks will not limit freedom of expression.  (AP)

Nations Gather to Discuss Web Rules.  The question of who rules the Internet and how is being debated at a 12-day conference in Dubai. The conference aims to draft a new treaty to underpin international regulations.  (WSJ)

Debate on new Internet regulations rages at U.N. conference.  The U.N.'s top telecommunications overseer sought Monday to quell worries about greater Internet controls emerging from global talks in Dubai, but any attempts for major Web regulations will likely face stiff opposition from groups led by Google and other top U.S. tech firms.  (San Jose Mercury News)

International Trade

Smartphone Makers Worried Over New China Requirements.  New regulations proposed by the Chinese government to add a new layer of licensing and testing for smartphones are raising eyebrows in the industry after China’s government recently filed a notification to the World Trade Organization.  (WSJ)

Trade could help Obama with biz.  Obama wants a Pacific Rim trade deal by 2013, a key priority for Republicans and U.S. companies.  (Politico)

A case study in Brazil's economic troubles.  A good example of why Brazil's economy is floundering can be found in a surprising place -- a seaside city in southern Scandinavia.  (Reuters)

Fiscal Cliff

Democratic Group to Offer Tax Plan With Huge Payoff.  The overhaul plan, by a group that includes former White House and Treasury officials, would raise an additional $1.8 trillion in the first decade.  (NYT)

Republicans reject tax hikes, push cuts.  Republicans proposed steep spending cuts on Monday but gave no ground on President Barack Obama's call to raise taxes on the wealthiest in their first formal proposal to avert a "fiscal cliff" that could push the U.S. economy into recession.  (Reuters)

GOP Counters on Budget.   House Republicans made a deficit-reduction offer that calls for $800 billion in increased tax revenue, half of what Obama proposed. The offer was immediately rejected by the White House.  (WSJ)

Conservative groups lash out at GOP's 'fiscal cliff' counteroffer.  Americans for Prosperity, a conservative group partially funded by the billionaire Koch brothers, called Boehner's counteroffer disappointing.  (The Hill)

Boehner goes on a PR blitz to counter Obama in deficit talks.  The media blitz is aimed at maximizing Boehner’s negotiating power in the debt talks.  (The Hill)


CEOs tout multinationals’ role in economy.  The report argues that multinational companies create U.S.-based jobs and have remained focused on American economic growth.  (Politico Pro)

Tax Reform

Top U.S. Firms Are Cash-Rich Abroad, Cash-Poor at Home.  Many U.S. firms are cash rich abroad but cash poor at home, and the SEC worries they haven't presented investors with an honest appraisal of their liquidity.  (WSJ)

Cybersecurity and Privacy

Cops to Congress: We need logs of Americans' text messages.  State and local law enforcement groups want wireless providers to store detailed information about your SMS messages for at least two years -- in case they're needed for future criminal investigations.  (CNET)

Student privacy campaigners plan to sue over Facebook.  Students are planning legal action in a campaign to improve social networking giant Facebook's data protection regulations.  (ZDNet)

Telecom and Mobility

Mobile Internet traffic gaining fast on desktop Internet traffic.  VC Mary Meeker's year-end Internet trends report shows explosion in all things mobile, especially smartphones and apps.  (CNET)

FCC chief’s painstaking approach earns mixed reviews in turbulent times for telecom industry.  FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski has been a strong advocate of broadband and wireless innovation. His term at the agency ends next summer and he is widely expected to leave.  (WPost)

Energy and Sustainability

At U.N. climate meeting, a focus on fossil fuels.  New sources of fossil fuels are stirring up the United Nations climate talks in Doha.  (Marketplace)

Islands Seek Funds for Climate Damage at UN Discussions.  Islands that are most vulnerable to rising oceans are seeking an insurance program to protect against damage related to climate change, adding to pressure on industrial nations to increase aid committed to fight global warming to more than $100 billion a year.  (Bloomberg)

ITI Member News

Google among U.S. companies face tax crackdown in Britain.  The British government announced plans Monday to crack down on tax dodgers as a parliamentary report criticized U.S. companies for what it described as tax avoidance.  (San Jose Mercury News)

Microsoft-Intel Push to Combat Apple in Tablets Sputtering.  A push by Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) and Intel Corp. (INTC) to combat Apple Inc. (AAPL)’s iPad in the $63.2 billion tablet market is getting off to a slow start.  Of more than a dozen tablets Microsoft and Intel touted for the new version of Windows, only five can be purchased for immediate U.S. delivery. (Bloomberg)

Microsoft wins big one in Motorola patent infringement suit.  A district court judge has ruled that the software giant's Xbox and Windows cannot be banned from sale.  (CNET)

Patents in Apple, HTC court case to be made public.  The patent licensing deal between Apple and HTC will not be completely cloak and dagger, a court has ruled.  (ZDNet)

HP sues screen makers over price fixing.  HP accused Taiwan’s Chunghwa Picture Tubes and its subsidiary Tatung Company of America of causing it over $1bn in damages by overcharging, in a suit filed in the federal court in San Francisco on November 30. It is seeking treble damages for the companies’ alleged price-fixing from 1998 until 2006.  (FT)

Apple vs. Samsung: Tech giants return to court in epic patent battle.  Judge set to consider Samsung bid to overturn $1 billion jury verdict, Apple's move to block U.S. sales of dozens of Samsung smartphones and tablets.  (San Jose Mercury News)

Qualcomm to invest $120 million in Japan's troubled Sharp.   Qualcomm Inc will invest as much as $120 million in Sharp Corp, a cash injection likely to make it the struggling Japanese TV maker's biggest shareholder, and to boost Sharp's efforts to remain viable. (Reuters)

Oracle speeds up dividend payments on fears of fiscal cliff.  Oracle said it would accelerate payment of its stock dividends for the next three quarters, joining a number of companies doing the same because of uncertainty about the U.S. government's fiscal plans.  (San Jose Mercury News)

VeriSign wins .com renewal, but can't hike prices.  The federal government has cleared VeriSign Inc. to manage the databases that house ‘‘.com’’ domain names for six more years.  (AP)

Struggling Nokia sells headquarters building.  Nokia Corp. plans to sell its head office near the Finnish capital to real estate investors for €170 million ($220 million) as the struggling cellphone maker continues to cut costs.  (AP)

1600 Penn.

The negotiations and discussions on the fiscal cliff continue to dominate the White House public activities.  Later today, President Obama has a meeting scheduled with the executive committee of the National Governors Association, which is chaired by Delaware's Democratic Gov. Jack Markell and Oklahoma's Republican Gov. Mary Fallin., and includes Governors Walker, R-Wisc., and John Hickenlooper, D-Colo.  The same bipartisan group of governors has a meeting with House Republican Leadership today, as well.

Today on the Hill

House:  The House convenes at noon ET to consider under suspension of the rules a measure that would change existing federal energy efficiency laws.  The first vote is expected around 1:45 p.m.

Senate:  The Senate resumes work at 10 a.m. ET and focuses of the fiscal 2013 defense authorization.  In addition, Senators today will vote on a U.N. disabilities treaty.