LEADING THE DAY: Today is a big policy day at CES, with panels addressing a range of technology policy issues. Federal Communications Chairman Julius Genachowski is also speaking today with the Consumer Electronics Association president, Gary Shapiro, while commissioners Mignon Clyburn and Robert McDowell will discuss spectrum and other policy issues on a panel moderated by The Washington Post’s Cecilia Kang.
Today’s Congressional panel features Reps. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Lee Terry (R-Neb.), Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.), Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and John Shimkus (R-Ill.) and will likely address the thorny issue of online piracy and copyrights. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) will also be on hand today at a separate event speaking on technology policy issues.
Gadget privacy: With a slew of new gadgets and connector services come privacy concerns, The Washington Post reported. Privacy rights activists have said that new technology that pulls real-time data from gadgets such as televisions, computers, refrigerators and gaming consoles
needs to be clear about what kind of data is being collected and why. These devices can collect valuable lifestyle or even health information. Privacy advocate Jules Polonetsky of the Future of Privacy Forum said that consumers “need to think more about how their data is being sent outside the home in more ways than ever.”
Google’s social search: Google announced Tuesday that it was making some radical changes to search by incorporating Google+ information into its search results. The move has drawn some criticism from Twitter. Twitter and Google used to have an agreement to use Twitter information for real-time search and news results, but that contract expired this summer. Tuesday, Twitter’s general counsel, Alex Macgillivray, said on his Twitter account that it was a “bad day for the Internet” saying that search has been “warped.”
In response, Google released a short statement through its Google+ page saying that it has been following Twitter’s own instructions not to use the micro-blogging service’s data in its search results.
Reddit to black out: Web news and aggregation site Reddit will black out its services in protest of online piracy bills on Jan. 18. On the same day, House Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) has called for a hearing to take a close look at the impact that domain name service and search engine blocking — two provisions of the Stop Online Piracy Bill — will have on national security and the American Internet community.
Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian is among the witnesses listed to testify at the hearing, along with the Rackspace chief executive Lanham Napier and several security, technology policy and civil liberties experts.
ICANN applications: The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers is continuing its education efforts ahead of the organization’s deadline for applications for the right to manage top-level domains. The organization will begin taking applications on Thursday and has faced some opposition from some members of Congress and some copyright holders to slow down its expansion program. In a letter last week, National Telecommunications and Information Administration head Lawrence Strickling asked the group to consider implementing some measures to address concerns about its upcoming program to expand Web suffixes