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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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Brian Fung

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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 08:34 AM ET, 10/21/2011

The Circuit: John Bryson confirmed as Commerce secretary, updating ECPA, Groupon IPO

LEADING THE DAY: The Senate has confirmed John Bryson to be the Secretary of Commerce, in a 74-26 vote. Bryson, who was nominated in May, will succeed Gary Locke, who left the position to become the ambassador to China.

In a statement, President Obama said, “As Secretary of Commerce, John Bryson will be a key member of my economic team, working with the business community to promote job creation, foster growth, and help open up new markets around the world for American-made goods.”

Leahy to mark up ECPA Reform bill: Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) said that he will schedule a mark-up this year for his bill to reform the Electronic Communications Privacy Act. The law, which turned 25 this year, has never been updated. Given the advances in technology and electronic communications in the past two decades, Leahy said his measure will include privacy upgrades and clearly define standards the government must meet to obtain digital information. “At a time in our history when American consumers and businesses face threats to privacy like no time before, we must renew the commitment to the privacy principles that gave birth to the ECPA a quarter century ago,” Leahy said in a statement.

Groupon revises IPO: Groupon has revised its IPO, scaling back its estimates for net proceeds to $478.8 million from $750 million. The company initially filed its plan to go public with the Securities and Exchange Commission in June, but has faced a volatile market and scrutiny over its accounting methods.

In this latest filing, Groupon revealed that its subscriber base and revenue have jumped significantly since 2009 and that it now serves 142.9 million people.

MetroPCS: MetroPCS may be the “frontrunner” to scoop up assets from AT&T and T-Mobile as the carriers continue to seek government approval for their proposed $39 billion acquisition deal, Bloomberg reported. Citing “people familiar with the matter,” the report said that the deal could be up to $4 billion, though that is subject to change.

Silicon Valley Human Rights conference: Leaders from Facebook, Twitter and Google will speak at the Silicon Valley Human Rights Conference next week to discuss the role of social media in revolutionary movements , and ways that Silicon Valley can participate in human rights initiatives.

Speakers will include Facebook’s lead on global communications, marketing and public policy Elliot Schrage, Twitter general counsel Alex Macgillivray and Google’s director of public policy, Bob Boorstin.

Microsoft earnings: Microsoft reported earnings Thursday and while the company met forecasts, its stock still took a hit. Shares fell 19 cents to $26.85 on the news, though the company posted a rise in Windows revenue for the first time this year, the Associated Press reported. Revenue was $17.37 billion, from $16.2 billion in the same period last year.

By  |  08:34 AM ET, 10/21/2011

Tags:  Microsoft, Twitter, Google, Facebook, AT&T, MetroPCS, spectrum, T-Mobile, Groupon, SEC, Privacy, NTIA

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