Switchboard: U.S. expected to announce criminal charges against China for cyberespionage


A Cisco office is pictured in San Diego, California November 12, 2012. (REUTERS/Mike Blake)

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

Privacy advocates warn of ‘nightmare’ scenario as tech giants consider fitness tracking. The fitness tracking market has exploded in recent years, and tech giants are starting to take notice. But after Facebook's acquisition of Moves -- and the speed at which it changed its privacy policy -- some privacy advocates warn that the regulatory framework around these type of applications lags behind the times, reports Andrea Peterson for the Switch. 

U.S. to announce first criminal charges against foreign country for cyberspying. "Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. is expected to announce Monday the first criminal charges to be brought against a foreign government for conducting economic cyber-espionage against American companies," reports the Post's Ellen Nakashima. "The country being targeted is China, according to people familiar with the case."

Meet Twitch, the video-streaming firm Google may buy for $1 billionGoogle is reportedly in talks to buy the live-streaming video game service, Twitch, for $1 billion, according to a report from Variety," writes the Switch's Hayley Tsukayama. "If true, the reportedly all-cash deal would be the largest-ever acquisition for Google's YouTube video service, which itself was acquired by the tech giant in 2006 for $1.65 billion."

AT&T will honor net neutrality for three years if regulators let it buy DirecTV. "AT&T has announced it's buying DirecTV in a $49 billion deal — an enormous acquisition that could turn one of the nations top telecom companies into a formidable player in the pay-TV market. And the agreement is sure to be examined closely by federal regulators," reports The Switch's Brian Fung. "To help win their approval, AT&T is offering to abide by net neutrality principles for three years: the company would not block Web sites; it would also not discriminate against certain Web content by slowing down or speeding up different lanes of Internet traffic to customers."

Cisco boss calls on Obama to rein in surveillance. Daniel Thomas and Richard Waters at Financial Times report that Cisco CEO John Chambers asked the president to curtail NSA surveillance activities in a recent letter. "The letter was dated the day after pictures circulated on the internet showing NSA staff opening boxes of Cisco gear so that the US security agency can monitor internet traffic after the equipment has been shipped to customers."

Andrea Peterson covers technology policy for The Washington Post, with an emphasis on cybersecurity, consumer privacy, transparency, surveillance and open government.

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