Executive Briefing May 18

This week we’re highlighting the latest episode of the podcast Ultimate Guide to Partnering. In Episode #49: A Cloud for Global Good, host Vince Menzione interviews Owen Larter, Microsoft’s Senior Manager for Global Government Affairs, on A Cloud for Global Good, a framework developed by Microsoft that outlines a series of initiatives and recommendations around a trusted, responsible, and inclusive cloud. I hope you’ll give it a listen.

Below, please find our weekly roundup of technology policy news.


Washington Post Senate approves bipartisan resolution to restore FCC net neutrality rules

The Senate approved a resolution Wednesday that aims to undo a sweeping act of deregulation undertaken last year by the Federal Communications Commission, issuing a rebuke to the Trump administration, which supported the FCC’s move.

San Francisco Chronicle House committee seeks input from tech CEOs

After several mishaps, breaches and communications failures, many tech giants are now coming to grips with the awesome responsibility that must accompany the unparalleled power they wield. The eyes of the world turn to Silicon Valley as consumers ask tough questions about how their personal data are used online. However, we’ve only scratched the surface, and it’s clear the questions surrounding online consumer protection and data privacy go well beyond Facebook.


Bloomberg Microsoft Pitches Greener Cloud to Lure Customers From Traditional Computing
Ahead of an appearance Thursday by President and Chief Legal Officer Brad Smith at Bloomberg’s Sustainable Business Summit in Seattle, Microsoft released a study finding that Microsoft Cloud services are up to 93% more energy efficient and 98% more carbon efficient than traditional data centers. Read more at Microsoft On The Issues.

MarketWatch Microsoft could be a $1 trillion company in a year, Morgan Stanley says

Citing Microsoft’s Azure cloud-computing division as a catalyst, Morgan Stanley analysts best-case scenario for the next 12 months puts Microsoft at a $1 trillion valuation.

Journal Sentinel Grants expand Microsoft computer classes at Milwaukee high schools

Under grants from Microsoft Philanthropies, more Milwaukee-area high school students have the opportunity to learn computer coding. The recently announced program will help area schools create and grow computer science classes through partnerships between teachers and technology industry volunteers.

Green Bay Press Gazette Faster internet on way to rural areas in Wisconsin, Packerland exec says

Packerland, a Wisconsin broadband internet provider, is launching an ambitious new project using TV White Space technology to bring high-speed internet to the communities it serves in Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula. Almost 34,000 people are expected to receive the service by the end of 2019, and about 82,000 by 2022.

Dataweek TV white space regulations welcomed

The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa recently published its regulations on the use of Television White Space in the country. The Dynamic Spectrum Alliance hailed the release as a step forward for South Africa in enabling affordable broadband access. Kalpak Gude, president of the Dynamic Spectrum Alliance, highlighted accessibility and affordability as two major challenges that South Africa faces in the struggle to bring high speed Internet access to citizens.

The Viodi View Microsoft requests FCC to use TV White Spaces for Restoration of wireless communications in Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands

Last week Microsoft asked the FCC for Special Temporary Authority to use TV white spaces (TVWS) to restore communications in areas of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands affected by hurricanes Irma and Maria. “TV white spaces is an ideal technology for connecting communities in Puerto Rico that currently lack sufficient communications capabilities in the wake of these natural disasters,” Microsoft told the FCC in its application.

CNBC Apple, Intel and these other US tech companies have the most at stake in China-US trade fight

The Chinese market accounted for $9 billion of Microsoft’s revenue last year, putting it fifth in the list behind Apple, Intel, Qualcomm, and Broadcom. But unlike these other firms, that accounted for just 10% of total revenue.

ZDNet Cyber Crime: Under-reporting of attacks gives hackers a green light, say police
Organizations which don’t report that they’ve been the victim of cybercrime are putting others at risk of further attacks and are hampering the authorities’ ability to fight against hackers, the UK’s serious and organized crime unit recently warned as part of their National Strategic Assessment of Serious and Organized Crime 2018. Even when cybercrime is reported, the police may find themselves unable to convict the perpetrators, because those that do report may on occasion not be prepared to support prosecution, hampering the ability of law enforcement to act.

BBC News Facebook privacy: MEPs to press Zuckerberg

Facebook has confirmed its chief executive will meet leading members of the European Parliament to discuss privacy concerns behind closed doors in Brussels during a meeting of the Conference of Presidents attended by leaders of the various political groups, possibly as soon as next week.

CNBC Google is being investigated in Australia over alleged collection of user data

Google is under investigation in Australia following claims that it collects data from millions of Android smartphones users, who unwittingly pay their telecom service providers for gigabytes consumed during the harvesting, regulators said on Tuesday. Responding to the latest privacy concerns surrounding Google, a spokesman for the U.S. based search engine operator said the company has users’ permission to collect data.

Digital Trends Another Facebook privacy scandal — three million users’ data exposed by quiz

Facebook is once again at the center of a scandal over data mining on its platform after it was discovered that another personality quiz hosted on the social network harvested the personal information of some three million people. The data was only supposed to be accessible through an approved research platform but has since been discovered on a website with little to no protection.

The Atlantic Should the U.S. Break Up Amazon?

As Amazon approaches a trillion-dollar valuation, critics call it the modern incarnation of a railroad monopoly, a logistics behemoth using its scale to destroy competition.