The Switchboard: Microsoft keeps 60 million pages for every lawsuit

November 26, 2013

Published every weekday, The Switchboard highlights five tech policy stories you need to read.

Microsoft supports lawsuit reform so it doesn't have to compile 60 million pages per case. The Redmond-based company argues in a blog post that it only ever takes 88 pages or so to court. According to The Verge, "the company revealed the startling statistics today as it announces its support for a federal proposal that would allow businesses to start preserving fewer documents for a lawsuit, a change that Microsoft says will making litigation cheaper and encourage defendants not to settle."

Tim Berners-Lee says government snooping threatens future democracy. "Berners-Lee made his comments as his World Wide Web Foundation (WWWF) released its annual web index report, tracking global censorship," according to Computerworld. "The report, which points out how the internet is helping much of the world and ranks countries in terms of the social and political impact of the web, finishes by calling for an urgent review around the current legal framework on government snooping."

Jury: Newegg infringes Spangenberg patent, must pay $2.3 million "An eight-person jury came back shortly after 7:00 pm and found that the company infringed all four asserted claims of a patent owned by TQP Development, a company owned by patent enforcement expert Erich Spangenberg," Ars Technica reports. "The jury also found that the patent was valid, apparently rejecting arguments by famed cryptographer Whitfield Diffie. Diffie took the stand on Friday to argue on behalf of Newegg and against the patent."

Samsung's motion to stay damages in Apple patent retrial denied. "While Judge Koh ruled against Samsung's motion to stay its damages," writes MacRumors, "a reevaluation of the pinch-to-zoom patent will still take place. The court also states that Apple has other options to influence the outcome of a reexamination, such as filing an appeal to the Patent Trial and Appeal Board or the Federal Circuit."

NSA may have hit Internet companies at a weak spot. "Level 3 did not directly respond to an inquiry about whether it had given the NSA, or the agency’s foreign intelligence partners, access to Google and Yahoo’s data," reports the New York Times. "In a statement, Level 3 said: 'It is our policy and our practice to comply with laws in every country where we operate, and to provide government agencies access to customer data only when we are compelled to do so by the laws in the country where the data is located.'"

Brian Fung covers technology for The Washington Post, focusing on telecom, broadband and digital politics. Before joining the Post, he was the technology correspondent for National Journal and an associate editor at the Atlantic.
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Brian Fung · November 25, 2013