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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 08:36 AM ET, 09/13/2011

The Circuit: Facebook beefs up D.C. office, CTIA supports jobs bill, net neutrality clears hurdle

LEADING THE DAY: Facebook is adding two more members to its D.C. office, The Washington Post reported Tuesday. Erin Egan, currently a partner at Covington & Burling, will join as senior policy adviser and director of privacy. Privacy is one of the main legislative issues facing the social network, and Facebook has been scrutinized in the past for its user privacy policies, particularly as they apply to children.

Louisa Terrell, formerly a White House special assistant to the president for legislative affairs, will also join Facebook as a director of public policy. In the past, Terrell has also worked for Yahoo, and as Vice President Biden’s deputy chief of staff during his time as a senator.

Facebook also hired Erika Mann to lead its Brussels office and serve as spokeswoman for its E.U. institutions.

The company has made many well-connected D.C.-hires in the past year. Last week, the social network hired Erskine Bowles, former chief of staff to President Bill Clinton, to its board.

CTIA support for jobs bill: CTIA — the Wireless Association President and CEO Steve Largent issued a Monday statement supporting the American Jobs Act and its plans for spectrum auctions.Urging Congress to authorize the incentive auctions and repurpose spectrum bands currently used by the federal government, Largent said, auctions are “critical to efforts to address wireless consumers’ demand for mobile broadband service, just as it is key to spurring additional investment, innovation and job creation across the wireless ecosystem.”

Net neutrality: The Federal Communications Commission’s net neutrality rules cleared another hurdle Friday, when the Office of Management and Budget signed off on the measure. The nod from the OMB allows for the rules to be published in the Federal Register, a process that should take from one to three weeks, Reuters reported Monday.

The publication is expected to restart lawsuits opposing the measure. In January, the FCC said that suits opposing the measure filed by Verizon and MetroPCS came prematurely, before the rules were published in the Federal Register, and the cases were thrown out of federal appeals court.

IBM shows off Watson’s applications: IBM is showing off the information processing and diagnostic power of its Watson computer at a Tuesday morning event after announcing a partnership with Wellpoint, The Washington Post reported. Watson recently won big on the quiz show “Jeopardy!,” beating out two former champions of the show. Wellpoint will use Watson’s technology, which can analyze about 200 million pages of data in under three seconds, to aid physicians looking to quickly process medical records and cutting-edge research.

Health care was one of the main applications IBM envisioned for the computer, when the company publicly debuted Watson in February.

Boomers fueling social media growth: Members of the baby-boomer generation are among the fastest-growing users of mobile social media, The Washington Post reported. According to data from Nielsen research, the number of Internet users age 55 and older using networks via smartphones has grown by 109 percent from the previous year.

“Boomers are at the forefront of change because they use social media like everyone else, and in the context of the larger economy they are the ones that have kept their jobs and are better off so they can afford smartphones,” said Radha Subramanyam, Nielsen’s head of social media and advertising analytics.

Microsoft BUILD: Microsoft kicks off its BUILD conference today in Anaheim, Calif., where it’s expected to give a longer preview of its next-generation operating system, codenamed Windows 8. The system is a unified platform for tablets and computers, marking Microsoft’s long-anticipated entry into the market where its rival Apple has seen enormous success with the iPad.

By  |  08:36 AM ET, 09/13/2011

 
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