Tech News Roundup

02/24/2017

Key Issues

Tech Politics

Zuckerberg group that fought Trump gave to transition. At the height of the 2016 presidential campaign, the immigration reform group FWD.us took aim at then-GOP candidate Donald Trump and blasted him for pursuing policies that might lead to "mass deportations." (Politico Pro)

Salesforce joins Apple and Google in protesting Trump's anti-transgender order. Salesforce, the enterprise company that has taken high-profile stands against anti-LGBT initiatives in states like Indiana and North Carolina, was the third tech giant to come out against President Donald Trump's move this week to repeal guidelines around transgender bathroom use in public schools. (Recode)

Khanna headed to Appalachia to support program that trains young people for tech jobs. Rep. Ro Khanna, whose Silicon Valley district is home to Apple, Google, Facebook and Tesla, says he'll travel to Appalachia next month to lend his support to a program that trains young people - including the children of coal miners - for jobs like coding and computer tech. (Politico Pro)

Environment/Sustainability

Why Apple and Intel don't want to see the conflict minerals rule rolled back. Apple doesn't want to see it scrapped. Neither does Intel or Tiffany & Co. (Washington Post)
Making Clean Energy a Bipartisan Cause in a Partisan World. At Clean Edge, we have emphasized for years that the growth of clean energy and energy efficiency should not be a partisan issue. (ITI Mentioned, Huffington Post)

If Trump Cares About Jobs, He'll Stay in the Paris Climate Agreement. One of President Donald Trump's winning campaign platforms was his promise to bring back thousands of jobs in the fossil fuel industry-particularly those lost to the shrinking coal industry- that left entire counties devastated across the country. (Ars Technica)

California lawmakers release environmental bills in attempt to thwart Trump. Democratic state senators in California on Thursday unveiled a series of bills designed to freeze in place Obama administration-era environmental regulations in the event the Trump administration moves to weaken them. (Reuters)

White House to eject its environmental advisers from their longtime main headquarters on Friday. The White House on Friday will move its Council on Environmental Quality out of its main headquarters at 722 Jackson Place, a red brick townhouse it has occupied since it was established nearly half a century ago. (Washington Post)

Cybersecurity

A guided tour of the cybercrime underground. A quick search will turn up forums and sites where stolen goods, credit cards and data are openly traded. (BBC News)

Congress is about to have a really challenging year on cybersecurity. It will be a banner year for cybersecurity debates in Congress - and that isn't necessarily a good thing, says Michael Bahar, the staff director of the House Intelligence Committee. (FedScoop)

Trump to follow Obama's lead on cyber policy. In cybersecurity policy, if in nothing else, there is likely to be a great deal of continuity between the Trump presidency and its predecessor, scholars and executives said Wednesday - seizing in particular on a renewed push for federal IT modernization expected from the incoming administration. (FedScoop)

Immigration

Four hidden policy changes in Trump's immigration memos. The headlines from President Donald Trump's new immigration-enforcement memos are clear: In a sharp reversal of Obama-era policy, he wants to expand the number of undocumented immigrants targeted for deportation, hire thousands more immigration agents and restart a controversial program that automatically checked the immigration status of people in local jails. (Politico Pro)
U.S. Official's Diplomatic Line in Mexico Differs From Trump's. U.S. Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said Thursday the U.S. wouldn't use military force in immigration operations, even though President Donald Trump earlier in the day described U.S. efforts to enforce immigration laws as "a military operation." (Wall Street Journal)
DHS Chief Kelly says there will be 'no mass deportations'. Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly promised Mexican officials Thursday that there will be "no mass deportations" under the Trump administration, as Kelly and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson attempt to repair the strained relationship between the U.S. and Mexico. (Politico Pro)
Broadband/Communications
FCC lets "billion-dollar" ISPs hide fees and data caps, Democrat says. ISPs with 250,000 or fewer subscribers won't have to follow rules that require greater disclosures about fees and data caps after a vote today by the Federal Communications Commission. (Ars Technica)

FCC rolls back reporting requirement under net neutrality. The Federal Communications Commission in a 2-1 vote has exempted smaller internet providers from certain reporting requirements under the net neutrality rules approved under the Obama administration. (The Hill)
It Begins: Trump's FCC Launches Attack on Net Neutrality Transparency Rules. The Federal Communications Commission on Thursday voted to eliminate open internet transparency protections for millions of consumers, in the Trump administration's most overt salvo yet in its nascent campaign to dismantle net neutrality protections. (Motherboard)

FCC votes to lift net neutrality transparency rules for smaller internet providers. The newly Republican-controlled FCC took its first steps to scale back net neutrality today by voting to lift transparency requirements from smaller internet providers. (The Verge)

Groups call on FCC to commit to low-income internet program. A coalition of civil rights and digital advocacy groups is calling on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to renew its commitment to Lifeline, a program that provides subsidies for internet access to low-income households. (The Hill)

Artificial Intelligence

Learning to Love Our Robot Co-Workers. The robots were Joe McGillivray's idea. The first one arrived at Dynamic Group in Ramsey, Minn., by pickup truck in two cardboard boxes. (New York Times Magazine)
Internet of Things

Self-Driving Cars Might Need Standards, but Whose?. The PC revolution, the internet boom, the smartphone economy - all were propelled along by a common set of technological standards. So will a standard platform or operating system be necessary to get autonomous cars rolling, too? (New York Times)

GM Pushing Self-Driving Car Rules That Undercut Competitors. General Motors is trying to persuade state lawmakers to approve self-driving car rules that would benefit the automaker while potentially keeping its competitors off the road. (AP)

San Diego unleashes 3,200 sensors to cut traffic and fight pollution. On Wednesday the city of San Diego revealed plans for a massive sensor network that will use city street lights to deploy 3,200 sensors for air, traffic and pedestrian safety monitoring. (StateScoop)

Alphabet's Waymo is suing Otto and Uber for allegedly stealing the design of a key self-driving system. Waymo, formerly Google's self-driving car unit, is suing Otto - the self-driving trucking company co-founded by former Waymo employee Anthony Levandowski and quickly acquired by Uber - for allegedly stealing the company's proprietary design for its laser-based radar system. (Recode)

Public Sector

How Einstein changes the way government does business. The Department of Commerce has long granted confidentiality to people who submit sensitive survey data about international investments or foreign transactions. But Commerce is now revising its confidentiality agreements because of Einstein. (FCW)

Will agencies get the full value of their information?. As government information assets become increasingly digitized, agencies expect that information professionals will have or develop the skill sets necessary to meet this increased scope of information management responsibility. (FCW)

Hiring freeze cools off Navy ship buildup too. President Donald Trump said he wants to build up the Navy's fleet to 355 ships. In addition to the budget issues such a move would raise, another problem is standing in the way: Trump's federal hiring freeze. (Federal News Radio)

Budget options are aplenty for DoD as funding supplemental deadline nears. A lot of speculation is going on around Washington concerning how much money the Defense Department will actually receive until the end of the year and into 2018 and where it might go. (Federal News Radio)

GSA deal with HPE could save $50 million. The General Services Administration, on behalf of the federal government, has negotiated a deal for agencies to more easily and efficiently buy Hewlett Packard Enterprise Software's products. (FedScoop)

Code.mil, the Pentagon's open-source initiative, is live. Developers will be able to review and collaborate on the Defense Department's unclassified code through its new Code.mil initiative. (FedScoop)

GSA tech chief defends 18F, says watchdog's report 'got our attention'. The head of the General Services Administration's Technology Transformation Service is speaking up for 18F - the agency's under-fire IT swat team - and vowing to change the cybersecurity rules that a watchdog accused 18F of ignoring. (FedScoop)

Government-Enabling IT Ranks 4th in List of Public-Sector Contracting Hotspots for 2017. Government-enabling IT services, fiber-optic cable and medical equipment are among the fastest-growing areas of government spending, according to Onvia. (GovTech)

Workforce/Diversity

Google charitable arm to give $11.5 million for racial justice. Google.org will invest $11.5 million in grants to racial justice organizations in the US, the search giant's charitable arm said Thursday. (CNET)

Tech Business

The Jobs Americans Do. Forget the images of men in hard hats standing before factory gates, of men with coal-blackened faces, of men perched high above New York City on steel beams. (New York Times Magazine)

Data centres help London retain cachet. Banks may be contemplating moving staff and operations out of London after the Brexit vote, but there is no sign of the City losing its edge as the home for data centres that help high-speed trading companies based in the US and Asia. (Financial Times)

Smartphones to find their voice again at MWC in Barcelona. The mobile industry may have almost lost its voice in recent years, in the age of the data-focused smartphone, but next week's Mobile World Congress in Barcelona could mark a comeback for talking into your telephone. (Financial Times)
Go To College, Play Video Games. E-Sports Make A Play For The Big Ten. Lined up at a row of computers, five Ohio State University students stare intently at their screens amid the clatter of keyboards and mouse clicks. They're keeping in shape - so to speak. (NPR)

Should Scientists March? U.S. Researchers Still Debating Pros And Cons. Scientists around the United States are getting ready to do an unprecedented experiment: They plan to march en masse in Washington, D.C., and other cities on April 22, to take a stand for the importance of public policies based on science. (NPR)

Lyft announces huge Midwest expansion, launching in 54 cities and four new states. Good news, residents of Sheboygan, Wisconsin! Lyft, the ride-hailing company not currently plagued by a sexual harassment scandal, is coming to your town. (The Verge)

Snapchat Founders' Grip Tightened After a Spat With an Early Investor. When Snap goes public next month, one of the biggest winners will be Lightspeed Venture Partners. (New York Times)

ITI Member News

Google Cousin Develops Technology to Flag Toxic Online Comments. From self-driving cars to multi-language translation, machine learning is underpinning many of the technology industry's biggest advances with its form of artificial intelligence. (New York Times)

Google's plan to make talk less toxic. The depressingly toxic nature of internet conversations is of increasing concern to many publishers. But now Google thinks it may have an answer - using computers to moderate comments. (BBC News)

Google launches robo-tool to flag hate speech online. Google has launched an artificial intelligence tool that identifies abusive comments online, helping publishers respond to growing pressure to clamp down on hate speech. (Financial Times)

Google Self-Driving Car Unit Accuses Uber of Using Stolen Technology. Waymo, the self-driving car outfit spun out of Google's parent company, claimed in a federal lawsuit on Thursday that Uber was using intellectual property stolen by one of Google's former project leaders. (New York Times)

Amazon refusing to hand over data on whether Alexa overheard a murder. Amazon is balking at a search warrant seeking cloud-stored data from its Alexa Voice Service. Arkansas authorities want to examine the recorded voice and transcription data as part of a murder investigation. (Ars Technica)

1600 Penn.

In the morning, President Donald J. Trump will depart the White House en route to CPAC. The President will then make remarks at CPAC. Later in the morning, the President will return to the White House. The President will then tape his Weekly Address. In the afternoon, the President will sign an Executive Order. The President will then meet with Governor John Kasich of Ohio. Later in the afternoon, the President will meet with President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski of Peru.

Today on the Hill

Both the House and the Senate are not in session today.
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