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Tech News Roundup - 12/05/2017

Tech News Roundup

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12/05/2017

Key Issues

Taxes
Companies Push to Repeal AMT After Senate's Last-Minute Move to Keep It Alive. Technology, banking and other industries mounted a new round of lobbying Monday to save a wide range of tax breaks following the last-minute switch in the federal tax overhaul by the U.S. Senate. (ITI Jennifer McCloskey Quoted, Wall Street Journal)

Senate's 'Unpleasant Surprise' Hurts Tax Breaks for Tech, Others. One of the last-minute, late-night changes Senate Republicans made to their tax-overhaul plan may mean higher taxes for corporations, including technology firms, than the bill's drafters intended, experts say. (ITI Jennifer McCloskey Quoted, Bloomberg)

Republicans Sought to Undercut an Unfavorable Analysis of the Tax Plan. A Republican requirement that Congress consider the full cost of major legislation threatened to derail the party's $1.5 trillion tax rewrite last week. So lawmakers went on the offensive to discredit the agency performing the analysis. (New York Times)

Rushed Tax Bill Rewards Corporate America. A rushed tax bill showers goodies on parts of corporate America. The Republican Senate plan sneaked in tax breaks for oil and gas partnerships, real estate investment trusts and other sectors. One hiccup, though, puts the research and development tax credit favored by business at risk. (New York Times)

A guide to the billions in giveaways to special interests buried in the Senate tax bill. If anyone still doubted that the devil does his best work behind closed doors, the tax measure crafted almost entirely in secret by Senate Republicans last week should prove the point (Los Angeles Times)

Provision to charge foreign airlines extra taxes was cut from Senate tax bill. Several foreign airlines that are in heated competition with U.S.-based carriers will not be forced pay higher taxes under the Senate tax bill that was approved over the weekend. (Los Angeles Times)

9 Sticking Points The House And Senate Have to Work Out In Their Tax Bills. House and Senate Republicans have now passed two different versions of a sweeping tax overhaul. Their next step is to iron out differences between the two bills, so the final product can be sent to the president to be signed into law. (NPR)

Is This The Right Time For a Big Tax Cut?. Republicans say the tax-cutting overhaul being debated in Congress will jump-start the U.S. economy, leading to a lot more investment and hiring by companies. (NPR)

Red-state Democrats stay away from GOP tax bill. When Republicans began their push for tax reform earlier this year, they had hopes of wooing multiple Senate Democrats to back their plan: 10 of them faced reelection in states President Donald Trump won, five in states he won by more than 20 points. (Politico Pro)

House conservatives almost topple tax vote. House conservatives threatened to derail a key tax vote on Monday in an attempt to win more influence over the GOP's spending strategy, just four days before the deadline to fund the government. (Politico Pro)

Is the GOP tax plan an unprecedented windfall for the wealthy? We look at 50 years of data to find out. The Democrats say President Trump's tax cuts are a massive giveaway to the rich, the most unequal overhaul of the U.S. tax system in modern history. (Washington Post)

Susan Collins is wrong to say that the tax cuts will pay for themselves, despite the economists she cites. Sen. Susan Collins speaking on "Meet the Press" defended her vote on the Senate GOP tax bill based on the claims of the signatories to the nine economists' letter that we have criticized over the last week. (Washington Post)

Expected tax cuts push bank, retail stocks higher. The Dow Jones industrial average reached a record high on Monday, with banks and retailers surging and technology companies falling as investors realigned their portfolios in hopes of benefiting from expected corporate tax cuts. (Washington Post)

Brady to lead reconciliation of House and Senate tax bills as GOP looks for fast answers. Congressional Republicans began taking steps Monday to reconcile differences between separate tax bills that passed the House and the Senate, hoping to complete negotiations and send legislation to the White House within weeks. (Washington Post)

Among the Tax Bill's Biggest Losers: Blue State Taxpayers Who Earn More Than $200,000. While the Republican tax overhaul would add up to an overall tax cut for individual taxpayers, at least through 2025, millions could still immediately receive a tax increase. For many, particularly in Democratic areas, the increase would come from the repeal of the state and local tax deduction, known as SALT. (New York Times)

Tech Politics

Trump, Democrats restart talks to avoid shutdown. Congressional leaders are resuming high-stakes spending negotiations at the White House as they race to avoid a government shutdown by week's end. (Politico Pro)

After Push on Taxes, Republicans Line Up Welfare Revamp Next. As Republicans near the finish line on a long-sought tax overhaul, President Donald Trump has committed them to taking up a welfare-revamp fight next. (Wall Street Journal)

Is It Time to Regulate Bitcoin?. Bitcoin has been the ideal proving ground for investment's most powerful advice: caveat emptor, buyer beware. (Wall Street Journal)

Global Trade

U.K. and E.U. fail to reach Brexit deal. The European Union and the United Kingdom failed to reach a Brexit deal today after a round of negotiations in Brussels. (Axios)

Artificial Intelligence

Google's Hinton says AI poses new challenges to regulators. Expansion of artificial intelligence in financial services, healthcare, transportation and other fields poses new challenges to governments charged with regulating those industries, according to an executive with Google who is a pioneer in the field of machine learning. (Reuters)

YouTube Hiring More Humans to Train Computers to Police the Site. Google's YouTube is hiring more humans to teach machines how to think like humans. (New York Times)

Immigration
Supreme Court Allows Trump Travel Ban to Take Effect. The Supreme Court on Monday allowed the third version of the Trump administration's travel ban to go into effect while legal challenges against it continue. (New York Times)

Supreme Court Says Trump Travel Ban Can Go Into Effect for Now. Justices grant emergency request from the administration to enforce latest rules while litigation continues. (Wall Street Journal)

43% of Fortune 500 founded by immigrants or their children. About 43% of Fortune 500 companies were founded by an immigrant or a child of an immigrant, per a new study from the Center for American Entrepreneurship: That number is slightly higher within the high-tech companies on the list, at roughly 46%. The companies linked to immigrants are located in more than half of all states. (Axios)

Broadband/Communications

Educators see schools losing out in net neutrality rollback. Education technology experts predict major problems for schools as the Federal Communications Commission gets ready to vote on a proposed rollback of Obama-era regulations governing the internet. (Politico Pro)

FCC won't delay vote, says net neutrality supporters are "desperate". Pai says FTC will protect consumers-but FTC could lose its regulatory authority. (Ars Technica)

Democrat asks why FCC is hiding ISPs' answers to net neutrality complaints. Records request for net neutrality complaints and resolutions still unfulfilled. (Ars Technica)

Senators to FCC: Investigate phony net neutrality comments. Twenty-eight lawmakers ask FCC Chairman Ajit Pai to put off voting on net neutrality until it investigates claims that many public comments on the issue were made by bots. (CNET)

NY attorney general asks for net neutrality vote to be put off. New York's attorney general urged the Federal Communications Commission to delay a vote rolling back net neutrality rules because of the large number of fake comments submitted to the agency on the issue. (Reuters)

Why Concerns About Net Neutrality Are Overblown. The Federal Communications Commission is planning to jettison its network neutrality rules, and many Americans are distraught. (New York Times, OpEd)

FCC Commissioner Says FCC's Net Neutrality Process 'Lacks Integrity'. In trying to repeal net neutrality to appease big telecom interests, the Republican-controlled Federal Communications Commission has also shown little interest in normal operating procedures, which has led one of the Democrats on the commission to take the highly unusual step of publicly denouncing the process. (Motherboard)

Cybersecurity

Q&A: Rob Strayer, top State Department cyber official. Amid a contested reorganization of the State Department and a barrage of foreign hacks testing the limits of Washington's patience, Rob Strayer is steering the Trump administration's diplomatic efforts on cyber issues. (Politico Pro)

Public Sector

As AI and Cyber Race Ahead, the State Department Is Falling Behind. Technology is reshaping the global order. America's diplomats need to start thinking ahead. (NextGov)

The quest for seamless, secure identity and access management. When FCW convened identity and access management leaders from across the government on Oct. 12, they agreed that authenticating users is the new frontier in cybersecurity, with one saying the latest attack vectors "are all about identity." (Federal Computer Week)

Internet of Things

California self-driving rule tweaks boost manufacturer liability. California is hard at work on a set of regulations for future self-driving cars, and one new tweak could affect crash liability in a big way. (CNET)

Self-driving costs could drop 90 percent by 2025, Delphi CEO says. Delphi Automotive Plc, which is changing its name to Aptiv Inc, wants to cut the cost of self-driving cars by more than 90 percent to around $5,000 by 2025, according to Chief Executive Officer Kevin Clark. (Reuters)

Nissan's Robo-Taxis Will Hit the Road in March. Nissan Motor Co. will start testing robo-taxis on Japanese streets in March, the first step in rolling out a self-driving taxi service, as Japan's top car makers struggle to keep pace with Detroit and Silicon Valley. (Wall Street Journal)

Censorship

Apple, Facebook find something to praise China for amid internet clamp. Top executives at Apple Inc (AAPL.O) and Facebook Inc (FB.O) managed to find something to praise Beijing for at an internet conference in China this week, even as its Communist Party rulers ban Western social media and stamp on online dissent. (Reuters)

Google to expand policing of content on YouTube. Google announced more changes to how it polices content on YouTube on Tuesday, after criticism that the tech giant failed to stop hate speech and other violent material from being shared on the video platform. (Politico Pro)

Intellectual Property

Lost Einsteins: The Innovations We're Missing. Much of human progress depends on innovation. It depends on people coming up with a breakthrough idea to improve life. Think about penicillin or cancer treatments, electricity or the silicon chip. (New York Times, Op-Ed)

Environment/Sustainability

Trump Slashes Size of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase Monuments. President Trump sharply reduced the size of two national monuments in Utah on Monday by some two million acres, the largest rollback of federal land protection in the nation's history. (New York Times)

Tech Business
Amazon Australia goes live in time to ruin rivals' Christmas. Amazon.com Inc's Australian arm began taking orders on Tuesday, ending speculation about the timing of its launch in the world's No. 12 economy and likely dashing hopes of a holiday boost for struggling brick-and-mortar rivals. (Reuters)
From Bezos to Walton, Big Investors Back Fund for 'Flyover' Start-Ups. When Steve Case, the billionaire co-founder of AOL, first met J. D. Vance, author of "Hillbilly Elegy," the best-selling book about the industrial decline of the Midwest, Mr. Case told him, "I really love the book but there is a part of it I don't love." (New York Times)
News Corp launches new ad network to take on Facebook/Google. News Corp is taking aim at the digital-ad dominance of Google and Facebook with a new platform to let advertisers reach audiences across all of its online properties. (Axios)
Here's where Nazi sympathizers go to raise money. Boxed out of mainstream crowdfunding sites, hate groups have taken a new tack: They're building their own financing platforms. (CNET)
Google Missed Out on China. Can It Flourish in India?. Every month, about four million more Indians get online. They include people like Manju, a 35-year-old seamstress in this city of ancient palaces, who got her first internet phone last week. (New York Times)

ITI Member News

Apple Agrees to Deal With Ireland Over $15 Billion Unpaid Tax Issue. Ireland will begin collecting €13 billion ($15.46 billion) in back taxes from Apple Inc. as soon as early next year after both sides agreed to the terms of an escrow fund for the money, Ireland's finance chief said Monday. (Wall Street Journal)
Apple Mac security issue may reoccur. A software fix Apple released to close a serious Mac security bug may not have fixed the problem on some machines. (BBC)
Broadcom Wants to Remake Qualcomm's Board as It Presses for Deal. Broadcom Ltd. opened the next front in its $105 billion takeover bid for Qualcomm Inc., saying Monday it plans to submit its own candidates to sit on its target's board. (Wall Street Journal)
New Facebook App for Children Ignites Debate Among Families. Facebook's Messenger Kids app is fairly limited in scope, allowing for text and video chat, as well as sending photos. Children can add filters or playful drawings to the photos they send. (New York Times)
Where Silicon Valley Is Going to Get in Touch With Its Soul. The Esalen Institute, a storied hippie hotel in Big Sur, Calif., has reopened with a mission to help technologists who discover that "inside they're hurting." (New York Times)
Tech consortium flags 40,000 videos, images as extremist content. A consortium of tech companies including Facebook Inc, Alphabet Inc's Google and Twitter Inc said on Monday a database it created to identify extremist content now contains more than 40,000 videos or images. (Reuters)
Australia to probe Facebook, Google over media disruption. Australia's competition regulator said on Monday it would investigate whether U.S. online giants Facebook and Alphabet Inc's Google have disrupted the news media market to the detriment of publishers and consumers. (Reuters)
Apple's First Medical Study Signals Broader Health Ambitions. Medical researchers are increasingly turning to mobile devices such as smartphones and watches as a way to monitor patients in trials, an approach they hope improves participation and accuracy but that also has limitations. (Wall Street Journal)

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 and last votes expected: 1:15 p.m. - 2:15 p.m.
The Senate will convene at 10:00 a.m. and proceed to executive session to resume consideration of the nomination of Kirstjen Nielsen, of Virginia, to be Secretary of Homeland Security.
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