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Tech News Roundup - 02/14/2018

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Tech Politics

Bill Gates: tech companies inviting government intervention. In an interview with Axios, Bill Gates warned Apple and other tech giants that they risk the kind of nightmarish government intervention that once plagued his Microsoft if they act arrogantly. (Axios)
Russia Sees Midterm Elections as Chance to Sow Fresh Discord, Intelligence Chiefs Warn. As the midterm elections approach, Russia is likely to throw more propaganda at Americans, using people sympathetic to their messages and fake personalities on social media - many of them run by bots - to sow further political and social divisions in the United States, the top American intelligence officials said on Tuesday. (New York Times)
Global Trade

Canada, U.S. exchange barbs over NAFTA talks as stresses rise. Canada and the United States exchanged barbs on Tuesday over sluggish negotiations to update NAFTA, reflecting mounting tensions over trade talks that appear unlikely to conclude on schedule. (Reuters)

Trump weighs tariffs, quotas on U.S. steel, aluminum imports. U.S. President Donald Trump said on Tuesday he was considering a range of options to address steel and aluminum imports that he said were unfairly hurting U.S. producers, including tariffs and quotas. (Reuters)
The great 'Made in Britain' delusion. The U.K.'s ambition to chart its own course as a trade champion outside the EU is facing a brutal reality check: Not enough of its exports are actually "Made in Britain." (Politico Pro)


Democrats edge toward unity on an immigration plan. Senate Democrats are starting to get behind a bipartisan immigration plan that could win over reluctant activists on the left - offering a chance for the party to coalesce after struggling for months to craft a workable strategy. (Politico Pro)

Senate Immigration Debate Gets Off to a Slow, Unhappy Start. An immigration debate on Tuesday in the Senate that promised to be freewheeling and democratic got off instead to a rocky start, with Democrats and Republicans in a standoff over how the debate should proceed. (New York Times)

As DACA Deadline Looms, Young Immigrants Plan for the Unknown. A March 5 deadline is looming for Washington to come up with a resolution for nearly 700,000 immigrants brought to the U.S. as children and currently protected from deportation. (Wall Street Journal)
Scoop: Trump threatens veto on immigration deal. A senior administration official said Tuesday night that President Trump "will veto any bill that doesn't advance his common-sense immigration reforms" - a hardening of the White House bargaining position as the Senate begins an epic debate. (Axios)
Second U.S. judge blocks Trump administration from ending DACA program. A second U.S. judge on Tuesday blocked President Donald Trump's decision to end a program that protects immigrants brought to the United States illegally as children from deportation. (Reuters)
McConnell keeps firm grip on immigration debate. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who promised what was expected to be a free-for-all immigration debate, is keeping his hand firmly on the wheel. (The Hill)

Artificial Intelligence

Tech industry aims to reassure Congress on AI. The tech industry hopes to use a House committee hearing Wednesday to both educate Congress on the potential benefits of artificial intelligence while also downplaying many concerns as the work of science fiction. (Axios)
Experts fear US losing ground to China on AI. China's public intention to become the world leader in the development of artificial intelligence has many in the United States questioning what the U.S. government is doing to protect the country's dominant position in the AI race. (ITI Dean Garfield Quoted, The Hill)
How Artificial Intelligence Is Edging Its Way Into Our Lives. Artificial intelligence is here - and it's bringing new possibilities, while also raising questions. (New York Times)
Public Sector

Trump budget would create a Technology Business Management office housed within GSA. President Trump's fiscal 2019 budget requests funding for a Technology Business Management (TBM) program office, housed within the General Services Administration, which would be tasked with coordinating implementation of TBM across the federal government. (Fed Scoop)
2019 budget request includes plans to train feds for emerging tech. Tucked within the president's fiscal 2019 budget request are plans to retrain parts of the federal workforce to help bridge the IT skills gap and make way for the arrival of artificial intelligence. (Fed Scoop)
Computer science featured prominently in 'State of the State' addresses. Governors are giving heightened priority to technology in their project portfolios. (State Scoop)

Hackers Hit Winter Olympics in Attempt to Shame Organizers. A cyberattack paralyzed internet networks at the opening ceremony of the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in what appeared to be a bid to embarrass the organizers. (Bloomberg)
Trump taps Army cyber chief as next NSA head. President Donald Trump on Tuesday nominated Lt. Gen. Paul Nakasone, the leader of the Army's digital warfighting arm, to helm the National Security Agency. (Politico Pro)

NY top court says 'private' Facebook photos can be disclosed. New York state's highest court ruled on Tuesday that Facebook users may be required to turn over photos and other information that are relevant to litigation, even if they are shielded by "privacy" settings. (Reuters)

Intellectual Property

U.S. senators concerned about Chinese access to intellectual property. China is trying to gain access to sensitive U.S. technologies and intellectual properties through telecommunications companies, academia and joint business ventures, U.S. senators and spy chiefs warned on Tuesday at a Senate hearing. (Reuters)


Senators offer bill to close rural-urban internet divide. Sens. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) and Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.) introduced a bill on Tuesday aimed at promoting internet access in rural communities. (The Hill)
House Dems press FCC for answers on net neutrality comments. House Democrats are pushing the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for answers over how it reviewed the docket of 24 million public comments submitted in response to the agency's repeal of its net neutrality rules. (The Hill)

Internet of Things

D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser lays out the welcome mat for self-driving cars. D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser on Monday sent a message to companies developing and testing driverless technology: The city is opening its doors to them. (Washington Post)

Industry Weighs in on How the Government Can Fight Botnets. Feds need to secure the internet of things and work more closely with private companies, they said. (Next Gov)
With autonomous shuttles in their eyes, Nebraska lawmakers examine two new bills. The legislation would allow driverless testing to support local transit pilot projects. (State Scoop)

Shale Output Hasn't Grown This Fast Since Oil Was at $100. In closely watched report, IEA warns U.S. crude output is set to outpace demand in 2018. (Wall Street Journal)

Trump Administration Targets Obama-Era Effort to Limit Methane. The Trump administration on Monday moved to repeal one of the last unchallenged climate-change regulations rushed into place in the waning days of the Obama presidency - a rule restricting the release of planet-warming methane into the atmosphere. (New York Times)

Tech Business

Amazon's Latest Ambition: To Be a Major Hospital Supplier. The online retailer is pushing hard to expand its foothold in medical supplies, creating a marketplace where hospitals could shop to stock emergency rooms, operating suites and outpatient facilities. (Wall Street Journal)

ITI Member News

Tim Armstrong says Oath is the answer to Unilever's Facebook and Google problem. Unilever CMO Keith Weed sent a threat to Facebook and Google this week: Clean up your platforms or we'll spend our advertising dollars elsewhere. Oath CEO Tim Armstrong wants to be that elsewhere. (Recode)
Twitter's CEO downplays chatter about possible acquisition. Twitter Inc Chief Executive Jack Dorsey said on Tuesday that he saw value in the social media network remaining an independent company, downplaying recent speculation by analysts that it could be an acquisition target. (Reuters)
Apple Has a Deep Bench of Potential Tim Cook Successors. Apple Inc. Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook addressed succession at the company's annual shareholder meeting on Tuesday, saying that eventually "passing the baton" properly is one of his most important roles. (Bloomberg)
NXP Deal Is Likely Qualcomm's Best Defense Against Broadcom. Qualcomm's completion of the NXP Semiconductors transaction at a higher price would fortify it against a hostile takeover. (Wall Street Journal)
Broadcom Now Seeking Fewer of Qualcomm's Board Seats. Broadcom moved the goal posts in its hostile takeover bid for Qualcomm, announcing on Tuesday that it was now seeking only a majority of the chip maker's board seats in next month's shareholder vote and raising questions about the future of the deal. (New York Times)
Californians trust tech, not social media. Californians say technology is the most trusted industry, but social media, a product of technology, is one of the least-trusted sectors, according to The 2018 Edelman Trust Barometer California Supplemental Survey. (Axios)
Amazon's Latest Ambition: To Be a Major Hospital Supplier. Inc. is pushing to turn its nascent medical-products business into a major supplier to U.S. hospitals and outpatient clinics that could compete with distributors of items ranging from gauze to hip implants. (Wall Street Journal)
What Amazon's expansion into shipping means for FedEx and UPS. Amazon's move to provide shipping services to its business customers extends a trend at the e-commerce giant of subsidizing its operations by converting a cost center to a revenue source. (Axios)

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 between 1:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.; last votes expected between 4:45 p.m. - 5:45 p.m.
The Senate will convene at 10:00 a.m. and resume consideration of the motion to proceed to H.R.2579, the vehicle for immigration legislation.
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