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Tech News Roundup - 09/22/2017

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Facebook to Turn Over Russian-Linked Ads to Congress. Under growing pressure from Congress and the public to reveal more about the spread of covert Russian propaganda on Facebook, the company said on Thursday that it was turning over more than 3,000 Russia-linked ads to the Senate and House intelligence committees. The two panels are investigating the Kremlin's influence operation on the 2016 presidential election. (New York Times)
Facebook is promising major ad changes to stop Russia and other foreign actors from influencing U.S. elections. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg committed on Thursday to hardening his company's defenses against countries like Russia that may have sought to spread misinformation and influence the outcome of elections in the United States and around the world. (Recode)
Mark Zuckerberg's Fake News Problem Isn't Going Away. Technically speaking, Mark Zuckerberg has been on paternity leave. In late August his wife, Priscilla Chan, gave birth to their second child, a girl. (Bloomberg)
Facebook revamps political-ad rules after discovering Russian ad buys. Two weeks ago, Facebook admitted that a "shadowy Russian company" spent $100,000 on political ads targeting US Facebook users during the 2016 election campaign. At the time, Facebook turned in information about these ad buys to special counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating Russian interference in the election. (Ars Technica)
The U.S. government is raring for a fight with Silicon Valley, NYT's Jim Rutenberg says. Facebook says it's not legally allowed to share everything it knows about advertisers, even political ones. But New York Times media columnist Jim Rutenberg thinks that if there's enough political will, we'll start to get a different story. (Recode)
Public Sector
Crunch time for acquisition portal in defense bill. As Congress moves to reconcile two versions of the National Defense Authorization Act in the coming weeks, one of the provisions legislators will be considering could significantly alter how federal agencies might buy commercial off the shelf items -- eventually including IT products. (ITAPS Trey Hodgkins Quoted, FCW)
Federal court denies cash awards to 22 million OPM data theft victims. A federal court has rejected a lawsuit seeking compensation for some 22 million federal employees, retirees and others whose personal information was stolen from two government databases. (Washington Post)
DoD to bring more employees with 'critical positions' under continuous evaluation. The Defense Department is preparing to add 500,000 employees to its continuous evaluation pilot by Jan. 1 as part of DoD's effort to add rigor to the security clearance process. (Federal News Radio)
IoT introducing new cyber risks, redrawing federal CISO role. Whether at the bottom of your coffeemaker or the inside of a nuclear cooling tower, internet-connected devices are everywhere, including the federal government. And with no end in sight for the Internet of Things, agencies are balancing the range of these devices alongside added risks. (Federal News Radio)
GAO: IT delays hurt agency's ability to track grant money for volunteering and service projects. The nation's largest provider of federal grants for service and volunteering is working on a new information technology management system to replace its outdated one, but continued delays have hobbled not only its timeline but also the agency's process for assessing risks associated with grants, according to a Government Accountability Office report. (FedScoop)
DOD looks to get aggressive about cloud adoption. The Defense Department says it is finally getting serious about moving to the cloud. (FCW)
USAF awards $1B cloud deal. The Air Force this week awarded a $1 billion contract to a team comprised of Dell EMC, General Dynamics and Microsoft. (FCW)

S.E.C. Says It Was a Victim of Computer Hacking Last Year. The top securities regulator in the United States said Wednesday night that its computer system had been hacked last year, giving the attackers private information that could have been exploited for trading. (New York Times)

U.S. Homeland Security found SEC had 'critical' cyber weaknesses in January. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security detected five "critical" cyber security weaknesses on the Securities and Exchange Commission's computers as of January 23, 2017, according to a confidential weekly report reviewed by Reuters. (Reuters)

National Bank of Canada says tech glitch may have exposed customer data. National Bank of Canada, the country's sixth largest lender, said on Thursday a website glitch earlier this week may have exposed personal information of about 400 customers. (Reuters)


Senate Dems ask FCC to delay net neutrality repeal. A group of Senate Democrats is asking the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to delay its effort to repeal the Obama-era net neutrality regulations in order to review a trove of recently-released documents related to the proceeding. (The Hill)

Verizon kicking people off network for using just a few gigabytes a month. When Verizon Wireless started disconnecting rural customers for using too much data, the nation's largest wireless carrier described them as extremely heavy data users who were costing the company money. (Ars Technica)


Amazon to Create 2,000 Jobs in New Manhattan Office. Inc. is set to open a large new office in New York City and create 2,000 high-paying jobs. (Bloomberg)


Road to electric car paradise paved with handouts. The Norwegian island of Finnoey has the highest density of electric cars in the world. The reason? They are exempt from the $6,000-a-year toll charges for the tunnel to the mainland. (Reuters)

Oil companies sued to pay for cost of rising sea levels, climate change. At least five California municipalities are suing five major oil companies, claiming in public nuisance lawsuits that the firms should pay for the infrastructure costs associated with rising sea levels due to climate change. (Ars Technica)


EU eyes solo move to increase tax on online giants, risking U.S. anger. The European Commission said on Thursday it may seek to implement tax reform to raise more revenue from online giants without the backing of the United States and other rich nations, in a move that could spark a new transatlantic dispute. (Reuters)

EU outlines push for higher taxes on tech companies. The European Union is preparing to propose stiffer taxes on digital companies if the rest of the developed world doesn't overhaul the international tax system. (The Hill)

ITI Member News

Amazon Puts Whole Foods on Fast Track to Conventional Supermarket. Whole Foods will change the way companies can sell and market their products in stores beginning next year, one of the biggest moves yet in its continuing push to operate more like a traditional market. (Wall Street Journal)
Apple's Global Web of R&D Labs Doubles as Poaching Operation. In recent years, Apple Inc. has quietly put together a global network of small research and development labs, from the French Alps to New Zealand. (Bloomberg)

Inside Jeff Bezos's $5 Billion Bet That Amazon Can Win India. It's mere weeks to the festival of Diwali, the season of lavish, reckless consumption, and in a cavernous warehouse minutes from the Hyderabad airport, hundreds of workers are furiously sorting mountains of everyday items. (Bloomberg)

Report: Hewlett Packard Enterprise to slash 5,000 jobs, 10% of workforce. Job cuts are coming to Hewlett Packard Enterprise despite recent Street-beating third-quarter results that saw the company's stock jump 5%. (USA Today)

Google inks $1.1 billion deal with HTC, maker of Pixel smartphones. Google and HTC announced a $1.1 billion deal that lets Google hire some of the Taiwanese smartphone maker's employees - about 2,000 or so engineers - and inks a non-exclusive license for HTC intellectual property, strengthening the search engine giant's hardware bench. (USA Today)

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