The Circuit: FCC reform; Yahoo asks court to unseal 2008 argument; Officials worry Snowden accessed China spy files

July 11, 2013

FCC reform: The House subpanel on communications and technology met Thursday to discuss two Republican-backed bills that aim to change the way the Federal Communications Commission reviews mergers and creates rules.

Ahead of the hearing, the National Association of Broadcasters and Comcast both released statements hailing the reforms proposed in the bills, which have been a main focus for subpanel chairman Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.).

“We applaud Chairman Walden for his efforts to offer a discussion draft, which represents an important next step towards modifying regulatory reforms that have been long discussed by many different Commissions regardless of party or leadership,” Comcast executive Vice President David L. Cohen said in a statement.

Yahoo asks court to unseal 2008 argument: Yahoo has petitioned the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Court for permission to unseal an 2008 argument it made opposing the National Security Agency’s data gathering program, the San Jose Mercury News reported. According to the report, the ruling in the case “gave the government powerful leverage” to compel other companies to comply with similar data requests.

A Yahoo spokesman confirmed that the company is “seeking permission from the FISA court to unseal the arguments and orders from the 2008 case.”

Officials worry Snowden accessed spy files: The Washington Post reports that an internal review at the National Security Agency looking into what damage may have been caused by former contractor Edward Snowden revealed that he may have had access to files outlining espionage operations against Chinese leaders.

“We’re deeply concerned,” said one senior intelligence official, who like others interviewed for the Post’s article, was not authorized to speak on the record. “The more that this gets made public, the more capability we lose.”

Meanwhile, federal employees have been asked to bow out from the annual Defcon conference for hackers in D.C., with organizers citing strained relations over the NSA programs.

“Our community operates in the spirit of openness, verified trust, and mutual respect. When it comes to sharing and socializing with feds, recent revelations have made many in the community uncomfortable about this relationship,” wrote Defcon founder Jeff Moss.

Apple found liable in DOJ case: A federal judge ruled Wednesday that Apple conspired to raise e-book prices, handing the tech giant a bruising loss that could ripple throughout the industry and force companies to rethink how they meet consumer demand for digital products.

Many characterized the ruling as a win for Amazon, which Apple was looking to challenge with its unique pricing structure, and, as Bloomberg reported, could give the online retailer more flexibility to bolster its position in the e-book market.

Sign up today to receive #thecircuit, a daily roundup of the latest tech policy news from Washington and how it is shaping business, entertainment and science.

Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.
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July 11, 2013

FCC reform: The House subpanel on communications and technology met Thursday to discuss two Republican-backed bills that aim to change the way the Federal Communications Commission reviews mergers and creates rules.

Ahead of the hearing, the National Association of Broadcasters and Comcast both released statements hailing the reforms proposed in the bills, which have been a main focus for subpanel chairman Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.).

“We applaud Chairman Walden for his efforts to offer a discussion draft, which represents an important next step towards modifying regulatory reforms that have been long discussed by many different Commissions regardless of party or leadership,” Comcast executive Vice President David L. Cohen said in a statement.

Yahoo asks court to unseal 2008 argument: Yahoo has petitioned the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Court for permission to unseal an 2008 argument it made opposing the National Security Agency’s data gathering program, the San Jose Mercury News reported. According to the report, the ruling in the case “gave the government powerful leverage” to compel other companies to comply with similar data requests.

A Yahoo spokesman confirmed that the company is “seeking permission from the FISA court to unseal the arguments and orders from the 2008 case.”

Officials worry Snowden accessed spy files: The Washington Post reports that an internal review at the National Security Agency looking into what damage may have been caused by former contractor Edward Snowden revealed that he may have had access to files outlining espionage operations against Chinese leaders.

“We’re deeply concerned,” said one senior intelligence official, who like others interviewed for the Post’s article, was not authorized to speak on the record. “The more that this gets made public, the more capability we lose.”

Meanwhile, federal employees have been asked to bow out from the annual Defcon conference for hackers in D.C., with organizers citing strained relations over the NSA programs.

“Our community operates in the spirit of openness, verified trust, and mutual respect. When it comes to sharing and socializing with feds, recent revelations have made many in the community uncomfortable about this relationship,” wrote Defcon founder Jeff Moss.

Apple found liable in DOJ case: A federal judge ruled Wednesday that Apple conspired to raise e-book prices, handing the tech giant a bruising loss that could ripple throughout the industry and force companies to rethink how they meet consumer demand for digital products.

Many characterized the ruling as a win for Amazon, which Apple was looking to challenge with its unique pricing structure, and, as Bloomberg reported, could give the online retailer more flexibility to bolster its position in the e-book market.

Sign up today to receive #thecircuit, a daily roundup of the latest tech policy news from Washington and how it is shaping business, entertainment and science.

Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.
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