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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.

Brian Fung

Brian Fung

Brian Fung covers technology for The Washington Post, focusing on electronic privacy, national security, digital politics and the Internet that binds it all together. He was previously the technology correspondent for National Journal and an associate editor at the Atlantic. His writing has also appeared in Foreign Policy, Talking Points Memo, the American Prospect and Nonprofit Quarterly. Follow Brian on Google+ .

Andrea Peterson

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 08:48 AM ET, 01/12/2012

The Circuit: Piracy battle goes to CES, Wikipedia may join SOPA protest, Google social search faces privacy concerns

LEADING THE DAY: A contentious battle over Internet anti-piracy legislation shifted from Washington to the Consumer Electronics Show, The Washington Post reported. The Consumer Electronics Association, which is behind the show, has been a vocal opponent of the two bills circulating in Congress that would help Hollywood titans, record labels and pharmaceutical firms enforce copyright infringement laws online.

The proposals — the Stop Online Piracy Act and the Protect IP Act — have drawn the ire of some of Silicon Valley’s biggest names, who worry that the bills give law enforcement too much power to shut down their sites. The Senate version of the bill is expected to head to the floor for a vote later this month.

Wikipedia may join Reddit’s protest: In protest of SOPA, the social Web news site Reddit has said it will blackout its services for 12 hours on Jan. 18, when the House Oversight committee will the discuss the effects of domain name service and search engine blocking. In comments on his personal page Wednesday, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales said that he supports Reddit’s efforts and renewed talk about a similar effort at Wikipedia.

“I’m all in favor of it,” he wrote on his personal talk page on the site. “[And] I think it would be great if we could act quickly to coordinate with Reddit.”

EPIC may file with FTC over Google’s social search: The Electronic Privacy Information Center is likely to file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission over Google’s new efforts in social search, the Los Angeles Times reported. EPIC director Marc Rotenberg told the newspaper that EPIC “believes this is something that the FTC needs to look at,” and expressed concern that the search engine’s decision to include information from its Google+ social network makes personal information more accessible.

Rotenberg also said that Google appears to be using its “market dominance in a separate sector” to bolster its social network.

ICANN taking applications: The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers is now taking applications for new top-level domains. ICANN has been mulling the expansion for six years. A bipartisan group of lawmakers and the Federal Trade Commission have joined the Association of National Advertisers in raising concerns about the program and its effect on copyright holders and had asked ICANN to slow-down its implementation. ICANN says that the expansion will help brands by making Web addresses more specific, but some businesses have worried that adding more Web suffixes will require more defensive registrations to fight scammers.

Google renews China push: Google is renewing its efforts in China after pulling its search engine out of the country two years ago, the Wall Street Journal reported. The company is hiring in China, the report said, and is trying to introduce the Android Market onto its mobile devices in China and convince Chinese users to try the Google services that “don’t require official censorship.”

Daniel Alegre, Google’s top executive in Asia, told the Journal that the renewed investment in China is a “pragmatic” decision.

By  |  08:48 AM ET, 01/12/2012

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