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Tech News Roundup - 08/16/2017

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Key Issues

Global Trade

Tech Companies Ramp Up NAFTA Lobbying on Eve of Trade Talks. Technology companies, such as Microsoft and Cisco Systems have ramped up lobbying ahead of talks to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement, looking to avoid any future restrictions on cloud storage and to promote an international pact to eliminate technology goods tariffs. (ITI's Ed Brzytwa Quoted, Reuters)

President Mandates Review of China IP Threat. President Donald Trump has directed the U.S. Trade Representative to look at whether China should be investigated for unreasonable or discriminatory practices that threaten U.S. companies' intellectual property rights, innovation and technology. (ITI' Dean Garfield Quoted, Multichannel News)

Computer-Chip Testing Firm Urges Blocking Sale of Rival to China Fund. The battle between the U.S. and China over computer-chip makers has expanded to a new front: the companies that test the technology. (Wall Street Journal)

China says US trade probe would violate international rules. China criticized President Donald Trump's order for a possible U.S. trade investigation of Beijing's technology policies as a violation of global rules and said Tuesday it will "resolutely safeguard" Chinese interests. (ABC)

Using NAFTA 2.0 to boost wages in Mexico could be a 'deal-breaker,' ex-Mexican officials warn. A push to increase wages and tighten labor standards in Mexico - one of the Trump administration's top priorities in a modernized NAFTA - is likely to be a no-go issue for the Mexican government that has the potential to scuttle the renegotiation, two former Mexican negotiators warned on Tuesday. (Politico Pro)

U.K. shows its Brexit hand: 6 takeaways from the customs position paper. The U.K. now has a clearer idea of what it wants from one key facet of its post-Brexit relationship with the EU. (Politico Pro)

Five big questions overhanging the NAFTA talks. One of President Donald Trump's core campaign promises is about to be tested. (Politico Pro)

Canada signals it won't budge on NAFTA. Canada signaled Monday that it would not give much, if any, ground on the benefits it provides to domestic industries when it joins the U.S. and Mexico to begin renegotiations on the North American Free Trade Agreement this week. (Washington Examiner)

U.S. hopes for fast start, fast finish to NAFTA talks. The United States plans a fast start to talks this week on renegotiating NAFTA, presenting reams of text for the three countries to discuss in all areas of the negotiation, a USTR official said Tuesday. (Politico Pro)

Op-Ed: We should be deeply worried about NAFTA. The NAFTA renegotiations - long promised by President Trump - are about to start. We have never renegotiated a trade agreement before, and this is our largest and most important by far. (Washington Post)

The United States and South Korea must be careful that talks on modernizing a free trade agreement do not turn into a nasty bilateral spat because of the need to present a united front to North Korea, industry advisers told the Trump administration Tuesday. (Politico Pro)

One U.S. Factory Goes Global, While Trump Shrinks the World. Never mind the refrain that the American factory is supposedly a dinosaur in the age of globalization. (New York Times)

Tech Politics

Trump attacks CEO 'grandstanders' who quit his manufacturing council. President Donald Trump issued a sharp warning Tuesday to American CEOs who sit on his manufacturing council: You're not irreplaceable. (Politico Pro)

Waymo nabs new policy chief from Senate. Alphabet's self-driving branch is getting some more Washington firepower. Waymo has hired Senate Commerce Committee staffer David Quinalty as its new Head of Federal Policy and Government Affairs. He'll interface with lawmakers and federal transportation regulators as part of the job. (Axios)


Another climate-change nightmare: 91 new volcanoes beneath Antarctica's ice. Antarctica has been having a rough time of it lately, you may have heard. (Washington Post)

Trump to reverse Obama-era order aimed at planning for climate change. President Trump signed an executive order Tuesday that he said would streamline the approval process for building infrastructure such as roads, bridges and offices by eliminating a planning step related to climate change and flood dangers. (Washington Post)

Everything That's Inside Your iPhone. The iPhone is many, many things. With its immaculate design, gleaming screen, and reigning station as our daily work/life navigator, it's relatively easy to forget that the iPhone is still ultimately a composite of dredged-up earth. (Motherboard)


Monday on Fox News Channel's "Tucker Carlson Tonight," host Tucker Carlson made the case that government should regulate Google like a public utility. (Breitbart)

Billboard ads target Republicans who want to roll back net neutrality. An advocacy group is launching an ad campaign targeting lawmakers who want to roll back the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) net neutrality rules. (The Hill)


Tech companies, law profs agree: The Fourth Amendment should protect data. A group of prominent tech companies and lawyers has come together in new friend-of-the-court filings submitted to the Supreme Court on Tuesday. (Ars Technica)

Apple, Facebook, Google and other tech giants tell the Supreme Court to protect cellphone data in a key, upcoming case. A collection of the country's largest tech companies - including Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Snap - urged the Supreme Court this week to set new limits on the ways law enforcement can obtain a suspect's smartphone location data. (Recode)

Tech companies urge Supreme Court to boost cellphone privacy. More than a dozen high technology companies and the biggest wireless operator in the United States, Verizon Communications Inc (VZ.N), have called on the U.S. Supreme Court to make it harder for government officials to access individuals' sensitive cellphone data. (Reuters)

Tech firm is fighting a federal demand for data on visitors to an anti-Trump website. A Los Angeles-based tech company is resisting a federal demand for more than 1.3 million IP addresses to identify visitors to a website set up to coordinate protests on Inauguration Day - a request whose breadth the company says violates the Constitution. (Washington Post)

Justice Depart. demand for data on 1.3M anti-Trump protesters sparks debate. In the digital age, there apparently is no place to hide. (USA Today)
Artificial Intelligence

This Robot Lab Has No Idea What Its Robots Are Doing. A tiny robot, no bigger than a hockey puck, danced across Paul Glotfelter's desk as he worked at his computer. Last he checked, it had been standing still, next to his keyboard. Now it spun in circles. (Wall Street Journal)

Boston firm's artificial intelligence technology may have broader applications. A Boston company called Neurala is teaching body cameras worn by police officers to detect suspicious people or locate missing children faster than the human eye. (Boston Globe)

Antarctica has been having a rough time of it lately, you may have heard.For decades, the world's smartest game-playing humans have been racking up losses to increasingly sophisticated forms of artificial intelligence. (Washington Post)

Machine learning algorithm triples E. coli prediction rate on Chicago beaches. Chicago beachgoers may soon notice that the city is issuing a lot more advisories on unsafe water conditions than it used to. It's not necessarily that the water quality has gotten worse - it's that the city's technology has gotten much better. (StateScoop)

Public Sector

Can AI tools replace feds?. The Heritage Foundation, an influential conservative think tank, is calling for increased reliance on automation and the potential creation of a "contractor cloud" offering streamlined access to private sector labor as part of its broader strategy for reorganizing the federal government. (FCW)

Senators look to pass MGT via defense bill. The Senate backers of the Modernizing Government Technology Act are looking to a familiar vehicle to get their legislation enacted - the must-pass defense authorization bill. (FCW)

4 things for contractors to remember in planning for a possible government shutdown. With six weeks left in fiscal 2017, budget experts are warning federal contractors that it's only prudent to begin preparations for the possibility of a government shutdown on Oct. 1. (Federal News Radio)

DHS promotes Driggers to fill cyber deputy assistant secretary role. The Department of Homeland Security has promoted Rick Driggers to deputy assistant secretary for cybersecurity and communications, a DHS official confirmed Monday. (FedScoop)
Arkansas launches first statewide portal for unfilled tech jobs. On Tuesday, the office of Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced that Arkansas had become the first state to launch a statewide database of unfilled technology jobs. (StateScoop)


Intel CEO accelerates diversity goals after leaving Trump council. A day after quitting President Trump's American Manufacturing Council, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich pushed his company to accelerate fulfilling its goals for increasing representation of women and minorities to underscore the importance of diversity and inclusion. (Axios)

Tech Business

Microsoft Corp. MSFT 0.03% co-founder Bill Gates handed over 64 million shares of the software giant to his foundation in June, a $4.68 billion donation based on current share prices that would rank as his most valuable to the organization in more than a decade. (Wall Street Journal)
Airbnb Will Quadruple Its China Tech Team to Target Millennials. Airbnb Inc. is ramping up its investment in China, quadrupling its engineering team over the next 12 months to focus on affluent millennials who're increasingly exploring the world's second largest economy. (Bloomberg)

Verizon to Compete With AT&T for Police, Emergency-Response Customers. Verizon Communications Inc. VZ -0.62% said it is building dedicated lanes at the core of its U.S. wireless network for firefighters and other first responders, a bid to compete with AT&TInc.'s T -0.88% plans for its own public-safety network. (Wall Street Journal)

ITI Member News

Americans Love Ordering Pizza on Facebook. The cutthroat U.S. restaurant industry is getting increasingly aggressive about technology, enlisting Facebook Inc. and Inc. in their race to make it easier for customers to order and pay for their food. (Bloomberg)

Nielsen will credit companies for digital views on some platforms. Nielsen announced today that it will begin crediting TV and digital companies for the number of video views they receive on Facebook, Hulu and YouTube. (Axios)

Today on the Hill

Both chambers are not in session today.

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