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Tech News Roundup - 05/30/2017

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LinkedIn Founder Reid Hoffman Invests Big Change In Hoffman on Friday exclusively revealed to Fortune that he is leading a $30 million round in, a for-profit petition and fundraising website focused on social and political change. Also investing in latest funding round is Sam Altman, president of startup accelerator Y Combinator; and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates. (Fortune)

Five goals for Republicans this summer. Republicans are running out of time to make major legislative achievements before they break for their August recess — and President Trump’s 200th day in office later that month. Here are five areas where the GOP will look for progress this summer: adopt a budget, raise the debt limit, avoid a shutdown, tax reform and healthcare. (The Hill)

Inside Trump's war on regulations. The chaos of Donald Trump’s first four months as president has overshadowed a series of actions that could reshape American life for decades — efforts to rewrite or wipe out regulations affecting everything from student loans and restaurant menus to internet privacy, workplace injuries and climate change. (Politico)


China to implement cyber security law on Thursday. China, battling increased threats from cyber-terrorism and hacking, will adopt from Thursday a controversial law that mandates strict data surveillance and storage for firms working in the country, the official Xinhua news agency said. (Reuters)

'Atlanticist' Merkel rams home frustration with Trump after summits. German Chancellor Angela Merkel underlined her doubts about the reliability of the United States as an ally on Monday but said she was a "convinced trans-Atlanticist", fine-tuning her message after surprising Washington with her frankness a day earlier. (Reuters)

Angela Merkel: EU cannot completely rely on US and Britain any more. Speaking after bruising meetings of Nato and the G7 group of wealthy nations last week, the German chancellor suggested the postwar western alliance had been badly undermined by the UK’s Brexit vote and Donald Trump’s election as US president. (Guardian)

Merkel Says U.S. Ties Shouldn't Deter Europe From Own Path. Merkel’s comments underscore a creeping geopolitical shift after G-7 leaders failed to convince Trump to stand by the global Paris climate accord. NATO leaders who were confident they had agreed with the U.S. on a commitment to burden-sharing found themselves on the receiving end of the president’s ire at a summit in Brussels on Thursday. (Bloomberg)

Trudeau Treads Carefully With Trump as NAFTA Clock Ticks. As Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron showed signs of frustration with Trump, Trudeau is intent on playing peacemaker while confronting a growing list of disputes with his top trade partner in areas such as lumber, dairy and aerospace. And, given the dependence that Canada has on its southern neighbor, he has a lot to lose.(Bloomberg)

White House: Trade dominates G7 meeting as Trump clarifies reciprocity. Trade has been front and center in meetings involving President Trump at the G7 summit in Italy, where the president has detailed his vision of fair, free and reciprocal trade to foreign leaders in what the White House described as educational conversations for all parties involved. (Inside Trade)

Digital trade group pushes agenda for NAFTA chapter, Privacy Shield. Board members and executives from BSA | The Software Alliance met with members of Congress and the administration this week to propose a digital trade agenda for a modernized NAFTA and endorse the continued operation of the U.S.- EU Privacy Shield. (Inside Trade)

UK looking to increase pressure on internet firms over extremist material: minister. Britain is looking at range of options to put pressure on internet companies to do more to take down extremist material, Security Minister Ben Wallace said on Sunday. (Reuters)

UK eyeing fines for social media content moderation failures. A UK minister has suggested the party is open to bringing in financial penalties or otherwise changing the law in order to encourage social media firms to improve their content moderation processes. (TechCrunch)

U.S. companies no longer know rules of trade game under Trump. Confusion surrounding the trade policies of U.S. President Donald Trump's administration means U.S. companies no longer know the rules of the game, a board member and former CEO of toymaker Hasbro told an international conference on Monday. (Reuters)

A factory in Kentucky could be where Trump finally draws the line on trade. Century Aluminum in Hawesville, Ky., makes a metal the military needs to keep service members safe from explosions. But using national security to insulate an industry would be among the most dramatic — and risky — moves in the president’s trade agenda, which seeks to limit what he regards as unfair foreign competition. (Washington Post)

Editorial: Trans-Pacific Partnership Can Succeed Without the U.S. Rather than walking away or starting over, the 11 remaining nations should close the trade deal.

U.S. may put emergency tariffs on solar imports. The United States has notified the other 163 members of the World Trade Organization that it is considering putting emergency "safeguard" tariffs on imported solar cells, according to a WTO filing published on Monday. (Reuters)

Environment and Energy

Scoop: Trump tells confidants U.S. will quit Paris climate deal. President Trump has privately told multiple people, including EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, that he plans to leave the Paris agreement on climate change, according to three sources with direct knowledge. (Axios)

Cuts to EPA’s FY18 budget could trigger ”major recession’ in environmental field. John O’Grady, president of the American Federation of Government Employees Council 238, which specifically represents EPA employees, said in an interview with Federal News Radio that the roughly 32 percent cut to the agency’s bottom line would mean deferred maintenance on critical environmental infrastructure, and the trigger of a “mini to major recession in the environmental field.” (Federal News Radio)

White House adviser differs with coal-loving president. The president's chief economic adviser is casting doubt on the future of U.S. coal, saying it "doesn't really make that much sense anymore as a feedstock," directly contradicting President Donald Trump's repeated promises to revive the struggling coal industry. (ABC News)

The Big One is going to happen, no matter how much you want to deny it, California scientists say. Next year, scientists and the U.S. Geological Survey are expected to unveil the first limited public phase of an earthquake early warning system that would eventually offer seconds and perhaps more than a minute of warning through smartphones and computers. The system has been planned for years but still could be derailed by budget cuts proposed by President Trump. (LA Times)


UK says making progress with tech companies on getting encrypted militant messages. Britain is making good progress with technology companies on getting access to the encrypted messages of militant suspects, interior minister Amber Rudd said on Sunday. Britain has repeatedly complained that technology companies have failed to disclose enough information about the encrypted messages of militant suspects, though technology companies such as Whatsapp say they cannot break end-to-end encryption. (Reuters)


The nation’s top tech companies are asking Congress to reform a key NSA surveillance program. Facebook, Google, Microsoft and a host of tech companies asked Congress on Friday to reform a government surveillance program known as Section 702, which will expire at the end of the year without action by Capitol Hill, that allows the National Security Agency to collect emails and other digital communications of foreigners outside the United States. (Recode)

Investigators search Ukrainian offices of Russia's Yandex. Ukraine's State Security Service (SBU) raided the Kiev and Odessa offices of Russia's top search site Yandex on Monday, accusing the company of illegally collecting Ukrainian users' data and sending it to Russian security agencies. (Reuters)


Hackers Hide Cyberattacks in Social Media Posts. A recent attack on the accounts of Defense Department employees suggests how easily people can be duped into clicking on dangerous links. (New York Times)

Chipotle says hackers hit most restaurants in data breach. Hackers used malware to steal customer payment data from most of Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc's restaurants over a span of three weeks, the company said on Friday, adding to woes at the chain whose sales had just started recovering from a string of food safety lapses in 2015. (Reuters)

What the PATCH Act doesn't do. Proponents of the current Vulnerabilities Equities Process say the proposed PATCH Act will likely improve the process, but it is just one piece of a larger cybersecurity puzzle. (FCW)

Cybersecurity resiliency bill would equip states with new resources, protect critical infrastructure. A pair of bills introduced to Congress in March would provide a new funding mechanism for states to build resiliency efforts for when threats volleyed against the nation's critical infrastructure find their targets. (StateScoop)

Even with cyber executive order, Trump team has yet to define its approach. Eight years after former President Obama delivered a seminal speech on his administration's approach to cybersecurity, policy analysts from industry and academia say the current president's general outlook and strategy remain undefined even after the recent release of a closely scrutinized executive order on cyber. (Inside Cybersecurity)

Trump budget would cut nearly $6 million from NIST cybersecurity activities. The Trump administration is proposing to cut $5.9 million from the National Institute of Standards and Technology's cybersecurity activities, as part of an overall reduction in spending for the agency's laboratories that NIST says will require it to focus on “core” cyber activities. (Inside Cybersecurity)


GOP Bid to Rewrite Tax Code Stalls Over How to Offset Cuts. Republicans started 2017 with high tax-policy ambitions, seeing an opportunity to use unified control of government to achieve a long-running party goal. But GOP lawmakers’ boldest ideas for changing the nation’s tax code are either dead or on political life support. (Wall Street Journal)


India Tech Giant Warns Trump's 'Radical Shift' to Hurt Industry. The vice chairman at one of India’s largest technology services companies warned that U.S. President Donald Trump’s visa policies will damage the industry as his company reported weak earnings and his stock fell the most in almost two years. (Bloomberg)

Cutting H-1B Visas Endangers Scientific Progress For Everyone. President Donald Trump's recent executive order calling for a sweeping review of the H-1B visa program has raised alarm in STEM-related industries that rely heavily on an international supply of high-skilled labor. (Wired)

Trump travel ban on shaky ground. Trump’s second attempt at a travel ban was supposed to avoid the legal challenges faced by his first travel ban. But the latest iteration of the ban has itself been blocked in several courts, with the latest attack coming in a public rebuke from a Richmond-based federal appeals court. (The Hill)

Artificial Intelligence

Why manufacturing jobs are coming back to the U.S. — even as companies buy more robots. In the long run, many think that automation and robotics are going to replace a significant percentage, if not the overwhelming majority, of manufacturing jobs. That’s certainly a possibility. But for now, even as companies add more robots to North American factory floors, the number of human jobs in manufacturing is also on the rise. (Recode)

Exclusive: Google launches AI investment platform. Google has launched a new venture capital program focused on artificial intelligence, Axios has learned from multiple sources. (Axios)

Apple Is Working on a Dedicated Chip to Power AI on Devices. Apple is working on a processor devoted specifically to AI-related tasks, according to a person familiar with the matter known internally as the Apple Neural Engine, that would improve the way the company’s devices handle tasks that would otherwise require human intelligence. (Bloomberg)

Is China Outsmarting America in A.I.? Its ambitions mingle sci-fi ideas and big money with the needs of an authoritarian state. (New York Times)

Connected Cars

The Future of European Transit: Driverless and Utilitarian. The coming age of driverless cars has typically centered on Silicon Valley highfliers like Tesla, Uber and Google, which have showcased their autonomous driving technology in luxury sedans and sport utility vehicles costing $100,000 or more. But across Europe, fledgling driverless projects like those by Deutsche Bahn are instead focused on utilitarian self-driving vehicles for mass transit that barely exceed walking pace. (New York Times)

Spoofed signals could disable anti-collision systems on connected vehicles, report warns. Protecting the growing attack surface presented by an emerging market of connected, smart, and autonomous vehicles will only become more difficult, according to a new report from the Cloud Security Alliance. (StateScoop)

Lawyers, Not Ethicists, Will Solve the Robocar ‘Trolley Problem’. Giving machines the ability to decide who to kill is a staple of dystopian science fiction and it explains why three out of four American drivers say they are afraid of self-driving cars. But Stanford University researcher Bryan Casey argues that it’s already been solved—not by ethicists or engineers, but by the law. (Wired)

Internet of Things

Experts want clarity among potential IoT regulations. In an increasingly complex Internet of Things ecosystem, experts are calling for a consistent national strategy. ITI's Vince Jesaitis is mentioned. (FedScoop)


Is “I forget” a valid defense when court orders demand a smartphone password? This week, a judge considers possible jail for alleged extortionists who pled the Fifth. (Ars Technica)

Public Sector

Senators push for movement on modernization bill. A bipartisan group of senators penned a letter to the top members of the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs arguing that swift approval of the bill would “advance our shared goal of preserving national security and ensuring that the federal government uses taxpayer dollars wisely.” (FedScoop)

Moran pushes MGT in the Senate. Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) got interested in government technology modernization as the chairman of the Financial Services and General Government appropriations subcommittee and is taking a second try at moving the Modernizing Government Technology Act through the Senate. (FCW)

Meet the Nerds Coding Their Way Through the Afghanistan War. Founded in 2015, the Defense Digital Service is the Defense Department’s spinoff of the United States Digital Service, an Obama-era program established at the White House. So far, the Trump administration appears inclined to keep the group in place. It turns out that dispatching just a few private-sector experts to the battlefield can make life a little easier for personnel on the ground. (Wired)

DHS Secretary Kelly says program to secure federal networks is moving too slowly. Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly told Senate lawmakers that the Continuous Diagnostics and Mitigation program for securing federal agencies from cyber threats is rolling out to agencies too slowly, underscoring that the department is making CDM a priority as it implements President Trump’s recently issued cybersecurity executive order. (Inside Cybersecurity)

Senate, Army chief cast new doubt on future of Army’s $6 billion tactical IT network. The future of the long-running, multi-billion dollar system that the Army considers the “cornerstone” of its network modernization strategy is somewhat in question, with the service’s top officer saying he’s ordered a comprehensive review of whether the program will actually work, and a powerful senator declaring it a “debacle.” (Federal News Radio)

U.S. Embassies Lag on Digital Security. One-third of vetted posts weren’t doing routine information security. (NextGov)

Selfies are helping Alabama keep tax returns safe. Through a project that's the first of its kind in the nation, residents are sharing pictures of themselves with the Department of Revenue to monitor their tax returns, authenticate their identities and skip to the front of the line. (State Scoop)


A doctor is helping Silicon Valley execs live their best life for $40k a year. Silicon Valley thinks our bodies need a reboot. Investors are betting this approach—optimizing one’s health through deep analysis of their genetics, physiology, and psychology—becomes the standard of care. Technology, they argue, will ultimately bring down prices so it’s affordable for almost everyone. (Quartz)


Apple, Facebook, and Google CEOs unite in opposition to Texas discrimination. Tech executives say bathroom bill targeting transgender students would be ‘bad for our employees and bad for business’. (Ars Technica)

As Computer Coding Classes Swell, So Does Cheating. Growing numbers of computer science students are getting caught plagiarizing code, either from classmates or from someplace on the web. (New York Times)

Google, in gender-discrimination pay case, tells court it’s too costly to produce salary records. Google is crying ‘abuse of power’ and claiming it’s being asked to spend too much time and money to satisfy federal investigators demands for data in a gender-discrimination case. (Silicon Beat)

Net Neutrality

FCC gets net neutrality comments from the dead and people whose identities were co-opted, group says. The FCC is soliciting public comment about its attempt to roll back net neutrality rules and has received millions of comments. But how many are fake? (Silicon Beat)

Laptop Ban

Expanded laptop ban could cover half a million travelers a day. Thousands of flights and hundreds of thousands of passengers will be affected every day if the United States extends its so-called laptop ban to all international flights. (CNN)

Tech Business

Saluting veteran founders and their mission-driven startups. From the battlefield to the executive’s desk, veterans are coming back and choosing to launch businesses aimed at making people’s lives better, aiding the vulnerable, protecting us or conserving the environment. (TechCrunch)

Acquisitions accelerate as tech giants seek to build AI smarts. A total of 34 artificial intelligence startups were acquired in the first quarter of this year, more than twice the amount of activity in the year-ago quarter, according to the research firm CB Insights. (Reuters)

Uber's board to receive Eric Holder report on Wednesday. Former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is expected to present his report on Uber's workplace issues ? including specific allegations of sexual harassment and discrimination ? to the company's board of directors this Wednesday, Axios has learned from multiple sources. (Axios)

Japan to finalize strategy for drones, self-driving trucks on June 9: government sources. Japan aims to finalize on June 9 plans to allow package delivery by drone sometime from 2020 and the commercialization of self-driving trucks by 2022, as it scrambles to breathe new life into its corporate sector, sources told Reuters. (Reuters)

Hotels Remove Welcome Mat for Online Travel Agencies. Marriott, Hilton and InterContinental Hotels are using extensive marketing campaigns to claw back business from Expedia and Priceline, which steer customers to hotel properties but also take hefty commissions. (Wall Street Journal)

British Airways vows 'never again' after costly IT collapse. British Airways said it would take steps to ensure there was no repeat of a computer system failure that stranded 75,000 passengers over a holiday weekend and turned into a public relations disaster. (Reuters)

Wall Street’s Message to CEOs: Innovate Now. Ford moved to pick up the pace of change by replacing its CEO with industry outsider Jim Hackett. Wall Street, long obsessed with quarterly profits, has a message for chief executives of big established companies: Pick up the pace of innovation and make riskier bets sooner. (Wall Street Journal)

ITI Member News

Apple: Supercycle Hopes Drive Super-sized Bets. Can Apple’s coming “supercycle” actually deliver? Investors already have bet nearly $200 billion that it can. Hopes are high for the next iPhone coming out later this year after the last two versions failed to do much to move the needle. (Wall Street Journal)

Massive Leak Reveals Monster 18-core Intel Core i9-7980XE Processor: Should AMD Be Worried? Who wants an 18-core, 36-thread desktop processor? Well, this could be on the cards in the near future as the latest rumor points at Intel not stopping at just a measly 12-cores with its imminent launch of its X299 platform and Skylake-X processors. (Forbes)

Western Digital may join Japan-KKR group for Toshiba chip unit bid: sources. Western Digital Corp may join a consortium of Japanese government money and KKR & Co LP to bid for Toshiba Corp's chip unit, backing away from an earlier demand for an immediate majority stake, two sources familiar with the matter said. (Reuters)

Samsung Electronics says may add NAND capacity at China plant amid demand surge. Tech giant Samsung Electronics Co Ltd said on Monday it is considering adding NAND memory chip production capacity at its manufacturing base in China amid an industry-wide boom that will likely fuel record sales for memory suppliers. (Reuters)

1600 Penn.

In the afternoon, President Donald Trump will have lunch with Vice President Mike Pence.

Today on the Hill

The House stands adjourned and is not expected to convene again for votes until 6:30 pm on Tuesday June 6.

The Senate stands adjourned to convene for pro forma sessions only with no business conducted on Tuesday, May 30th at 7:00am; and Friday, June 2nd at 9:00am. It will next convene for legislative business at 3:00pm on Monday, June 5, 2017.

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