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Tech News Roundup - 02/21/2018

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Key Issues

Global Trade
Big tech lobbying groups push Treasury to speak out on EU tax proposal.Top technology trade associations are pushing the Trump administration to fight back against an expected European Union tax proposal. (ITI Mentioned, The Hill)
Tech Groups Urge Mnuchin to Push Back on EU Digital Tax Proposal. Tech trade groups representing Alphabet Inc.'s Google, Apple Inc. and other companies are urging U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to push back against European Commission plans to impose new taxes on digital goods and services. (ITI Mentioned, Bloomberg Law)
EU mulls retaliation over Trump's tax overhaul. European countries may fight back against President Donald Trump's tax overhaul by arguing that it breaches WTO rules, finance ministers said Tuesday. (Politico Pro)
25 GOP senators urge Trump to restart TPP trade talks, a deal he called a "disaster". Twenty-five Republican senators, including Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Tex.), sent President Trump a letter Friday asking him to "re-engage with the Trans-Pacific Partnership." (Washington Post)

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence poses risks of misuse by hackers, researchers say
. Rapid advances in artificial intelligence are raising risks that malicious users will soon exploit the technology to mount automated hacking attacks, cause driverless car crashes or turn commercial drones into targeted weapons, a new report warns. (Reuters)
This computer uses light - not electricity - to train AI algorithms. William Andregg ushers me into the cluttered workshop of his startup Fathom Computing and gently lifts the lid from a bulky black box. (Wired)

When AI will start to disrupt health care. Artificial intelligence is all the rage in Silicon Valley, but it has so far not made much of a dent in health care. That's largely because the technology just isn't good enough yet, according to a report in VentureBeat. (Axios)

Good News: A.I. Is Getting Cheaper. That's Also Bad News. On Tuesday, a group of artificial intelligence researchers and policymakers from prominent labs and think tanks in both the United States and Britain released a report that described how rapidly evolving and increasingly affordable A.I. technologies could be used for malicious purposes. (New York Times)
Why We May Soon Be Living in Alexa's World. It is a measure of how thoroughly Amazon's voice assistant has wormed herself into our lives, and into much of the culture beyond, that I never considered unplugging her after the scream. (New York Times)
Why artificial intelligence researchers should be more paranoid. Life has gotten more convenient since 2012, when breakthroughs in machine learning triggered the ongoing frenzy of investment in artificial intelligence. (Wired)
Tech Politics

On Social Media, Lax Enforcement Lets Impostor Accounts Thrive. Millions of accounts impersonating real people roam social media platforms, promoting commercial products and celebrities, attacking political candidates and sowing discord. (New York Times)

GOP senator suggests we need fewer immigrants because robots are coming. Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) last week helped kill the bipartisan immigration deal in Congress. (Washington Post)

Coming soon: Another showdown over Dreamers in Congress. The Senate's protracted debate last week deadlocked with a predictable flurry of finger-pointing and insults. But the chamber will likely reprise the fight ahead of the next and presumably final deadline to avoid another government shutdown on March 23. (Politico)


AT&T demanded the Justice Department hand over documents that could show Trump's influence over the Time Warner deal. A judge said no. A federal judge has ruled against AT&T in its effort to force the Justice Department to reveal whether President Trump inappropriately interfered with a regulatory review of the telecom giant's $85 billion Time Warner merger. (Washington Post)

Public Sector

Army Research Lab RFI calls for IT modernization, cloud. The Army Research Lab is looking to industry for help modernizing its massive IT infrastructure. (Fed Scoop)


Just Over Half of Agencies Met a Web Encryption Security Deadline. Fifty-four percent of federal websites met the deadline for HTTPS encryption and other security upgrades. (Next Gov)

Sessions forms U.S. cyber task force after election warnings. U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Tuesday announced he would create a task force to examine how his Justice Department can better combat global cyber threats, including efforts to interfere with elections or damage critical infrastructure. (Reuters)
Operation Gladiator Shield targeting DoD's cyber terrain. Operation Gladiator Shield isn't some secret mission for a team of Navy Seals. Rather it's new order for DoD to get its cyber house in better order. (Federal News Radio)

FCC reversal of net neutrality rules expected to be published Thursday: sources. The U.S. Federal Communications Commission is expected to publish on Thursday its December order overturning the landmark Obama-era net neutrality rules, two sources briefed on the matter said Tuesday. (Reuters)
Vermont governor becomes 5th to issue net neutrality order. Gov. Phil Scott placed new requirements on companies doing business with state government. (State Scoop)

Internet of Things

Americans don't want self-driving cars. More than half of U.S. adults are uncomfortable with self-driving vehicle technology and would be unlikely to use it on a daily basis (though younger Americans are more positive). (Axios)

With $30B IT contract expiring, FBI issues RFI for cloud services. With its $30 billion IT contract set to expire this fall, the FBI is looking for industry input on a wide-ranging cloud computing solution to service the bureau. (Fed Scoop)
Agencies employ 'cloud' thinking to streamline mission. Government agencies collect data at record speeds these days - and it's not always a good thing. (Federal News Radio)

Why a Republican Plan for Paid Leave Has Stirred Concern About Social Security. Now some Republicans have a new idea: Let people collect Social Security benefits early to pay for time off after they have a baby. (New York Times)

Mandates, Not Market Prices, Likely to Keep U.S. Solar Growing. New tariffs on imported solar panels are expected to raise prices, but the impact will likely be blunted by local and state policies on renewable energy. (Wall Street Journal)

Trump Faces Pushback on Plan to Speed Environmental Permits. The Trump administration wants more authority from Congress to speed up environmental reviews that can delay infrastructure projects, but is it really using all the authority it already has? (Bloomberg)

ITI Member News

Qualcomm, Moving to Fend Off Broadcom, Raises Bid for NXP to $44 Billion. Qualcomm on Tuesday increased its takeover bid for rival chip maker NXP Semiconductors to about $44 billion in hopes of shoring up support for the deal, and to potentially fend off its own unwanted suitor, Broadcom. (New York Times)
Amazon credit card adds Whole Foods to 5 percent cash back offer. Inc on Tuesday extended its 5 percent cash back benefit for Prime service subscribers to shoppers at its newly acquired Whole Foods Market grocery chain. (Reuters)

Today on the Hill

The House is out of session and will not convene today.
The Senate is out of session and will not convene today.
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