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Tech News Roundup - 10/04/2017

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Lawmakers Berate Former Equifax C.E.O. Over Huge Data Breach. Members of Congress tore into Equifax on Tuesday, berating the company's former chief executive for a breach of its computer systems that potentially exposed the sensitive personal information of more than 145 million Americans. (New York Times)

Lawmakers shame Equifax at hearing: 'The guards at Fort Knox forgot to lock the doors'. Lawmakers from across the ideological spectrum blasted credit reporting giant Equifax Tuesday over the security breakdown that allowed hackers to steal the personal data of more than 145 million Americans. (Politico Pro)

Tech industry issues IoT strategy calling for multistakeholder efforts on security. A new Internet of Things strategy "dialogue" issued by tech industry groups and companies urges the federal government to prioritize public-private partnerships to address securing emerging technologies from cybersecurity threats, as well as develop cyber hygiene outreach efforts. (ITI Mention, Inside Cybersecurity)

Trump cyber adviser: U.S. worried about Chinese, Russian code inspections. The United States is concerned about Chinese and Russian laws requiring Western companies to open up their code for inspection as a condition of selling products there. (Politico Pro)

Personal info leaked in SEC breach. At least two people had their sensitive, personal data exposed when hackers broke into the Securities and Exchange Commission's public-facing financial filing system, known as EDGAR, in 2016. (Federal Computer Week)

Foreign government code reviews 'problematic': White House cyber official. Allowing foreign governments to require reviews of software secrets of technology products built by U.S. companies is "problematic," the top White House cyber security official said on Tuesday, adding that the increasingly common arrangements presented both security and intellectual property risks. (Reuters)

Yahoo says every account - all 3 billion of them - was affected by 2013 breach. All 3 billion Yahoo accounts were affected by a 2013 data breach - three times as many as the company first reported. (Los Angeles Times)
A powerful U.S. Senate committee is demanding that Yahoo and Equifax testify about two major security breaches. New revelations that a 2013 security breach at Yahoo affected all three billion of its users has triggered a sharp rebuke from the U.S. Senate, which now plans to drag company representatives back to Capitol Hill for a hearing in the coming weeks. (Recode)
Oracle's Larry Ellison: The way to prevent data theft is more automation. At OpenWorld, Ellison unveils Oracle's new highly-automated cyber defense system, which works in conjunction with its autonomous database to automatically detect threats and install patches. (ZDNet)

Tech Politics

White House close to revealing details on code flaw disclosure process. The White House will soon disclose more information about how it decides when to tell tech companies that it has discovered flaws in their products. (Politico Pro)

Snap hasn't found any Russia-backed ads on its platform - but others in tech, like Reddit and Yahoo, are saying little. A closer look at what some of tech's largest platforms have found as Congress continues to investigate. (Recode)
Russia-Linked Facebook Pages Pushed Divisions After Election, Including on Charlottesville. Messages posted as recently as August called for killing Muslims and labeled immigrants 'rapists, murderers, child molesters' (Wall Street Journal)

IBM breaks with Google, Facebook to support sex-trafficking bill. IBM threw its support behind an anti-sex-trafficking bill that online platforms such as Google and Facebook are lobbying against. (Axios)

Vestager takes Ireland to court over Apple's taxes. Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager is taking Ireland to Europe's highest court over delays in collecting some €13 billion in back taxes from Apple, in a dramatic escalation of the simmering dispute between Dublin and the Commission. (Politico Pro)
Tax Cuts, Sold as Fuel for Growth, Widen Gap Between Rich and Poor. It is a little unsettling that the intellectual underpinning of tax policy in the United States today was jotted down on a napkin at the Two Continents Restaurant in Washington in December 1974. (New York Times)

Republicans Are Reconsidering Full Repeal of State and Local Tax Deduction. Republican leaders are backing away from a proposal to fully repeal an expensive tax break used by more than 40 million tax filers to deduct state and local taxes amid pushback from fellow lawmakers whose residents rely on the popular provision. (New York Times)

Conservatives defy GOP orthodoxy on cutting top tax rate. House conservatives - desperate for a win on tax reform - are open to nixing some newly proposed tax cuts on the wealthy, challenging the GOP's tax-cuts-for-all orthodoxy. (Politico)


Congressman wants U.S. to part with Europe on Data Privacy. One tech-focused lawmaker thinks upcoming European data laws, which would force tech companies to occasionally delete customers' information, are "ridiculous," and hopes that the United States can find a system that maintains the data while protecting customers' privacy. (ITI Mentioned, NextGov)
Global Trade

Trudeau to meet with Trump, Pena Nieto as NAFTA round four convenes. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will travel to Washington and Mexico City this month for talks with President Donald Trump and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto just as negotiators from Canada, the United States and Mexico are holding the fourth round of talks on renegotiating NAFTA, which is scheduled forOct. 11-15. (Politico Pro)

Artificial Intelligence

Iris can't hold your hand, but she may ease your mind as you step into a driverless car. It may help if you call her "Iris" and allow her to talk with you as if she were sitting in the car beside you. (Washington Post)


IBM to send undocumented employees to lobby for DREAMer protections. IBM plans to send employees who benefit from the DACA program to lobby Congress for permanent legal protections. (Politico Pro)

GOP lawmakers say Trump wants tough measures in DREAMers deal. Democrats left a dinner last month with President Donald Trump enthusiastically touting a deal for "DREAMers." Republicans who dined at the White House on Monday say Democrats may want to check the fine print. (Politico Pro)

AFL-CIO urges passage of 'clean' DREAM Act. The AFL-CIO sent a letter today to top lawmakers on the Senate Judiciary Committee that implores them to support a "clean" version of a bill to protect undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children. (Politico Pro)

Tillis Reads Trump Tweets at DACA Hearing. Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., read President Donald Trump's tweets about his decision to rescind Deferred Action Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA. Tillis interpreted the tweets as Trump suggesting he wants a fix for DACA. (Roll Call)

Senate Republicans Signal Support for Dreamers, With Conditions. Key Senate Republicans signaled Tuesday support for legislation allowing so-called Dreamers to stay in the U.S., but said they want it paired with immigration enforcement inside the U.S., as well as border security. (Wall Street Journal)


A resistance against Big Tech. Big Tech's main virtue - its very bigness - is getting it in trouble. Facebook, Google and Twitter are on the hot seat for their credulousness about Russian intelligence operations. And Amazon always seems on the verge of swallowing up another retail sector. (Axios)

Public Sector

DHS still pushing to rename cyber shop. Although it sounds like a small thing, a new name for the Department of Homeland Security's key cybersecurity component would go a long way toward making it more effective and attracting a technically skilled workforce, its top manager told lawmakers. (Federal Computer Week)

Using the cloud to make government development more nimble. Development teams face a demanding and constantly evolving landscape. (FedScoop)

Customs and Border Protection's IT hurts its ability to secure the border, IG says. In an era of travel bans and extreme vetting, a Department of Homeland Security inspector general's report released last week suggests some key border insecurities are a bit more basic - stemming from Customs and Border Protection's IT weaknesses. (FedScoop)

What CIO vacancies mean for modernizing government. President Donald Trump's new tech-themed White House team has made upgrading government technology a key talking point, but many federal agencies' top technology positions remain unfilled and it's unclear how quickly interim chief information officers can act. (NextGov)


Start-Ups Use Technology to Redesign the Hiring Process. Algorithms can help take bias out of the mix when it comes to evaluating candidates. (New York Times)

Silicon Valley's race gap is getting worse, not better, new research shows. Despite pledges from technology companies to crack the minority ceiling, Silicon Valley has a race problem and it's getting worse. (USA Today)
Internet of Things

Tech Companies Offer National IoT Plan. Tech companies have come up with what they say should be the government's definition of the Internet of Things (IoT) and policy recommendations for IoT that includes finding more spectrum for 5G. (ITI Mentioned, Multichannel News)

Intel Exec: Internet of Things isn't scaling as fast as we thought. Tech companies specializing in the internet of things need more of a boost from the U.S. government, according to one Intel executive. (ITI Mentioned, NextGov)

Morning Cybersecurity. The Trump administration should sweep away "inconsistent, duplicative or unnecessary" regulations on the burgeoning internet of things and defer to the private sector for security standards on these smart devices, major tech companies and trade groups will say in a report set to be unveiled today. (ITI Mentioned, Politico)

Report shows solar, wind on the march as China surges. A new International Energy Agency forecast this morning projects that worldwide renewable energy capacity will grow by another 43 percent over the next five years amid surging solar increases in China and other factors. (Axios)

ITI Member News

Samsung Odyssey virtual reality headset announced for Windows. Samsung has unveiled a virtual reality rig designed for use with Windows PCs. (BBC News)
Fresh twist in Facebook data transfer row. The Irish High Court has referred a case about the way Facebook transfers user data across the Atlantic to the US to the EU's highest court. (BBC News)
After Las Vegas Shooting, Fake News Regains Its Megaphone. Google and Facebook blamed algorithm errors for these. (New York Times)

E.U. Said to Order Luxembourg to Collect Back Taxes From Amazon. European Union officials will order Luxembourg to collect back taxes from the online retail giant Amazon, a source with knowledge of the decision said Tuesday, the latest in a series of moves where Brussels has sought to flex its regulatory muscle over Silicon Valley. (New York Times)
E.U. Pushes Tax Avoidance Campaign Against Amazon and Apple. Europe's competition chief said on Wednesday that she was taking Ireland to court over the country's failure to collect a huge bill for back taxes from Apple, as officials from the Continent mounted a push against alleged abuses of regional tax rules by Silicon Valley giants. (New York Times)
Uber Document Shows Ex-Google Engineer Possessed Secret Files. Due-diligence report revealed Anthony Levandowski had Google files on its self-driving-car project, including 50,000 emails (Wall Street Journal)
Microsoft is determined to make virtual reality work for everyone. For a while, virtual reality has seemed stuck in neutral for the nongaming audience, with companies struggling to make VR appealing to everyone. But firms keep trying - and they're starting to make a better case as prices continue to drop. (Washington Post)

Facebook shifts strategy under lawmaker pressure. Facebook is shifting its strategy with Congress, signaling that it intends to be more cooperative with lawmakers investigating whether groups with Russian ties used the social media giant's ad platform to influence the 2016 presidential election. (The Hill)

Paul S. Otellini, Who Led Intel and Saw It Grow Even More, Dies at 66. Paul S. Otellini, who as chief executive expanded Intel's already commanding chipmaking business but failed to build a company franchise in mobile phones, died on Monday at his family's second home in Sonoma County, Calif. He was 66. (New York Times)

Today on the Hill

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: 8:45 p.m. - 9:45 p.m.
The Senate will convene at 9:30 AM and and proceed to executive session to resume consideration of the nomination of Eric D. Hargan to be Deputy Secretary of Health and Human Services.
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