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Tech News Roundup

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09/20/2017

Key Issues

Tech Politics

Senate Republicans Reach Tentative Deal on Budget
. Senate Republicans have reached a tentative budget deal that would set the parameters for a tax overhaul being pursued by the party and President Donald Trump. (Wall Street Journal)
Public Sector

In the end, Senate lets the MGT Act in the defense bill. The bill to give agencies access to much-needed money to modernize technology systems took a major step forward Sept. 18. (Federal News Radio)
The Library of Congress is experimenting with information crowdsourcing through a new project from the just-launched labs.loc.gov, the library's new home for digital experiments. (FedScoop)
Global Trade

A top European Union official is planning to press Apple, Facebook and others this week on privacy and hate speech. One of the European Union's leading regulators is making a house call to Silicon Valley this week. Her agenda: A series of meetings with the likes of Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg to press the tech industry on privacy, hate speech and consumer protection. (Recode)

Immigration
Becerra predicts trouble for politicians who resist DACA fix. California Attorney General Xavier Becerra is warning his former colleagues in Washington that they'll pay a political price if they fight legislation to give legal protection to DACA recipients. (Politico Pro)

IBM CEO Ginni Rometty is in D.C. urging Congress to save DACA. Two weeks after President Donald Trump moved to eliminate a program that protects some young immigrants from deportation, IBM chief executive Ginni Rometty is visiting Capitol Hill to urge lawmakers to save it. (Recode)

Censorship
Tech struggles with message as it tries to derail sex trafficking bill. The tech industry's standard argument that Washington should take a hands-off approach to the internet is getting a rocky reception in Congress as lawmakers intensify efforts to crack down on online sex trafficking. (Politico Pro)

Senators hear emotional testimony on controversial sex-trafficking bill. The Senate Commerce Committee on Tuesday took up a controversial online sex-trafficking bill, hearing testimony from victims' families who urged lawmakers to act. (The Hill)

Lawmaker Seeks Consensus on Online Sex-Trafficking Bill. A key Senate committee chairman Tuesday urged internet companies to reach a deal on legislation to combat online sex trafficking, pressuring the technology industry to help forge a consensus on a bill it has largely opposed. (Wall Street Journal)

Theresa May: Tech firms must remove extremist content within 2 hours. The world's biggest tech companies will be given a target of two hours to take down terror content, or face the threat of fines, at a major summit co-hosted by Theresa May at the United National General Assembly on Wednesday. (Politico Pro)
Sex-trafficking bill gives enemies of tech companies opportunity to pounce. An unlikely set of bedfellows including Oracle, 21st Century Fox and the American Hotel and Lodging Association have come together to back the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act (S. 1693 (115) ), an anti-sex-trafficking bill that's caused a headache for tech companies in recent weeks. (Politico Pro)

Standards

Domestic production, security take centrestage as govt sits down to draft new electronics policy. In a bid to strengthen domestic production of electronic goods and bolster security norms, the government will be drafting a new national electronics manufacturing policy. (ITI's Josh Rosenberg Quoted, CNBC)

Workforce/Diversity

Top Hill Democrats on trade press for labor reforms. Four Democrats in leadership positions on trade-focused panels in Congress called out the Trump administration for failing to take concrete steps to address labor violations and enforcement issues overseas. (Politico Pro)

Here's how Barack Obama just surprised hundreds of kids who are learning to code. Former president Barack Obama isn't just spending his post-presidency free time talking to Wall Street or hosting leadership summits. On Monday, he hopped on a conference call with hundreds of young people across the country to talk about the importance of coding. (CNBC)

Artificial Intelligence

Google's AI Boss Blasts Musk's Scare Tactics on Machine Takeover. Elon Musk is the most-famous Cassandra of artificial intelligence. The Tesla Inc. chief routinely drums up the technology's risks in public and on Twitter, where he recently called the global race to develop AI the "most likely cause" of a third world war. (Bloomberg)

Environment/Sustainability

Chemical Industry Ally Faces Critics in Bid for Top E.P.A. Post. The scientist nominated to head the federal government's chemical regulatory program has spent much of his career helping businesses fight restrictions on the use of potentially toxic compounds in consumer goods. (New York Times)

Clean Energy Is Approaching a Tipping Point. The cost of renewables is plunging faster than forecasters anticipated just a few years ago as as technologies like gigantic wind turbines arrive on the market. (Bloomberg)

A conservative-leaning court just issued a surprise ruling on climate change and coal mining. Late last week, a federal court knocked down plans to expand coal mining in the Western US, adding to a growing body of rulings against the Trump administration's efforts to push climate change off the agenda. (Vox)

Cybersecurity

Political campaigns prep for battle with hackers. Candidates are quizzing prospective campaign managers on anti-hacking plans. (Politico Pro)

Equifax says 100,000 Canadians affected by breach. Equifax's Canada division has revealed that as many as 100,000 Canadian consumers may have had their personal information compromised by hackers in a massive security breach that the credit reporting firm disclosed earlier this month. (The Hill)

DHS offers new details on Kaspersky ban. Six days after announcing a ban on Kaspersky products in federal networks, the Department of Homeland Security published a Federal Register notice offering more details on the decision. (FCW)

Taxes

Tax reform hopes drive highest CEO optimism in 3 years. Optimism among the CEOs of America's biggest companies reached the highest level in three yearsthis quarter, based in part on expectations that Washington will overhaul the tax system. (Politico Pro)

Republicans rethinking tax plans for the rich. Republicans have begun rethinking their plans to slash taxes on the rich, a major change in direction driven by political and budgetary realities. (Politico Pro)

GOP senators inch toward agreement on tax plan. Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) said Tuesday that key Republican senators have tentatively agreed on a budget resolution allowing for massive tax cuts over the next decade. (Politico Pro)

Corker, Toomey reach deal on Senate GOP tax cut package. Two key Republican senators on Tuesday reached a compromise on the scope of tax breaks in the Senate GOP budget resolution, resolving the last major standoff holding up its release. (Politico Pro)

'Bix 6' likely to scrap 15 percent corporate tax rate in statement next week. Senior White House and congressional officials are preparing to back away from demanding a top corporate rate of 15 percent as part of a sweeping tax overhaul, people familiar with the negotiations said. (Politico Pro)

Senators Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), key members of the Senate Budget Committee who were at odds over deficit spending, announced a deal for a budget resolution that would pave the way for tax reform, though they left out key details. (The Hill)

Internet of Things

Op-Ed: Americans are right not to trust self-driving cars. Self-driving cars potentially represent the greatest step toward automotive and pedestrian safety since universal installation of the air bag. Yet the American people remain reticent about this leap into the future. (Washington Post)

IoT tools for public safety find $4.8 million in Homeland Security funding. On Monday the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced plans to invest $4.8 million to develop emerging Internet of Things (IoT) technologies that assist police, fire and medical workers in the field. (StateScoop)

Senate Self-Driving Vehicle Bill Markup Possible by Oct. 4. The Senate could mark up a self-driving vehicle bill in committee Oct. 4, the target date set by the bill's authors, co-author Sen. Gary Peters (D-Mich.) and a legislative staffer for committee member Edward Markey (D-Mass.) told Bloomberg BNA. (BNA)

Tech Business

Emerging Markets Soar Thanks to Tech Stocks, Just Like in the U.S.. A small group of technology shares are pushing major stock indexes to new highs. That's been true for a while with the S&P 500. Now it's playing out the same way in emerging markets. (Wall Street Journal)
Before Wisconsin, Foxconn Vowed Big Spending in Brazil. Few Jobs Have Come. Before the Taiwanese manufacturing giant Foxconn pledged to spend $10 billion and create 13,000 jobs in Wisconsin, the company made a similar promise in Brazil. (New York Times)

ITI Member News

Op-Ed: Facebook's war on free will. All the values that Silicon Valley professes are the values of the 60s. The big tech companies present themselves as platforms for personal liberation. (The Guardian)
Twitter touts progress in curbing terrorist content. Twitter says it is making progress in weeding out terrorism and abuse on its platform in its latest transparency report. (The Hill)

The iPhone 8: A Worthy Refinement Before the Next Generation. What does one say about a new iPhone? At this point, a decade after the first one sent the earth spinning in directions both magical and ghastly, it can be difficult to summon any fresh wonder when appraising the familiar little slab of digital horror and delight. (New York Times)

Today on the Hill

House is not in session today.
The Senate stands adjourned to convene for a pro forma session only with no business conducted on Thursday, September 21, at 8:30am. When the Senate adjourns on Thursday, it will next convene at 4:00pm on Monday, September 25, 2017.
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