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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 08:27 AM ET, 11/29/2011

The Circuit: Facebook IPO, app ratings, counterfeit goods

LEADING THE DAY: Facebook is expected to file for its initial public offering soon — possibly before the end of this year, Bloomberg reported Tuesday. Citing an unnamed “person familiar with the matter,” the report said the social network is aiming to raise $10 billion, giving it a total valuation of $100 billion.

A separate report from the Wall Street Journal indicates the company will file to go public between April and June.

The company already is expecting to have to disclose its finances to the Securities and Exchange Commission this spring, as is required of any company with more than 499 investors.

App ratings: On Tuesday, Wireless and high-tech giants will announce Tuesday a ratings system for mobile apps to alert families about apps that contain violent and other mature content, The Washington Post reported.

AT&T, Microsoft, Sprint, T-Mobile USA, U.S. Cellular and Verizon Wireless will be the first to adopt a standard ratings system modeled after one used by video game makers, according to wireless trade group CTIA. Apple and Google, which operate the two largest app stores, are not involved in the initiative.

Counterfeit goods: Attorney General Eric Holder and others will hold a press conference at the White House today to share the Justice Department’s progress on intellectual property crimes. Intellectual property theft and rogue Web sites have been matters of heated discussion in past days, given the debate surrounding the Protect IP Act and the Stop Online Piracy Act.

The press conference comes a day after the Justice Department announced it had seized 150 Web sites selling counterfeit goods

FCC legislation markup: The House subcommittee on communications and technology will mark up legislation proposing changes to the Federal Communications Commission’s processes in a hearing Tuesday. Ahead of the markup, subcommittee Chairman Greg Walden (R-Ore.) and House Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) raised concerns about the FCC’s transparency as it prepares to restructure the Universal Service Fund.

The lawmakers have asked the FCC to provide information on all changes made to its USF proposal from the time it was considered to the time it was adopted.

The subcommittee has also scheduled a Dec. 1 markup hearing for the Jumpstarting Opportunity with Broadband Spectrum (JOBS), which would free up more spectrum for wireless broadband and support a national public safety broadband network.

Hearing delayed: Judge Ellen Huvelle of the U.S. District Court of the District of Columbia has postponed a much anticipated Wednesday meeting with AT&T and T-Mobile and the Justice Department to early next month, The Washington Post reported.

Huvelle, citing a scheduling conflict, said she will instead meet with the companies at 10 a.m. Dec. 9 to get an update on the status of the case.

EU telecom rules: The European Commission has written to 16 of its member states — including France, Germany and Belgium — giving them six months to implement new telecom rules that provide customers more flexibility to change carriers and protect their personal data, Cellular News reported. States that do not comply with the rules face potential fines, the report said.

By  |  08:27 AM ET, 11/29/2011

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