(Warner Bros.)

Published every weekday, the Switchboard highlights five tech policy stories you need to read.

Apple, Samsung CEOs agree to mediation in U.S. patent fight. "Apple Inc and Samsung Electronics have agreed to attend a mediation session to be held on or before Feb. 19," according to Reuters, "as they prepare to clash in court in March over smartphone patents."

What it's like when the FBI asks to backdoor your software. "The FBI's goal is to see into encrypted, secure systems like Wickr and others," reports PCMag. "Under the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA) legislation, law enforcement can tap any phone in the US but they can't read encrypted communications."

German court: ISP subscribers not liable for pirating family members. "Overturning an earlier decision by a lower court," TorrentFreak reports, "the Federal Court of Justice said that an account holder could not be held liable for piracy carried out by an adult family member if he had no reason to believe any was being carried out."

Yahoo malware enslaves PCs to Bitcoin mining. "Adverts on Yahoo's homepage were infected with malware designed to mine the Bitcoin virtual currency, according to security experts," the BBC reports. "Security firm Light Cyber said the malware was intended to create a huge network of Bitcoin mining machines."

EU struggles to find new data protection chief."Europe could be without a data protection chief from next week as none of the candidates applying for the job appear to have the required qualifications," according to Computerworld. "The European Data Protection Supervisor's five-year tenure runs out on Jan. 16."