Overnight Tech: Black lawmakers press Uber on diversity | Google faces record EU fine | Snap taps new lobbyist | New details on FCC cyberattack

Overnight Tech: Black lawmakers press Uber on diversity | Google faces record EU fine | Snap taps new lobbyist | New details on FCC cyberattack
© Greg Nash

BLACK LAWMAKERS CALL OUT UBER: A group of black lawmakers in Congress is pushing Uber to hire more people of color for executive roles at the ride-hailing company.

In a letter addressed to the San Francisco-based ride-hailing and autonomous car company, the Congressional Black Caucus said that Uber's recent slew of executive departures offered an opportunity for the company to boost its ailing diversity.

"Recent reports suggest that Uber has vacancies for several of its most senior positions," the lawmakers wrote in a letter led by Caucus Chairman Cedric Richmond (D-La.) and Reps. G.K. ButterfieldGeorge (G.K.) Kenneth ButterfieldHouse poised to hand impeachment articles to Senate Democrat makes case for impeachment in Spanish during House floor debate Democrats likely to gain seats under new North Carolina maps MORE (D-N.C.), Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) and Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.).

"These transitions present Uber with the opportunity to improve the culture of the company by diversifying its Board," they continued.


After a steady stream of PR debacles, many Uber executives have left, opening many top positions including CEO, which Travis Kalanick just stepped down from last week, COO and others.

The CBC has criticized other technology companies in the past for their lackluster records on diversity. In 2015, it launched a campaign called Tech 2020 aimed at improving the representation of minorities in the industry.

"Among the tech industry, Uber is not alone in its need to improve hiring, retention, promotion, and inclusion of African Americans," the CBC wrote on Monday. "However, as a company that seeks to 'create possibilities for riders, drivers, and cities,' we encourage you to use this moment to emerge as a leader on diversity and inclusion and set a standard that your peers should emulate."

Read more here.


Please send your tips, comments and suggestions to Ali Breland (abreland@thehill.com) and Harper Neidig (hneidig@thehill.com) and follow us on Twitter: @alibreland@hneidig and @HilliconValley. We're also on Signal. Email or DM us for our numbers.


GOOGLE COULD GET RECORD EU FINE THIS WEEK: The European Union is planning to hand Google what could be a record $1.2 billion fine this week after a years-long battle with the internet giant over its search practices, according to multiple reports.

European regulators have accused Google of favoring its own shopping services over those of competitors in its search results.

"We continue to engage constructively with the European Commission and we believe strongly that our innovations in online shopping have been good for shoppers, retailers and competition," a Google spokesperson said in a statement.

Read more here.


TECH 'SURPRISED' BY DOJ APPEAL ON CROSS-BORDER DATA CASE: Businesses leaders expressed surprise that the Department of Justice (DOJ) is appealing a case about when law enforcement should have access to data stored in other countries.

The case pits the DOJ against Microsoft over an issue both sides have indicated requires a legislative fix: whether or not a domestic warrant can require a company to retrieve data stored on a foreign server. Both chambers of Congress had taken up the issue with hearings involving the DOJ, industry and other stakeholders, and both chambers had expressed a sense of urgency to resolve the conflict.

"That's why we were surprised," said Patrick Forrest, vice president and deputy general counsel for the National Association of Manufacturers. "It does seem so clear that in this case, the Congress must speak."

Read more here.


NEW DETAILS ON FCC CYBERATTACK: Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai unveiled new details Monday about a reported cyberattack that came after comedian John Oliver urged his viewers to flood the agency with pro-net neutrality comments.

In response to a series of questions about the incident from Sens. Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenTax season could bring more refund confusion Hillicon Valley — Presented by Philip Morris International — Wyden asks NSA to investigate White House cybersecurity | Commerce withdraws Huawei rule after Pentagon objects | Warren calls on Brazil to drop Greenwald charges Wyden vows push to force release of Khashoggi assessment MORE (D-Ore.) and Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Pai said he was taking the issue seriously.

"I agree that this disruption to [the Electronic Comment Filing System] by outside parties was a very serious matter," Pai wrote in a letter dated June 15, that was posted by a public interest group on Monday.

"As a result, my office immediately directed our Chief Information Officer (CIO) to take appropriate measures to secure the integrity of ECFS and to keep us apprised of the situation. The Commission's CIO has informed me that the FCC's response to the events sufficiently addressed the disruption, and that ECFS is continuing to collect all filed comments."

The ECFS slowed to a crawl after Oliver's HBO show addressed the net neutrality proceeding in May, leading many to assume that the system was bogged down by an influx of public filings.

But the next day, FCC CIO David Bray said the disruption was caused by a malicious distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack, a move designed to take down a site by flooding it with fake traffic.

Read more here.


SNAP HIRES NEW TOP LOBBYIST: The parent company of Snapchat is tapping a new director of U.S. public policy as it ramps up its lobbying operation.

Snap announced Monday that Gina Woodworth will head up the company's D.C. public policy team. Woodworth comes from the Internet Association, a Google-backed trade association that represents web companies including Snap, Amazon, Microsoft and others.

"From just 14 members at launch to nearly 40 today, Gina has helped Internet Association grow from startup to scale and expand the scope of our reach on behalf of internet companies across the country," Michael Beckerman, President and CEO of IA said of Woodworth's departure. "While I will surely miss her counsel, I and the IA team wish her best as she brings her considerable talents to Snap."

Read more here.


AVIS WILL HOST GOOGLE'S DRIVERLESS CARS: Google's self-driving car company Waymo has struck a deal with Avis Budget Group to help manage its driverless car fleet, Bloomberg reported Monday.

The partnership with the rental car firm, which is the first of its kind, comes as auto and technology companies race to develop and test autonomous vehicles. Members of Congress are also exploring legislative steps to speed up their deployment.

Avis will store Waymo-owned Chrysler Pacifica minivans in Phoenix, Ariz., where Google started a pilot program to test a driverless ride-hailing service with public volunteers.

Read more here.


SCHUMER WANTS TO BLOCK RINGLESS ROBOCALLS: Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerMeadows: Republicans who break with Trump could face political repercussions Bolton book alleges Trump tied Ukraine aid freeze to Biden investigations: NYT Trump legal team offers brisk opening defense of president MORE (D-N.Y.) called on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to block telemarketers from leaving ringless voicemails, a new technology for sales calls.

"With billions of robocalls made to cellphones each year, the feds should be doing more to rein in annoying telemarketers, not throw gas on the problem and add fuel to cellphone spam," said Schumer.

Robocalls, or automated calls to consumers soliciting their information or business, have increased in recent years. Lawmakers and the federal government have taken note and ramped up efforts to curb them. In 2016, Schumer railed against the practice, noting that in two New York ZIP codes alone consumers had received 50 million robocalls in a single month.

Read more here.


GIRLS WHO CODE 2017: Software.org a foundation created the Business Software Alliance, a trade association of technology companies, welcomed 20 girls to its Girls Who Code 2017 Summer Immersion Program in D.C. on Monday. The program aims to help give female high-school students the skills to enter STEM fields, particularly in computer science.

"We are delighted to join forces with Girls Who Code to open a window for these young women to the many amazing opportunities in tech," said Chris Hopfensperger, executive director of Software.org. "The software industry needs coders with diverse perspectives and backgrounds, and we hope the girls are inspired this summer to focus on STEM and consider careers in tech."



The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on amending key provisions of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act at 9:30 a.m.

The House Commerce subcommittee on consumer protection will examine legislation on self-driving cars at 10 a.m.

Information Technology and Innovation Foundation will head to the Hill for an event on tech disruption at noon.



Six contenders to be Uber's new CEO

Tech heads sound optimistic note after Trump meetings

Zuckerberg visits Iowa as part of US tour

Google will no longer use data from personal Gmail accounts for advertising

Facebook launches new initiative to counter terror content in UK

Copyright Office voices support for giving consumers the 'right to repair'

Poll: 60 percent of voters support FCC's net neutrality rules

Axios: Top venture capitalists depart from firm over sexual harassment claims

Bloomberg: Apple is working with Hertz for its self-driving fleet

CNBC: Amazon built a translation tool to be used within the company