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Tech News Roundup - 01/23/2018

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Key Issues

Immigration/ Shutdown

Shutdown ends after Democrats agree to trust that McConnell will allow dreamer vote. After three days of contentious negotiations and name-calling, Congress voted to end a government shutdown Monday when Democrats agreed to trust the word of Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. (Washington Post)
Republicans won the shutdown battle, but may lose on immigration. Republicans may have won the government shutdown battle, but there is still no winning strategy for the party on immigration. (Axios)
The Senate will take up immigration, but will the House - and Trump - follow? The deal that ended the government shutdown on Monday paved the way for Senate consideration of immigration legislation, but it did nothing to ensure that the House would act on such a bill - or that President Trump would sign it. (Washington Post)

Why the shutdown battle is only on pause. Washington will be back on the brink in less than three weeks. (Politico Pro)
Legal action leaves DACA deadline murky. The March 5 deadline that President Donald Trump set for winding down a disputed immigration program continues to add a sense of urgency to the debate about so-called DREAMers, even though a court injunction and the administration's own legal strategy have essentially wiped out the significance of that date. (Politico Pro)
Tech Politics

Apple, Facebook, Google spent record amounts lobbying Washington last year. Three of the nation's biggest and best-known technology companies - Apple, Facebook and Google - shoveled record sums of money into their federal lobbying efforts as President Donald Trump's first year in office brought a mix of unprecedented scrutiny and financial opportunity for their businesses. (Politico Pro)

Once Cozy With Silicon Valley, Democrats Grow Wary of Tech Giants.WASHINGTON - In November 2016, Dipayan Ghosh was still reeling from Hillary Clinton's defeat as he left what was supposed to be a celebration party at the Javits Convention Center in New York to attend morning meetings for his job at the Washington offices of Facebook. (New York Times)


By Adding to the Debt, Tax Cuts Could Complicate Next Downturn. Washington could be trading more growth now for the risk of more pain down the road. (Wall Street Journal)
U.S. Tax Overhaul Will Accelerate Global Growth, IMF Says. World output, adjusted for inflation, is estimated to grow 3.9% a year in 2018 and 2019. (Wall Street Journal)
Global Trade

NAFTA's fate uncertain ahead of Montreal round of talks. The NAFTA trade agreement's future hangs in the balance this week as negotiators from the United States, Canada and Mexico try to settle major differences over revamping a pact that President Donald Trump has threatened to abandon. (Reuters)
Canada and Mexico Seek to Head Off U.S. Exit From Nafta at Montreal Talks. In make-or-break round, non-U.S. negotiators trying to keep pact alive in face of tough demands from Washington. (Wall Street Journal)
U.S. Sets New Trade Tariffs, Signaling New Phase in 'America First' Policy. The Trump administration said new barriers on solar panels and washing machines are aimed at protecting domestic production from cheap imports. (Wall Street Journal)
Trump Slaps Steep Tariffs on Imported Washing Machines and Solar Products. President Trump has imposed steep tariffs on both washing machines and solar products, responding to two separate trade cases that sought to protect American industry from a flood of cheap imports, including from China, the United States trade representative said Monday. (New York Times)

House Democrats pushing Lighthizer to strengthen NAFTA labor demands. House Democrats are making a major push to get U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to intensify efforts to get Mexico to improve its wage and labor standards through a revamped NAFTA. (Politico Pro)
Samsung Electronics says U.S. tariffs on washers a great loss for American consumers. Samsung Electronics said on Tuesday a U.S. government decision to impose tariffs on washing machines was a great loss for American consumers and workers. (Reuters)
Artificial Intelligence

Google spending beaucoup bucks on expansion in France. An AI research center, a bigger Paris headquarters and four Google Hubs to teach digital literacy are all in the works. (CNET)


The case for breaking up Big Tech. When NYU professor Scott Galloway began The Four, his book on Apple, Google, Amazon and Facebook, he thought it was a love letter. Now he says it's time to break up the companies. (Axios)

Judge orders U.S. government to seek consent to give data to AT&T, Time Warner. The judge hearing the Justice Department's lawsuit to stop AT&T from buying Time Warner ordered the department on Monday to seek permission to give the two companies access to rivals' pricing data. (Reuters)

Public Sector

Feds to Ramp Up Online Purchasing Presence. Online retail has been booming, with consumers flocking to the Internet to shop for almost anything.
(ITAPS Eminence Griffin Quoted, E-commerce Times)

Denver's experimental smart city gets microgrid, Wi-Fi, autonomous shuttles. Developers say the new technologies being added to the living lab could provide a glimpse into the future of urban life. (State Scoop)
2018 Gubernatorial Elections Likely to Reshape State IT Efforts. A lot of statehouses will be changing hands after this year's elections, and with them will come a new wave of IT leaders. (Gov Tech)
Orlando, Fla., Aims to Digitize 50 Services Using Human-Centered Design. Orlando's first innovation director, Matt Broffman, has identified 225 city services that could be Web-enabled and he's hiring an innovation team to get them online. (Gov Tech)


Massive Reduction in FBI Cyber Crime Takedowns Was Result of Definition Change. Stricter guidelines on what counts as a disruption or dismantlement led to a 10X reduction. (Next Gov)
Intel asks customers to halt patching for chip bug, citing flaw. Intel Corp said on Monday that patches it released to address two high-profile security vulnerabilities in its chips are faulty, advising customers, computer makers and cloud providers to stop installing them. (Reuters)

Business booms for privacy experts as landmark data law looms. Business is booming for software and privacy experts as companies across the globe spend millions of dollars to comply with a landmark European data protection law, even as many uncertainties remain about how the rules will be enforced. (Reuters)


FCC commissioner: Regulations not the answer to Big Tech's power. One of the Federal Communications Commission's Republican commissioners said Monday that regulators should not crack down on big tech companies like Facebook and Google. (Axios)
A Comcast net neutrality commitment from the NBC merger just expired. A Comcast net neutrality commitment from the NBC merger just expired. (Ars Technica)
Montana Governor Signs Order to Force Net Neutrality. Most efforts underway to restore so-called net neutrality face big obstacles and would take many months, if not years, to succeed. (New York Times)

NYC wants a way to sniff out net neutrality violators. New York City challenged the IT industry on Monday to design a system that alerts residents when internet service providers are violating net neutrality principles or otherwise offering substandard services. (State Scoop)
Conservative groups urge Congress to let net neutrality repeal stand. A coalition of conservative groups are urging Congress not to support a bill that would overturn the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) repeal of net neutrality. (The Hill)

What we learned from leaked Trump infrastructure plan. Axios today obtained and published a draft copy of the White House infrastructure plan. (Axios)
Internet of Things

Waymo to start testing self-driving cars in Atlanta. Waymo, Alphabet Inc's self-driving car unit, would start testing its self-driving vehicles in Atlanta, it said on Twitter on Monday. (Reuters)

Catastrophic weather shakes up the reinsurance market. Recent major weather events in Australia, Mexico, the Caribbean and the United States, including three hurricanes that were Category 4 or greater, have resulted in catastrophe losses exceeding $100 billion for the third year on record. (Green Biz)

Trump Would Open Nearly All U.S. Waters to Drilling. But Will They Drill? The Trump administration's move to open nearly all of America's coastal waters to offshore oil and gas drilling would give energy companies access to more than a billion acres off the Atlantic, Pacific and Arctic coasts. (The New York Times)


Big Tech Is Buying More Clean Energy Than Ever in the Trump Era. Companies, led by tech giants including Apple Inc. and Facebook Inc., are snapping up more clean energy than ever, even as shifting environmental policies from the U.S. to Europe threaten the economics of renewable energy. (Bloomberg)
Trump's Solar Tariffs Mark Biggest Blow to Renewables Yet. President Donald Trump just dealt his biggest blow to the renewable energy industry yet. (Bloomberg)
Wind and Solar Deals Popular With Tech Giants Opening to All. Buying electricity from big wind and solar farms has long been the province of tech giants. An exchange opening Tuesday aims to open those deals up to everyone. (Bloomberg)

Tech Business

Amazon Prime's Monthly Price Hike Will Generate $300 Million a Year. Inc. will generate an extra $300 million annually by increasing the monthly cost of Prime membership by $2, according to Cowen & Co. (Bloomberg)

Big Tech's new worst enemy: telecoms. Telecom companies like AT&T and Verizon are racing into the digital advertising space - currently dominated by Google and Facebook - now that Washington has given them the ability to sell data to third-party advertisers. (Axios)

ITI Member News

Rupert Murdoch says Facebook needs to pay publishers the way cable companies do. Publishers on Facebook and Google "are not being adequately rewarded for those services," he says. (Recode)
Tech Companies Working On Fixes For Fake News As Midterms Approach. Fake news, hate speech and foreign interference are the notable examples of what went wrong online during the 2016 campaign. Facebook, Google and Twitter want to avoid a repeat in the 2018 midterms. They're working on fixes, but the solutions won't be easy. (NPR)
What if a Healthier Facebook Is Just ... Instagram?. For the past several years, Facebook has been conducting what amounts to an A/B test on human society, using two different social media apps. (New York Times)
Only one in four trust social media, says survey. Only one in four Britons trusts social media and users would like to see tighter regulation, according to the annual Edelman Trust Barometer. (BBC)
Amazon Go: lines form in Seattle to be among the first to try checkout-free shopping. SEATTLE - Crowds of tech aficionados, news crews and the simply curious turned out for the public opening of Amazon's checkout-free convenience store Monday, giving a generally non-descript sidewalk the air of an Apple store the day a new iPhone comes out. (USA Today)
Inside Facebook's year of reckoning. Mark Zuckerberg's crusade to fix Facebook this year is beginning with a startling retreat. The social network, its chief executive said, would step back from its role in choosing the news that 2 billion users see on its site every month. (Washington Post)
MOSCOW - Microsoft could lose billions of dollars if it chooses to restrict its Russian clients due to sanctions, Russian communications minister Nikolai Nikoforov was quoted by local news agencies as saying on Tuesday. (Reuters)
The Internet Is Filling Up Because Indians Are Sending Millions of 'Good Morning' Texts. Google researchers in Silicon Valley were trying to figure out why so many smartphones were freezing up half a world away. (Wall Street Journal)

Today on the Hill

The Senate will convene and proceed to executive session to consider the nomination of Jerome Powell to be Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System at 12:00 pm.

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