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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 05:47 PM ET, 06/12/2012

The Circuit: Verizon plans, broadband, ICANN

Verizon plans: Verizon announced new “Share Everything” plans for consumers, which grant the option to share minutes, messages and data between phones and other connected devices on their accounts. The monthly plans start at $50 per month, for unlimited minutes, messages and 1 GB of data.

“Share Everything Plans are the new standard for wireless service. They are simple; customers no longer have to think about their voice and message plans, because both are unlimited,” Verizon said in a press release.

The plan drew swift criticism from media reform group Free Press, which said that they limit consumer choice. “The data plans are no better because they also push customers to pay more, starting with sky-high device fees,” said policy director Matt Wood. “Even before using any shared data, a family of four would have to pay $160 each and every month just to connect four smartphones to Verizon's network.”

Next-generation broadband: The White House office of Science and Technology Policy will host a call Wednesday with partners from the National Science Foundation and others to discuss expanding access to broadband technology.

The call comes ahead of a June 14 White House event to highlight federal partnerships to improve access to next-generation broadband networks.

ICANN: The organization charged with regulating what goes to the right of the dot in Web addresses is moving ahead with its initiative to drastically change the Internet.

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) releases its applications list on Wednesday. The new initiative is, however, controversial. Some copyright holders believe that the expansion could hurt their brands because they worry they’ll have to buy up several Web addresses in several domains for defensive purposes. Supporters say that this is a very exciting opportunity for brands, both for those who want to claim their own domain name and for those who want to be associated with a specific part of the Web.

Spokeo settles with the FTC: Spokeo, a site that worked like a search engine for personal information, settled Tuesday with the Federal Trade Commission over allegations that it had misused data.

The Washington Post reported that the deal requires the company to pay $800,000 on allegations that it pulled information — such as address, marital status, hobbies, ethnicity and religion — from Facebook, Twitter and other sources to create profiles that the company sold to job recruiters from 2008 until 2010.

Spokeo did not admit any wrongdoing when it agreed to the terms of the settlement.

By  |  05:47 PM ET, 06/12/2012

 
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