Tech Brief: Week in Review & What’s Ahead

Week in Review

Net Neutrality Day of Action

  • Hundreds of companies joined forces July 12 for the net neutrality “Day of Action” to share pro-net neutrality messages and home page banners voicing support for the current Federal Communications Commission rule protecting websites from what they call potential unfair treatment by internet service providers.
  • Despite supporting efforts to role back net neutrality rules, AT&T Inc. participated in the protest. A company executive said that the wireless provider joined the event because it wanted to show its support for “preserving and advancing an open internet.”
  • A public opinion poll conducted by Freedman Consulting, LLC found that 77 percent of those surveyed support the FCC’s current net neutrality protections, with the rule strongly favored by Republicans, Democrats and independents alike.

New Chinese regulations force concessions, questions from tech and industry

  • Apple Inc. opened its first data center in China to comply with new digital security rules — approved last month — requiring companies to store Chinese users’ information in the country.
  • Global automakers and industry groups are urging China to delay and soften a new policy that includes the ambitious goal of making hybrid and electric cars at least a fifth of the country’s vehicle sales by 2025, a plan industry groups said “is not possible to meet.”

U.S. stepping up response to cybersecurity threats

  • Trump also announced on Twitter that he and Putin discussed forming a cybersecurity unit to address future hacking concerns, but the idea was quickly criticized by lawmakers and Trump later said he did not think the partnership could happen.

What’s Ahead

  • The Federal Communications Commission announced that it will hold its next monthly open commission meeting on August 3, where the members plan to discuss efforts to bridge the digital divide in rural broadband access.
  • The House Energy and Commerce Committee plans to hold a formal hearing on a package of 14 bills regarding self-driving vehicles. A hearing on draft legislation was held several weeks ago, and the committee plans to schedule the next hearing before the end of the month.
  • House lawmakers continue to work on finalizing their version of the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act, which now includes amendments improving cybersecurity at the Pentagon, creating a stronger cybersecurity workforce and enhancing cybersecurity training.

Events Calendar (All Times Local)

Monday
NG911 Institute lunch event on next-generation 911, IoT and smart cities 12 p.m.
Tuesday
NTIA virtual meeting in multi-stakeholder process on IoT security 2 p.m.
Wednesday
Senate Commerce Committee FCC confirmation hearing 10 a.m.
House Science Committee hearing on technology and energy innovation 10 a.m.
NTIA BroadbandUSA webinar 2 p.m.
FCC local number portability administrator transition webinar 3 p.m.
Thursday
Senate Internet subcommittee hearing on updating FirstNet 10 a.m.
Friday
No events scheduled.

 

Morning Consult Tech Top Reads

1) AT&T is joining a pro net neutrality rally even as it fights to kill current net neutrality rules
Tony Romm, Recode

2) Trump minimizes hacking allegations and seeks to ‘move forward’ with Russia
Philip Rucker, The Washington Post

3) FBI nominee stresses cyber and spy powers
Sean D. Carberry, FCW

4) House votes to require Pentagon to report Russian cyberattacks
Morgan Chalfant, The Hill

5) Verizon data of 6 million users leaked online
Selena Larson, CNN

6) Microsoft’s Rural Broadband Solution: TV ‘White Space’
Jay Greene, The Wall Street Journal

7) Paying Professors: Inside Google’s Academic Influence Campaign
Brody Mullins and Jack Nicas, The Wall Street Journal

8) See How Tech Companies Got Together for a Day of Online Protest
Cecilia Kang, The New York Times

9) 2 Years After Massive Breach, OPM Isn’t Sufficiently Vetting It Systems
Joseph Marks, Nextgov

10) Two-Factor Authentication Is a Mess
Russell Brandom, The Verge

Briefings

Tech Brief: Foxconn to Build $10 Billion Factory in Wisconsin

President Donald Trump announced that Foxconn Technology Group will build a $10 billion factory in Wisconsin that’s expected to create 3,000 initial jobs. The factory is the largest economic development project in state history, and Trump indicated the commitment was a direct result of him winning the state’s electoral votes during the 2016 presidential election.

Tech Brief: IT Upgrade Gets No Funding in House Appropriations

Despite a renewed effort in Congress and by the Trump administration to modernize the federal government’s IT infrastructure, House appropriations bills headed to the floor this week don’t include any funding for a bill to upgrade government technology. The bills instead acknowledge the importance of these efforts, leading to some concerns about Congress’ commitment to financially supporting a larger modernization push.

Tech Brief: FCC Reauthorization Could Nix 1975 Media Rule

House Republican lawmakers are attempting to end the ban on media cross-ownership as part of their draft legislation for reauthorizing the Federal Communications Commission, according to a GOP memo circulating in advance of a scheduled Tuesday oversight hearing. The 1975 rule prevents TV and radio stations from owning daily newspapers in the same media market.

Tech Brief: White House Supports FCC’s Net Neutrality Repeal

The White House weighed in on the net neutrality debate, with deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders issuing a statement in support of Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai’s plan to roll back rules instituted by the 2015 Open Internet Order. President Donald Trump stopped short of filing comments with the FCC on the matter, but Sanders said that the issue should be resolved through congressional legislation.

Tech Brief: Internet Association Asks FCC to Keep Net Neutrality

The Internet Association, a group that represents major tech companies including Alphabet Inc. and Facebook Inc., is officially calling on the Federal Communications Commission to keep net neutrality rules in place. In comments filed with the agency, the Internet Association noted that a net neutrality repeal could cause damage to the markets and limit innovation.

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