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Key Issues

Fiscal Cliff

Global Markets Fall As 'Cliff' Hopes Dim.  Markets fell and investors fled to the safety of the dollar after Republicans canceled a vote on the bill to avert a fiscal crisis.  (WSJ)

G.O.P. Leaders in House Pull Tax Bill, Citing Lack of Votes.  The decision was a setback for Speaker John A. Boehner, who had pushed his proposal to keep lower tax rates in place for most Americans in the absence of a broader fiscal deal.  (NYT)


Obama likely to issue executive order on cybersecurity as early as January.  GOP lawmakers fear the cyber order will pile new regulations onto companies that operate critical infrastructure.  (The Hill)

Joint defense measure seeks to disarm hackers.  The report keeps notable increases to Pentagon programs meant to defeat foreign hackers.  (Politico)

International Trade

U.S., China Discuss Export Control Reform, Investment In JCCT Talks.  At a press conference yesterday (Dec. 19) concluding the 23rd session of the Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT), Chinese officials cited what they described as progress in a variety of areas, including on their demands that the U.S. reform its system of export controls in order to facilitate exports to China, and further commitments from the U.S. on treating Chinese investors fairly.  (Inside US Trade)

ITA Negotiators Circulate Revised Product List Featuring Modest Changes.  World Trade Organization members participating in an effort to expand the current Information Technology Agreement (ITA) this week circulated a revised product list that encompasses a streamlined version of what they would like to see in terms of enhanced product coverage. There is no agreement on the items contained in the list, but members are trying to at least whittle it down so it can serve as the basis for more intense negotiations.  This revised list features only modest changes compared with the initial compilation of offensive interests that was circulated earlier this year. One source estimated that the revised list drops about 10 items from the nearly 400 included in the original list. At the same time, Geneva sources argued that the new list represents significant progress, in that it is the first time members have been willing to take any items off of their initial "wish lists."  (Inside US Trade)


Web freedom at a crossroads: The stakes are high.  Last week in Dubai, a U.N. conference on global telecommunications put a stark spotlight on a vital issue: protecting Internet freedom and openness. And it showed that in the months and years ahead, the U.S. must continue to confront powerful forces around the world that seek to suppress the free flow of information online and change the Internet as we know it.  (Politico op-ed/Genachowski)

Law relaxed on digital copying.  Making digital copies of music, films and other copyrighted material for personal use is to be made legal for the first time under government plans.  (BBC)

Smartphone industry bows to pressure as antitrust regulators flex muscles over patents.  Some of the most aggressive legal tactics used in the smartphone industry’s patent wars showed signs of abating this week – thanks in large part to pressure from antitrust regulators on both sides of the Atlantic. (FT)


Forget YOLO: Why 'Big Data' Should Be The Word Of The Year.  "Big Data" had just as much to do with President Obama's victory as phrases like "Etch A Sketch" and "47 percent," says linguist Geoff Nunberg. Big Data is also behind anxieties about intrusions on our privacy, whether from the government's anti-terrorist data sweeps or the ads that track us on the Web.  (NPR)

ITI Member News

Nokia patent deal with RIM to lift finances.  Struggling Finnish mobile phone maker Nokia has settled its patent dispute with BlackBerry maker Research in Motion in return for payments, as it tries to exploit its trove of technology patents to boost its dire finances.  (Reuters)

Apple presses case for Samsung sales ban in appeals filing.  Tech giant Apple Inc, battling Samsung Electronics Co over patents in several countries, argued on Thursday that a U.S. appeals court should reconsider its decision to overturn a pretrial sales ban on Samsung for infringement.  (Reuters)

Apple Maps three times more likely to get you lost than Google Maps.  How helpful is Apple Maps? Not very, according to a company that found Apple Maps is three times more likely to get someone lost than Google Maps.  (LA Times)

A Million Users Desert BlackBerry, and Revenue Falls 48%.  The maker of BlackBerry phones, Research in Motion, posted the data on the loss of customers and revenue on Thursday in its third-quarter results.  (NYT)

HTC to produce two Microsoft Windows RT tablets for release in 2013.  The phone maker is expected to release 7-inch and 12-inch models that can also make phone calls, but has decided against Windows 8 tablets because of the high cost involved.  (ZDNet)

Micron Hit by Production Glitch.  Micron Technology reported a wider quarterly loss and said manufacturing miscues added to the chip maker's struggle against falling prices.  (WSJ)

Panasonic to appeal EU antitrust price-fixing fine.  Panasonic has announced that it plans to appeal the European Commission's decision to fine the firm over television price-fixing.  (ZDNet)

Olympus, Sony say medical business merger delayed.  Japan's Olympus Corp and Sony Corp said on Friday that a planned merger of the two firms' medical business will take longer than expected due to delays in obtaining regulatory approval abroad.  (Reuters)

Oracle to Buy Eloqua.  Oracle agreed to buy software company Eloqua for about $810 million, adding to its cloud-based and market-analysis offerings.  (WSJ)

Panasonic to sell Sanyo digital camera business to private equity fund.  Panasonic Corp said on Friday that it would sell its Sanyo digital and digital movie camera business to Japanese private equity fund Advantage Partners for an undisclosed sum.  (Reuters)

Adobe agrees to buy cloud social-media company to enhance Creative Suite.  Adobe Systems has acquired Behance, a privately held service that designers and companies use to display creative works over the Internet, expanding the software maker's Web-based offerings.  (San Jose Mercury News)

1600 Penn.

This morning, the President and Vice President will deliver remarks at the funeral service for the late Senator Daniel Inouye at the Washington National Cathedral.  While no other public events are on the President's schedule, expect discussions between the White House and Congressional Leaders to continue as they work on an agreement to avert the fiscal cliff.

Today on the Hill

House:  The House has adjourned until after Christmas.

Senate:  The Senate will debate and likely vote on the Defense authorization conference report.  Passage would send the legislation to the President.  The Senate also is expected to continue debate on the Hurricane Sandy emergency appropriations bill as well as the bill to amend the FISA.  The Senate convenes at 1 p.m. ET.