The Switchboard: Comcast is spending liberally to woo lawmakers


(Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg)

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

Comcast spreads cash wide on Capitol Hill. "The Philadelphia cable giant historically has been a major Beltway player, and it’s sure to strengthen its political offense in order to sell the new, controversial megadeal," reports Politico. "Yet even before announcing its plans for Time Warner Cable, Comcast had donated to almost every member of Congress who has a hand in regulating it."

NSA phone-record destruction halt won by privacy group. "The National Security Agency was blocked by a judge from carrying out plans to begin destroying phone records collected for surveillance," according to Bloomberg, "after a privacy group argued they are relevant to lawsuits claiming the practice is unconstitutional."

A closer look at Titanfall's not-so-secret weapon: Microsoft's cloud. "Up until last November, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella's baby was mostly used for business applications, like virtualization and acting as an enterprise-level email host," Engadget reports. "With the Xbox One, though, the company opened up its global server farms to game developers, giving them access to more computing power than could reasonably be stuffed into a $500 game console."

Technology tracks our every move. How can an entire plane go missing? "Call 911 from the side of the road, and GPS satellites can tell dispatchers exactly where to send help," I wrote yesterday. "How is it that we have no idea where Malaysia Flight 370 has gone?"

GOP investigating FCC media controversy. "Rep. Greg Walden, the Energy and Commerce subcommittee chairman for Communications and Technology, worries that the FCC's recent decision to pull a controversial study on how newsrooms decide which stories to report won't be the end of the matter," reports The Hill.

Brian Fung covers technology for The Washington Post.
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