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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 03:46 PM ET, 05/01/2012

The Circuit: Verizon agrees to reformat documents, Google’s Molinari talks women in power

Verizon, cable companies willing to reformat documents: In a filing with the Federal Communications Commission, Verizon and cable providers said that they would be willing to reformat their documents to make them more accessible to interested third parties.

In the filing, which details a call between Verizon, Comcast and FCC wireless bureau chief Rick Kaplan, the companies said that they are willing to make the documents “available for review in searchable format” and provide them in a PDF format. Public interest groups, Sprint and the Rural Cellular Association had previously asked the FCC to delay its review of deals between Verizon and the cable companies for spectrum and cross-licensing because these documents were not easily available for review.

Women in power: Google’s head of public policy, Susan Molinari, spoke Monday evening about the challenges that women face when they enter politics. It was the first public appearance for Molinari since she joined Google; she had previously served as a Republican congresswoman from New York.

She said that women should not be prevented from running for elected positions in the face of public attacks, The Washington Post reported.

She told the crowd at the Fortune Most Powerful Women dinner that they have greater advantages than “99 percent of your sisters” and should become leaders in their fields.

Google’s “Engineer Doe”: The New York Times reported Tuesday that the unnamed engineer who wrote code for Google’s Street View cars is Marius Milner.

Milner is a WiFi expert and the developer behind NetStumbler, a tool that detects WiFi networks, their signal strength and whether or not they are protected. It can also be used for “wardriving,” a term that describes the act of driving in a car and looking for WiFi networks — which some people use to map access points.

Facebook launches organ donor tool: Facebook has added a unique feature to its social network: you can now tell the world — or just your family members — that you’re an organ donor.

The company announced the initiative Tuesday, encouraging its 900 million users to let others know whether they are organ donors.

Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said that his relationship with Apple’s late co-founder Steve Jobs inspired him to use the social network for spreading awareness. Jobs underwent a liver transplant while being treated for pancreatic cancer.

Microsoft CISPA: Microsoft reaffirmed its support for the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act Monday, after reports that the technology firm was backing away from supporting the controversial measure.

“Microsoft’s position remains unchanged,” Christina Pearson, a Microsoft spokeswoman, said in a statement to The Hill. “We supported the work done to pass cybersecurity bills last week in the House of Representatives and look forward to continuing to work with all stakeholders as the Senate takes up cybersecurity legislation.”

The bill, which is designed to facilitate information sharing between the government and private companies, passed the House last week over objections that its loose definitions could pose a threat to civil liberties.

By  |  03:46 PM ET, 05/01/2012

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