The Circuit: Privacy and civil liberties board meets; U.S. Web devices detected in Iran, Sudan

Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board meets: The Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB) met officially for the first time Tuesday, as it heard from numerous privacy, legal and technical scholars speaking about the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) and its approval of recently disclosed surveillance programs. The meetings, which began Tuesday morning and will run through the afternoon, are focusing on specific portions of the Patriot Act and Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act that were used as justification for these programs.

In a panel discussion, former federal district judge James Robertson, who served on the FISA court, rejected the characterization of the FISC as a “rubber stamp” court, but did say that the process may suffer because judges do not hear from those questioning government surveillance actions.

U.S. Web monitoring devices detected in Iran, Sudan: Web monitoring devices made by California firm Blue Coat Systems have been detected on government and commercial computer networks in Iran and Sudan by researchers working with the University of Toronto, The Washington Post reported. If those devices are being used in Iran and Sudan, The Post reported, it would be in violation of U.S. sanctions that ban sales of goods, services or technology to those countries.

In an interview with The Post, Blue Coat’s chief operating officer and president, David Murphy, said the company takes reports about its products appearing in countries under U.S. trade embargoes seriously.

“Blue Coat has never permitted the sale of our products to countries embargoed by the U.S.,” he said. “We do not design our products, or condone their use, to suppress human rights.” He added the products are not intended for “surveillance purposes.”

Tesla to replace Oracle in Nasdaq 100: Tesla Motors will be joining the NASDAQ 100, replacing Oracle Corporation, the exchange announced Tuesday. Oracle announced last month that it would defect to the New York Stock Exchange.

Tesla has had a very successful year on the market, as The Washington Post reported, and Nasdaq listed the firm’s market capitalization as an estimated $12.8 billion in its Tuesday release. The stock will become a part of the NASDAQ-100 index before the market opens July 15.

Apple sued in Florida over HD sales: A Florida lawyer has filed a lawsuit against Apple, GigaOm reported, saying that the company tricked him into paying more for a high-definition version of a video despite the fact that his device did not support the format.

According to the report, attorney Scott Weiselberg filed a class action suit against Apple in San Francisco federal court saying that the firm violated consumer protection laws by offering HD movies to those who have older Apple devices even though the iTunes store is technically capable of recognizing when a device will only be able to support standard-definition video.

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Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.

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