Dev Download, July 28 - August 3

The Dev Download keeps you up-to-date with the latest tech policy news. The Download is published each Wednesday, ensuring you and your team are informed on what policymakers are talking about.


Obama: U.S. Could Punish Russia for Hacks, With Enough Proof (Morning Consult, 8/2)
Following a series of hacks targeting the Democratic National Committee, President Barack Obama has warned that punishment is possible if the Russian government is found to be at fault. It is widely believed that the hacks, which released almost 20,000 DNC emails, were meant to influence the outcome of the already-contentious presidential election.

Meet the Anarchist Bringing Encryption to All of Us (Wired, 7/31)
Moxie Marlinspike, the man behind encrypted messaging and voice-calling app Signal, has a colorful background. This profile of the encryption trendsetter looks into Marlinspike’s history, his views on privacy and security, and how he managed to create the largest end-to-end encrypted communications network to date.


EU-US Privacy Shield Open for Sign Ups from Today (TechCrunch, 8/1)
The critical agreement outlining procedures for the transatlantic flow of data, dubbed “Privacy Shield,” is now live, replacing its now-invalidated predecessor, Safe Harbor. After months of uncertainty for businesses, U.S. and EU companies now have a consistent regulatory framework under which to operate.


What is Artificial Intelligence? (GovTech, 8/1)
As some raise questions about the definition of artificial intelligence and what counts as true machine consciousness, this report looks to offer a concise, scientific answer while correcting misconceptions about all the technology has to offer.

Tech Trends That Will Impact Your Home (TechCrunch, 7/31)
Technological improvements in the home have exceeded smart trash cans and egg trays, making possible home shopping through virtual reality and even home building through 3D printing.

The Human Role in a Bot-Dominated Future (TechCrunch, 7/31)
Even though robots can and have been used to improve customer service experiences, it still remains unfeasible for bots to completely replicate and therefore replace humans. Human involvement and engagement is still a vital component in sales and customer service.


These Programmers Are Trying to Teach Driverless Cars to Do What’s Right (The Washington Post, 8/2)
Fully autonomous vehicles will remove the need for human value judgement in driving, but the cars will still need to be able to make split-second ethical decisions. Stanford University researchers explain what those ethics look like, and how they program this responsibility into the vehicles.


Dem Party Hack Shows Neither Side Is Serious About Cybersecurity (The Hill, 8/3)
The hack and release of over 20,000 Democratic Party emails seems to demonstrate a lack of understanding of the seriousness of cyberattacks. Combined with Republican nominee Donald Trump’s seemingly casual invitation for Russian hacking, neither candidate appears to have given the issue of cybersecurity the attention it needs and deserves.

Facebook: More than 8,500 Hours of Live Video During Conventions (The Hill, 8/1)
Facebook users generated nearly a year’s worth of live video during the Republican and Democratic national conventions, with the videos being viewed over 120 million times.

The Return of the Luddite President (Politico, 7/30)
Between Hillary Clinton's well-known technological missteps and Donald Trump’s lack of technological interest, the major party candidates may not offer much comfort to Silicon Valley. As the two either struggle to read articles online or draft tweets without staff help, some in the industry fear we may be facing an out-of-touch presidency.

Science Didn’t Make a Great Showing at Either Convention (Wired, 7/29)
Wired and data analysis startup QUID teamed up to track keywords in the two political conventions, charting how frequently scientific terms like ‘infrastructure’ and ‘technology’ were used by speakers.


Nine Ways to Protect Your Intellectual Property (Forbes, 8/2)
Imitators are pervasive and software patents are expensive and time-consuming to defend. To counter this, nine technology executives offer advice for how best to protect your intellectual property outside of software patents, from encryption to documentation.

Pharma and Tech Converge in 'Fantastic Voyage' to Fight Disease (Reuters, 8/1)
Technology and pharmacy have begun to merge to combat disease, creating devices like miniature cameras in pills and smart contacts with glucose sensors. Combined with the growing usage of healthcare wearables, technology is becoming front-and-center in improving our health and welfare.

How Rio Olympics Athletes Are Using Tech to Win Medals (BBC, 7/29)
Data analytics, wearable technology, and even augmented reality are making their mark on this year’s Olympic athletes, giving contestants the opportunity to learn faster and perform better. These improvements do raise questions of fairness, with some asking how to ensure a level playing field when some countries or athletes can afford technology that others cannot.

The Next Big Fight in Vegas Is a Hacking Contest Between Bots (Wired, 7/28)
On Thursday evening, some of the best hackers in the world will compete for $55 million, letting their autonomous software tackle security holes in a Darpa-hosted contest. The aim is to find cybersecurity software that can protect and patch security holes in other software, a task that currently relies on human recognition and intervention.