The Washington Post

The Circuit: Lawmakers question firms’ Syria ties, White House calls for privacy self-regulation

LEADING THE DAY: Lawmakers said Monday that they wanted more information on how the Syrian government obtained American-made online surveillance and censorship technology, The Washington Post reported. Sens. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), Robert Casey (D-Pa.) and Christopher Coons (D-Del.) urged the administration to find out whether the firms in question — Blue Coat Systems and NetApp — provided the Syrian government with the technology. Both firms have denied wrongdoing.

In a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Commerce Secretary John Bryson, the lawmakers also said that the government should also consider canceling its own contracts with NetApp.

White House calls for more privacy self-regulation: In a speech at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, U.S. deputy chief technology officer Daniel Weitzner called for Internet companies to come up with self-imposed rules that would be enforced by the Federal Trade Commission, The Washington Post reported. Weitzner said that the rules the FTC has proposed for online privacy are too stringent.

Leibowitz hearing: The Senate Commerce committee will hold a hearing Tuesday on the reappointment of Jon Leibowitz, the chairman of the Federal Trade Commission. Leibowitz was sworn in as a commissioner in 2004 and has served as chairman since 2009.

The committee will also discuss the nomination of Maureen Ohlhausen as a commissioner at the agency and the nomination of Rebecca M. Blank to be the deputy secretary at the Commerce Department.

Cybersecurity hearing: The House subcommittee on crime, terrorism and homeland security will hold a hearing Tuesday addressing concerns with cybersecurity. The witness list includes Richard Downing from the computer crimes division of the Justice Department and former head of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff.

White House officials have called for cybersecurity legislation, saying last month that they have seen encouraging movement in the Senate toward comprehensive legislation.

Australian court to hear Samsung, Apple case: An Australian court has agreed to hear a case between Samsung and Apple in March, Reuters reported, over patent infringement claims. Samsung is seeking a ban on sales of Apple’s iPhone 4S, which will continue ahead of the hearing. Samsung has also appealed a court ruling that bans the sale of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet — which Apple argues infringes on patents for the iPad — and will get a hearing in November.

Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.



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