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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.

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Posted at 08:32 AM ET, 10/18/2011

The Circuit: ECPA reform, bill shock, Twitter valuation

LEADING THE DAY: Sens. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) will join several privacy and civil liberties advocates at a Tuesday morning event calling for the U.S. to update its electronic privacy laws. The conference, held the same week as the 25th anniversary of the Electronic Privacy Act, will call for regulations that would require the government to obtain a warrant before tracking individuals through their cellular phones.

Bill shock rule on hold: The Federal Communications Commissions opted to put its plans for bill shock regulation on hold Monday, as the wireless industry promised to introduce new self-regulation measures, The Washington Post reported. The bill would require that carriers send alerts to customers who are nearing the limits for voice, text and data limits, or to those about to incur international roaming fees. The decision to wait was seen as a victory for the wireless industry, which has long opposed the agency’s plans to create rules regarding bill shock.

Twitter: Twitter chief executive Dick Costolo confirmed an $8 billion valuation for the social networking service, during a speech at the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco. The Wall Street Journal reported that Costolo said that Twitter will continue to succeed because of its simplicity, which will help it stand against Facebook and Google.

Costolo also said that Twitter sign-ups have tripled since Apple introduced deep Twitter integration into the iPhone, GigaOm reported. In an on-stage interview with John Batelle, Costolo reportedly said that the integration will be “even better than we thought it would be.”

Apple earnings: Apple will report its earnings for its latest quarter this afternoon at 5 p.m. Eastern time. It will be the first earnings call for the company since the resignation, and subsequent death, of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs. The company is expected to report another quarter of record sales, given that officials have already said that Apple sold 4 million iPhone 4S units in its first three days on the market.

On Monday, the International Trade Commission sided with Apple in a patent case with HTC, Reuters reported. An administrative judge found that Apple had committed “no violation” of the HTC patents. The full commission will decide whether or not to uphold that ruling in February, the report said.

Piracy: Bloomberg reports that Microsoft and Adobe are among those leading the charge for stronger measures against software piracy in the European Union. Companies lost $13.5 billion to consumers using pirated software in the EU last year, the report said, adding that since 2007, about 35 percent of software used on personal computers each year has been pirated. Advocates are urging the EU to consider anti-piracy punishments similar to those in the U.S.

By  |  08:32 AM ET, 10/18/2011

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