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Tech News Roundup - 01/30/2018

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Key Issues

Global Trade

Signs of Progress in Nafta Talks but Countries Remain Deeply Divided. Discussions to revamp the North American Free Trade Agreement moved from stalemate to actual negotiation during the sixth round of talks that concluded on Monday, but a deal was still far from guaranteed as Mexico, Canada and the United States continue to squabble over how to reshape the 24-year-old pact. (New York Times)

China Could Target U.S. Firms if Trump Levies Tariffs, Group Warns.Chinese officials have warned that they will retaliate against American companies if President Trump imposes tariffs on China, an American business group said on Tuesday, with airplanes and agricultural products among the likely targets. (New York Times)

NAFTA talks are at a 'much better' point, says Mexico. Officials from the US, Canada and Mexico say they have made progress in tense negotiations on the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). (BBC)
On Trade, World Wonders Whose Rules U.S. Plays By. Amid Trump's charm offensive in Davos, allies being in lumped in with China. (Wall Street Journal)
Canada, Mexico Reject Proposal to Rework Nafta Corporate Arbitration System. U.S. says ISDS system erodes sovereignty by allowing multinational companies to circumvent domestic courts. (Wall Street Journal)
Internet policy experts push for content-sharing protections in NAFTA. Internet experts and industry leaders called on policy makers to write laws and provisions to ensure that tech companies are not held liable for content shared by third-party users. (Politico Pro)
Lighthizer targets Canada as NAFTA Round 6 ends. Trade officials from Canada, Mexico and the United States are parting ways Monday heralding incremental progress made at the sixth round of talks this week but emphasizing a need to work harder and push toward "major breakthroughs" before the next round begins in late February. (Politico Pro)

Tech Politics
Political Ads on Social Media Are Target for Draft FEC Rules. The U.S. Federal Elections Commission is moving forward with a plan to introduce new rules on political advertising on social media ahead of the 2018 election cycle. (Bloomberg)

To Get Anything Done, Georgia Politicians Say, Do It for Amazon. From a religious-freedom bill to a proposed English-only constitutional amendment, Georgia politicians and advocates are invoking Amazon's name. (Wall Street Journal)


Republicans love their tax law. Voters aren't so sure. President Donald Trump is sure to get plenty of applause during Tuesday's State of the Union address when he mentions the $1.5 trillion tax cut he signed into law in December. (Politico Pro)

Tucked Into the Tax Bill, a Plan to Help Distressed America. A little-noticed section in the $1.5 trillion tax cut that President Trump signed into law late last month is drawing attention from venture capitalists, state government officials and mayors across America. (New York Times)

Big donors ready to reward Republicans for tax cuts. Republicans in Congress faced a near-mutiny last fall from some wealthy GOP donors frustrated with Washington's inability to get anything done. Then they passed the tax bill. (Politico Pro)

How the Tax Overhaul Will Affect Tech Companies Earnings. Silicon Valley threw its support behind the congressional tax overhaul. (Wall Street Journal)

Trump critics seize on developer ties to infrastructure plan. President Donald Trump's critics are already lining up to undercut his infrastructure proposal - the purported bipartisan centerpiece of Tuesday's State of the Union speech - as a giveaway to his well-connected friends and a rollback of popular environmental protections. (Politico Pro)

Immigrants to Be In Spotlight at State of Union. Address offers opportunity to build momentum toward a resolution-or set it back. (Wall Street Journal)

Trump administration reopens door to some refugees - but says vetting will be tough. The Trump administration says it will lift a partial ban on refugees from 11 countries, but subject them to tough new security measures before allowing them to enter the U.S. (Los Angeles Times)

Public Sector

Public-Sector Tech: Ongoing Issues and Opportunities. Here's my rundown of technology trends that both elected leaders and government CxOs keep talking about. (Gov Tech)
DHS partnering with tech sector to tackle terrorist content. The Department of Homeland Security wants to prevent terrorist groups from using technology to recruit homegrown terrorists, and it's looking for allies in the private sector. (Fed Scoop)
DOT wants to use data science to make roads safer. Earlier this month the Department of Transportation announced its intention to use data to make America's highways safer. (Fed Scoop)
Baltimore Rolls Out Smart Trash Cans. Sanitation workers in Baltimore worried about overflowing garbage cans can rest a little easier. Soon, the cans will let them know if they are need of emptying. (Gov Tech)
After alleged 'bait and switch,' Nevada DMV cancels $78 million IT contract. An auditor's report shows that when the vendor didn't live up to its end of the contract, the state didn't follow the proper protocols, causing further delays. (State Scoop)

DHS secretary: Focus on the systemic cyber risks. The Department of Homeland Security is working to keep foreign terrorists out of the U.S. through new, beefed-up vetting procedures at borders and overseas, but keeping out cyber attackers is a very different challenge, according to the agency's top official. (Federal Computer Week)
WH cybersecurity coordinator seeks more 'naming and shaming' of hackers. Looking back on an "unprecedented year of threats" that included WannaCry and the Equifax breach, the White House's cybersecurity coordinator said Monday that the federal government plans to strengthen its cyber deterrence policy this year through some of its closest international partners. (Federal News Radio)
Jason Miller: Energy Dept. developing integrated cyber risk management system. Energy Department employees must understand that the hackers trying to breach their networks are not the stereotypical 20-something year-old in the basement. They are the nation states. (Federal News Radio, Podcast)
Fines up to £17m launched for firms with poor cyber-security. Companies that fail to protect themselves effectively from cyber-attacks will face fines of up to £17m, the government has announced. (BBC)

Pentagon reviewing security after fitness apps show locations. U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has ordered a review of security protocols, officials say, after fitness tracking devices broadcast patterns of movement at military facilities around the world, including in war zones. (Reuters)

Strava says it will simplify privacy settings and review app features after exposing military bases. Fitness app Strava has said it will review its privacy settings and features after it was found to have exposed the location of military bases across the world by releasing user activity data. (Tech Crunch)

Facebook braces for new E.U. privacy law. Facebook announced a new push over the weekend to better explain its efforts to protect user data by sharing its privacy principles for the first time ahead of the European Union's new data protection law that will take effect in May. (Washington Post)

The Trump Administration said it has no plans to build a 5G wireless network. The memo from the National Security Council that suggested otherwise is outdated. (Recode)
Federal 5G Network Proposal Is Panned by F.C.C. and Industry. Federal regulators and major telecommunications companies pushed back on Mondayagainst a proposal circulating in the White House that would put the government in control of a next-generation mobile broadband network to address economic and security concerns related to China. (New York Times)
Why everyone is freaking out about a White House plan to nationalize the country's 5G data networks. A leaked White House memo that calls for the government to build and control a "5G" next-generation wireless data service drew immediate backlash Monday from industry groups, regulators, and even some within President Trump's own administration. (Washington Post)
It's been both conservative dogma and law for more than 20 years: private companies rather than the government should guide the future of U.S. telecommunications. (Bloomberg)


5 Tips to Stop Backslide of Women in Government Tech. Five female federal executives offer advice on how women can succeed in public sector IT despite a making up a smaller share of the workforce. (Next Gov)

The erosion of worker compensation. Corporate profits have dramatically outpaced wages and health benefits since the turn of the century, leaving workers on the hook for more of their health care costs even as their purchasing power falls, according to a review of federal data. (Axios)
Internet of Things

Samsung joins Waymo in California self-driving 'playground'. It's not doing as much work as Google's spinoff, which is why it's managed to exist in Castle without much fanfare. (CNET)

Waymo Launches Its Self-Driving Armada. It's 2018, and Waymo is doing it live. (Wired)

New Jersey Embraces an Idea it Once Rejected: Make Utilities Pay to Emit Carbon. Even as the Trump administration dismantles climate policies at the federal level, a growing number of Democratic state governors are considering taxing or pricing carbon dioxide emissions within their own borders to tackle global warming. (New York Times)
Driven by Electric-Vehicle Demand, Firms Focus on Cobalt. The once-obscure material is valued for its ability to withstand the heat generated by lithium-ion batteries. (Wall Street Journal)
Alibaba, Foxconn Invest in Chinese Electric-Vehicle Maker. E-commerce giant Alibaba is making its first big investment in a car maker. (Wall Street Journal)

66 Environmental Rules on the Way Out Under Trump. Since taking office last year, President Trump has made eliminating federal regulations a priority. (New York Times)
Americans Are Staying Home More. Thats Saving Energy. Despite what you may have learned as a child, sloth isn't always a sin. (New York Times)

Tech Business

How Apple Built a Chip Powerhouse to Threaten Qualcomm and Intel. The company already makes many of the chips for its iPhones, iPads, Macs and Watches. (Bloomberg)
'Is it shoplifting if it's not the customer's fault?': Amazon Go raises questions for the retail industry. "Just walk out," say the signs at the entrance and store windows at Amazon's newest concept store. "No lines. No checkout. (No, seriously.)" (Washington Post)

ITI Member News

Turn Off Messenger Kids, Health Experts Plead to Facebook. At the age of 6, a child is full of imagination and may not distinguish reality from fantasy. (New York Times)
Local news to get a boost on Facebook, says Mark Zuckerberg. Chief executive Mark Zuckerberg said Monday that Facebook users will start to see more local news stories in their News Feed. The announcement marks the third major change to the News Feed that Zuckerberg has unveiled this month. (Washington Post)
Google is using 46 billion data points to predict the medical outcomes of hospital patients. Some of Google's top AI researchers are trying to predict your medical outcome as soon as you're admitted to the hospital. (Quartz)
Why Amazon built its workers a mini rain forest inside three domes in downtown Seattle. Microsoft employees have treehouses. Apple workers have what's been called a spaceship. And now's staffers have a rain forest - or at least something like one - right in the middle of downtown Seattle. (Washington Post)
Qualcomm's Need to Up NXP Offer Gets Real With Broadcom Takeover Bid Looming. Qualcomm Inc.'s negotiating room is shrinking fast as it tries to close the planned $47 billion purchase of NXP Semiconductors NV while fending off a record-setting hostile takeover bid from Broadcom Ltd. (Bloomberg)
Google closes $1.1 billion deal for HTC design talent. Google's $1.1 billion deal to acquire most of HTC's smartphone design division has officially closed. Hardware SVP Rick Osterloh announced the news in a blog post, hailing the arrival of an "incredibly talented team to work on even better and more innovative products in the years to come." (The Verge)
SAP talks up cloud business, buys $2.4 billion U.S. sales software firm.SAP posted 2017 results on the lower side of market expectations after Chief Executive Bill McDermott had promised a "dynamite" final quarter in its cloud business, as Europe's top technology company announced a $2.4 billion U.S. acquisition. (Reuters)

Microsoft issues update to disable Intel's buggy Spectre patch. Microsoft Corp issued an emergency security update on Monday to plug Intel Corp's buggy Spectre firmware patch after the chipmaker's fix caused computers to reboot more often than normal. (Reuters)

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 votes expected: 1:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. Last votes expected: 4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. The House will recess no later than 5:00 p.m. and reconvene at approximately 8:35 p.m. for a Joint Session of Congress to receive the President"s State of the Union Address. Members are requested to be on the Floor and seated no later than 8:20 p.m.
The Senate will convene and proceed to executive session to resume consideration of the nomination of David Ryan Stras to be United States Circuit Judge for the Eighth Circuit at 10:00 a.m.
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