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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 12:13 PM ET, 10/08/2012

Huawei, ZTE criticized in report #thecircuit

Huawei, ZTE: The House Intelligence committee is set to release its report on suspected connections between Chinese telecom companies and the Chinese government, The Washington Post reported, and accuses Huawei and ZTE of failing to fully cooperate with the panel’s investigation.

In the report, the panel recommends that the federal government block mergers between these firms and U.S. firms to lower the possibility of espionage.

Both companies vigorously deny the accusations.

“The concept of a conspiracy in which Huawei would infect its own gear at the behest of some government would require thousands of our employees to be complicit with the conspiracy,” William Plummer, Huawei’s vice president for external affairs, said in an interview with The Post last week. “It is inconceivable.”

At a hearing last month, ZTE executive Zhu Jinyun said that China has never asked for access to its equipment to conduct a cyberattack and that the company would never comply with such a request.

Huawei will be holding a press call at 1:30 to address the report’s findings.

Privacy study: Researchers from the University of California at Berkeley released a study Monday at the Amsterdam Privacy Conference, finding that most Americans haven’t heard of “Do Not Track” proposals, but would like to see a tool that prevents advertisers from collecting information on them.

The study also found that nearly half of those surveyed say they never click on online advertising .

The New York Times reported that the study was financed with a grant from Nokia and found that 60 percent of the people participating in the phone survey said that they would like to see regulation that prevents Web sites from “collecting information” about them.

Patent wars: Patents are becoming an increasingly potent weapon, the New York Times reported, in a piece chronicling how patents led to the sale of the voice-assistant application Vlingo and the process behind Apple’s patents on the iPhone and other products.

The process of obtaining a patent, the report said, has some experts worrying about a possible chilling effect on innovation.

FCC program access: The Federal Communications Commission on Friday voted to free cable operators from obligations to provide non-sports cable channels they own to rival satellite and phone companies that also provide video services, The Washington Post reported.

The move comes after the FCC decided not to extend its “program access” rules, first enacted 20 years ago as a way to ensure that rivals could compete with big cable companies.

“The FCC is focused on promoting competition and protecting consumers in the evolving video market,” FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said in a statement. “Today’s unanimous decision enables the FCC to continue preventing anticompetitive video distribution arrangements through a legally sustainable, expeditious, case-by-case review.”

Mouse in decline: With the rise of touchscreen devices, The Washington Post reported, industry watchers are wondering if the mouse is in decline.

This fall marks the first time that sales of iPads are cannibalizing sales of PCs in schools, Charles Wolf, an analyst for the investment research firm Needham & Co., told The Post.

Meanwhile, companies are working to make new headway in the field of human-computer interaction, introducing more advanced options such as voice and motion control.

By  |  12:13 PM ET, 10/08/2012

 
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