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Tech News Roundup - 01/11/2018

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A top U.S. lawmaker isn't too happy that Apple is slowing down old iPhones. Apple's practice of slowing down new software on iPhones with older batteries didn't just peeve its customers - it's generated new criticism from Capitol Hill. (Recode)

Love Him or Hate Him, Darrell Issa Changed Government Technology. The man behind some of the government's most important tech efforts in recent decades announced his retirement. (Next Gov)

Rash of retirements dim GOP hopes of keeping the House. A flurry of Republican retirements in recent weeks has further weakened the party's hold on the House heading into the midterms - and the exodus probably isn't over. (Politico Pro)

Facebook, Google Have a Tough New Job in Germany: Content Cop. Germany has gone live with one of the most onerous laws aimed at forcing Facebook Inc., Twitter Inc. and YouTube to police content on their platforms. (Wall Street Journal)
More than 100 CEOs urge Congress to protect Dreamers. More than a hundred prominent chief executives are urging Congress to pass legislation to protect young immigrants, calling the looming expiration of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program a "crisis." (The Hill)
From Apple to Koch, big businesses say Trump is wrong on immigration. America's biggest businesses - from Apple to Koch Industries - have cheered President Trump's tax plan and his push to rollback regulations, but they say Trump is wrong on immigration. (Washington Post)
'Outrageous,' White House Says of DACA Ruling, as Trump Calls Court System 'Broken'. President Trump called the United States courts system "broken and unfair" on Wednesday, the morning after a federal judge's ruling that ordered the administration to restart a program that shields young, undocumented immigrants from deportation. (New York Times)
DACA injunction: What a federal judge's ruling means for 'dreamers'. A federal judge's decision to block the Trump administration's plans to phase out protections for undocumented "dreamers" brought sharp backlash Wednesdayfrom the White House, which called the injunction "outrageous." (Washington Post)
DACA negotiations full steam ahead despite ruling, sources say. In the wake of a late-night court ruling blocking the Trump administration from ending a popular immigration program, congressional negotiators say it's still full steam ahead -- for now. (CNN)
Immigration Agents Target 7-Eleven Stores in Push to Punish Employers. Federal immigration agents descended on dozens of 7-Eleven convenience stores across the country before daybreak on Wednesday, arresting undocumented workers and demanding paperwork from managers in what the Trump administration described as its largest enforcement operation against employers so far. (New York Times)
7 questions about the DACA court order. Lawyers and advocacy groups cautioned so-called DREAMers to hold tight Wednesday after a federal judge's order resurrected the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which allows many undocumented immigrants who arrived in the U.S. as children to obtain work permits. (Politico Pro)
Conway lays out Trump's current position on the wall. President Trump's signature issue during the campaign was a "big, beautiful wall" spanning the southern border and paid for by Mexico. Trump has insisted that any immigration deal must include funding for a wall, but he has recently appeared more flexible on the details. (Axios)
House Republicans' Hard-Line Immigration Stand Clashes With Trump Overture. Prominent House Republicans stepped forward on Wednesday with a vision of immigration policy that clashed fiercely with President Trump's recent overtures of bipartisanship and highlighted how difficult it will be for Congress and the president to reach accord in the coming weeks. (New York Times)
Head-Spinning Days for Young Immigrants as Lawmakers and Judges Debate Their Fate. With jitters and with prayers, with countdown clocks in their heads and their immigration lawyers on speed-dial, hundreds of thousands of young immigrants have spent all fall and winter watching President Trump and congressional leaders negotiate their fate, every fleck of news a tantalizing omen. (New York Times)
Democratic leaders face internal mutiny over Dreamers deal. Democratic leaders are facing a potential revolt within their ranks as they edge toward a deal with Republicans that would protect Dreamers from deportation but also include concessions to conservatives that many Democratic lawmakers say are unacceptable. (Politico)
The DACA Deal Hiding in Plain Sight. Last year, despite heavy lobbying and urgent calls for action by advocates, businesses, law enforcement and voices from conservatives and progressives, Congress was not able to arrive at a permanent legislative solution to allow the roughly 700,000 immigrants who were brought to the United States as children, known as DREAMers, to remain in the U.S. after the ending of the Obama DACA program. (Politico, Op-Ed)
DACA reinstatement throws lawmakers for a loop. Lawmakers from both parties insisted Wednesday that they're still racing to reach a deal on Dreamers - despite a court ruling the night before temporarily reinstating the immigration program that President Donald Trump is trying to shut down. (Politico)

I.R.S. Paid $20 Million to Collect $6.7 Million in Tax Debts. Nina E. Olson, the taxpayer advocate at the Internal Revenue Service, has repeatedly complained that Congress is underfunding the agency. (New York Times)

Trump administration opts for speed over accuracy in implementing new tax law. The Trump administration is pushing American businesses to withhold less in taxes from paychecks by February, aiming to quickly deliver the boost in take-home pay that Republicans promised their tax law would bring. (Washington Post)

Tax cuts mean Fed must be vigilant on 'overheating': Kaplan. The Federal Reserve must be wary of the "risk of overheating" the economy in the wake of sweeping tax cuts that could raise already unsustainable debt levels even while they boost business investment, Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan said on Wednesday. (Reuters)

Another giveaway to the rich: The IRS can't handle the GOP tax changes. The biggest handout to the rich by Republicans in Congress long has been the systematic gutting of the Internal Revenue Service's budget-especially its enforcement budget. (Los Angeles Times, Column)

Hat's All, Folks: Republicans Celebrate Tax Law With Cap Ceremony. For 24 House Republicans, the real capper on the new tax law came Wednesday. (Wall Street Journal)


House preps for big surveillance vote. The House of Representatives is pushing forward with a plan re-authorize a major surveillance law on Thursday as its expiration date approaches. (Axios)

Ohio man indicted for using 'Fruitfly' malware to spy on Americans. An Ohio man was charged in a 16-count indictment on Wednesday for allegedly using malware known as "Fruitfly" to surreptitiously record people by secretly taking over their computer cameras and microphones, the U.S. Justice Department said. (Reuters)

Surveillance and Privacy Debate Reaches Pivotal Moment in Congress. A yearslong debate over National Security Agency surveillance and protections for Americans' privacy rights will reach a climactic moment on Thursday as the House of Representatives takes up legislation to extend a program of warrantless spying on internet and phone networks that traces back to the Sept. 11 attacks. (New York Times)

China's cyber watchdog scolds Ant Financial over user privacy breach. China's cyber watchdog has scolded Ant Financial, Alibaba's payment affiliate, for compromising user privacy after many users of its Alipay service were automatically enrolled in its credit scoring system. (Reuters)

Global Trade

Canada Takes 'Hug-an-American' Approach to Saving Nafta. Concerned about Trump administration's push to remake trade pact, Ottawa reaches for allies among U.S. governors, legislators and business leaders. (Wall Street Journal)

Canada takes U.S. to WTO, U.S. says case helps China. Canada has launched a wide-ranging trade complaint against the United States, the World Trade Organization said on Wednesday, in a dispute that Washington said would damage Canada's own interests and play into China's hands. (Reuters)

Wall Street falls on China, NAFTA concerns. The three major U.S. stock indexes ended lower on Wednesday after a choppy trading session as investors worried that China would slow U.S. government bond purchases and that U.S. President Donald Trump would end a key trade agreement. (Reuters)

Senate Republicans lobbying Trump to stay in NAFTA. Senate Republicans have strategically revved up their attempt to convince President Trump to not withdraw from NAFTA. Some senators and aides say he may not have understood how popular it was with the caucus until recently, and are encouraging him to focus instead on improving it. (Axios)

Artificial Intelligence

YouTube's AI is the puppet master over most of what you watch. At CES, YouTube's product chief says for 70 percent of the time you watch, you're riding a chain of recommendations driven by artificial intelligence. (CNET)

Iowa Flood Sensors Wade into Artificial Intelligence. Information from 250 sensors deployed across the state offers local leaders real-time flood forecasts via AI chat bots. (Gov Tech)

Virtual assistants and car tech dominated CES. The single biggest development at this year's big consumer electronics event in Las Vegas was an escalation of the battle between Google and Amazon to get their voice assistants built into all manner of tech gear. (Axios)

U.S. vs. AT&T: a Court Fight Over the Future of TV. AT&T Inc., a company that had virtually nothing to do with show business three years ago, now faces a court battle that's all about it. (Wall Street Journal)


FCC plan to lower broadband standards is met with 'Mobile Only Challenge'. Many say that mobile can't replace cable or fiber, but FCC may think otherwise. (Ars Technica)

States Push Back After Net Neutrality Repeal. A new front is opening in the battle to restore so-called net neutrality rules: state legislatures. (New York Times)

Public Sector

Pentagon cloud steering group gets new leadership ahead of landmark acquisition. Ellen Lord, the head of acquisitions at the Defense Department, will no longer chair the Pentagon's steering group to procure a departmentwide commercial cloud solution that could be worth billions. (Fed Scoop)

How the (Likely) Next NSA/CYBERCOM Chief Wants to Enlist AI. A look at Lt. Gen. Paul Nakasone's public statements about artificial intelligence, offense, and defense. (Next Gov)

CIO visibility into agency IT spending is clouded, GAO finds. Agency CIOs are supposed to have total visibility into IT spending under the Federal IT Acquisition Reform Act, but in practice that's not always the case, potentially causing duplicative or poorly conceived IT contracts, according to a new study from the Government Accountability Office. (Federal Computer Week)

CTO Michael Hermus to depart Homeland Security. Michael Hermus, chief technology officer at the Department of Homeland Security, has announced his departure from the agency, FedScoop has learned. His final day is scheduled for March 4. (Fed Scoop)

Internet of Things

AT&T Wants to Keep an Eye on Our Bridges. Infrastructure meets the internet of things. (Next Gov)

U.S. Regulators Eye Policy for Autonomous Trucks, Buses. Federal regulators are taking the first step toward creating a policy guiding the development of autonomous transportation beyond self-driving cars to include trucks, buses and other ground-based modes. (Bloomberg)

Equifax could face a massive fine for another security breach - if two top Senate Democrats get their way. Two top Senate Democrats are seeking broad new powers for the U.S. government to slap Equifax and its peers with massive fines if they suffer major cyber attacks - money that would then be returned to the millions of Americans affected by such a breach. (Recode)

Microsoft Says Chip Fix May Significantly Slow Some Servers. Microsoft Corp. said fixes for security flaws present in most processors may significantly slow down certain servers and dent the performance of some personal computers, the software maker's first assessment of a global problem that Intel Corp. initially downplayed. (Bloomberg)

Mac flaw lets you log into App Store preferences with any password. It isn't a huge security concern, but this is the second login bug found in Apple's High Sierra operating system. (CNET)

DHS: We Can Vet Election Cyber Systems in All 50 States. Some states remain wary of asking for federal election security help, but the ice is thawing, a Homeland Security official said. (Next Gov)

Nvidia updates software, says graphic chips not hit by flaws. Nvidia Corp is updating the software for its graphics processors in response to the Spectre security threat, but its chief executive said on Wednesday its chips were not subject to the same risks as those from Intel and other companies. (Reuters)

WhatsApp security flaws could allow snoops to slide into group chats. According to new research from one team of German cryptographers, flaws in WhatsApp make infiltrating the app's group chats much easier than ought to be possible. (Wired)

Florida Is Exempted From Coastal Drilling. Other States Ask, 'Why Not Us?. On Wednesday, Governor Henry McMaster of South Carolina, a Republican, announced he intends to ask the Trump administration for a drilling exemption just like Florida's. (New York Times)

U.S. crude inventory fall buoys oil, worries about rally persist. Crude oil prices jumped on Wednesday and settled near three-year highs after U.S. government data showed a drop in crude inventories and production, even as fuel inventories rose. (Reuters)

The oil industry reminds Washington: Pipelines are infrastructure too. Since President Trump took office, Congress has yet to consider major legislation directly affecting the natural gas and oil operations. (Executive regulations, of course, are another matter entirely). (Washington Post)


New York City sues Shell, ExxonMobil, and other oil majors over climate change. The New York City government is suing the world's five largest publicly traded oil companies, seeking to hold them responsible for present and future damages to the city from climate change. (Washington Post)

California proves Trump wrong. Trump says climate policies kill jobs. California's oil country proves the opposite. (Washington Post, OpEd)

Trump: U.S. could 'conceivably' re-enter Paris deal, but it threatened 'competitive edge'. President Donald Trump said Wednesday the United States could "conceivably" re-enter the Paris climate agreement, but he said the deal would have jeopardized the country's competitive edge. (Politico)

Tech Business
Google Quietly Buys U.K. Sound Tech Startup Redux. Alphabet Inc.'s Google has quietly acquired a U.K. startup focused on technology that turns surfaces such as phone displays into speakers. (Bloomberg)

ITI Member News

Facebook is testing a new section of the app specifically for local news and events. Facebook is vetting local publishers that appear in this section. (Recode)
Apple: Chinese firm to operate China iCloud accounts. Apple's iCloud services in mainland China will be operated by a Chinese company from next month, the tech giant has confirmed. (BBC)
India Extends Hand to Apple and Others by Easing Rules on Foreign Firms. The Indian government said Wednesday it was easing rules that have made it difficult for single-brand foreign companies from opening stores in the country. (New York Times)
Jimmy Iovine Shoots Down Rumors He's Leaving Apple. "I am committed to doing whatever Eddy [Cue], Tim [Cook] and Apple need me to do," says the Defiant One. (Variety)
iPod designer says we need to track our digital lives. Tony Fadell, a former designer for Apple who's been called the "father of the iPod," said smartphones and social media have gotten so good at getting users to pursue "another dopamine hit" that tech companies must help users track their use. (Axios)
YouTube cuts ties with Logan Paul over controversial video. Eleven days after YouTube star Logan Paul posted a video featuring the body of a person who committed suicide, YouTube says it will take his channel off its Google Preferred section for advertisers. (Axios)

Today on the Hill

The House will meet at 9:00 a.m. for legislative business. First and last votes expected: 10:45 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.
The Senate will convene at 10:00 a.m. and proceed to executive session to resume consideration of the nomination of Michael Lawrence Brown to be United States District Judge for the Northern District of Georgia.
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