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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.

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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 08:33 AM ET, 07/12/2011

The Circuit: States look into AT&T/T-Mobile merger, smartphone use, Amazon challenging Calif. law

LEADING THE DAY: Sprint has been subpoenaed in nine states in connection with antitrust reviews, according to a filing on the FCC’s Web site. Bloomberg reported Tuesday that AT&T confirmed that it had also received requests for information from the attorneys general of the same states: Arizona, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Minnesota, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas and Washington.

According to the June 28 letter from Sprint, the states have asked for information “in connection with their review of the pending AT&T/T-Mobile USA transaction.” Several state agencies are examining the measure. The Arizona Corporation Commission, which oversees that state’s utility companies, recently gave its nod to the deal.

Smartphone users cutting the cord: A quarter of Americans with smartphones use the devices as their primary access to the Internet, The Washington Post reported, highlighting a shift in the way consumers use electronic devices. Smartphones are swiftly becoming the go-to gadget for Web surfing and business as people spend less time in front of their laptops and computers.

Using a smartphone does have its limitations, however, as many online forms and professional applications are not optimized for use on smaller screens.

Amazon challenging Calif. tax law: Online retailer Amazon is challenging a recent California law that would make it mandatory for online retailers to collect sales tax, the Associated Press reported. The company has filed a petition for a referendum allowing voters to decide whether the requirement should stand.

Amazon cut ties with California affiliates that referred customers to its site after the law was passed in June. It has taken similar action in response to laws in several other states.

Courts approve Nortel patent sale: Canadian and U.S. judges approved Ontario-based firm Nortel’s sale of its portfolio of patents to a consortium of tech companies including Apple, Microsoft and Research in Motion.

Google had originally wanted the patents as a defense against patent lawsuits, but was outbid by the consortium. The Federal Trade Commission is examining whether Google is facing an unfair coalition of companies in the bid, The Washington Post reported.

Data retention hearing: The House Judiciary subcommittee on crime will hold a hearing today on a data retention bill titled the “Protecting Children from Internet Pornographers Act of 2011.” The bill would require Internet service providers to keep records of IP addresses for 18 months, making it much easier to track individual users.

Anonymous promises big release: Members of the Anonymous hacktivist collective movement are expected to post a big release of data Tuesday. One member claims the group is working on two of its biggest releases in the past four years.

Anonymous claimed to have carried out an attack on government contractor Booz Allen Hamilton Monday, posting 90,000 e-mails and passwords, The Washington Post reported.

Apple, HTC in patent fight: Apple has accused HTC of infringing its patents for a second time, Bloomberg reported, asking the International Trade Commission to block imports of HTC “personal electronic devices.”

A judge is scheduled to rule on the original case Aug. 5, the report said.

By  |  08:33 AM ET, 07/12/2011

Tags:  IP, Security, Kids Online, FTC, Google, Apple, Microsoft, RIM, Amazon, FTC, Broadband, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, FCC

 
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