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Tech News Roundup - 02/16/2018

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Tech Politics
Top tech group exec joining White House as Trump adviser. An executive at a top technology trade association will be joining the White House as a tech adviser to President Trump. (The Hill)
Oracle Lobbied Labor Amid Job Lawsuit: The Influence Game. Oracle Corp. has never been shy about speaking up in Washington. Last year, that meant lobbying the government on employment regulations while being sued for alleged discrimination. (Bloomberg)

IBM wants to prep government for blockchain tech. IBM is encouraging the U.S. government to find ways to make use of blockchain technology to improve its services, but also suggests federal officials take their time and start with modest projects. (Axios)
EU tells Facebook, Google and Twitter to do more for users. Europe's justice commissioner told Facebook, Twitter and Google on Thursday to do more to bring their user terms in line with EU law, ramping up pressure on the tech giants after their efforts were deemed too little. (Reuters)
Russia used mainstream media to manipulate American voters. Russia's disinformation campaign during the 2016 presidential election relied heavily on stories produced by major American news sources to shape the online political debate, according to an analysis published Thursday. (Washington Post)
Pro-Gun Russian Bots Flood Twitter After Parkland Shooting. Each new breaking news situation is an opportunity for trolls to grab attention, provoke emotions, and spread propaganda. The Russian government knows this. Fake-news manufacturing teenagers in Macedonia know this. (Wired)
Facebook, Google Could Face Stricter Rules on Political Ads. Facebook Inc., Alphabet Inc.'s Google and other online platforms would face stricter rules for political advertising according to a proposed framework that will be considered by the Federal Election Commission. (Bloomberg)
Senate Rejects Trump's Immigration Plan. In a stern rebuke to President Trump, the Senate on Thursday decisively rejected a White House rewrite of the nation's immigration laws that would have bolstered border security, placed strict new limits on legal migration and resolved the fate of the so-called Dreamers. (New York Times)
Inside the Senate's ugly immigration breakdown. If the Senate was ever going to pass a bill to protect hundreds of thousands of young immigrants from deportation, it needed James Lankford. (Politico)
Trump's Latest Travel Ban Suffers Blow From a Second Appeals Court. A second federal appeals court ruled on Thursday against President Trump's latest effort to limit travel from countries said to pose a threat to the nation's security. (New York Times)
Public Sector
Infrastructure Plan Falls Flat for Investors. Maybe it should be called "Infrastructure Weak." In the days following the 2016 U.S. presidential election, investors took President-elect Donald Trump at his word that he would open the floodgates of federal spending and deregulation to fix America's creaking transport, energy and water systems. (Wall Street Journal)

Pentagon to host industry day for commercial cloud acquisition. The Pentagon announced Wednesday a public, unclassified meeting March 7 in Arlington, Virginia, to outline its plans for the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) program and field questions from potential vendors. (Fed Scoop)


No Easy Answers, Just More Questions in Major Encryption Report. Any change to encryption policy will require a tradeoff between individual security and national security, a report from the National Academies concludes. (Next Gov)

How vulnerable are contractors when it comes to data breaches? As lawmakers and regulators weigh increased action on the rules and laws governing data breach disclosures, a survey of more than 1,200 federal contractors found a significant number of firms have suffered breaches since 2016. (ITAPS Pam Walker Quoted, Federal Computer Week)
White House Blames Russia For Massive 2017 Cyberattack. The White House on Thursday blamed Russia for a massive cyberattack last year that crippled computer networks at multinational firms worldwide, vowing the hack would be met with "international consequences." (Wall Street Journal)
F.C.C. Watchdog Looks Into Changes That Benefited Sinclair. Last April, the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, Ajit Pai, led the charge for his agency to approve rules allowing television broadcasters to greatly increase the number of stations they own. (New York Times)

Lawmakers eye new programs to boost tech workforce. Lawmakers at a hearing Thursday turned their attention to new programs to help boost the number of science and technology workers in the U.S. (The Hill)
Silicon Valley's Singularity University Has Some Serious Reality Problems. It's lost Google funding and dealt with allegations of assault and fraud. (Bloomberg)
How $225,000 Can Help Secure a Pollution Loophole at Trump's E.P.A. The gravel parking lot at the Fitzgerald family's truck dealership here in central Tennessee was packed last week with shiny new Peterbilt and Freightliner trucks, as well as a steady stream of buyers from across the country. (New York Times)
Amazon reaches $1.2 million settlement with EPA over illegal pesticide sales. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reached a $1.2 million settlement with Amazon on Thursday over charges that third parties had used the website to sell thousands of illegal pesticides. (The Hill)
VW looks at Apple for electric-car design guidance. Volkswagen is looking at Apple products for guidance on how to style its new generation of electric cars, its top designer said, as the automaker aims to turn profits on battery-powered vehicles when they launch in 2020. (Reuters)
Tech Business
Amazon Bets on Band-Aids as Health Industry Braces for Shakeup. Inc. may have big ambitions to shake up health care, but it is starting small. (Bloomberg)

ITI Member News

Google is replacing Facebook's traffic to publishers. New data from Chartbeat show the exact numbers. (Recode)
Google Tests System to Help Locate 911 Callers. 911 centers often struggle to locate cellphone callers, but new technology from Google could improve the U.S. system. (Wall Street Journal)
Tech Luminary Peter Thiel Parts Ways With Silicon Valley. Billionaire investor frustrated with what he sees as intolerance of conservatism in tech industry; has discussed resigning from Facebook board. (Wall Street Journal)

Today on the Hill

The House is out of session today.
The Senate will convene at 12:00 p.m. for a pro forma session.
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