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Tech News Roundup - 07/17/2017

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How to Smoke Out Where Broadband Companies Stand on Net Neutrality. A curious thing happened on Wednesday, a day that many internet companies and public policy groups had christened a "Day of Action" aimed at protesting the Federal Communications Commission's plan to overturn so-called net neutrality rules. (New York Times)

Ajit Pai not concerned about number of pro-net neutrality comments. One day after a large protest of his plan to gut net neutrality rules, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai was asked if the number of pro-net neutrality comments submitted to the FCC might cause a change in course. (Ars Technica)

Op-Ed: It's our last chance to choose information independence over special interests. What if you were charged $30 dollars to access only 100 websites? Could you still stream videos online if you had to purchase a $10 "expansion bundle" every month to access video streaming services?(Recode)

Artificial Intelligence

Elon Musk just told a group of America's governors that we need to regulate AI before it's too late. Elon Musk doesn't scare easily - he wants to send people to Mars and believes that all cars will be driving themselves in the next ten years. He's excited about it! (Recode)
Elon Musk Lays Out Worst-Case Scenario for AI Threat. Elon Musk warned a gathering of U.S. governors that they need to be concerned about the potential dangers from the rise of artificial intelligence and called for the creation of a regulatory body to guide development of the powerful technology. (Wall Street Journal)

Apple's Privacy Pledge Complicates Its AI Push. It's the simple bargain that made companies like Google and Facebook into giants: in exchange for the convenience of running your life from a smartphone, you hand over gobs of data on your every activity. (Wired)

China may match or beat America in AI. At the start of this year, two straws in the wind caught the attention of those who follow the development of artificial intelligence (AI) globally. (The Economist)


Australian PM seeks access to encrypted messages. Some apps such as WhatsApp use end-to-end encryption, making messages unreadable if intercepted. (BBC News)


Thune bill aims to improve 'gig economy' tax compliance. A bill S. 1549 (115) introduced this week by a top Republican would potentially raise billions by requiring Airbnb, Uber, Handy and other companies to report more information to the government about the money people earn through their platforms. (Politico Pro)

After border-adjustment crackup, GOP mulls creating a foreign minimum tax. The border-adjustment flame-out has Republicans rethinking an old idea: a foreign minimum tax. (Politico Pro)


House adds cyber strategy provision to defense bill. The House has joined the Senate in calling for the Department of Defense to update its cyber strategy and to more clearly define the meaning of cyber deterrence. (FCW)

Public Sector

McCaskill wants answers on immigration IT. The ranking Democrat on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs committee wants answers on a DHS plan to restart the troubled Electronic Immigration System, after months out of service. (FCW)

FedRAMP Tailored issues another baseline for public comment. The Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program released a new baseline for its anticipated Tailored service for public comment on Thursday, following an evaluation period of previous comments in March. (FedScoop)

The government needs agile contracting officers too, DHS officials say. While agile development is driving innovation in the federal tech and citizen services realms, two Department of Homeland Security officials see another arena where it should be applied: contracting. (FedScoop)

Internet of Things

How the Bay Area took over the self-driving car business. The small white cars topped with what look like stubby metal antennas swarm in and out of an unmarked San Francisco building like bees around a hive. (San Francisco Chronicle)


A vote on California's landmark climate legislation is coming down to the wire. California has the most reliably progressive climate policy of any state in America. And a lot has happened under Gov. Jerry Brown's leadership. (Vox)

Report: Draft of DOE baseload study says wind, solar don't threaten reliability. On Friday evening, Bloomberg reported that it has seen an early draft of a study from the Department of Energy (DOE) concluding that renewable energy like wind and solar are not a threat to the reliability of the grid at present. (Ars Technica)

As Army pushes toward 1 gigawatt renewable energy goal, emphasis is on resiliancy. Over the past five years, the Army has been busily building renewable power facilities on its bases in pursuit of an overall goal of one gigawatt of renewable energy by 2025. It's nearly a third of the way there, with 300 megawatts worth of renewable energy already online and more in the contracting pipeline. (Federal News Radio)

Why Macron might be best bet to bring U.S. back to Paris climate deal. President Trump's suggestion during his visit with French President Emmanuel Macron that "something could happen with respect to the Paris agreement" awakened hopes that he just might be willing to reverse the decision to pull the United States out of the landmark climate agreement. (Washington Post)


Governors Tout Trade Power with Other Countries. Governors had a message for foreign officials including Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau : They have influence with the federal government when it comes to trade. (Wall Street Journal)

U.S. governors are wooed on NAFTA - by Canada and Mexico. Providence, R.I. - President Donald Trump has vowed he'll pull out of NAFTA if he doesn't get the changes he wants. So Canada and Mexico have found a workaround:reach out directly to U.S. governors, local lawmakers and industry leaders in a bid to save NAFTA. (Politico Pro)

Mexico's Priority Focuses on Quick NAFTA Resolution . Mexico's highest priority in the upcoming North American Free Trade Act negotiations could be trying to limit its scope in an effort to move talks forward faster, according to former senior trade officials who are close to government sources. (BNA)

11 Nations, Minus U.S., Aim to Save Trade Deal. When President Trump pulled out of his predecessor's signature trade deal on his first full weekday in office, the 11 other countries that had negotiated the pact were left wondering if years of work had just gone down the drain. (New York Times)

Mapping Silicon Valley's Many European Headaches. Europe has long been a regulatory nuisance to America's biggest tech companies, issuing small fines and stern declarations that tech giants must do more to responsibly police their own content. (The Ringer)


Efforts to estimate scope of FISA intrusion on Americans halts under Trump administration. The Obama administration was on track to come up with an estimate of how many Americans' information is snared by the government's foreign surveillance - then the Trump administration took over and things got bogged down. (Washington Times)

Travelers just won back a bit of their privacy at the border. Travelers worried about having their smartphones or other electronic devices searched when they enter the United States can breathe a small sigh of relief: U.S. customs agents may be more limited than previously thought in their ability to browse the contents of your phone. (Washington Post)

Facebook says it shouldn't have to stay mum when government seeks user data. Major technology companies and civil liberties groups have joined Facebook in a closed courtroom battle over secret government access to social media records. (Washington Post)

Trump Appeals Latest Travel-Ban Ruling. The Justice Department moved quickly on Friday to appeal a federal judge's latest ruling trimming President Donald Trump's temporary travel ban, while the administration is separately laying the groundwork for new and broader restrictions. (Wall Street Journal)
Op-Ed: Trump is rapidly becoming the anti-innovation president. Judging from President Donald Trump's announced intention to kill a program aimed at allowing foreign founders of successful startup firms to stay in the United States, he is not content with being the most anti-immigration, anti-environment and anti-free press U.S. leader in recent memory. (Miami Herald)

Google, which says it doesn't underpay women, may not have to reveal as much as the U.S. government seeks. A federal court in California moved on Friday to spare Google from turning over a trove of information about its employees to the U.S. government as the feds continue to investigate whether the tech giant underpays its female workers. (Recode)

A snapshot of the jobs malaise. The U.S. is in the third-longest economic expansion in post-war history. There are more jobs, but wages have been a sore spot: since the financial crash, the typical American's earnings have barely grown when you account for inflation. (Axios)

Tech Business

Quit Your Job for a Better One? Not if You Live in Idaho. Idaho achieved a notable distinction last year: It became one of the hardest places in America for someone to quit a job for a better one. (New York Times)
Uber Backers Discuss Stock Sale to SoftBank, Others. Uber Technologies Inc. shareholders and its board, led by early backer Benchmark, have discussed selling some of their shares to SoftBank Group Corp. and other potential investors, people familiar with the matter said. (Bloomberg)
Can the Tech Giants Be Stopped?. Sometimes it is hard to grasp how quickly the giant tech companies have come to dominate the world economy. (Wall Street Journal)
AT&T CEO Will Lead Distinct Telecom, Media Units After Time Warner Merger. AT&T Inc. T 0.25% plans to split the management of its telecom operations and its media assets after clinching a takeover of Time Warner Inc., TWX 0.67% putting veteran AT&T executive John Stankey in charge of the Time Warner business, according to people familiar with the matter. (Wall Street Journal)
In Silicon Valley, dropping in at the GooglePlex, tech museums and the Jobs garage. Like my college-age daughters, I am in love with my iPhone. And my ardor increased while I was researching a guidebook. (Washington Post)
Overfunding floats Silicon Valley's bubble economy. Just a few years ago, Jawbone, the nearly defunct maker of wearable technology, was handing out its brightly coloured fitness tracking wristbands like lollipops to VIPs at Davos. (Financial Times)
In Urban China, Hardly Anyone Is Using Cash Anymore. There is an audacious economic experiment happening in China. (New York Times)

ITI Member News

Intel Gets Israel Tax Agency Go-Ahead on $15B Mobileye Deal . Intel Corp., the world's largest computer-chip maker, has received approval from Israel's tax agency for the $15 billion takeover of Mobileye N.V., pushing the deal a step closer to completion. (BNA)
How Apple vs. Samsung Became a Smartphone Beauty Contest. Samsung Electronics Co.'s newest flagship smartphone owes a lot to scuba diving. (Wall Street Journal)
Facebook is putting ads everywhere in hopes of finding the next News Feed. Facebook has a cash cow. It's called News Feed, and for the past five years, it has been the company's core moneymaker and source of revenue growth. (Recode)

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.
The Senate will convene at 3:00 p.m. and proceed to executive session to resume consideration of the nomination of Patrick M. Shanahan, of Washington, to be Deputy Secretary of Defense.
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