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Tech News Roundup - 11/15/2017

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Tech Politics

Trump adviser: White House relationship with tech better than appears. A top adviser to President Trump says that despite appearances, technology firms are actually interacting with the administration more than they let on. (ITI Dean Garfield Quoted, The Hill)
After Russian meddling, Google and Facebook shift their stance on a crucial issue for voters. Facebook and Google told federal election officials they are open to greater oversight over the lucrative business of online political advertising, a shift for the tech giants who acknowledged recently that their ad platforms were exploited by Russian operatives during and after the 2016 election. (Washington Post)
Election tampering is newest setback for internet freedom. Governments are bending the internet toward their own ends, Freedom House finds. (CNET)

About 15 percent of U.S. agencies found Kaspersky Lab software: official. About 15 percent of U.S. government agencies have detected some trace of Russian company Kaspersky Lab's software on their systems in a review prompted by concerns the antivirus firm is vulnerable to Kremlin influence, a security official told Congress on Tuesday. (Reuters)

Did agencies suffer a data breach by using Kaspersky? DHS says no 'conclusive' evidence, yet. House lawmakers raised new questions Tuesdayabout the threat of Kaspersky Lab products and why the civilian agencies didn't act more quickly to remove the company's products. (Federal News Radio)

Facebook grows its lobbying army as it faces Russia probes. Facebook hired the former top aide to a lawmaker investigating how Russians may have used its platform to subvert the 2016 election to lobby on its behalf last month, according to a disclosure posted last Friday. (Axios)

Senate Plans to End Obamacare Mandate in Revised Tax Proposal. Senate Republicans have decided to include the repeal of the Affordable Care Act's requirement that most people have health insurance in a sprawling overhaul of the tax code, merging the fight over health care with the high-stakes effort to cut taxes. (New York Times)

Why repealing Obamacare's individual mandate is so crucial for tax reform. Senate Republicans slipped the repeal of a key Affordable Care Act provision into their tax bill on Tuesday, adding a provision that would allow them to declare a victory on health care while gaining more than $300 billion to offset the cost of tax reform. (Washington Post)
Tech start-ups fight Senate plan to change the way stock options are taxed. Senate Republicans have touted their tax bill as business-friendly, but technology start-ups - including Hyperloop One, Airbnb, Uber and Vimeo - are fuming over a provision that would make a major change to how stock options are taxed. (Los Angeles Times)

Private Equity Chiefs Are Better Tax Targets Than Start-Up Workers. A plan to hit United States start-ups with an extra tax would be better directed at private equity. (New York Times)

House GOP set to pass tax bill on Thursday. House Republican are set to pass their tax reform bill Thursday, as President Donald Trump returns from Asia to focus on the high-profile issue. (Politico Pro)
Grad Students Would Be Hit By Massive Tax Hike Under House GOP Plan. There are a lot of anxious graduate students at universities around the country right now. (NPR)

CHARTS: Here's How GOP's Tax Breaks Would Shift Money To Rich, Poor Americans. So, $1.4 trillion is a lot of money. It's also roughly the amount that the proposed Republican tax overhaul would add to the deficit over 10 years - not even counting interest. (NPR)

'Why aren't the other hands up?' A top Trump adviser's startling response to CEOs not doing what he'd expect. President Trump's top economic adviser, Gary Cohn, looked out from the stage at a sea of CEOs and top executives in the audience Tuesday for the Wall Street Journal's CEO Council meeting. (Washington Post)

Democrats have leverage in one part of the GOP tax cut process. As Republicans work to pass the largest overhaul of the U.S. tax code since 1986 by the end of this calendar year, they're not banking on any support from Senate Democrats. (Washington Post)

How Do America's CEOs Feel About the Tax Plans? They're Watching the Details. Business leaders say corporate-tax rate cut wouldn't change investment plans, but many are watching key provisions. (Wall Street Journal)

Who wins in GOP tax plan? Number crunchers give both sides ammo. Senate Republicans struck first, with a surprising analysis undercutting the central complaint Democrats had about their bid to rewrite the tax code: Congress' nonpartisan budget analysts had found it was the middle class that would reap the biggest percentage tax cuts under the GOP plan. (Politico Pro)

The GOP tax plans won't solve the biggest economic problem. The GOP is betting its control of Congress on the passage of tax cuts, but in interviews with economists, we found little confidence that either the House or Senate proposals would boost GDP growth and wages, the stated aims. (Axios)

Lower Corporate Taxes, Higher Wages? Voters Are Skeptical. Republicans argue that their plan to cut corporate taxes will increase wages for American workers. A new survey suggests even the party's strongest supporters aren't buying that argument. (New York Times)

New Hatch plan makes host of individual tax cuts temporary. A host of tax cuts for individual taxpayers would now be temporary, expiring after 2025, under a major revision late Tuesday to the Senate tax reform plan by Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch. (Politico)

How Do America's CEOs Feel About the Tax Plans? They're Watching the Details. While lawmakers in the House and Senate craft dueling versions of tax-overhaul legislation, battling over corporate tax rates and rules for overseas income, corporate chiefs at a gathering across town are sweating some of the smaller stuff. (Wall Street Journal)
Global Trade

3 Republicans urge Lighthizer to drop focus on trade deficit in NAFTA talks. Three Republican senators Tuesday urged the Trump administration to stop using the trade deficit as a guidepost for renegotiating NAFTA, a move that signals the latest unhappiness within GOP ranks over how the talks with Canada and Mexico are going. (Politico Pro)

Trump touts '$300 billion' in trade deals with Asia. President Donald Trump touted the economic successes of his trip to Asia today, telling reporters the five-nation tour had netted the U.S. "at least $300 billion" in trade deals. (Politico Pro)

Trump returns home from Asia with few clear wins. In Trumpian terms, President Donald Trump's Asia tour was a rousing success. (Politico Pro)

Trump and big business collide as NAFTA teeters. U.S. business groups are pinballing between despair and panic as negotiations over a new North American Free Trade Agreement resume, with the Trump administration's hard-line demands risking a worsening standoff and perhaps the eventual collapse of the talks. (Washington Post)

Trump's trade boasts in Asia mask looming China problem. President Donald Trump may be boasting that his Asia trip will multiply into more than a "trillion dollars' worth of stuff," but the real work on trade has been left undone. (Politico Pro)

NAFTA countries enter round 5 with hardened stance. Tensions were running high after trade ministers closed their previous round of talks to renegotiate NAFTA last month. After talks ended, the idea of a U.S. withdrawal seemed more like a question of not if, but when. (Politico Pro)

Commerce Secretary Ross: U.S. Has Leverage to Pressure Mexico, Canada in Nafta Talks. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross defended the Trump administration's hardball strategy for renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement, suggesting that the U.S. can pressure Mexico and Canada into big concessions because they have more to lose if the pact collapses. (Wall Street Journal)

Nafta Talks Resume as U.S. Warns 'Short Fuse' Risks Burning Down. It's back to the table time for Nafta negotiators after a monthlong breather in the talks, which broke up last time amid stark differences between the countries. (Bloomberg)

Artificial Intelligence

China and the CIA are competing to fund Silicon Valley's AI Startups. A trio of new investments in Silicon Valley machine-learning startups shows that the U.S. intelligence community is deeply interested in artificial intelligence. (NextGov)
How AI Will Shorten Your Commute Through the City. On November 7, 2017, Toronto City Council voted 36-6 to make 2.4 kilometres (1.5 miles) of temporary bike lanes along the major commuter route of Bloor Street permanent. (Motherboard)

Jeff Sessions ducks questions about White House influence on AT&T-Time Warner merger. U.S. Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions, during questioning at a congressional hearing Tuesday, sidestepped questions about whether President Trump's vitriol toward CNN was factoring into the Justice Department's review of a mammoth media merger. (Los Angeles Times)
AT&T Engages Its Washington Firepower With Megadeal on the Line. AT&T Inc.'s $85.4 billion bid for entertainment titan Time Warner Inc. is where few imagined it would end up -- hurtling toward a make-or-break moment in Washington with a pro-business Republican administration that shows signs it may reject the deal. (Bloomberg)
Dems push for hearing on Trump's involvement in AT&T-Time Warner merger. Two top House Judiciary Committee Democrats are pushing the panel to hold a hearing examining the White House's role in the "troubling pattern of potential political interference by President Trump" in the Department of Justice's (DOJ) review of AT&T's merger with Time Warner. (The Hill)
Why Google should be afraid of a Missouri Republican's Google probe. The Republican attorney general of Missouri has launched an investigation into Google's business practices. Josh Hawley wants to know how Google handles user data. (Ars Technica)
More cases against Google to come, EU commissioner says. There are more cases against Alphabet Inc's (GOOGL.O) Google to come, Margrethe Vestager, the European Commissioner for Competition, said on Wednesday during a trip to Beijing. (Reuters)

FBI may have missed its best chance to unlock Texas shooter's phone. The FBI complained last week that it had been unable to access the smartphone of the Texas church shooter, an echo of the San Bernardino shooting. (Axios)

U.S. government shares technical details on North Korean hacking campaign. The U.S. government on Tuesday issued a technical alert about cyber attacks it said are sponsored by the North Korean government that have targeted the aerospace, telecommunications and financial industries since 2016. (Reuters)
Votes in 18 nations 'hacked' in last year. Elections in 18 separate nations were influenced by online disinformation campaigns last year, suggests research. (BBC)
Trump administration to release rules on disclosing cyber flaws: source. The Trump administration is expected to publicly release on Wednesdayits rules for deciding whether to disclose cyber security flaws or keep them secret, a national security official told Reuters. (Reuters)


It's Time to Tax Companies for Using Our Personal Data. Our data is valuable. Each year, it generates hundreds of billions of dollars' worth of economic activity, mostly between and within corporations - all on the back of information about each of us. (New York Times)
Facebook critic Max Schrems faces partial setback. An Austrian privacy campaigner seeking to stop Facebook from transferring personal data out of the EU has been dealt a partial setback by one of Europe's top law officers. (BBC)

Intellectual Property

IBM urges lawmakers to 'narrow' bill targeting Chinese investment. International Business Machines Corp has urged lawmakers to use a different strategy than toughening foreign investment rules because of U.S. concerns about Chinese military actions and intellectual property theft, according to a letter seen by Reuters on Tuesday. (Reuters)


Mellody Hobson Says the Time for Corporate Diversity Is Now. Mellody Hobson, president of Ariel Investments, says it's time for corporate America to stop trying to create workplace diversity. (New York Times)
Women in tech are rising higher in China than in the US. I spent much of the summer of 2015 covering the absolute unraveling of Uber China, a multibillion-dollar effort that failed spectacularly. (NextGov)
Britain targets tech talent by doubling visa numbers. Britain is to double the number of visas available to exceptional workers in areas like digital technology and science to 2,000 to help retain an edge after Brexit. (Reuters)

Companies Turn to War Games to Spot Scarce Cybersecurity Talent. A major shipping company is under attack. With help from a corrupt executive, an international hacking syndicate called Scorpius, has penetrated the computer networks of Fast Freight Ltd. (Bloomberg)


FCC's latest gift to telcos could leave Americans with worse Internet access. FCC will let carriers abandon copper lines without offering adequate replacements. (Ars Technica)

Net neutrality fight is about to flare again. The telecom industry won a big victory in May when the FCC launched a repeal of its Obama-era net neutrality rules, over the objections of Democrats and tech giants like Google and Netflix. (Politico Pro)


How oil's stranglehold may be eroded. A new report from IHS Markit looks at the combination of the rise of electric vehicles, autonomy and "mobility as a service" trends such as ride-sharing - factors that will erode oil's stranglehold on transportation fuels by 2040. (Axios)


Microsoft wants to slash carbon emissions 75 percent by 2030. The tech giant is looking to cut its carbon emissions further to participate in the Paris climate agreement. (CNET)

Why China Wants to Lead on Climate, but Clings to Coal (for Now). Barely a month ago, in a landmark speech to the Communist Party congress, President Xi Jinping of China promised that his country would take a "driving seat in international cooperation to respond to climate change." (New York Times)

Paris supporters believe climate deal will survive Trump. The United States is sending mixed signals on climate change - increasing confidence among delegates gathered here that a global agreement to address the problem will survive President Donald Trump's attempt to undermine it. (Politico Pro)

Tech Business

Courting a Giant: Cities compete to host Amazon's expanding footprint. Civic leaders and property developers across the U.S. are describing their cities in flowery terms, hoping to become home to Amazon's second headquarters. (Wall Street Journal)
We Have Stoplights! Implausible Towns Bid for Amazon Headquarters. Seattle retail giant's search for a second home draws quirky proposals from Alaska, Maine and Texas cattle country. (Wall Street Journal)
TV stations are about to track you and sell targeted ads, just like Google and Facebook. The same weirdly specific ads you see online that are tailored to your behavior soon could appear on your local television network, thanks to looming policy changes by federal regulators. (Los Angeles Times)

ITI Member News

USITC says launches probe of allegations of patent infringement by Apple. The U.S. International Trade Commission said on Tuesday it had launched an investigation into allegations of patent infringement by Apple Inc on various devices. (Reuters)
Twitter further clarifies how it handles abusive behavior. The social network elaborates on its policies with two new Help Center pages. (CNET)
Foxconn's Profit Down 39% Amid iPhone Production Woes. Foxconn Technology Group, the world's largest contract manufacturer of electronics, posted a 39% drop in quarterly net profit amid production challenges dogging the flagship product of its biggest customer, Apple Inc. (Wall Street Journal)
Amazon Sells Hardware to Cloud Partner in China. Amazon Web Services says rule change by Chinese government prompted the sale of its computing equipment. (Wall Street Journal)
Amazon's Cashierless Store Is Almost Ready for Prime Time. For the past year, Amazon employees have been test driving Amazon Go, an experimental convenience store in downtown Seattle. (Bloomberg)

YouTube broadens effort to remove extremist videos: report. YouTube is expanding its crackdown on extremist videos by now removing content that does not show violence or explicitly advocate hate. (The Hill)
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