The White House on U.S. Senate’s Passage of the CHIPS and Science Act

WASHINGTON—Today the Senate passed an historic bill that will lower costs and create jobs.  As Americans are worried about the state of the economy and the cost of living, the CHIPS bill is one answer: it will accelerate the manufacturing of semiconductors in America, lowering prices on everything from cars to dishwashers.  It also will create jobs – good-paying jobs right here in the United States.

ICYMI | bdpatoday® 07.23.22

It will mean more resilient American supply chains, so we are never so reliant on foreign countries for the critical technologies that we need for American consumers and national security. I want to thank Senators in both parties for their hard work on this legislation.

For decades, some “experts” said we needed to give up on manufacturing in America.  I never believed that.  Manufacturing jobs are back. 

Thanks to this bill, we are going to have even more of them.  The House should promptly pass it and send this bill to my desk.

The White House


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Judiciary Antitrust Subcommittee Investigation Reveals Digital Economy Highly Concentrated, Impacted By Monopoly Power

WASHINGTON—The House Judiciary Committee’s Antitrust Subcommittee released the findings of its more than 16-month long investigation into the state of competition in the digital economy, especially the challenges presented by the dominance of Apple, Amazon, Google, and Facebook and their business practices.

The report, entitled Investigation of Competition in the Digital Marketplace: Majority Staff Report and Recommendations, totals more than 400 pages, marking the culmination of an investigation that included seven congressional hearings, the production of nearly 1.3 million internal documents and communications, submissions from 38 antitrust experts, and interviews with more than 240 market participants, former employees of the investigated platforms, and other individuals. The full report may be downloaded by clicking here.

“As they exist today, Apple, Amazon, Google, and Facebook each possess significant market power over large swaths of our economy. In recent years, each company has expanded and exploited their power of the marketplace in anticompetitive ways,” said Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (NY-10) and Antitrust Subcommittee Chairman David N. Cicilline (RI-01) in a joint statement. “Our investigation leaves no doubt that there is a clear and compelling need for Congress and the antitrust enforcement agencies to take action that restores competition, improves innovation, and safeguards our democracy. This Report outlines a roadmap for achieving that goal.”

After outlining the challenges presented due to the market domination of Amazon, Apple, Google, and Facebook, the report walks through a series of possible remedies to (1) restore competition in the digital economy, (2) strengthen the antitrust laws, and (3) reinvigorate antitrust enforcement.

The slate of recommendations include:

  • Structural separations to prohibit platforms from operating in lines of business that depend on or interoperate with the platform;
  • Prohibiting platforms from engaging in self-preferencing;
  • Requiring platforms to make its services compatible with competing networks to allow for interoperability and data portability;
  • Mandating that platforms provide due process before taking action against market participants;
  • Establishing a standard to proscribe strategic acquisitions that reduce competition;
  • Improvements to the Clayton Act, the Sherman Act, and the Federal Trade Commission Act, to bring these laws into line with the challenges of the digital economy;
  • Eliminating anticompetitive forced arbitration clauses;
  • Strengthening the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice;
  • And promoting greater transparency and democratization of the antitrust agencies.

“After conducting this country’s first major congressional antitrust investigation in decades in which we held hearings, heard from experts and questioned the CEOs of dominant tech platforms, I can say conclusively that self-regulation by Big Tech comes at the expense of our communities, small businesses, consumers, the free press and innovation,” said Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal. “By reasserting the power of Congress, we now have a thoroughly researched and meticulously reasoned roadmap for the work ahead as we rein in anti-competitive behavior, help prevent monopolistic practices and allow innovation to thrive. I’m looking forward to continuing this urgent work.”

“This comprehensive report is a roadmap to a future where digital behemoths with considerable power over their markets are kept accountable to consumers, small businesses, and their workers,” said Rep. Hank Johnson, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet. “By following these recommendations, we can bolster antitrust protections to ensure consumer choice, data privacy, and affordability in online marketplaces. But in doing so, we must also answer the overarching question that we’ve been grappling with: How do we remain a country where small businesses can thrive, even as we shift from brick and mortar to lines of code? That is our challenge now.”

Rep. Val Demings added, “Our investigation revealed an alarming pattern of business practices that degrade competition and stifle innovation. These companies have made remarkable advancements that have shaped our markets and our culture, but their anticompetitive acts have come at a cost for consumers and small businesses. Competition must reward the best idea, not the biggest corporate account. We will take steps necessary to hold rulebreakers accountable. I thank Chairman Cicilline for his leadership, and will continue to work for a fair marketplace and a tech industry that can advance quality of life for every person without undermining it for others.”

“Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and they must be able to compete on a level playing field,” said Rep. Lucy McBath. “We must do all we can to ensure our economy remains fair, our entrepreneurs have the incentive to innovate, and our small businesses are given the opportunity to prosper and create new and good-paying jobs.”

“This investigation has revealed that Apple, Amazon, Facebook, and Google were committed to drowning out competition through unfair and anti-competitive practices – often doing so at the expense of user privacy and innovation,” said Rep. Scanlon. “We must do everything we can to protect consumers and this report is a roadmap to the work that lies ahead. I look forward to developing and introducing legislation to restore fairness to the digital marketplace.”

A D V E R T I S E M E N T

DASHBOARD Act could force more disclosures from BigTECH, consumer data profits, and usage

WASHINGTON — U.S. Senators Mark R. Warner (D-VA) and Josh Hawley (R-MO) introduced the Designing Accounting Safeguards to Help Broaden Oversight And Regulations on Data (DASHBOARD) Act, bipartisan legislation that will require data harvesting companies such as social media platforms to tell consumers and financial regulators exactly what data they are collecting from consumers, and how it is being leveraged by the platform for profit.

“When a big tech company says its product is free, consumers are the ones being sold. These ‘free’ products track everything we do so tech companies can sell our information to the highest bidder and use it to target us with creepy ads,” said Senator Hawley. “Even worse, tech companies do their best to hide how much consumer data is worth and to whom it is sold. This bipartisan legislation gives consumers control of their data and will show them how much these ‘free’ services actually cost.”

“For years, social media companies have told consumers that their products are free to the user. But that’s not true – you are paying with your data instead of your wallet,” said Senator Warner. “But the overall lack of transparency and disclosure in this market have made it impossible for users to know what they’re giving up, who else their data is being shared with, or what it’s worth to the platform. Our bipartisan bill will allow consumers to understand the true value of the data they are providing to the platforms, which will encourage competition and allow antitrust enforcers to identify potentially anti-competitive practices.”

As user data increasingly represents one of the most valuable, albeit intangible, assets held by technology firms, shining light on how this data is collected, retained, monetized, and protected, is critical. The DASHBOARD Act will:

  • Require commercial data operators (defined as services with over 100 million monthly active users) to disclose types of data collected as well as regularly provide their users with an assessment of the value of that data.
  • Require commercial data operators to file an annual report on the aggregate value of user data they’ve collected, as well as contracts with third parties involving data collection.
  • Require commercial data operators to allow users to delete all, or individual fields, of data collected – and disclose to users all the ways in which their data is being used. including any uses not directly related to the online service for which the data was originally collected.
  • Empower the SEC to develop methodologies for calculating data value, while encouraging the agency to facilitate flexibility to enable businesses to adopt methodologies that reflect the different uses, sectors, and business models.

The DASHBOARD Act is the second tech-focused bill Hawley and Warner have partnered on. The first was Hawley’s Do Not Track Act, which would be modeled after the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) “Do Not Call” list and allow users to opt out of non-essential data collection.

Source: senate.gov

 

A D V E R T I S E M E N T

#BDPACon19  convenes August 1-3, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia  —  bdpa2019.com

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Senator Warren’s plan for “Platform Utilities” could down-size tech giants Amazon, Facebook, and Google

WASHINGTON — In her blog post written Friday of this week, “Here’s how we can break up Big Tech”, Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), calls for breaking apart certain components of Alphabet (Google’s parent), Facebook, and Amazon into new components called “Platform Utilities.”

sen-ewarrenAccording to Senator Warren, these new spinoffs are necessary to launch with new “platform utility” designations. New suppliers and startups may have lower barriers to entry for their consumers to use. Senator Warren added these tech juggernauts are “too big” and wield too much power over the economy, society and democracy.

“They’ve bulldozed competition, used our private information for profit, and tilted the playing field against everyone else,” her blog posted. “To restore the balance of power in our democracy, to promote competition, and to ensure that the next generation of technology innovation is as vibrant as the last, it’s time to break up our biggest tech companies.”

— Source and photos: Senator Warren and senate.gov

A D V E R T I S E M E N T

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Samsung Opens World-Class Showcase for Government Solutions

WASHINGTON— Last quarter, Samsung Electronics America, Inc. announced that the company will be relocating its Washington, D.C. offices into a new multi-use, operational and interactive facility in the District’s iconic Eastern Market neighborhood. On Tuesday, October 30, 2018, Samsung’s U.S. Public Affairs team and the Solutions Center relocated to 700 Pennsylvania Avenue SE, occupying 28,512 square-feet at the former Hine Junior High School location and new redevelopment site.

“At Samsung we leverage our deep understanding of and experience with the Federal Government customer to develop mission-ready solutions ,” said Terry Halvorsen, Chief Information Officer & Executive Vice President of IT and Mobile Communications at Samsung. “Samsung’s unique breadth of expertise across 5G, tailored mobile solutions, end-to-end security and workforce transformation allow us to drive towards improved government end-user experience and productivity.

This new space at 700 Penn will be a center of innovation and provide opportunities to engage, support and educate government customers, policymakers and technology leaders.”

“For 40 years, Samsung has invested in U.S. employees, partners and facilities, because engaging customers and innovators is what pushes us forward and drives American technology leadership,” said David Steel, Executive Vice President of Corporate Affairs for Samsung Electronics America.

“This investment in the nation’s capital further solidifies Samsung’s commitment in Washington and in the U.S. We will continue to be a convener on all things technology as we look ahead toward the next 40 years of innovation.”

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Above, Keith Scott, Cyber Programs for BDPA Washington (right) discusses 5G technologies and new applications with Samsung executives during Grand Opening events.  BDPA-DC photo © 2018 bdpatoday

“We are excited to welcome Samsung’s Solutions Center to 700 Penn,” said Anthony Lanier, president and founder of EastBanc Development. “This innovative concept is an important anchor to one of D.C.’s most historic neighborhoods and aligns with our goal of marrying the new and old during the redevelopment of this area while providing Samsung’s employees with vibrant live-work-play amenities.”

Designed by architects Weinstein Studio, Esocoff & Associates and landscape architect Oehme, van Sweden & Associates, the Hine School Redevelopment Project is a new mixed-use development, which includes a 156,000-square foot office building, apartment residences, and 60,000-square feet of specialty shops, boutiques and restaurants. It has a full range of office amenities including multiple conference centers (at street level and rooftop — right photo), rooftop terrace with unobstructed 360-degree and Capitol views, fitness center, enclosed loading areas, underground parking and more.

Samsung also has a Galaxy Studio located on the Metro Level in the District’s  historic Union Station, a major transportation hub and retail destination within Washington, D.C. Guests visit the Galaxy Studio to purchase the new Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+, get one-on-one onboarding to new devices, use Smart Switch to transfer files and access exclusive promotions onsite. Guests can also experience Samsung’s innovative technology via several engaging product experiences.

The Washington Post reports in the past 20 years consumer tech companies like Samsung and Apple have led consumer tech revolutions that have put smartphones and tablets in the hands of more than 2 billion consumers, including working adults, children, first-responders, and now the military.


*** Samsung Electronics USA and BDPA-DC reach 40-year milestones in 2018. On Saturday, December 8, 2018, National BDPA’s Washington D.C. Chapter (BDPADC) is co-hosting a special community and holiday event in Samsung’s new facility commemorating Samsung and BDPA-DC 40-year milestones. Contact your Host BDPA Chapter for special invitations. ***


— Sources and images: Samsung Electronics USA and BDPA-DC

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Tech juggernauts are returning to Capitol Hill for a new round of hearings

WASHINGTON — Now under attack by POTUS, meet the new wolves of ‘K Street’.

Ahead of tech executives from Facebook, Google, and Twitter heading to more hearings in front of the U.S. Senate, in this video Loup Ventures’ Gene Munster discusses what he expects to hear from these powerful companies.

“Here’s the CODE…”

What are their new agenda items, hidden or otherwise? Legacy policies have eroded, our data and privacy are next to non-existent, artificial intelligence (Ai), social media, and search engine optimization (SEO) algorithms (“algos“) matter—regulations are inevitable.

M&A: A merger or an acquisition? How soon could artificial intelligence and machine learning subsume legislative processes and ‘become one’ with Federal, State, and Local lawmakers when governing bodies can no longer fully embrace software-defined  ecosystems, cybersecurity challenges,  nor keep pace with new technologies?  ‘Swiping left‘ or ‘swiping right‘ for proposals, bills, and votes in near real-time are distinct possibilities with human-in-the-loop machine learning.

Bail-Out: Oversight committees and regulatory demands for discriminatory algorithms, pleas for open source software, or mandatory transparency for pseudo-code or source code will not bode very well for search engine and social media business models.

When industry’s “Secret Sauce” no longer remains secret nor immune from new laws and regulations, alternative value propositions will respectfully be requested from lawmakers and appropriators by lobbyists, stakeholders and shareholders in order for powerful applications and algorithms to preserve industrial dominance across all industry sectors.

Powerful trends toward digital transformation, end-user empowerment, and global policies such as the European Union’s (EU) General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) are just the beginning.

— Sources: CNBC and BDPA Washington

PTTV | Popular Technology TV

TECH & The Trump Presidency

Markets think a ‘Trillion-dollar’ technology and infrastructure stimulus may be imminent


WASHINGTON
(bdpatoday)—President-elect Trump’s victory signaled widespread uncertainty and discontent surrounding economic opportunities, something which CNBC states several technology executives recently suggested their technology eventually will help to address. For example, leaders at these companies reminded employees that eBay‘s marketplace empowers buyers and sellers, LinkedIn‘s tools help people connect or find jobs, and Apple‘s devices connect people.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella reminded people in one of his LinkedIn posts that our world is witnessing democracy in action and linked to his company’s blog with recommendations for the next administration and the next Congress. According to CNET’s Marguerite Reardon, here is what little we may know about President-Elect Trump’s stand on a few important technology issues.

Net neutrality

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Net neutrality became a relatively big deal in our 2008 election, but little was said during this election cycle about last year’s policy.Net neutrality is the idea that all traffic on the internet should be treated equally. This means our broadband providers, which control our access to the internet, can not block nor slow down services or applications we use via the web.

We know Trump is not a fan of the FCC’s current regulations. It is very possible that an FCC led by Republicans could eliminate all or part of the rules and strip the FCC of some of its authority. Should that happen, broadband providers could create so-called ‘fast lanes’ and pass charges to Internet companies, like Netflix, different rates to deliver content and their services. Loosening regulations around telecom likely will benefit broadband and wireless carriers. The NCTA, an Internet and Television Association which lobbies for the cable industry, said it is eager to work with President-elect Trump.

Industry consolidation and broadband

President-elect Trump also seems to have taken a populist view against mergers and acquisitions (M&As). That could spell trouble for big pending mergers, including AT&T’s $85 billion takeover of entertainment giant Time Warner. When that deal was announced last month, President-elect Trump vowed to block this merger if he was elected.  AT&T’s executives still like their chances of inking this deal if approved by the U.S., pointing to “investing in infrastructure” statements President-elect Trump recently made in his victory speech.

 

Encryption and cybersecurity

CNET reports the president-elect has only made vague statements about privacy and security, and downplayed Russia’s alleged hacking into the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and Secretary Clinton’s campaign email servers. Nonetheless, when our Justice Department haggled with Apple over unlocking the iPhone of a terrorist suspect in

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the San Bernardino shooting, he then called for a boycott of Apple’s products. What he has said about cybersecurity is that there should be a review of US cyber defenses by a “Cyber Review Team.”

STEM education

Experts who have reviewed President-elect Trump’s economic agenda suggest that deficits will explode, which could eventually lead a Republican Congress to slash budgets. This could mean heavy cuts to funding for science programs and education, which runs counter to the tech industry’s call for more tech-savvy workers in today’s digital age and software-defined ecosystems.

hscc-se16eMoreover, President-elect Trump publicly supported views that are not backed by the scientific community. He has repeated unfounded connections between vaccinations and autism and dismissed reports of climate change as a myth perpetuated by the Chinese to undermine our economy.

He appealed to voters in coal country by supporting energy policies that encourage the use of more fossil fuels and downplayed investments in renewable energy, like solar. Donald Trump also has said he would “cancel” the Paris climate agreement, the United Nations deal to curb greenhouse gases and fund adaptations to climate change, which worries many scientists.

H-1B visas and immigration

Immigration has been one of the hallmark issues of President-Elect Trump’s campaign, but most of his suggested policies center on what his administration would do to reduce illegal immigration. When it comes to legal immigration of skilled workers, he wants to increase pay for people holding H-1Bs as part of a plan to steer more opportunities to unemployed native and immigrant workers. This due largely in part some still consider H-1B visa holders a much cheaper source for highly skilled and technical labor for domestic U.S. corporations.

Tax policy

The biggest boost to the tech industry may ultimately come from President-elect Trump’s plans to lower corporate tax rates encouraging corporations to repatriate two trillion dollars of foreign profits parked overseas and reinvest their money in the United States.

stem-bdpaCNET reports there’s a good chance that money could be invested in the U.S., said Rob Atkinson, president of the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation (ITIF). But this is not a given. In the past, when the US allowed American companies to bring in profit earned overseas, we had hoped these firms would hire more workers. Instead, most of the money went to executives and shareholders.

President-elect Trump also has called for high import taxes on products, which could drive up prices for consumers on tech goods. Last January, Trump stated in one of his stump speeches, “We are going to get Apple to build computers and things in this country instead of in other countries.” Declining to comment on Trump’s statements at that time, Apple designs its products at its Silicon Valley headquarters, but uses a Chinese contractor to build them. If Apple products were manufactured in the US, the price of an iPhone could rise to as much as $900 per unit to offset worker wages versus the $650 cost of an iPhone today.

Could slashing corporate taxes to provide workforce development and mentor-protégé incentives help train more college, vocational tech, and high school students to build computers  and mobile devices with original equipment manufactures (OEMs) in the U.S.? Greg Autry, an entrepreneur researcher, predicts a shift away from the traditional start-up model, where young engineers develop a new product, get it financed and move the manufacturing overseas. He argued a Trump administration would create a regulatory and tax-friendly environment conducive to the tech sector.

“Companies like Foxconn, the Taiwanese company that manufactures Apple products will be able to expand production in the U.S. through automation,” Autry said. He added that more automation—the so-called ‘boogie man’ often described as robots stealing human jobs—would actually be a boon for OEMs and U.S. manufacturing.

“We’ve dealt with automation since the 19th century,” Autry said. “What automation does is create a lot more products for us to enjoy at a lower cost, and we get more people working more efficiently creating more products.”

Apparently, almost half of the national electorate voted along those lines—the promise of more jobs.

— Sources: cNET, CNBC, PBS, and the White House
Photo:  whitehouse.gov

Congress confirms Carla Hayden as 14th Librarian of Congress

First woman and first African American to head Library of Congress

WASHINGTON—On Wednesday, July 13, 2016, the U.S. Senate confirmed President Obama’s nominee for Librarian of Congress, Carla Hayden, by a vote of 74-18. Along with being the first woman and first African American to head the Library of Congress, Hayden is the first librarian to hold the position in six decades, according to the American Library Association. When Obama nominated Hayden in January, she was the chief executive of Baltimore’s Enoch Pratt Free Library system, where she earned praise for modernizing the nation’s oldest library system and keeping the libraries open during the Freddie Gray unrest in 2015, including personally opening the doors to the branch located in the heart of the turmoil.   Read more

Source: TheWeek.com
Cover photo: Dave Munch, Baltimore Sun
Video:  The White House

 

Congress enacts permanent ban on State and Local Internet Taxes

Commerce, Retail, and points-of-sale:  On-line vs. Brick-and-Mortar

by Sally P. Schreiber, J.D.
Journal of Accountancy

WASHINGTON—Congress on Thursday passed the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015, H.R. 644, which would make permanent the “moratorium on states and localities taxing Internet access or placing multiple and discriminatory taxes on internet commerce” (Conference Report, p. 231).
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The Senate passed the bill on a 75–20 vote. It had been passed by the House of Representatives in December and now goes to President Barack Obama, who is expected to sign it into law.  Learn  more

H.O.P.E. DMV Alumnae Receive 2015’s President’s Awards

hope-37bMERCEDES SNYDER | President’s Award

Here is Mercedes’ Story

“When you’ve worked hard, and done well and walked through the doorway of opportunity, you do not slam it behind you. You reach back and you give folks the same chances that helped you succeed.

— Michelle Obama

Mercedes Snyder is a Help Desk Manager and has only been in the IT field since October of 2013. Mercedes was born in Washington, D.C. and had lived in DC majority of her life. At the age of 16 she moved to Texas with her mother. When Mercedes turned 20 she gave birth to a beautiful baby boy Jayden. Mercedes had worked for Walmart from 2007 to 2010. During this time, Mercedes was dealing with domestic violence at home and was constantly told she will never accomplish anything.

She decided to move back to Washington, D.C. to get out of that situation. Unfortunately, she had to leave her child in Texas because she could not afford to take care of him. As soon as Mercedes returned to the District, she took the first job she could get her hands on,” McDonalds”.

Working at McDonald’s she only made $7.80 per hour. With a promotion to a production manager she finally made $8.00 per hour.  At $8.00 per hour, Mercedes feared she may never be able to get her son back.

One day, Mercedes’ cousin Alyssia Suarez informed her of a program called the H.O.P.E. Project. She stated that the program helped her to make $45 K without a college degree and it was within the DMV area. Excited about this information, Mercedes attended the very next available H.O.P.E. Info-Session for this program.

After going through various stages of consideration such as a telephone interview, an essay, a face-to-face interview, and a test on a white page, Mercedes was finally selected for this opportunity, but initially was denied.

Not willing to give up, six months later Mercedes tried again when H.O.P.E. Project announced another class was about to begin. She was accepted into the program this time around! Within her first week she received a job working for HP, a BDPA Platinum Sponsor, supporting  Defense Manpower Data Center (DMDC) with a public trust Clearance.

Excited about this opportunity and how quickly things were changing, Mercedes knew that this way to get her son back and out of poverty. Being in the HOPE project took a lot of work having to study and research on a completely new field other than retail. The day before graduation she received an offer letter to work for Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA).  Soon, Mercedes was able to get her son back soon after that.

While being in the IT field, Mercedes knew that she had to keep pushing because that was not enough money to get a place on her own. Six months later she received a new opportunity to support Defense Health Agency (DHA)  and within eight months of being at the help desk level she was promoted to Help Desk Shift Manager.

The HOPE project has taught Mercedes how to take control of her life as well as to give back to her community. Mercedes is active mentor for new H.O.P.E. Project students.  Mercedes is now able to provide for her son and so much more.  She doesn’t just have job, she has a career!

“Success isn’t about how much money you make, it’s about the difference you make in people live.” 

— Michelle Obama

 

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