Executive Briefing November 15, 2019

GeekWire AI Rising: How companies, police and the public are already grappling with artificial intelligence
On this episode of the GeekWire Podcast, Microsoft CEO Brad Smith discusses AI and its implications for business, technology and society, recorded at the recent GeekWire Summit in Seattle.


International Business Times 5.4 Billion Fake Facebook Accounts Shut Down To Prepare For US Election 2020
Social media giant Facebook has shut down 5.4 billion fake accounts so far in 2019, but millions remain. This was revealed by the social networking media on Wednesday saying the drive has been impressive as it exceeded the 3.3 billion fake accounts removed in the whole of 2018. The exercise gained momentum ahead of the U.S presidential elections.


GeekWire Supreme Court hears Microsoft case challenging Trump’s decision to terminate DACA
Nineteen Microsoft employees traveled to the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday for a hearing in a critical immigration case that will decide their future. The court heard oral arguments in a case brought by Microsoft and other plaintiffs challenging President Donald Trump’s 2017 decision to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

The Hill Senators introduce bipartisan bill restricting facial recognition tech for law enforcement
Sens. Christopher Coons (D-Del.) and Mike Lee (R-Utah) introduced a bipartisan bill Tuesday requiring law enforcement to obtain court orders to use facial recognition technology for surveillance. The Facial Recognition Technology Warrant Act would limit surveillance warrants to 30 days and set rules to minimize the collection of information about individuals outside of the warrant’s scope.

Forbes Congress Cuts Blockchain Technology Survey Out Of Export Finance Agency Act Of 2019
The issue of blockchain technology has been fairly nonpartisan on Capitol Hill – until recently. The importance of determining policy on cryptocurrency in the House Financial Services Committee became high when Facebook’s Project Libra appeared to threaten the power of the U.S. dollar.

The Hill Retirements pose threat to cybersecurity expertise in Congress
Rep. Pete King’s (R-N.Y.) planned retirement after the 2020 elections is the latest in a string of House departures that look likely to deal a blow to Republican cybersecurity expertise on Capitol Hill. King said on Monday he would not seek reelection after 14 terms in the House, including serving previously as chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee and as a member of the House Intelligence Committee.


Reuters Exclusive: U.S. manufacturing group hacked by China as trade talks intensified – sources
As trade talks between Washington and Beijing intensified earlier this year, suspected Chinese hackers broke into an industry group for U.S. manufacturers that has helped shape President Donald Trump’s trade policies, according to two people familiar with the matter.

The Washington Post The Cybersecurity 202: Arrested Iowa hackers spark alarm among security pros
Shockwaves are rippling through the cybersecurity community after researchers hired to test the digital and physical defenses of Iowa county courthouses ended up facing criminal charges instead. The researchers from Coalfire were arrested Sept. 9 after tripping an alarm at a Dallas County, Iowa courthouse in what seemed at first like an honest case of confusion.

CNBC Ahead of the 2020 election, this Israeli start-up is using military-grade tech to fight fake news
Fake news is big business. Ad tech companies, like a start-up called Cheq, are trying to make it a less lucrative enterprise. Cheq is led by Guy Tytunovich, a former member of the Israeli Defense Force’s 8200 unit that deals with military cybersecurity. Relying on some of the cybersecurity and natural-language processing knowledge he picked up in his past life, the CEO wants to prevent advertisers from appearing on certain harmful content, like fake news.

ZD Net Microsoft to apply California’s privacy law for all US users
In a surprising announcement, Microsoft said in a blog post today that it would apply California’s upcoming strict privacy legislation to all its US users, and not just Californians. The California Consumer Privacy Act, or CCPA, is currently set to go into effect on January 1, 2020. The upcoming law is considered one of the most restrictive privacy legislations in the world.

The Wall Street Journal The People Left Behind in a Broadband World [paywall]
Photo essay and accompanying article that highlights southeastern Ohioans impacted by the broadband gap. The piece features first-hand accounts from farmers, students and small business owners on the wrong side of the digital divide.

The Verge The USPTO wants to know if artificial intelligence can own the content it creates
The US office responsible for patents and trademarks is trying to figure out how AI might call for changes to copyright law, and it’s asking the public for opinions on the topic. The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) published a notice in the Federal Register last month saying it’s seeking comments, as spotted by TorrentFreak.

KHQ FCC approves $11.5 million in funding for rural broadband in Idaho Panhandle
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has authorized over $11.5 million in funding over the next decade to expand broadband to thousands of unserved homes and businesses in rural parts of the Inland Northwest.The funding comes from the Connect America Fund. The provider, Intermax Networks, will begin receiving funds later this month.

Vice Congress Fears FCC Will Not Investigate Sale of Phone Location Data Before Time Runs Out
On Friday, 11 democratic members of a congressional committee focused on telecoms urged FCC Chairman Ajit Pai to update them on the Commission’s investigation into how phone carriers sold the real-time location data of their customers. The members noted they have “growing concern” the FCC is failing to enforce laws designed to protect consumer privacy.

GreenBiz How technology can help transform the fishing industry
Global fisheries face two major challenges: climate change, which results in fish stocks moving away from historical grounds; and feeding millions of people a healthy source of protein in a sustainable way.

The Daily Swing Paris Call, one year on: Assessing the impact of global cybersecurity declaration
One year on from the launch of the Paris Call for Trust and Security in Cyberspace, the number of signatories has nearly tripled – but the declaration still has notable omissions, including the US government. Unveiled by French President Emmanuel Macron last November, the Paris Call sets out a series of common principles for securing cyberspace, such as making digital products more secure, strengthening collective defenses against cybercrime, and encouraging international cybersecurity cooperation.


The Brookings Institution

Blog on Social Media and Democracy

Speaking recently at Georgetown University, Mark Zuckerberg told an audience “I’ve focused on building services to do two things: give people voice, and bring people together.” He later said “More people being able to share their perspectives has always been necessary to build a more inclusive society.” The speech anointed Facebook as the “Fifth Estate” in which “people no longer have to rely on traditional gatekeepers in politics or media to make their voices heard.” The problem is that the platform Zuckerberg created does more than “give people voice, and bring people together.” It is economically incentivized to drive people apart. In the process it shatters an underpinning of democracy. (TechTank Blog – Can social media ‘targetcasting’ and democracy coexist?, November 13, 2019)

The American Enterprise Institute

Blog on AI and Jobs

Pethokoukis: So what is the alternative for the 55 year old person who’s automated out of a job? Do we just say, “Well, guess what? You have no right for the rest of your life to a $90,000 a year job. Maybe you only have a right to a $55,000 a year job. That’s just the way it is — maybe we’ll give you some wage insurance.” Is that really the only option? Because it doesn’t sound like he’s going to become a software coder.Frey; No, I think that’s right. But I think there are certain things that can be done, at least, to reduce the barriers between jobs and geographies. (AEIdeas Blog – What if an older person loses their good-paying job to a robot? Then what?, November 13, 2019)


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