technology

Lawmakers Concerned About Trump’s Pledge to Save China’s ZTE
Schumer claims U.S. president’s help would ‘make China great again’

A ZTE-made mobile device. Trump says he will help the Chinese firm avoid collapse. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Members from both parties reacted skeptically Monday to President Donald Trump’s intention to help troubled Chinese telecommunications company ZTE, saying they were concerned he was reversing his pledge to get tough on Beijing.

Trump campaigned, in part, on altering the United States’ trading relationships with the rest of the world, taking a particularly hard line against China and its practices. In 2011, he went so far as to say “China is raping this country.” So a Sunday tweet by the president raised eyebrows when he announced an effort with Chinese President Xi Jinping to “give massive Chinese phone company, ZTE, a way to get back into business, fast.”

Opinion: From the Vatican, a Challenge to Bring Promise to Patients
Conference urges support for innovations in science and medicine in a collaborative, safe and ethical manner

The Pontifical Council for Culture and the Cura Foundation hosted the “Unite to Cure” conference at the Vatican last month. (Courtesy the Cura Foundation/Unite To Cure: Fourth International Vatican Conference)

The power of medical research is rapidly moving from the lab to the patient.

Since the 21st Century Cures Act was passed in 2016, we’ve seen exponential progress in personalized, data-driven medicine and regenerative and gene therapies that will help prevent and treat disease, and even cure patients. Swift advances in science hold great promise for patients in need. At the same time, we must maintain our national standards for safety and ethical responsibility.

Opinion: America Needs to Recommit to Investing in Science
The recent omnibus spending package is a good first step

A research technician at the New York Genome Center in 2013. Reviving federal investment in scientific research is crucial given the high costs associated with new technologies, Stockwell writes. (Andrew Burton/Getty Images file photo)

When it comes to science, the United States is getting its lunch handed to it by countries such as China, which not only invests more dollars into scientific research and development but also produces more undergraduate science and engineering majors than we do stateside.

The National Science Foundation’s Science & Engineering Indicators recently warned that U.S. dominance in scientific advancement is under serious threat. This warning was reaffirmed by the 2018 Bloomberg Innovation Index, in which the U.S. did not even rank among the top ten most innovative countries in the world anymore.

Blackburn, Himes Spar Over Diamond and Silk, Social Media at Judiciary Hearing
Democrats criticize Republicans for pushing ‘hoax’ of anti-conservative bias in social media filtering algorithms

Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., testified before the House Judiciary Committee about censorship on social media platforms. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Reps. Marsha Blackburn and Jim Himes could not be farther away from each other on the issue of social media content algorithms.

Blackburn, a Tennessee Republican running for Senate this November, testified Thursday in front of the House Judiciary Committee that today’s social media titans — Facebook, Google, and Twitter — all deploy algorithms that appear to filter out conservative voices, hurting pro-Donald Trump content creators like the popular YouTubers Diamond and Silk (who also testified on Capitol Hill Thursday).

Khanna Writing Internet Bill of Rights
Comes after news that Facebook allowed political consulting firm to harvest users’ data

Rep. Ro Khanna, D-Calif., has been tapped to write an “Internet Bill of Rights” by Democratic leadership. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

California Rep. Ro Khanna has been tapped by Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to write legislation defining Internet users’ rights to their data.

In an interview with the San Jose Mercury News, Khanna said he was frustrated after Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s hearings on Capitol Hill showed many members did not understand basic concepts about the internet.

Fearing New Government Rules, Tech Titans Promise Security Vigilance
Lawmakers also may be likely to push for new legislation

Cutouts of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg stand on the East Lawn of the Capitol ahead of his testimony on the Hill on April 10. The tech industry increasingly is questioning its security practices. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

SAN FRANCISCO — New European privacy rules, the spotlight on Facebook’s role in the 2016 elections, and the potential that cyberattacks targeting devices could harm consumers in their homes are propelling the tech industry to question its security practices and prompting top executives to promise to make amends.

During five days at the annual RSA Conference last week in San Francisco, top executives from the world’s largest technology companies, including Google, Microsoft, IBM, CISCO, McAfee and Symantec, said they took the scrutiny seriously and would not only step up to make their own devices and software safer but also work with thousands of vendors worldwide urging them to do the same.

Opinion: Virtually Safe? Not Until We Root Out Online Terrorism
As lawmakers grill tech CEOs on data, extremists still have their virtual safe havens

A policeman stands guard in Times Square not far from the site of a pipe bomb explosion on Dec. 11. Virtual safe havens make it harder to counter terrorism, Misztal and Michek write. (John Moore/Getty Images file photo)

The bomber who shut down Times Square last December reportedly found instructions online and read Inspire, al-Qaida’s digital magazine. One of the men who opened fire on a free-speech event three years ago in Texas had been in contact with terrorists abroad using Twitter and Surespot, an encrypted messaging application.

Terrorist groups are thriving online — recruiting followers, disseminating propaganda, planning attacks. While lawmakers are looking at the dangers that lurk on the internet, from Russian interference to Facebook data scrapes, they should be paying more attention to countering terrorism in the digital realm.

Analysis: For Trump, Wins and Losses During Abe Summit
‘The body language on trade was just really startling,’ expert says

President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at a news conference at the former’s West Palm Beach, Fla., resort. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

White House aides set a low bar for their boss ahead of his two-day summit with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe — and President Donald Trump often cleared it with ease. But experts say there were a few stumbles too.

Trump aides made clear they had no “deliverables” in mind ahead of the Tuesday-Wednesday talks, which touched on everything from a new round of trade talks to dealing with North Korea to their respective golf games. That diplomat-speak refers to agreements or other things the White House wants meetings with world leaders to produce.

Three Cybersecurity Bills to Hit Trump’s Desk This Year, Staffers Say
Movement on ‘Internet of things,’ intelligence and homeland security measures

Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., left, and Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., talk before the start of the Senate Select Intelligence Committee hearing on “World Wide Threats” on Thursday, May 11, 2017. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

SAN FRANCISCO — Dozens of bills are filed in Congress relating to cybersecurity and data breaches but many if not most may never see a committee markup let alone a floor vote. But key congressional staffers speaking at the RSA Conference here predicted at least three bills are likely to get to the president’s desk this year. 

A House-passed measure that would reorganize the Department of Homeland Security and create a new Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency has also cleared the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee and is awaiting Senate floor passage. 

Grid Cybersecurity Bills Advanced by House Energy Subcommittee
Bipartisanship crumbles for export bill

The committee advanced bills to protect the electric grid and pipeline control systems from cyber attack. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Bipartisan bills that aim to improve the government’s response to cybersecurity attacks on the electric grid advanced out of a House Energy and Commerce panel Wednesday. The action was the latest sign of heightened awareness on Capitol Hill that malicious hackers might be able to turn out the lights.

Four pieces of legislation — all focused on putting into statute coordination within the Department of Energy to prevent cyber attacks on the grid and other energy infrastructure — were advanced by the Energy Subcommittee by voice votes. The votes showed unusual unity on the often-partisan panel.