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05/04/2016

Key Issues

Encryption

Facebook CEO urges Brazilians to decry WhatsApp block. Facebook Inc's (FB.O) Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg called on Brazilians to demand his company's WhatsApp messaging service never be blocked again after an appeals court on Tuesday overturned the application's second suspension in five months. (Reuters)

Brazil judge overturns 72-hour suspension of WhatsApp. A Brazilian judge on Tuesday overturned a suspension of Facebook Inc's (FB.O) WhatsApp messaging application that affected some 100 million users, after many people voiced frustration at the second such freeze in five months in the South American country. (Reuters)

Brazilian appellate judge rescinds WhatsApp block. Shortly after we published our story of the WhatsApp block, Brazilian media began reporting (Google Translate) that it had been lifted on appeal.

Global Trade

President Obama: The TPP would let America, not China, lead the way on global trade. Over the past six years, America’s businesses have created more than 14 million new jobs. (Washington Post)

Data-security dispute resolution in draft trade deal would uphold regulatory compliance. The draft text of a trade deal being negotiated by the United States and European Union includes language that would allow telecommunications companies to protest cybersecurity and other regulatory decisions viewed as harmful, but would require compliance while that dispute is being reviewed. (Inside Cybersecurity)

Broadband/Communications

At Shoal Lake 40, Trudeau Vows to Close Digital Divide. Many of Canada’s indigenous communities live in a state of constant emergency. (Motherboard)

Cutting the Cord: MLB app offers improved video, new options for '16 season. Rooting for hometown heroes has never been easy for cord-cutting sports fans. (USA Today)

Cybersecurity

ISAO standards body working group issues draft for comment. The organization developing standards for creating information sharing and analysis organizations, or ISAOs, has issued its first draft recommendations for public comment, setting the stage for discussions later this month in Anaheim, CA. (Inside Cybersecurity)

DHS deputy promises 'clarity' on sharing cyber threat indicators. The Department of Homeland Security will issue “critical documents” to clarify the government's preparations for responding to and sharing cyber threat indicators, according to DHS Deputy Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. (Inside Cybersecurity)

Regulators move toward drafting guidance on 'voluntary' cybersecurity approaches. An interagency group of regulators that includes the Federal Trade Commission and the Federal Communications Commission will meet this month to discuss “outcomes and recommendations” following a workshop on voluntary approaches to cybersecurity, marking the group’s first step toward producing tangible cross-agency guidance. (Inside Cybersecurity)

Quantum computers pose a huge threat to security, and the NIST wants your help. It’s no secret that quantum computers could render many of today’s encryption methods useless, and now the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology wants the public to help it head off that threat. (PC World)

DHS official says info-sharing portal will help assess effectiveness of industry cyber steps. The Department of Homeland Security is looking to use information from industry on cyber-threat indicators to assess the effectiveness of data-security strategies. (Inside Cybersecurity)

Coast Guard touts new cyber profile as it promotes international cyber strategy. The Coast Guard is “optimistic” that new guidance setting baseline cybersecurity controls will help the industry improve its cyber posture, as the service pushes its strategy to the international maritime community. (Inside Cybersecurity)

Health group urges alignment of medical device cybersecurity, interoperability standards. An alliance of IT leaders in the health sector has urged the Food and Drug Administration to ensure that interoperability standards for medical devices align with new cybersecurity standards. (Inside Cybersecurity)

Immigration

New immigration fight looms in Congress. Lawmakers on both sides of the Capitol are quietly launching a new effort to expand visas for low-skilled foreign workers in government funding bills — a push that could drive a deep ideological rift through both parties later this year. (Politico)

Privacy

Google given access to UK patient records for research. Google has been given access to an estimated 1.6 million NHS patient records, it has been revealed. (BBC News)

US Court orders Touch ID iPhone unlock. A US court has made a woman unlock her iPhone with her fingerprint. (BBC News)

Email Privacy Act: Updating Decades-Old Legislation to Account for Cloud-Stored Data. The Email Privacy Act unanimously passed through the House on April 27 and some are likening the bill to a “Digital Fourth Amendment.” (Government Technology)

On digital privacy rules, FCC rejects industry request for comment extension. The Federal Communications Commission has rejected a request by an industry coalition for more time to respond to a proposed rule issued last month on privacy requirements for broadband Internet providers, which critics say would set a precedent for mandating data-security assessments and protections. (Inside Cybersecurity)

Internet of Things

Google to buy minivans for self-driving tests from Fiat Chrysler. Alphabet Inc's Google (GOOGL.O) unit has agreed to buy about 100 plug-in hybrid minivans from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV (FCHA.MI) (FCAU.N) to expand its self-driving vehicle testing program, the two companies said on Tuesday -- in the most advanced partnership to date between Silicon Valley and a carmaker. (Reuters)

Self-driving minivan reportedly coming from Fiat Chrysler and Google. A report from Bloomberg claims that we'll soon see a self-driving car deal between Google and Fiat Chrysler. The two companies are reportedly teaming up for a new round of self-driving car prototypes using a minivan, the Chrysler Pacifica. (Ars Technica)

The Self-Driving Car of the Future Comes With … a Bookshelf. One of the most exciting things about the coming age of autonomous driving is all the ways it will free designers from constraints like forward-facing seats, a steering wheel, and the need to pay attention. (Wired)

HTC to finally launch Android Wear smartwatch in June. A big hole in HTC’s product portfolio is an Android Wear smartwatch. Rumors have floated around about one for a while, but we now have a few indications this may getting closer to reality. (PC World)

Public Sector

GSA unifies tech groups into single service. Three technology groups at the General Services Administration are being combined to offer agencies a one-stop shop for building and buying IT. (FCW)

Struggling HUD pins hopes on portfolio management. The Department of Housing and Urban Development wasted nearly a quarter of a billion dollars in a haphazard IT push, according to a senior agency official, and now wants to turn things around. (FCW)

Finally, a faster FedRAMP?. There have been many goals for the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program since the concept was first floated in 2010: encouraging cloud adoption; "do once, use many times" efficiency; and trading check-box compliance for ongoing risk management, to name a few. (FCW)

What agencies are asking about FedRAMP. As the official Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program evangelist at the General Services Administration, Ashley Mahan addresses federal agencies’ cloud computing and security concerns. (FCW)

GSA wants to create a permanent home for innovation with new third service. The General Services Administration is going back to the future and creating a third service focused on technology. (Federal News Radio)

GSA launches tech service for agencies. The General Services Administration wants to become the place federal agencies go when they need help with IT — and Tuesday it launched a new offering called the Technology Transformation Service to help make that happen. (FedScoop)

Playbook for governmentwide shared services coming from GSA. The General Services Administration plans to release a shared services playbook in June, educating agencies about how they can best consolidate governmentwide back-office functions, a GSA official said Tuesday. (FedScoop)

AFCEA gives pointers to next DHA CIO. Industry partners are trying to give the next Defense Health Agency chief information officer some tips how to be effective in a short amount of time. (Federal News Radio)

GPO renews contract for publishing program with FedEx. The Government Publishing Office has renewed a contract with FedEx Office to continue a publishing program that makes it easier for federal employees to print and manage their documents. (FedScoop)

Sacramento, Calif., Holds Health Tech Hackathon. The tabletops were barely visible beneath notebooks, laptops and Post-it notes. The white dry-erase boards were covered with slapdash flow charts and lengthy idea lists. (Government Technology)

White House to study growing influence of artificial intelligence. The influence of artificial intelligence is growing, the White House said Tuesday while announcing it would start digging into the issue. (The Hill)

Environment/Sustainability

Pastille power to Glenfiddich gas: the green energy revolution. The UK’s renewable energy revolution has been fast, widespread and sometimes just plain strange. From the Flying Bum airship to the electricity made from Glenfiddich whisky leftovers, here are just some of the projects in Great Green Britain. (Financial Times)

Britain leads charge in renewables. If you had to say which country has the world’s biggest offshore wind farm, Europe’s biggest floating solar park and electricity from the dregs of Fruit Pastilles, you might not guess it was the UK. (Financial Times)

Hyperloop to high-speed rail: Who will build the future of mobility?. "It’s an ultra high speed, tube-based transportation system," explained Hyperloop Technologies Chief Legal Officer Afshin Pishevar. "Think of it as airplanes without wings, and then we levitate." (GreenBiz)

How UPS navigates the logistics clean tech 'Valley of Death'. The average UPS delivery driver makes 120 stops a day, which means that each morning he or she has more potential routes available than there have been seconds in the history of the Earth. (GreenBiz)

These tech startups are turning a profit on food waste. Food waste is bad for our wallets. It’s also bad for the environment — the equivalent of throwing away the water, energy and other resources that go into growing it in the first place. (GreenBiz)

Virginia’s climate and energy future comes into focus. Virginia is at an economic, energy and climate change crossroads, with seas rising faster (PDF), and Hampton Roads, our greatest military assets and Tangier Island all seeing increased flooding that literally could put them under water. (GreenBiz)

Workforce/Diversity

Women in Tech Band Together to Track Diversity, After Hours. Ellen Pao spent the last few years spotlighting the technology industry’s lack of diversity, in court and beyond. (New York Times)

At Work: Silicon Valley Female Leaders Launch Tool to Measure and Improve Diversity. A group of influential women in the tech industry on Tuesday launched a tool to better measure and increase diversity in technology, an area where they say not enough progress has been made. (Wall Street Journal)

Ellen Pao launches advocacy group to improve diversity in the tech industry. Ellen Pao, a former Silicon Valley venture capitalist, today announced the launch of Project Include, an advocacy group aimed at improving diversity in the technology industry. (Recode)

Silicon Valley women join forces to promote diversity in tech. A group of prominent women in Silicon Valley on Tuesday launched a new initiative to guide tech startups in addressing diversity issues. (The Hill)

Tech Business

Videogamers Are Recruited to Fight Tuberculosis and Other Ills. At his laboratory console, Rhiju Das is making a game of a pressing public-health problem. He is recruiting thousands of videogamers to develop a better test for tuberculosis, which infects about one-third of the world’s population. (Wall Street Journal)

More than 21,000 small businesses can add same-day delivery through Postmates. For delivery startup Postmates to be effective long-term, its courier network needs to be busy all day, not just during peak meal times. A new partnership with e-commerce software company Shopify may help. (Recode)

How consoles survived the rise of the smartphone. In 1925, John Logie Baird wanted to convince the public that his latest invention would be a great success. (Financial Times)

Shenzhen, China, a Silicon Valley of hardware. Population 11mInternet users (in whole of China) 688mVenture capital deployed in China in 2015 $11.6bn. (Financial Times)

Uber has Chinese travellers in its sights with Alipay deal. Uber has struck a deal with Alipay that will allow Chinese travellers to use the online payments platform to request and pay for rides overseas, as the US ride-hailing company seeks a fresh edge in the highly competitive Chinese market. (Financial Times)

Investment surge gives US the early lead in rise of the robots. Surging investment in artificial intelligence is giving the US an early advantage in the race to dominate a new era of robotics, according to investors and experts in an industry that is set to become one of the most strategically important. (Financial Times)

Uber faces new legal action on driver status. Taxi-hailing firm Uber faces a fresh lawsuit challenging the status of its drivers, following out-of-court settlements in California and Massachusetts. (BBC News)

Uber Plans To Kill Surge Pricing, Though Drivers Say It Makes Job Worth It. Sometimes you call an Uber, and what you thought would be an $8 ride is going to be two, three, even four times more — the result of greater demand brought on by a blizzard, or a baseball game. (NPR)

Snapchat at 107 M.P.H.? Lawsuit Blames Teenager (and Snapchat). Even in the age of social media, this particular selfie seemed extreme: a teenager strapped into a gurney, with blood running down her forehead, somehow taking the time to tap out a message to her Snapchat friends: “Lucky to be alive.” (New York Times)

China Investigates Baidu After Student’s Death From Cancer. Chinese regulators have begun an investigation into the Internet giant Baidu after the death of a college student who said he received distorted information on cancer treatment from the company’s search engine. (New York Times)

Match Group revenue beats as Tinder attracts more paid users. Dating website operator Match Group Inc reported better-than-expected quarterly revenue, as its popular dating app Tinder attracted more paying users. (Reuters)

An Online Program May Help Prevent Depression In Some People. Working through a self-help program online can prevent or delay major depression disorder in people who are vulnerable, a study finds. Similar programs have been used to treat depression, but this may be the first one tested to prevent it, the researchers say. (NPR)

Find the Best Web Browser for Your Devices: A Review of Chrome, Safari and Edge. Life is full of big decisions: getting married, buying a home, picking your default Web browser. (Wall Street Journal)

Snapchat, Instagram compete with Facebook for eyeballs. Time spent on Facebook is still growing, but not as fast. (USA Today)

Pinterest Acquires Mobile Ad Firm URX. Pinterest Inc. is again paying up to acquire talent as it builds out an image search engine based on its users’ intent. (Wall Street Journal)

Even a 'down round' is cause for cheer in Silicon Valley. Foursquare, which became the poster child for slashed start-up valuations when it raised its latest round of funding, is now turning the scenario into a sales pitch. (USA Today)

Lured by Seattle’s Tech Boom, but Being Left Behind. Look outside almost any window at the Guest Rooms homeless shelter here, and the view speaks of wealth and power that the residents inside all lack. Construction cranes claw the sky. (New York Times)

Rich and powerful warn robots are coming for your jobs. Some of the richest, smartest and most powerful humans have an important message for the rest of us as they convened this week to discuss pressing global issues: the robots are coming. (Reuters)

Etsy Posts First Quarterly Profit Since Going Public. Etsy Inc. reported a quarterly profit for the first time since its April 2015 initial public offering, as growth in users and revenue remained strong. (Wall Street Journal)

NBCUniversal in Talks to Join Hulu Channel Bundle. NBCUniversal is in talks with Hulu to join the streaming service’s planned over-the-top offering of cable and broadcast channels, Variety has learned. (Variety)

Moore’s Law Running Out of Room, Tech Looks for a Successor. For decades, the computer industry has been guided by a faith that engineers would always find a way to make the components on computer chips smaller, faster and cheaper. (New York Times)

ITI Member News

Twitter makes following accounts easier with new Connect tab. A new Connect tab on Twitter Inc's mobile app makes it easier for people to find accounts to follow, the social network said on Tuesday as it launched the new feature to attract more users. (Reuters)

Amazon Prime Now arrives online with one-hour delivery service. Amazon launched Prime Now, its super-fast local delivery service, via its mobile app nearly a year and a half ago, and now the company is bringing the service to the Web. (Ars Technica)

IBM’s Watson Helped Design Karolina Kurkova’s Light-Up Dress for the Met Gala. At last night’s Met Gala, the lavish annual fashion event hosted by Vogue, model Karolina Kurkova wore a dress that was half man-, half machine-made. (Wired)

Dell rebrands Dell to Dell Technologies, Dell EMC, and Dell. Dell has followed in the footsteps of its rival HP by hitting the reboot button on its various brands. (Ars Technica)

Apple worries 'an overreaction' - Cook. Apple doesn't do media interviews unless it really has to. (BBC News)

Tim Cook: iPhones that will drive people to upgrade are on their way. Apple’s chief executive, Tim Cook, has attempted to assuage fears over the company’s fall in earnings, saying that the dip in stock price was a “huge overreaction” and that forthcoming iPhones will make people look back and ask “how did I live without this?” (The Guardian)

Report: India won’t let Apple sell refurbished iPhones in the country. The Indian government won't allow Apple to sell refurbished iPhones in the country, according to a "telecommunications official" speaking to Bloomberg. (Ars Technica)

India has shot down Apple's plan to sell refurbished iPhones. India reportedly has rejected Apple’s plan to sell refurbished iPhones in the country, a blow to the company’s hopes for growth there. (BBC News)

Apple loses China trademark case for 'iPhone' on leather goods. Apple Inc has lost a battle for the use of the "iPhone" trademark on leather goods in China after a Beijing court ruled against the world's biggest technology company in favor of a local firm, state media reported. (Reuters)

China's Lenovo plans to invest $500 million in tech-startup fund. Lenovo Group Ltd, the world's largest personal computer maker, plans to invest $500 million in a technology start-up fund, the Beijing-based company said on Wednesday. (Reuters)

1600 Penn.

Today, in the morning, the President will travel to Flint, Michigan. In the afternoon, the President will receive a briefing on the federal efforts in place to help respond to the needs of the people of Flint. Later in the afternoon, the President will participate in a neighborhood listening roundtable to the hear first-hand from Flint residents about the public health crisis. There will be a travel pool spray at the top of this meeting at Northwestern High School. Afterwards, the President will deliver remarks to community members at Northwestern High School. In the evening, the President will depart Flint en route Washington, DC. Later in the evening, the President will deliver remarks at the Asian Pacific American Institute of Congressional Studies 22nd annual awards gala dinner.

Today on the Hill

Today, the House is not in session.

Today, the Senate is not in session.