The Switchboard: Dissent in the ranks as FCC’s net neutrality deadline nears


(Tony Avelar / Bloomberg)

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

Google, Netflix lead nearly 150 tech companies in protest of FCC net neutrality plan. Tech firms are banding together, calling on the FCC for stronger net neutrality a week before the commission's scheduled meeting to discuss the issue. "Even as the companies were writing to the commission, however, some at the agency were suggesting that the May 15 meeting be delayed," I wrote late yesterday. "'I can tell you right now I have real concerns about process,' said FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel in remarks at a Washington conference of state library officials. 'Rushing headlong into a rulemaking next week fails to respect the public response to his proposal.'"

Surveillance-bill compromise close in House, would end mass NSA collection of phone data. After a key House committee vote to approve a package of NSA reforms, "Key lawmakers in the House are nearing a bipartisan compromise on surveillance legislation that they believe can pass the full chamber and satisfy President Obama’s goal of ending mass collection of Americans’ phone data," according to the Post's own Ellen Nakashima.

The unlikely ascent of Jack Ma, Alibaba's founder. "Mr. Ma’s ascent to dot-com billionaire is remarkable for not following the traditional script," reports the New York Times. "Unlike Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Apple’s Steven P. Jobs or Microsoft’s Bill Gates, Mr. Ma, 49, has no background in computing and professes not to understand technology."

House hearing on the Comcast/TWC merger: A preview. Tech Policy Daily takes a look at the written testimony of the witnesses ahead of this morning's House hearing on the Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger. "Like the Senate, the House has no direct authority over the merger, which will ultimately be approved, denied, or conditioned by the FCC and the Justice Department, but it’s too big to ignore," writes Tech Policy Daily. "The witness list doesn’t betray any committee intent to go easy on Comcast and TWC: anti-merger witnesses outnumber pro-merger ones."

Apple v. Samsung patent trial recap: How it all turned out. "The latest round in the Apple v. Samsung patent-infringement battle is finally over -- well, at least until it's appealed," writes CNET. "A jury on Friday handed back a mixed verdict in the Apple v. Samsung patent-infringement case, determining that both companies were guilty in some aspects but not guilty in others."

Brian Fung covers technology for The Washington Post.
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Brian Fung | May 7