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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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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 08:19 AM ET, 06/24/2011

The Circuit: LulzSec hacks Arizona police, Google antitrust, patent reform passes House

LEADING THE DAY: LulzSec has claimed credit for an attack on the Arizona Department of Public Safety, posting internal documents, manuals, e-mail correspondence, names, phone numbers, addresses and passwords taken from the department. The group said it opposes Arizona’s immigration enforcement law, SB 1070.

The Wall Street Journal reported that the Arizona police confirm that the documents appear to be authentic.

Google faces antitrust probes: Google is facing antitrust probes in California and New York, Bloomberg reported, following reports that the Federal Trade Commission is also gearing up for a major investigation of the company’s business practices.

Citing an unnamed “person with knowledge of the matter,” the Bloomberg report said that Ohio and possibly Oklahoma are also planning investigations. Officials in Texas already have started looking into Google’s search business.

Patent reform passes the House: The House voted to pass the America Invents Act Thursday night, approving a major change to the U.S. patent system and granting the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office access to excess user fees to fund its department. Excess fees were previously diverted into the general U.S. budget.

The bill passed 304-117, with 50 Democrats and 67 Republicans opposing the measure. The bill must go through conference to reconcile with the Senate version that passed in March before heading to President Obama. The White House has indicated its support for the legislation.

Several industry groups and large companies praised the legislation, which has been criticized by smaller inventors who believe a first-to-file system hands an unfair advantage to firms with larger budgets.

Venture capitalists oppose the PROTECT IP Act: New York venture capital fund Union Square Ventures said in a blog post that it opposes the PROTECT IP Act and believes that it will fundamentally harm the basic structure of the Internet. Members of the group have backed such high-profile companies as Facebook, Twitter, Zynga, Skype and Groupon.

The group believes the legislation will stifle innovation because it allows third-parties to block and intervene in the revenue streams of online companies. The group also said it does not believe the act does enough to combat piracy, despite imposing more regulations on online companies.

“Venture capitalists are notoriously apolitical. We believe in markets. We are not asking for tax breaks or favorable regulatory rulings, we are asking for restraint,” the group said in a letter addressed to the members of Congress.

Apple sues Samsung in S. Korea: Apple filed a suit against Samsung in Seoul, South Korea, adding to the legal friction between the two companies, Bloomberg reported.

Both Apple and Samsung have claimed the other has stolen designs for their mobile and computing devices. Samsung had asked a U.S. federal court to order Apple to turn over designs for its next iPad and iPhone, but that request was denied on Wednesday.

Winklevosses file suit in a different court: Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss have filed a new suit against Facebook in a Boston federal court asking a judge to investigate whether the company withheld important information during litigation, the Los Angeles Times reported. The brothers and their business partner, Divya Narendra, have previously said that Facebook withheld instant messages from Zuckerberg about the Winklevosses’ Facebook-like product, ConnectU. The men have said they would have not have agreed to their 2008 settlement if they had known about the messages.

By  |  08:19 AM ET, 06/24/2011

Tags:  Facebook, Apple, Samsung, International, IP, Google, Security, Cybersecurity

 
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