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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 02:38 PM ET, 01/17/2013

Demand Progress calls for change to computer hacking law #thecircuit

Aaron’s Law: Demand Progress, the progressive group co-founded by the late Aaron Swartz, said Thursday that they will support a bill of proposed changes to a federal computer fraud law. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), proposes that violating “terms of service” agreements fall under the juristiction of civil courts rather than being prosecuted as felonies.

The bill is called “Aaron’s Law” in honor of Swartz, who was charged under the current version of the law and found dead in his apartment last week of an apparent suicide.

Video game bills: Rep. Jim Matheson (D-Utah) has introduced a bill that would make it illegal to sell video games with “Mature” and “Adults Only” ratings to young children. As the Hill reported, the bill would restrict sales of the former to those above 17; “Adults Only” titles would only be available to those over 18.

The law, as proposed, is very similar to a California statute that was struck down by the Supreme Court last year.

President Obama called this week for Congress to devote $10 million to study the relationship between violent media, including video games, and real-world violence. Following that announcement, Rep. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.V.) said Wednesday that he would reintroduce a bill that would direct the National Academy of Sciences to look into that relationship.

AT&T, Facetime: AT&T said Wednesday that it will allow more iPhone users to access the Apple video-conferencing program Facetime over its cellular network. The issue has been a point of contention between the carrier and consumer advocacy groups who say the company’s restrictions on Facetime violate net neutrality rules.

In a company blog post, AT&T said it will allow users on its limited data plans to use the service over the network, but will not open Facetime to unlimited data customers. All AT&T customers can use the app over WiFi networks.

Facebook adds voice calls:  The latest update of Facebook’s Messenger app now lets U.S. users place voice calls over WiFi. The rollout follows reports of Facebook testing voice call features in Canada this month.

To use the feature, Facebook users must hit the “i” info icon in the corner or a conversation or contact information page. That panel has a “Free Call” button that you can use if your friend has shared a mobile number with Facebook and is available for a call.

By  |  02:38 PM ET, 01/17/2013

 
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