Overnight Tech: Chinese president kicks off US visit

LEDE: Chinese President Xi Jinping is slated to deliver a speech Tuesday night at a Seattle dinner attended by government and business leaders, including many from the technology sector. 

Xi touched down Tuesday morning in Seattle where he will later attend a roundtable with U.S and Chinese executives -- including ones from Microsoft, Amazon, Cisco and Apple -- before departing to Washington for meetings with President Obama.


China represents a huge market for U.S. tech companies, but advocates have called on U.S. executives to press the president on the country's online censorship and surveillance. Lawmakers have also called on administration officials to press the leader on cyber attacks on U.S. institutions traced back to China.

A number of government officials, including Commerce Secretary Penny PritzkerPenny Sue PritzkerThe Hill's Morning Report - Sanders steamrolls to South Carolina primary, Super Tuesday Biden's new campaign ad features Obama speech praising him Obama Commerce secretary backs Biden's 2020 bid MORE, will attend Tuesday's dinner. Other attendees include Microsoft founder Bill Gates and Henry Kissinger. The CEOs of BlackBerry, IBM, Microsoft, Qualcomm, and a number of businesses outside the tech industry will also attend. 

POPE DOMINATES TWITTER CONVERSATION: As Pope Francis prepared to touch down in Washington, D.C. for the first time, chatter on Twitter unsurprisingly shot up about the visit at the nation's capital. According to Echelon Insights, D.C. conversation on the social network was dominated by the visit Tuesday afternoon. Twitter even rolled out a series of emojis associated with the visit. Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal reported the Pope's U.S. visit could disrupt package deliveries this week in Washington, New York and Philadelphia. That could delay delivery of new iPhones to some people in the region, which are expected to be delivered Friday. 

WYDEN APPLAUDED FOR STALLING TERROR REPORTING PROVISION: Some in the technology industry are praising Sen. Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenPelosi pulls vote on FISA bill after Trump veto threat FISA 'reform': Groundhog Day edition Hillicon Valley: House FISA bill in jeopardy | Democrats drop controversial surveillance measure | GOP working on legislation to strip Twitter of federal liability protections MORE (R-Ore.) for spurring the Intelligence Committee to drop a provision of an authorizing bill that would force technology companies to report "terrorist activity" when they become aware of it on their platforms. TechNet thanked the senator's "leadership" on the issue while the Computer and Communications Industry Association said the provision would have had a "chilling effect" on the industry if Wyden did not stop it. 

"He successfully blocked the bill until his colleagues could gather more information on the limited likelihood of success versus the significant consequences of this approach," the group's president Ed Black said. 

CAMPAIGNS LOSE HELPFUL FACEBOOK TOOL: A voter turnout tool on Facebook utilized by President Obama's reelection campaign won't be available this cycle, according to the Wall Street Journal. Stricter rules on how third parties access Facebook data are changing the game for the tool, which identified potential supporters among a user's friends then prompted that user to get those friends to vote. The privacy move that has affected a number of researchers and third parties is meant to give Facebook users more control of their data, according to the company. 

EASTERN TEXAS REMAINS POPULAR FOR PATENT SUITS: Forty-four percent of all patent lawsuits were filed in the Eastern District of Texas this year, according to data compiled by a researcher at The Mercatus Center at George Mason University. While 1,387 cases were filed in the Eastern District, 1,735 were filed in the other 93 districts. That averages out to about 18.7 patents cases per district, for those outside the Eastern District. Many have said rules that favor plaintiffs in that district have encouraged the trend, and legislation in the House to rein in so-called patent trolls includes a provision to end this type of venue shopping for friendly courts. 

NATIONAL SECURITY QUESTIONS FOR 2016: Steve Vladeck, one of the chief editors of the Just Security blog, outlined six national security questions that should be posed to each presidential candidate, including ones on surveillance and cybersecurity. He said candidates should be pressed on answers on the USA Freedom Act and other possible reforms to government surveillance, as well as what specific steps they would take to secure government IT. Other questions relate to U.S. war powers, military detention, transparency and civil liberties. 

REID WEIGHS IN ON FANTASY SPORTS: Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidNevada congressman admits to affair after relationship divulged on podcast Overnight Energy: 600K clean energy jobs lost during pandemic, report finds | Democrats target diseases spread by wildlife | Energy Dept. to buy 1M barrels of oil Bottom line MORE (D-Nev.), a former member of the Nevada Gaming Commission, weighed in Tuesday on the brewing battle over "daily fantasy" sports sites like DraftKings and FanDuel. He said that when he "was recovering from my injury, somebody sent me a long book to listen to dealing with fantasy sports. To be honest with you, I appreciate the gift, but I -- it just didn't mean anything to me. I'm not into that stuff. I like the real thing. My point is, I hope there's ways of controlling this money that's obviously being bet on fake games and fake players."

HOUSE E&C TO CONSIDER THE ON-DEMAND ECONOMY: The Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade Subcommittee of House Energy and Commerce will host a hearing on the on-demand economy. It seems the committee's majority is keen on companies like Uber: the hearing is entitled "The Disrupter Series: How the Sharing Economy Creates Jobs, Benefits Consumers, and Raises Policy Questions." Subcommittee Chair Michael BurgessMichael Clifton BurgessThe Hill's Coronavirus Report: Moniz says U.S. needs energy jobs coalition and Manchin says Congress is pushing Wall Street solutions that don't work for Main Street; Burr to step aside The Hill's 12:30 Report: House returns to DC for coronavirus relief House leaders enact new safety precautions for votes MORE (R-Texas) said that the "sharing economy is an example of American innovation at its finest." "This hearing will continue our subcommittee's review of emerging technologies and the effect these innovations have on consumers, businesses, and our economy," he said.


Starting at 8:45 a.m., the Data Transparency Coalition hosts the Data Transparency 2015 summit. Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) is on a panel at 9:45 a.m.


A federal judge ruled Monday that the city of Berkeley, Calif., could force mobile phone retailers to warn customers about radiation exposure, but he struck a small line about increased harm to children. 

GOP presidential candidate Jeb Bush on Tuesday unveiled policy proposals that call for rolling back major Obama administration rules, including net neutrality.

Chinese President Xi Jinping on Tuesday pushed back against concerns that new Chinese regulations and restrictions are meant to censor online speech and keep foreign businesses out of the country.

The Texas teenager suspended from school by authorities who say they mistook his homemade clock for a hoax bomb was the guest of honor Monday at Google's annual science fair.

The president of the Phoenix Center argued that the Federal Trade Commission's new "unfair methods of competition" guidance misses the mark. 


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