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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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Brian Fung

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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.

Post Tech
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Posted at 08:47 AM ET, 09/23/2011

The Circuit: Call for LightSquared investigation; Meg Whitman in as HP CEO; online video competition heats up

LEADING THE DAY: Rep. Mike Turner (R-Ohio) is leading the call for an investigation into the Federal Communications Commission’s process for approving LightSquared’s proposal for its broadband network. Turner is chairman of the House Armed Services strategic forces subcommittee. He and five other members of the subcommittee sent a letter to House Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) asking Issa to examine apparent “administration bias” toward the proposal.

Issa’s office told The Post that he’s looking into Turner’s concerns along with other allegations of administration influence over private company initiatives, such as Solyndra.

Turner joins other GOP lawmakers, including Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), in criticizing the FCC’s process with LightSquared. Grassley, who is the ranking member of the Judiciary Committee, recently asked the FCC to provide documents pertaining to its decision to grant the Jan. 11 waiver. He was told that the agency does not respond to requests from committees that do not oversee the FCC, per congressional rules.

Meg Whitman is HP CEO: Former eBay executive Meg Whitman has returned to the technology industry, replacing Leo Apotheker as the chief executive of Hewlett-Packard Thursday, The Washington Post reported. HP has had seven chief executives since 1999, and some analysts worried that Whitman’s consumer-focused background from her eBay days would not translate well to the business demands at HP.

“I am honored and excited to lead HP. I believe HP matters — it matters to Silicon Valley, California, the country and the world,” Whitman said in a statement.

Whitman is coming off a failed bid to be governor of California, losing to Democrat Jerry Brown, but Politico reported that she has not abandoned policy and politics. The report said that it’s likely Whitman, who has supported Mitt Romney’s run for the presidency, had to assure HP’s board that she would not leave if Romney succeeds in 2012.

Online video competition heats up: Blockbuster appears set to announce a streaming video service Friday. The company, which was recently acquired by Dish Network, invited news media to a Friday event called “A Stream Come True,” CNET reported. The move could put the company in position to challenge Netflix, as the The Washington Post reported in April, especially given recent customer attitudes toward Netflix.

Netflix announced Thursday that it was partnering with Facebook to provide streaming video through the social network, but said the function would not be available to U.S. users because of a 1998 law that forbids companies from releasing video sales or rental records, The Washington Post reported.

FCC net neutrality official Nov. 20: The FCC’s net neutrality rules will be made official on Nov. 20, The Washington Post reported, and are expected to set off a fresh lawsuit from Verizon Communications. Verizon and Metro PCS had previously sued to overturn the rules, but a judge threw out the case in April.

A Verizon spokesman said that the company doesn’t have a firm schedule for when it plans to file the suit.

Anonymous, LulzSec arrests: A member of the LulzSec hacking group was arrested for an attack against Sony Pictures, the FBI announced Thursday. According to a release from the agency, Cody Kretsinger, 23, of Phoenix, allegedly worked with co-conspirators from LulzSec to obtain confidential information from Sony Pictures’ computer systems and attack its Web site.

The U.S. Attorney’s office of Northern California also announced Thursday that it has charged two men, Christopher Doyon and Joshua Cobvelli for attacks against Santa Cruz County government systems. The two men are believed to be associated with the hacking collective Anonymous.

Facebook planning major changes: Facebook unveiled a major redesign Thursday that aims to turn the social network into the Internet’s central platform, allowing people to share music, news and movies with their friends online, The Washington Post reported. Now, users can see what their friends are listening to, watching or reading, and then consume the same media without leaving the site.

Facebook already has taken a similar approach to games, but it is unclear whether the model will be successful with other media, analysts said. But some users may not want to share what they are listening to or reading, privacy advocates said.

By  |  08:47 AM ET, 09/23/2011

Tags:  facebook, cybersecurity, streaming video, ebay, hp, fcc, lightsquared, spectrum

 
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