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Timothy B. Lee

Timothy B. Lee

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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 04:47 PM ET, 05/30/2012

The Circuit: Kaplan leaving FCC, Pentagon’s Plan X, Netflix and the VPPA

Rick Kaplan to leave FCC: The Federal Communications Commission is losing another seasoned member of its team — Rick Kaplan, who heads the agency’s wireless bureau, said Wednesday that he will step down.

Kaplan will be replaced by Ruth Milkman, who currently serves as a special counsel to the FCC chairman and is a former wireless bureau chief. Kaplan does not have immediate plans after leaving his position and the changes will take place in mid-June, according to a FCC news release, The Washington Post reports.

The Pentagon’s Plan X: The Pentagon is looking to the private sector and other surprising partners to help it develop technologies to better combat cyberwarfare.

The Washington Post reported that the effort, called Plan X, is a project of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, a Pentagon agency that focuses on experimental efforts and has a key role in harnessing computing power to help the military wage war more effectively.

Herbert S. Lin, a cyber expert with the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences, told The Post that if the group can achieve results, “they’re talking about being able to dominate the digital battlefield just like they do the traditional battlefield.”

Netflix agrees to delete ex-customer data: Netflix has reportedly agreed to get rid of data retained from former customers, paidContent reported, after a class-action privacy lawsuit that accused the company of violating the Video Privacy Protection Act.

The report said Netflix will remove the rental information “no more than one year after they leave the service.”

Mary Meeker releases report: What’s the state of the Web? Mary Meeker, who releases an annual report on just that subject, has found that there’s been 8 percent growth in Internet usage over the past year, and that mobile accounts for 10 percent of Internet traffic.

Monetizing that shift to mobile will be one of the Web’s greatest challenges, Meeker said in her report. She is a partner in the venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caulfield and Byers.

Cellphone privacy: The FCC is examining cellphone privacy, asking for public comment on “information stored on m¡obile communications devices.”

The move comes following a series of concerns about mobile privacy, including how geolocation data was stored and used on mobile devices.

“The devices consumers use to access mobile wireless networks have become more sophisticated and powerful, and their expanded capabilities have at times been used by wireless providers to collect information about particular customers’ use of the network—sometimes, it appears, without informing the customer,” the notice said.

By  |  04:47 PM ET, 05/30/2012

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