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Timothy B. Lee

Timothy B. Lee

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Andrea Peterson

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Posted at 08:43 AM ET, 06/22/2011

The Circuit: Hulu reportedly mulling acquisition, FBI raids Reston servers, patent reform passes hurdle

LEADING THE DAY: Hulu is reportedly considering an unsolicited acquisition offer, according to several reports. The Wall Street Journal was the first to report on the offer. The Los Angeles Times reported that Yahoo recently approached the online streaming site with a buyout offer, citing an unnamed person familiar with the matter. It’s not clear whether the offer made Tuesday is from Yahoo or another firm — CNBC reported that Google did not make an offer.

TechCrunch raised questions about the L.A. Times piece, however, with Michael Arrington saying that his own source “close to Yahoo” contacted him to say Yahoo hasn’t had any serious talks with Hulu.

The Wall Street Journal reported that the unsolicited offer has prompted Hulu’s directors to solicit interest from other companies and firms who might want to buy the company. TechCrunch’s source also said that Hulu is actively seeking a buyer and has hired Morgan Stanley to represent the company.

FBI seizes Reston servers: The FBI raided a Reston data center Tuesday, seizing servers used by Switzerland-based hosting company DigitalOne, the New York Times reported. Sites such as Instapaper, Pinboard and the Curbed Network were affected by the raid, after the FBI confiscated three server enclosures. It is believed that the agency took more servers than it was targeting, the report said, adding that DigitalOne declined to comment on which company was the focus of the investigation.

Patent reform clear to move on:A last-minute compromise sets the stage for the America Invents Act, a comprehensive patent reform bill, to pass the House. Members of Congress were divided over a provision in the bill that would have allowed for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to set and keep its own patent fees, rather than have its fees diverted into the general U.S. budget. Critics worried this arrangement would make the office too independent. The new compromise, offered by House Judiciary chairman Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Tex.) sets up a fund reserved for patent office use, subject to congressional oversight.

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), who introduced the Senate version of the bill that passed in March, said that he believes the language in the House version of the bill, in addition to a commitment from the House Appropriations Committee to grant the patent office access to its excess fees, is a “concrete step in the right direction.”

House hearing on GPS interference: Two subcommittees from the House transportation and infrastructure committee will hold an oversight hearing to discuss the impact of LightSquared’s broadband network on the Global Positioning System. Recent tests have concluded that LightSquared’s original plans for launching its satellite and ground-based broadband network could interfere with GPS and air and marine navigation.

Representatives from the Transportation Department, Defense Department, Coast Guard and aviation industry are among those who will speak before the joint panel, along with LightSquared Executive Vice President Jeffrey Carlisle.

On Monday, LightSquared announced it would cut back on the power of of its base stations and use a lower block of spectrum to solve interference problems.

ISPs likely part of critical infrastructure: In testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday, Homeland Security Acting Deputy Undersecretary Greg Schaffer said that Internet service providers probably would be considered a part of the country’s critical infrastructure and covered under the White House’s proposed cyber security plan, The Hill reported. Although it’s not yet clear which private industries will be defined as critical infrastructure, Schaffer said that ISPs, financial services, health-care providers and utility companies are likely to be included.

LulzSec arrest: Hacker group LulzSec claims to have identified two “snitches” whose tips led to the arrest of U.K. hacker Ryan Cleary. Cleary was arrested Tuesday by the Metropolitan Police in Essex in connection with several denial-of-service attacks and other hacks carried out by the group.

LulzSec said on its Twitter account Tuesday that Cleary is not a member of the group, but that the group uses his server to host one of its chat rooms.

By  |  08:43 AM ET, 06/22/2011

Tags:  Cybersecurity, Security, LightSquared, Spectrum, IP, Hulu

 
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