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Timothy B. Lee

Timothy B. Lee

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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 03:06 PM ET, 09/05/2012

Debate over the CALM Act continues #thecircuit

Eshoo rebuts CALM Act opposition: In a letter to the Federal Communications Commission chairman, Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) said that a cable industry group’s objections to a bill that would regulate the volume of on-air advertisements are against the spirit of the law.

Eshoo was the original author of the Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation (CALM) Act, designed to unify the volume of advertisements and programs. The National Cable and Telecommunications Association had petitioned the FCC to exempt television programming promotions and channels that aren’t ad-supported from the rule.

“The distinction between promotional materials and other forms of advertising would not be readily apparent to a consumer and thus should not be treated differently in the context of the Commission’s rules,” Eshoo said in her letter to FCC chief Julius Genachowski. “Television viewers have a reasonable expectation” that the rule would apply across all commercial television stations.

FTC outlines app guidelines: The Federal Trade Commission Wednesday published guidelines for app developers meant to help them “observe truth-in-advertising and basic privacy principles” for new mobile applications.

The guidelines include recommendations that developers be truthful about what their app can do and what information it can access, honor privacy promises, keep user data secure and collect sensitive information only with consent.

FBI denies hacker claims: The Federal Bureau of Investigation denied Tuesday that a sample of Apple data posted by the hacking group AntiSec originated with the agency.

The hackers claimed the agency was using the data, which included millions of Apple device identification numbers, to track the devices’ owners.

“The FBI is aware of published reports alleging that an FBI laptop was compromised and private data regarding Apple UDIDs was exposed,” the agency said in a statement.  “At this time, there is no evidence indicating that an FBI laptop was compromised or that the FBI either sought or obtained this data.”

The Hill reported Tuesday that Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) raised questions about the FBI’s access to user IDs and personal information. Markey, the report said, urged other lawmakers to consider his Wireless Surveillance Act — a bill that would require law enforcement officials to give regular reports on the kinds of phone information they collect and would require warrants to obtain phone location data.

Facebook CEO won’t sell stock for a year: Facebook Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg said in a filing Tuesday that he will not sell any of his stock in the company for a year. Two of the company’s board members — Marc Andreesen and Washington Post Co. chairman and CEO Donald Graham — also said in the filing that they have no plans to sell their holdings in the company, apart from tax-related sales.

The company also said that it would initiate a buyback of stock from employees when the next wave of restricted stock units becomes eligible for sale on the stock market.

App developers grapple with COPPA: Some app developers are being cautious about adding certain features to their programs designed for children, The Washington Post reported, for fear that they will run afoul of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) by collecting too much information from their users.

Some smaller developers, the report said, don’t have the opportunity to access the legal expertise they feel they need to navigate the law.

“I’m a little hesitant to innovate because of COPPA,” said developer Dan Russell-Pinson in an interview with The Post. “At this point I don’t know what I can and cannot do, and if in doubt you do less.”

By  |  03:06 PM ET, 09/05/2012

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