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05/26/2016

Key Issues

Global Trade

Cross-border trade online: how Brussels plans to change rules. Companies from Google and Netflix to the UK’s Royal Mail were focused on Brussels on Wednesday when the European Commission launched sweeping rules for cross-border digital trade, covering everything from online shopping to streaming services and even parcel delivery. (Financial Times)

Facebook data transfers threatened by EU ruling. Irish authorities have warned that a crucial data transfer arrangement relied on by Facebook, Google and Amazon potentially falls foul of EU rules on privacy — threatening an “Armageddon of global data flows”, according to one lawyer. (Financial Times)

Broadband/Communications

FCC moves toward new rules for TV, radio stations. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on Wednesday voted to formally consider ending its requirements that television and radio stations keep copies of letters from viewers and listeners. (The Hill)

Maine County Receives Microsoft Grant to Provide Internet to Rural Homes. Washington County, Maine, found itself Tuesday in the company of Rwanda, Malawi, Indonesia and several other developing nations. (Government Technology)

GOP budget bill would kill net neutrality and FCC’s set-top box plan. House Republicans yesterday released a plan to slash the Federal Communications Commission's budget by $69 million and prevent the FCC from enforcing net neutrality rules, "rate regulation," and its plan to boost competition in the set-top box market. (Ars Technica)

Cybersecurity

Elevated CISO would strengthen HHS cybersecurity — panel. Elevating the Department of Health and Human Services' chief information security officer to an equal of the CIO would eliminate an institutional conflict blamed for a series of department data breaches in recent years, a panel of nongovernment health IT experts said. (FedScoop)

Congress to states: How can we help you boost cyber?. House lawmakers pressed state IT executives for ways the federal government could help them better prepare for cyberattacks. (State Scoop)

In Ecuador cyber heist, thieves moved $9 million to 23 Hong Kong firm. Cyber thieves who stole $12 million from an Ecuadorian bank in 2015 routed the funds through 23 companies registered in Hong Kong, some of them with no clear business activity, according to previously unreported court filings and judicial rulings. (Reuters)

Brazilian companies rank worst among major economies on cyber security: report. Companies based in Brazil scored “significantly poorer” in aggregate on a variety of cyber security indicators than those based in other major world economies, such as the United States and China, according to a report released on Thursday. (Reuters)

Privacy

Irish privacy watchdog refers Facebook's U.S. data transfers to EU court. Data transfers to the United States by companies such as Facebook and Google face a renewed legal threat after the Irish privacy watchdog said on Wednesday it would refer Facebook's data transfer mechanisms to the top EU court. (Reuters)

European Privacy Case Adds New Threat to Data Flowing to U.S.. One of the last legal methods that companies have to store Europeans’ data—everything from Swedish salary files to Spanish selfies—on servers in the U.S. was thrust deeper into limbo Wednesday when a privacy regulator said it would ask Europe’s top court to review its legality. (Wall Street Journal)

Facebook case calls transatlantic data transfers into question. One of the last remaining ways by which U.S. companies can handle European citizens’ data from outside of the EU was thrown into further jeopardy Wednesday. (The Hill)

A Judge Just Made It Harder for the FBI to Use Hacking. A judge has thrown out evidence obtained by the FBI via hacking, after the agency refused to provide the full code it used in the hack. (Motherboard)

Tax

Netflix, Amazon given quotas for EU-produced video, face new tax. As expected, the European Commission has nixed plans to impose blanket rules on Web-based platforms as part of its Digital Single Market plans—but Netflix, Amazon, and other on-demand video providers will face movie and TV quotas and a tax to help fund EU productions. (Ars Technica)

Inside the black box of dynamic scoring. A little more than a year ago, Republicans made dynamic scoring official policy. (Politico Pro)

Internet of Things

Google self-driving car unit will open engineering center in Michigan. Alphabet Inc's Google self-driving car project said Wednesday it will launch this year a new technology development center in suburban Detroit. (Reuters)

Google, Fiat Chrysler Begin Work on Self-Driving Minivans. Alphabet Inc.’s Google has begun work with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV on self-driving technology for testing in Pacifica minivans, and will open an engineering and development center in a Detroit suburb, Google’s autonomous vehicle chief said Wednesday. (Wall Street Journal)

AT&T wants to pipe DirecTV straight into your car. AT&T doesn't just want to put an Internet connection in every car. It wants the people in those cars to watch its recently acquired television service, DirecTV. (Washington Post)

A Car’s Computer Can ‘Fingerprint’ You in Minutes Based on How You Drive. The way you drive is surprisingly unique. And in an era when automobiles have become data-harvesting, multi-ton mobile computers, the data collected by your car—or one you rent or borrow—can probably identify you based on that driving style after as little as a few minutes behind the wheel. (Wired)

Smart Tampon? The Internet of Every Single Thing Must Be Stopped. Let’s play a game. Which of the following is a real smartphone-connected product? (Wall Street Journal)

Public Sector

Huge bill coming due for out-of-date technology. Tony Scott, the federal chief information officer, gets his chance May 25 on Capitol Hill to make his case for why federal information technology needs help now more than ever. (ITAPS’ Trey Hodgkins Quoted, Federal News Radio)

Congress pushes for answers on outdated agency IT. An eight-inch floppy disk was the center of attention during a House hearing Wednesday, used to illustrate lawmakers' argument that federal IT systems are woefully outdated and the people responsible for running them have mismanaged the money given them by Congress. (FedScoop)

NPPD gets funding bump in Senate bill. A $50 billion DHS funding bill approved by the Senate Homeland Security Appropriation Subcommittee on May 24 includes just over $1.8 billion for the agency's National Protection and Programs Directorate. That's an increase of $183 million from fiscal 2016. (FCW)

IRS, GSA axed in House FY17 appropriations bill. The Internal Revenue Service and General Services Administration are the largest targets on the chopping block within the fiscal year 2017 Financial Services and General Government Appropriations bill — which also includes a slew of riders aimed at addressing agency accountability and oversight. (Federal News Radio)

4 things every CIO should be paying attention to. Agency leaders – from chief information officers to agency records officers to information security managers – are at an intersection of the technology revolution, where the cultural shift toward a digital world and the demanding requirements of security and compliance often collide. (Federal News Radio)

Virginia governor orders review of state's data sharing efforts. Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe is ordering a statewide review of how the state’s agencies can better share data, both internally and with the public. (State Scoop)

Environment/Sustainability

Pollution From Canadian Oil Sands Vapor Is Substantial, Study Finds. The amount of pollution created by vapor from Canada’s oil sands, which contributes to climate change, ranks on par with most major cities in North America, according to a new study by the country’s environmental regulator that was published on Wednesday. (New York Times)

Can you ever really retire from sustainability?. Two years ago, I convened a group to talk about their transitions out of long-term sustainability roles. They shared advice on navigating a successful career as well as a smooth transition out. (GreenBiz)

Is automobile fuel economy hitting a dead end?. Five years ago, flanked by auto industry executives at a Washington, D.C. auto show, President Barack Obama announced a historic agreement to increase fuel economy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions for cars and light-duty trucks. (GreenBiz)

How the world can eat away at emissions. Environmentalists, particularly those working to protect our planet against climate change, may be surprised to learn what a huge portion of our carbon footprint comes from meat. (GreenBiz)

Workforce/Diversity

Congressional Black Caucus Members Call for More Diversity in Tech. Eight Congressional Black Caucus members on Wednesday wrote to Labor Secretary Thomas Perez urging his department to take more action to improve minority presence in the tech industry, where they’ve noticed a “stark underrepresentation of African Americans” compared to other sectors. (Morning Consult)

Black lawmakers want Labor to push tech on diversity. Members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) are calling on the Department of Labor to push tech companies on issues related to diversity. (The Hill)

Corporate America Chases the Mythical Millennial. If you’re reading this article voluntarily, you’re probably not a millennial, because everyone knows millennials don’t read news. In fact, there’s a pretty good chance you look down on millennials. Perhaps you consider them entitled, indulgent, needy and a little too much to bear — or maybe you’re simply skeeved by their weird headgear, strange hieroglyphs and intricate courtship rituals. (New York Times)

Tech Business

Salesforce to Use Amazon’s Cloud to Expand in Canada and Australia. Amazon Web Services, the biggest of the cloud-computing providers, has a new line of work: Taking other cloud-computing giants into other countries. (New York Times)

Automakers, tech companies decide to make deals, not war. A flurry of deals between big automakers and ride hailing and transportation startups is rewriting the playbook in the contest to control the future of personal transportation. (Reuters)

Netflix and Amazon face quota on EU-made content. The European Commission has also proposed that the programming must be given "good visibility". (BBC News)

EU to pursue checks on web platform deals with businesses. The European Commission will check on whether it should do more to curb possible unfair practices in the terms of use set by web platforms such as Google, Amazon and Apple Inc's App Store. (Reuters)

Snapchat raises $1.81 billion in new funding round. Messaging app Snapchat Inc has raised $1.81 billion in an equity offering, indicating strong investor interest in the company despite concerns that it is struggling to attract advertisers. (Reuters)

Uber rolls out new initiative to help blunt Metro track-work woes. Uber rolled out a roughly $10 million initiative on Thursday to promote its carpooling service to Washington, D.C., residents whose commutes and night lives are about to be riled by a yearlong Metro track work blitz. (Politico Pro)

Profiting from Politics Proves Challenging for Startups. Politics is difficult business as many startups are finding out. (Wall Street Journal)

Artificial Intelligence Is Far From Matching Humans, Panel Says. Never mind Terminator-like killer robots. Artificial intelligence researchers are grappling with more realistic questions like whether their creations will take too many jobs from humans. (New York Times)

Drones Pique the Interest of Entrepreneurs. Over the last few years, drones have gone from being a contentious military tool for airstrikes to a far more mundane magnet for aerial hobbyists. (New York Times)

Uber's China Problem. Last March in Beijing an expat mother, Elaine, and her seven-year-old son Boden took an Uber ride that turned out to be more dramatic than the usual routine of dodgy local radio and small talk about smog with the driver. (Motherboard)

Report: AT&T made bid for Yahoo assets. AT&T and Verizon may be competing over more than wireless customers. (USA Today)

Viacom’s battle is a warning to Silicon Valley. Maxima Chan Zuckerberg is only five months old so she cannot yet read about the bitter argument at Viacom over who controls 92-year-old Sumner Redstone’s business empire. (Financial Times)

In Silicon Valley, Gossip, Anger and Revenge. Silicon Valley likes to keep the media on a tight leash. Tech executives expect obedience, if not reverence, from reporters. They dole out information as grudgingly as possible. Sometimes they simply buy a chunk of a publication, a time-honored method of influencing what is deemed fit to write about. (New York Times)

ITI Member News

Apple explores charging stations for electric vehicles. Apple Inc (AAPL.O) is investigating how to charge electric cars, talking to charging station companies and hiring engineers with expertise in the area, according to people familiar with the matter and a review of LinkedIn profiles. (Reuters)

India says Apple must sell locally-sourced goods to set up stores: source. India has said Apple Inc must meet a rule obliging foreign retailers to sell at least 30 percent locally-sourced goods if it wishes to open stores in the country, a senior government official told Reuters. (Reuters)

Google’s Schmidt Sees Genetics Advances, No Alphabet Breakup. When Alphabet Inc. Chairman Eric Schmidt looks to the near future, he sees breakthroughs in health and technology that will change the world. (Bloomberg)

Google is Much More than a Search Engine: Can it Cash in On Its Transition?. Google Inc.’s latest technological marvels point to a future where you’ll never need to visit websites, write a term paper or stress over what to buy for your mother’s birthday. (Government Technology)

Facebook wants advertisers buying mobile ads, not desktop ads. Facebook is closing its FBX ad exchange, a service that advertisers used to buy retargeting ads on Facebook's desktop platform, the company confirmed Wednesday. (Recode)

Microsoft is giving up on consumer smartphones, too. Microsoft is further scaling back its flagging phone business, exiting the consumer market and cutting another 1,850 jobs. (Recode)

HP Inc's revenue misses Wall Street on weak PC, printer sales. HP Inc (HPQ.N), which houses the former Hewlett-Packard Co's legacy hardware business, reported lower-than-expected quarterly revenue as it struggles with weak demand for personal computers and printers. (Reuters)

Visa’s CEO just threatened to go after PayPal 'in ways that people have never seen before'. PayPal has long been both a friend and a foe to credit card companies. But to Visa CEO Charlie Scharf, it's either one or the other. (Recode)

China's Lenovo swings to full-year loss on M&A costs. China's Lenovo Group Ltd on Thursday reported its first loss in six years, with earnings pulled down by acquisition and restructuring costs as well as weak sales of smartphones and personal computers (PCs). (Reuters)

Jack Dorsey: Twitter will take time to fix. Jack Dorsey spends his mornings running one of the world's most influential social networks. (BBC News)

1600 Penn.

Today, in the morning, the President will visit the Ise-Jingu Shrine. In the afternoon, the President will attend a session one: working lunch with G7 leaders. Afterward, the President will take a G7 family photo. Later in the afternoon, the President will attend session two. Afterward, the President will attend session three. This meeting is closed press. In the evening, the President will attend session four: working dinner.

Today on the Hill

Today, the House will meet at 9:00 a.m. for legislative business. First votes expected: 10:00-11:00 a.m. Last votes expected: 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Today, the Senate stands adjourned until 9:30am. Following any Leader remarks, the Senate will resume consideration of the motion to proceed to S.2943, the National Defense Authorization Act, post-cloture. All time during adjournment, recess, and morning business will count post-cloture. Unless an agreement is reached, all post-cloture time will expire at approximately 6:00pm. It is also possible that the Senate reaches an agreement on TSCA during Thursday’s session.