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Key Issues


Silicon Valley scores another immigration victory in Washington.  A broad immigration reform package moved one step closer to passing through Congress on Tuesday, and the high-tech community took another step forward in solidifying its lobbying influence in Washington.   “Simply put, these improvements strike a careful balance,” Andy Halataei, director of government relations for the Information Technology Industry Council, a trade group, wrote in a blog post about the Hatch-Schumer deal. He argued that the senators’ compromise would provide “access to critically needed talent and skills while protecting American workers.”  (Washington Post)

Reid Says Immigration Bill to Reach Senate Floor in June.  Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said he will bring the “strong bipartisan” immigration bill approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee to the chamber’s floor in June.  (Bloomberg)

Immigration bill gets Senate boost; House effort teetering.  Supporters of U.S. immigration reform are hoping that the smooth and drama-free passage of their legislation through a Senate committee - a departure from almost everything that has happened in Congress over the past four years - will boost the likelihood of the bill winning full Senate approval.  (Reuters)

Tech visa debate heads to House.  House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) will unveil an immigration bill that will boost the number of visas for highly skilled workers at an event Thursday morning.  (The Hill)

Engineers See a Path Out of Green Card Limbo.  Born overseas and educated in the United States, workers in the heart of the tech industry are in a kind of suspension as the Senate considers the immigration bill.  (NYT)

High-skilled immigration:  What to watch.  Tech has a front seat as the bill moves to the Senate floor and the House comes into play.  (Politico)

Immigration reform 'iMarch' launches.  The online forum is the first major effort by Michael Bloomberg and Rupert Murdoch's group.  (Politico)


Multinationals (Not Main Street) are the Key to Job Growth.  Despite the fact that we are one of the only nations with a worldwide system of taxation (that requires U.S. multinationals to pay US taxes on foreign earnings when they bring them home), this notion is actually wrong. It is actually in the interest of non-multinational U.S. firms for multinationals to pay less in taxes. Here’s why.  (ITIF blog/Rob Atkinson)

Google boss calls for a 'rational and predictable international tax system'.  Eric Schmidt rejects Ed Miliband's criticisms of tax affairs, saying firm fears being 'double or quadruple taxed' under any changes.  (The Guardian)

Europe Pushes to Shed Stigma of Being a Tax Haven.  From Luxembourg to the British Virgin Islands, the authorities are scrambling to figure out how to change their secretive ways without driving away lucrative foreign clients.  (NYT)

Ireland says will not be U.S. 'whipping boy' on tax.  Ireland's finance minister said the country would not be the "whipping boy" for what he called a flawed U.S. Senate report that said Irish loopholes helped technology giant Apple shrink its tax bill.  (Reuters)

Push on corporate taxes goes global.  A global effort to tighten corporate tax rules is gaining momentum as Europe and the U.S. take aim at American tech giants.  (Washington Post)

Cybersecurity & Privacy

Hackers Find China Is Land of Opportunity.  Hacking in China thrives across official, corporate and criminal worlds and is openly discussed and promoted, whether for breaking into private networks, tracking dissent or stealing trade secrets.  (NYT)

Twitter Boosts Security After Hack Attack.  Twitter Inc. is adding a new security tool to its website, making it harder for outsiders to gain access to accounts, a month after a false posting triggered a stock-market decline.  (Bloomberg)

'Hacking Back' Could Deter Chinese Cyberattacks, Report Says.  A group assessing China's role in stealing trade secrets from American companies wants the U.S. government to consider a controversial method for protecting those firms from Chinese hackers: Let them hack back.  (Huffington Post)

How hard is it to opt out of third party data collection?  A lot of businesses are buying so-called third party data to add to what they’re already collecting on you. Of course, they all say, “you can always opt out.”  (Marketplace)

Global Trade

Japanese Union Confederation Attends TPP Round To Gather Information.  Representatives from JTUC-RENGO, Japan's umbrella union confederation, attended the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) round here to gather information that will be used to develop an internal position on the TPP talks, which Japan is slated to join in late July, sources said.  (Inside US Trade)

It won't be easy to build an 'anyone but China' club.  No one will say it out loud, but the unstated aim of the TPP is to create a “high level” trade ... To further that aim, TPP rules will penalise China in some areas.  (FT)

Wary of China, U.S. Steps Into Sprint's Board.  SoftBank is readying a plan to allow the U.S. government an unusual level of influence over the operations of Sprint, a concession to ease security concerns raised by the proposed cross-border takeover.  (WSJ)

IP Enforcement

Former US officials recommend penalties for foreign companies using stolen American IP.  The federal government should impose penalties on foreign companies that use intellectual property (IP) stolen from American businesses via cyberattacks, according to a report released Wednesday by a commission co-chaired by former administration officials.  (The Hill)

Sen. Cornyn targets patent trolls with new bill.  Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) introduced legislation on Wednesday aimed at cracking down on abusive patent litigation.  (The Hill)


India mobile data consumption climbs.  Country sees a 92 percent increase in mobile data traffic last year, driven by both 2G and 3G services, reveals MBit Index study.  (ZDNet)

Tech Business

Microsoft Research VP on wearable tech: 'The next several months will be very exciting'.  Microsoft brought the technology it introduced at its TechFair in Seattle this spring to Washington, demo-ing it for lawmakers and other visitors. But the XBox one was nowhere in sight.  (Washington Post)

Broad Reshuffle at HTC.  Several senior executives at HTC have left the company in recent weeks, signaling a broader management shake-up at the struggling smartphone maker and putting a spotlight on CEO Peter Chou.  (WSJ)

More ITI Member News

Apple's $100m made-in-the-USA Mac facility will be in Texas.  Apple CEO Tim Cook has confirmed it will assemble a line of Macs in Texas, but whether that's the MacBook Pro or Mac Mini remains unknown.  (ZDNet)

Microsoft to Add Several Thousand Workers in China, Ballmer Says.  Microsoft Corp. (MSFT), the largest software maker, will hire several thousand workers in China to support new cloud computing services and smartphones using its Windows operating system, Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer said.  (Bloomberg) 

How Google plans to rule the computing world through Chrome.  Are you ready for Google to take over the desktop? You’d better be if you use Chrome. With it, Google is making a play to rule the computing world as a back door to a new app economy.  (GigaOM)

Samsung Galaxy S4 Shipments Cross 10 Million.  Samsung Electronics Co. said it has shipped more than 10 million units of the Galaxy S4 since the phone hit markets in late April, outpacing sales of previous Galaxy models.  (WSJ)

Q&A With HP CEO Meg Whitman and CFO Cathie Lesjak: The Turnaround Is on Schedule.  In a short phone interview with AllThingsD, CEO Meg Whitman and CFO Cathie Lesjak reiterated what they said on a conference call with analysts: Progress has been made, but there’s still a lot of work to be done.  (All Things Digital)

HP Jumps After Forecast Beats Estimates on Cost Cuts.  Hewlett-Packard Co. (HPQ), the largest personal-computer maker, rose after forecasting fiscal third-quarter profit that topped analysts’ estimates on cost cuts aimed at countering slumping demand for desktops and laptops.  (Bloomberg)

EBay Focuses on $195B Emerging Markets Push.  EBay Inc. (EBAY), owner of the biggest Internet marketplace, is boosting staff in its emerging-markets group by 50 percent this year, seeking to win loyalty in burgeoning regions where online sales may top $195 billion. (Bloomberg)

AMD Resets Its Chips for Changing Mobile Wars.  Mobile devices continue to change the landscape for computer makers and their suppliers. The latest response comes from Advanced Micro Devices, in three new lines of chips and a nuance in nomenclature.  (WSJ)

Lenovo Profit Rises 90% on Market Share Gains.  Lenovo Group Ltd. (992), the world’s second-biggest maker of personal computers, reported a 90 percent gain in fourth-quarter profit after increasing its market share and boosting smartphone sales.  (Bloomberg)

BlackBerry Founder Says IPhone Users Will Embrace BBM App.  BlackBerry founder Mike Lazaridis said he’s confident that users of iPhones and other devices will embrace the company’s BlackBerry Messenger platform, which will be offered on rival phones later this year.  (Bloomberg)

Today on the Hill

Senate:  The Senate at 9 a.m. ET resumes consideration of a farm policy bill and considers a resolution that would reaffirm Congress’s support for full implementation of U.S. and international sanctions on Iran as well as U.S. support for Israel’s right to self-defense.

House:  The House at noon ET begins work on a Keystone XL pipeline approval measure. The chamber also considers two measures under suspension of the rules.

Hearings of note:

  • Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke will testify at a Joint Economic Committee hearing.  10 a.m. ET, G-50 Dirksen.
  • House Appropriations marks up the fiscal 2014 appropriations for the Department of Homeland Security and related programs and agencies. 10 a.m. ET, 2359 Rayburn.

1600 Penn.

At 2 p.m. ET, President Obama will give a speech at the National Defense University in Washington, D.C., on the Administration’s counterterrorism policy.  The president is expected to outline new limitations on the use of military drones and renew his effort to close the terrorist detaining facility at Guantanamo Bay.