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Tech News Roundup - 07/13/2017

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Hill Republicans warn big tech: tread carefully. Republican House leadership told Facebook, Google and Amazon that overly aggressive net neutrality activism could make it harder to work together on other policy issues the firms care about, according to two sources familiar with the conversation. (Axios)

The FCC moved to undo net neutrality. So what's next?. The Federal Communications Commission voted May 18 to begin undoing Obama-era Internet regulations that disallowed Internet providers from favoring or blocking websites. Here's what's next for the commission and your Internet. (Washington Post)

Internet service providers renew call for net neutrality legislation. More internet service providers are using the pro-net neutrality "day of action" today to outline their own views on the best path to an open internet. (Politico Pro)

Dems rally for net neutrality on 'Day of Action'. Democrats rallied outside the Capitol on Wednesday to show their support for the net neutrality rules as part of a "Day of Action." (The Hill)

Tech firms protest proposed changes to U.S. net neutrality rules. Facebook, Twitter, Alphabet Inc and dozens of other major technology companies are participating in an online protest on Wednesday to oppose proposed changes to U.S. net neutrality rules that prohibit broadband providers from giving or selling access to certain internet services over others. (Reuters)

Organizers declare 'day of action' a success, though some consumers may have missed it. The internet industry and progressive groups declared their "day of action" in defense of net neutrality rules a success Wednesday, but the average consumer spending time online may have missed some of the signals. (Politico Pro)

Op-Ed: On this day of action, the internet needs a law, not a regulation. Too often, politicians and activists of all stripes prefer slogans over solutions. Today, Silicon Valley players, big and small, and many Washington, D.C.-based activist groups are leading a protest to "save net neutrality" from the Federal Communications Commission's proposal to undo regulations the agency adopted two years ago. (Recode)
Senate Republican: We need bipartisan net neutrality legislation. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) is calling for bipartisan legislation on the net neutrality Day of Action. (The Hill)
Even 4chan is opposing the Republican plan for net neutrality. Major websites such as Facebook, Google and Netflix are speaking up today to oppose an effort by Republican policymakers who are seeking to undo the government's net neutrality regulations - those federal rules passed in 2015 aimed at making sure Internet providers like Verizon or AT&T can't manipulate what you can see online. (Washington Post)

Microsoft to plug rural broadband gap with TV white space. The US Federal Communications Commission says 34 million Americans - 23.4 million of whom are in rural areas - lack a broadband net connection. (BBC News)

Mayors label Trump's net neutrality plans an 'affront to democracy'. Seattle Mayor Ed Murray called it "discriminatory," Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser described it as a "negative impact," and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio denounced it as an "affront to democracy." (StateScoop)

Why The Internet Fast Lane Has Bypassed Rural America. Broadband access for more than 23 million rural Americans is lousy. Microsoft says it wants to change that. The tech giant calls it an effort to serve communities who feel left behind. But what's behind this latest push? Politics or economics? (NPR)


French Court Throws Out Google's $1.3 Billion Tax Bill. Alphabet Inc.'s GOOGL +1.47% Google won a reprieve from one of its biggest legal battles in Europe on Wednesday, when a Paris court threw out a €1.11 billion ($1.27 billion) bill that France's tax authority has sought from the search giant for five years of back taxes. (Wall Street Journal)

Google wins challenge against 1.1 billion-euro French tax bill. A French court ruled on Wednesday that Google (GOOGL.O) was not liable to pay 1.1 billion euros ($1.3 billion) in back taxes demanded by the French authorities. (Reuters)

Analysis: Could Anyone's Taxes Rise Under Donald Trump's Tax Plan?. Tax policy is all about trade-offs, and Republicans are about to see just how stark their choices are. (Wall Street Journal)

New analysis says Trump's tax plans would help wealthy, do little for economy. President Donald Trump's tax designs would overwhelmingly benefit the rich, add trillions to the debt and do little for the economy, according to a new analysis. (Politico Pro)


Apple Opens Data Center in China to Comply With Cybersecurity Law. Apple has set up its first data center in China, setting the tone for how foreign companies will handle a strict new law requiring them to store Chinese users' information in the country. (New York Times)
Apple to Build China Data Center to Meet New Cybersecurity Law. To comply with tough new cybersecurity rules, Apple Inc.will begin storing all cloud data for its China customers with a government-owned company-a move that means relinquishing some control over its Chinese data. (Wall Street Journal)
FBI nominee stresses cyber and spy powers. If confirmed as the next FBI director, Christopher Wray will drill down on cyber in his first 90 days, and prioritize reauthorizing foreign surveillance powers and finding a solution to the encryption debate, he told members of the Senate Judiciary Committee. (FCW)
Tech Politics

Mark Zuckerberg Hits the Road to Meet Regular Folks-With a Few Conditions. Mark Zuckerberg is trying to understand America, so he's embarked on a journey to meet people like hockey moms and steelworkers who don't typically cross his path. (Wall Street Journal)

Public Sector

Chris Liddell wants a 'centers of excellence' model for government innovation. Chris Liddell hopes the future of government services is one where the public sector can put its own spin on the technology advancements of the private sector. (FedScoop)

Kaspersky axed from governmentwide contracts. Cybersecurity software from Russian vendor Kaspersky Lab is no longer available to federal agencies via the largest civilian acquisition contract vehicles, after a review by the White House, the General Services Administration and intelligence agencies. (FCW)

SBA CIO grapples with modernization. Small Business Administration CIO Maria Roat has made a raft of changes since taking over the job 10 months ago. (FCW)

On Trump's NDAA wishlist: higher VSIP payments for all feds, an industry exchange program. As agencies consider how they'll shrink the size of their workforce to comply with the president's priorities and budget, the Trump administration wants to increase early retirement payments for all civilian employees. (Federal News Radio)

DoD acquisition proposals reduce burden, heighten transparency concerns. The Defense Department is prompting Congress to take action on a handful of acquisition issues, mostly aimed at reducing regulations on the system, but some fear the proposals may harm government transparency as well. (Federal News Radio)

GSA looks to automate FedRAMP authorizations. The Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program, or FedRAMP, has unveiled a request for information for ways to streamline the process it uses to authorize cloud service providers. (FedScoop)

Zuckerberg visits North Dakota to learn about energy industry. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg visited North Dakota on Wednesday to learn more about the fracking and oil industries, further fueling speculation about the tech billionaire's possible future in politics. (The Hill)

Japan Upgrades Trade Policy to Unprecedented Openness, EU Says. Japan has transformed its trade policy to an unprecedented level of openness through its new trade agreement with the European Union, ditching non-tariff obstacles for cars and food as well as agreeing to regulatory cooperation. (BNA)
Op-Ed: A Trump Disappointment for Manufacturers. President Trump has been a vigorous and outspoken supporter of manufacturers. That's why his nomination of Scott Garrett as president of the U.S. Export-Import Bank is such a disappointment. (Wall Street Journal)

Businesses ramp up pressure to block Trump's Ex-Im nominee. Business lobbyists are starting to publicly flex their muscle in a high-stakes bid to block the nomination of former Rep. Scott Garrett to lead the Export-Import Bank, the embattled agency that guarantees loans for foreign buyers of U.S. exports. (Politico Pro)


Verizon data from 6 million users leaked online. The names, addresses and phone numbers of millions of Verizon customers were publicly exposed online by one of the company's vendors. (USA Today)


Kelly won't commit to defending DACA in court. An Obama-era deportation relief program may soon face a legal challenge - and the Trump administration won't commit to defending it, Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly told Hispanic lawmakers at a closed-door meeting Wednesday on Capitol Hill. (Politico Pro)

Trump crafting plan to slash legal immigration. President Donald Trump and his aides are quietly working with two conservative senators to dramatically scale back legal immigration - a move that would mark the fulfillment of one of the president's biggest campaign promises. (Politico Pro)

Ivanka Trump shows support for Afghan girls' robotics team that had visas denied. As Washington continues to reel after news broke this week of Donald Trump Jr.'s meeting with a lawyer tied to the Russian government, another Trump child is focusing her attention on a different topic: robotics? (USA Today)

Artificial Intelligence

Microsoft Creates New AI Lab to Take on Google's DeepMind. Microsoft Corp. is setting up a new research lab focused on artificial intelligence with the goal of creating more general-purpose learning systems. (Bloomberg)

Microsoft's pitch to be an AI winner. Google and its London-based DeepMind division springs to mind. Facebook has hired some of the biggest thinkers in AI. Then there's IBM with its Watson project - and of course China is pouring vast sums into research, as it tries to replace factory workers with robots. (BBC News)

Tech Business

What We Lose When the World Moves On From Email. Though its political implications are yet unclear, the publication of an email chain in which Donald Trump Jr. arranged a June 2016 meeting with a lawyer peddling the Russian government's help for his father's presidential campaign ought to inspire some pretty obvious tech advice: Step away from the inbox, stupid! (New York Times)

New Silicon Valley fund aims to connect auto companies and startups. Autotech Ventures, a Silicon Valley venture capital firm, said it had raised $120 million from automotive companies and financial investors for a fund that will invest in startups working on transportation services and digital vehicle technology. (Reuters)

Seattle Venture Capitalist Artale Leaves After Misconduct Claims. Ignition Partners LLC said managing partner Frank Artale resigned after the Seattle-based venture capital firm received two claims of misconduct. It's the latest in a series of scandals alleging sexual harassment and other offenses that's rocked the industry. (Bloomberg)

Internet Faces Day of Action; Opposition to Tech Visa Rule Delay. Ahead of today's Internet "Day of Action," trade groups representing AT&T, Verizon Communications and other broadband providers have asked the U.S. Supreme Court for a 60-day extension to request review of a decision upholding the Federal Communications Commission's net neutrality rules, Alexis Kramer reports. (BNA)

WeWork Becomes World's Fifth Most-Valuable Startup. WeWork Cos. raised $760 million in a funding round that places the co-working business among the world's five most-valuable technology startups. (Bloomberg)

Uber Drivers Win Preliminary Class-Action Status in Labor Case. Uber drivers have won a tentative victory in their long-running legal battle to be classified as employees rather than independent contractors. (New York Times)

ITI Member News

Amazon's Prime Day Generates Estimated $1 Billion in Sales. Inc. said its third annual Prime Day sales event was the biggest day ever for the e-commerce giant, with revenue surpassing traditional retailing blowouts like Black Friday and Cyber Monday. (Bloomberg)

Today on the Hill

Today, the House will meet at 10:00 a.m. for morning hour and 12:00 p.m. for legislative business. First votes expected: 1:45 p.m. - 2:45 p.m. Last votes expected: 5:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.
The Senate will convene at 12:30 p.m. and proceed to executive session to resume consideration of the nomination of William Francis Hagerty IV to be Ambassador to Japan.
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