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A roundup of the latest high-tech news “Hot off the Wire” from The Associated Press and Local Tech Wire:

• High court takes case on corporate privacy

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court is getting involved in an unusual freedom of information dispute over whether corporations may assert personal privacy interests to prevent the government from releasing documents about them.

The court on Tuesday agreed to a request from the Obama administration to take up a case involving claims made by telecommunications giant AT&T (NYSE: T) to keep secret the information gathered by the Federal Communications Commission during an investigation.

The administration wants the high court to rule that corporations may not claim a personal privacy exception contained in the federal Freedom of Information Act.

• Microsoft ditches Live Spaces for

SEATTLE — Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) is giving up on its own blog network and, in a new partnership, will start sending new Windows Live users to a competing platform instead.

Microsoft said Monday that people who sign up for a Windows Live account — necessary to use the free Hotmail e-mail system, the Xbox Live site and other services — can get a free blog from

They’ll no longer be given a "space" on Microsoft’s own blogging system, Windows Live Spaces.

Current Windows Live Spaces bloggers can use the existing system until the end of the year. If they want to update their blog after that, they have until March 2011 to switch to WordPress. They can also download the content from their existing blog to their PCs.

Microsoft said it will make sure existing text, photos, videos, comments and links transfer over to the new blog.

Microsoft added MSN Spaces, later renamed Windows Live Spaces, to its array of free online services in 2004. For several years, the software maker seemed committed to the idea of building its own version of competitors’ products, from online photo management and event invitation to blogging and social-networking software.

Microsoft has since shifted its strategy, providing tools and services that mesh better with competitors’ programs. For example, people can use the Windows Live Photo Gallery program to publish pictures to Yahoo Inc.’s Flickr site, or connect feeds from social networks Facebook and LinkedIn with Messenger accounts and Windows Live profile pages.

In the U.S., Windows Live Spaces was visited by about 2.3 million people in August, according to research group comScore Inc. Google Inc.’s Blogger drew 56.9 million people, attracted 26.1 million people and sites from Six Apart, which operates the Typepad and Moveable Type blog platforms, attracted 19.3 million unique visitors.

• Report: U.S. would make Internet wiretaps easier

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration is pushing to make it easier for the government to tap into internet and e-mail communications. But the plan has already drawn condemnation from privacy groups and communications firms may be wary of its costs and scope.

Frustrated by sophisticated and often encrypted phone and e-mail technologies, U.S. officials say that law enforcement needs to improve its ability to eavesdrop on conversations involving terrorism, crimes or other public safety issues.

Critics worry the changes are an unnecessary invasion of privacy and would only make citizens and businesses more vulnerable to identity theft and espionage.

The new regulations that would be sent to Congress next year would affect American and foreign companies that provide communications services inside the U.S. It would require service providers to make the plain text of encrypted conversations — over the phone, computer or e-mail — readily available to law enforcement, according to federal officials and analysts.

The mandate would likely require companies to add backdoors or other changes to the systems that would allow a wiretap to capture an unscrambled version of a conversation.

Those affected by the changes would include online services and networking sites such as Facebook and Skype, as well as phone systems that deliver encrypted e-mail such as BlackBerry.

"The way we communicate has changed dramatically since 1994, but telecommunications law has not kept up. This gap between reality and the law has created a significant national security and public safety problem," said Valerie E. Caproni, the FBI’s General Counsel.

• Oracle sues Micron alleging microchip price-fixing

BOISE, Idaho — Oracle Corp. (Nasdaq: ORCL) is suing Micron Technology Inc. (NYSE: MU) in federal court, saying the semiconductor maker and other companies artificially inflated prices for microchips.

Oracle says Micron and other conspirators, including South Korea’s Hynix and Samsung and Germany’s Infineon, artificially inflated prices above what Oracle’s Sun Microsystems business should have paid for them.

Oracle filed its complaint Friday in U.S. District Court in California. Micron spokesman Dan Francisco declined to comment.

The lawsuit says five companies agreed to a nearly $1 billion fine for price-fixing but Micron was granted amnesty from criminal prosecution because it cooperated.

Boise, Idaho-based Micron also escaped a fine in a European case in May because it brought the case to regulators there.