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Key Issues

Global Trade

Administration Creates Interagency Task Force On Localization Barriers.  The proliferation of government measures requiring businesses to produce or purchase goods and services locally as a condition of market access has prompted the Obama administration to create an interagency task force to develop a coordinated approach for addressing these “localization barriers to trade.”  (Inside US Trade)

China leaps ahead as Europe ambles forward.  Growth in Chinese manufacturing accelerated to a two year high this month and a buoyant Germany took the euro zone economy a step closer to recovery, business surveys showed on Thursday.  (Reuters)

Economic growth in China, India likely to quicken.  Emerging economies will lead growth in 2013 as the global economic outlook remains challenged by the euro zone's debt crisis and high unemployment in the United States, according to a report released on Wednesday.  (Reuters)

Trade Ministers To Prepare For Bali Ministerial At World Economic Forum.  Trade ministers representing about 20 World Trade Organization members will meet on Dec. 26 to assess the possible outcomes of a WTO ministerial meeting scheduled to take place December 3-6 in Bali, Indonesia. The meeting, which is being organized by Switzerland, will take place on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum (WEF) and will discuss two main questions, according to Geneva sources.  (Inside US Trade)


Entrepreneurs plan D.C. road trip to talk up immigration reform.  San Francisco-based entrepreneur Garrett Johnson is usually too busy with his messaging start-up for much travel, but one issue has inspired him to cross the country: immigration reform.  (Reuters) 


Manufacturers cutting white-collar jobs now, too.  Manufacturers have been using technology to cut blue-collar jobs for years. Now, they're targeting their white-collar workers, too.  (AP)

Technology at Davos; Telemedicine in the smartphone age.  At the 43rd annual World Economic Forum in Davos, global leaders are meeting to discuss more than just business and politics. Technology is also on the agenda this year. And telemedicine -- providing medical care over the internet -- takes off in the smartphone age.  (Marketplace)

Cybersecurity & Privacy

Editorial:  Time for Congress to offer help against cyber attacks.  The private sector remains unprepared for the kind of massive botnet assaults being aimed at the banks. The U.S. government can offer an important line of defense. Congress ought to lay down a foundation for this cooperation in new legislation, and without delay. (Washington Post)

3 charged in malware scheme targeting bank accounts.  U.S. prosecutors say three foreign nationals created and distributed a virus that infected 1 million computers worldwide, including 40,000 in the U.S. (CNET)

Akamai: A third of cyberattacks come from China.  Akamai found a steep increase in the percentage of attacks originating in China. In the second quarter of 2012, only 16 percent of attacks came from the country, but that rose to 33 percent in the period ended in September.  (CNET)

Big jump in U.S. government requests for Google user data.  Google is being pulled into an increasing number of police and government investigations around the world as authorities seek to learn more about the people who use its Internet search engine, email and other services.  (San Jose Mercury News)


Robot Makers Spread Global Gospel of Automation.  Manufacturers of robots and similar machines gathered in Chicago, casting automation as an indispensable engine of economic growth.   (NYT)

Why Open Source Hardware Is No Oxymoron.  Last week, at the Open Compute Project’s latest public get-together, Facebook donated a host of new hardware designs to the project, as it continues to overhaul the gear that typically drives a data center. But this is only half the story. Two hours later, Rackspace — the Texas outfit that’s second only to Amazon in the cloud computing game — revealed that it has followed in Facebook’s footsteps, designing its own data center servers, and yes, it will donate these designs to the world at large.  (Wired)

Bigging up big data: Why the hype is about to stop.  Big data has been talked up so much that it's about to disappear into a 'trough of disillusionment' according to one tech analyst.  (ZDNet)\

Self-driving vehicles unlock efficiency possibilities.  Truly autonomous vehicles, equipped with sensors and networked technologies, could have big implications for traffic congestion, fuel economy, parking and much more.  (

Boeing Shows How Innovation Can Be Messy.  Boeing's Dreamliner experience offers a reminder that innovation—for all its value—doesn't come as easily as a catchphrase. It can get messy.  (WSJ)


Keeping the Internet Safe From Governments.  In the wake of an acrimonious Internet governance conference last month, a movement has sprung up to withdraw United States financing for the International Telecommunication Union.  (NYT)

Walden: ITU hearing first up for telecom panel.  Chairman Greg Walden said the first order of business is another look at the controversial ITU treaty talks, currently set for February 5.  (Politico Pro)

Scalise: Regulating Web companies threatens Internet freedom.  Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.), the chairman of the influential Republican Study Committee, argued on Wednesday that regulation of up and coming Web companies should be viewed as "attacks on Internet freedom at large."  (The Hill)


TV stations push FCC on spectrum value.  A coalition of broadcasters interested in turning over spectrum to share in proceeds from an FCC auction wants input into the proceedings.  (Politico Pro)

Tech Business

Tech companies expand lobbying efforts.  The technology industry continued to pour money into efforts to influence policymakers in the final quarter of 2012, according to the latest lobbying disclosure filings.  (The Hill)

Indian IT bigwigs back on growth path.  TCS, Infosys, Wipro and HCL Technologies clock better-than-expected quarterly results and look set to continue the positive trajectory, but they will face fierce competition for US$50 billion worth of mega deals this year.  (ZDNet)

Incubators From Abroad Follow the Money—to U.S.  To pursue venture-capital funding and build a bridge to the U.S. market, foreign startup incubators are coming to the source: Silicon Valley.  (WSJ)

Cisco spends nearly half a billion dollars on Israeli software maker.  Networking giant Cisco announced Wednesday that it had agreed to pay $475 million for Intucell, an Israeli company that produces networking software that allows wireless carriers to handle the increasing traffic on their systems.  (San Jose Mercury News)

Netflix Posts Surprise Profit.  Netflix reported a surprise profit as it added more streaming customers than it forecast.  (WSJ)

ITI Member News

Heady Returns, but Apple Finds Its Stock Falling.  Investors have come to expect nothing short of perfection from Apple, but with the company’s stock sinking 11 percent, it is clear there are a range of challenges.  (NYT)

ITC to review Apple patent complaint against Samsung.  A U.S. trade panel that specializes in patent disputes will review a potentially key decision in the patent fight between Samsung Electronics and Apple Inc over smartphones and tablets.  (Reuters)

Record orders boost Motorola Solutions.  Record government orders for two-way radios and other public safety communications equipment helped Motorola Solutions report strong sales growth in the fourth quarter, but Greg Brown, chief executive, warned that the company’s core government business was likely to slow this year.  (FT)

Cloud and big data push boost SAP.  SAP on Wednesday said its momentum had “never been stronger” as it forecast continued double-digit growth this year, helped by its move into big data and the cloud.  (FT)

SAP eyes China SOE spending uptick in Q2.  Software giant believes spending by state-owned enterprises will rebound and this, together with its support for China's economic plans and local channel partners, will help grow its Asia business.  (ZDNet)

IBM says it has tool to kill deadly drug-resistant superbugs.  Working with the Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology, Big Blue has come up with a "hydrogel" that can beat back the bacteria that cause many deadly infections.  (CNET)

BlackBerry corporate upgrade ahead of launch.  RIM has launched a new version of its BlackBerry enterprise service software, designed to enable companies to better manage employees’ BlackBerrys and other smartphones.  (FT)

Nokia axes dividend to shore up cash.  Finnish mobile phone maker Nokia plans to axe its annual dividend payment for the first time in over 20 years to shore up its cash position against falling sales.  (Reuters)

Symantec to axe 1,000 employees.  According to reports, Symantec will be cutting 1,000 jobs in company restructuring efforts.  (ZDNet)

Lenovo: Phones Are in the Black in China.  Lenovo Group has turned a profit from selling smartphones in China and is seeing growth in other emerging markets, a company executive said in an interview.  (WSJ)

Sony fined over PlayStation data hack.  A hack on the PlayStation Network, in which millions of users' personal information was exposed, sees Sony fined by the UK's data authority.  (BBC)

BuildingIQ snaps up $9 million from energy giants.  Siemens and Schneider Electric among the funding parties in the latest round to help bolster energy data analytics firm BuildingIQ.  (

Today on the Hill

Senate:  The Senate convenes at 9:30 a.m. ET.  Today is the deadline set by Majority Leader Reid for an agreement on Senate rules changes.  If no agreement is reached, Reid has said he would propose his own changes that can be approved with a simple majority vote.  If there is a deal, the Senate is expected to take up the House-passed Hurricane Sandy recovery funding bill.

House:  The House is recessed until February 4.

1600 Penn.

The President does not have public events on his schedule today.  At 1:45 p.m. ET, the Vice President will participate in a live Google+ Hangout about the Administration’s efforts to reduce gun violence.