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News, records, and analysis of legislation, litigation, and regulation affecting the computer, internet, communications and information technology sectors

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Tech Law Journal
Daily E-Mail Alert
Sept. 14, 2000
8:00 AM ET.
Alert No. 20.

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News Briefs

9/13. The House Banking Committee held a hearing on HR 4311, the Identity Theft Prevention Act of 2000. Betsy Broder, of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection testified that "The Internet has dramatically altered the potential occurrence and impact of identity theft. First, the Internet provides access to identifying information, through both illicit and legal means. The global publication of identifying details that previously were available only to a select few increases the potential for misuse of that information. Second, the ability of the identity thief to purchase goods and services from innumerable e-merchants expands the potential harm to the victim through numerous purchases." See, Broder testimony. See also, links to prepared statements of all witnesses.
9/13. FCC Chairman Wm. Kennard gave a speech to the NABOB. "The rise of the New Economy brought Americans great prosperity, but it also created considerable new dangers. Those without access to crucial new technologies now faced a silicon ceiling that threatened to limit their upward mobility and their full potential," said Kennard. "Thanks to the leadership of President Clinton and Vice-President Gore, we have wired one million classrooms to the Internet through the e-rate program." He also addressed low power FM, EEO rules, and minority broadcast ownership.
9/13. The EPIC sent a letter to the subscribers of its e-mail alert stating that it will no longer have a formal relationship with Amazon.com, due to its recent changes to its privacy practices. EPIC is a a Washington DC based group involved in privacy and civil rights issues associated with electronic media. See also, Amazon's privacy policy.
9/13. The Information Technology Association of America (ITAA) announced that Robert Cresanti will join its staff as SVP of Government Affairs and General Counsel. He previously was Staff Director of the Financial Institutions Subcommittee of the Senate Banking Committee. He also worked for the Senate Y2K Committee. He is a Texan. See, ITAA release.
9/13. Marc Wensell was sentenced in the U.S. District Court (EDVa) to serve 3 years of probation for criminal copyright infringement in connection with the sale of pirated software over the Internet. Wensell entered a plea of guilty to one count of violation of 17 U.S.C. 506 (a)(1) and 18 U.S.C. 2319 (b)(1). See, SIIA release.
9/13. Microsoft filed three complaints in U.S. District Court (EDMO) alleging copyright infringement for distributing counterfeit software. See, release.
9/13. The SEC adopted rules to allow investment advisors to submit their registration forms and other filings electronically. The SEC's new Investment Adviser Registration Depository (IARD) is a web based system. It will provide information about advisers, including the services they provide, fees they charge, their conflicts of interest and disciplinary history. See, SEC release.
9/13. The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) released a Preliminary Determination [41 pages in PDF] on its investigation of a complaint that Korea, China, and the UK are importing desktop note counters and scanners into the U.S. in violation of  733(a) of the Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C. 1673b(a), regarding anti-dumping. The ITC found that "there is no reasonable indication that an industry in the United States is threatened with material injury by reason of subject imports ..." [Investigations Nos. 731-TA-885-887]
9/12. Reps. Tom Bliley (R-VA), Billy Tauzin (R-LA), and Mike Oxley (R-OH) sent a letter to USTR Charlene Barshefsky regarding  government ownership of foreign telecom monopolies. "A telecom regulator cannot be truly 'impartial' if it retains a financial interest in the incumbent telephone company." They continued that, "now is the time for foreign governments to get out of the telecom services business. And now is the time for USTR to see that it is done."
9/12. Napster filed its Reply Brief [47 pages in PDF] with the U.S. Court of Appeals (9th Cir.) in Napster v. A&M Records. It asserts that "serious errors pervade" the Appellees' Brief, and that Appellees assert as fact propositions not found by the District Court. Napster also argues that Appellees misinterpret the AHRA and the Sony case.
9/12. The House Science Committee's Subcommittee on Basic Research held a hearing titled "Beyond Silicon-Based Computing: Quantum and Molecular Computing." "If we are to continue to see improvements in the performance and cost of computing, we must go beyond silicon," said the NSF's Ruzena Bajcsy. See, prepared statements of Rep. Nick Smith (R-MI), Ruzena Bajcsy, Charles Bennett (IBM), Timothy Havel (Harvard), and Laura Landweber (Princeton).
9/12. The Senate resumed consideration of HR 4444, a bill to provide PNTR status for China. The Senate also proceeded with its serial rejection of numerous proposed amendments. The following amendments were defeated:
Byrd Amendment No. 4117, regarding WTO subsidy obligations.
Wellstone Am. No. 4119 (prison labor) by a vote of 29 yeas to 68 nays [Roll Call No. 238].
Helms/Wellstone Am. No. 4125 (human rights) by a vote of 32 yeas to 63 nays [Roll Call No. 239].
Wellstone Am. No. 4118 (human rights).
Wellstone Am. No. 4120 (unions).
Wellstone Am. No. 4121 (strikes).
Smith (NH) Am. No. 4129 (abortions and body parts).
Byrd Am. No. 4131 (USITC).
Thompson Am. No. 4132 (bombs and rockets).
Hollings Am. No. 4134 (SEC 10-K forms).
Hollings Am. No. 4135 (grains and beans).
Hollings Am. No. 4136 (trade reports).
Hollings Am. No. 4137 (insurance).
Editor's Note: This column includes all News Briefs added to Tech Law Journal since the last Daily E-Mail Alert. The dates indicate when the event occurred, not the date of posting to Tech Law Journal.
Breaking News

The Washington Post reports in its Thursday edition that "this morning the FCC is scheduled to launch an inquiry into the complex question of whether cable television systems an increasingly popular conduit for high-speed Internet access must share their wires with rivals that want to ride them into homes." But, it will not be a formal rule making proceeding. See, full story.
New Documents

Kennard: Speech to the NABOB, 9/13 (HTML, FCC).
Rep. Bliley: Letter to USTR Barshefsky regarding foreign government telecom monopolies, 9/12 (HTML, TLJ).
Napster: Reply Brief in Napster v. A&M Records, 9/12 (PDF, Napster).
New and Updated Sections

Calendar (updated).
News from Around the Web (updated daily).
Quote of the Day

"silicon ceiling"
William Kennard, Chairman of the FCC (source)
 

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