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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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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 12:33 PM ET, 09/26/2012

Brazil orders arrest of Google executive #thecircuit

Brazil orders arrest of Google exec: A court in Brazil has ordered the arrest of a Google executive after the company refused to take down videos that criticized a candidate for mayor of the city of Campo Grande.

According to the Associated Press, the court ordered the arrest of Fabio Jose Silva Coelho because the company did not remove videos the government claims run afoul of South America’s pre-vote election laws. As of Wednesday morning, he has not been arrested.

In a statement to The Washington Post, Google said it is “appealing a court’s decision to remove a video from YouTube because, as a platform, we are not responsible for the content uploaded to our site.”

Genachowski speaks at Vox Media: Federal Communications Chairman Julius Genachowski in a speech Tuesday again said that the government should have limited involvement in broadband regulation and encourage Internet competition.

He said that the country needs faster Internet in more places and firm Internet freedom.

Genachowski also weighed in on the dispute between D.C. cab drivers and the car service app Uber, saying that he comes down on the side of the app and “innovation.”

He used this example to underscore his belief that government bodies must be “encouraging“competition and innovation and certainly not erecting roadblocks” to innovation.

Nook tablet: Barnes and Noble announced Wednesday that it has two new Nook Tablets, specifically designed for better video viewing. The announcement comes just a day after the bookseller unveiled plans for a video service of its own.

The new tablets are called the Nook Tablet HD and Nook Tablet HD+, 7- and 9-inch devices that show Barnes and Noble is jumping into the tablet market with both feet.

Barnes and Noble’s decision fits with the trend of companies choosing to package their content with proprietary hardware, but its ecosystem doesn’t come close to matching the content breadth of Apple, Google or Amazon. The tablets do match or beat competitors on price: the Nook Tablet HD will cost $199, while the HD+ has a $269 price tag. In the 7-inch space, that matches Amazon’s Kindle Fire HD’s 7-inch model and Google’s Nexus 7. They will be in stores this November.

Lofgren unveils two bills: Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) announced two bills Tuesday that deal with the Web -- one on Internet privacy and one on Internet freedom. One bill would modify the Electronic Communication Privacy Act (ECPA) to include measures to update and strengthen privacy provisions that relate to individual privacy.

The second bill would create a U.S.-based task force to identify domestic and international threats to Internet freedom, particularly online service, Internet architecture and the rights of Internet users.

In a statement, Lofgren said she wants to put measures in place to head off bill such as the Stop Online Piracy Act in the future.

“We need proactive laws designed to preserve an open and truly global Internet from SOPA-like legislation, unduly restrictive treaties and trade agreements, and overbroad government surveillance,” Lofgren said in a statement.

FTC settles with computer spying ring: The Federal Trade Commission announced Tuesday that it has settled with seven computer rental companies and a software design firm that allegedly took screenshots and logged the keystrokes of those who rented their technology.

The firms — DesignerWare, Aspen Way Enterprises, B.Stamper Enterprises, C.A.L.M. Ventures, J.A.G. Rents, Red Zone Investment Group, Showplace and Watershed Development Corp. — are banned from using monitoring software or deceiving customers to gather information. A final descrtipion of the consent agreement will be published soon.

By  |  12:33 PM ET, 09/26/2012

 
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