LEADING THE DAY: Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) said Thursday that he is preparing a manager’s amendment to an online piracy bill -- Protect IP Act (S.968) -- that will address concerns about the measure’s potential effect on Internet service providers.
“This is, in fact, a highly technical issue, and I am prepared to recommend we give it more study before implementing it,” Leahy said on Vermont Public Radio.
The bill would allow the federal government to seize domain names of what it believes are online piracy sites.
A spokesman for Sen. RonWyden (D-Ore.), Tom Caiazza, said that the lawmaker still plans to boycott PIPA, even if Leahy amends the bill to remove the domain name provisions, saying the bill still threatens innovation, free speech and the American economy.
“It is welcome news that proponents of PIPA are finally accepting that it contains major flaws,” he said in an e-mailed statement. “Senator Wyden remains firm in his intent to block consideration of the PIPA bill until these issues are addressed and is committed to doing all he can to ensure that whatever legislative course is taken, that it is fully transparent, fully understood and fully considered by all those who value the Internet. ”
Facebook adds to DC office: Facebook is bolstering its D.C. office staff that works on privacy issues. Will Castleberry will join Facebook on Feb. 1 as its state public policy director in a move that the company said will “demonstrate to policymakers that we are industry leaders in privacy, data security and safety.”
Castleberry comes to Facebook from AOL, where he has been vice president of public policy and has directed its state public policy initiatives. In the past, he has worked for MCI and in Maryland state government.
House Dems ask for Carrier IQ hearing: Democratic Reps. Henry Waxman (Calif.), Diana DeGette (Colo.) and G.K. Butterfield (N.C.), wrote to leading Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee requesting a committee hearing on the Carrier IQ phone-tracking controversy.
Carrier IQ, a program that records cellphone diagnostic data for mobile carriers, came under scrutiny after a security researcher posted a video showing that the software appeared to collect keystroke, location and browsing data from users’ cellphones. The company has since revealed what information it collects and identified a bug in its systems that the firm said inadvertently collected some encrypted personal text messages.
Federal Trade Commission officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the matter is private, confirmed to The Washington Post in December that the TFC was looking into the software.
YouTube’s Kyncl on the future of entertainment:Robert Kyncl, the head of global partnerships for YouTube, said in a speech at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas that the Web is poised to become the premium channel for entertainment distribution within the next decade.
YouTube and Kyncl — who came to the company from Netflix — are taking a big bet on Web video, pouring $100 million into the production of original content.
Kodak said to be talking bankruptcy with Citigroup: Eastman Kodak stock fell 28 percent in early trading Thursday, as reports circulated that it is in advanced bankruptcy talks with Citigroup, Bloomberg reported. The company, which is scheduled to report its 4th-quarter results Jan. 26, is reportedly lining up bidders for its patent portfolio should the it file.
Beijing crowd eggs Apple store after botched launch:An angry crowd pelted Apple’s flagship store in Beijing on Friday after the tech giant canceled the launch of the iPhone 4S, the Associated Press reported. Apple has identified the Chinese market as one of its top global priorities, and the country makes up about one-sixth of the company’s global sales, chief executive Tim Cook said in October.
The skirmish helps demonstrate that Chinese demand for Apple products is extremely high; stores sold out of their iPhone 4s stock quickly in other parts of the country.