The Circuit: Data breach hearing; Google, Time Warner oppose Calif. law; Applied Materials to buy Varian Semiconductor

LEADING THE DAY: The House Energy and Commerce Manufacturing subcommittee will hold a hearing on data theft Wednesday morning, partially in response to two data breaches at Sony. Subcommittee chair Rep. Mary Bono Mack (R-Calif.) and ranking member Rep. G.K. Butterfield (D-N.C) sent a letter to Sony asking for more information on the company’s first reported breach last Friday. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) has also written to Sony about both breaches, The Hill reported.

The company was invited to testify at the hearing, but declined, citing its ongoing internal investigation. David Vladeck, the head of the FTC’s consumer protection bureau, is one of the witnesses testifying today.

Google, Time Warner oppose Calif. Do Not Track: Google and Time Warner are among the companies who have sent a letter to the California State Senate opposing the state’s proposed do not track legislation. In the letter the companies argue that the law, which would give California residents the right not to be tracked online, is unconstitutional as it would regulate business outside of the state.

Applied Materials will buy Varian Semiconductor: Chip equipment manufacturer Applied Materials announced that it will buy Varian Semiconductor for $4.9 billion. The deal is expected to give the new company a boost in addressing the demands of the smartphone and solar panel industries. The merger won unanimous approval from both companies’ boards.

The iPad and presidential records: In a hearing of the House Oversight Committee on Tuesday, White House archivist David Ferriero said he was “not comfortable” with the current policy of having White House staffers decide what communication made on personal computing devices such as the iPad should be preserved for presidential records. Committee chair Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) raised concerns that there is no way to oversee the use of White House staffers’ personal devices and non-work e-mail accounts.

Google launches TV campaign for Chrome: In a push to make more consumers aware of its desktop browser, Google has launched a sentimental TV ad for Chrome, tugging at heartstrings while showing off the browser’s integration with other Google services such as Picasa and YouTube. The New York Times reported that this is Google’s largest ever offline campaign.

Norton launches cyber security institute: Security software firm Norton will hold a panel at the Capitol Hill Visitor Center featuring experts from four top cyber security non-profits to kick off its new cyber security institute Wednesday.

The institute will aim to provide law enforcement such as state attorneys general, prosecutors and judges with training on cyber security issues, said Adam Palmer, Norton’s lead cyber security adviser.

Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.

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