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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 08:32 AM ET, 06/20/2011

The Circuit: FCC to address cramming; Sega cyber attack; Skype, Microsoft get FTC nod

LEADING THE DAY: Federal Communications Chairman Julius Genachowski will deliver a statement on bill cramming, or the practice of adding unauthorized additional charges to a customer’s phone bill, at a Monday event at the Center for American Progress. Genachowski will discuss steps the agency is taking to help consumers avoid the practice.

On Thursday, the FCC proposed $11.7 million in fines against four companies allegedly engaged in bill cramming.

Sega hit with cyber attack: Game company Sega was hit with a cyber attack that breached 1.3 million users’ personal information, Reuters reported. The company said that information from subscribers to its Sega Pass online network such as names, birth dates and passwords were compromised, but credit card numbers remained untouched.

LulzSec, the hacker group that has claimed responsibility for attacks on organizations including the CIA and U.S. Senate, said that it was not responsible for the attack on Sega and offered to help track the perpetrators down.

On Monday, LulzSec announced that it will be teaming up with hacktivist collective Anonymous for an initiative called Anti-Security, or AntiSec, encouraging all hackers to conduct attacks under the AntiSec banner. “Top priority is to steal and leak any classified government information, including email spools and documentation. Prime targets are banks and other high-ranking establishments,” LulzSec said in a release.

Skype acquisition approved: The Federal Trade Commission approved Microsoft’s acquisition of Skype on Friday, and Bloomberg reported that the Internet calling service has fired several of its top executives. Citing three sources “familiar with the matter,” the report said that Vice Presidents David Gurle, Christopher Dean, Russ Shaw and Don Albert were dismissed along with Skype Chief Marketing Officer Doug Bewsher and Human Resources head Anne Gillespie. Ramu Sunkara and Allyson Campa, who joined Skype after it acquired Qik, were also reportedly let go.

When asked about the reorganization, Skype spokesman Chaim Hass said, “Skype, like any other pragmatic organization, constantly assesses its team structure to deliver its users the best products. As part of a recent internal shift, Skype has made some management changes.”

ICANN approves domain name expansion: ICANN, the international authority responsible for regulating top-level domain names approved a resolution to increase the number of domain names. The move could lead to brand-centric domain names such as .canon, and would also allow for domain names in languages other than English.

According to the Associated Press, a new domain name suffix will carry a $185,000 application fee and cost $25,000 per year to maintain.

Facebook music dashboard: Facebook is reportedly working on a music dashboard, according to GigaOm. Last month, a report from Forbes indicated that the social networking site had signed an agreement with European music service Spotify after Facebook CEO and co-founder Mark Zuckerberg said that the company’s next focus would be on music.

According to the report, the company is planning partnerships with several music services and will add a tab to profiles showing songs users have listened to on those sites. It will also reportedly show what songs a user’s friends have listened to and showcase song recommendations.

President Obama tweets: President Obama sent out his first message through his @BarackObama Twitter account to celebrate Father’s Day.

Obama’s Twitter and Facebook accounts will now be updated by his reelection staff, a blog post on said Friday, and tweets from Obama will be signed “-BO.”

By  |  08:32 AM ET, 06/20/2011

Tags:  Twitter, Facebook, Microsoft, Skype, Security

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