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Tech News Roundup - 06/01/2017

Tech News Roundup

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Key Issues

Key Issues

Environment and Energy

Trump to make announcement on Paris climate accord: What are his options? President Donald Trump says he will announce his decision on whether to pull the United States out of the Paris climate accord during a Rose Garden event Thursday afternoon. ITI's Dean Garfield quoted. (Associated Press)

Trump under fire over expected global climate deal withdrawal. President Donald Trump came under pressure on Wednesday from corporate CEOs, U.S. allies, Democrats and some fellow Republicans to keep the United States in a global pact to fight climate change, while a source close to the matter said Trump was preparing to pull out of the Paris accord. (Reuters)

Big Business Urges Trump to Stick With Paris Climate Accord. Twenty-five U.S. companies have signed a letter that will appear Thursday in full-page ads in the Washington, D.C. editions of the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, exhorting the president not to exit the Paris AgreementThe companies include Apple, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, Facebook, Google, Levi Strauss & Co, National Grid, PG&E, and Unilever. (NBC News)

Leaving climate deal likely wouldn't add US jobs, economists say. Should the United States pull out of the pact and seek to protect old-school jobs in coal and oil, it would risk losing the chance to lead the world in developing environmentally friendly technology — and generate the jobs that come with it. What's more, over the haul, climate change itself threatens to impose huge costs on the economy. ITI's Dean Garfield is quoted. (Associated Press)

Elon Musk threatens to leave White House councils over Paris deal. Musk's line in the sand is the latest sign of tension between Trump and Silicon Valley just as his administration attempts to attract tech executives to the White House for a sweeping, high-profile summit on June 19. ITI's Dean Garfield is quoted. (Politico)

ITI: U.S. Should Stay in Paris Climate Agreement. Tech advocacy group Information Technology Industry Council (ITI) took aim at President Donald Trump's expected decision to pull out of the Paris climate agreement. ITI's Dean Garfield is quoted. (Broadcasting & Cable)

World Powers Vow to Defend Climate Deal If Trump Withdraws. From Brussels to Beijing, leaders say they are ready to move ahead without Mr. Trump and implement the agreement. In some cases, nations have agreed to accelerate their adoption of the Paris deal with the European Union and China are due Friday to sign a statement at a summit in Brussels that calls for “stepping up action” in the shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy. (Wall Street Journal)

Exxon vote puts industry on notice and shows Wall Street diverging from Trump on climate change. Major investors put U.S. industry on notice on Wednesday that climate change matters, even as reports emerged that President Donald Trump plans to withdraw the United States from an international pact to fight global warming. The victory, on such a wide margin, was hailed by climate activists as a turning point in their decades-long campaign to get oil and gas companies to communicate how they would adapt to a low-carbon economy. (Reuters)

Climate change drama grips the White House. A White House that has railed against leaks was fractured Wednesday by a new one: President Trump’s decision to pull the United States out of the Paris climate agreement. The result was another confusing day in which it often appeared the administration was fighting itself. (The Hill)

A huge crack across one of Antarctic’s largest ice shelves is reaching its breaking point. A long-growing crack in the Larsen C ice shelf, one of Antarctica’s largest floating platforms of ice, appears to be nearing its endgame. The researchers have estimated that the section of ice set to break off could be around 2,000 square miles in area. The U.S. state of Delaware isn’t much larger than that. (Washington Post)

Tech Politics

Hillary Clinton Was the First Casualty in the New Information Wars. The former presidential nominee made her case that a Russian-backed “conspiracy” to “weaponize” social media took down her campaign. (The Atlantic)

Oracle CEO to attend White House meeting with tech leaders. Oracle CEO Safra Catz and another company executive will attend the White House meeting with technology executives scheduled for June 19, the company confirmed today. (PoliticoPro)

Cisco CEO will join White House tech meeting. Add another name to the guest list at the White House meeting with technology executives on June 19: Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins. A company spokeswoman confirmed his attendance this evening. (PoliticoPro)

LinkedIn founder: Trump is 'breaking our alliances and global leadership'. LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman railed against President Donald Trump on Wednesday, saying Trump is a worse president than he had anticipated. “By trying to kind of elevate his own TV ratings through America-first ideology, he’s breaking our alliances and global leadership,” Hoffman said during a CNBC segment. (The Hill)


China to Implement Cybersecurity Law Amid Foreign Tech-Firm Anxieties. China’s new cybersecurity law goes into force Thursday amid confusion among some foreign technology companies about how it will affect their operations.(Wall Street Journal)

China’s New Cybersecurity Law Leaves Foreign Firms Guessing. Companies worry that parts of the new law, which takes effect on Thursday, will make their operations in China less secure or more expensive. In some cases, they argue, it could keep them out entirely. (New York Times)

China says controversial cyber law not designed to cripple foreign firms. China's top cyber authority said on Wednesday it is not targeting foreign firms with a controversial national cyber law set to come into effect on Thursday. More than 50 overseas companies and business groups have lobbied against the law, which includes stringent data storage and surveillance requirements. (Reuters)

China Sees an Opening in Rift Between Trump and Germany. Exit President Trump, offending almost everyone. Enter China, eager to talk. The timing of the visits has intensified speculation that in the current febrile state of global politics, China in particular may prove a steadier ally on climate change and free trade than Mr. Trump, even if it comes with its own tensions and complexities. (New York Times)

Trump hails deals worth 'billions' with Vietnam. U.S. President Donald Trump talked trade with Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc during a White House visit on Wednesday and welcomed the signing of business deals worth billions of dollars and the jobs they would create. (Reuters)

U.S. tells China it will not participate in trade remedy rules negotiations at the WTO. The U.S. has rejected a Chinese proposal to amend the World Trade Organization's trade remedy rules, saying at a May 31 informal meeting of the WTO's Rules committee that it would not participate in negotiations to change them, according to Geneva sources. (Inside Trade)

Mary Meeker’s focus on China: The key highlights. Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers partner Mary Meeker spent a good deal of time discussing technology growth in China in her annual trends report today at the Code Conference. Herkey point: Private tech companies are driving China’s wealth creation. That’s a big change from a decade ago, when health care and consumer staples were the biggest share of China’s market cap. (Recode)

Mary Meeker’s focus on India: The key highlights. Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers partner Mary Meeker included a special focus on India’s fast-growing technology sector during her annual trends report today at Code Conference. Here’s what she had to say about India, one of the “most fascinating markets for the internet on the planet.” (Recode)


U.S. Commerce chief says hopes to finish NAFTA talks by early January. U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said the best window to complete the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is by early January, well before Mexico's general elections and U.S. congressional elections in 2018. (Reuters)

Ross: ‘Easiest’ issues in NAFTA talks will be those that were not part of original deal. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross on Wednesday said “the easiest issues” to be addressed in North American Free Trade Agreement modernization talks “should be” those that were not part of the existing agreement, which entered into force in 1994. (Inside Trade)

Despite Mexican reports, U.S., Canada say no conclusion date set for NAFTA talks. U.S. and Canadian officials say the three North American Free Trade Agreement countries have not discussed a mid-December end date for NAFTA “modernization” talks, despite reports that Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo Villarreal told Mexican industry leaders that a Dec. 15 deadline had been agreed to. (Inside Trade)

Flake launches NAFTA support drive in Arizona, seeking worker feedback. Sen. Jeff Flake wants to hear how NAFTA has benefited businesses and workers in his home state of Arizona as he attempts to help build support for the trade deal in advance of its expected renegotiation. (PoliticoPro)

Net Neutrality

ISPs Have Their Own Definition of Net Neutrality. Internet service providers have been among the fiercest critics of the Federal Communications Commission’s two-year-old net neutrality rules aimed at preventing companies like Verizon Communications Inc. and Comcast Corp. from dictating how fast — or slow — online content can be accessed. That doesn’t mean ISPs oppose net neutrality — they just have a different definition for it. (Morning Consult)

Netflix CEO: Net neutrality is no longer our ‘primary battle’. For many years, Netflix had been an outspoken, aggressive advocate for net neutrality, urging the U.S. government to implement strong rules that require internet providers to treat all web traffic equally. But the company has been much quieter as the FCC under President Donald Trump has sought to scrap the regulations currently on the books. And that’s because Netflix’s priorities have changed. (Recode)


Consumers are only willing to share their health data with certain companies. Consumers increasingly are trying new tools to track their fitness habits, check in with their doctors and manage their own health care. But they have clear preferences when it comes to the companies they’re willing to share that information with. (Recode)

Parents have no right to dead child's Facebook account, German court says. A German court rejected a mother's demand on Wednesday that Facebook grant her access to her deceased daughter's account. In the ruling, which overturned a lower court's decision, the Berlin appeals court said the right to private telecommunications extended to electronic communication that was meant only for the eyes of certain people. (Reuters)

FCC plan to overhaul internet rules prompts partisan fight over consumer data protections. The Federal Communications Commission has issued its regulatory plan for rolling back the Obama administration's net neutrality order, setting a public comment deadline for next month and prompting a backlash from Democrats who appear ready to make internet security requirements a top-tier partisan issue. (Inside Cybersecurity)

Online Extremism

Social media companies step up removals of online hate speech: EU. Social media companies like Facebook, Twitter and Google’s YouTube have stepped up both the speed and number of removals of hate speech on their platforms in response to EU pressure to do more to tackle the issue, results of an EU evaluation seen by Reuters. (Reuters)

Intellectual Property

How a Supreme Court ruling on printer cartridges changes what it means to buy almost anything. The case, in which Lexmark tried to stop other companies from reselling used laser printer toner cartridges, has huge implications for the way we think about technology ownership in America. (Washington Post)


Blame game for cyber attacks grows murkier as spying, crime tools mix. There are dangers of jumping to conclusions in the murky world of cyber attack and defense, as tools once only available to government intelligence services find their way into the computer criminal underground. (Reuters)

Inside Google's Global Campaign to Shut Down Phishing. At the beginning of May, a phishing scam flooded the web, disguised as a typical Google Docs request. Some of the emails even appeared to come from acquaintances. (Wired)

Democrats ask FBI to probe reported FCC cyberattack. A group of Democratic senators is asking the FBI to investigate an alleged cyberattack on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) website earlier this month. (The Hill)

NIST wants to protect internet traffic from hijacking and spying. The government’s cybersecurity standards agency is seeking public feedback on a slate of recommendations for better ensuring the security of internet traffic routing. (NextGov)

Report highlights 10 cybersecurity steps to protect smart city tech. A new analysis of smart technology from Trend Micro identifies the best ways for cities to protect their systems, data and critical services. (StateScoop)

Automakers seek clarity on federal regulatory roles in car cybersecurity. The automotive industry’s two major trade associations are asking for clarification of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Federal Trade Commission’s roles in automotive cybersecurity issues, ahead of a joint workshop next month on connected car cybersecurity and privacy. (Inside Cybersecurity)


Trump administration approves tougher visa vetting, including social media checks. The Trump administration has rolled out a new questionnaire for U.S. visa applicants worldwide that asks for social media handles for the last five years and biographical information going back 15 years. (Reuters)

Half of the most highly valued tech companies in the U.S. were founded by immigrants. It turns out immigration is a boon for innovation in the United States. That number goes up to 60 percent when you consider companies founded by second-generation Americans. (Recode)


To Repeal Obamacare, Senate May Have to Keep Some of Its Taxes. Senate Republicans crafting an Obamacare replacement are delaying one of their toughest decisions: whether to keep all of the House measure’s $664 billion in tax cuts that mostly benefit well-off Americans. (Bloomberg)

Public Sector

Defense contractor stored intelligence data in Amazon cloud unprotected. On May 24, Chris Vickery, a cyber risk analyst with the security firm UpGuard, discovered a publicly accessible data cache on Amazon Web Services' S3 storage service that contained highly classified intelligence data. The cache was posted to an account linked to defense and intelligence contractor Booz Allen Hamilton. (Ars Technica)

Booz Allen, NGA probe intel leak. Edward Snowden, Hal Martin and now another Booz Allen Hamilton employee could be involved in the leak of sensitive intelligence data -- though in the latest case, it appears it could be accidental. (FCW)

DHS cancels $1.5B contract for agile services. The Homeland Security Department’s has cancelled its $1.5 billion contract vehicle for agile development services known as Flexible Agile Support for the Homeland (FLASH). (Federal News Radio)

Sen. Tester introduces bill that would compel DHS to buy American-made products. The “Strengthening Security and American Manufacturing Act” would apply to uniforms, footwear, tents, field packs and other textile-based equipment. (Inside Trade)

Here's how agencies should implement Trump's cyber order. Agency directors can designate a subordinate to be accountable for ensuring the cybersecurity of agency networks rather than taking full responsibility themselves, according to recent White House guidance. (NextGov)

The 5 non-cyber challenges facing federal cybersecurity. In addition to strong cybersecurity risk awareness and mitigation policies, as well as state-of-the-art threat detection software, agencies must also equip themselves with top talent, modern systems, efficient procurement practices and more to prevent themselves from malicious intruders. (FedScoop)

How should startups work with city governments? If you want to re-imagine cities, you’ll likely work with city government. Sometimes this means city governments will your customer, but far more often founders will encounter an unfamiliar relationship that includes policy, regulations and enforcement. (TechCrunch)

West Virginia bolsters cybersecurity on personal data. An executive order centralizes and expands cybersecurity oversight and governance around personally identifiable information, enabling new data sharing opportunities for state agencies. (StateScoop)

VA chief will seek IT funding supplemental. Once the Department of Veterans Affairs makes a decision on the future of its electronic health records system, it will seek money from Congress to put the plan into place, agency head David Shulkin said at a May 31 White House press conference. (FCW)


None of Silicon Valley's biggest companies earned top ratings from women employees in tech. We know the stats: women hold about 21 percent of technical jobs at Silicon Valley's top companies, and according to a new report from the jobs site Comparably, the biggest tech companies—and their CEOs—don't make it to the top of the heap when women in the tech industry rate their employers. (Mashable)


Mary Meeker’s latest trends report highlights Silicon Valley’s role in the future of healthcare. Mary Meeker’s latest Internet Trends Report, out today, was full of insights on how tech is shaping our future — including now in healthcare. This was the first year Meeker included healthcare in her report and it shows just how much of a role tech is going to play in improving our lives going forward. (TechCrunch)

NASA Wants to Send the Fastest Spacecraft Ever Into the Sun. NASA will launch a probe next year into the Sun’s outer atmosphere that’s expected to improve dramatically our understanding of “space weather” and its risk to satellites, electrical grids, and telecommunications. (Bloomberg)

For $499, a Drone for Beginners. If you thought those drones buzzing around on the beach were annoying, just wait and see what happens when they become cheaper than iPhones. Whether you like it or not, drones — miniature remotely controlled aircraft — may be on the cusp of going mainstream as they plummet in price. (New York Times)

Artificial Intelligence

Morgan Stanley’s 16,000 Human Brokers Get Algorithmic Makeover. The project, known internally as “next best action,” shows how one of the world’s biggest brokerages aims to upgrade its workforce while a growing number of firms roll out fully automated platforms called robo-advisers. (Bloomberg)

Robots of the future will learn just like they do in Star Trek's Holodeck. When future robots enter the world, they won’t have a learning curve. Artificial intelligence researchers are creating tools to help teach the robots that will assemble our gadgets in factories, or do chores around our home, before they ever step (or roll) into the real world. (NextGov)

Tech Business

Uber Posts $708 Million Loss as Finance Head Leaves. Uber said its head of finance is leaving as the ride-hailing company reported continued big losses despite growing revenue, adding to an exodus of top officials and setting the stage for a second major executive search. (Wall Street Journal)

Time Warner’s CEO says its $85 billion sale to AT&T is all about battling Google and Facebook. Data, data, data. That, in essence, is why Time Warner has agreed to sell itself to AT&T — a company that has a direct link with consumers — Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes said in an interview with Recode’s Peter Kafka at the Code Conference on Wednesday afternoon. (Recode)

Internet traffic from bots surpassed human-generated traffic in 2016. This wasn’t the first year that bots created more traffic than humans online. (Recode)

Bitcoin Is at Risk of No Longer Being the Biggest Digital Currency. Step aside, bitcoin. There’s another digital token in town that’s winning over the hearts and wallets of cryptocurrency enthusiasts across the globe. (Bloomberg)

At Top VC Firms, More Women Partners Doesn’t Mean More Women Funded. A Bloomberg analysis shows firms with female senior investing partners were not more likely to invest in companies founded by women. (Bloomberg)

ITI Member News

Amazon's delivery drone system is getting parachutes for your packages. Amazon has received a patent for a shipping label with a parachute built in, intended for "packages to be dropped from the aerial vehicle, yet land at the package's destination without damage." (Mashable)

Apple Is Manufacturing a Siri Speaker to Outdo Google and Amazon. The iPhone-maker has started manufacturing a long-in-the-works Siri-controlled smart speaker, according to people familiar with the matter. (Bloomberg)

Google's Waze Carpool expands throughout California in first big test. Navigation app Waze will expand its carpool service throughout California next week, including the key car hub of Los Angeles, in its largest scale rollout of the service owned by Alphabet's Google. (Reuters)

Cybersecurity firm Palo Alto's third quarter report eases sales fears, shares jump. Cybersecurity company Palo Alto Networks Inc's results and forecast topped expectations, helped by a near record number of customer additions that also eased concerns about its sales execution at a time of heightened cyber security awareness in the wake of the recent WannaCry ransomware attack. (Reuters)

Hey, Bixby...Where Is Samsung’s Virtual Assistant? The English-language version of Samsung Electronics Co.’s new voice-activated virtual assistant won’t likely debut in the U.S. until at least late June, according to people familiar with the matter, more than two months after the launch of the South Korean tech giant’s latest high-end smartphone. (Wall Street Journal)

Toshiba moves back some chip unit assets to ward off Western Digital's legal claim. Toshiba Corp has moved some of the assets of its memory chip unit back to the parent company to ward off Western Digital Corp's legal claim that the Japanese conglomerate cannot sell the unit without the U.S. partner's consent. (Reuters)

Toyota uses open-source software in new approach to in-car tech. Toyota Motor Corp on Wednesday said the infotainment system of its revamped Camry sedan to be sold in the United States will run on a Linux-based, open-source technology platform as it tries to keep up with tech firms in developing software for cars. (Reuters)

Hillary Clinton just called out the 'conspiracy, lies, false information' of Twitter and Facebook. Hillary Clinton is not happy with Twitter. Or Facebook. Responding to a question from Mashable Tech Editor Pete Pachal at the Code Conference regarding whether Twitter has been "bad or good for our national discourse," the former presidential candidate expounded upon the ways that Twitter has negatively impacted our politics. (Mashable)

1600 Penn.

In the morning, President Donald Trump will receive his daily intelligence briefing. The President will then meet with National Security Advisor H. R. McMaster. In the afternoon, at approximately 3:00 p.m. EDT, the President will make a statement regarding the Paris Accord.

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 a pro forma session only with no business conducted on 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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