January 31, 2020


Washington Post The Cybersecurity 202: DNC heads to Iowa to help protect caucuses from digital attacks and disinformation
The Democratic National Committee’s top cybersecurity and disinformation experts will head to Iowa to help protect the caucuses against digital attacks from Russia and other U.S. adversaries. The team will run a rapid response operation out of the Iowa Democratic Party’s main operations center in Des Moines on caucus night, the DNC’s chief technology officer Nellwyn Thomas said in an interview.


Politico Trump to sign USMCA, marking major tech victory
President Donald Trump today will sign the USMCA, which gives the tech industry big wins on liability protections and free flow of data across borders.

The Hill Lawmakers claim progress on online privacy bill
Key lawmakers maintained Tuesday that they are making progress in their efforts to put together the country’s first comprehensive online privacy bill after hitting several bumps in Congress late last year. At the tech-funded State of the Net conference in Washington, D.C., lawmakers on the relevant House and Senate committees signaled they are grappling with the same obstacles that resulted in Democrats and Republicans putting out separate versions of a privacy bill last year – but insisted they’re still dedicated to bipartisan negotiations.


GeekWire Microsoft launches $40M initiative to solve global health challenges with AI
Microsoft launched a major health research initiative Wednesday to address some of the medical world’s most confounding challenges using artificial intelligence. Microsoft will provide grants, data science experts, technology, and other resources to help partner organizations tackle health projects under the initiative.

TechCrunch Kidtech startup SuperAwesome raises $17M, with strategic investment from Microsoft’s M12 venture fund
Kidtech startup SuperAwesome has raised an additional $17 million in funding, which includes a new strategic investment from Microsoft’s venture fund, M12. Others participating in the round include existing investors Mayfair Equity, Hoxton Ventures and Ibis, along with other angels. To date, SuperAwesome has raised $37 million in outside investment.

Wired An AI Epidemiologist Sent the First Warnings of the Wuhan Virus
On January 9, the World Health Organization notified the public of a flu-like outbreak in China: a cluster of pneumonia cases had been reported in Wuhan, possibly from vendors’ exposure to live animals at the Huanan Seafood Market. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had gotten the word out a few days earlier, on January 6. But a Canadian health monitoring platform had beaten them both to the punch, sending word of the outbreak to its customers on December 31.

Washington Post Facebook will now show you exactly how it stalks you — even when you’re not using Facebook
Ever suspect the Facebook app is listening to you? What we now know is even creepier. Facebook is giving us a new way to glimpse just how much it knows about us: On Tuesday, the social network made a long-delayed “Off-Facebook Activity” tracker available to its 2 billion members. It shows Facebook and sister apps Instagram and Messenger don’t need a microphone to target you with those eerily specific ads and posts — they’re all up in your business countless other ways.

Cornell Chronicle Cornell Tech women in tech program goes national
Cornell Tech’s Women in Technology & Entrepreneurship in New York (WiTNY), a partnership including the City University of New York that has increased representation of women in computing, will expand nationally with support from Pivotal Ventures, Cognizant U.S. Foundation and Verizon.

Fast Company Melinda Gates’s Pivotal Ventures has a plan to help women gain more power in tech
Back in October, Melinda Gates pledged to invest $1 billion toward a rather squishy goal: to boost the “power and influence” of women in the United States. Today Pivotal Ventures, Gates’s investment and incubation company, in partnership with Break Through Tech (formerly WiTNY, founded at Cornell Tech) and SecondMuse, are launching a new initiative called Gender Equality in Tech (GET) Cities that aims to boost female representation and leadership in tech.

The Guardian Watchdog cracks down on tech firms that fail to protect children
Technology companies will be required to assess their sites for sexual abuse risks, prevent self-harm and pro-suicide content, and block children from broadcasting their location, after the publication of new rules for “age-appropriate design” in the sector.


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