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The Switchboard: Has the NSA been snooping with Heartbleed?

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

Heartbleed bug puts the chaotic nature of the Internet under the magnifying glass. "A major flaw revealed this week in widely used encryption software has highlighted one of the enduring — and terrifying — realities of the Internet," writes the Post's own Craig Timberg. Further Post coverage of Heartbleed can be found here, here and here.

Has the NSA been using the Heartbleed bug as an Internet peephole? "Since the Heartbleed bug has existed for two years," writes Wired, "it raises obvious questions about whether the NSA or other spy agencies were exploiting it before its discovery to conduct spying on a mass scale."

Court says FTC can go after companies who get hacked for their weak security practices. "The FTC went after Wyndham hotels for its egregiously bad data security (which made it easy for hackers to get hotel guests' information, including credit cards)," writes TechDirt, "but Wyndham fought back, saying the FTC had no authority over such matters, especially without having first issued specific rules."

Senate patent troll bill delayed again. "While lawmakers have a 'tentative agreement in principle,' according to Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, they still disagree on some details," reports Re/code. "They’ll try again after Congress gets back from its spring break."

T-Mobile’s next move: Shame AT&T and Verizon into ditching data overage fees. "T-Mobile has unveiled a new $40 Simple Starter plan," writes BGR, "that the company is touting as the best plan for casual smartphone users who don’t want to see their wireless bills skyrocket because they used too much data."

Brian Fung covers technology for The Washington Post, focusing on telecommunications and the Internet. Before joining the Post, he was the technology correspondent for National Journal and an associate editor at the Atlantic.



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