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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.

Brian Fung

Brian Fung

Brian Fung covers technology for The Washington Post, focusing on electronic privacy, national security, digital politics and the Internet that binds it all together. He was previously the technology correspondent for National Journal and an associate editor at the Atlantic. His writing has also appeared in Foreign Policy, Talking Points Memo, the American Prospect and Nonprofit Quarterly. Follow Brian on Google+ .

Andrea Peterson

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 08:40 AM ET, 12/01/2011

The Circuit: AT&T and T-Mobile have no plan B, AOL alums to launch start-up fund, Carrier IQ

LEADING THE DAY: Spokesman Philipp Kornstaedt, who represents T-Mobile USA’s parent company Deustche Telekom, told Bloomberg that the company has no backup plan for the carrier if a proposed merger with AT&T falls through.

“We have always said there is no Plan B,” he told Bloomberg.

Kornstaedt’s statement came in response to a report from the Wall Street Journal that said AT&T and T-Mobile are discussing a joint venture to pool their assets.

AOL alums to start fund: Entrepreneurs and AOL alums Ted Leonsis and Steve Case will file with the Securities and Exchange Commission to launch a fund aimed at helping D.C.-area start-ups, The Washington Post reported. The Revolution Growth Fund has thus far raised $450 million, the report said, and is an attempt to spark innovation in the local technology community and be a source of funding on the East Coast.

“We want to make it easy for companies to get started here, and particularly to stay and expand and grow while being headquartered here,” Case said in an interview.

Carrier IQ: A researcher named Trevor Eckhart has posted evidence that a program known as Carrier IQ is tracking mobile users’ keystrokes and activities. Eckhart has said the evidence of program is present in Android device and BlackBerry devices; other researchers have found evidence of it in Apple devices. The data, he said, is transmitted back to Carrier IQ’s servers. The company told Wired that the program is meant to gather information to improve users’ experience by collecting data on dropped calls, signal quality and other troubleshooting problems.

In a Twitter message, Verizon spokesman Jeffrey Nelson said that the program is not present on any Verizon devices; Nokia has made a similar statement to The Verge.

FCC nominations: On Wednesday, Senate lawmakers mulled the nominations of Republican Ajit Vradaraj Pai and Democrat Jessica Rosenworcel to the Federal Communications Commission. The nominees appeared to have broad support, The Washington Post reported. Both Pai and Rosenworcel said that communications laws could use some updating, and highlighted the need for the agency to keep up with the fast-changing pace of technological advancement.

Google’s Schmidt criticizes piracy bills: Google Chairman Eric Schmidt continued to speak about his opposition to online piracy bills in the House and Senate, saying they “go after all the wrong problems,” the Associated Press reported. Schmidt, speaking to an audience at the University of Minnesota, said that the bills would simply redirect criminal activity to different Web sites. He suggested that it would be more effective to make it “more explicitly illegal” to profit from pirated content. He also said that the bills could potentially violate the First Amendment.

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), who sponsored the Senate’s Protect IP Act, the senator said that the bill does not violate the First Amendment. “There is no First Amendment right to steal,” he said in a statement quoted in the report.

By  |  08:40 AM ET, 12/01/2011

Tags:  Google, FCC, Privacy, AOL, T-Mobile, AT&T

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