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Tech News Roundup - 07/15/2017

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Tech industry's legislation talk puts Democrats in net neutrality bind. Key tech industry leaders are expressing openness to having lawmakers step in to legislate net neutrality - putting pressure on their Democratic allies in Congress who've been adamantly opposed to such a move. (Politico Pro)

If you blinked, you missed yesterday's net neutrality protest. Facebook, Google, Twitter and other companies, activists and startups that rallied in support of net neutrality on Wednesday probably aren't going to stop the Trump administration from killing the rules currently on the government's books. (Recode)

Poll: GOP voters support net neutrality rules, oppose AT&T-Time Warner merger. A new poll of Republican voters shows that a majority of President Trump's supporters are in favor of net neutrality rules and also oppose the pending AT&T-Time Warner merger. (The Hill)

FCC approves new spectrum for vehicle radar systems. The U.S. Federal Communications Commission on Thursday approved allocating a larger consolidated block of spectrum for use by motor vehicle and aircraft radar systems to help avoid crashes. (Reuters)

FCC Takes Stronger Aim at Robocalls. The Federal Communications Commission opened a new inquiry into ways to curb unwanted robocalls Thursday, with the aim of deterring use of fake phone numbers-a tactic known as spoofing that has been a major factor in the current epidemic. (Wall Street Journal)

$50B telecom award due in late July. The General Services Administration is only days away from awarding its 15-year, $50 billion contract for 21st-century telecommunications, one of the agency's top acquisition managers said. (FCW)


French government to appeal pro-Google court tax ruling. The French government said on Thursday it would appeal against a court ruling in Google's favour with regard to 1.1 billion euros ($1.25 billion) in tax. (Reuters)


Why cyber capabilities are more important than strategy. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) has not been subtle in his calls over the last year for the U.S. to develop a cyber deterrence strategy, and the Senate's freshly minted 2018 defense bill now directs the Pentagon to create a comprehensive cyber strategy. (FCW)

Tech Politics

Why this Silicon Valley magnate is funding a new wave of political candidates. Still reeling from Donald Trump's election, a prominent technologist is taking a page from powerful donors the Koch brothers, who remade state politics by recruiting and funding a new generation of GOP candidates. (Washington Post)

This group of Obama alums has raised $2.5 million to improve Democrats' tech tools. A startup incubator launched by some of former President Barack Obama's top tech aides is ramping up its efforts to raise money and invest in new, cutting-edge digital tools meant to help Democrats win more races in 2018 and beyond. (Recode)

Public Sector

Workforce antidiscrimination bill sails through House. The House of Representatives passed by voice vote a bill that would codify stronger antidiscrimination protections for federal employees. (FCW)

18F promotes internally for new leadership roles. The 18F digital services team kicked off the week with some fresh leadership news - Cyd Harrell announced she will now fill the newly created position of chief of staff, while Rebecca Piazza has been promoted to the agency's new deputy executive director. (FedScoop)

FITARA extensions added to House's 2018 NDAA. A new measure in the House version of the fiscal 2018 National Defense Authorization Act proposes extending key provisions of the Federal IT Acquisition Reform Act that are set to expire soon. (FedScoop)

Jerry Brown Tries to Shore Up Cap-and-Trade Support in California. California Gov. Jerry Brown may have seized the role as a global-warming crusader abroad, but back home he is struggling to unite Democrats and even environmentalists around a key piece of his climate change agenda. (Wall Street Journal)

Climate-Altering Gases Spiked in 2016, Federal Scientists Report. Annual greenhouse gas emissions rose more quickly last year than they have in nearly three decades, an increase scientists attributed in part to a strong El Niño weather pattern, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported this week. (New York Times)


Texas Lawmaker Sees NAFTA Labor Provisions Attracting Votes . A vote on a modernized North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) will attract more Democrats than past trade deals since NAFTA 2.0 will contain upgrades to labor and environmental provisions, Rep. Will Hurd (R-Texas) said. (BNA)
U.S. governors to foreign nations: Come work directly with states on trade. Foreign countries interested in doing business with the United States should ignore President Donald Trump and his administration's more protectionist rhetoric and deal directly with individual states, the chairman of the National Governors Association said Thursday. (Politico Pro)

China's June Exports Beat Expectations With a 11.3% Rise. China's exports and imports both came in stronger than expected in June, reflecting resilience in the world's second-largest economy amid Beijing's effort to reduce debt and boding well for next week's report on overall growth. (Wall Street Journal)


States May Limit AT&T, Comcast In Response to FCC Repeal of Customer Data Protections. Soon after President Donald Trump took office with a pledge to cut regulations, Republicans in Congress killed an Obama-era rule restricting how broadband companies may use customer data such as web browsing histories. (GovTech)

U.S. asks nations to provide more traveler data or face sanctions. The U.S. State Department will require all nations to provide extensive data to help it vet visa applicants and determine whether a traveler poses a terrorist threat, according to a cable obtained by Reuters. (Reuters)

EU regulators clamp down on social media searches on job applicants. Employers who check a job candidate's Facebook or Twitter profile before deciding whether to hire them may be in breach of European law, top regulators have said, as the EU tightens its data protection policies. (Financial Times)

All-girl Afghan robotics team cleared to compete in United States. A team of Afghan girls are on their way to compete in an academic robotics competition in the United States after American officials agreed to allow them to enter the country despite initially denying them visas. (Reuters)


FanDuel and DraftKings are dropping their merger. FanDuel and DraftKings have decided to scrap their merger rather than fight the U.S. government, which had sought to block the combination of the country's two top daily fantasy sports sites on grounds that it threatened competition and consumers. (Recode)

Sexism and Silicon Valley: Women can't raise cash and now we have one more reason why. When Jen O'Neal was raising money for her travel start-up two years ago, she was invited to pitch to all the partners and associates at a prominent Silicon Valley venture capital firm. (USA Today)

Internet of Things

Next-gen car technology just got another big upgrade. Federal regulators have approved a big swath of new airwaves for vehicle radar devices, opening the door to cheaper, more precise sensors that may accelerate the arrival of high-tech, next-generation cars. (Washington Post)

Tech Business

Uber Offers a Thankless Job, and the Applications Flood In. Wanted: a seasoned executive to take the top position at a troubled technology start-up. Must be willing to fix a broken culture, deal with an aggressive predecessor, battle a risky lawsuit and prepare the company for an initial public offering. Self-starters preferred. (New York Times)

Uber and Yandex, a Russian Ride-Hailing Rival, Opt to Share the Road. Uber is famous for its pugnacious approach to business and willingness to fight any and all competition. But in a handful of countries, the ride-hailing company has ended up on a more conciliatory path. (New York Times)

China's Grip on Maps Hinders Self-Driving Car Makers. As auto makers such as General Motors Co. and Ford Motor Co.F +1.35% along with tech companies including Google and Apple Inc.AAPL +1.48% rush to develop self-driving vehicles or the software behind them, the world's largest auto market-China-is creating roadblocks. (Wall Street Journal)
Facebook Plans to Unveil a $200 Wireless Oculus VR Headset for 2018. Facebook Inc. is taking another stab at turning its Oculus Rift virtual reality headset into a mass-market phenomenon. (Bloomberg)

Uber's Napoleon Moment. He probably wouldn't agree, but it's fortunate in one way for Travis Kalanick that he's no longer in charge of Uber Technologies Inc. (Bloomberg)
WeWork Plans 'Aggressive' Expansion in Latin America Push. WeWork Cos., the world's largest co-working space startup, is embarking on an ambitious expansion in Latin America, setting its sights on the region after recent forays in China and India. (Bloomberg)

"Silicon Valley is going to do fine": why investors aren't too worried about Donald Trump. During a trip to the San Francisco Bay Area last month, I talked to a number of technology leaders about how the Trump era would affect Silicon Valley. (Vox)

The hotel industry is helping New York City find illegal Airbnb rentals. New York City runs an Office of Special Enforcement that reportedly devotes 95 percent of its time scrutinizing rental listings - many of which are on Airbnb - to assess if they violate state or local laws writes Bloomberg. (The Hill)

Today on the Hill

Today, the House will meet at 9:00 a.m. for legislative business. First and last votes expected: 10:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
The Senate is not in session today.
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