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Timothy B. Lee

Timothy B. Lee

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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 03:56 PM ET, 03/06/2012

The Circuit: FBI arrests alleged hackers, FCC bills head to the floor, Verizon’s cable deal

FBI arrests alleged hackers: The FBI announced Tuesday that it had charged five people believed to be associated with the LulzSec hacking group with the assistance of a prominent LulzSec member known as “Sabu.”

The FBI has confirmed that “Sabu,” whose real name is Hector Xavier Monsegur, worked with the agency to turn in several of his fellow hackers.

A New York court unsealed documents Tuesday revealing Sabu’s involvement in the arrests of other LulzSec members. According to the report the following members have been identified: Ryan Ackroyd, a.k.a. “Kayla;” Jake Davis, a.k.a. “Topiary;” Darren Martyn, a.k.a. “pwnsauce;” Donncha O’Cearrbhail, a.k.a. “palladium;” and Jeremy Hammond, a.k.a. “Anarchaos.”

Ackroyd and Davis are from Britain, the FBI said, and Martyn and O’Cearrbhail are from Ireland. Hammond is from Chicago.

FCC bills: The House Energy and Commerce committee voted Tuesday to send two bills that would place certain requirements on the Federal Communications Commission’s ability to adopt new regulations, and would also codify the agency’s unofficial “shot clock” when reviewing deals between companies.

The bills would also restrict the kinds of conditions that the FCC could place on corporate mergers.

Verizon’s cable deal: On Tuesday, 10 companies, including T-Mobile, Sprint, DIRECTV and the Rural Telecommunications Group, filed a letter with the Federal Communications Commission asking the agency to stop its unofficial shot clock as it considers Verizon’s agreement with cable companies to purchase spectrum and cross-sell selected services.

The group is asking the FCC to require Verizon, Comcast, Time Warner and others to submit unredacted versions of their agreements for the record.

ACTA: Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) has posted the full text of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Act (ACTA), a European measure against online piracy that the Obama administration agreed to via an executive agreement in October.

The measure, when debated in Europe, drew the criticism of several lawmakers and citizens who feared that the treaty went too far in its attempts to regulate online piracy.

Issa, who was a vocal opponent to the Stop Online Piracy Act and the Protect IP (Intellectual Property) Act, said that ACTA “represents as great a threat to an open Internet as SOPA and PIPA and was drafted with even less transparency and input from digital citizens.”

Apple’s overlooked innovation: If history is a guide, Apple this week will introduce some upgrades to the iPad that perhaps only a techie will fully grasp — but which will draw millions of new customers anyway. That swooning interest may say just as much about an often-overlooked innovation — price — as about the features of Apple’s products, The Washington Post reported.

Getting the price tag just right is partly a result of the efforts of chief executive Tim Cook, who has a reputation as a logistical whiz, analysts say. Apple has been able to buy parts and put its gadgets together cheaply while maintaining high quality control. But its practices have also led to questions about the company’s labor practices in its factories in China.

By  |  03:56 PM ET, 03/06/2012

 
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