Published every weekday, the Switchboard highlights five tech policy stories you need to read. And don't forget to join us Friday at 11 a.m. for our weekly Switchback livechat. Submit your questions here.
FCC approves plan to consider paid priority on Internet From The Washington Post's Cecilia Kang: "The plan, approved in a three-to-two vote along party lines, could unleash a new economy on the Web where an Internet service provider such as Verizon would charge a Web site such as Netflix for faster video streaming. The proposal would, though, prohibit telecom firms from outright blocking Web sites."
(Bonus: The Post's Brian Fung saves you time with the one quote you need to read from Thursday's meeting.)
Why Silicon Valley Actually Had a Pretty Good Day in D.C. "While FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler’s fast-lane/slow-lane net neutrality proposal was taking a beating on all sides (even Wheeler took a few whacks at it), Internet companies sneaked through a huge victory when the agency agreed to set aside up to three channels of TV airwaves for unlicensed use" writes Re/Code's Amy Schatz, on the other major piece of news to come out of the FCC Thursday. The agency also proposed to set aside spectrum reserved for small carriers to prevent companies such as AT&T and Verizon from getting too many airwaves -- though it didn't set aside as much as smaller carriers such as T-Mobile and Sprint would have liked, notes the Wall Street Journal's Gautham Nagesh and Ryan Knutson.
Samsung-Apple Smartphone Battleground Is Single Atom Thick "Graphene is sort of like the high-tech version of cling wrap. It’s a transparent material that conducts electricity so it can be stretched across glass surfaces of phones or tablets to make them into touch screens," explains Bloomberg's Jungah Lee. "The potential has Samsung, Apple and Google Inc. amassing arsenals of graphene-related patents, in part because sales of so-called wearable computing devices is predicted to rise 14 fold in five years."
Snapchat scores poorly in review of online privacy The Electronic Frontier Foundation issued its annual score of how well companies protect consumer privacy on Thursday and "the fledgling messaging app earned just one out of six stars in its first appearance in the report -- the lowest ranking out of the more than two dozen companies assessed by EFF based on their publicly available policies," writes The Post's Andrea Peterson. But, on the bright side, nine companies received full marks, including Facebook, Microsoft, Google and Yahoo.
Andreessen Horowitz Bets on a Government Software Start-Up "OpenGov, a start-up that sells software to help local governments manage data, announced on Thursday that it had received a roughly $15 million financing round led by Andreessen Horowitz. It is the first time that Andreessen Horowitz, one of Silicon Valley’s leading investment shops, has backed a company in the business of 'govtech,' to use the industry parlance," because it sees potential in the market, says the New York Times' William Alden.