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Tech News Roundup - 02/27/2018

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Key Issues

Global Trade

Trump tilts toward hard-liners ahead of key trade decisions. President Trump appears to be tilting toward hard-line trade advisers as he weighs imposing new tariffs on an array of imported goods - defying warnings from fellow Republicans and risking large costs to the U.S. economy. (Washington Post)
The real game Trump is playing on NAFTA. As the United States, Canada and Mexico head into the seventh round of the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement, there is a question increasingly looming over the talks: Why hasn't President Donald Trump pulled the plug already? (Politico Magazine)
Tech Politics

Online sex trafficking bill clears House rules panel. A sex trafficking bill that has divided the tech industry was cleared by the House Rules Committee on Monday, setting it up for a Tuesday floor vote. (The Hill)
Facebook's Sandberg backs controversial online sex trafficking bill. Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook's chief operating officer, voiced her support on Monday for controversial legislation aimed at cracking down on sex trafficking on internet platforms. (The Hill)

EU plans new tax for tech giants up to 5 percent of gross revenues. The European Commission wants to tax large digital companies' revenues based on where their users are located rather than where they are headquartered at a common rate between 1 and 5 percent, a draft Commission document showed. (Reuters)


Supreme Court Turns Down Trump's Appeal in 'Dreamers' Case. The Supreme Court on Monday declined an unusual White House request that it immediately decide whether the Trump administration can shut down a program that shields some 700,000 young undocumented immigrants from deportation. (New York Times)

Congress loses key immigration deal ingredient: A deadline. The already-dwindling political urgency for Congress to reach an immigration deal all but collapsed Monday when the Supreme Court took a pass on the issue. (Politico Pro)
Artificial Intelligence

Gallup poll: Americans split on universal basic income for workers displaced by AI. The American public is split on the prospect of giving a universal basic income to Americans who lose their jobs to artificial intelligence, according to a new poll. (The Hill)
Kratsios: Let's Not Rest on Our Laurels. Speaking at The New York Times's New Work Summit, Deputy U.S. Chief Technology Officer Michael Kratsios said the U.S. is still leading China in artificial intelligence, but needs to keep pushing ahead. (New York Times)
The AI-optimist for president. Rep. John Delaney, a Maryland Democrat and 2020 presidential candidate, sees the dawn of artificial intelligence as a net positive - as long as the government is prepared for it. "The cost of doing nothing is not nothing," he told Axios. "You pay a huge price if you fail to act around change." (Axios)

Chinese capital dangles carrots to lure foreign talent to its Silicon Valley.Beijing, a major hub for artificial intelligence (AI) and semiconductors in China, is touting a new list of incentives to try and bait foreign talent for its equivalent of Silicon Valley in the Chinese capital. (Reuters)
Inside the Alexa Prize. Amazon is in a pitched battle with its rivals to bring truly conversational AI into our homes. (Wired)

Public Sector

Report: Effective Government Outreach Requires Social Media. The role of social media in citizen-government interactions has steadily increased in recent years as the public becomes more reliant on the medium for real-time information. (Gov Tech)

Coast Guard Needs Fresh IT, People to Keep Networks Secure. The service's head of Cyber Command outlines his strategy for updating old systems and getting personnel to rethink cybersecurity. (Next Gov)

SCOTUS torn (again) between law enforcement, digital privacy. The Supreme Court on Tuesday will once again find itself wrestling with the balance between digital privacy and law enforcement - an uncomfortable yet increasingly common challenge for the justices. (Axios)

Microsoft's Supreme Court Case has Big Implications for Data. Five years ago, US law enforcement served Microsoft a search warrant for emails as part of a US drug trafficking investigation. (Wired)

Facebook Can't Avoid Privacy Suit Over Biometric Face Prints. Facebook Inc. failed again to get out of a lawsuit alleging its photo scanning technology flouts users' privacy rights. (Bloomberg)

FTC's Data-Speed Lawsuit Against AT&T Can Proceed, Appeals Court Says. Ruling removes hurdle to internet enforcement by Federal Trade Commission. (Wall Street Journal)
FCC Chief Calls for 5G Auctions to Kickstart Development. Ajit Pai backs quick steps to develop a market-based approach for the next-generation wireless service. (Wall Street Journal)
Bipartisan bill aims to prove the value of broadband access for all. By the White House's own admission, inadequate broadband access "stunts economic growth and prevents many rural Americans from engaging in the modern economy." (Wired)
Facebook Continues Its Rural Broadband Quest. The massive company is reaching out for help to do it. (Next Gov)
U.S. Wireless Carriers Plan to Launch 5G With 'Pucks' Not Phones. AT&T Inc. and Verizon Communications Inc., conceding that phones won't be available in time for the launch of fifth-generation mobile service this year, plan instead to offer 5G through portable hotspots called pucks. (Bloomberg)
Internet of Things

California Scraps Safety Driver Rules for Self-Driving Cars. The state's Department of Motor Vehicles said Monday that it was eliminating a requirement for autonomous vehicles to have a person in the driver's seat to take over in the event of an emergency. The new rule goes into effect on April 2. (New York Times)

Cyber ranges are bolstering the workforce in these six states. States and their university systems are building virtual environments for future IT security workers to hone their skills. (State Scoop)


Interior Dept. panel weighs lower royalty payments for offshore oil and gas drilling. An Interior Department advisory panel is considering whether the federal government should sharply cut the royalty rate that oil and gas firms pay for deepwater drilling while expediting energy development on federal land in Alaska and elsewhere. (Washington Post)


What Land Will Be Underwater in 20 Years? Figuring It Out Could Be Lucrative. In Charleston, S.C., where the ports have been expanding to accommodate larger ships sailing through the newly widened Panama Canal, a real-estate developer named Xebec Realty recently went looking for land to build new warehouses and logistics centers. (New York Times)

Tech Business
Qualcomm Warms to Broadcom Bid, but Price Is Sticking Point. The two companies have made progress on many fronts, but are still split on a price. (Wall Street Journal)
Exclusive: Secretive U.S. security panel discussing Broadcom's Qualcomm bid - sources. A national security panel that can stop mergers that could harm U.S. security has begun looking at Singapore-based chipmaker Broadcom Ltd's plan to take over rival Qualcomm Inc, according to three sources familiar with the matter. (Reuters)
Apple shares on verge of record high after Buffett comments. Shares of Apple rose 2 percent on Monday and were on the verge of a record high after billionaire Warren Buffett talked up his company's stake in the iPhone maker. (Reuters)
Apple Plans Giant High-End iPhone, Lower-Priced Model. Apple Inc. is preparing to release a trio of new smartphones later this year: the largest iPhone ever, an upgraded handset the same size as the current iPhone X and a less expensive model with some of the flagship phone's key features. (Bloomberg)

ITI Member News

How Companies Scour Our Digital Lives for Clues to Our Health. An emerging field, digital phenotyping, tries to assess people's well-being based on their interactions with digital devices. (New York Times)
The Amazon headquarters search mystery has been solved! Or has it?.'s search for a site for its second headquarters is now playing out mostly behind closed doors, as officials from 20 finalist locations provide the company with additional materials. (Washington Post)
German prosecutors say won't investigate Facebook over hate postings. German prosecutors said on Monday they would not open a formal investigation of Mark Zuckerberg and other Facebook managers in connection with a complaint alleging the company broke national laws against hate speech and sedition. (Reuters)
Facebook settles lawsuit over 2012 IPO for $35 million. Facebook Inc and Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg have reached a $35 million settlement of class-action litigation accusing them of hiding worries about the social media company's growth prior to its May 2012 initial public offering. (Reuters)

SAP launches Leonardo for telcos, adds partners to connected cars network. SAP made two announcements at Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2018 in Barcelona overnight, launching a Leonardo accelerator package for telecommunications providers and adding to its SAP Vehicles Network. (ZDNet)

The case for Google. Last week's New York Times Magazine cover story, The Case Against Google, made the bold but not-so-uncommon claim that the government should step in with antitrust action against the search juggernaut. (Axios)

Today on the Hill

The House will meet at 10:00 a.m. for morning hour and 11:00 a.m. for legislative business. First votes expected: 1:15 p.m. - 2:15 p.m. Last votes expected: 5:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.
The Senate will convene at 10:00 a.m. and proceed to executive session to resume consideration of the nomination of Elizabeth Branch, of Georgia, to be U.S. Circuit Judge for the Eleventh Circuit.
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