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Timothy B. Lee

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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 03:16 PM ET, 08/20/2012

Commerce names board for first-responder network #thecircuit

First-responder network: The Commerce Department named 12 members to its board of directors for FirstNet, the national network for first-responders. Funding for the network was authorized earlier this year as part of the deal to extend the payroll tax holiday. The network will be exclusively for first responders to communicate across agencies during emergencies — a recommendation of the 9/11 commission.

The chairman of the board is Sam Ginn, the retired chairman and chief executive of Vodafone AirTouch, PLC.

Motorola Mobility sues Apple: Google’s Motorola Mobility division has filed a lawsuit against Apple alleging that features in the Cupertino, Calif.-based company’s devices infringe on its patents.

According to Bloomberg, the company filed the lawsuit with the International Trade Commission and it includes a request for a ban on imports of the iPhone, iPad and Mac computers.

The report said the complaint involves seven patents, including one that alleges Apple’s Siri technology infringes on a Motorola patent. The report also says that none of the patents qualify as “standard-essential” patents, which cover technology that must be incorporated into an invention to comply with industry standards.

Advocacy groups pan AT&T’s Facetime plans: Consumer and Internet openness advocates weighed in over the weekend on reports that AT&T will only be offering Apple’s Facetime service over cellular networks to those who sign up for a shared data plan. All users will still be able to use Facetime over WiFi networks.

Free Press Policy Director Matt Wood said that doing so would break the Federal Communications Commission’s rules regarding net neutrality — an opinion seconded by Public Knowledge senior staff attorney John Bergmayer, citing the part of the order that says mobile providers cannot “block applications that compete with the provider’s voice or video telephony services.”

Groupon investors leaving: Some of Groupon’s earliest investors are selling of their shares, the Wall Street Journal reported, as worries mount over the coupon company’s future and the possibility of another dot-com bust, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Groupon stock was trading at around $4.75 per share Monday afternoon, down from its opening share price of $20. When the company reported its second-quarter earnings last week, its stock fell on the news that Groupon raised revenue and billings, but had lost some of the pace of its growth.

Judge rejects Facebook settlement: A federal judge in San Francisco said that he had “serious concerns” about a settlement Facebook has made with attorneys representing those concerned about the “Sponsored Stories” advertisements on its social network.

As Wired reported, the judge said that the proposed settlement’s $10 million in attorney fees and $10 million in money to charities was not fair to the class plaintiffs.

According to the report, if the deal had been approved Facebook members in the United States would have been sent a notice that allowed them to join the case or opt-out.

By  |  03:16 PM ET, 08/20/2012

 
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