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Key Issues

Cybersecurity & Privacy

Overseas hackers nab more than 1TB of data daily.  A new report shows that the recent wave of cyberattacks on the U.S. are coming from a highly sophisticated group of hackers that are most likely state-sponsored.  (CNET)

China blames US hackers for attacks.  Two major Chinese military websites, including that of the defence ministry, were subject to about 144,000 hacking attacks a month last year, almost two thirds of which came from the US, the ministry said on Thursday. (FT)

The Next Cyber War Is Already in Progress.   McAfee Senior Vice President, Pat Calhoun, advises to create a whole new security 'ecosystem' to combat the cyber war we are currently, but perhaps unknowingly, submerged in.  (CNBC)

Court orders UK web piracy blocks.  UK internet service providers must block access to three more sites offering links to pirated material, the High Court rules.  (BBC)

House to consider email privacy bill.  House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) said on Wednesday that his committee will consider legislation that would require police to obtain a warrant before reading people's emails, Facebook messages and other forms of electronic communication.  (The Hill)

Rockefeller ready to bring back ‘Do Not Track’.  The measure, first introduced in 2011, would require companies to honor consumers’ privacy wishes.  (Politico Pro)

Global Trade

Abe To Make TPP Decision As Soon As Possible, Political Consultations Ongoing.  Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe this week plans to discuss Japan's potential participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) with the leadership of his own Liberal Democrat Party (LDP) and its coalition partner New Komeito, with the goal of making a decision on whether to join TPP “at as early a time as possible.  (Inside US Trade)

French Minister Lays Out Priority Issues For Paris In Potential U.S.-EU Deal.  French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius today (Feb. 27) said both the United States and France agree that a potential U.S.-European Union free trade agreement must be beneficial to both countries, and he highlighted agriculture, public procurement, intellectual property and audiovisual services as four priority issues for France in the negotiations.  (Inside US Trade)

India looks within to combat BPO threats from abroad.  In its annual economic survey, the Indian government highlights gains made by rivals China and the Philippines, and believes the local government and SMB sectors will pave new growth for its business process outsourcing market.  (ZDNet)

U.S. firms in China set for greater competition ahead.  Profitability and sales are harder to come by in China as U.S. firms face increasing competition from domestic and foreign players, said a U.S. business group survey on Thursday.  (Reuters)

Intel to Invest in Research and Development in Brazil.  Intel will invest $152 million in Brazil, which has made increasing the country’s software output a priority.  (NYT)

Rousseff Woos Investors After Surprises Drive Them From Brazil.  Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff is charting a new course to revive a flagging economy: more listening to investors and fewer unilateral decisions.  (Bloomberg)

Chinese may have edge in emerging market dash for smartphones.  The next billion people to connect to the internet in developing countries will do so largely via smartphones, prompting a battle that could favor low-price Chinese manufacturers like Huawei and ZTE over market leaders Samsung and Apple.  (Reuters)

Facebook's emerging market tales: Brazil promising, Russia tough to crack.  Localizing is key when expanding into emerging markets. The problem is that the local rivals can be clones of Facebook and match features.  (ZDNet)


Economists See Budget Cuts Putting The Recovery At Risk.  More than 95 percent of top U.S. economists believe growth is "likely to be negatively affected" by the automatic federal spending cuts that are scheduled to kick in Friday, according to the latest survey by the National Association for Business Economics.  (NPR)

European Recovery Path in Danger as Politics Menace Growth.  The euro region’s path to recovery is facing a new challenge from Italy’s political stalemate.  Growth and job-creation in the 17-nation euro area were showing a mixed picture before the results of Italy’s vote sparked a new round of market turmoil on Feb. 26. While German and euro-region business confidence rose in February, services and manufacturing both contracted and the European Commission last week forecast the bloc’s first-ever back-to-back recession in 2013.  (Bloomberg)


Tax-dodging tech companies escape $225B as Senate calls for reform.  Fifty tech companies, including Microsoft, Apple, and Google, are avoiding $225 billion in taxes by sheltering their assets overseas, according to a recent report in the Bay Citizen of San Francisco.  (

India Inc favours lower corporate tax rate.  Nearly 81% of Indian corporates favour lowering of corporate tax rate in the country even if it means withdrawal of some tax deductions available.  (Economic Times)

Higher spending, new taxes in budget.  India unveiled higher-than-expected spending for fiscal 2013/14 on Thursday, aiming to fund it with higher revenues - including new taxes on the rich and large companies - in a budget aimed at reviving growth amid the country's worst slowdown in a decade.  (Reuters)


GOP group readies immigration blitz.  The American Action Network is ready to put real money into the effort to update the party’s image.  (Politico)

Google debuts Lenovo ThinkPad x131e, the first Chromebook just for schools.  Are Chromebooks the future of the classroom? Google is says it is serious about the education market and now Lenovo has the hardware to match.  (ZDNet)


Survey finds gap in Internet access between rich, poor students.  Vast majority of teachers rely on social media and other digital resources, Pew study says.  (Washington Post)

Taxpayer-funded EAGLE-Net broadband network may need more money.  With $96 million of its $100.6 million federal grant committed or spent, EAGLE-Net Alliance may not have enough funds to complete its statewide broadband network.  (Denver Post)

Should you hold your breath for Google Fiber?  Three months after Google launched its Gigabit network in Kansas City, Mo., CNET pays the town a visit to find out how the blazing-fast pipe has changed the way people work, and where Google will install the system next.  (CNET)


Chaffetz, DeFazio revive patent SHIELD Act.  Lawmakers say the revamped version of their bill that would make trolls pay for costs on losing lawsuits is a start of needed reforms.  (Politico Pro)

And Now, From I.B.M., Chef Watson.  I.B.M. is trying to expand its artificial intelligence technology by training the computer Watson in projects that involve developing drugs and creating food recipes.  (NYT)

4D printed objects 'make themselves'.  A 4D printing process is demoed at TED which could herald an age of self-assembled objects say experts.  (BBC)

Tech Business

A Silicon Valley Campus with Chinese Characteristics.  Like most of China’s high-tech manufacturers, Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp. is located in an outsized and relatively isolated technology park.  But unlike the bulk of China’s electronics manufacturers, which set up cramped dormitories and massive dining facilities to manage legions of workers who come to do basic assembly, SMIC’s campus is actually pleasant.  (WSJ)

Facebook Ads Based on Browsing Challenge Google.  Facebook Inc. (FB), under pressure to expand sales from its 1.1 billion users, is pushing into a business that lets marketers buy advertisements in real time on the basis of a member’s Web-browsing habits. (Bloomberg)

LinkedIn: Social Media's Ugly Duckling.  LinkedIn has managed to stay in Wall Street's good graces even as more consumer-focused sites like Facebook, Zynga and Groupon have flailed.  (WSJ)

Unsold iPhones Pile Up at Leap Wireless.  Leap Wireless, which operates the prepaid Cricket service, said it is struggling to sell as many iPhones as it committed to sell during the first year of its contract with Apple.  (WSJ)

Tizen joins phone software contenders.  The mobile industry’s push to develop competitors to the Google and Apple platforms continued with the Tizen Association giving a preview of its open-source operating system and Huawei announcing it would produce phones running the platform this year.  (FT)

Vivendi may put GVT sale on hold after low bids.  France's Vivendi SA could put the sale of its Brazilian phone and broadband Internet company GVT SA on hold as bids are coming short of the asking price of 7 billion euros to 8 billion euros.  (Reuters)

NSN completes strategic sell-off.  Nokia Siemens Networks has completed the strategic sell-off of its non-core businesses, signalling the next stage in a restructuring process that has already seen a reduction of more than 17,000 jobs at the telecoms equipment business.  (FT)

China's Tencent to delve deeper into Indonesia social media market.  Tencent Holdings, China's biggest online gaming and social networking company, has set up a joint venture with Indonesia's biggest media group PT Global Mediacom to tap the country's growing social media market.  (Reuters)

ITI Member News

Talking on the phone is so last decade - Ericsson.  Forget talking on the phone, data is the future for all telecom operators and gear makers says Ericsson CEO Hans Vestberg.  (Reuters)

Sony chief sounds note of urgency.  Ten months after becoming Sony’s chief executive Kazuo “Kaz” Hirai knows the clock is ticking on his turnround strategy for the Japanese electronics group, which this month reported its third quarterly net loss in succession, bringing losses for the year to date to Y50.9bn ($544m).  (FT)

Sony Sells Tokyo Offices for $1.2 Billion.  Sony Corp. (6758) sold a building in Tokyo for 111.1 billion yen ($1.2 billion), its third major asset sale this year, as the company strives to avoid a fifth straight annual loss.  (Bloomberg)

Samsung Fails to Block Apple Sales in Japan.  Samsung Electronics Co. (005930) failed in a bid to block sales of Apple Inc. (AAPL) iPads and iPhones in Japan, the latest step in a global patent spat between the world’s two largest smartphone makers.  (Bloomberg)

Apple 'Seriously Considering' Returning Cash to Investors.  Apple CEO Tim Cook still thinks David Einhorn's lawsuit against the company is a "silly sideshow" but is "seriously considering" returning cash to shareholders.  (CNBC)

Court Rules Apple Must Pay Millions for Face Time Patent Infringement.  An internet security software company said a district court has upheld a previous patent infringement ruling against Apple denying its motion to reduce $368 million in damages.  (CNBC)

Samsung Armors Android to Take On BlackBerry.  The South Korean electronics giant is adding security enhancements to Android software to make its phones more attractive to big corporations.  (NYT)

1600 Penn.

As of press time, the President does not have any public events on his schedule today.  

Today on the Hill

House:  The House convenes at 9 a.m. ET, with votes to begin around 11.  Members will vote on the Violence Against Women Act reauthorization.  Final passage is expected today.

Senate:  The Senate begins work at 10 a.m. ET, and will consider a pair of proposals to replace the automatic budget cuts in the sequester that are scheduled to start tomorrow.  Senators will take two procedural votes:  the first is to take up a Republican plan that would give the president until March 15 to send Congress a list of reductions to replace the sequester; the second is a vote on a Democratic plan to replace the sequester with a package of targeted cuts and new tax revenue.