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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.

Brian Fung

Brian Fung

Brian Fung covers technology for The Washington Post, focusing on electronic privacy, national security, digital politics and the Internet that binds it all together. He was previously the technology correspondent for National Journal and an associate editor at the Atlantic. His writing has also appeared in Foreign Policy, Talking Points Memo, the American Prospect and Nonprofit Quarterly. Follow Brian on Google+ .

Andrea Peterson

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 12:34 PM ET, 04/16/2013

The Circuit: Immigration legislation addresses H-1B visas

H-1B visas: According to a report from The Washington Post, immigration legislation to be introduced Tuesday will include a change to the number of H-1B visas awarded to highly skilled engineers and computer programmers. The legislation suggests that the cap on H-1B visas should double from 65,000 to 110,000 — and could rise to as much as 180,000 in future years. The legislation also requires some companies using the visas to pay higher salaries and fees.

Technology companies have been backing reforms to the H-1B visas program, saying that increasing the limits will allow them to hire and retain better talent from American universities. Most notably, Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg has started a new organization to lobby on the issue.

The program is not, however, without its controversies: critics note that many of the top companies that apply for H-1B visas are also among the top outsourcing firms.

CEA members head to the Hill: Around 40 members of the Consumer Electronics Association will meet with two dozen members of Congress to talk about issues that matter critically to the industry, including immigration and patent reform.

According to a news release from the CEA, members of the industry group will share stories of American entrepreneurs collective through its “I Am Innovation” app and is also encouraging people to text the word “TROLLS” to a number set up by the organization (52886) to receive information on how to contact their members of Congress about patent litigation reform.

“This week we are shining a light on the issues most important to our innovation economy – strategic immigration reform and stopping patent litigation abuse,” said CEA president and chief executive Gary Shapiro.

CISPA criticism continues: With the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act set to move to the House floor on Wednesday, critics of the bill are stepping up their efforts to argue against the bill.

The bill is designed to make it easier for companies to share cyberthreat information with the public sector, but privacy advocates worry that the bill also allows companies to share sensitive personal information with the government.

The Center for Democracy and Technology said in an analysis of the bill Tuesday that some of the bill’s provisions could prompt a “sea change in cybersecurity policy and a threat to civil liberties.

Snapchat releases new statistics: Snapchat announced Monday that it now processes 150 million images through its service per day — a three-fold increase that’s come in the past four months. The service is unique because photos and videos shared over the app are deleted shortly after they’re viewed.

Snapchat chief executive Evan Spiegel said that he believes the growth is driven by young users thinking critically about online privacy who believe “deletion as the default works pretty well.”

By  |  12:34 PM ET, 04/16/2013

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