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Media & Comm, most read of 2017: Visa reform; cybersecurity blame; deal politics


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Media & Comm, most read of 2017: Visa reform; cybersecurity blame; deal politics

Here are the most read stories of the year.

Former Microsoft CEO launches site on U.S. government data, which collects federal, state and local government data, was launched to help U.S. citizens better understand how tax dollars are spent. The project's website,, became public April 18. Steve Ballmer, who stepped down as Microsoft Corp. CEO in 2014, told The New York Times that the online data trove was intended to be "the equivalent of a 10-K for government," referring to a company's annual SEC filing.

Trump signs executive order cracking down on 'widespread abuse' of H-1B visas

President Donald Trump signed an executive order April 18 cracking down on what he called "widespread abuse" of the H-1B visa program, which is used by many technology companies to recruit skilled workers. The executive order requires applicants and potential employers to prove that the temporary guestworker visas were going to the most skilled and best paid workers.

Microsoft slams NSA as ransomware cyberattack spreads

Microsoft President and Chief Legal Officer Brad Smith said the ransomware attack that hit the U.K. and Spain on May 12, and spread across the world over the following weekend was drawn from software tools stolen from the National Security Agency in the U.S. Smith said the incident should serve as a "wake-up call" for governments around the world that stockpile exploits, or software tools designed to take advantage of vulnerabilities in a computer system.

Sinclair/Tribune and the politics of public interest

Groups opposing Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc.'s purchase of Tribune Media Co. argue the deal would not serve the public interest, but legal and industry experts say changing views on public interest make this argument unlikely to succeed. In a letter addressed to the chairmen of the Senate Commerce and Judiciary committees, eight Senate democrats called for hearings on the Sinclair/Tribune deal.

Streaming players up the programming ante in competitive summer season

Netflix Inc. and Inc. have now joined cable and broadcast networks in offering viewers an array of choices. The broadcast networks were largely content to live on the laurels and profits of the September-through-May TV season, airing reruns or replacement shows as household usage levels dropped off from June through August.