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04/20/2015

Key Issues

Tech Business

The FTC wants to talk about the ‘sharing economy’. The Internet and mobile apps have made it easier than ever to convert underused assets into extra cash via the so-called "sharing economy." And tech companies that provide the infrastructure for these markets including Airbnb and Uber have expanded dramatically in recent years. (Washington Post)

Global Trade

How Ron Wyden became the scourge of the left on trade. Ron Wyden has long aspired to be a major Senate dealmaker, but one of his biggest breakthroughs to date — negotiating a landmark trade bill — has put him at odds with his Senate leader and Democratic friends. (Politico Pro)

Ways & Means To Hold April 22 TPA Hearing; Levin Blasts New Bill. The House Ways & Means Committee will hold an April 22 hearing on the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) bill introduced on April 16 by Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI), according to Ranking Member Sander Levin (D-MI) and Brendan Buck, a Ryan spokesman. (World Trade Online) 

Week ahead: Obama’s trade agenda to face crucial test. House and Senate committees are expected to take up legislation this week that would give President Obama more power in negotiating trade deals. (The Hill) 

Net Neutrality

Shots fired in new Web war. The war over net neutrality is about to see its fiercest fighting yet. (The Hill) 

Privacy

This week in tech: On the lookout for Patriot Act reforms. Lawmakers this week are expected to unveil new legislation to rein in some government snooping while extending some expiring provisions of the Patriot Act. (The Hill)

Cybersecurity

Raytheon to Plow $1.7 Billion Into New Cyber Venture. Raytheon Co. is betting it can leverage the cybersecurity skills it honed for the U.S. military and intelligence agencies to sell to banks and retailers, investing almost $1.7 billion to establish a stand-alone business in an area where its defense peers have struggled to make money. (WSJ)

Upton: House vote on data-breach bill delayed due to unresolved issues. House Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) acknowledged Friday that unresolved issues with his panel's data security and breach-notification bill would prevent the measure from getting a vote on the House floor next week. (Inside Cybersecurity) 

Workforce

How to solve Silicon Valley's diversity challenges? Google has ideas. Google says it knows Silicon Valley needs to do a better job of employing women and minorities. One company program hopes to solve the problem by looking to historically black colleges. (CNET) 

Environment and Sustainability

Microwaves and dishwashers dominate e-waste mountain. Old kitchen, bathroom and laundry equipment made up 60% of the 41.8 million tonnes of electronic waste thrown away in 2014, suggests a report. (BBC)

Solar Power Battle Puts Hawaii at Forefront of Worldwide Changes. Allan Akamine has looked all around the winding, palm tree-lined cul-de-sacs of his suburban neighborhood in Mililani here on Oahu and, with an equal mix of frustration and bemusement, seen roof after roof bearing solar panels. (NY Times) 

Public Sector

DOE Deputy CIO Don Adcock departs for private sector. Adcock, who recently served as acting CIO for Energy, had been serving in the federal government since 2001. (FedScoop) 

GSA's proposed pricing data rule questioned. A rule proposed by the General Services Administration to gather pricing data from contractors is part of the agency's effort to boost contract efficiencies and agencies' buying power. (FCW)

What program management really means. If there’s a poster child for the importance of program management, it’s probably HealthCare.gov. (FCW) 

Innovation

Honoring technology’s power couple: Moore’s Law and the network effect. Sunday marks the 50th anniversary of Moore’s Law, which I believe to be one of the most important business theorems of the last century. Realized by Intel co-founder Gordon Moore, Moore’s Law ultimately became a golden “rule” in the technology industry that has shaped how we think about the pace of innovation today. (Washington Post) 

Social Media Can Help Track Tornadoes, But Was That Tweet Real? Last week, as a big storm bore down on Rockford, Ill., students in a Purdue University classroom prepared to track its effects using Twitter. (NPR) 

Technology That Prods You to Take Action, Not Just Collect Data. Ms. Schüll, a cultural anthropologist, studies the relationship between people and technology. (NY Times) 

Mobility

FCC Frees Up Spectrum for Low-Cost Wireless Hubs. U.S. regulators approved a plan Friday to unlock a large swath of airwaves that could be used to set up cheap, new wireless networks. (WSJ)

ITI Member News

Europe’s Tough Case Against Google. The charge in the European Commission’s antitrust complaint against Google may be relatively easy to explain — the company tried to steer people to its own comparison-shopping service. But it won’t be easy to show that Google’s tactic actually hurt its rivals — or hurt consumers by limiting their choices. (NY Times Editorial) 

IBM Project in China Raises U.S. Concern. Shen Changxiang, who once supervised the cybersecurity of China’s strategic missile arsenal and spearheaded computer security research for the navy, has warned of the perils of his country’s reliance on American technology. (NY Times)

Samsung, Apple top smartphone makers in Q1. Samsung and Apple remained the top sellers of smartphones for the first quarter of the year, while LG stepped up to take fourth place behind Huawei. (ZDNet)

Twitter user data handling turns Irish, unless you're American. Beginning next month, Twitter intends to have its user data covered by Irish privacy and data-protections laws unless users reside in the United States, in which case they will continue to be covered by US law. (ZDNet)

1600 Penn.

In the morning, President Obama and Vice President Biden will meet with Secretary of State Kerry in the Oval Office. In the afternoon, the president will host Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan of the United Arab Emirates for a working lunch at the White House to consult on regional and bilateral issues. Later in the afternoon, the president will welcome the Ohio State University Buckeyes football team to honor the team on winning the first ever College Football Playoff National Championship. Afterward, the president and the vice president will meet with Secretary of the Treasury Lew in the Oval Office.

Today on the Hill

The House will meet at 2 p.m. in pro forma session. No votes are expected.

The Senate will meet at 2 p.m. and resume consideration of S.178, Justice for Victims of Human Trafficking. At 5 p.m., the Senate will enter Executive Session to consider George C. Hanks, Jr., of Texas, to be U.S. District Judge for the Southern District of Texas, followed by a vote on confirmation of the nomination.