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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 08:48 AM ET, 06/02/2011

The Circuit: Gmail hacked, LightSquared and Sprint said near deal, Google Books

LEADING THE DAY: Hackers based in China have hit hundreds of Gmail accounts, including those of senior U.S. government officials, Chinese political activists and officials in several Asian countries such as South Korea, The Washington Post reported.

The personal e-mail account of one Cabinet-level official was compromised, according to an official with knowledge of the breach.No official government systems were breached, though it is not known if any government e-mails that may have been forwarded through Gmail were compromised.

The attack highlights tensions between Google and China and raises questions about how the U.S. government should respond to cyberattacks on private companies.

On Thursday, representatives from Sony and Epsilon, which both experienced high-profile hacks in recent months, will speak before a House subcommittee on data security legislation. The House Energy and Commerce committee has said it will launch a thorough review of data security and electronic privacy issues affecting businesses.

LightSquared nearing deal with Sprint:Citing unnamed sources, Reuters reported that LightSquared is nearing a deal with Sprint Nextel to rent the space for a high-speed wireless network. An unnamed person said to be familiar with the matter estimated that the deal will cost $2 billion per year. The agreement would help finance Sprint’s planned network upgrade.

Google, authors can’t agree: Google has yet to reach an agreement with authors and publishers over the rights to digital books, and has been granted until July 19 to finish negotiations, Reuters reported. In March, a federal judge in New York rejected a settlement between the company and content producers, saying that it went “too far” and granted Google too control over the content.

Tennessee law makes it illegal to share passwords:Lawmakers passed a bill in Tennessee that makes it illegal for users to share the passwords to streaming media accounts such as Netflix and Rhapsody. The Associated Press reported that the bill was being pushed by members of the recording industry who are trying to cut losses caused by illegal music sharing. Those in the same household who share passwords would likely not be affected by the law, the report said, but the law will go after users who share their passwords with several people.

Facebook releases log of meetings with California State Sen. Corbett: In the latest development over Web giants protesting a California online privacy bill, Facebook has released a log of contact made with California Sen. Ellen Corbett, after receiving a letter from Corbett’s office which indicated she has been “unable to engage” the company in any dialogue.

The log indicates that Facebook has had contact with representatives from Corbett’s office on twelve occasions since the senator introduced the privacy bill, including five listed contacts with the senator herself.

By  |  08:48 AM ET, 06/02/2011

Tags:  Security, Interenational, Google, LightSquared, Sprint, Netflix, Facebook

 
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