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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 08:52 AM ET, 08/29/2011

The Circuit: Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile to invest in Isis; Google+ is ‘identity service’; Samsung, Apple

LEADING THE DAY: Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile are reportedly planning to invest $100 million in Isis, the mobile payment service that uses near-field communication (NFC) chips embedded in cellphones to process credit card payments, Bloomberg reported. The carriers are partnering with Visa, which is also launching its own mobile payment system.

The investment will help the service compete with Google Wallet, another NFC-based system that the search giant is rolling out in conjunction with Citi, Mastercard and Sprint.

Google+ is an identity service: Google chairman Eric Schmidt reportedly said that Google+ was built primarily as an identity service and that those worried about using their real names shouldn’t use the service, in response to a question from NPR’s Andy Carvin at the Edinburgh International TV Festival. Schmidt also said that the Internet would be better if people were identified by their true identities. Google requires users to use their real names for its Google Profiles and on its social network, which has prompted some backlash from those who say that requiring real names can put political dissidents, domestic violence victims and others in danger.

At the same conference, Schmidt also said that Google will launch Google TV in Europe next year, Reuters reported.

Samsung, in patent spat, delays tablet launch: Samsung has delayed the Australian launch of its Galaxy Tab 10.1 in response to an ongoing patent spat with Apple over the device’s supposed similarity to the iPad. The company has agreed t o delay the launch of its tablet until Sept. 30, Bloomberg reported, pending a Sept. 26 ruling in its patent dispute there.

The court has not ordered an injunction against sales of the tablet in Australia. Apple and other tech companies are currently embroiled in patent disputes across the globe.

Facebook ends Deals: Facebook announced Friday that it will end its Deals program, a competitor to Groupon and other daily deals sites. The program is being dropped after four months of testing in select markets in Texas, California and Georgia, the Associated Press reported. The network will discontinue the program in the “coming weeks.”

“We think there is a lot of power in a social approach to driving people into local businesses," Facebook said in a statement to the news service. “We’ve learned a lot from our test and we’ll continue to evaluate how to best serve local businesses.”

Missouri teachers want to “friend” students: Missouri teachers have won back the right to “friend” their students on Facebook, ZDNet reported, after a state ban on the practice was signed earlier this month. The Missouri State Teacher’s Association has won a 180-day injunction against the law, which was put in place to prevent improper student-teacher interactions. The ban went into effect on Aug. 28.

But teachers argued that Facebook is an important way to communicate with students — a view upheld by research and the ruling of the Cole County Circuit Court. “The Court finds that the statute would have a chilling effect on speech,” Judge Jon Beetem wrote in court documents.

Pakistani authorities tighten net security: Pakistani authorities have issued a directive demanding that use of virtual private networks be prohibited, reported. The move, ostensibly to crack down on militants who use the networks to communicate anonymously, will also keep the majority of Pakistani citizens from doing so as well.

Pakistan has been moving to tighten its hold on Internet use in the country, and has been blocking Web sites it deems “offensive” for months.

By  |  08:52 AM ET, 08/29/2011

Tags:  Facebook, Privacy, Groupon, IP, Apple, International, Google, AT&T, T-Mobile

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