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Key Issues

Cybersecurity & Privacy

US warns over key computer systems.  Thousands of US companies are being told to beef up protection on computers that oversee critical infrastructure.  (BBC)

Kamala Harris' push for online privacy.  Harris is taking additional steps in the form of recommendations for the wider mobile world. She's put forward a 22-page list of guidelines for app developers, networks, mobile carriers and others aimed at minimizing privacy conflicts and moving the mobile world away from sweeping up every shred of personal data.  The ideas call for plainer privacy warnings, pop-up messages when an app asks for additional information, and a request that app makers not ask for personal data when it's not essential for basic functions. (SF Chronicle editorial)

Rockefeller news could rattle privacy front.  Sen. Jay Rockefeller’s announcement that he’ll retire in 2015 is the latest personnel move in a month that has thrown the legislative end of the online consumer privacy world into flux.  The West Virginia Democrat, who’s been the upper chamber’s most vocal proponent of strengthening online privacy laws, is the third privacy hawk in three weeks to make news for potentially being on the move. (Politico Pro)

Singapore beefs up cybersecurity law to allow preemptive measures.  Parliament passes amendment to Computer Misuse Act to allow for government to order preemptive measures against cyberattacks, and makes non-compliance an offense with jail term of up to 10 years and fine of S$50,000.  (ZDNet)


Labour seeks to end corporate tax secrecy.   Labour has vowed to end the “tax secrecy” enjoyed by large multinational companies as it launches a consultation to explore ways to force greater transparency on to corporate world.  The move comes weeks after Starbucks voluntarily agreed to give £20m to the Exchequer over two years after it emerged it had paid only £8.6m corporation tax in the 14 years it has been in the UK.   (FT)

Govt defers controversial GAAR norms to April 2016.  The government will delay by two years implementation of controversial rules on tax avoidance to 2016, Finance Minister P. Chidambaram said on Monday, a decision which earned a positive market reaction and is likely to help attract more capital inflows.  (Reuters)


Britain Set to Join High-Speed Mobile Party.  A long-delayed auction of broadcast spectrum will allow the country's telecommunications operators to add the fourth-generation networks that many countries already offer.  (NYT)

Global Trade

UK Leader Puts Trade, U.S.-EU Deal High On G-8 Agenda For 2013.  British Prime Minister David Cameron last week identified trade liberalization as one of three priorities the United Kingdom will pursue during its presidency of the G-8 this year, and singled out the potential launch of trade negotiations between the United States and the European Union as perhaps the most important initiative in the trade arena.  (Inside US Trade)


Obama Plans to Push Congress on Immigration Overhaul.  President Obama plans to push Congress to move quickly in the coming months on an ambitious overhaul of the immigration system that would include a path to citizenship for most of the 11 million illegal immigrants in the country, senior administration officials and lawmakers said last week.  (NYT)

Comprehensive immigration reform: The time is now.  For too long Washington has pushed immigration reform off until the next election.  Too often, the issue is punted to the next Congress.  Now is the time for us to say enough is enough.  When we reform our broken immigration system, we will not only restore the most basic of American covenants, we will give this economy a much needed shot in the arm.  (Politico/opinion/A. Villaraigosa)

Marco Rubio:  Riding to the Immigration Rescue.  Florida's junior senator and one of America's most prominent Hispanic politicians wants to take the Republican lead on immigration reform. Getting out front of President Obama's campaign pledge to overhaul the system in his second term, Mr. Rubio is laying out his ideas for possible legislation.  (WSJ)

Tech Business

The inevitable rise of corporate media and Silicon Valley's disruption of all media.  Corporations are becoming media companies and they're using Silicon Valley technologies to do it.  (ZDNet)

Detroit: after decades of urban blight, technology boom gives Motor City hope.  As hi-tech firms spring up in areas better known for destitution and drugs, Detroit has found something new: optimism  (The Guardian)

Baidu launches browser for Africa.  Chinese search giant Baidu and France Telecom are collaborating on a browser for low-end smartphones sold in Africa.  (BBC)

Workplace dispute roils Foxconn supplier in China.  The contract manufacturer, which makes iPhones and other consumer electronics, acknowledges a "workplace issue" at a factory run by a supplier that reportedly makes iPhone connectors and other goods.  (CNET)

Information Technology Dividends Outpace All Others.  Led by Apple, tech companies took over from consumer staples as the largest payer of dividends to investors.  (NYT)

Corporate citizenship efforts pay off for U.S. businesses.  When asked "Does business act responsibly?" 70 percent of Americans answered "yes" in 1968. By 2011, the percentage had dropped to 10 percent, according to a Yankelovich and CNN/USA Today Gallup Poll.  (Denver Post)


The new tech patent powerhouses.  Google, Apple and Samsung have been filing a flurry of patent applications, cracking a list that used to be made up of chemical and medical firms.  (Politico Pro)

ITI Member News

Apple Cuts iPhone Part Orders.  Apple has cut its orders for components for the iPhone 5 due to weaker-than-expected demand, at a time when the U.S. company faces greater competition from rival Samsung.  (WSJ)

Apple is done, say teens.  Future adults allegedly believe, according to research, that Apple isn't cool any more. They're more impressed by Samsung's Galaxy and Microsoft's Surface.  (CNET)

Apple won't blindly pursue market share, Chinese paper reports.  In a revised version of an interview published Thursday in a Chinese newspaper, Apple Inc marketing chief Phil Schiller said the company would focus on making "the best products" for customers and "never blindly pursue market share".  (Reuters)

SAP Challenges Oracle With Software Speed.  SAP unveiled the biggest overhaul to its mainstay enterprise software in two decades, in a move to cement its dominance in that market while springing an attack on Oracle Corp. (ORCL)’s database business. (Bloomberg)

Paul Jacobs: smartphone king.  The Qualcomm chief has played a key role in the rise of the device.  His aim is to establish Qualcomm – which has grown by combining wireless, processing and graphics power on a single chip – in the public’s mind as the leader of the mobile era, in the same way Intel is identified with the fading personal computer one.  (FT)

Google's $25 Million Bargain.  The FTC commissioners, Democrats and Republicans, unanimously agreed there was no case against Google for how it handles search. How this happened could mark a new, less destructive relationship between Washington and Silicon Valley. (WSJ op-ed/Crovitz)

Google Gains From Creating Apps for the Opposition.  Google has become one of the most prolific developers of apps for the Apple iPhone, helping its rival even as their relationship worsens.  (NYT)

Panasonic Closes Plasma TV Plant.  Panasonic will close its sole dedicated plasma-TV factory in China as part of a broader restructuring at a time when LCD technology has come to dominate the market.  (WSJ)

1600 Penn.

UPDATED:  At 11:30 ET, the President will hold a news conference from the White House.

The President has White House meetings on his schedule today, but no public events.  At 11:00 a.m. ET, the Vice President will meet with Members of the House of Representatives as part of the Administration’s effort to develop policy proposals in response to the tragedy in Newtown.  Attorney General Eric Holder, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, and Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius also will participate.  

Today on the Hill

House:  The House will meet at 2:00 p.m. ET for legislative business. Votes will be postponed until 6:30 p.m.  That's when the House considers legislation intended to improve the response to, and recovery from, Hurricane Sandy and future natural disasters.  

Senate:  The Senate is in recess until 11:30 a.m. ET on January 21.