Eric Johnson

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AllThingsD Week In Review: $TWTR, More NSA Drama and the “Dark Web”

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Stock image copyright Norman Chan

In case you missed anything, here’s a quick roundup of some of the news that powered AllThingsD this week:

  1. On Thursday, Twitter finally unveiled its $1 billion IPO paperwork, first filed with the SEC earlier in the year under the secrecy of the JOBS Act. It’s one of the world’s first peeks into the social media company’s internal data, including a mobile ad gap and a user growth problem, which is even worse than what was previously expected.
  2. On the heels of that unveiling, Twitter is said to be looking for an experienced “elder statesperson” media boss to further legitimize its place in the news world. The current top contender? NBC News’ Vivian Schiller.
  3. Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes is talking up the idea of getting HBO without paying for cable, again. But don’t misunderstand: You’d still wind up paying the cable companies to get it.
  4. The arrest of the leader of online drug market Silk Road by the FBI brought into relief the “Dark Web,” a network of websites that are hosted on the anonymity-protecting open source network Tor. As you might expect, the NSA hates Tor.
  5. Oops! On Monday, Verizon disclosed that some of its customers were able to upgrade their phones for cheap and keep their unlimited data plans — the result of a software glitch.
  6. By now, multiple companies have publicly asked for the ability to disclose the frequency with which they are contacted by the U.S. government; this week, Uncle Sam said no way.
  7. Meanwhile, the New York Times uncovered that the National Security Agency tested, but never implemented, a cellphone-snooping initiative, the hypothetical value of which Arik Hesseldahl explained here.
  8. The company released its quarterly numbers last week, but BlackBerry saved some of the grimmest details and analysis for its formal filing with the SEC.
  9. For some schools, the latest version of Apple’s mobile operating system is proving to be a bit of a headache — installing iOS 7 has rendered some schools’ iPads unsupervised and eliminated filters aimed at protecting students.
  10. E-commerce design company Fab laid off another 101 employees, or nearly 20 percent of its staff. The reason? A new focus on profitability and growth, and large investments in “flash sales” that were a money-losing flash in the pan.

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik