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Tech News Roundup - 07/11/2017

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Key Issues


Here's China's latest plan to keep its citizens from the open Internet. The Chinese government is cracking down on a key technology that Web surfers use to protect their privacy and get around online censorship, according to Bloomberg News. (Washington Post)

China Tells Carriers to Block Access to Personal VPNs by February. China's government has told telecommunications carriers to block individuals' access to virtual private networks by Feb. 1, people familiar with the matter said, thereby shutting a major window to the global internet. (Bloomberg)

The coming battle over 'net neutrality'. Sites such as Netflix and Amazon are joining with civil liberty groups in a co-ordinated protest, and activists are already sharing viral content on Twitter, Redditand Facebook in preparation. So why all the outcry - and who's behind the social media campaign? (BBC News)
Dem senators urge FCC to prepare for net neutrality 'Day of Action'. Democratic senators criticized the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) handling of a cyberattack that kept individuals from commenting on a net neutrality proposal, urging the commission to make sure that the system would be more secure in advance of an anticipated influx of comments. (The Hill)

Most Americans Support the Net Neutrality Rules that Trump's FCC Wants to Kill. President Trump's top telecom regulator is racing forward to kill US net neutrality rules despite strong bipartisan support among Americans for preserving net neutrality under the current federal policy, according to a new public opinion poll released Monday. (Motherboard)

Microsoft will try to bring better broadband to two million rural Americans in the next five years. Microsoft plans to announce on Tuesday a new campaign to try to "eliminate" the gap in high-speed internet access in the country's hardest-to-reach areas - an effort called the Rural Airband Initiative, which will set an ambitious target of bringing better broadband to two million Americans within the next five years. (Recode)

Somalia internet outage is 'major disaster'. The outage affects southern Somalia, and was caused by damage to an undersea fibre-optic cable more than two weeks ago. (BBC News)


Trump backtracks on cyber unit with Russia after harsh criticism. U.S. President Donald Trump on Sunday backtracked on his push for a cyber security unit with Russia, tweeting that he did not think it could happen, hours after his proposal was harshly criticized by Republicans who said Moscow could not be trusted. (Reuters)

Universal cybersecurity principles advance policy in Connecticut. After nearly a year of planning, Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy announced a new cybersecurity resource Monday, emphasizing that tenets contained within are versatile enough to be used both in and out of government. (StateScoop)

Connecticut's New Cybersecurity Strategy Takes Holistic Approach. In other parts of the world, Ukraine for example, there is little to no doubt that cyber is a devastating weapon in the arsenal of governments and hackers; stateside, however, the idea seems to just be catching on throughout all levels of government. (GovTech)

Public Sector

4 NDAA amendments to watch on the House floor this week. The 2018 House defense authorization bill made it out of committee and that means all 435 members of the House get a crack at the bill when it gets to the floor. (Federal News Radio)

A new approach to federal cybersecurity, two years after the OPM breach. Many feel the 2015 data breach at the Office of Personnel Management served as a wake-up call for the federal government. In many ways, it was more of a confirmation of what many had feared would eventually happen. (Federal News Radio)

Innovation is key to an effective Trump administration, think tank says. Harnessing innovation is key to the Trump administration's ability to improve how the federal government operates, according to a new report released by the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation. (FedScoop)

Virginia becomes first state to opt in to FirstNet. Virginia is the first state to opt in to FirstNet, Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced after signing a letter of intent Monday. (StateScoop)

Artificial Intelligence
Google seeks to make artificial intelligence more people-friendly. Google is grappling with how to make sure artificial intelligence benefits humans more than it hinders them, as the powerful new technology starts to permeate all of its services. (Financial Times)

Intel, While Pivoting to Artificial Intelligence, Tries to Protect Lead. The computers in modern data centers - the engine rooms of the digital economy - are powered mainly by Intel chips. They animate the computing clouds of the internet giants and corporate data centers worldwide. (New York Times)

The robot revolution blurs the line between man and machine. So, I turned to Sophia and asked: "Are you going to destroy us?" (Financial Times)


Short Answers to Hard Questions About Climate Change. The issue can be overwhelming. The science is complicated. Predictions about the fate of the planet carry endless caveats and asterisks. (New York Times)

Trump administration may let California keep emissions standards. The Trump administration may be quietly conceding defeat to California on car tailpipe emissions, the biggest battleground in the state's showdown with President Trump over climate change. (San Francisco Chronicle)

The stubbornly persistent idea about climate change that just won't go away. As if melting glaciers, thawing permafrost and starving polar bears weren't enough, scientists are finding that the effects of climate change in the Arctic are even more complex - and far-reaching - than we thought. (Washington Post)

The Paris gap: How private action can fill the void on emissions. With President Donald Trump's announcement to pull the United States out of the Paris Agreement, many other countries around the world - and cities and states within the U.S. - are stepping up their commitments to address climate change. (GreenBiz)


Chile: TPP-11 meeting this week aims to give 'political signal' to support free trade. Trade negotiators from the 11 remaining Trans-Pacific Partnership countries will gather this week in Hakone, Japan, to evaluate options for moving ahead with the TPP without the United States, the Chilean government announced today. (Politico Pro)
Big in Japan: How the EU pulled off its largest trade deal. After four years of grueling negotiations, the EU's landmark trade deal with Japan boiled down to one intractable issue: soft cheese. (Politico)


Digital Privacy to Come Under Supreme Court's Scrutiny. In October 1986, the top-rated television program was "The Cosby Show,"Janet Jackson's "When I Think of You" headed the pop music charts, and "Crocodile Dundee" dominated the box office. (New York Times)

Austria pursues police access to messaging data with new law. Austria is pursuing plans to give police access to messaging services such as WhatsApp (FB.O) or Skype in an attempt to "close the gap" on criminals who are no longer communicating via the telephone. (Reuters)


Jobless Rates for Hispanic and Black Workers Fall to Historic Lows. A long, if unspectacular, economic recovery appears to be paying dividends for two groups that disproportionately suffered in the wake of the Great Recession. (Wall Street Journal)

Internet of Things

Columbus under construction to become America's first 'smart city'. America's first smart city is almost 2,500 miles from Silicon Valley. So it's not San Francisco. (Fox News)
Detroit's Urgent Embrace of Self-Driving Cars. Last Friday, Tesla's Model 3, the upstart automaker's first mid-priced, mass-market electric vehicle, began rolling off the assembly line. (New Yorker)


DHS delays rule allowing entrepreneurs into the United States. The Trump administration is delaying a rule that would have made it easier for foreign investors and entrepreneurs to enter the U.S. (The Hill)

In Blow to Tech Industry, Trump Shelves Start-Up Immigrant Rule. The Trump administration said it would delay, and probably eliminate down the line, a federal rule that would have let foreign entrepreneurs come to the United States to start companies. (New York Times)

Trump begins to dismantle Obama's "startup visa" program. The Trump administration has delayed the implementation of the "International Entrepreneur Rule," an Obama-era policy that would have allowed more foreigners to start businesses in the US. The administration intends to overturn the rule, which would have gone into effect next week. (Ars Technica)
Intellectual Property

Tech launches new organization to galvanize patent reform. Major technology companies are pooling together to launch a new alliance in the hopes of spurring patent reform. (The Hill)

Tech Business

Priscilla Chan is running one of the most ambitious philanthropies in the world. Priscilla Chan remembers the moment she decided to become a doctor. (Recode)

Zzzzzz: Sleep gadgets adjust if you're restless _ or snoring. Pillows that track your snoozing patterns? A bed that adjusts based on how much you twist and turn? Companies are adding more technology into their products, hoping to lure customers craving a better night's sleep. (AP)

Comcast, AT&T, WhatsApp all score low on new "Who Has Your Back?" list. Only a handful of tech companies have earned the Electronic Frontier Foundation's coveted five-star rating in its annual "Who Has Your Back?" scorecard, released on Monday. (Ars Technica)

Snap Inc. SNAP -1.11% shares fell below their initial public offering price for the first time, a setback for one of the most anticipated U.S. IPOs in recent years. (Wall Street Journal)

ITI Member News

Amazon is quietly rolling out its own Geek Squad to set up gadgets in your home. For 15 years, Best Buy's Geek Squad installation and repair service has served as one key advantage over Amazon that the e-commerce giant seemed unlikely to match. (Recode)

Nokia 'regrets' Withings health app backlash. Nokia took over health tech firm Withings in 2016 and recently replaced the Withings Health Mate app with a Nokia-branded version. (BBC News)

With New Software Bundle, Microsoft Furthers Nadella's 'One' Push. Microsoft Corp. MSFT 0.75% on Monday unveiled a new bundled software offering that will leverage its dominant operating system and productivity applications to provide a boost to products that aren't as widely used. (Wall Street Journal)
A Google Engineer Learns the Fashion Code. Amit Sood, an engineer at Google, sat in his Manhattan office on a recent afternoon, explaining the tech company's latest foray into fashion, We Wear Culture. (New York Times)

Today on the Hill

Today, the House will meet at 12:00 p.m. for morning hour and 2:00 p.m. for legislative business. Votes will be postponed until 6:30 p.m.
Today the Senate will convene at 2:15 p.m. and proceed to executive session to resume consideration of the nomination of David Nye, of Idaho, to be United States District Judge for the District of Idaho.
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