The Circuit: New domain names, Microsoft’s final CES, Facebook privacy

LEADING THE DAY: The House commerce committee has asked the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers to delay its plan to expand the number of top-level domains on the Internet. In a letter to ICANN, a bipartisan group of six committee members said that they share the concerns of some businesses that the expansion does not have adequate protections in place for copyright holders.

“Given these widespread concerns, a short delay will allow interested parties to work with ICANN and offer changes to alleviate many of them, specifically concerns over law enforcement, cost and transparency that were discussed in recent Congressional hearings,” the letter read.

Microsoft preps for final CES : Microsoft said Wednesday it won’t participate in the world’s biggest tech convention, the Consumers Electronics Show, after the January 2012 show.

The Consumer Electronics Association said that Microsoft has opened the show for the past 14 years with the first keynote speech. After discussing plans for 2013, the company and CEA “jointly agreed” that the tradition would end.

“We decide who keynotes,” said Jason Oxman, a spokesman for CEA.

Facebook privacy: Facebook has agreed to change some of its privacy policies following an audit by the Irish Data Protection Commission that largely found Facebook’s policies were in line with Europe’s data protection rules. The social network has agreed to clarify some of its policies regarding the facial-recognition tool called Tag Suggest, saying it could have been more transparent about the way the tool works.

Carrier IQ: Motorola and T-Mobile responded to requests from Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn) for more details on how they use Carrier IQ software.

In its letter to Franken, T-Mobile revealed that it uses the device on some of its premium smartphones including the HTC Amaze and the Samsung Galaxy S II. It estimates that 450,000 of its customers “use devices that contain Carrier IQ’s diagnostic software,” which collect some information, such as the telephone numbers a user dials and the phone numbers from incoming calls. T-Mobile does not collect the content of text messages sent or received, the content of e-mails sent or received, the URLs of Web sites visited, information from users’ address books or any other keystroke data, the company said. Motorola said it installs software on four models at the request of its carrier partners.

Yahoo: Yahoo shares spiked in late trading Wednesday after reports from the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal indicated that the company may be considering a sale of its Asian assets to Alibaba. The Times, citing people “briefed on the matter,” reported that Yahoo’s board is considering selling its holdings in the Alibaba Group and Yahoo Japan for $17 billion to Alibaba and Softbank — Yahoo Japan’s majority owner. The Journal report also listed that figure.

Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.

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