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Tech News Roundup - 09/14/2017

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Tech Politics

Mystery of Russian Fake on Facebook Solved, by a Brazilian . When Russia created Facebook profiles of fake Americans to influence the 2016 American election, it could make up the names and biographical details. But it needed photos, too. (New York Times)
Trump Blocks China-Backed Bid to Buy U.S. Chip Maker. President Trump on Wednesday blocked a China-backed investor from buying an American semiconductor maker over national security concerns, a rare move that could signal more aggressive scrutiny of China's deal-making ambitions. (New York Times)

Mueller Probe Has 'Red-Hot' Focus on Social Media, Officials Say. Russia's effort to influence U.S. voters through Facebook and other social media is a "red-hot" focus of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into the 2016 election and possible links to President Donald Trump's associates, according to U.S. officials familiar with the matter. (Bloomberg)

Fox v tech giants over online sex trafficking bill. Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox is picking a fight with Google and other tech groups by joining a fight over sex trafficking that has become a proxy war in Washington over Silicon Valley accountability. (Financial Times)

An anti-sex trafficking bill that Silicon Valley hates could see a hearing in the U.S. Senate next week. An anti-sex trafficking bill that has drawn sharp opposition from Silicon Valley could inch ahead in the U.S. Senate next week. (Recode)

Top White House Official to Discuss Climate Change at U.N.. Gary D. Cohn, the chief White House economic adviser, is convening senior climate and energy ministers from about a dozen nations in advance of next week's United Nations General Assembly meeting, the White House confirmed Tuesday. (New York Times)
Global Trade

Trump Blocks China-Backed Bid for Lattice Over Security Risk. President Donald Trump blocked a Chinese-backed investor from buying Lattice Semiconductor Corp., a personal rebuke that bodes poorly for several other Chinese buyers seeking U.S. security clearance for their acquisitions. (Bloomberg)

Pelosi and Schumer Say They Have Deal With Trump to Replace DACA. Democratic leaders on Wednesday night declared that they had a deal with President Trump to quickly extend protections for young undocumented immigrants and to finalize a border security package that does not include the president's proposed wall. (New York Times)
DHS bars government from using Kaspersky software. In a move likely to escalate tensions between Washington and Moscow, the Department of Homeland Security has ordered all federal agencies to stop using software made by the Russian cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab, citing concerns that the Moscow-based firm's software could give the Kremlin a foothold in the U.S. government. (Politico Pro)

DHS gives agencies 90 days to remove Kaspersky Lab IT from networks. The Homeland Security Department is giving agencies 30 days to identify where they are using products and services from Kaspersky Lab and to remove those technologies from federal networks 60 days after that. (Federal News Radio)

EU proposes new cybersecurity measures, including a boost for ENISA. Attacks on banks, energy networks, hospitals and elections put cybersecurity at the center of the EU's focus on digital affairs. (Politico Pro)

Cybersecurity confidence wanes among state and local government leaders. In response to a long trend of insufficient cybersecurity development in state and local government, a nonprofit membership association released a study Wednesday revealing a significant decline in institutions' abilities to defend against cyberattacks. (StateScoop)

Dem senator calls on FTC to probe Equifax. Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) is calling on the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to investigate the Equifax breach that compromised the personal information of 143 million Americans. (The Hill)


House closes on bill to re-up spying tools - with new limits. House lawmakers are finalizing legislation that would extend some of the country's most controversial digital surveillance programs, a top priority for the Trump administration. (Politico Pro)

Apple is facing questions from the U.S. Senate on the privacy protections in iPhone X and Face ID. A day after Apple unveiled its new iPhone X - a device that its owner can unlock using facial recognition - Sen. Al Franken is pressing the tech giant to detail the privacy and security safeguards it has in place for biometric data. (Recode)

Internet of Things

Lawmaker fears self-driving trucks could be leveraged by 'out-of-state actors'. A Democratic U.S. senator worried Wednesday that self-driving trucks could be leveraged by "out-of-state actors" looking to cause harm to Americans. (The Hill)

Self-driving trucks could hurt drivers, Teamsters tell U.S. senators. A U.S. Senate committee is considering whether legislation dealing with the future of self-driving cars should also pave the way to self-driving trucks, considering the impact such technology could have on millions of workers. (USA Today)

Senators wrestle with including trucks in driverless car bill. Senators are wrestling with whether to include trucks in a congressional effort to speed up the deployment of self-driving vehicles. (The Hill)

Toyota Is Said to Mull Tokyo Research Hub for Self-Driving Cars. Toyota Motor Corp. is considering setting up a new artificial intelligence research hub in Tokyo that will consolidate the company's worldwide efforts in developing the technologies for autonomous cars, according to people familiar with the matter. (BNA)

Op-Ed: Driverless cars. While there's still much work to be done before Americans turn driving over to a robot, the technology is rapidly developing in Ohio. (The Courier)

Public Sector

Senate deadlocked on four NDAA amendments as McConnell moves to end debate. The Senate is deadlocked on four key amendments to the National Defense Authorization Act, Armed Services Chairman John McCain said this evening. (Politico Pro)

Mattis says CR hurts personnel, contracting and readiness. The Defense Department says Congress' continuing resolution that lasts until Dec. 8 will have substantial negative impacts on training, readiness, contracting and personnel. (Federal News Radio)

One reorganization idea that nearly everyone can agree on. Ask any stakeholder about the Trump administration's efforts to reorganize government and restructure the federal workforce, and they'll give you a different answer about how it's going. (Federal News Radio)

Startups rave about DHS's Silicon Valley Innovation Program. Other agencies should take a good, hard look at what the Department of Homeland Security is accomplishing with its Silicon Valley Innovation Program, startup executives reflected on Wednesday at the AFCEA Homeland Security conference. (FedScoop)

4 IT modernization moves SBA is making right now. Maria Roat likes moving fast, which is one reason why the Small Business Administration is progressing through multiple information technology efforts at a rapid clip. (FedScoop)


GOP shudders as Trump courts Democrats on taxes. President Donald Trump's courtship of Democrats on tax reform is dividing congressional Republicans on the merits of a bipartisan bill - and could upend the party-line strategy that White House and GOP leaders have been pursuing for months. (Politico Pro)

Republicans suspicious of 'Democrats' Cohn and Mnuchin as tax plans take shape. Conservative lawmakers and strategists have deep concerns that Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House economic adviser Gary Cohn - the administration's two key leaders on tax reform - don't have the know-how or political credibility to push a major GOP tax overhaul through Congress this fall. (Politico Pro)

Tech Business

Smartphones Help More Indians Find Long-Distance Love. Faster, cheaper internet access rolling out across provincial India is having an unlikely consequence: matchmaking. (Bloomberg)

ITI Member News

Feds defuse legal fight with Facebook. On the eve of a pivotal court hearing, prosecutors on Wednesday moved to defuse a dispute with Facebook over the government's efforts to use search warrants to gather information about the social media giant's users without their knowledge. (Politico Pro)

Toronto Contends to Be Location of Amazon's Second Headquarters. Toronto and its surrounding cities said they will compete in Inc.'s hunt for a second corporate headquarters in North America. (Bloomberg)

Today on the Hill

Today, the House will meet at 9:00 a.m. for legislative business. First and last votes expected: 10:20 a.m. - 11:20 a.m.
The Senate will convene at 10:00 a.m. and resume consideration of H.R.2810, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018.
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