The Circuit: WH will name chief information officer, T-Mobile loses subscribers, Google’s patent war

LEADING THE DAY: An administration official confirmed to Post Tech that the White House will name former Microsoft executive and FCC managing director Steven VanRoekel as its next chief information officer. In an interview with the New York Times, VanRoekel said that he plans to move ahead with the work started by Vivek Kundra, the country’s first CIO, who announced his resignation in June.

T-Mobile earnings down: T-Mobile’s parent company Deustche Telekom announced its half-year earnings Thursday, reporting a 6.5 percent decline in profits. T-Mobile has lost 281,000 customers in the quarter — a key figure for those advocating for the company’s merger with AT&T.

Google lashes out on patents: Google’s chief legal officer SVP Dave Drummond wrote a scathing blog post on the company’s site Wednesday accusing Apple and Microsoft of ganging up against the company on patent matters. Google recently lost a bid for a valuable portfolio of patents from Nortel after being out-bid by a coalition of tech companies including Apple, Microsoft and Research in Motion.

In response, Microsoft’s general counsel Brad Smith said on his Twitter feed that his company offered to bid with Google on the Nortel patents, but was turned down. Frank Shaw, Microsoft head of communications, later posted an e-mail message between Smith and Google general counsel Kent Walker that appeared to prove Smith’s assertion.

Feds stop child porn ring: The Justice Department and the Department of Homeland Security cracked down on a child pornography ring and arrested 72 suspects who were running a network dedicated to sharing videos of child sexual abuse.

In a statement, Attorney General Eric Holder said, “This operation marks another important step forward in our work to protect children across — and beyond — this country.  Our nation’s fight to protect the rights, interests and safety of children goes on, and it will continue to be a top priority of this Justice Department.” 

Germany investigating Facebook: German regulators are investigating Facebook’s face-tagging technology and have asked the social network to disable the suggested automatic tagging feature, the New York Times reported. Johannes Caspar, an official from Hamburg who deals in data protection, said the feature could violate European privacy laws. A Berlin-based Facebook spokesman told the paper that the company has considered and firmly rejected the claim that “we are not meeting our obligations under European law.”

Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.
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