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Timothy B. Lee

Timothy B. Lee

Timothy B. Lee covers technology policy, including copyright and patent law, telecom regulation, privacy, and free speech. He also writes about the economics of technology. He has previously written for Ars Technica and Forbes. You can follow him on Twitter or send him email.

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Brian Fung

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Andrea Peterson

Andrea Peterson covers technology policy for The Washington Post, with an emphasis on cybersecurity, consumer privacy, transparency, surveillance and open government. She also delves into the societal impacts of technology access and how innovation is intertwined with cultural development.

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Posted at 03:07 PM ET, 01/25/2013

AT&T buys spectrum from Verizon #thecircuit

AT&T buys spectrum from Verizon: AT&T has purchased wireless spectrum in a band vital to expanding its 4G LTE network from its biggest competitor, Verizon.

AT&T will pay $1.9 billion for the spectrum, which covers western markets such as Los Angeles, Phoenix, Fresno, Calif. and Portland, Ore. The transactions, subject to regulatory approval, have happened as a result of a spectrum deal between Verizon and several cable companies; regulators required the carrier to sell some of its holdings in order to complete the deal.

As part of Friday’s transaction, Verizon will also sell some spectrum that covers North Carolina to a private equity firm in Florida, and lease spectrum that the equity firm is purchasing from AT&T in Dallas, Tex.

Apple discloses it found underage workers: Apple disclosed Friday that, in the course of its annual audits, it had found underage employees working at one of its suppliers’ factories in China. The company said the underage workers were recruited by a third-party labor agent that reportedly forged paperwork to make the employees appear older.

Apple said that it has ended its relationship with that factory and has also reported the third-party agent to local authorities.

Overall, the company said that 79 percent of its suppliers are in compliance for its standards on worker practices, and 73 percent of suppliers met its standards for having management systems in place to prevent bad practices. That compares to compliance rates of 76 percent and 71 percent, respectively, in the company’s 2012 report.

U.S., Europe disagree on digital privacy rules: The United States is resisting a push from European governments that are trying to put stricter limits on how Internet companies collect and use consumer data, The Washington Post reported.

A bill before the European Parliament, the report said, is facing criticism from U.S. policymakers who are concerned that its provisions could hamper multinational corporations’ ability to innovate.

“We need to have a global conversation. This is too important. We can’t afford to have a Great Fire Wall of Europe. Europeans can’t afford to wall themselves off from the rest of the world,” said Cameron Kerry, general counsel to the Commerce Department, in an interview with the Post.

French court orders Twitter to identify users: A French court has ordered Twitter to provide information on users who wrote racist posts on its Web site, The New York Times reported, as part of a lawsuit filed by French groups who said the posts broke laws prohibiting racist speech.

It’s not yet clear if Twitter will comply, the report said, but the case does highlight the growing struggle American companies such as Twitter, Google and Facebook face as they try to navigate laws governing speech overseas.

By  |  03:07 PM ET, 01/25/2013

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