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Key Issues

Global Trade

TPP Countries Aiming To Table Remaining Proposals Soon, USTR Says.  The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative this week said that all countries participating in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations are aiming to table all outstanding textual proposals as soon as possible. But in private meetings with business representatives this month, USTR officials have given no indication of when the U.S. might table revised proposals on sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) measures and pharmaceutical patents, sources said.  (Inside US Trade)

Delegation From U.S. Urges Web Access in North Korea.  The group, which includes Google’s executive chairman and Bill Richardson, a former governor of New Mexico, also called on North Korea to put a moratorium on missile launchings.  (AP)


FCC to free up additional Wi-Fi spectrum to boost speeds.  FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said Wednesday at CES that the agency plans to free up 195MHz of 5GHz wireless spectrum to improve the capacity and speed of unlicensed Wi-Fi by 35 percent.  (CNET)

Terry: FCC’s spectrum auction all about raising $24 billion.  A Congressional Budget Office report said spectrum auctions could bring in billions of dollars in new revenue, which could be used for deficit reduction, payments to broadcasters and the creation of a nationwide, public-safety broadband network.  (Politico Pro)

In Video-Streaming Rat Race, Fast Is Never Fast Enough.  As more and more Web users turn to streaming video services like YouTube, a new study shows how impatient those users are. The first of its kind, the UMass study suggests load times of more than 10 seconds can drive away more than 50 percent of viewers.  (NPR)


ITC Launches Investigation Into Effect Of Digital Trade On U.S., Global Economies.  The U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) has launched the first of two investigations into the role of digital trade in the U.S. and global economies. The investigations were requested by the Committee on Finance, U.S. Senate, in a letter received on December 14, 2012.  (Inside US Trade)

Women in India, other developing countries lag in Internet use - Intel report.  More needs to be done to boost women's and girl's lagging online access, tech giant Intel Corp said in a report to be released later on Thursday that calls for doubling the number of female Internet users in developing nations over the next three years.  (Reuters)

 Cybersecurity & Privacy

Cyber Attacks Bring Call for Help.  U.S. businesses want more help from government officials in fighting cyber attacks, although they continue to oppose government prescribed safeguards, an official at trade group Business Roundtable said.  (WSJ)

EU lawmakers seek to limit use of data by internet firms.  Internet companies such as Facebook and Google may have to get more permission to use information if European Union lawmakers give users more control over their personal data.  (Reuters)

Draft data privacy plan stokes concerns.  Tech groups fear hefty fines under proposed EU privacy rules.  Facebook, Google and Microsoft could face tougher privacy rules under a new draft EU data protection proposal, which aims to give national regulators greater powers to probe global technology companies.  (FT)

How Generation Y really feels about online privacy.  Do young adults understand the damning effects of oversharing online? You might be surprised to learn the answer.  (CNET)


U.S. mulls tougher rules on telecom firms to keep 911 running.  U.S. regulators may require telecommunications companies to do a better job of safeguarding the 911 systems that are used to call for emergency help, according to an official at the Federal Communications Commission.  (Reuters)

Wyden lays out tech policy roadmap for 2013.  Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) on Wednesday said he is working on legislation with Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) that would stiffen antitrust laws so major Internet service providers like Comcast and Verizon are prevented from discriminating against Web content that competes with their own services.  (The Hill)


Democracy in the House.  If the country is to move forward on issues such as the debt limit, immigration reform and gun control, Speaker John Boehner will have to block extremists and let both parties vote together on a solution.  (NYT editorial)

Tech Business

Can the Cloud Help Small Businesses Save Money?  There's nonstop chatter about the new world of the cloud, in which businesses outsource their computing muscle to a third party. For many small businesses, the experience has largely been positive, but not without drawbacks.  (WSJ)

Samsung looks to China to replace Apple's chip purchases.  Samsung Electronics is looking to supply chips to more Chinese and other emerging smartphone makers, the head of its system chip business said, to counter any fall-off in demand from Apple, which is weaning itself off Samsung chips used in its iPhones and iPads.  (San Jose Mercury News)

LinkedIn hits 200 million members, majority outside U.S.  Mountain View professional networking service LinkedIn announced Wednesday that its membership rolls now surpass 200 million people, as international expansion has helped the company double its user base in less than two years.  (San Jose Mercury News)

Foxconn faces China bribery probe.  Foxconn, one of the world's biggest contract electronics maker, says it is being investigated by Chinese authorities over bribery allegations.  (BBC)

ITI Member News

BlackBerry 10 to be carried on AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile.  Chief execs with all three top carriers have confirmed that they'll support devices on RIM's all-new operating system set to launch in coming weeks.  (CNET)

RIM Leads Phones Letting Employees Use Own Devices on Job.  Research In Motion Ltd., VMware Inc. and Red Bend Software Inc. are working to give phones a split personality, seeking an edge in the emerging market for tools that let employees use their own gadgets on the job.  (Bloomberg)

What happens to Google’s other patent cases?  FTC’s consent decree with Google about standards patents was criticized, but a harsh policy statement by DOJ may cause Google to cry uncle.  (Politico Pro)

Google drops patent claims against Microsoft's Xbox after FTC deal.  Google unit Motorola Mobility has asked a trade panel to drop two key patents from an infringement complaint that it filed against Microsoft, according to a filing at the International Trade Commission.  (San Jose Mercury News)

Google Invests $200 Million in Texas Wind Farm.  Google said it invested $200 million in a wind farm in west Texas, adding to the list of renewable-energy investments the Internet-search company has made since 2010.  (Bloomberg)

Apple's Tim Cook meets with China Mobile chairman in Beijing.  Apple Inc's Chief Executive Tim Cook met with China Mobile's Chairman Xi Guohua on Thursday to discuss "matters of cooperation," a China Mobile spokesman said, raising hopes that a deal between the two tech giants may move forward.  (Reuters)

Lenovo entering 'PC plus' era, CEO says.  China's Lenovo Group Ltd, on track to become the world's No.1 personal computer maker, is leveraging on what it calls the "PC plus" era as the company ramps up its plant capacity in major markets including the United States.  (Reuters)

Intel still struggling to crack smartphone and tablet markets.  Intel has been trying for years to break into the post-PC computing market with almost no success.  (San Jose Mercury News)

1600 Penn.

At the White House today, there are more staff announcements on tap.  President Obama will announce the nomination of Jack Lew to be the next Treasury Secretary today at 1:30 p.m. ET.  Meanwhile, the Vice President and members of the Cabinet will meet with gun owners' groups, advocates for sportsmen and women, and wildlife interest groups as part of the Administration’s effort to develop policy proposals in response to the tragedy in Newtown.

Today on the Hill

House:  The House has adjourned until 2:00 p.m. ET on January 14.

Senate:  The Senate has adjourned until 11:30 a.m. ET on January 21.