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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 08:53 AM ET, 06/27/2011

The Circuit: Microsoft leading white-space spectrum test, LulzSec disbands, international Internet regulation

LEADING THE DAY: A coalition led by Microsoft will start testing white-space television spectrum Monday. The tests, which will be conducted in Britain, aim to utilize the 300Mhz to 400Mhz band of spectrum, which the Federal Communications Commission has already opened in the U.S. for unlicensed testing.

The BBC, British Sky Broadcasting, BT Group, Nokia and Samsung are also members of the testing consortium, which said that using the spectrum could improve broadband coverage in rural areas.

LulzSec disbands: Hacking group LulzSec announced it was disbanding Saturday, 50 days after its first publicized hack. A member of the group told The Associated Press that the group was “bored” and denied that it was stopping its public attacks because of pressure from law enforcement. The LulzSec member did, however, say that some of the chat logs and information about hackers’ identities was correct.

In a release posted to PasteBin, the group said that it still believes in the AntiSec movement it worked on with Anonymous, and encouraged other hackers to continue that work.

The group’s final data release included internal documents from AT&T, including details of its LTE rollout, The Next Web reported.

Economic group to discuss Web regulation:The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development will meet this week and focus on how Internet growth and innovation is affecting the world’s economies. A discussion document prepared for the conference discussing the best way to govern the international Internet has been met with some opposition from Russia and some developing countries, The New York Times reported. The OECD favors a “multistakeholder” approach, which includes private and public entities in a system of checks and balances. But Russia Prime Minister Vladmir Putin said he would prefer to include the Internet in existing international telecommunications regulations.

Supreme Court rulings expected: The Supreme Court is expected to wrap up its session today and will likely act on requests to review the FCC indecency cases, FCC v. Fox and FCC v. ABC. The Hill reported that many expect the court to examine the issue. A lower court ruled that the agency’s indecency policy ultimately violates free-speech rights.

The court will also likely make its ruling on Brown v. the Electronic Merchants Association, which will determine the constitutionality of a California law banning merchants from selling violent video games to minors.

Google defends against probes over search: Google argued that consumers chose its search over several competitors and that its practices are not anti-competitive, The Washington Post reported. Answering accusations from online mapping companies, shopping sites, travel sites and others who say Google purposely buries the competition’s results in search queries as its expands its reach, the company said that it’s simply adding to its product offerings.

On Friday, the company confirmed that it is facing a probe from the Federal Trade Commission. It has also received a threat of subpoena from the Senate antitrust subcommittee over its reluctance to send top executives to testify on the Hill.

Cable boxes draining power: Set-top cable boxes often use more electrical power than refrigerators or air conditioning units, according to a Saturday report from The New York Times. A study conducted by the Natural Resources Defense Council found that the boxes use $3 billion in electricity per year in the U.S., and that 66 percent of the energy consumption occurs when the boxes aren’t in use. Many of the boxes are also impractical to power down, the report said, especially since consumers have come to expect nearly instant service from their cable boxes.

Cisco Systems, which is one of the largest manufacturers of cable boxes, told the Times that it is working on more efficient models.

By  |  08:53 AM ET, 06/27/2011

Tags:  Google, FCC, International, Cybersecurity, Microsoft, Spectrum

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