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Tech News Roundup - 09/28/2017

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09/28/2017

Key Issues

Taxes

President Donald Trump's new tax reform plan would drop corporate rates to 20 percent. President Donald Trump and his Republican allies in Congress will propose an overhaul to the U.S. tax code today that would lower the rate corporations pay and make major changes to the way that tech giants and other businesses are taxed on profits earned overseas. (ITI Dean Garfield quoted, Recode)
Republican tax framework holds promise for tech companies. The tax reform framework that Republicans released today includes a number of provisions that could benefit the tech industry, but lobbyists caution that much work remains to shape the light-on-details proposal. (ITI Dean Garfield & Jennifer McCloskey quoted, Politico Pro)
Trump's Tax Cuts Seen Producing Short Job Growth Sugar High'. President Donald Trump's plan to slash the corporate tax rate may not provide the sustained job growth that he and Republican leaders want, some economists say -- that's a point of longstanding and unsettled debate. (Bloomberg)

Tech Politics

Senate panel to summon Google in Russia probe. The Senate Intelligence Committee intends to call Google executives to Capitol Hill as part of the panel's investigation into Russian election meddling, according to three people familiar with the discussions. (Politico Pro)

To save net neutrality rules, senator tries to get Ajit Pai off FCC. The Democratic opposition to Ajit Pai's re-confirmation was launched today by Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), who accused the Federal Communications Commission chairman of abandoning the public interest. (Ars Technica)

Trump slams Facebook as lawmakers await ads amid Russia probe
. U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday criticized Facebook Inc (FB.O) as "anti-Trump" and questioned its role during the 2016 presidential campaign, amid probes into alleged Russian interference in the election and possible collusion by Trump's associates. (Reuters)

Facebook is sending its connectivity team to help Puerto Rico get back online. In a Facebook post today, Mark Zuckerberg pledged $1.5 million in aid to organizations assisting in Puerto Rico's recovery from Hurricane Maria, together with direct assistance from Facebook's connectivity team to help the country get back online. (The Verge)

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg rejects Trump bias claims. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has dismissed comments made by Donald Trump that the site has always been against him. (BBC News)

Facebook Responds to Trump and Positions Itself as Election-Ready.
President Trump took aim at Facebook on Wednesday, calling the social network "anti-Trump." But the social network insists it is pro-democracy and pro-truth - and the German election shows it. (New York Times)

Privacy

Apple is opening up amid privacy questions about Face ID, personal data collection. Apple released more details about the iPhone X's Face ID feature when it published a new privacy site Wednesday, addressing some of the concerns that people have had since the face-scanning feature was announced. (Washington Post)
The most valuable data tech companies collect about you. The privacy debate tends to focus on how big companies handle "private" information like Social Security Numbers, credit histories, financial transactions and medical records-tangible info that can easily be used to get a peek at your life. (Axios)

Global Trade

Trump Talks Tough on China and Mexico, but Trade Actions Hit Canada. While President Trump has reserved his harshest words on trade for Mexico and China, Canada, one of America's closest allies, has emerged as a major pressure point on trade, with the countries' leaders trading barbs over lumber, dairy products, airplanes, and even magazine paper. (New York Times)

Wilbur Ross, Fresh From China Visit, Warns of 'Lopsided' Trade Relationship. During his presidential campaign, Donald J. Trump talked tough on China, accusing the world's second-largest economy of stealing jobs from Americans. On Wednesday, Wilbur Ross, his commerce secretary, echoed that sentiment, calling for a dramatic shift in the countries' trade relationship. (New York Times)

Artificial Intelligence

New Theory Cracks Open the Black Box of Deep Learning.
A new idea called the "information bottleneck" is helping to explain the puzzling success of today's artificial-intelligence algorithms - and might also explain how human brains learn. (Quanta Magazine)

Immigration

Muslim nations targeted by Trump's travel ban see steep visa drop. The number of U.S. visas issued to visitors from six majority-Muslim countries targeted by President Donald Trump's travel bans plummeted during a six-month period, according to an analysis by POLITICO. (Politico)
DHS will not extend DACA renewal deadline, attorney says in court. The Department of Homeland Security does not plan to extend an October 5 deadline for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipients to renew their status, according to a Justice Department attorney who spoke at a hearing in federal courtTuesday. (CNN)
Growing list of conservative demands threatens bipartisan deal on 'dreamers'. An emerging list of conservative demands is threatening to derail the fledgling bipartisan effort to preserve the Obama administration program protecting from deportation 690,000 illegal immigrants brought to the United States as children. (Chicago Tribune)
Freedom Caucus member becomes 200th sponsor of DREAM Act. A Texas member of the conservative Freedom Caucus on Tuesday became the 200th House member to endorse the DREAM Act, a bipartisan measure to protect from deportation people brought to the country illegally as children. (The Hill)

Antitrust

Google offers to treat shopping service rivals equally. Google says it will treat its shopping service the same as rivals to prevent further European Commission fines. (BBC News)
Google announced concessions on Wednesday to European regulators over its online shopping service, signaling a new willingness by the Silicon Valley company to bow to tightening pressures from governments around the world. (New York Times)
The Trump administration now has its first antitrust regulator. The U.S. Senate on Wednesday confirmed Makan Delrahim, a corporate lawyer - who has previously represented tech giants like AT&T, Google and Qualcomm - to serve as one of the Trump administration's top antitrust enforcers. (Recode)

Public Sector

Rep. Foxx planning 'GREAT' legislation to standardize grant data. A North Carolina congresswoman is offering a way to help the federal government keep better track of its $600 billion in grants. (Federal News Radio)

State Department sees IT modernization as a key part of agency 'redesign'. As the State Department reels from President Trump's proposed budget cuts and pushes for reorganization, leadership has come up with a plan for how it can, in fact, make the number work. (FedScoop)
Liddell, Graves tout open data standards in drive for efficiency. Acting U.S. CIO Margie Graves figures that data will be the fuel that drives the future of federal efficiency if agencies can find a way to share their data in more uniform ways. (FedScoop)
7 State or Local Governments Using Amazon Alexa. As Amazon's conversational technology Alexa becomes more prevalent in homes throughout the country, governments at all levels are embracing it as a means of making information about services more readily available to constituents. (GovTech)
Washington State CIO Michael Cockrill to Depart for Private Sector. Washington state CIO Michael Cockrill will depart government service on Oct. 20to take a position in the private sector, Gov. Jay Inslee has announced in a press release. (GovTech)

Cybersecurity
N.Y. regulator subpoenas Equifax over massive breach. New York state's financial services regulator has issued a subpoena to Equifax Inc demanding it provide more information about the massive data breach the credit-reporting firm disclosed this month, a person familiar with the matter said on Wednesday. (Reuters)

Equifax, other credit rating firms should prepare for 'a different regime,' Washington regulator warns. One of Washington's top consumer watchdogs warned on Wednesday that credit rating agencies should prepare for tougher supervision in the wake of a massive hack at Equifax that exposed sensitive data on 143 million people. (Washington Post)

The Government Needs More Cyber Talent-But So Does Everyone Else. The chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission told Congress this week the agency needs to beef up its cybersecurity expertise. The problem is, executives at many private companies feel the same way-and are able to pay more. (Wall Street Journal)

Deloitte says no government information compromised. No federal government information was compromised by a data breach that the consulting and accountancy firm Deloitte confirmed Monday, a spokeswoman told Nextgov. (NextGov)

Environment/Sustainability

U.S. Climate Change Policy: Made in California. A peculiar confluence of history, legal precedent and defiance has set the stage for a regulatory mutiny in California that would reverberate throughout the country. (New York Times)

Tech Business

Toyota is trusting a startup for a crucial part of its newest self-driving cars A startup that makes a key sensor for self-driving cars just got a vote of confidence from a major automaker. (Recode)

2017 is already the biggest year ever for data center investment in the U.S. U.S. data centers have already seen more investment so far this year than in any previous year. Companies and funds have invested $18.2 billion - double the value of 2016 and on track to surpass the total for the three previous years combined - year to date, according to new data from real estate research firm CBRE. (Recode)
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