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Tech News Roundup - 10/13/2017

Tech News Roundup

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10/13/2017

Key Issues

Tech Politics

Facebook 'fully committed' to sharing Russian ad data. Facebook 'fully committed' to sharing Russian ad data. (BBC News)

Sheryl Sandberg Blitzes Washington in P.R. Push for Facebook. "Things happened on our platform in this election that should not have happened," Sheryl Sandberg said of activity linked to Russia on Facebook. (New York Times)
Facebook takes down data and thousands of posts, obscuring reach of Russian disinformation. Social media analyst Jonathan Albright got a call from Facebook the day after he published research last week showing that the reach of the Russian disinformation campaign was almost certainly larger than the company had disclosed. (Washington Post)

How Facebook's Ad System Works. A Facebook page called Secured Borders, believed to be linked to Russia, offered a stream of commentary criticizing liberals. (New York Times)

Tech Giants, Once Seen as Saviors, Are Now Viewed as Threats. Facebook, Google and others positioned themselves as bettering the world. But their systems and tools have also been used to undermine democracy. (New York Times)

How lawmakers responded to Sheryl Sandberg's pitch. In her swing through DC (which included an interview with Axios), Sheryl Sandberg made the case that Facebook is ready to work with legislators. It seems that, at least so far, concerned lawmakers are willing to wait and see before pushing for major new legislation. (Axios)

Twitter deleted data potentially crucial to Russia probes. Twitter has deleted tweets and other user data of potentially irreplaceable value to investigators probing Russia's suspected manipulation of the social media platform during the 2016 election, according to current and former government cybersecurity officials. (Politico)
Taxes

Republicans eye alternatives for getting to 20 percent corporate tax rate. Republican lawmakers are considering indirect paths to meeting President Donald Trump's goal of slashing the corporate tax rate to 20 percent, one of the toughest challenges they face in trying to overhaul the U.S. tax code. (Reuters)

House GOP Moves Toward Keeping Partial State and Local Tax Deduction. House Republicans are moving toward an agreement that preserves part of the federal deduction for state and local taxes, backing away from a controversial plan to abolish it. (Wall Street Journal)

U.S. Corporate Tax Shake-Up Could Fuel Tension With Allies. President Trump and congressional lawmakers are not the only ones interested in collecting taxes on global profits that American corporations are hoarding overseas. European regulators, knee deep in their own campaign to stamp out tax avoidance, have their own plans for that money. (New York Times)

Global Trade
What Would Happen if the U.S. Withdrew From Nafta. President Trump continues threatening to withdraw the United States from the North American Free Trade Agreement, and with negotiations on rocky ground, that risk could soon become reality. Withdrawing from the pact would bring big changes for the economy and for consumers. (New York Times)

How Trump's trade agenda would send auto jobs to China. During his campaign, President Donald Trump promised to bring back jobs in the U.S. automotive industry by cracking down on Chinese trade practices and renegotiating NAFTA. "We're getting killed on trade-absolutely destroyed," he said at one rally. (Politico)

Artificial Intelligence
Will the 'Mad Max' age of AI give agencies hope for taming their data?. The federal government is awash in data, to the point that it's becoming physically impossible for human eyes to analyze it all. (FedScoop)

It's time for a new C-Suite position: Chief AI Officer. AI is spreading to the enterprise at a phenomenal rate. (ZDNet)

Immigration

Trump to extend March 5 deadline to end DACA protections if Congress doesn't act, GOP senator says. President Trump will extend a March 5 deadline to end protections for young undocumented immigrants if Congress fails to act by then, according to a Republican senator who spoke directly with the president about the issue. (Washington Post)

Antitrust

U.S. Justice Dept official should not review AT&T/Time Warner deal: senator. U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren on Thursday urged the Justice Department's top antitrust official to recuse himself from an ongoing review of AT&T Inc's planned $85.4 billion acquisition of Time Warner Inc. (Reuters)

Broadband/Communications

FCC chair 'refused' to rebuke Trump over threat to take NBC off the air. Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai still hasn't publicly responded to President Trump's call for NBC and other networks to have their FCC licenses challenged, and Democratic lawmakers are stepping up the pressure. (ArsTechnica)

ISPs don't want to tell the FCC exactly where they offer Internet service. The Federal Communications Commission is considering whether it should collect more accurate data about broadband deployment in the US, but cable and telecom lobby groups are urging the FCC to maintain the status quo. (ArsTechnica)

GAO to probe FCC cyberattack that struck amid net neutrality debate. The government's top watchdog has agreed to investigate the reported cyberattack that targeted the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) earlier this year while the agency was preparing to roll back net neutrality regulations. (The Hill)

Public Sector

Oracle's Federal IT Modernization Comments Draw Fire from Tech Industry. A company leader railed against open source coding, custom software, 18F and the U.S. Digital Service in comments to a White House council. (GovTech)

Army seeks a few 'quick wins' in pursuit of IT networks that can withstand enemy attack. After an exhaustive, months-long review, the Army has arrived at a seven-point plan to fix its tactical IT network, with focus areas ranging from better policing of requirements, to a more coordinated oversight process, to enforcing Army-wide technology standards and a rapid "adapt and buy" approach to acquiring new equipment. (Federal News Radio)

White House tech adviser: 'Way too many acting CIOs'. White House advisor Chris Liddell acknowledged that the federal government may be moving too slowly in filling permanent CIO positions throughout departments and agencies. (Federal Computer Week)

Cybersecurity
New Worry For CEOs: A Career-Ending Cyberattack. Corporate chiefs get more involved in defense against hackers, fearing a breach could cost their jobs, hurt their businesses. (Wall Street Journal)

Cyberattack Captures Data on U.S. Weapons in Four-Month Assault. Attacker nicknamed 'Alf' gained access to Australian defense contractor's computers. (Wall Street Journal)

IRS temporarily suspends contract with Equifax. The IRS has temporarily suspended the $7.2 million, no-bid contract it awarded to Equifax to verify the identities of taxpayers when they create accounts on its website, the agency said today. (Politico)

Equifax removes webpage after malware issue. Equifax removes webpage after malware issue. (BBC News)
New York AG Eric Schneiderman Probing Deloitte Hack. Accounting firm says data from a small number of clients was compromised; consumers not affected. (Wall Street Journal)

DHS Nominee would be agency's first homegrown cyber leader. President Donald Trump's pick to lead the Homeland Security Department could mark a tectonic shift in the amount and type of focus government places on its cyber protections, former officials told Nextgov Thursday. (NextGov)

Encryption

Lawmaker says Justice Department is wrong about encryption. Days after a Justice Department leader called for "responsible encryption" that allows law enforcement to access suspects' encrypted data, one of Congress' cybersecurity leaders slammed the idea. (NextGov)

The myth of responsible encryption: Experts say it can't work. Government officials call for a way to protect consumers while also letting law enforcement see criminal data. But some specialists say it's not possible. (CNET)

Workforce/Diversity

Google Unveils Job Training Initiative With $1 Billion Pledge. Google unveiled an initiative on Thursday to help train Americans for jobs in technology and committed to donating $1 billion over the next five years to nonprofits in education and professional training. (New York Times)

These young ironworkers are betting on new technology - and traditional unions - to achieve their American dream. Luke Buckingham hopes becoming an ironworker will lead him to a comfortable life, even as more of those jobs become automated or go overseas. (Washington Post)

CBC scolds Facebook over Black Lives Matter ads. Facebook came to the Capitol this week to talk about Moscow's election meddling. But the Congressional Black Caucus wanted to confront the company over some deeper issues: its lily-white board and amplification of Russian ads that capitalized on Black Lives Matter. (Politico Pro)

Black lawmakers press Sandberg on Facebook's lack of diversity. Black lawmakers used a meeting with Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandbergon Thursday to demand the company do more to address its lack of diversity. (The Hill)

Energy

Is This How The Trump Administration Might Save Coal?. On Capitol HillThursday, Energy Secretary Rick Perry defended a controversial proposal to subsidize coal and nuclear power plants. (NPR)

Why China is winning the clean energy race. U.S. politicians have been warning for years that America couldn't let China win the clean energy race. That's exactly what has happened, with the trends most stark in electric cars, solar and nuclear energy. (Axios)

Environment/Sustainability

An Electric Car and a Rugged Throwback: The Dreams of 2 Rich Britons. Two of Britain's boldest and wealthiest entrepreneurs are trying to break into a very tough league. (New York Times)

Tech Business

Samsung Electronics CEO Kwon Oh-hyun to step down from management. Samsung Electronics Co Ltd said on Friday its CEO and Vice Chairman Kwon Oh-hyun had decided to step down from management. (Reuters)

Samsung Electronics on track for record third quarter as chips soar. Samsung Electronics Co Ltd said on Friday its third-quarter operating profit likely nearly tripled from a year earlier to a new record, beating analyst estimates, as strong memory chip prices fattened margins. (Reuters)

HP Forecasts a Good 2018 for Profit. HP Inc. expects 2018 to be another good year, with profit projections beating Wall Street expectations, and it's pledging to continue to return most of its cash to shareholders. (Wall Street Journal)

Outcome, a Hot Tech Startup, Misled Advertisers With Manipulated Information, Sources Say. In an era of celebrity tech entrepreneurs, Chicago has its own local star in Rishi Shah, a charismatic 31-year-old who has parlayed his advertising startup into connections with political and financial heavyweights. (Wall Street Journal)

Tech and Real Estate Lift the Fortunes of China's Richest. China's new digital barons are rising. One of its most ambitious global deal makers is falling. And a property mogul who likes to borrow heavily is on top. (New York Times)

ITI Member News

Tim Cook Says it's better to learn to code than learn English as a second language. Coding, says Apple CEO Tim Cook, is the best foreign language that a student in any country can learn. (NextGov)

Google is essentially building an anti-Amazon alliance, and Target is the latest to join. Google and the country's biggest brick-and-mortar retailers have one main problem in common: Amazon. Now both sides are acting like they are serious about working together to do something about it. (Recode)

Amazon Suspends Entertainment Chief Roy Price. Leave of absence comes amid allegations of mismanagement, sexual harassment and business relationship with Harvey Weinstein. (Wall Street Journal)

Breitbart roasts Twitter for locking out Weinstein accuser. Conservative news sites - particularly Breitbart - were making hay of Twitter's decision overnight to temporarily lock actress Rose McGowan's Twitter account. (Politico Pro)

Google releases safety report on driverless cars. Google's self-driving car company has submitted its first-ever safety report to federal regulators about its technology, the company said Thursday. (The Hill)

Facebook isn't changing its business because of Russia. Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg sent a clear message to Washington yesterday in an interview with Axios' Mike Allen: Facebook will help investigators looking into Russian election meddling on the platform, but it isn't changing the core values and business plan that have powered the company's growth. (Axios)

What Does Facebook Consider Hate Speech? Take Our Quiz. Have you ever seen a post on Facebook that you were surprised wasn't removed as hate speech? Have you flagged a message as offensive or abusive but the social media site deemed it perfectly legitimate? (New York Times)

Facebook's ad targeting tools could be a valuable supplement to census data. Official census forms are an invaluable source for demographic data throughout the country, but for trends that occur on the scale of weeks or months rather than years, they're a bit lacking. But a new study shows that similar data used by Facebook to target ads could help fill in that blind spot. (TechCrunch)

What tech backlash? Google, Facebook still rank high in polls. Technology companies are on the defensive, battling waves of criticism. Facebook is overrun by fake news and sold political ads to the Russians. Rivals accuse Google of skewing its search results, and women have sued the company for alleged discrimination in pay and promotions. (Wired)
Memo to Facebook: How to tell if you're a media company. On Thursday, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg repeated a Facebook talking point that's beginning to wear thin. Asked if Facebook is a media company, she resisted the characterization. "At our heart we're a tech company; we hire engineers. We don't hire reporters, no one's a journalist, we don't cover the news," she said. (Wired)
Google offers help to industries it helps to destroy. Twenty-four years ago, a young Indian engineer named Sundar Pichai boarded a plane for the first time, to fly to Pittsburgh. Thursday, he returned to Pittsburgh as CEO of Google, and announced plans to give away $1 billion. (Wired)

Today on the Hill

The House is not in session today.
The Senate will convene at 8:30 AM for a pro forma session.
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