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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 06:15 PM ET, 05/31/2012

The Circuit: Internet governance, Google’s domain names, pre-paid iPhone

Internet governance: Rep. Mary Bono Mack (R-Calif.), chairman of the House subpanel on commerce, introduced a resolution Thursday to “keep the Internet free from government control.” Mack was joined by Reps. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), Greg Walden (R-Ore.) and Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) in introducing the measure.

The subcommittee heard testimony Thursday on international proposals to regulate the Internet — a proposal opposed by several giants in the technology field.

In a rare coordinated effort to knock down the proposals, Google, Microsoft, Verizon and Cisco also warn of financial risks to their businesses if new rules are adopted. They say some nations may push for laws on Internet firms that could lead to tariffs on Internet service providers such as Verizon, or even Web firms such as Facebook that enable people to communicate over the Internet, The Washington Post reported.

Google domain names:Google said Thursday it has applied for the Internet identifiers “.google,” “.docs” and “.youtube,” with the planned expansion of the Web’s domain name system, The Washington Post reported.

Aside from the suffixes that reflect their brands and services, the search giant said in a blog post that it has also applied for a bunch of other domain names that “we think have interesting and creative potential.”

Pre-paid iPhone coming to Cricket: Cricket Communications, a part of Leap Wireless, announced Thursday that it will be the first pre-paid carrier in the United States to offer the phone to its customers. Cricket will be offering the iPhone for the subsidized price of $399.99 for an 8 GB iPhone 4 or $499.99 for a 16GB iPhone 4S. That’s still more than users would pay on AT&T, Verizon, Sprint or any of the many regional carriers that offer the iPhone — but still much less the cost of an unlocked phone from Apple.

Users will pay $55 per month for their plan, which comes with unlimited voice and text. Customers also get data with the plan, though they may see slower data speeds past 2.3 GB.

The company will begin pre-selling the phone on June 15; the devices will go on sale on June 22.

Twitter backed by ACLU: The American Civil Liberties Union has stepped up to support Twitter’s effort to provide the police with users’ personal information, the Hill reported.

Twitter has said that law enforcement officials should have used a search warrant, not a subpoena, to access the e-mail address and tweets made from the account of Malcolm Harris, a protestor in the Occupy Wall Street movement.

The ACLU filed a brief in New York State court Thursday saying that the subpoena infringes the protestor’s First Amendment rights, the report said.

Privacy by default in Windows 8:Microsoft on Thursday announced another test version of its Windows 8 operating system with an Internet browser that has “do not track” technology as the default.

That means that when browsing on the PCs and mobile devices featuring Windows 8, a user automatically won’t be tracked on the Web, The Washington Post reported.

The upgrade comes ahead of the system’s official release, expected later this year. Windows 8 will move to unify some tablet and desktop functions.

By  |  06:15 PM ET, 05/31/2012

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