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Timothy B. Lee

Timothy B. Lee

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Andrea Peterson

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Posted at 02:38 PM ET, 02/07/2012

The Circuit: NFL and NBC apologize for Super Bowl gesture; rules for mobile background check apps

Note: We’re trying something new this week, and will be publishing The Circuit in the afternoon. If you have thoughts on The Circuit and its timing, please let me know at tsukayamah@washpost.com.

NFL, NBC not off the hook yet: The National Football League and NBC have officially apologized for showing British singer M.I.A. giving the finger to the camera during the Super Bowl, but the Parents Television Council has started a petition demanding more than an apology.

The petition calls for NBC to “put all future live broadcasts on an adequate tape delay and to hold on-air talent accountable for their actions during live broadcasts.” The nonprofit organization that advocates “responsible entertainment” said in a statement that it would bring the petition to NBC affiliates across the country.

This latest controversy comes as the Supreme Court is weighs the FCC’s role in regulating profanity and obscenity on the nation’s airwaves.

FTC warns about mobile apps: The Federal Trade Commission has warned marketers that six applications providing screening services might be in violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act. The apps, which include criminal record histories in some cases, might violate the act put in place to protect consumer report information, the agency said. Because of their function, the apps could be considered credit reporting agencies and therefore must make an effort to provide accurate information and make sure that those who use the apps have a “permissible purpose” to do so.

Hackers threaten Symantec: Hackers claiming to have the source code to several titles of the security company Symantec’s software have reportedly demanded $50,000 to prevent the code’s release. Parts of the code were published Monday, and hackers from the Anonymous group claimed credit for the posting.

Cris Paden, a spokesman for Symantec, confirmed to ComputerWorld that the code was genuine, from 2006. CNET reported that a Symantec employee confirmed that the hacker group had tried to extort the security company.

The company has been in contact with a hacker who goes by the name “Yamatough,” and said that it pretended to negotiate with the hacker to aid a law enforcement investigation.

Activists ask Congress to stop IP work: Seventy groups and individuals signed onto a letter asking Congress to stop working on intellectual property issues following the backlash to the Stop Online Piracy Act and the Protect IP (Intellectual Property) Act.

Any future consideration of intellectual property legislation “must avoid taking a narrow, single-industry perspective,” the letter said.

Activist groups such as Public Knowledge, Demand Progress and the Electronic Frontier Foundation signed the letter, along with Web sites such as Reddit and Twitpic.

House delays markup of FCC bills: The House Energy and Commerce Committee postponed Tuesday’s planned markup of two bills that would change the way the Federal Communications Commission operates. The bills, sponsored by technology subcommittee chairman Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.), would make several changes to the agency’s operation. Under the bills, the FCC would be more limited in what kind of conditions it could place on deals. It would also have to codify its unofficial “shot clock” for mergers.

GPS and Aviation Safety: At 3 p.m. Tuesday, LightSquared will discuss its request to have the FCC develop stricter standards for unlicensed GPS devices to measure the effect that the devices will have on neighboring bands of spectrum.

On Wednesday, the House subcommittee on aviation will hold a hearing to examine the Global Positioning System and its effect on transportation infrastructure. Representatives from the GPS industry, airline industry and the Department of Transportation will testify.

LightSquared’s satellite network has come under fire from the Department of Transportation and the Department of Defense after studies have found that it interferes with the GPS systems.

Redbox and Verizon: Verizon Communications and Redbox on Monday announced a video entertainment joint venture directly aimed at online streaming giant Netflix. The Washington Post reported that the venture isn’t exclusive to Verizon network customers, but the firm said it will be aggressive about marketing the venture.

Verizon is currently seeking regulatory approval from the Justice Department and Federal Communications Commission for its purchase of airwaves that would bolster its national wireless network. Justice is investigating whether a cross-marketing agreement by Verizon and cable companies is anti-competitive. Analysts say the marketing deal could lead to the demise of Verizon’s FiOs service — a competitor to cable Internet providers.

By  |  02:38 PM ET, 02/07/2012

 
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