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Tech News Roundup - 09/07/2017

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Tech Politics

Silicon Valley's Politics: Liberal, With One Big Exception. Silicon Valley has long preferred to remain aloof from national politics, but the Trump era has altered that stance. (New York Times)

Facebook: Russian-linked accounts bought $150,000 in ads during 2016 race. Facebook accounts with apparent Russian ties purchased about $150,000 in political ads aimed at American voters during key periods of the 2016 presidential campaign, according to a new analysis released Wednesday by the social networking company. (Politico Pro)

GOP livid after Trump cuts deal with Democrats. President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's tête-à-tête on Tuesday - after a summer of sniping between the two - lifted Republican hopes that the GOP was finally back in sync ahead of a brutal fall of fiscal deadlines. (Politico Pro)

For Conservatives, Trump's Deal With Democrats Is Nightmare Come True. It is the scenario that President Trump's most conservative followers considered their worst nightmare, and on Wednesday it seemed to come true: The dealmaking political novice, whose ideology and loyalty were always fungible, cut a deal with Democrats. (New York Times)

How Tech Giants Use Their Power To Advance Corporate Interests. Big tech companies influence more of our lives than ever before. And there are growing concerns that they're using that power to advance their own corporate interests. (NPR)


EPA under Trump shrinks to near Reagan-era staffing levels. The workforce of the Environmental Protection Agency could soon shrink to the lowest level since Ronald Reagan occupied the White House - part of a push to curtail the size and scope of an agency that President Trump once promised to eliminate "in almost every form." (Washington Post)


Op-Ed: Immigrants Shouldn't Have to Be 'Talented' to Be Welcome. The terms of the debate over President Trump's decision to revoke the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program are familiar, as are the terms of the larger conversation about immigration in this country: On one side are hardworking immigrants; on the other are politicians who wrongly claim that these immigrants harm the economic interests of native-born Americans. (New York Times)
Obama asked dreamers for their personal data. Now they worry Trump will use it against them. The message from the U.S. government to hundreds of thousands of young, undocumented immigrants in 2012 was clear: Come out of the shadows. Tell us your home addresses, where you study and work, and when you crossed the border. In exchange, you can stay in a country you already call home. (Washington Post)
Ryan Pledges to Seek Compromise on Protection for 'Dreamer' Immigrants. House Speaker Paul Ryan said Wednesday he would work to find a compromise that protects young undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children, suggesting the measure may be paired with additional border security. (Wall Street Journal)
Border security could be key to saving DREAMers. Democrats and Republicans scrambling to protect DREAMers before a March deadline will almost certainly have to swallow tougher immigration measures in return. (Politico Pro)

Trump says he just wants a DACA fix 'where everybody is happy'. President Donald Trump on Wednesday denied that he was sending mixed signals on the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program and said he simply wants Congress to come up with a solution "where everybody is happy." (Politico Pro)
Eleven states and the District of Columbia plan to file a joint lawsuit challenging the Trump administration's decision to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which gives some young undocumented immigrants permits to live and work in the U.S. (Politico Pro)

European court to review $1.3B fine against Intel. Intel has won a battle in its eight-year fight with the European Union (EU) over a $1.26 billion fine levied against the company. (The Hill)

EU Court Backs Intel's Appeal of 2009 Fine, in Blow to Regulator. The European Union's highest court on Wednesday backed Intel Corp.'s INTC 2.11% appeal of a €1.06 billion ($1.26 billion) EU antitrust fine in 2009, referring the case back to a lower court and dealing a blow to an antitrust regulator that has taken a hard line on U.S. tech giants. (Wall Street Journal)
Hackers Gain Switch Flipping Access To US Power Grid Control Systems. In an era of hacker attacks on critical infrastructure, even a run-of-the-mill malware infection on an electric utility's network is enough to raise alarm bells. (Wired)

EU looks to extra spending, diplomacy to bolster cyber security. The European Commission wants to bolster cyber security in the EU by increasing investment in technology, setting stricter consumer safeguards and stepping up diplomacy to deter attacks by other nations, among other measures. (Reuters)

New Canadian rules on reporting data hacks 'long overdue,' critics say. The Canadian government will require that companies operating in the country report all data breaches to their customers and a privacy watchdog as soon as possible after discovery, a rule that security experts said was long overdue. (Reuters)
Intrusion - but no attack - on U.S. energy grid is a warning, says former NSA official. Over the last nine months, dozens of U.S. power companies were compromised by an organized hacking group to the extent that some of them could have sabotaged and shut down production and distribution, according to Symantec, a cybersecurity company that discovered the attack. (USA Today)
Modernization boosts cybersecurity anxieties, survey says. When it comes to protecting the government's IT infrastructure from cyberattacks, conventional wisdom has long held that modernization of outdated legacy systems can be a key driver of improved security. (FCW)

IT modernization efforts increase cybersecurity challenges, survey says. The fervent push to update the federal government's IT has tech professionals facing more cybersecurity challenges on their networks, according to a new report. (FedScoop)

Public Sector

NBIB confirms 700,000 security clearance backlog. A top official confirmed the government is working to whittle down a backlog of more than 700,000 security clearance applications, while streamlining and updating its background investigation process. (FCW)
CR for defense likely until December, but with a few anomalies. The Defense Department will once again deal with at least a short term continuing resolution to start off the new fiscal year, top House lawmakers say. (Federal News Radio)
DoD is backing McCain's BRAC amendment, Thornberry open to BRAC. The Defense Department is trying to convince Congress that closing excess capacity bases isn't just a budget issue and it's willing to make some concessions to do it. (Federal News Radio)


Broadband is getting faster and more available - but is it enough?. A report by trade association USTelecom (USTA) shows that broadband access is becoming more prevalent and consumers have more choices than ever before, but some pundits say the data is being framed in a misleading way. (StateScoop)


EU plans rule change to increase taxes on online giants. European Union finance ministers are set to discuss rule changes next week aimed at increasing taxes on digital multinationals such as Google and Amazon, an EU document seen by Reuters said. (Reuters)
Corporate tax cut unpopular with voters, poll shows. Cutting the corporate tax rate to 15 percent would be far less popular than getting the rate that low for small businesses, according to a new POLITICO/Morning Consult poll. (Politico Pro)
Trump tries softer touch to woo Heitkamp on tax reform. President Donald Trump has already tried negotiation-by-threat in his push for tax reform - but on Wednesday he took a softer touch to woo North Dakota Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp to his side. (Politico Pro)
Trump's deal with Democrats another hurdle for tax reform. President Donald Trump's stopgap budget deal with Democrats is bad news for Republicans hoping to rewrite the tax code. (Politico Pro)


Homeland Security Adviser Urges Congress To Renew Controversial Surveillance Power. One of President Donald Trump's top advisers called on Congress to reauthorize authorities that gives intelligence agencies the ability to collect and analyze communications of foreigners outside the U.S. (NextGov)

Internet of Things

Self-Driving Cars Prospects Rise With Vote by House. Lawmakers in the House took a major step on Wednesday toward advancing the development of driverless cars, approving legislation that would put the vehicles onto public roads more quickly and curb states from slowing their spread. (New York Times)

House passes bill that exempts self-driving cars from safety rules. The House easily passed legislation Wednesday that gives federal regulators final say over performance standards for self-driving vehicles and could allow for as many as 100,000 such vehicles a year to be exempted from safety standards while the technology is developing. (USA Today)

Most Americans Wary of Self-Driving Tech, Don't Want Robo Cars. Fully self-driving cars are set the hit the road within four years, but most Americans aren't ready to buy them. (BNA)

Self-driving cars must have technology to prevent use in terror, lawmakers say. Self-driving vehicles will need to be equipped with cybersecurity technology to prevent them from being used in terrorist attacks, according to legislation passed by the US House of Representatives on Wednesday. (The Guardian)

ITI Member News

Oracle backs online human trafficking bill, breaking with tech industry. Cloud services company Oracle Corp on Wednesday backed a bipartisan proposal in the U.S. Congress that would make it easier to penalize operators of websites that facilitate online sex trafficking. (Reuters)

Facebook Is Said to Seek a Shanghai Office. Facebook is blocked in China, but it is feeling comfortable enough there to look for its own place. (New York Times)

Apple under pressure from Indian regulator amid privacy worries. Apple is coming under pressure from India's telecom regulator to add a government anti-spam mobile application to its App Store, in the latest manifestation of tensions over digital privacy. (Financial Times)

Today on the Hill

The Senate will convene at 10:00 a.m. and resume consideration of the House message to accompany H.R.601, legislative vehicle for the emergency supplemental spending bill.

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: 10:30 p.m. - 11:30 p.m.

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