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Tech News Roundup - 11/27/2017

Tech News Roundup

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11/27/2017

Key Issues

Tech Politics

How tech is winning in the Trump era. The conventional wisdom about the tech industry's relationship with Donald Trump is that it's a street brawl, with Silicon Valley's liberal CEOs clashing with the president on everything from immigration to climate change to transgender rights. (ITI Andy Halataei Quoted, Politico Pro)

Trump Takeaway on Tech: Enforcement Over Regulation. Over just two days this week, the Trump administration has both sued AT&T Inc. to block its planned takeover of Time Warner Inc. and proposed allowing internet-service providers-like AT&T-to form closer alliances with content companies, like Time Warner. (Wall Street Journal)

Trump's election really has sent U.S. tech workers to Canada for jobs. Canadian tech companies have seen an upswell in U.S. job applicants following last year's U.S. presidential election, according to a recent questionnaire. (Recode)

Wondering if the Russians reached you over Facebook? You can soon find out. Facebook is creating an online tool to allow users to determine if they might have been exposed to Russian disinformation during the 2016 presidential election and its fractious aftermath, the company announced Wednesday. (Washington Post)

Washington feeds uncertainty in a changing media landscape. One after another, regulators are making moves that underscore just how fast the media industry is changing, putting pressure on Washington to make sure laws keep up. (Axios)

The Six Laws of Technology Everyone Should Know. Three decades ago, a historian wrote six laws to explain society's unease with the power and pervasiveness of technology. Though based on historical examples taken from the Cold War, the laws read as a cheat sheet for explaining our era of Facebook, Google, the iPhone and FOMO. (Wall Street Journal)

Workforce/Diversity

Tech Firms Scrounging for Skilled Workers Are Training Their Own. Some information technology companies are growing so concerned about their inability to find enough digital talent that they're training their own. (ITI Mention, Associated Press)

Workers Get Faster Access to Wages With These New Apps. Instant pay helps boost employee attendance, but can make saving hard to do. (Wall Street Journal)

#MeToo allegations fuel pressure on firms to add women to boards. A top investor-advisory firm is calling out hundreds of public companies that don't have a single woman on their boards, a move that could boost female leadership in corporate America amid this year's wave of sexual harassment allegations. (Politico Pro)
Taxes
Will a Corporate Tax Cut Lift Worker Pay? A Union Wants It in Writing. At the heart of the Republican tax plan hurtling through Congress is an implicit promise that cutting corporate taxes will lift the middle class through higher wages and more jobs. (New York Times)
GOP deficit hawks fear tax plan is secret budget-buster. Key Senate Republicans worry tax cuts slated to expire will eventually be extended - boosting the true cost of the bill. (Politico)
Trump to meet with Senate Republicans next week ahead of tax vote. President Donald Trump will head to Capitol Hill next week to huddle with Senate Republicans as they prepare to pass their own tax overhaul when lawmakers return from the Thanksgiving break. (Politico)
Trump and congressional leaders to hold talks to avoid shutdown. President Donald Trump and top congressional leaders will meet next week to try to hammer out a year-end agreement to avert a government shutdown, according to multiple sources, as Capitol Hill careens toward a legislative pile-up next month. (Politico)
In Tax Debate, Gift to Religious Right Could Be Bargaining Chip. For years, a coalition of well-funded groups on the religious right have waged an uphill battle to repeal a 1954 law that bans churches and other nonprofit groups from engaging in political activity. (New York Times)
How a $250 Break for Teachers Explains a House-Senate Divide on Taxes. For Carrie Uffelman Brake, planning for next school year begins before the current one ends. (New York Times)
GOP bets that tax bill will unlock corporate cash overseas. Republicans and major technology firms who support a tax overhaul have touted reforms that they say will bring offshore profits back into the country, boosting U.S. tax revenue and benefiting the economy. (The Hill)
Congress stares down shutdown amid December deluge. December is shaping up to be the cruelest month for Republicans who control Capitol Hill. (Politico Pro)
Republicans fret over White House sales job on taxes. When photos of Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and his wife, Louise Linton, posing with freshly printed sheets of money ricocheted across the internet earlier this month, Democrats fighting the GOP tax bill saw an opportunity to whack it. (Politico Pro)
Senate GOP tax bill hurts the poor more than originally thought, CBO finds. The Senate Republican tax plan gives substantial tax cuts and benefits to Americans earning more than $100,000 a year, while the nation's poorest would be worse off, according to a report released Sunday by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. (Washington Post)
GOP leaders in advanced talks to change tax plan in bid to win over holdouts. Senate Republicans are seriously considering several last-minute changes to their tax legislation in an effort to mollify wavering members, four people familiar with the discussions said, as GOP leaders seek to keep their members from defecting ahead of crucial votes this week. (Washington Post)
Tax reform hangs in balance in critical week for GOP. It's do-or-die time for Senate Republicans on tax reform. (Politico)
House members lay down markers for tax bill changes. House Republicans recently passed a comprehensive tax reform bill for the first time in over 30 years. (Politico Pro)

Privacy

Cops, Cellphones and Privacy at the Supreme Court. How hard should it be for the police to get hold of reams of data showing every place you've been for months? (New York Times Editorial)

How a Radio Shack Robbery Could Spur a New Era in Digital Privacy. The case that could transform privacy law in the digital era began with the armed robbery of a Radio Shack store in Detroit, a couple of weeks before Christmas in 2010. In the next three months, eight more stores in Michigan and Ohio were robbed at gunpoint. (New York Times)

Global Trade

Trade worries led Wisconsin mill town to Trump. It's still uneasy. Neenah, in a county that flipped from blue to red, has lost factory jobs and its sense of prosperity. But local industries are concerned about a trade war. (New York Times)

Immigration

ICE's Courthouse Arrests Undercut Democracy. At the door of the Lindsey-Flanigan Courthouse in Denver one Friday in April, federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents tackled a man to the ground. (New York Times)

Broadband/Communications

FCC net neutrality process 'corrupted' by fake comments and vanishing consumer complaints, officials say. As the Federal Communications Commission prepares to dismantle its net neutrality rules for Internet providers, a mounting backlash from agency critics is zeroing in on what they say are thousands of fake or automated comments submitted to the FCC that unfairly skewed the policymaking process. (Washington Post)

Investigation of fake net neutrality foes has been stymied by the FCC, New York attorney general says. The reports started trickling out in May, in the weeks after the Federal Communications Commission had begun soliciting public comments on a proposal to repeal net neutrality rules that govern the flow of information on the Internet. (Washington Post)

F.C.C. Plan to Roll Back Net Neutrality Worries Small Businesses. The F.C.C. is set to dismantle net neutrality rules that require internet providers to give consumers equal access to all content online. Here's how net neutrality works. (New York Times)

Public Sector

US Defense Bill Could Give Big Boost to Blockchain. An obscure provision tucked into a defense spending bill could serve as a springboard for blockchain adoption across U.S. government agencies. (ITI Trey Hodkins quoted, Coin Desk)

How the Pentagon is preparing for the coming drone wars. More than a decade after the improvised explosive device became the scourge of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Pentagon is battling another relatively rudimentary device that threatens to wreak havoc on American troops: the drone. (Washington Post)

Cybersecurity
Hacks That Help: Using Tech to Fight Child Exploitation. Spending the weekend in front of a computer sounds like a nightmare, especially to people who already spend most of their week in front of a screen. Still, 100 engineers gathered in Manhattan for a weekend hackathon earlier this month. (New York Times)

Uber is sued over massive data breach after paying hackers to keep quiet. After Uber revealed that it paid hackers $100,000 to keep quiet about stealing the personal information of 57 million customers and drivers, the company is now facing at least three potential class-action lawsuits and separate investigations by the attorneys general of New York, Missouri, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Illinois. (Washington Post)

Uber paid off their hackers - and they're far from the only ones. It may have been the most arresting detail in a story full of them: Not only did Uber allow hackers to make off with the personal data of 57 million customers and drivers, but the ride-hailing company also had paid those same criminals $100,000 to delete the data and keep their mouths shut about the entire episode. (Washington Post)

Hacker Expected to Plead Guilty in 2014 Yahoo Breach. An accused computer hacker is expected to plead guilty Tuesday to criminal charges stemming from the massive 2014 security breach of Yahoo Inc. that a federal indictment alleges was orchestrated by Russian spies. (Wall Street Journal)

The 'huge' hole in the government's Russian software ban. DHS' ban on Kapersky software doesn't cover networks that contractors operate, even though employees may use them to discuss government work. (Politico)

The time to hack-proof the 2018 election is expiring - and Congress is way behind. Lawmakers are scrambling to push something - anything - through Congress that would help secure the nation's voting systems ahead of the 2018 elections. (Politico Pro)

Energy
Understanding America's ethanol policy. The Trump administration is gearing up to release by Thursday what is likely to be the biggest environmental regulation issued all year, driven by a 12-year-old law with a mixed record of success. (Axios)

Environment/Sustainability
China Limits Waste. 'Cardboard Grannies' and Texas Recyclers Scramble. When the street value of scrap cardboard here fell by nearly a third this summer, Leung Siu-Guen, a scrap collector, started to worry. (New York Times)

In Peru's Deserts, Melting Glaciers Are a Godsend (Until They're Gone). Accelerating glacial melt in the Andes caused by climate change has set off a gold rush downstream, letting the desert bloom. But as the ice vanishes, the vast farms below may do the same. (New York Times)

Tech Business
Jeff Bezos is now worth more than $100 billion, fueled by surging Amazon shares. Amazon.com founder and chief executive Jeffrey P. Bezos saw his net worth climb above $100 billion Friday as shares in his online retail giant surged on optimism over holiday sales. (Washington Post)

Thanksgiving online retail sales hit nearly $3 billion on the back of strong mobile growth. Online shoppers in the U.S. spent $2.9 billion on Thanksgiving, an 18 percent increase over the 2016 holiday total, as more retailers pushed Black Friday deals out early and consumers continued getting more comfortable making purchases on their phones. (Recode)

Inside the Wal-Mart vs. Amazon Battle Over Black Friday. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Amazon.com Inc. battled to capture spending over the holiday weekend, as the shifts that have upended the retail industry this year were on display: fewer people visited traditional stores on Thanksgiving and Black Friday while online purchases continued to surge. (Wall Street Journal)

Amazon, in Hunt for Lower Prices, Recruits Indian Merchants. Americans shopping on Amazon.com this holiday season may find that the best deals for popular gifts like leather shoes and luxury bedding are coming from an unexpected source: Indian merchants. (New York Times)

One Idea to Make Europe Bigger in Tech Is to Pay Employees More. Europe isn't producing the kind of large, globally-influential technology companies like those coming out of the U.S. and China. A perennial question is why? (Bloomberg)

Cyber Monday Caps Strong E-Commerce Holiday Sales Growth. The holiday shopping season is off to a strong start and retailers hope to continue the momentum today -- Cyber Monday -- the biggest online spending day of the year. (Bloomberg)

ITI Member News

Facebook Founder's Favor Comes With Complications. Adrian Bonilla lived in a shared house in this Silicon Valley town with his wife and two grandchildren until earlier this year, when the rent for their bedroom jumped to $1,200 from $900 a month. Mr. Bonilla attributed that rise to Facebook, which is based nearby and was growing. (New York Times)
Twitter, It's Time to End Your Anything-Goes Paradise. Earlier this month, Twitter did something radical: The social network famous for its 140-character limit doubled it to 280. (New York Times)
The frenzy to lure Amazon. Newspaper columnists are mocking cities like Chicago and Fresno, Calif., over the largesse they are offering to attract Amazon's new headquarters, from multi-billion-dollar tax abatements to more exotic handouts like the right to have its tax dollars spent only on public projects benefitting the company directly. (Axios)

1600 Penn.

Today on the Hill

The House is not in session today.
The Senate will convene at 4:00 p.m. and proceed to executive session to resume consideration of the nomination of Dabney Langhorne Friedrich, of California, to be United States District Judge for the District of Columbia.
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