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Tech News Roundup - 07/19/2017

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Tech groups voice support for tax reform. Groups representing the technology industry criticized the current tax system on Tuesday and called for reforms. (ITI Quoted, The Hill)

House Republicans Set Out Plan to Rewrite Tax Code. House Republicans are unveiling an ambitious fiscal plan on Tuesday to rewrite the tax code, revamp medical malpractice laws, change federal employees' retirement benefits and partially repeal the Dodd-Frank financial regulations-all in one bill that wouldn't require any votes from Democrats to pass. (Wall Street Journal)

Budget member could offer poison-pill BAT amendment. A Freedom Caucus conservative is threatening to go rogue at a House Budget Committee markup Wednesday by offering a poison-pill amendment killing a central component of Speaker Paul Ryan's tax reform proposal. (Politico Pro)

Trump privately targeting corporate tax rate 'in the 20s'. The Trump administration is privately discussing a corporate tax rate in the 20 percent to 25 percent range, according to a senior administration official and other advisers in touch with the administration, aiming for a more realistic goal to notch a major policy win after its health care struggles. (Politico Pro)

GOP budget would unlock special power for tax bill - with a catch. House budget leaders will unveil a fiscal blueprint Tuesday to launch the biggest tax code rewrite in a generation, but only if Republicans can simultaneously agree to steep cuts elsewhere. (Politico Pro)

GOP lawmakers, White House try to prepare more fertile ground for tax reform. The White House and top congressional Republicans, mindful of mistakes that have brought their Obamacare repeal efforts to the brink of failure, are taking a more methodical approach to tax reform in hopes of presenting a united front when legislation is rolled out. (Politico Pro)


White House offers support for rolling back net neutrality. The White House on Tuesday offered support for the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) proposal to roll back the Obama-era net neutrality internet rules. (The Hill)

Net neutrality activists to target lawmakers. A pro-net neutrality group plans to put up billboards around the U.S. attacking lawmakers who support the repeal of the Federal Communications Commission's Obama-era rules. (The Hill)
When 5G is here, a wireless supercomputer will follow you around. AT&T (T, Tech30) on Tuesday detailed its plan to use "edge computing" and 5G to move data processing to the cloud, in order to better support these new technologies. (CNN)

Energy and Environment

California approves cap-and-trade scheme until 2030. California lawmakers voted to extend the state's cap-and-trade program another 10 years on Mondaynight. The bill includes language that would gradually tighten restrictions on businesses, reducing the amount of greenhouse gases they're allowed to put in the atmosphere by 40 percent by 2030. (Ars Technica)

Delaware turns to high schoolers to bolster cybersecurity workforce. In a two-pronged approach to cultivate tech talent and create jobs, Delaware has launched a $650,000 cybersecurity training and scholarship program for high school and college students. (StateScoop)

Public Sector

GPO rethinks its business model. In order to manage costs while expanding its digital footprint, the Government Publishing Office is looking at updating its codified business model. (FCW)

6 federal workforce bills to watch this summer. As the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee gets back to work with new leadership, lawmakers Wednesday will consider a variety of bills that could have an impact on the federal workforce. (Federal News Radio)

Trump administration backs House proposal for Amazon-style government 'marketplaces'. The Trump administration is throwing its weight behind a congressional proposal that would largely bypass the government's existing mechanisms for buying commercial goods, giving a full-throated endorsement to the idea of Amazon-like "marketplaces" for federal purchasing. (Federal News Radio)

USDS continues progress under Trump administration. The U.S. Digital Service is actively working on 10 modernization projects, according to the group's July 2017 report to Congress - its first under the Trump administration. (FedScoop)

Internet of Things

Microsoft and Baidu partner on self-driving car tech. Chinese search giant Baidu announced Tuesday that it will be partnering with Microsoft's Azure cloud computing services division to offer software and infrastructure for autonomous vehicles to firms outside China. (Axios)

From snow to plastic road markers, self-driving vehicles still face major tests. In the mind of the public, self-driving vehicles are coming soon to America's roadways. Manufacturers, researchers and policy-makers, however, have a few speed bumps ahead before the cars are driving around en masse. (StateScoop)


Who needs the USA? These 11 countries are trying to cement a free-trade deal without it. While last week's talks between Trans-Pacific Partnership states failed to produce any major breakthroughs, they did demonstrate members' commitment to inking the wide-spanning free trade agreement. (CNBC)

Trump looks for NAFTA tweaks as administration announces priorities. The Trump administration on Monday indicated that it will seek to tweak rather than gut the North American Free Trade Agreement as it announced its priorities for renegotiatingthe deal with Mexico and Canada. (Washington Examiner)

Trump administration unveils goals in renegotiating NAFTA. The Trump administration on Monday unveiled its goals for renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement, issuing a broad plan for how it hopes to rewrite the terms of trade and transform the U.S. economy for decades to come. (Washington Post)


Silicon Valley mostly quiet in internet surveillance debate in Congress. Facebook Inc (FB.O), Alphabet Inc's Google (GOOGL.O), Apple Inc (AAPL.O) and other major technology firms are largely absent from a debate over the renewal of a broad U.S. internet surveillance law, weakening prospects for privacy reforms that would further protect customer data, according to sources familiar with the matter. (Reuters)

Why tech firms are fighting California's privacy push. States across the country are trying to figure how out to regulate consumer privacy in the digital ad space, but the battlefield to watch is Sacramento. There, lawmakers are vetting a bill today that would require internet service providers like Verizon and Comcast to get permission from customers before sharing their data with marketers. (Axios)

House Dems say voter data request poses serious cybersecurity concerns. Ranking members of the House Committees on Oversight and Government Reform, Judiciary, Homeland Security and House Administration, told Vice President Mike Pence in a July 18 letter that they want Kris Kobach to resign his position as vice chair of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity and for Pence to void Kobach's request for states to submit sensitive voter information. (FCW)

Disdainful of H-1Bs, Trump expands a different foreign worker visa. President Donald Trump has said he's going to set more limits on the H-1B visa program, which allows tens of thousands of technology workers into the US each year. (Ars Technica)


Companies push Texas to abandon "bathroom bill". IBM, AT&T and Texas Instruments were among more than a dozen large companies that urged the Texas Legislature not to pass an anti-transgender "bathroom bill" as part of a special session that begins this week. (Axios)

The IT Workforce Continuum. When it comes to workforce management, government technology professionals are getting squeezed on all sides. (GovTech)

AP computer science exam takers double; here's why. Female, black and Latino student participation in Advanced Placement computer science exams has more than doubled in the past year, helped by the introduction of an AP course designed to introduce principles, according to a new report. (USA Today)

Workers' Trash-Talk Goes Down When Leadership Diversity Goes Up. As part of an effort to stamp out prejudice at work -- and its legal consequences -- companies have invested lots of time and money training managers to be more sensitive, less biased and more culturally aware. (Bloomberg)

Tech Business
California lawsuit wants to weaken noncompetes. California already prohibits companies from enforcing noncompetes within the state, but a Bay Area life sciences company is asking a state court to go even further. (Axios)
China Disrupts WhatsApp Service in Online Clampdown. The last of Facebook's major products that still worked in China was disrupted by the government on Tuesday, as Beijing broadly tightened its controls over the internet. (New York Times)

ITI Member News

Apple names new managing director for greater China. Apple has named Isabel Ge Mahe, vice president of its wireless technology division, as vice president and managing director for greater China - a new position that reflects the growing importance of Chinese users for the company. (Financial Times)
Ericsson warns on shrinking telecoms equipment market. Shares in Ericsson fell 15 per cent on Tuesday after the Swedish group issued another damaging warning on its finances and said the telecoms equipment market was shrinking faster than anticipated. (Financial Times)
Google Parent Alphabet Tries Again With Eyeglass-Mounted Device. Google parent Alphabet Inc. is relaunching Glass, its head-worn computer, targeting corporate customers after its initial version flopped because of privacy concerns. (Wall Street Journal)

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: 1:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. Last votes expected: 5:15 p.m. - 6:15 p.m.
Today the Senate will convene at 9:30 a.m. and proceed to executive session to resume consideration of the nomination of John Kenneth Bush, of Kentucky, to be United States Circuit Judge for the Sixth Circuit.
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