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08/29/2016

Key Issues

Tech Politics

Hillary Clinton’s Broadband Plan Draws Criticism From Experts. On the campaign trail, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton sketches a vision where every home in the U.S. is connected to broadband. (Wall Street Journal)

Encryption

U.S. Revamps Line of Attack in Social-Media Fight Against Islamic State. Recent initiatives by technology companies to push back against Islamic State’s social-media messaging highlight a sobering fact: The U.S. government’s battle on that front has mostly sputtered. (Wall Street Journal)

Global Trade

L.A. area should lead the fight for trade deal. Last year marked the 20th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the United States and Vietnam. This year marks the 15th anniversary of a landmark bilateral trade agreement between the two countries. (LA Daily News)

Don't trash trade; it works for us. The presidential election is fast approaching, and the candidates are bashing international trade. Both are opposed to the latest trade deal, the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Donald Trump would go so far as to jack up tariffs on China and Mexico. (Philadelphia Inquirer)

Where’s Clinton’s leadership on trade?. With all the attention being paid to the Clinton Foundation, a much bigger and more troubling story about Hillary Clinton is largely being ignored — a dramatic and potentially damaging shift on trade. (Boston Globe)

Is Marco Rubio ready to reverse his support for the TPP? Signs say yes. Sen. Marco Rubio is expressing doubts about the Trans-Pacific Partnership, suggesting he may be ready to reverse support, a stark example of eroding support for trade agreements in the Donald Trump era. (Tampa Bay Times)

Lower or abolished barriers bring prosperity, productivity. We Americans have gained no less than $1 trillion annually in national income from the decisions we have made to lower barriers to trade and investment since 1945. That's an extra $9,500 every year for every American household. (Orlando Sentinel)

The TPP has lots to love – and hate. On the campaign trail, it’s toxic. Delegates at both conventions chanted against it, and speakers smeared it as a recipe for eliminating American jobs. (CBS News)

Broadband/Communications

Digital groups target Rosenworcel in key FCC debates. Progressive tech groups are ramping up pressure on FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel, pushing her to vote for a pair of agency proposals they see as vital to helping consumers. (Politico Pro)

Broadband Law Could Force Rural Residents Off Information Superhighway. On the first day of the harvest last week, a line of trucks brimming with sweet potatoes rolled into Vick Family Farms, headed for a new packing plant that runs on ultrafast internet. (New York Times)

3 Ways Governments Are Working to Make Broadband Universally Accessible. We’ve become a land of digital haves and have-nots. “Buying cheaper goods directly from wholesalers, immediately accessing government services and finding employment opportunities are increasingly only available to those who have an online connection,” say Brookings Institution researchers. (GovTech)

Cybersecurity

Sage hack highlights wider UK data struggle. When Richard De Vere contacted Sage earlier this month to tell the UK software company that he was aware it had suffered a data breach, his message fell on deaf ears. (Financial Times)

Car hacking is the future – and sooner or later you'll be hit. “Car companies are finally realising that what they sell is just a big computer you sit in,” says Kevin Tighe, a senior systems engineer at the security testing firm Bugcrowd. (The Guardian)

Artificial Intelligence

Enhanced DMV facial recognition technology helps NY nab 100 ID thieves. In January, the New York State DMV enhanced its facial recognition technology by doubling the number of measurement points on a driver's photograph, a move the state's governor says has led to the arrest of 100 suspected identity thieves and opened 900 unsolved cases. (Ars Technica)

Immigration

U.S. Proposes Immigration Rule Aimed at Entrepreneurs. Foreign entrepreneurs building new companies in the United States could soon gain a new immigration option that would grant them temporary entry for up to five years, under a rule proposed on Friday by the Department of Homeland Security. (New York Times)

The White House is planning to let more foreign entrepreneurs work in the U.S.. It could soon get a lot easier for foreigners to come to the U.S. to grow their startup. (Recode)

For one Syrian refugee, close, but no asylum. "Unfortunately, my application for residence permit has been rejected," wrote Safinaz Awad, a Syrian computer programmer who until that moment in early August represented a success story for asylum seekers in Sweden. (CNET)

Privacy

Congressman to FCC: Fix phone network flaw that allows eavesdropping. A documented weakness in Signaling System 7 has been shown to allow widespread interception of phone calls and text messages (SS7 is the public switched telephone network signaling protocol used to set up and route phone calls; it also allows for things like phone number portability). (Ars Technica)

Who are the hackers who cracked the iPhone?. What do we know about the curious, secretive NSO Group? Very little - but after this week, an awful lot more than we did before. (BBC News)

Considering Privacy in the Age of the Camera. There is no question that technology and the Internet have irreversibly complicated our relationship with privacy. In fact, they have taken many of the old ideals of privacy out back and hit them with a shovel. (GovTech)

Intellectual Property

European copyright rules: what happens now?. Brussels is ripping up its copyright rules. Everything from how video sites deal with copyright content to the rights of researchers to trawl through academic journals with software will be overhauled as part of the proposals coming out in September. (Financial Times)

Tax

Dynamic scoring flummoxes Republicans on tax cuts. Tax increases are not all bad for the economy, and tax cuts are not all good. (Politico Pro)

Close My Tax Loophole. My fellow venture capitalists and private equity investors are paying close attention to the heated election-year rhetoric about the future of “carried interest,” which is the performance fee we charge to manage other people’s money. (New York Times)

Internet of Things

Michigan may soon allow self-driving cars on the road with no one behind the wheel. Lots of companies are already testing self-driving cars on the road all over the country, but they have an actual driver at the controls, ready to take over if there is a hazard. (CNN)

One curious effect of the recession may bolster the case for driverless cars. Two researchers say they've discovered a curious relationship between deadly car crashes and the jobless rate — and the finding may have important implications for next-generation vehicle technologies like self-driving cars. (Washington Post)

Making the Top Smart City in Europe. The top smart cities in Europe include Amsterdam, Copenhagen and Barcelona. (GovTech)

Public Sector

Will the MEGABYTE Act save money?. A recently signed law promises to save the government at least $2 billion a year on software.

Officials: Yearly budgeting stifles cybersecurity. Current and former federal cybersecurity officials say the government needs to move from a one-year budget cycle to address critical cybersecurity and IT needs. (FCW)

Report: DOD must embrace open-source software. The Defense Department increasingly relies on software for everything from weapons systems to accounting, but it is failing to capitalize on the power of open-source software, according to a report from the Center for a New American Security. (FCW)

Sequestration cuts on horizon for 2017 if Congress doesn’t act. Agencies are safe from the impact of sequestration for the rest of fiscal 2016 — all five weeks — but next year is a different story. (Federal News Radio)

Senators ‘deeply concerned’ with background check agency’s progress. Two senators are doubling down on their demand for answers about the new federal security clearance bureau. (Federal News Radio)

Presidential campaigns get update on White House’s transition planning efforts. With roughly 69 days until the national election, the transition leaders of the Republican and Democrat presidential campaigns received an update on the government’s plans and progress to ensure a smooth changeover. (Federal News Radio)

Fair Pay policy a ‘solution in search of a problem’. The Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces executive order gives law-abiding contractors a fair shake at doing business with the government, the Obama administration says, but government contract attorneys say the order not only misses the bulls-eye, but the target doesn’t exist. (Federal News Radio)

DARPA tests smartphone-sized sensor’s ability to detect radiation. One agency program announced this week that it has now developed and tested wearable cost-effective devices that can detect radiation. (FedScoop)

Survey: U.S. insurers earned $1B in cyber premiums last year. U.S. insurers took in almost $1 billion in premiums last year for writing cybersecurity policies, according to new figures from credit analysts at Fitch Ratings.( FedScoop)

Open data groups plan volunteer search for all data sets maintained by Calif. localities. A trio of open data advocacy groups are banding together to lead a volunteer effort aimed at creating a comprehensive list of all of the government databases maintained by California’s localities. (StateScoop)

Environment/Sustainability

Coal Country Is Wary of Hillary Clinton’s Pledge to Help. As Kevin Widener was growing up on his family’s tobacco farm in the rolling hills of southwest Virginia in the 1990s, lawmakers and lawyers in Washington were waging a war on smoking. (New York Times)

Alphabet’s Nest Wants to Make a ‘Citizen-Fueled’ Power Plant. Alphabet Inc.’s Nest Labs is looking to enlist 50,000 Californians in an effort to conserve power and help alleviate potential energy shortages in the state following a massive gas leak that has restricted supplies. (Bloomberg)

Corporate demand for green power grows, but what will increased supply look like?. It's never been more popular to buy green power. The Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) tallies 780 "100% Green Power Users" — everything from local florists and breweries to Microsoft and Intel — that obtain all their electricity from renewables. Dozens of global companies like Google and Nike have joined the RE100 pledge to do so in the near future. (The Hill)

Workforce/Diversity

When tech firms judge on skills alone, women land more job interviews. You can't judge a book by its cover. It's an old cliche, but it's one that even the most cutting-edge tech firms might want to revisit -- at least if they mean what they say about diversifying their workforces. (CNET)

How states are trying to attract, retain millennial workforce. States are struggling to bring in a robust, excited and motivated millennial workforce — and if left unaddressed, it could render states unable to keep up with the progress of technology innovation, a group of state technology leaders said. (StateScoop)

Tech Business

G.E., the 124-Year-Old Software Start-Up. It may not qualify as a lightning-bolt eureka moment, but Jeffrey R. Immelt, chief executive of General Electric, recalls the June day in 2009 that got him thinking. (New York Times)

Warned of a Crash, Start-Ups in Silicon Valley Narrow Their Focus. Evernote, a Silicon Valley start-up that makes a note-taking app, was supposed to be dead by now. (New York Times)

Cloud Computing Brings Sprawling Centers, but Few Jobs, to Small Towns. A giant Microsoft facility just outside this very small town hides behind a quarter-mile berm and a guard house, across the highway from the rubble of a demolished prison. (New York Times)

Business start-up activity is surging. Here's why.. The economy has been mired in a funk since late last year, but there's cause for optimism: Business start-up activity has returned to near prerecession levels. (USA Today)

Economists see ride-hailing industry as ripe for competition. Chinese powerhouse Didi Chuxing's acquisition of Uber Technologies Inc's China operations marked the biggest move yet toward consolidation in an industry that many investors and Silicon Valley pundits view as a winner-take-all game. (Reuters)

Business-Drone Rules to Take Effect. The first detailed U.S. rules for flights of small commercial drones go into effect Monday, including nationwide licensing requirements for pilots and a ban on nighttime operations. (Wall Street Journal)

A new day dawns for drones - along with a massive task for the FAA. The FAA's long-awaited rule enabling commercial use of small drones may be done, but the rulebook is just now being written - starting Monday. (Politico Pro)

Forget ideology, liberal democracy’s newest threats come from technology and bioscience. The BBC Reith Lectures in 1967 were given by Edmund Leach, a Cambridge social anthropologist. (The Guardian)

China’s Murky World Where E-Commerce Meets Student Lending. Across college campuses in China, a small army of marketers is recruiting students to borrow money at interest rates many times that charged by the nation’s banks. (Bloomberg)

Spotify Is Burying Musicians for Their Apple Deals. An escalating battle between Apple Inc. and Spotify Ltd. is leaving some musicians caught in the crossfire. (Bloomberg)

ITI Member News

If the TV business is shrinking, how come Nielsen says the TV market is expanding?. TV’s audience has peaked and is contracting. Headlines about pay TV companies losing subscribers and TV ratings in free fall are no longer news. (Recode)

Facebook overhauls Trending feature after bias claims. Social media giant Facebook has overhauled the Trending feature on its site to make posts more automated after claims of left-wing bias. (BBB News)

Facebook Scaling Back Human Intervention of ‘Trending’ Feature. Facebook Inc. said Friday it is letting software almost entirely drive what appears in its “trending” feature, scaling back the human intervention that led to allegations of political bias earlier this year. (Wall Street Journal)

You Think You Know Me, Facebook, But You Don't Know Anything. How well does Facebook know you? To the amusement — and possibly relief — of many, the answer seems to be not as well as it might hope. (NPR)

Apple fixes security flaw after UAE dissident's iPhone targeted. Apple Inc issued a patch on Thursday to fix a dangerous security flaw in iPhones and iPads after researchers discovered that a prominent United Arab Emirates dissident's phone had been targeted with a previously unknown method of hacking. (Reuters)

Cost-cutting, growth could lift Symantec shares 25 percent: Barron's. Symantec Corp shares could gain 25 percent or more following steps to cut costs and a recent acquisition that could propel the company's business in the hot cybersecurity market, a Barron's report said on Sunday. (Reuters)

Amazon Angers Mom-and-Pop Sellers With ‘Arbitrary’ Suspensions. Andy Ayers was walking to his car in a Big Lots parking lot -- shopping cart brimming with cereal, dog treats and Always brand feminine hygiene products he planned to resell for a markup on Amazon.com Inc. -- when he got a phone alert that his account had been suspended. (Bloomberg)

1600 Penn.

In the morning, the President and the Vice President will receive the Presidential Daily Briefing in the Oval Office. In the afternoon, the President will have lunch with the Vice President in the Private Dining Room.

Today on the Hill

Today, the House is not in session.

Today, the Senate is not in session.