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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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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 04:07 PM ET, 12/21/2012

Video privacy bill passes Senate, headed to president #thecircuit

Video privacy bill passes Senate: The Senate has passed a Netflix-backed update to a bill that will allow users to share the names of videos they watch on the video service to social networks such as Facebook. The bill updates the Video Privacy Protection Act, which made it illegal for video rental businesses to disclose the titles they rent to customers.

The law was originally passed in 1998, when a newspaper published the rental records of then-Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork.

Google designing ‘X’ phone, report says: Google is reportedly planning to build a high-end smartphone to rival Apple’s iPhone and Samsung’s Galaxy SIII, through its Motorola Mobility unit, according to The Wall Street Journal. Google has not had good luck with hardware in the past, with its branded tablets and smartphones getting good reviews but making little splash in the market.

After Google announced plans to acquire Motorola last year, the company was quick to say that it would maintain strong partnerships with Android phone makers including Samsung and HTC.

Apple appeals rejected Samsung ban: Apple has appealed U.S. District Court judge Lucy Koh’s decision to reject a ban on 26 Samsung products earlier this week.

Bloomberg reported that Apple is seeking a review of the ruling from a federal appeals court in Washington.

The U.S. Trademark and Patent Office recently said that it would overturn an Apple patent at issue in a trial between Apple and Samsung this summer. A jury ruled in August that Samsung had to pay Apple over $1 billion in damages for violating several Apple patents.

Instagram reverses ad terms decision: Thursday night, Instagram said that it will revert a section of its terms of service back to its original wording after users soundly rejected proposed changes to the policy.

In a company blog post, chief executive Kevin Systrom said that the company made the changes in response to user feedback and that the company will explain ad strategies and plans to customers in the future.

Facebook rolls out new privacy layout: Facebook users in the United States and across the globe are starting to see changes the company made to the way it shows privacy settings. The company began rolling out the changes late Thursday night.

The social network detailed the changes last week in a company blog post. Users will now see a “privacy shortcut” menu at the top of every Facebook page that give answers to three basic questions: who can see users’ posts, who can contact a specific user and information on how to block individual users on the site.

By  |  04:07 PM ET, 12/21/2012

 
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