The Circuit: Egypt and Twitter; DOJ Internet tracking; Facebook faces backlash over credits
LEADING THE DAY: Twitter PR revealed that the micro-blogging service has been blocked in Egypt since about 8 p.m. Pacific time (11 p.m. Eastern) on Wednesday. Riots threw Cairo into chaos earlier this week, as protestors called for the end of Hosni Mubarak's decades-long rule.
In a press statement, the White House said, "We support the universal rights of the Egyptian people, including the rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly. The Egyptian government has an important opportunity to be responsive to the aspirations of the Egyptian people, and pursue political, economic and social reforms that can improve their lives and help Egypt prosper." The press release said that the White House would continue to work with Egypt and its people to these ends, and restated a commitment to universal human rights.
DOJ to reveal Internet tracking plan: The Justice Department is being asked for more details on its endorsement of a law that would require businesses to retain more information about their customers in the event that such information is needed to aid a criminal investigation. CNET reported Monday on the DOJ's proposal, which called for a "more appropriate balance" when weighing privacy and criminal concerns. Jason Weinstein, deputy assistant attorney general for the criminal division, appeared yesterday before the House Judiciary committee to answer questions about the proposal and address concerns that the Justice Department never outlined exactly how it would apply this data to aid investigations.
This proposal echoes the sentiments of the Bush administration and the Justice Department under Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, and is also consistent with Attorney General Eric Holder's past comments in favor of data retention.
Facebook commerce head explains credits: Facebook developers shared their discontent Tuesday at a San Francisco panel with Facebook commerce head Deborah Liu. The social network announced Monday that it would make its credit system mandatory for all developers. On Tuesday, a panel moderator asked Liu to address concerns that Facebook's plan to take 30 percent of game revenues would put smaller developers out of business. The San Francisco Chronicle reported Liu answered that developers have a choice to make games for other social platforms if they don't agree with Facebook's decision. The audience responded with jeers and hisses, as Facebook is the dominant-- and some would say only important -- platform for social games. Liu responded that the credits system will be easier for users and customers and outlined a group buying plan for the system, which would allow friends to give one another discounted games.
Xerox CFO retires: Lawrence Zimmerman, CFO at Xerox, will retire next month. According to a press release from the company, Zimmerman will be succeeded by Nokia Siemens Network's current CFO, Luca Maestri, and will remain as vice chairman until April 1. Zimmerman has been Xerox's CFO since 2002. Xerox's chief executive, Ursula Burns, was a guest of the first lady at Tuesday night's State of the Union Address, and will announce the company's fourth-quarter earnings today.
Obama talks tech in SOTU: President Obama talked about innovation, infrastructure and the importance of math and science education in his State of Union address last night, highlighting the role that technology will play in the country's future. In addition to mentioning that America is a "nation of Google and Facebook," he also pledged to deliver high-speed wireless connection to 98 percent of the country within the next five years.
| January 26, 2011; 8:32 AM ET
Categories: Broadband, DOJ, Facebook, Google, International, Privacy, Social media
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