The Washington Post

The Circuit: Privacy hearing scheduled; Facebook’s IPO; FCC extends Verizon-cable review

Privacy hearing: The Senate Commerce Committee will hold a hearing to examine the Obama administration's plan to protect online privacy, as well as the privacy report issued by the Federal Trade Commission.

In a statement, Sen. Jay Rockefeller said that he hopes “to have a robust discussion on how the Administration and FTC propose to empower Americans so that they can say if, when, and how their information is collected and used.”

The House Commerce committee held its own hearing on the Obama administration guidelines in March.

Facebook roadshow: Facebook is now expected to make its market debut in mid-May, pending the approval of its S-1 documents from the Securities and Exchange Commission. The company had been expected to begin trading on the NASDAQ in the spring, but recent reports had indicated the social network would wait until the summer.

But a report late Tuesday from The Wall Street Journal cited “unnamed sources” who said that the company would begin its roadshow pitch on Monday.

Facebook declined to comment on the reports.

FCC extends Verizon-cable deal review: The Federal Communications Commission on Tuesday delayed its review of Verizon’s $3.6 billion bid for airwaves from cable companies, saying the investigation is being held back because the companies were late in submitting requested paperwork, The Washington Post reported.

The delay, which appeared procedural, will stop what is known as an informal 180-days “shot clock” by three weeks, the FCC said in an order.

The delay puts back Verizon’s ambition to close its deal by the middle of July. The company is bidding for AWS spectrum from Comcast, Bright House, Cox and Time Warner Cable it wants to use to beef up its LTE 4G network.

Mozilla pans CISPA: Mozilla has come out against the controversial Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, breaking with the larger tech industry to oppose the measures. The bill is intended to make it easier for private companies to share cyber threat information with the government, but has gathered criticism from the White House and privacy advocates who worry it has the potential to violate civil liberties.

Mozilla, which was also vocal in the fight against the Stop Online Piracy Act and the Protect IP (Intellectual Property) Act, told Forbes that it opposes the bill because it “includes vague definitions of cybersecurity and grants immunities to companies and government that are too broad around information misuse.”

Nokia sues competitors: Nokia struck out at its competitors Wednesday, announcing a handful of patent suits leveled against HTC, Research in Motion and ViewSonic in the United States and Germany.

The company said that the lawsuits cover 45 patents that deal with several important cellphone technologies.

Louise Pentland, chief legal officer at Nokia indicated in a statement that licensing fees are the eventual aim of the company’s cases. “We have already licensed our standards essential patents to more than 40 companies. Though we’d prefer to avoid litigation, Nokia had to file these actions to end the unauthorized use of our proprietary innovations and technologies, which have not been widely licensed,” she said in a statement.

Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.



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