Skip to main content

Tech News Roundup - 10/25/2017

Tech News Roundup

Go Back

Key Issues

Artificial Intelligence

Tech industry group releases artificial intelligence policy guide. Artificial intelligence is already impacting society in big ways, but the tech sector wants to ensure the responsible growth of this emerging technology. (ITI Dean Garfield Quoted, NextGov)

Tech trade unveils AI principles. A technology trade association representing the interests of major tech firms like Apple, Amazon and Google on Capitol Hill is releasing principles it believes should be incorporated in the development of artificial intelligence (AI). (ITI Dean Garfield Quoted, The Hill)

Tech industry must prevent misuse of artificial intelligence, trade group says. The Information Technology Industry Council released today what the trade group calls "first-of-its-kind" artificial intelligence principles in an effort to define the roles that industry and government should have in regulating the technology as it becomes more ubiquitous. ITI Dean Garfield Quoted, Politico Pro)

Amazon, Google Lobbyists Warn Regulators to Keep Their Hands Off AI. A lobbying group representing top artificial-intelligence companies including Inc., Facebook Inc. and Google issued a warning to lawmakers on Tuesday: hands off our algorithms. The Information Technology Industry Council released "AI Principles," spelling out how governments should approach AI, a technology that lets computers learn by themselves, and what the industry sees as its own responsibilities. (ITI Dean Garfield Quoted, Bloomberg)

Tech industry calls for info-sharing, encryption to secure artificial intelligence. The technology sector is urging governments around the world to use "strong, globally-accepted and deployed cryptography and other security standards" and promote voluntary sharing of information on cyber threats to help secure emerging artificial intelligence technologies.The Information Technology Industry Council on Tuesday released AI policy principles stressing that success of AI technology will be contingent upon strong cybersecurity and privacy controls. (ITI mention, Inside Cybersecurity)

Tech Trade Group Issues Policy Principles to Promote Responsible AI R&D, Deployment. A technology trade group has issued policy principles that aim to advance responsible design and adoption of artificial intelligence platforms, The Hill reported Tuesday. (ITI Dean Garfield Quoted, Executive Biz)

The AI that has nothing to learn from humans. It was a tense summer day in 1835 Japan. The country's reigning Go player, Honinbo Jowa, took his seat across a board from a 25-year-old prodigy by the name of Akaboshi Intetsu. (NextGov)

Tech Politics

Trump tries to rally Senate Republicans after reigniting civil war. Just hours after publicly trading insults with a key GOP senator, President Donald Trump kept to the script and held a "productive," hour-long meeting with Senate Republicans, according to several senators. (Politico Pro)

Twitter Plans to Open Ad Data to Users. Twitter said on Tuesday that it would bring more transparency to advertisements on its site, including political ads, in the latest response by a technology company to criticism about its role in spreading foreign propaganda during the 2016 presidential campaign. (New York Times)

Twitter to label election ads after U.S. regulatory threat. Twitter said on Tuesday it would add labels to election-related advertisements and say who is behind each of them, after a threat of regulation from the United States over the lack of disclosure for political spending on social media. (Reuters)

Twitter increases ad transparency as Congress ratchets up the pressure. As lawmakers weigh stricter rules for online political advertising as part of a probe into Russia's influence on U.S. elections, Twitter announced plans Tuesday to begin divulging more information about all of the advertisements being promoted across its network. (Politico Pro)

House Republicans gear up for imminent tax bill rollout. House Republican leaders are working behind the scenes to ensure their tax reform rollout, expected any day now, avoids the pitfalls that sank their doomed Obamacare repeal effort. (Politico Pro).

GOP leaders scramble for tax deduction fix before budget vote. House Republican leaders are in a mad dash to resolve a dispute between GOP tax writers and Republicans from high-tax states that has the potential to make Thursday's budget vote a real nail-biter. (Politico Pro)

Corker to Trump on tax reform: 'Hopefully the White House will step aside'. Hours before President Donald Trump is set to attend a lunch with GOP senators to discuss tax reform, Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) said Tuesday that Congress should be allowed to do its work without interference from the White House. (Politico Pro)

Trump and Corker Escalate Battle Over Taxes, in Personal Terms. President Trump renewed his attacks on Senator Bob Corker on Tuesday, chastising him for his skepticism over a $1.5 trillion tax cut. Mr. Corker responded by going on national television to say that Mr. Trump was "debasing" the United States and that the president struggled with the truth. (New York Times)

Schumer takes hard line with Trump on taxes. Chuck Schumer has shown he's willing to cut deals with President Donald Trump. But the Senate minority leader says Democrats will take a hard-line approach with the White House on taxes - and everything else - until Trump's GOP-only approach hits a dead end. (Politico Pro)

Democrats: Tax reform failure will flip the House. House Democrats have spent weeks publicly lambasting Republicans for trying to muscle through a partisan tax overhaul. But privately, Democratic leaders have no intention of engaging with Republicans even if they offered, sources close to them say. (Politico Pro)

Global Trade

'Army' of Lobbyists Hits Capitol Hill to Preserve Nafta. Automakers, retailers and other business leaders stormed Capitol Hill on Tuesday in an extraordinary show of force against a Republican president they fear will cripple or kill the North American Free Trade Agreement, an outcome business leaders said could devastate their profits and harm the United States' ability to compete in a global market. (New York Times)

U.S. considering using trade deficits to decide whether to sunset NAFTA. The Trump administration is considering using bilateral trade deficits as at least one measurement of performance under a proposal that could terminate NAFTA after five years, according to sources familiar with the proposal. (Politico Pro)

Manufacturers attack Garrett before hearing. The National Association of Manufacturers is ramping up its efforts to stop former Rep. Scott Garrett's appointment as president of the Export-Import Bank before next week's Senate hearing on his nomination. (Politico Pro)


DHS plan to collect immigrants' social media gets roasted in the comments. A controversial proposal by the Department of Homeland Security to collect social media information on permanent residents and naturalized citizens in the master "A-file" that covers immigration data is being roundly criticized by privacy rights groups and advocates for immigrants. (ITI Mention, Federal Computer Week)

Expelling Immigrant Workers May Also Send Away the Work They Do. Few American industries are as invested in the decades-long political battle over immigration as agriculture. Paying low wages for backbreaking work, growers large and small have historically relied on immigrants from south of the Rio Grande. (New York Times)

Appeals courts block access to DACA cancellation files. Two federal appeals courts on opposite coasts have blocked orders that would have required the Trump administration to turn over more details about how and why officials decided to shut down the program offering quasi-legal status and work permits to undocumented immigrants who arrived in the U.S. as children. (Politico)


The FCC just ended a decades-old rule designed to keep TV and radio under local control. Federal regulators have voted to eliminate a longstanding rule covering radio and television stations, in a move that could ultimately reshape the nation's media landscape. (Washington Post)

FCC votes to give police power to track phone threats. The Federal Communications Commission on Tuesday voted to allow law enforcement access to blocked caller IDs in cases of anonymous phone threats. (The Hill)

Public Sector
The LA Metro wants tech firms to help it launch a new kind of transit. MicroTransit would involve virtual stops and routes that change based on demand. (Ars Technica)

West Sacramento, Calif., Uses New Tech Platform to Address Homelessness. To combat homelessness, the West Sacramento Police Department has begun using a tech platform called Outreach Grid, which the agency helped create by collaborating with developers as part of the Startup in Residence program in 2016. (GovTech)

DoT hires new CIO; USPTO Owens resigns. The shuffle of agency chief information officers continues with one in and one out. (Federal News Radio)


SEC ignored years of warnings about cybersecurity before massive breach. For years before the Securities and Exchange Commission suffered a massive breach last year, federal watchdogs had warned the agency to encrypt the sensitive financial data stored in its networks. (Washington Post)

Trump Administration plans a new cybersecurity strategy. The Trump administration is planning to write a new cybersecurity strategy, White House Homeland Security Adviser Tom Bossert said Tuesday, suggesting that the slew of Obama-era cyber plans and strategies are fast outliving their usefulness. (NextGov)

New Ransomware Outbreak Spreads Through U.S., Russia and Ukraine. An outbreak of malicious software Tuesday froze computer systems in several European countries, and began spreading to the U.S., the latest in a series of attacks that have plagued companies and government agencies this year. (Wall Street Journal)

Worker who snuck NSA malware home had his PC backdoored, Kaspersky says. An NSA worker who reportedly snuck classified materials out of the agency stored them on a home computer that was later infected by a malicious backdoor that allowed third-parties to remotely access the machine, officials with Moscow-based antivirus provider Kaspersky Lab said. (Ars Technica)


Senate diverges over renewal of internet spying law. A Senate panel on Tuesday approved legislation to renew the National Security Agency's internet surveillance program, while other lawmakers pushed a competing measure seeking to end the ability to search for data on Americans without a warrant. (Reuters)
Facebook dealt setback by EU court adviser in privacy dispute. Facebook was dealt a setback on Tuesday when an adviser to the top European Union court said any data protection authority in the bloc had the power to take action against it for breaching privacy laws. (Reuters)


PragerU sues Google, YouTube for 'censoring' conservative videos. PragerU, a conservative educational site, is suing Google and its subsidiary YouTube, accusing the video site of censoring its online videos because of their political leanings. (The Hill)


A Peek at Future Jobs Shows Growing Economic Divides. A decade from now, the American economy could look much the way it does today - only more so. More dominated by the service sector amid the continued erosion of manufacturing jobs. More polarized in both earnings and geography. More tilted toward jobs that require at least a bachelor's degree. (New York Times)

Bias, not behavior, holding women back. Data analysts are trying something new to figure out why women still make less money and have a harder time getting promoted than their male colleagues: sensors that measure how men and women in the workplace interact with each other. (CNET News)
Internet of Things

Delphi is one of the first automotive suppliers to acquire a self-driving software startup. Automotive supplier Delphi has acquired Boston-based self-driving startup nuTonomy for $450 million, the two companies announced on Monday. It's a significant deal, not just in price, but because it's one of the first of its kind. (Recode)


The future of electric vehicles. The federal Energy Information Administration is out with a new report on electric vehicles and how much the market might grow. The chart below shows EIA's forecast of how much, or how little, of the global auto market that EVs will grab in coming decades. (Axios)

Cutting Edge Companies: We Want Renewables. Ignoring Trump and the fossil fuel troglodytes, major companies are all moving in the direction of renewable energy - especially the most dynamic and rapidly growing tech companies that states and cities would like to attract as employers. But if your state is not moving in the direction of sustainability, you may lose out. (Climate Rocks)

ITI Member News

Microsoft drops lawsuit after feds move to limit gag orders on tech companies. Microsoft has dropped a lawsuit against the U.S. government after the Department of Justice (DOJ) moved to limit the routine use of gag orders on technology companies in connection with ongoing investigations. (The Hill)
Facebook's News Feed experiment panics publishers. It used to be a tweak in the Google search algorithm that sent a shudder through newsrooms trying to adapt to the online era. Now it is any change in the design of Facebook. (BBC)
As Amazon Moves In, Demand for Warehouse Space Climbs. For the modest warehouse, this is a golden age. (New York Times)
Google launches its own online payment system. Google is introducing a new online payment system meant to rival PayPal. The system, Pay with Google, allows users to check out from a few popular websites with just a couple taps. (NextGov)
Zuckerberg commits $45 million to ending mass incarceration, housing crisis: report. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has committed $45 million to ending mass incarceration and fixing the affordable housing crisis. (The Hill)
Facebook: no current plans to make 'catastrophic' news feed change worldwide. Facebook is testing whether or not people prefer "personal and public content" being separated as part of its test in which it hid all non-paid posts, said the company's head of news feed, Adam Mosseri. (The Guardian)

All the face-tracking tech behind. A couple years ago, Apple went on a shopping spree. It snatched up PrimeSense, maker of some of the best 3-D sensors on the market, as well Perceptio, Metaio, and Faceshift, companies that developed image recognition, augmented reality, and motion capture technology, respectively. (Wired)

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: 5:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.
The Senat will convene at 9:30 a.m. and proceed to executive session to resume consideration of the nomination of Scott L. Palk to be United States District Judge for the Western District of Oklahoma.
Share this News Roundup on: