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Tech News Roundup - 10/11/2017

Tech News Roundup

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10/11/2017

Key Issues

Tech Politics

Google, Facebook, Twitter Scramble to Hold Washington at Bay. Last month, Google summoned about 200 staff from around the world for an annual policy meeting. One agenda item was very different this time: How to deal with the sudden drumbeat of calls in the U.S. to regulate the company for being too big. (Bloomberg)

A group of Silicon Valley tech experts is raising money to help 500 Democrats win elections in 2018. A group of well-wired tech engineers is trying to bring a Silicon Valley sensibility to hundreds of hardscrabble Democratic campaigns around the country next year - and they're tapping the likes of Sam Altman, Chris Kelly and Chamath Palihapitiya for help. (Recode)

After Russian election hack, U.S. security advisers form group to make 2020 race unhackable. A bipartisan group of federal election officials, national security advisors and a retired U.S. general have formed a coalition to fight election hacking with the aim of establishing protocols that would keep Russians and other state entities from interfering with the voting process. (USA Today)

FAA Panel Splits on Drone Tracking Requirements. In a potentially serious setback for expanded commercial-drone operations, a federal advisory panel has failed to agree on proposals to identify and track unmanned aircraft nationwide. (Wall Street Journal)

U.K. leapfrogs U.S. on regulating bad content. U.K. Prime Minister Teresa May's administration said Tuesday that her cabinet is considering regulating Google and Facebook as news organizations, rather than being treated like pure tech companies. (Axios)

Facebook's Sandberg goes to DC to fend off Russian ad criticism. Facebook is bringing out some of its VIPs to deal with intense scrutiny in Washington, DC. (CNET News)
Taxes
Democrats Must Forget About Trump and Join the GOP on Tax Reform. The need for tax reform is loudly supported by Democrats - or at least it was. (NBC News)

Trump won't give up this false tax claim. "We are the highest-taxed nation in the world," President Donald Trump has repeated over and over again. (Politico Pro)

Trump touts economic development bill 'which nobody knows about'. President Trump said he has an economic development bill, "which nobody knows about," that would provide incentives to keep companies in the U.S. and "severely" penalize them if they move offshore. (Los Angeles Times)

Kansas Tried a Tax Plan Similar to Trump's. It Failed. In December 2014, the University of Kansas agreed to pay David Beaty $800,000 a year, plus incentives, to be the football program's head coach, but with an interesting structure: More than two-thirds of that pay would be channeled to an organization called DB Sports L.L.C. (New York Times)

For Republicans, 'Failure Is Not an Option' on Tax Cuts. Republicans are staggering, knocked off kilter by internecine conflict between President Trump and his own party in Congress. Incumbents are under aggressive challenge from conservative activists. Frustrated veteran lawmakers are bailing out. (New York Times)

Privacy

Court significantly reins in what data anti-Trump website must give to feds. A local judge in Washington, DC has ruled largely in favor of DreamHost, saying that the Department of Justice overstepped when it initially sought 1.3 million IP addresses that were logged at a website that helped organizes nationwide protests against President Donald Trump on his inauguration day earlier this year. (Ars Technica)

Global Trade

Trump Sets Nafta Goals: Dilute Pact's Force, Loosen Regional Bonds. The Trump administration has honed its strategy for remaking the North American Free Trade Agreement in advance of the next round of talks starting Wednesday-by proposing a number of specific ways to water down the pact and reduce its influence on companies. (Wall Street Journal)

Trump to unveil NAFTA proposals that throw the deal into peril. The Trump administration will present controversial proposals for NAFTA negotiations that are expected to attract vehement opposition from Congress, large sections of the U.S. business community and leaders in Canada and Mexico, according to sources with knowledge of the arrangements. (Axios)

Belgian port weighs life after Brexit. The port of Zeebrugge competes with bigger rivals by specializing in niches like shipping cars and carpets to the U.K., but Brexit threatens to upend that business model. (Politico Pro)

Trump's moves on NAFTA risk massive damage. The future of the U.S. economy is at stake this week in a closed-door conference among three key trading partners. Starting Wednesday, representatives of the United States, Canada and Mexico will begin a fourth and possibly pivotal round of negotiations on overhauling the North American Free Trade Agreement, a 24-year-old pact that has deeply interconnected the three major economies. (Washington Post, Editorial)

Chinese groups warn Trump not to start trade war over tech transfers. The possibility President Donald Trump could ignite a trade war by coming down hard on Beijing over allegations of intellectual property theft hung over an interagency hearing Tuesday during which business groups and experts offered the administration conflicting advice. (Politico Pro)

Immigration
Most Americans want to let Dreamers stay. President Trump ended DACA, but said he wanted to negotiate with Democrats to find a legislative replacement. However, his recent proposal included funding for the wall and other elements that are a non-starter for many Democrats. (Axios)

Supreme Court drops one Trump travel ban case. The Supreme Court on Tuesday dropped one of two challenges it was considering to President Donald Trump's travel ban policy, declaring moot a lawsuit over Trump's attempt to block issuance of visas to citizens of six majority-Muslim countries. (Politico)

Meet the Republican who might cut a Dreamers deal. As Donald Trump was pressing his hard-line immigration platform en route to the GOP nomination last year, Republican Sen. Thom Tillis decided to go in a different direction entirely. (Politico)

Antitrust

U.S. top court asks Justice Department for views in Apple antitrust case. The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday asked the Trump administration for its views on whether to hear Apple Inc's bid to avoid a class-action lawsuit accusing the tech giant of inflating consumer prices by charging illegally high commissions on iPhone software sales through its App Store. (Reuters)

Public Sector

FEC asks for public comment on online ad disclosure rules. The Federal Election Commission (FEC) is asking for public input on its disclosure rules for online political advertisements, as companies like Facebook and Google are being scrutinized by investigators for ads they ran during the 2016 presidential campaign. (The Hill)

How Microservices can help build a more responsive government. Citizen expectations are rising fast, in large part due to the experiences provided by private-sector disruptors like Amazon, Google and Apple. While Amazon plans to use drones to deliver products directly to customers' doorsteps, most government agencies still don't provide an easy way for citizens to get quick responses on government websites. (NextGov)

Cybersecurity

Deloitte hack hit server containing emails from across US government. The hack into the accountancy giant Deloitte compromised a server that contained the emails of an estimated 350 clients, including four US government departments, the United Nations and some of the world's biggest multinationals, the Guardian has been told. (The Guardian)

Accenture left a huge trove of highly sensitive data on exposed servers. Technology and cloud giant Accenture has confirmed it inadvertently left a massive store of private data across four unsecured cloud servers, exposing highly sensitive passwords and secret decryption keys that could have inflicted considerable damage on the company and its customers. (ZDNet)

Hacking is inevitable, so it's time to assume our data will be stolen. If recent hacking attacks such as the one at Equifax, which compromised personal data for about half of all Americans, have taught us anything, it's that data breaches are a part of life. It's time to plan for what happens after our data is stolen, according to Rahul Telang, professor of information systems at Carnegie Mellon University. (NextGov)

Israel hacked Kaspersky, then tipped the NSA that its tools had been breached. In 2015, Israeli government hackers saw something suspicious in the computers of a Moscow-based cybersecurity firm: hacking tools that could only have come from the National Security Agency. (Washington Post)

Equifax Hack Disclosed Driver's License Data for More Than 10 Million Americans. Driver's license data for around 10.9 million Americans were compromised during the breach of Equifax Inc.'s systems, according to people familiar with the matter. (Wall Street Journal)

The race to secure voting tech gets an urgent jumpstart. Numerous electronic voting machines used in United States elections have critical exposures that could make them vulnerable to hacking. Security experts have known that for a decade. But it wasn't until Russia meddled in the 2016 US presidential campaigns and began probing digital voting systems that the topic took on pressing urgency. (Wired)

What our cyberwall knows. Every week, the federal government gets hit by more than a thousand cyberattacks - a number that has jumped more than tenfold since 2006. Russian and Chinese spies, not to mention global crime rings, are constantly probing the government's networks, looking for a way in. The Pentagon, the Treasury and hundreds of random offices with less sophisticated digital defenses are under constant assault. (Politico Pro)

Encryption

Justice Department to Be More Aggressive in Seeking Encrypted Data. The Justice Department signaled on Tuesday that it intends to take a more aggressive posture in seeking access to encrypted information from technology companies, setting the stage for another round of clashes in the tug of war between privacy and public safety. (Wall Street Journal)

DOJ grows frustrated with tech firms over encryption. A top Justice Department official on Tuesday criticized technology companies that "enable criminals and terrorists" with encryption software and foreshadowed a new government approach to the issue that has increasingly frustrated law enforcement. (CNN)

Workforce/Diversity

Careers for Women in Technology Companies Are a Global Challenge. European women working in the technology field are very familiar with the concerns expressed by their counterparts in the United States - too few girls and young women studying science and technology in school, gender bias and sexual harassment in the workplace. (New York Times)

High tech jobs touted as economic future in Montana. At the University of Montana on Monday, high powered lawmakers and company executives took a hard look at how Montana can play a role in the future of rural America's potential for growth in the high tech industry. (KTVQ)

How manufacturing is fueling robotics in central Pennsylvania. For decades, Rust Belt cities have been seen as decaying manufacturing centers struggling to reinvent themselves. Now, central Pennsylvania - comprised of the smaller cities of York, Lancaster and Harrisburg - is trying to leverage its long history of manufacturing as the foundation for a vibrant robotics hub. (Axios)

The Secret History of the Female Code Breakers Who Helped Defeat the Nazis. In November 1941, not long before the attack on Pearl Harbor, a handful of letters began materializing in student mailboxes at America's top women's colleges. (Politico)

Internet of Things

Dell Bets $1 Billion on 'Internet of Things'. Dell Technologies Inc. is joining the crowded field of companies wagering big money on the so-called Internet of Things, as the computing giant looks for new avenues of growth amid a shift in corporate spending to the cloud. (Wall Street Journal)

5 ways Congress can grow the internet of things. A Congressional effort to advance the internet of things is progressing as a government watchdog gathers information about the wireless spectrum required to support billions of connected devices. (ITI Mentioned, NextGov)

Environment/Sustainability

E.P.A. Says It Will Write a New Carbon Rule, but No One Can Say When. When Scott Pruitt, the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, signed a blueprint Tuesday to eliminate a major Obama-era climate change regulation, the text said the agency would at some point consider a new rule to ratchet down greenhouse gas emissions. (New York Times)

Tech Business

The Frightful Five Want to Rule Entertainment. They Are Hitting Limits. The tech giants are too big. Other than Donald J. Trump, that's the defining story of 2017, the meta-narrative lurking beneath every other headline. (New York Times)
Start-Up Bets on Tech Talent Pipeline From Africa. When Tolulope Komolafe first heard the pitch, she was skeptical. A fledgling company in Lagos, Nigeria, would pay her to learn how to write modern computer code and then offer her a good job in the high-tech economy. (New York Times)

Apple Strikes Deal With Spielberg's Amblin for 'Amazing Stories' Reboot. Apple Inc. is betting on acclaimed director and producer Steven Spielberg for its first major foray into creating original video content. (Wall Street Journal)

Amazon is considering a more serious bid against YouTube, ad industry sources say. Amazon is taking meetings about launching programs to bring more advertisers to its video platforms and make it a stronger competitor against YouTube. (USA Today)

ITI Member News

Jeff Wilke: The Amazon Chief Who Obsesses Over Consumers. No matter how hard he works, Amazon.com Inc.'s chief executive of world-wide consumer is only the second most important "Jeff" at the company. (Wall Street Journal)

Anti-Defamation League, tech firms team to fight online hate. Facebook, Twitter, Google and Microsoft are among the companies joining forces with the advocacy group to curb cyberhate. (CNET)

In reversal, Twitter will allow Blackburn's campaign ad. Twitter will allow Tennessee Rep. and GOP Senate candidate Marsha Blackburn to promote a previously-banned ad, the company told ReCode. Twitter had blocked the ad on the basis that it contained "an inflammatory statement that is likely to evoke a strong negative reaction," per AP. Blackburn's ad stressed her pro-life credential and said she "stopped the sale of baby body parts." (Axios)

Today on the Hill

The House will meet at 12:00 p.m. for morning hour and 2:00 p.m. for legislative business. Votes will be postponed until 6:30 p.m.
The Senate is not in session today.
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