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Timothy B. Lee

Timothy B. Lee

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Brian Fung

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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 08:07 AM ET, 12/13/2011

The Circuit: Smith proposes SOPA changes, AT&T and Justice stay case, LightSquared

LEADING THE DAY: Chairman Lamar Smith introduced a manager’s amendment to the Stop Online Piracy Act that addresses some but not all of critics’ concerns about the bill. The proposed changes include: clarifying that the bill is aimed at foreign Web sites, nixing language that would have required redirection from rogue sites, clarifying that service providers don’t need to block subdomains and narrowing the definitions of some key terms in the bill to focus on bad actors. Markup on the bill is scheduled for Dec. 15 at 10 a.m.

Sherwin Siy of the public advocacy group Public Knowledge, said in a statement that while the amendment makes improvements to the original bill, he is still uneasy with the measure’s focus on Web site blocking.

AT&T, Justice stay their case: AT&T and T-Mobile have effectively dropped their merger proposal as it was originally conceived, The Washington Post reported ,agreeing to postpone its antitrust lawsuit with the Department of Justice. Justice said that it would move to delay the deal following AT&T’s strategic move to withdraw its application from the Federal Communications Commission in order to concentrate on the lawsuit.

The latest development has raised questions about the future of the deal; AT&T said Monday that it is “actively considering whether and how to revise our current transaction” to get a nod from regulators.

LightSquared mad over leak: LightSquared is calling for the National Executive Committee for Space-based Positioning to launch a formal investigation into how a leaked report showing that the company’s network interferes with GPS signal made it to the media.

Bloomberg reported Friday that the tests showed the broadband network would interfere with 75 percent of GPS devices, but LightSquared refuted those claims. The company also said it was the “latest in a series of selective leaks” meant to undermine its project.

ICANN: In January, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the nonprofit association tasked with managing the Internet’s addresses, known as domain names, will begin taking applications from anyone to reserve their own top-level domain on the Web. But some lawmakers and regulators want ICANN to delay its process, which has been six years in the making, The Washington Post reported.

Federal Trade Commission Chairman Jon Leibowitz said last week that implementing the program could be a “disaster” for consumers. A hearing on the matter will be held Wednesday by a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee, though no legislation is planned at this time.

Protecting kids online: The bipartisan privacy caucus will hold a public forum with FTC chairman Jon Leibowitz and privacy experts Wednesday to discuss the most effective ways to protect children and teens online. The event, hosted by caucus co-chairs Reps. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Joe Barton (R-Texas), will look at topics such as opt-in mechanisms, targeted advertising and parental controls. Commissioner Julie Brill, Electronic Privacy Information Center’s Marc Rotenberg and privacy expert Kathryn Montgomery will also speak at the panel.

CALM Act: The FCC is expected to issue its order to implement the Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation (CALM) Act Tuesday, which will require that TV advertisements are not any louder than their surrounding programming. Opponents to the measure, which passed through Congress last December, say that requiring all pay-TV channels to implement the order is onerous. But the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) has urged the FCC to ensure the new standard applies to all pay-TV providers, including cable and satellite.

By  |  08:07 AM ET, 12/13/2011

Tags:  Kids Online, ICANN, LightSquared, Spectrum, AT&T, T-Mobile, SOPA

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