Displaying items by tag: Donald Trump

Trump thanks Apple CEO for job opportunities in Texas

Written on Monday, 17 December 2018 07:15

Plans for a $1 billion Apple campus in Texas has won the praise of President Donald Trump.

Published in Apps

Tech firms step forward to build Trump’s vetting system

Written on Sunday, 13 August 2017 11:02

Tech firms including IBM and Red Hat were among many companies in attendance at a two-day presentation about US President Donald Trump’s plan to build a digital system that uses data mining to implement “extreme vetting” to screen immigrants arriving in the United States.

The industry day, hosted by the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations department in Arlington, Virginia, was held from 18-19 July, The Intercept reported. Companies in attendance showed their interest in helping to build the system which Trump promised to deliver during his campaigning for the 2016 presidential election.

The President recently said that legal immigration to the US would be cut by half. Trump suffered a setback when his 90-day ban on entry for people from seven mainly Muslim majority countries was blocked by the courts. Under a new modified version that was later passed, Iraq was removed from the list of countries, while Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Yemen and Sudan remain.

The current vetting practices in the US is said to be insufficient, according to a document from ICE, The Intercept reported. It fails to evaluate whether a prospective immigrant would likely engage in criminal behavior or terrorist activity. The practices are described as being “fragmented across mission areas and are both time-consuming and manually labor-intensive due to complexities in the current US immigration system.”

To replace this, the government is seeking a system that “automates, centralizes, and streamlines the current manual vetting process while simultaneously making determinations via automation if the data retrieved is actionable” so that it can “implement the president’s various executive orders that address American immigration and border protection security and interests.”

The FBI attempted to build a similar system some years ago which failed to proceed because of opposition from the American Civil Liberties Union, an attendee reportedly pointed out. In response, ICE officials said a move against non-citizens would be less likely to be opposed by civil liberties groups.

The company that wins the contract to build the new vetting system will “analyze and apply techniques to exploit publicly available information, such as media, blogs, public hearings, conferences, academic websites, social media websites such as Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, radio, television, press, geospatial sources, internet sites, and specialized publications with intent to extract pertinent information regarding targets, including criminals, fugitives, non-immigrant violators, and targeted national security threats and their location.”

Published in Government

Apple chief executive Tim Cook has committed to building three large manufacturing plants in the United States, President Donald Trump said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal. Trump claims Cook has promised to build “three big plants, beautiful plants,” but didn’t go into more detail.

About 80,000 people work for Apple in the US and is said to employ about two million people in total. The company was criticized last year by Trump during his presidential campaign for outsourcing its manufacturing to factories in China. In an interview with TIME, Trump said he hoped Apple would shift its manufacturing to the US.

Only a small amount of Apple products are produced in the US, according to the WSJ, and are made in the country on contract. Flex has a deal with Apple to make Mac computers in Austin, Texas, while Quanta Computer produces Macs in Fremont, California.

However, majority of Apple products are being made in China, mainly by Foxconn Technology, a company that produces iPhone products and others. Trump also claims Foxconn has plans to build a large plant in the US and is considering locating it in Wisconsin.

Published in Telecom Vendors

US President Donald Trump has admitted that he spoke with Russian President Vladimir Putin about the prospect of forming a cybersecurity unit at the G20 summit which was held last week in Hamburg, Germany. The scrutiny over cybersecurity has intensified following the recent ransomware attack which destabilized hundreds of businesses and institutions like the NHS in the UK.

The attack only served to indicate further that it doesn’t matter what size your organization is, every entity it seems is extremely vulnerable to these cyber-attacks from those in the murky world of hacking. The US presidential race was dogged by allegations that Russia were involved in influencing the election. Hilary Clinton had her e-mail hacked during the campaign and was subsequently investigated by the FBI – and many political analysts believe this interference ultimately cost Clinton the election.

Both the CIA and FBI on the instruction from the Obama administration were asked to investigate the allegations further – in an attempt to establish whether Russia was responsible for the cyber-attack. The CIA later confirmed that it believed Russia was the source of the hack, but incredibly, this was rubbished by the President-elect Trump.

At the G20 Summit in Hamburg, both presidents were meeting for the first time, and Trump tweeted about the future of forming a cybersecurity unit between the two nations to combat fears over election hacking. He said it was time for the US to work constructively with officials in Moscow.

Trump tweeted, “Putin and I discussed forming an impenetrable cybersecurity unit so that election hacking and many other negative things, will be guarded and safe.” In addition to this, Trump disclosed that he had in fact challenged Putin on the allegations that Russia was responsible for the hacking scandal which embroiled the US presidential election, but said Putin rejected the claims.

Trump tweeted, “I strongly pressed President Putin twice about Russian meddling in our election. He vehemently denied it. I've already given my opinion. We negotiated a ceasefire in parts of Syria which will save lives. Now it is time to move forward in working constructively with Russia!”

Published in Government

US President Donald Trump recently met with tech leaders at the American Leadership in Emerging Technology event which was attended by executives from the country’s leading operators such as AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson and Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure. Trump said he will give US companies the competitive advantage they need to lead the way in new technological development.

The White House event, which is part of FCC chairman Ajit Pai’s Tech Week in the US, centered on discussions about emerging technologies such as drones and 5G. In a speech addressing the executives at the event, Trump said, “We’re on the verge of new technological revolutions that could improve, virtually, every aspect of our lives.”

Trump promised he would support US companies by helping to “unleash the next generation of technological breakthroughs that will transform our lives and transform our country, and make us number one in this field.”

The President added: “This is a very, very competitive field. You see what’s going on in China and so many other countries and we want to remain number one. We want to go to number one in certain areas where we’re not number one and we’re going to give you the competitive advantage that you need.”

The event also included the US president meeting with other technology leaders such as representatives of Amazon, Google and Microsoft to discuss the government’s technology systems earlier in the week.

In a blog post published prior to Trump’s meeting, Ajit Pai expressed the importance of removing “barriers to innovation” – a topic frequently brought up by the chairman. He said: “In order for us to expand prosperity and extend economic opportunity to more Americans, we must remain on the cutting edge.”

Pai added: “This means that government at all levels must focus on removing barriers to innovation and ensuring that technological advances aren’t strangled by bureaucratic red tape.”

Published in Government

US technology leaders Apple have formally announced its intentions to create a fund of $1bn – which it will subsequently use to invest in US companies in order to boost job creation. Apple has further disclosed that it will invest the money in US companies that perform ‘advanced manufacturing’.

Apple, which is headquartered in Cupertino, California, will formally disclose the recipients of the first investment in May. It’s the conglomerates latest move to indicate its efforts to boost job creation in the US. In addition to this, Chief Executive Officer, Tim Cook spoke of how Apple would create additionally fund programs which would be specifically designed to teach people how to write computer coding to create new apps.

Apple have used the announcement to highlight how committed the organization is to job creation in the US. The tech colossus is the world’s largest company by market valuation, but it has been criticized for its fiscal policy. It keeps the majority of its cash stockpile in favorable tax systems in overseas markets. A whopping 93% of Apple’s $256.8bn in cash is held overseas to be exact. President Trump attacked the company during his campaign for manufacturing most of its products in China.

However, at Apple’s AGM in February, shareholders were told that the firm spent $50bn in 2016 with US suppliers such as 3M Co (MMM.N) and Corning Inc. (GLW.N), this was the first time Apple had officially disclosed the metric. Cook claimed that Apple has created 2 million jobs in the US, with 80,000 of those being created directly at Apple. The rest of the jobs have been created at suppliers and software developers for the company’s app ecosystem.

Analysts have suggested that Apple has made such a public vow in relation to its US presence – due to the fact lawmakers are currently considering a major tax proposal submitted by the Trump administration that would let Apple, along with other multinational conglomerates the opportunity to bring back accumulated profits from overseas at potentially lower tax-rates.

Apple’s CEO has conducted a number of meetings with lawmakers in Washington this year, in which the topics of tax policy and technology issues were discussed. Cook has confirmed that Apple will borrow cash from its US manufacturing fund – and added he was hopeful the Trump administration would address the repatriation issue. However, Cook did not guarantee that Apple would bring back its cash to the US market even if the tax proposal submitted by Trump is approved and amended by lawmakers.

"To invest in the United States, we have to borrow. This doesn't make sense on a broad basis. So I think the administration, you saw they're really getting this and want to bring this (cash) back. And I hope that comes to pass," Cook said in response to a question about tax reform.

Published in Finance

White House moves to repeal broadband privacy rules

Written on Sunday, 02 April 2017 10:31

US President Donald Trump is moving to repeal broadband privacy rules put in place during the Obama-era, according to reports. Republicans in Congress passed the repeal of the privacy rules on Tuesday, March 28, and didn’t receive any support from the Democrats.

The net privacy argument in the US sets the stage for a much larger issue later this year over Republican plans to overturn the net neutrality provisions which were adopted by the former administration of Barack Obama in 2015. White House spokesman Sean Spicer has not yet indicated when President Trump plans to sign the bill.

The privacy bill introduced during the Obama-era by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) requires internet service providers (ISPs) to do more to protect customers’ privacy than websites such as Alphabet’s Google or Facebook. The Trump administration plans to repeal these regulations.

The new rules, according to a Reuters report, would require internet providers to obtain consumer permission to use precise geo-location, financial information, health information, children’s information and web browsing history for advertising and marketing.

The move benefits the likes of AT&T, Comcast Corp and Verizon. Websites must meet less restrictive privacy rules overseen by the Federal Trade Commission.

Republican commissioners have argued that the rules would unfairly enable websites to harvest more data than ISPs.

The vote was “Terrible for American ppl, great for big biz,” tweeted Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer.

The next step for the Republicans is to overturn net neutrality provisions that in 2015 reclassified providers and treated them as a public utility.

The new Chairman of the FCC, Ajit Pai, said in December that the era of net neutrality will soon come to an end. The rules prevent ISPs from slowing down consumer access to web content and prohibit giving or selling access to faster internet to certain internet services – essentially providing a “fast lane” to the web’s “information superhighway”.

The rules have been criticized for allowing the potential of government rate regulation, tighter oversight, and would provide fewer incentives to invest billions in broadband infrastructure.

Pai is in favor of a “free and open internet,” he told Reuters in February, “and a free and open internet and the only questions is what regulatory framework best secures that.”

Published in Government

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick recently stepped down from US President Donald Trump’s economic advisory council following intense criticism of the ban on travel to the United States by people from seven Muslim-majority countries. Kalanick said on Twitter that his company will purchase plane tickets for stranded drivers, after a federal judge declared a halt on the immigration ban.

Uber’s CEO tweeted on Friday, 3 February, that the head of litigation for the San Francisco-based ride-hailing company is “buying a whole bunch of airline tickets ASAP!” Kalanick added the hashtags “#homecoming #fingerscrossed.”

Kalanick recently stepped down from Trump’s economic advisory council following intense criticism and an online boycott of Uber over its ties to Trump’s administration. In a statement Kalanick wrote, “Earlier today I spoke briefly with the president about the immigration executive order and its issues for our community. I also let him know that I would not be able to participate on his economic council.”

Kalanick added, “Joining the group was not meant to be an endorsement of the president or his agenda but unfortunately it has been misinterpreted to be exactly that.” News of the resignation was first reported by the New York Times.

Uber faced a viral boycott campaign in the wake of Trump’s executive order banning immigrants and refugees from seven Muslim-majority countries. Uber apologized to its users after being accused of trying to profit from a New York taxi driver strike over the controversial immigration policy.

The New York City Workers Alliance announced an hour-long strike on January 28, refusing to service JFK Airport in protest. Uber didn’t follow suit, instead turning off its surge pricing – making its services cheaper – and continued offering rides to and from the airport.

One Twitter user shared reasons for deleting their Uber account in a screenshot which said, “because of your actions in NYC today – in breaking strike and profiting from the misery of people being detained under discriminatory immigration policies of the Trump administration – disgust me.”

In response to the outrage, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick responded via Facebook, promising to “stand up for the driver community”. Kalanick established a $3 million legal defense fund for affected drivers, and promised to compensate for any earnings that drivers may lose while banned from the country.

At first, Kalanick was hesitant to criticize Trump’s executive order. In an email to his staff on January 28, the CEO wrote, “This ban will impact many innocent people – an issue that I will raise this coming Friday when I go to Washington for President Trump’s first business advisory group meeting.”

The following day, as the #DeleteUber campaign took off, Kalanick strengthened his rhetoric, calling Trump’s executive order “the President’s unjust immigration ban”. He tweered, “I’m going to use my position on Pres economic council to stand up for what’s right.”  

Published in Apps

US tech leader Travis Kalanick has been forced to quit a business advisory group set-up by US president, Donald Trump, following an angry backlash that sparked a movement against his ride-hailing global company Uber.

A number of anti-Trump campaigners have called for those opposed to Trump’s executive order on immigration to boycott all Uber services because of the collaboration between Uber’s CEO and the US president by being members on the same advisory group.

In a statement issued to his Uber employees, Kalanick said that being a member of the advisory was not an endorsement of the president or his policies. He said, “Joining the group was not meant to be an endorsement of the president or his agenda, but unfortunately it has been misinterpreted to be exactly that.”

In addition to this, Kalanick added that he spoke to the US president regarding his executive order aimed at restricting immigration and informed him that he would not be able to participate on his economic council.

The advisory group was established late last year and includes fellow tech leaders such as Tesla and SpaceX chief Elon Musk.

However, the Uber CEO was forced to remove himself from the group when a #Delete-Uber campaign started to trend on social media, which urged followers to dump Uber and switch to rival Lyft which saw its popularity soar.

Uber drivers were also enraged and rallied against the CEO and the service - when they discovered he was a member of the same group as Trump whose executive order has triggered protests all over the world.

Kalanick added, “There are many ways we will continue to advocate for just change on immigration but staying on the council was going to get in the way of that. Immigration and openness to refugees is an important part of our country's success and quite honestly to Uber's.”

Trump's executive order issued last week targeted people from seven Muslim-majority countries, temporarily banning nationals from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen for 90 days.

Published in Government

Uber users delete app over controversial immigration policy

Written on Tuesday, 31 January 2017 07:20

Uber apologized to its users after being accused of trying to profit from a New York taxi driver strike over US President Donald Trump’s controversial immigration policy. The New York City Workers Alliance announced an hour-long strike on January 28, refusing to service JFK Airport in protest. Uber didn’t follow suit, instead turning off its surge pricing – making its services cheaper – and continued offering rides to and from the airport.

Hundreds of Uber users deleted the Uber app from their phone in protest around the world. Users posted screenshots on Twitter with the hashtag #DeleteUber. The hashtag was shared throughout the United States and around the world, even in New Zealand.

One Twitter user shared reasons for deleting their Uber account in a screenshot which said, “because of your actions in NYC today – in breaking strike and profiting from the misery of people being detained under discriminatory immigration policies of the Trump administration – disgust me.”

In response to the outrage, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick responded via Facebook, promising to “stand up for the driver community”. Kalanick established a $3 million legal defense fund for affected drivers, and promised to compensate for any earnings that drivers may lose while banned from the country.

“Standing up for the driver community: Here’s the email I’m sending to drivers affected by President’s unjust immigration and travel ban,” Kalanick wrote on Twitter with a link to a website titled ‘Are you a driver hurt by President Trump’s travel ban?’

Meanwhile, Uber’s main competition, ride-hailing app Lyft, has pledged to donate $1 million to the American Civil Liberties Union over the next four years in a bid to “defend our Constitution”.

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