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Tech News Roundup - 09/29/2017

Tech News Roundup

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09/29/2017

Key Issues

Taxes

Tech, Trump see rare consensus with GOP tax plan. President Trump and the congressional GOP have a surprising ally in their push for sweeping tax cuts: the tech industry. (ITI Dean Garfield Quoted, The Hill)
After triumphal rollout for tax reform, GOP faces the reality of delivering.The GOP's tax-reform efforts got a jolt of momentum this week, but Republicans also are getting a fresh reminder of how hard it will be to write a bill that makes it to President Donald Trump's desk this year. (Politico)
What Awaits Wall Street in Trump Tax Plan. A 20% corporate tax rate would boost profits, but there are downsides to the administration's framework. (Wall Street Journal)

Treasury's Mnuchin: Trump's proposed corporate tax rate 'not negotiable'. U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Thursday that President Donald Trump's proposal for a cut in the corporate income tax rate to 20 percent was "not negotiable." (Reuters)

White House's Cohn says now sees more than 3 percent growth to pay for tax plan. White House economic adviser Gary Cohn on Thursday said the administration now expects U.S. economic growth to be "substantially" higher than 3 percent, saying the boost would pay for Republicans' tax plan. (Reuters)

Fight Erupts to Shield Tax Breaks Threatened by G.O.P. Overhaul. Republicans' release of a sweeping plan to rewrite the tax code has set off a scramble among Washington lobbyists and trade groups to protect valuable tax breaks and other long-ingrained provisions. (New York Times)

With Tax Cuts on the Table, Once-Mighty Deficit Hawks Hardly Chirp. In 2001, when surging budget surpluses fueled hopes of extinguishing the national debt, a pitched battle broke out over President George W. Bush's proposed $1.6 trillion tax cut. Nevermind that the tax cut's 10-year tab was supposed to leave behind more than $3 trillion in surpluses - Democrats and some Republicans said that the tax cut was just too large. (New York Times)

Lobbyists Rally to Save Tax Breaks Under Threat in Trump Plan Republicans' release of a sweeping plan to rewrite the tax code has set off a scramble among Washington lobbyists and trade groups to protect valuable tax breaks and other long-ingrained provisions. (New York Times)

Tech Politics

Facebook's Ad-Targeting Problem, Captured in a Literal Shade of Gray. For a sense of the dilemma confronting Facebook over its ad-targeting system, consider the following word: confederate. (New York Times)

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)

Trump Calls Facebook 'Anti-Trump' as Tech Companies Called to Testify.President Donald Trump on Wednesday said Facebook Inc. was biased against him during the election, marking the second time he has sought to rebut the notion that possible manipulation of the social network could have played a role in his election win. (Wall Street Journal)
Twitter Says it Found 201 Accounts Linked to Russian-Backed Facebook Pages. Twitter Inc. told Congress on Thursday that 201 accounts linked to Russians sought to interfere with the 2016 U.S. presidential election by spreading misinformation. (Wall Street Journal)

Twitter opens up on Russia after meeting with Congress. Following its meeting with members of the Senate and House's respective intelligence committees, Twitter has issued new details on the information it is providing to aid the congressional investigations into Russia's potential interference in the 2016 U.S. election. (Tech Crunch)

Democrats rebuke Twitter for 'frankly inadequate' response to Russian meddling Twitter has suspended 201 accounts tied to Russian-linked sources that posted political ads on Facebook during the 2016 presidential election, officials from the social media giant told congressional investigators on Thursday. (The Guardian)

Junk news and Russian misinformation flooded Twitter during the 2016 election. The new study, from researchers at Oxford, comes as Twitter prepares to brief Congress. (Recode)

Senate releases driverless car bill, does not address trucking. The Senate released bipartisan legislation on Thursday that would provide the first overarching federal laws governing the driverless car industry. (The Hill)

Dems call for $40B to boost rural broadband. Congressional Democrats are calling for a $40 billion investment to expand internet access in rural and inner-city communities, likening their plan to New Deal efforts to expand the electrical grid. (The Hill)

AT&T asks U.S. Supreme Court to overturn net neutrality rules AT&T is trying to take the fight over the Obama-era net neutrality rules to the US Supreme Court. (CNET News)

Global Trade

How the Trump Administration Is Doing Renegotiating Nafta. Six weeks into the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement, the thorniest issues surrounding the pact remain unresolved. (New York Times)
Workforce/Diversity

IBM Now Has More Employees in India Than in the U.S. IBM dominated the early decades of computing with inventions like the mainframe and the floppy disk. Its offices and factories, stretching from upstate New York to Silicon Valley, were hubs of American innovation long before Microsoft or Google came along. (New York Times)

Startup-Friendly Bill Would Remove Visa Caps, Regulations for Entrepreneurs. A bipartisan group of senators wants to usher in a prosperous new era for domestic startups, and on Thursday introduced a wide-ranging bill that aims to make it easier to form new ventures. (NextGov)

Immigration

Deportations fall under Trump despite increase in arrests by ICE. Despite President Trump's push for tougher immigration enforcement, U.S. agents are on pace to deport fewer people in the government's 2017 fiscal year than during the same period last year, the latest statistics show. (Washington Post)

Antitrust

Google Acts to End One Fight in Europe as Bigger Antitrust Battle Looms. Google's parent company, Alphabet, has cleared the deck for a huge antitrust fight. The technology giant is separating its European shopping unit and allowing rivals to bid for ads. (New York Times)

Broadband/Communications
FCC chief Ajit Pai wants Apple to stop disabling FM radio chips in iPhones. Federal Communications Commission chairman Ajit Pai on Thursdayissued a public statement requesting that Apple activate the disabled FM radio chips within its iPhones. (Ars Technica)

Privacy

Apple reported a spike in secret national security orders this year. Apple received fewer government demands for data during the first-half of this year, but it saw a spike in secret national security orders. (ZDNet)

Public Sector

Navy R&D awards $34M cloud migration contract to CSRA. The one-year blanket purchase agreement includes two additional yearlong options and will provide cloud migration, engineering and maintenance services to the Navy's Science and Technology community through both Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure cloud systems. (Fed Scoop)

CIO Crawford pivots Army to DevOps to address network woes.
The Army has reached a crossroads with its network modernization - but the service's new CIO thinks DevOps, in the long term, can help it get back on track. (Fed Scoop)

Private Equity Firm Acquires Accela in What May Be the Biggest Gov Tech Deal Ever. Berkshire Partners, a Boston private equity firm, has acquired government permitting and licensing vendor Accela in a move that could signal rapid expansion in the company's near future. (GovTech)

Cybersecurity
Equifax Promises A New Lifetime Service, As New Leader Offers An Apology. Equifax is promising consumers new control over access to their personal credit data - for free, and for life - as interim CEO Paulino do Rego Barros Jr. apologized to people affected by the company's recent data breach. He said the company had failed to live up to expectations. (NPR)

NY regulator says Equifax making progress on post-breach issues. Equifax has been cooperating with regulators on issues resulting from the credit reporting agency's massive data breach and has addressed many of them, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman's office said on Thursday. (Reuters)

Congress may finally get a cyber deterrence strategy from DoD at end of the month. For almost two years Senate Armed Services Chairman John McCain (R-Ariz.) has been asking the Defense Department for a cyber deterrence strategy and for two years McCain has not gotten what he wanted. Now, after Congress formally required DoD to present them with a comprehensive cyber deterrence strategy, lawmakers are being asked to wait a little longer for the policy. (Federal News Radio)
Whole Foods Discloses Data Breach. In the latest data breach involving consumer data, Whole Foods Market said card-payment information of customers who drank and dined in its taprooms and full-service restaurants has been hacked. (Wall Street Journal)

Environment/Sustainability

Trump Wants to Repeal Obama's Climate Plan. The Next Fight: Its Replacement. President Trump failed again this week to fulfill his promise to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, President Barack Obama's signature health plan. Now he is taking aim at Mr. Obama's central environmental legacy, the Clean Power Plan. (New York Times)

Tech Business

BlackBerry shares soar as software sales hit record. Canada's BlackBerry Ltd reported stronger-than-expected quarterly profit on Thursday as high-margin software sales hit a record, boosting investor confidence in its turnaround and sending shares up 14 percent. (Reuters)

Roku IPO: Shares jump 50% as investors bet the firm can fend off Amazon, Apple and Google. Now investors are raising a similar concern about the company behind the tech world's latest initial public offering, the video streaming service Roku, which began trading Thursday on Nasdaq. But instead of having to worry about only one major foe, Roku must prove it can outmaneuver a cast of formidable competitors, including Amazon, Apple and Google. (Los Angeles Times)

1600 Penn.

EU pressures internet giants to remove illegal content sooner. The European Commission on Thursday outlined how firms like Google, Facebook and Twitter should remove illegal content more quickly from the Web, increasing pressure on the companies to do more. (Reuters)

Microsoft Gambles on Fuel Cells to Power Data Centers. In an industrial space tucked off a side street in Seattle's Sodo District, Microsoft is trying to reinvent the data center. (GovTech)

Microsoft search engine Bing to focus on PC search market: CEO. Microsoft Corp Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella said on Wednesday the company's search engine, Bing, will focus on expanding in the PC search market after losing its deal with Apple Inc's voice assistant Siri. (Reuters)

Amazon's NFL stream of Green Bay-Chicago could draw diehards, boycotters and the curious. Amazon delivers its first Thursday Night Football broadcast tonight and it's not just the traditional matchup of the Green Bay Packers against the Chicago Bears that makes the game intriguing. (USA Today)
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