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AT&T Has Already Spent 7 Million Dollars Lobbying For T-Mobile

Last year, in total AT&T Mobility spent $15 million dollars total. This year they’ve already spent 7 million in the first part of the year in support of their proposed buyout of T-Mobile.

To date Sprint, Cellular South, Leap Wireless and now MetroPCS have gone on record with the FCC and the government against AT&T’s proposed purchase of T-Mobile for $39 billion dollars.  The problem is that with as large as AT&T is they have the spending power to lobby more support.

More after the break

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State Department Working on Panic Button App

Imagine a single red button on your phone that could wipe you address book, and send out an alert to others in the event of a crisis. An app like this has yet to be developed, at least to our knowledge, but it seems that the State Department is working  on such a button.

According to TechCrunch, the State Department has told them that funded work on a Panic Button app is underway. At this point no release date is available, and there are plans underway to also make an app for low cost Nokia phones, however, there are no plans for an iPhone version. This unique app is an initiative to promote new technologies for Social Activists. The State Department has already put $22 million towards grants to help  in “Internet Free Programming”. This money has gone to innovators in the form of grants that can range anywhere from the thousands to tens of thousands. An open and competitive bid process was used to determine who would receive these grants, however at this time, the government is not looking for anymore help building these apps, but you can stay informed of when opportunities do open at www.grants.gov.

The Government sees the the importance behind technology and social media in global politics and is making an effort to further these ventures. If you remember back in 2009, the Government asked Twitter to delay maintenance so real time information could continue in the protests in Iran, also the government has called on Egypt and Libya to stop the internet blackouts. Now the State Department says that they are not just writing checks and throwing the money to whoever. The government is trying to provide the best results using venture capitalism and is supporting a diverse portfolio rather than just handing funding over to the biggest established technologies. They are investing to build a community focused on technology and human rights.

Now of course, as with most brilliant ideas, there are negative side effects. One such is the possibility of apps such as the panic button being used in the wrong way, which is a legitimate concern. However, according to a spokesperson for the State Department, they are taking issues like that into consideration when it comes to distribution of their apps.

I am sure as we look into the future that we will be seeing many new apps that are focused towards the governments goal of build a community focused on technology and human rights. It will be interesting to see what apps are developed in the future towards this goal along with how widespread this community may become.

Source:

TechCrunch

US Government Looking into Sprint-Nextel partnerhip with Huawei

Washington DC- A group of Republican Senators is concerned and asking the Obama Administration to take notice of the partnership between Sprint-Nextel and Huawei.  Huawei is known in the Android community as a purveyor of smartphones and tablet devices running the Android platform. However The Droid Guy has found out through analyst sources that the Sprint-Nextel and Huawei partnership is more about network infrastructure than a new vendor of handsets.

The senators insist that Huawei has ties to the Iranian government and the Chinese Military and said this on the matter  “We are concerned that Huawei’s position as a supplier of Sprint Nextel could create substantial risk for U.S. companies and possibly undermine U.S. national security,” wrote Sens. John Kyl (R-Ariz.), Christopher S. Bond (R-Mo.), Richard C. Shelby (R-Ala.), Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), James M. Inhofe (R-Okla.), Jim Bunning (R-Ky.), Richard M. Burr (R-N.C.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) in a letter.

The senators cited that Huawei supplied telecommunications equipment to Saddham Hussein’s Iraq and Taliban RuledAfghanistan. Currently the senators are alleging that Huawei supplies telecommunications equipment to Iran and has strong ties to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corpis (IRGC) for which there are current sanctions imposed against Iraq.

What the senators found most troubling though was the company’s ties to the Chinese Military.  The senators outline includes the fact that Intelligence services from Britian, France, Australia and India feel that their data may be at risk if Huawei does business with the United States via Sprint-Nextel. There fear is that Huawei would be able to leave back doors to their protected data open through software and equipment of their own.

Regardless of their alleged involvement with the Iranian government and or the Chinese Military, Huawei is one of China’s largest companies specializing in both Wimax and LTE infrastructure.  Although Sprint declined to comment we have confirmed with other sources that this is not about Android handsets. It’s also important to note that many of the Asian electronics conglomerates have multiple branches and specialize in many things including parts, chipsets, and designs for various governments across the world.

Huawei has bid on some communications contracts with Sprint and has hired legal counsel in the United States that specialize in Telecom and Telecom Mergers.

sources: Fiercewireless and The Washington Times