The Circuit: Lawmakers criticize Murdoch, Netflix expected backlash, privacy hearing

LEADING THE DAY: Reports that the News of the World may have hacked into the voice mails of Sept. 11, 2001, victims prompted Sens. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.), Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Robert Menendez (D- N.J.) and Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) to call for a U.S. investigation into the matter, The Washington Post reported. Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) has also called for an investigation, sending a letter to FBI Director Robert Mueller III requesting that the agency examine the issue. Rep. Mary Bono Mack (R-Calif.) has also asked AT&T, Sprint, Verizon Wireless, Apple, Google and other companies for more information on how they safeguard their customers against phone hacking.

The scandal has sullied the reputation of News Corp.’s Rupert Murdoch, but it seems unlikely that it will affect the company’s U.S. operations, the report said.

Netflix backlash continues: Criticism over Netflix’s changes to its pricing structure don’t seem to be worrying the company, which saw a rally on the stock market yesterday. CNET reported that Netflix told its customer service representatives to prepare for angry callers and expected the wave of negative reaction.

An informal poll on Business Insider found that 41 percent of Netflix customers surveyed said that they planned to cancel their subscriptions in reaction to the price changes.

Privacy hearing:On Thursday, the House Energy and Commerce committee’s subpanels on commerce and technology will hold the first of a series of privacy and data security hearings.

The hearings are meant to examine the way the U.S. deals with data security and consumer privacy. FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, FTC commissioner Edith Ramirez and NTIA head Larry Strickling will speak on the way their agencies handle those issues.

Draft spectrum bill: A draft of a spectrum bill from the House Energy and Commerce telecommunications subcommittee was released yesterday. The bill calls for auctioning off the D Block of spectrum as well as “white space” blocks of spectrum. The bill also authorizes the FCC to hold an incentive auction that comes with relocation protections for broadcasters.

Harold Feld, legal director of Public Knowledge, criticized the draft, saying that it undercuts “even the most minimal existing Net Neutrality requirements” and would let broadcasters choose what rules they want to follow.

The draft was circulated in advance of the committee’s Friday hearing on spectrum issues.

IT management transparency: The House Oversight Committee will hold a hearing today addressing transparency and management of federal IT systems.

Vivek Kundra, outgoing federal CIO, is among those speaking before the panel today. He is expected to discuss cuts to the E-Government fund, The Hill reported. Representatives from the Departments of Veterans Affairs, the Interior, Energy and the Government Accountability Office will also speak.

Spotify to launch in the U.S.: Spotify, the streaming music service popular in Europe, is launching in the U.S. today, after months of speculation. The service has now signed deals with the four major music labels in the country, reported All Things Digital.

For now the service is by invitation only. The service enters the streaming music market at a time when several companies, including Amazon, Google and Apple, are examining cloud storage for music customers already own.

Apple now the third-largest PC seller in U.S.: Apple’s market share has grown to 10.7 percent, an all-time high, MacRumors reported. Citing reports from research firms Gartner and IDC, the article said that Apple’s market share is up 8.5 percent from the same period last year. Hewlett-Packard and Dell still hold the top two slots for market share, though the PC industry as a whole saw a 5.6 percent year-over-year decline in shipments.

Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.

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