The U.S. Senate is hashing out the USA Freedom Act, which concerns government wiretapping.
The U.S. Senate has taken one step closer to a final vote on changing the government’s controversial program to freely tap and monitor citizens’ phones.
Senators voted 83-14 to end debate on the “Uniting and Strengthening America by Fulfilling Rights and Ending Eavesdropping, Dragnet-collection and Online Monitoring” (USA Freedom) Act. The bill will extend lapsed provisions of the anti-terrorism Patriot Act and aims to add transparency to the NSA’s activities surrounding wiretapping and data collection.
A final vote could happen as early as this afternoon.
Apple has a massive pile of cash sitting overseas and the U.S. Senate is now weighing options on how to entice Cupertino to bring all $138 billion of it back to American soil.
Senate Democrats and Republicans are reportedly in discussions about passing legislation that would give American companies like Apple and Google a one-time tax break if they repatriate profits stashed overseas.
An Irish parliamentary committee has dismissed the opportunity to grill Apple and Google over their tax affairs in Ireland, despite requests for a change to the way in which it taxes large multinationals that do business in its country.
The move comes weeks after Apple and Google came under scrutiny for the way in which they use tax “loopholes” or “gimmicks” to avoid paying excessive taxes on international sales. It was revealed that Apple used an Irish subsidiary with zero employees to pay less than 0.05% tax on $78 billion over four years.
Apple has received a lot of heat from the U.S. Senate lately regarding its international tax practices and off-shore cash, and you can now add Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak to the list of Apple tax dissenters.
Woz said that he doesn’t think Apple’s tax practices are really fair, and suggested that Apple, and other large firms, be taxed on their income.
In an interview with the BBC, Woz had the following to say regarding Apple’s tax practices:
This week on The CultCast: Apple Chief Tim Cook brings his Southern charm to Washington, hints at an iHologram; we break down the Apple tax debacle and say why their overseas billions are too legit to quit; and Xbox One vs. Apple TV, should Apple be worried?
All that and more on this week’s CultCast. Stream or download new and past episodes on your Mac or iDevice by subscribing now on iTunes, or hit play below and let the good times roll.
Senator John McCain had a lot of fun grilling Tim Cook at yesterday’s Senate Sub-Committee Hearing, but before he was done he couldn’t help but let off one little joke as he asked Tim why he has to keep on updating all the apps on his iPhone manually.
“Can’t you guys fix that already?” McCain asked.
Cook let off a chuckle before stating that Apple is “working on making our products better all the time.” But we know what the southern gent was really thinking.
Holograms are supposedly going to be the future of artistic performance. First there was the Tupac hologram at Coachella, and now Eazy-E and Ol’ Dirty Bastard are making a hologram comeback too.
Tim Cook had to endure a barrage of silly questions at yesterday’s Senate hearing, but the most most absurd and tasteless came from none other than TMZ who was dying to know if Steve Jobs will make an appearance as a hologram at the next Apple event.
Rather than slapping the reporter for being ridiculous, Tim Cook used his southern charm to deflect the question. Heres a video of the awkward encounter:
Apple CEO Tim Cook and CFO Peter Oppenheimer are in Washington D.C. this morning to talk to a Senate subcommittee about Apple’s off-shore cash hoard. The Apple execs are expected to face a lot of heat surrounding Apple’s Irish subsidiary, through which Apple has funneled 64% of its earnings without paying any tax, yet has zero employees.
Before the hearing got underway though, Ireland’s deputy prime minister, Eamon Gilmore, issued a public statement which claimed Ireland isn’t to blame for Apple’s low tax bill, even though the country has become a tax haven for multinationals since the 1960s.