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Key Issues

Tech Politics

Obama Brought Silicon Valley to Washington. This October, the White House opened its doors to a few thousand people for South by South Lawn, a daylong event described as a “festival of ideas, art and action.” (New York Times Magazine)

Global Trade

Connecting Economies for Growth: Secretary Pritzker on Why the TPP Matters. This week, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker sat down with Motorola Solutions CEO Greg Brown in Chicago to discuss the benefits of the Trans-Pacific Partnership’s (TPP) for U.S. businesses of all sizes. (Commerce Department)


Comcast sues Nashville to halt rules that help Google Fiber. Comcast yesterday sued the Nashville metro government and mayor to stop a new ordinance designed to give Google Fiber faster access to utility poles. (Ars Technica)

What Went Wrong With Google Fiber?. Google Fiber, we hardly knew ya’. Google parent Alphabet’s decision to put the brakes on its superfast fiber-based internet service represents a disappointing setback for one of the Silicon Valley titan’s most ambitious “moonshots.” (Motherboard)

AT&T’s Vision of Ultrafast Wireless Technology May Be a Mirage. Randall L. Stephenson, AT&T’s chief executive, has a vision for the future if regulators approve his company’s blockbuster $85.4 billion bid for Time Warner. (New York Times)

U.S. FCC chairman wants more industry action on robocalls. A task force of more than 30 major technology and communication companies said they have made progress but have not found a solution to eliminate "robocalls" or automated, prerecorded phone calls, but a top U.S. regulator urged faster action. (Reuters)

Internet Governance

Commerce official will hit critics of domain name transition. A top official at the Department of Commerce is expected to criticize on Wednesday those who tried to stop the transfer of the internet domain name system away from the United States’s control. (The Hill)


DHS official: DDoS attack triggered use of new cyber-response 'schema'. Last week's distributed denial of service attack that temporarily shut down social media sites triggered use of the Department of Homeland Security's new “schema” for identifying and evaluating a cyber incident in order to determine the federal government's response, according to a DHS official. (Inside Cybersecurity)

The government is trying to catch up on IoT security policy. The ballooning security problems presented by the burgeoning Internet of Things phenomenon need to be addressed as quickly as possible, but the ecosystem’s complexity makes it hard to know where to start, a government advisory panel was told Wednesday. (FedScoop)

Feds Release Outline to Help Minimize Risk of Cyberattacks on Autos. The federal government's auto safety regulator on Monday released an outline of what it wants automakers to do to minimize the risk of cyber attacks on the vehicles they make and sell. (GovTech)

Artificial Intelligence

IBM: A Billion People to Use Watson by 2018. International Business Machines Corp.’s Watson artificial-intelligence technology is on track to be used in some form by a billion people by the end of next year, Chief Executive Virginia Rometty said Wednesday. (Wall Street Journal)

IBM Teams Up With Slack to Build Smarter Data-Crunching Chatbots. IBM is teaming up with Slack Technologies Inc. to make it easier for companies to build custom chatbots into the startup’s workplace-messaging systems, the latest move by Big Blue to add more diverse business cases for its Watson artificial-intelligence technology. (Bloomberg)

Facial Recognition: Policy Outpaces Tech, Puts Certain Communities at Risk. If Hollywood has taught us anything about technology, it’s that it will all eventually spiral out of control and leave humans in the cold, metallic grip of a ruthless robot overlord. (GovTech)

AI Pioneer Yoshua Bengio Is Launching Element AI, a Deep-Learning Incubator. Yoshua Bengio, one of the leading figures behind the rise of deep learning, is launching a Silicon Valley-style startup incubator dedicated to this enormously influential form of artificial intelligence. (Wired)


Don't Reinvent the Wheel on Privacy. For decades, the European Union has blessed a system of tax arbitrage which allows companies to establish in low tax countries while serving the rest of Europe. Companies from around the world established themselves in the United Kingdom, Ireland and Luxembourg so they could serve the rest of the EU while enjoying a more reasonable rate. (ITI Dean Garfield Quoted, U.S. News)

Consumer advocates lobby for strict data rules in advance of FCC vote. Privacy and consumer advocates are urging the Federal Communications Commission to resist industry pressures and adopt on Thursday strict security and privacy regulations as laid out in the commission's proposal for broadband internet service providers. (Inside Cybersecurity)

Privacy group launches legal challenge against EU-U.S. data pact: sources. A widely expected legal challenge has been filed by an Irish privacy advocacy group to an EU-U.S. commercial data transfer pact underpinning billions of dollars of trade in digital services just two months after it came into force, sources said. (Reuters)


Google executives met Indonesian officials to negotiate tax bill: source. Senior executives from the Asia Pacific headquarters of Alphabet Inc's (GOOGL.O) Google met Indonesian tax officials on Wednesday to negotiate the internet search company's tax bill, a person with knowledge of the matter told Reuters. (Reuters)

Internet of Things

Bloomberg Initiative Will Help Cities Prepare for Self-Driving Cars. When you look at most cities today, with their massive grid of highways and streets and huge amount of prime real estate dedicated to parking, it’s clear that the automobile has heavily influenced the design and development of major municipalities over the last century. (Forbes)

Five cities chosen for self-driving car test. This metropolis is among five cities worldwide chosen for a self-driving cars initiative launched by Bloomberg Philanthropies in New York and the Washington, D.C.-based Aspen Institute. (USA Today)

Public Sector

Texas court places temporary halt on Fair Pay rule. The Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces rule suffered a setback the day before it was supposed to go into effect, as the Eastern District of Texas placed a preliminary injunction on it. This delays it from being enforced until the lawsuit challenging it has played out in court. (Federal News Radio)

Will the next president keep IT modernization going?. Lawmakers and federal IT leaders say they don't want the momentum behind addressing aging and inefficient IT systems to lag while a new administration settles in. (FCW)

Think FedRAMP is a bottleneck? Think again. In recent months, members of industry and the media have loudly criticized the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program. For example, security professionals say FedRAMP's security controls are not strong enough, and compliance alone does not ensure information security. Other critics say FedRAMP makes it harder for government agencies to move to the cloud. (FCW)

Seven steps to a smooth transition. "Transforming Government Through Technology," ACT-IAC's collection of recommendations for the next president-elect's transition team. (FCW)

FCC’s Bray challenges how we think about public service. David Bray wants to redefine public service. The Federal Communications Commission’s chief information officer said he believes the growth of connected devices, social media and the Internet at large is forcing agencies to rethink every one of their internal and external roles and responsibilities. (Federal News Radio)

OPM to launch new survey on work-life programs in 2017. Federal employees can expect a new survey on telework and other workplace flexibilities. The Office of Personnel Management said it will administer the first governmentwide survey on work-life programs early next year. (Federal News Radio)

Millennials a threat to federal IT security — report. Millennials are engaging in risky digital behaviors that could significantly jeopardize federal IT security as more of them enter the government workforce, a new Forcepoint survey concludes. (FedScoop)

GIS leaders push National Address Database program forward without funding. Even though the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) National Address Database pilot extinguished its funding and concluded its official run earlier this year, the agency’s chief geographic information officer announced Wednesday the effort will continue through a “coalition of the willing.” (StateScoop)


Small business backs new climate disaster legislation. If you’ve ever been through really severe weather, you know how terrifying it can be. In some cases, fear is just the beginning, when houses, businesses, neighborhoods or whole communities essentially are wiped out. (GreenBiz)


Harnessing All Available Talent May Lay at the Intersection of Business and Government. I spent a week in Washington DC last month, meeting with congressional caucuses, industry committees and White House staff to talk about the role of the technology industry in resolving the challenges business face when trying to build and maintain diverse working cultures. (ITI Dean Garfield Quoted, Huffington Post)

Tech Business

Why Wait a Month for a Sofa That’s Not Even What You Wanted?. During dinner-party conversation, Edgar Blazona kept hearing complaints about the drudgery of buying furniture. Long delivery times. Lack of choice. (New York Times)

Auto industry cyber security group hires Boeing veteran. The organization that automakers in the United States created to cope with cyber security threats said on Wednesday it has hired a former Boeing Co executive as its leader. (Reuters)

Secretive Canadian Company Teaches Robots to Be More Like People. You’ve ordered a robot online and are booting it up at home. At first the bot doesn’t do much of anything; it simply follows you around and observes your daily routine: walking the dog, making lasagna, washing the dishes. But before long the bot has learned to be your surrogate, shouldering quotidian tasks so you can focus on more interesting ones. (Bloomberg)

Palantir considers IPO and predicts profit in 2017. Palantir, the data analytics start-up last valued at $20bn, is heading for profitability next year and considering an initial public offering, despite being previously reluctant to brave the public markets. (Financial Times)

If Diamonds Are Forever, Your Data Could Be, Too. If you wear a diamond on your finger, it likely has flaws, even if you can’t see them. Don’t blame your partners for your flawed engagement rings, thank them. You could be flaunting the future of data storage on your digits. (New York Times)

Individualized Ads on TV Could Be One Result of AT&T-Time Warner Merger. Targeting people with individualized TV commercials using cable or satellite boxes has been promoted as the future of television for at least a decade. But the business, known as addressable TV advertising, has remained on the fringes, usually limited to two minutes of local commercial time an hour on cable shows. (New York Times)

The gig economy has grown big, fast — and that’s a problem for workers. While the gig economy promises to free workers from the traditional, drab 9-to-5 work environment, the reality is quite different. (Recode)

ITI Member News

Microsoft announces Windows update with 3D features. Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O) on Wednesday announced a free update to its Windows operating system that lets users take photos and edit content in three dimensions, in an effort to bring excitement to its declining computing business. (Reuters)

Microsoft Unveils Its First Desktop PC. Microsoft is trying to light a creative spark under the struggling personal computer industry. (New York Times)

Verizon executive says company needs more information about Yahoo hack. A Verizon executive said the acquisition of Yahoo still makes sense, but the telecommunications giant needs more information about the email provider's massive breach of accounts. (Reuters)

Data Dive: Apple's big bet on India. Despite a mixed bag in the earnings department and some troubling supply chain issues, Apple CEO Tim Cook remained upbeat about the company’s growth potential – especially in India, where sales rose 50 percent from a year earlier. (Reuters)

Apple slips as supply woes weigh on holiday sales forecast. Apple Inc's (AAPL.O) shares slipped as much as 4 percent after the company said it was struggling to keep up with demand for its large-screen, higher-margin iPhone 7 Plus, potentially reducing sales and profits in the Christmas shopping period. (Reuters)

Apple’s profits in China down by almost a fifth. Apple’s profits in China fell by almost a fifth in its latest financial year, a stark reversal after operating income there more than doubled in 2015. (Financial Times)

Apple 'leaks its own Macbook Pro laptop revamp'. The photos support claims that the Macbook Pro will include a panel above its keyboard that replaces physical function keys with a thin display showing touch-sensitive text and graphics, and a fingerprint sensor. (BBC News)

Apple shifts focus to services business. Fifteen years ago this week, Apple launched the iPod, unleashing a wave of disruption over the music industry and reviving the fortunes of what was then a struggling computer company. Thanks in part to the growth spurred by the iPod, Apple has never since posted a decline in annual revenues — until this week, when it revealed an 8 per cent drop in sales for 2016. (Financial Times)

The Microsoft-Apple rivalry is alive and well. Microsoft is trying to rekindle a rivalry with Apple, introducing two new computers on Wednesday that are aimed squarely at the creative set of customers whom Apple has long claimed as its own. (Washington Post)

Google’s Alphabet Experiment Misses Goal: Keeping Executives. When Google co-founder Larry Page created Alphabet Inc., he gave three primary reasons: free up the main internet business from its costly "moonshot" projects; turn those audacious experiments into real businesses; and keep entrepreneurial leaders from leaving. (Bloomberg)

Twitter's Dual Challenges: Taming The Trolls, Attracting More Users. This presidential election year has tested the limits of free speech on Twitter. It's a prime political platform for Republican candidate Donald Trump, for the correspondents covering both presidential candidates, and for the purveyors of hate speech. (NPR)

Ericsson has hired one of its board members to take over as CEO amid sales slump. Network equipment maker Ericsson, which has issued multiple profit warnings this year, on Wednesday said it is tapping longtime board member Börje Ekholm to be its next CEO. (Recode)

1600 Penn.

Today, in the afternoon, the President will have lunch with the Vice President in the Private Dining Room. Later in the afternoon, the President will participate in a conference call with Affordable Care Act advocates and stakeholders.