RSS LinkedIn google plus twitter facebook MEMBER LOGIN
Subscribe to a free daily email with the day's most relevant stories on tech policy and tech industry.

Your E-mail

04/29/2016

Key Issues

Encryption

Yahoo's Security Chief On Encryption Debate: What Is The Greater Good?. The extremely high-profile dispute between Apple and the FBI has ushered in a new phase in the debate over the future of secure communications. (NPR)

Senators play terror card to lobby public for backdoor crypto legislation. The two US lawmakers behind legislation requiring the tech sector to build backdoors in encrypted products are playing the terrorism card. In an editorial Thursday in the Wall Street Journal, Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) stoke fears that our personal safety is tied to their proposed legislation. (Ars Technica)

Man jailed for failing to decrypt hard drives. A man has been held in prison for seven months after failing to decrypt two hard drives that investigators suspect contain indecent images of children. (BBC News)

Immigration

New Zealand launches new entrepreneur visa in tech race with Australia. New Zealand will launch a new visa to attract technology entrepreneurs as it tries to offset its struggling dairy industry, but it may struggle to beat Australia in the race to become the Silicon Valley of the South Pacific. (Reuters)

Broadband/Communications

Google Fiber hits its fifth city, with a limited deployment in Nashville. Google Fiber is available in Nashville, Tennessee, its fifth metro area, but for now is only installed in four apartment and condominium buildings, The Tennessean reported yesterday. (Ars Technica)

FCC proposes new price regulations for cable—but not for home Internet. The Federal Communications Commission today proposed new price regulations for so-called “business data services,” potentially bringing Comcast and other cable companies under a type of regulatory regime that already applied to phone companies such as AT&T and Verizon. (Ars Technica)

Many urban areas 'fail superfast broadband test'. Tests on 42 towns and cities across the UK suggest almost half have average broadband speeds below 24Mbps. (BBC News)

The FCC just did something that should make businesses very happy. It wasn't so long ago that many of us were locked into lengthy cellphone contracts. And if you wanted to leave your carrier, you faced the prospect of stiff early termination fees. (Washington Post)

Google Fiber Is Losing the Gigabit Race—All According to Plan. Google Fiber is losing the race to install gigabit fiber in cities around the country, and in cities where Fiber does exist, it’s facing stiff competition from incumbent telecom providers. (Motherboard)

FCC rule aims to help people with disabilities communicate. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is working to make it easier for deaf, hard of hearing, speech-disabled and deaf-blind people to communicate with people over the phone. (The Hill)

Privacy

U.S. high court approves rule change to expand FBI hacking power. The Supreme Court on Thursday approved a rule change that would let U.S. judges issue search warrants for access to computers located in any jurisdiction despite opposition from civil liberties groups who say it will greatly expand the FBI's hacking authority. (Reuters)

Facebook says government requests for data continue to rise. Facebook Inc (FB.O) said on Thursday that government requests for account data increased by 13 percent in the second half of 2015, with the United States and India topping the list. (Reuters)

What Happens When the FBI Discovers a Software Security Flaw? An Explainer. If the FBI learns of a security vulnerability in a piece of software that many people use, is it obligated to report that vulnerability so it can be fixed before hackers take advantage of it? (Motherboard)

Always on: Privacy implications of microphone-enabled devices. Is your smart TV listening to your conversations? Are your children’s toys spying on your family? (Recode)

Dem rallies opposition to new fed hacking powers. A key senator is trying to block the Justice Department's request to expand its remote hacking powers, after the Supreme Court signed off on the proposal Thursday. (The Hill)

Tax

IRS says $458B in taxes go uncollected in new 'tax gap' estimate. An average $458 billion in taxes go unpaid every year, the IRS said Thursday. Even after the tax man chased down scofflaws through audits and other types of enforcement, the agency said an average $406 billion still went uncollected annually between 2008 and 2010. (Politico Pro)

Internet Of Things

Younger U.S. buyers more open to self-driving cars: J.D. Power. U.S. consumers who are under 40 are more open than older people to self-driving cars and their underlying systems, according to a survey released on Thursday by J.D. Power. (Reuters)

Public Sector

DOD slammed on ENCORE III contracting. Two federal contracting groups want changes to the selection criteria in the Defense Department's upcoming $17.5 billion multiple award IT contract. (ITAPS Mentioned, FCW)

Why OPM is prioritizing higher education for feds. Marking the one-year anniversary of its truED Alliance with Champlain College on April 27, the Office of Personnel Management touted the fact that almost 1,800 feds and their families have taken advantage of steeply discounted online coursework. (FCW)

More modern IT could keep SSA from mailing out Social Security numbers. If you have ever received a notice in the mail from the Social Security Administration, odds are your Social Security number was on it. (FCW)

Can investigators reverse engineer insider threats?. A top official at the background check agency created after the Office of Personnel Management hack wants to use analytics to reverse engineer insider threats. (FCW)

Library of Congress to retire Thomas. The legislative website Thomas, a relic of the World Wide Web's early days, will be retired by the Library of Congress on July 5. The more modern website and database Congress.gov, which launched in beta in 2012, will replace it. (FCW)

Thomas.gov will retire in July. Thomas.gov was the public’s go-to website for information on congressional bills and information since it first launched in 1995, but it is finally being replaced after years of no updates and lackluster technology, Library of Congress officials announced Thursday. (FedScoop)

CMS looks to replace meaningful use health IT incentives. Medicare's meaningful use, the program built to incentivize health care providers' adoption of digital records, is being replaced by a more flexible, simplified system, officials say. (FedScoop)

New Salesforce platform aims at lightning quick dev. Salesforce launched a new cloud platform for government agencies Thursday that executives say aims to make software development easier. (FedScoop)

Accountability and reform omnibus will create ‘new VA’. A sweeping omnibus package aimed at overhauling the Veterans Affairs Department is gaining ground on Capitol Hill. (Federal News Radio)

House wants new study of LPTA contracts. The heated debate about Lowest Price Technically Acceptable (LPTA) government contracts has followed a fairly steady script for several years, with vendors arguing that the technique is being improperly used on a widespread basis and is stymying innovation; the government replying that there is no LPTA mandate and that the issue’s somewhat overblown. (Federal News Radio)

Intelligence leaders impatient for insider threat social media guidance. Immensely complex questions of privacy and civil liberties are holding up agencies from using perhaps the most valuable sources of information they could find on current and future employees: social media and other publicly online available information. (Federal News Radio)

Environment and Sustainability

San Diego Republican mayor pushes plan to run on 100% renewable energy. As presidential nominees Ted Cruz and Donald Trump, respectively, call climate change a “religion” or a “bullshit … total hoax” dreamed up by China, it is deeply unfashionable for any Republican to take the issue seriously, let alone push for radical reforms to remedy it. (The Guardian)

Old TVs Create Toxic Problem for Recycling Programs Across America. Low commodities prices around the world are making life difficult for electronics recyclers, especially those struggling to get rid of toxic materials from obsolete television sets. (NBC News)

America's Toxic Electronic Waste Trade. Americans line up in droves every year to buy new gadgets, but the discarded older models of devices are too often shipped by recycling firms to foreign countries to avoid the cost of processing the toxic scrap. (U.S. News)

Oil jumps 2 percent despite glut, hits 2016 peaks on weak dollar. Oil markets jumped 2 percent on Thursday, hitting 2016 highs for a third straight day as a weaker dollar had investors shrugging off record high U.S. crude inventories and relentless pumping by major producers. (Reuters)

Inside agriculture's sustainability inflection point. Agriculture is at an inflection point, to borrow a phrase from the technology industry (and math) when it realized the world was changing direction. (GreenBiz)

The carbon pricing debate goes public in Washington state. As governments worldwide begin imposing fees on pollution to try to protect the climate, a debate over dueling approaches — one that long has been restricted to conferences and academia — is becoming prominent in Washington state. (GreenBiz)

Are sustainable farming certifications making a difference?. Independent, third-party certification has grown phenomenally since 1993, when the Rainforest Alliance certified the first banana plantation to meet Sustainable Agriculture Network (SAN) standards. (GreenBiz)

Regional Skirmishes are the New Battleground for Solar Energy. When Mike Rott installed 34 solar panels on the roof of his Getzville home in August 2014, he did it to save money on his electric bill. (Government Technology)

Pennsylvania Implements Air Quality Sensors in Fracking Counties. With the help of a federal grant, the state Department of Environmental Protection plans to ramp up its efforts to monitor air quality near natural gas compressors in rural parts of the state. (Government Technology)

Cybersecurity

Canada's Goldcorp says computer network hacked. Canada's Goldcorp Inc on Thursday said its computer network had been compromised and the gold mining company was working to determine the scope and impact of the data breach. (Reuters)

U.S. Steel Accuses China of Hacking. U.S. Steel Corp. is alleging that Chinese government hackers stole proprietary methods for making lightweight steel on behalf of Chinese steel producers seeking to supply a bigger share of the U.S. auto-making market. (Wall Street Journal)

German nuclear plant hit by computer viruses. Computer viruses have infected PCs used at a German nuclear power plant. (BBC News)

New House caucus will help keep hackers out of cars. Four House members on Thursday established a new caucus focused on connected and self-driving cars. (The Hill)

Defense authorization bill would elevate Cyber Command. A defense authorization bill that cleared a House committee early Thursday would elevate U.S. Cyber Command and launch a review into whether the agency should still be run by the National Security Agency (NSA) head. (The Hill)

Industry details alternative to stripping cyber export controls from Wassenaar agreement. A major coalition of industry groups that is seeking to influence renegotiations of an international agreement on cyber export controls is offering new details for ensuring access to data-protection products and services under a revised arrangement. (Inside Cybersecurity)

Financial services ISAC emerges as major influence for other industries. The financial services' information sharing center is expanding its role as a model for other industries by leveraging its longstanding position in identifying cyber threats and supporting the establishment of other information-sharing networks. (Inside Cybersecurity)

NIST to pitch new cybersecurity guide and project at financial-sector summit. The National Institute of Standards and Technology's cybersecurity center, at an upcoming meeting with financial-sector stakeholders, will present a new guide for IT asset management in the sector, along with a project demonstrating how financial services firms can manage access rights to IT systems and secure data. (Inside Cybersecurity)

Workforce/Diversity

DHS set for new wave of IT hiring. The Department of Homeland Security is finalizing plans to implement an IT and cybersecurity job fair it hopes will draw candidates from nontraditional sources. (FCW)

Tech Business

Carl Icahn says he sold entire Apple stake on China woes: CNBC. Billionaire activist investor Carl Icahn said Thursday he had sold his entire stake in Apple Inc (AAPL.O), citing the risk of China's influence on the stock. (Reuters)

Chinese search engine giant Baidu's revenue jumps 24 percent. Baidu Inc, sometimes referred to as China's Google, reported a 24.3 percent jump in quarterly revenue as more advertising money flowed into its core search engine business. (Reuters)

Your Money: Cyber bullying delivers a punch to consumer wallets. Anyone who has had embarrassing photos posted on social media or been deluged with angry messages can attest to the high emotional cost of cyber bullying. But there is also a cost in real dollars for some to clean up their online reputations, including legal fees, security measures and even counseling. (Reuters)

In Smartphone Market, the Squeeze Is On. Earnings reports this week may toll the bell for the decadelong smartphone bonanza. (Wall Street Journal)

Uber vs. Ola: How fight for Indian taxi market ended up in court. A flurry of complaints from Uber drivers about an unusually high number of canceled bookings was the spark that ignited a bitter legal fight with Ola, Uber's rival for dominance of India's $12 billion taxi market, according to court documents and a source with direct knowledge of Uber's case. (Reuters)

US puts robots at vanguard to win next great power game. A new era of great power competition has begun — and the US thinks robots are the way to stay ahead. (Financial Times)

The FTC is investigating Venmo over 'deceptive or unfair practices'. Venmo, the hugely popular peer-to-peer payments service owned by PayPal, is under investigation by the Federal Trade Commission. (The Verge)

Couple sues Snapchat over 'speed filter' they say made woman drive too fast. A couple is suing Snapchat, claiming that the social media app’s “speed filter” tempted a woman to drive too fast, causing a crash. (The Guardian)

YouTube's Content ID program finally provides for ad revenue during disputes. Ah, copyright—the thorniest thorn in the side of the Internet. And YouTube, despite paying out so much ad revenue it acts as certain people’s jobs, has become a focal point of the push-pull between “Fair Use” and “Hands Off My Stuff” in recent years. (PC World)

How Foursquare knew before almost anyone how bad things were for Chipotle. Chipotle announced its first loss as a public company Tuesday. But two weeks earlier, an unlikely source —the social media app Foursquare — had beat Chipotle to the punch, predicting in a blog post that the burrito maker’s sales would drop nearly 30 percent. Chipotle made it official Tuesday afternoon — reporting a drop of 29.7 percent. (Washington Post)


			

ITI Member News

CNN Launches Presidential Election App. CNN has launched a new CNN Politics mobile app to help users navigate a presidential election with more twists than a pretzel factory. (Broadcasting & Cable)

Hey, Nokia Isn’t Just a Company That Used to Make Phones. Nokia once sold more cell phones than anyone else in the world. That didn’t last. In 2014, Microsoft agreed to buy Nokia’s mobile phone business and by the end of the year had stopped using the Nokia brand. For everyday gadget buyers, that meant the end of Nokia. But Nokia lives on. (Wired)

Why Facebook Is Killing It—Even When Nobody Else Is. As its biggest rivals stumble, Facebook wildly beat Wall Street’s expectations when it released its earnings yesterday. (Wired)

Facebook in class of its own as ad revenue soars. After underwhelming results from Apple Inc, Google Inc and other big tech names, investors finally found a friend in Facebook Inc after the company shredded Wall Street's forecasts for revenue, profit and user growth. (Reuters)

Zuckerberg has given Facebook investors all they need. He wants one thing in return: control. Mark Zuckerberg has dominated the desktop internet. He’s dominated the mobile internet. Now he’s going to dominate Facebook itself, and the company is probably going to let him. (The Guardian)

Facebook breaks content restriction record after Paris attacks. Facebook restricted a record amount of content at the request of governments around the world in the second half of 2015 — an increase almost solely attributed to a single image showing the devastation after the November terrorist attacks in Paris. (The Hill)

Amazon Puts Microsoft Away In the Battle of Seattle. With Amazon raising its revenue forecast for the current quarter, the online retailing giant looks ready to leave fellow Seattle-area tech giant Microsoft in the dust in terms of annual sales. (USA Today)

Amazon Posts Strong Profit, Thanks to Its Cloud. Amazon delivered a blowout quarter on Thursday, joining Facebook as one of the rare bright spots in a technology sector that has recently produced a string of disappointing earnings reports. (New York Times)

Cloud Unit Pushes Amazon to Record Profit. Amazon.com Inc. on Thursday delivered its most profitable quarter ever, topping last year’s record holiday period, thanks to surging sales from its lucrative cloud-computing business. (Wall Street Journal)

Amazon rapped over unauthorised in-app purchases. Amazon illegally charged parents for children's in-app purchases between 2011 and 2014, a US judge has ruled. (BBC News)

LinkedIn raises forecast on robust demand for hiring services. LinkedIn Corp (LNKD.N), the operator of the world's largest online network for professionals, raised its 2016 revenue and profit forecast as demand rises for its hiring services and its advertising revenue growth accelerates. (Reuters)

Google CEO Pichai Sees the End of Computers as Physical Devices. Forget personal computer doldrums and waning smartphone demand. Google thinks computers will one day cease being physical devices.( Bloomberg)

Europe’s Case Against Google Might Help Rivals More Than Consumers. In a persistent (and thus far fruitless) effort to hobble giant American technology companies, the European Union has again taken aim at Alphabet’s Google search engine. (New York Times)

Google CEO: 'Devices' will be things of the past. Google CEO Sundar Pichai says the next big evolution for technology is artificial intelligence. (USA Today)

Google Hires Former Motorola President to Lead New Hardware Division. Google parent Alphabet Inc. is unifying its disparate hardware projects into a new division and hiring former Motorola President Rick Osterloh to run it. (Wall Street Journal)

Google to play GOP convention role despite Trump critics. Google has confirmed it will play a formal role at the 2016 Republican convention — despite pressure from critics who want the tech giant to withdraw because of Donald Trump's incendiary rhetoric targeting women, immigrants and minorities. (Politico Pro)

Google talking to Fiat about tech partnership, blog says. Google's autonomous car execs have made no secret of their interest in finding a partner in the automotive manufacturing world for their technology. (USA Today)

Sony earnings show PlayStation performing well as Xperia drags. Sony just posted its earnings for the 2015 financial year; the company's revenue was down 1.3 percent to ¥8.1 trillion (about $71.7 billion), but net profit grew 666.7 percent to ¥304.5 billion ($2.7 billion) and operating profit was up 329 percent to ¥294.2 billion ($2.6 billion). (The Verge)

1600 Penn.

Today, the President will receive the Presidential Daily Briefing in the Oval Office. In the evening, the President will deliver remarks at the International Jazz Day Concert at the White House.

Today on the Hill

Today, the House will meet at 9:00 a.m. for legislative business. First and last votes expected: 10:30-11:30 a.m.

The Senate is not in session today.