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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 03:11 PM ET, 03/14/2012

The Circuit: FTC asks Apple about Google, Obama and Cameron on cybersecurity, Sprint’s Hesse faces a strong board

Apple, Google: Apple is one of several handset makers that have reportedly been subpoenaed as part of the Federal Trade Commission’s antitrust probe into Google.

According to Bloomberg, two unnamed “people familiar with the matter” have said that the agency is seeking answers about how Google’s search engine is used on the iPhone and iPad. The request is reportedly asking for documentation including the deal that made Google the preferred search engine on iOS devices.

The FTC declined to comment on the report. Apple and Google also both declined comment.

Obama, Cameron on cybersecurity: President Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron pledged to work together on cybersecurity issues. On Wednesday, the two world leaders said that they will share information about cyberattacks and work together on plans for how best to anticipate online threats.

In a White House statement on the agreement, Obama and Cameron said that the digital world cannot be a “lawless frontier,” and that it’s important to share information in order to “stay one step ahead” of cybersecurity threats.

Sprint’s CEO, Dan Hesse:According to a report from the Wall Street Journal, Sprint chief executive Dan Hesse is working with a very active board of directors.

“The board has been stunningly engaged,”according an unnamed source told the newspaper. “It sort of has to be because the company’s not doing well.”

Hesse has had the unenviable job of turning the number-three carrier around, and could not get a proposed acquisition of the prepaid carrier Metro PCS past the Sprint’s board. Hesse did manage to improve Sprint’s image with consumers by getting the deal to carry the iPhone 4S, but that investment — along with the money Sprint has sunk into upgrading its network — has yet to fully pay off.

Cyberattack on the BBC: Hackers attacked the BBC earlier this month, leaving some parts of the organization without access to e-mail and Internet services, the BBC has confirmed. The broadcasting network said in its own article on the attack that its director general, Mark Thompson, will address the attack in an upcoming speech and that it suspects involvement by Iran. Thompson has already accused the Iranian government of “jamming international TV stations such as BBC Persian TV” in an attempt to censor its news coverage.

The outages, the report said, could have been the result of a distributed denial-of-service attack, though a BBC spokeswoman told the news organization that she couldn’t provide more information on the specifics of the attack.

T-Mobile expanding 4G: T-Mobile announced Tuesday that it will be investing $4 billion to modernize its network and will be launching LTE services in 2013.

The carrier — the nation’s fourth-largest — announced the plan in a Q&A release featuring its chief technology office, Neville Ray. In the release, Ray said that the company will place its priority on preparing for LTE rather than continuing to build out a faster, 84Mbps HSPA+ network. T-Mobile, which said LTE was not an option while fighting for its merger with AT&T, said that it will be using the spectrum acquired after the deal fell through to expand its network.

By  |  03:11 PM ET, 03/14/2012

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