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Tech News Roundup - 01/22/2018

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Trump wants a kinder, gentler, shutdown. Trump administration officials are determined to keep large segments of the government open even after Congress failed to approve a funding bill late Friday night, saying they don't want to "weaponize" the government shutdown to score political points. (Politico Pro)
Senate adjourns without deal to end government shutdown; vote postponed until noon Monday. The government shutdown headed into its third day after frantic efforts Sunday by a bipartisan group of moderate senators failed to produce a compromise on immigration and spending. (Washington Post)
Stephen Miller: Immigration agitator and White House survivor. Stephen Miller, one of the few remaining original advisers to President Trump, invited a small group of writers and editors from Breitbart News to the White House last fall for a conversation on immigration. (Washington Post)
Dreamers dragged through the mud. Once held up by Donald Trump as model immigrants, they are now being used as partisan ammunition in the shutdown fight. (Politico)
Graham tees off on Stephen Miller over immigration. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) on Sunday renewed his criticism of White House aides' handling of immigration, portraying them as having undercut President Donald Trump's ability to cut a deal as the government shutdown entered its second day. (Politico)

John Kelly Forges Role as Immigration Hard-Liner. White House Chief of Staff John Kelly is emerging from his usual behind-the-scenes role to become one of the president's chief conservative anchors on the immigration issue, a spot once occupied by former chief strategist Steve Bannon. (Wall Street Journal)
Tech Politics

In the crowd at Trump's inauguration, members of Russia's elite anticipated a thaw between Moscow and Washington. In the days before Donald Trump's inauguration, a wealthy Russian pharmaceutical executive named Alexey Repik arrived in Washington, expressing excitement about the new administration. (Washington Post)
Twitter to tell 677,000 users they were had by the Russians. Some signs show the problem continues. Twitter says it will notify nearly 700,000 users who interacted with accounts the company has identified as potential pieces of a propaganda effort by the Russian government during the 2016 presidential election. (Washington Post)
Net firms 'better' at removing hate speech, says EU. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Microsoft all took place in a voluntary EU scheme to monitor their platforms for a six-week period at the end of 2017. (BBC)
Italy is drawing Samsung into Apple's battery battles. Italian officials said Thursday that they are investigating whether Apple and Samsung intentionally slowed down their older products to get consumers to buy new ones. (Washington Post)
Contrite Facebook executives seek to ward off more European rules. Facebook executives are fanning out across Europe this week to address the social media giant's slow response to abuses on its platform, seeking to avoid further legislation along the lines of a new hate speech law in Germany it says goes too far. (Reuters)

Facebook can't guarantee its platform is good for democracy. In a slew of blog posts Monday morning, the tech giant addresses ways it thinks its technologies have both hurt and helped democracy around the world. (Axios)
Global Trade

Foreign Investment Vetting Changes Would 'Paralyze' Tech Firms. Leading U.S. technology firms are urging Congress to narrow legislation that would put new restrictions on foreign transactions in the name of national security. (ITI Josh Kallmer Quoted, Bloomberg)
Canada's NAFTA rescue mission is on the line in Montreal. Canadian government officials have had a paramount mission for the last year: Save NAFTA from President Donald Trump. (Politico Pro)
Trump's first year in office was a huge setback for U.S.-Latin American ties. A year into the Trump administration, the United States is rapidly losing clout in Latin America, and President Trump is only making things worse by routinely insulting Mexico and other countries in the region. (Miami Herald, Column)
USTR: U.S. 'erred' in allowing China into the WTO. The United States should not have allowed China to join the WTO, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative said Friday, pledging to "use every tool available" to crack down on Beijing's more harmful practices and push the country to abide by its global trading obligations. (Politico Pro)
White House: U.S. must confront China or lose economic edge. The United States must confront China over its unfair trade and economic practices or risk losing its global economic lead in as little as a single decade, a senior White House official said Friday. (Politico Pro)
The decline and fall of Wilbur Ross. President Donald Trump has put Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross out to pasture. (Axios)


Economics may not be driving corporate generosity. Republicans have been touting the number of companies handing out employee bonuses and pay raises - such as Walmart and Bank of America - as a surprising sign that the Trump administration's tax cuts are working their economic magic faster than anyone expected. (Washington Post)
New tax law could be victim of shutdown. A prolonged federal government shutdown could throw into turmoil the implementation of the new tax law by the IRS and disrupt the start of the tax-filing season. (Politico)

Artificial Intelligence

It's time for Washington to start working on artificial intelligence. One of the more unexpected sights within the United States Capitol lies just outside the Old Supreme Court Chamber. (Tech Crunch, OpEd)
Google CEO Sundar Pichai compares impact of AI to electricity and fire. Google CEO Sundar Pichai, speaking at a taped television event hosted by MSNBC and The Verge's sister site Recode, said artificial intelligence is one of the most profound things that humanity is working on right now and compared it to basic utilities in terms of its importance. (The Verge)

Tech Tent: China's AI ambitions. On this week's Tech Tent we hear why China's determination to be a leading player in artificial intelligence could lead to tensions with the United States. (BBC)

Robot fired from grocery store for utter incompetence. A robot was just fired from a grocery store in Scotland for confusing some customers, freaking out others. (ZDNet)

FTC makes second request on Broadcom's bid for Qualcomm. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has made a second request for information on chipmaker Broadcom Ltd's $103 billion hostile bid for Qualcomm Inc, Broadcom said in a statement on Friday, a move that could indicate heightened antitrust scrutiny. (Reuters)

Comcast-NBC merger conditions expire, raising anti-competitive fears. Major conditions imposed by regulators as part of Comcast's merger with NBCUniversal expired Saturday, renewing debate over AT&T's takeover of Time Warner that the Justice Department is trying to block. (Axios)

Public Sector

Impact of a shutdown on contractors means lost wages, project delays. Government contractors are often overlooked when it comes to the threat of a government shutdown. Now that the government is shutdown, contractors are wondering how it will affect them. (ITAPS Trey Hodgkins Quoted, Federal News Radio)
Even without full compliance, DHS happy with email hygiene mandate. Despite reports from researchers criticizing the rate at which the government is adopting domain and email security protocols, the government is happy with agencies' progress. (Federal Computer Week)
Lack of cyber workers is the forcing function for shared services. The Trump administration wants to move agencies toward shared services for cybersecurity under its IT modernization plan. Shared services, however, is one of those things that is a lot easier said than done. (Federal news Radio)
New 508 requirements now live. The federal government's new Section 508 standards took effect Thursday, requiring compliance from agencies, and any state or locality that accepts federal funding, to ensure their digital services are accessible to people with physical, sensory or cognitive disabilities. (Fed Scoop)
Vermont Bill Aims to Draw in Blockchain Business and Study Remote Citizenship. Vermont looks at Estonia innovations in virtual statehood and blockchain technology as a form of economic development. (Gov Tech)

Startups, high-speed rail and California's infrastructure future. California is home to two very different innovation worlds. (Techcrunch)

Security fears spark crackdown on Chinese tech. The federal government is taking steps to reduce the presence of some Chinese technology firms in American markets. (The Hill)

New Type of Cyberattack Targets Factory Safety Systems. Malicious software Triton was able to manipulate Schneider Electric devices' memory and run unauthorized programs by leveraging a previously unknown bug. (Wall Street Journal)
Next gen aircraft ID system vulnerable, watchdog finds. Urgent cybersecurity concerns remain unresolved related to new technology that will pinpoint locations for all aircraft flying in U.S. domestic airspace by 2020, according to the Government Accountability Office. (Federal Computer Week)
States push feds to 'harmonize' cybersecurity regulations in 2018. New advocacy priorities released by the National Association of State Chief Information Officers shows a continued push for simplified regulations. (State Scoop)

Data-stealing spyware 'traced to Lebanon'. Working with mobile security firm Lookout, researchers discovered that malware in fake messaging designed to look like WhatsApp and Signal had stolen gigabytes of data. Targets included military personnel, activists, journalists and lawyers. (BBC News)

NSA deleted surveillance data it pledged to preserve. The NSA destroyed surveillance data it pledged to preserve in connection with pending lawsuits and apparently never took some of the steps it told a federal court it had taken to make sure the information wasn't destroyed, according to recent court filings. (Politico Pro)
House Republicans clash over secret memo. House Republicans are sharply divided over how to handle a classified memo that President Donald Trump's allies say contains explosive details of misconduct by senior FBI and Justice Department officials. (Politico Pro)


FCC plans to stay open for a week in the event of a shutdown. FCC plans to stay open for a week in the event of a shutdown. (The Hill)
FCC won't redefine 'Broadband;' move could have worsened digital divide. The FCC announced Thursday that it will continue to define home broadband as connections that are 25 megabits per second (mbps). (Wired)

Rural Broadband-Boosting Bills Would Enshrine Towns' Rights to Build Their Own Internet. If they can get traction, it will make small gains towards closing the digital divide. (Motherboard)

The net neutrality testing app that Apple rejected is available now. An iPhone application that attempts to detect whether ISPs are throttling online services is now available on Apple's App Store, despite Apple originally refusing to allow it onto iPhones and iPads. (ArsTechnica)

Google's CEO has no problem releasing employees from nondisclosure agreements so women can speak out. Some companies use NDAs to keep former employees from going public with their negative experiences. (Recode)

Facebook to open digital training hubs in Europe. Facebook said on Monday it will open three new centers in Europe to train people in digital skills and committed to training one million people over the next two years, part of the social media giant's drive to show its contribution to the bloc. (Reuters)

Amazon Won't Ask Your Old Salary, a Rule That May Actually Hurt Women. Amazon has promised to hire at least 100,000 new employees in the US this year. And it won't ask any of them about their prior job history. (Nextgov)
Internet of Things

Ford CEO Jim Hackett on the future of computing, cities, and self-driving cars. Quartz caught up with Hackett at this year's CES trade show in Las Vegas, Nevada, where Ford had one of the more prominent booths. (Quartz)
As cars go robo, their makers find new partners. Henrik Fisker spent this year's CES at Booth 3315, standing next to a deep red, curvaceous, quirky electric sedan with doors that pivot like wings. (Wired)
U.S. Oil Output Expected to Surpass Saudi Arabia, Rivaling Russia for Top Spot. Boosted by shale industry, rising U.S. production could undermine OPEC's efforts to shore up oil prices. (Wall Street Journal)
Frackers Could Make More Money Than Ever in 2018, If They Don't Blow It. Oil companies, listening to investors, promise modest drilling as oil prices rise, but skeptics remain. (Wall Street Journal)


EPA will stay open all next week even if the government shuts down, Pruitt says. The Environmental Protection Agency's operations will continue through next week even if government funding expires at midnight, Administrator Scott Pruitt informed agency employees in a message Friday. (Washington Post)
The potential pitfalls of electric cars, in 5 charts. If we're going to put the brakes on climate change, electric cars will be crucial. (Wired)

ESG moves from the margins to the mainstream. Environmental, social and governance issues are often described by businesses and investors as "nonfinancial," suggesting they have no materially significant impact on the bottom line, either as a risk to revenue or an opportunity for business growth. (GreenBiz)

ITI Member News

Twitter COO Anthony Noto is considering leaving to become SoFi's new CEO. Noto is one of Twitter's most important executives. (Recode)
Facebook defends move to let users determine which media is credible. Facebook's top policy executive said Sunday that the company's move to let users decide which media is credible is a better option than Facebook itself deciding or turning it over to a panel of experts. (Axios)
Inside Amazon Go, a Store of the Future. The technology inside Amazon's new convenience store, opening Monday in downtown Seattle, enables a shopping experience like no other - including no checkout lines. (New York Times)
As Facebook Changes Its Feed, Advertisers See Video Ambitions. Facebook made waves in the media industry with its recent announcement that it would put a new focus on "meaningful social interactions" with close friends and family in its News Feed - the column that people scroll through when they open the site - instead of content from publishers and brands. (New York Times)
Facebook will now ask users to rank news organizations they trust. Facebook unveiled major changes Friday to the News Feed of its 2 billion users, announcing it will rank news organizations by credibility based on user feedback and diminish its role as an arbiter of the news people see. (Washington Post)
Apple CEO Tim Cook says he wouldn't let a child use social media. Anyone remember Ping - Apple's "music-oriented social network," the hot new thing back in 2010? (Washington Post)
Apple partners with Malala Fund to help girls receive quality education. Apple has teamed up with Malala Fund to support girls' education, becoming Malala Fund's first Laureate partner. (Techcrunch)

What Facebook's Feed Changes Mean for the News. Some 45% of Americans get their news from Facebook , FB 0.83% according to Pew Research Center. (Wall Street Journal)

Today on the Hill

The Senate will convene at 10:00 a.m. and resume consideration of the House message to accompany H.R.195, the vehicle for the continuing resolution.

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