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FCC moves closer to spectrum auctions #thecircuit

FCC moves closer to spectrum auctions: The Federal Communications Commission moved forward on a proposal to auction airwaves to accommodate the nation’s ever- increasing number of smartphones and tablets.

As The Washington Post reported, the agency’s five-member commission approved a plan for how to best collect and resell broadcaster’s television spectrum. The agency will take comments on the proposal before its final vote, and aims to begin auctions to wireless carriers by 2014.

YouTube will block video in Brazil: YouTube said Thursday that it will block a video about a Brazilian mayoral candidate after being denied the chance to appeal to keep the clip online. The Google video service announced the decision in a company blog post,. in which Google Brazil country director Fabio Coelho also gave an abbreviated account of events that led to a court order for his arrest.

According to an English translation of the post, the company does not agree with the judge who found that the clip runs afoul of Brazilian election laws that forbid certain personal criticism of candidates during an election. But while YouTube was waiting for its appeal to be heard, a judge ordered Coelho’s arrest. The company learned late Wednesday night that its appeal has been denied and that it will have to block access to the video in that country.

Tim Cook apologizes for Maps: Apple chief executive Tim Cook apologized for the company’s new Maps application in a letter posted to the company’s Web site on Friday.

Cook not only said that Apple was “extremely sorry” for the frustration that customers have had with Maps and that the company is working hard to improve the application. He also pointed users to other mapping applications available in Apple’s App Store -- from Bing, MapQuest and Waze — and to the Web from competitors Google and Nokia.

“Everything we do at Apple is aimed at making our products the best in the world,” Cook wrote. “We know that you expect that from us, and we will keep working non-stop until Maps lives up to the same incredibly high standard.”

Dish reportedly considers online deal: Bloomberg reported that Dish Network is in talks with networks such as Viacom, Univision and Scripps Networks to stream content online through the site.

Citing “five people familiar with the plan,” the report said that the companies would offer the online bundled service, offering just a few channels, for a lower price. The service, the report said, would be available on computers and tablets.

ACLU raises alarm on electronic surveillance: The American Civil Liberties Union on Wednesday posted documents on the U.S. government’s electronic surveillance, saying that the documents show a “huge increase” in warrantless surveillance by the Justice Department.

According to the posted documents, obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request, the number of people subject to surveillance of incoming and outgoing data has gone up sharply.

The report said that more people were targeted with “trace surveillance in the past two years than in the entire previous decade.” The records of these actions, the group said, were submitted to Congress but never released to the public.

The group called for Congress to pass a law that would require strict reporting requirements — specifically endorsing a bill from Rep. Jarrold Nadler (D-N.Y.).

Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.



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