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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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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 02:39 PM ET, 06/11/2013

The Circuit: Google asks for permission to publish national security request data

Google asks to publish some request data: Google on Tuesday published text from a request it sent to the offices of the Attorney General and the Federal Bureau of Investigation asking for permission to publish some data on the national security requests it receives from the government each year.

Google and its video site YouTube were named as companies involved in PRISM, a program that The Washington Post reported monitors information that pass through U.S. companies to and from foreign targets.

Google has flatly denied reports that it provides the government with unfettered access to its users’ data. But, the company said, the current restrictions placed on disclosing these requests fuel “speculation” about what the company may be doing.

Publishing more information about the number and scope of requests the company receives, wrote chief legal officer David Drummond, would “clearly show that our compliance with these requests falls far short of the claims being made. Google has nothing to hide.”

Google publishes broad ranges of national security letters it receives each year.

Coalition calls for Congress to investigate NSA activity: A coalition of public advocacy, privacy and technology groups, including the Center for Democracy and Technology, the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Competitive Enterprise Institute, are calling for “immediate Congressional action” in response to the National Security Administration’s program.

The coalition is calling for Congress to stop the NSA surveillance, reform the Patriot Act, create a special committee to investigate the program’s actions and “hold accountable public officials” who are responsible for the program.

Meanwhile, as The Washington Post reported, investigators are looking for answers on how the source of the leaks, Edward Snowden, gained access to the information.

Google acquires Waze: Google confirmed that it has acquired the Israeli mapping app Waze, which uses social data from drivers who have the app open to broadcast information on traffic conditions in real time.

The companies did not disclose how much the deal was worth, though Bloomberg reports that it was approximately $1.1 billion. That would outstrip Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram, which was valued at $1 billion at time of purchase.

The app was developed in Israel, where The Washington Post reported drivers looking for directions “Waze it” rather than “Google it.”

Google, in a company blog post, said that it would be incorporating Waze data into its map product and that Waze will begin to use Google search data as well.

Hillary Clinton joins Twitter: Hillary Clinton officially joined the ranks of notable users of Twitter, sending her first Twitter message Monday and prompting furious speculation about her next steps.

As The Washington Post reported, Clinton has sent one message to her rapidly growing list of followers. She only follows five accounts: her husband, her daughter, the Clinton Foundation, the Clinton Global Initiative and the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service.

By  |  02:39 PM ET, 06/11/2013

 
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