|Sept. 22, 2000
7:30 AM ET.
Alert No. 26.
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9/21. The FCC released a statement
regarding a Washington
Post story that an FCC draft document recommended that the FCC
approve the AOL Time Warner merger with an open access condition.
The story stated: "provided the companies make legally binding
their pledge to allow rival providers of high-speed Internet access
to reach customers over their cable television systems." The
FCC statement said: "The FCC staff is engaged in ongoing
analysis and review of the proposed AOL/Time Warner merger
transaction and has made no recommendations to the full Commission
on the matter. Any media stories about potential staff
recommendations or draft reports can only be based on incomplete and
speculative analysis and do not accurately reflect the
decision-making process at the FCC. ..." See also, the FCC
Cable Services Bureau's AOL-TW merger web
9/21. The Department of Justice
announced that a 16 year old plead guilty to, and was sentenced for,
two counts of juvenile delinquency in U.S. District Court (SDFl).
He intruded into computer networks of the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA)
and the National Aeronautics and
Space Administration (NASA). He also installed a backdoor on a
DTRA server which intercepted electronic messages to and from DTRA
staff, and user names and passwords of computer accounts of DTRA
employees. He was sentenced to serve six months in a detention
facility. See, DOJ
9/21. The U.S. Bankruptcy Court (DDel) approved Time Warner Telecom's purchase
of substantially all of the assets of GST Communications for $690
Million. The assets to be acquired include over 4,200 miles of local
and regional fiber networks in the western US, a network operations
center in Vancouver, Washington, SS7 networks, and voice and data
switches. See, TW
release. GST filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on May
17. An auction was held on Aug. 22-25. Time Warner Telecom, which is
based in Littleton, Colo., builds local and regional optical
networks and delivers last-mile broadband data, Internet access and
voice for businesses. The transaction still requires telecom
9/21. Xircom filed a complaint
in U.S. District Court (CDCa)
against 3Com alleging patent
infringement in connection with PC cards. Xircom, which
is based in Thousand Oaks, Calif., designs and develops
communications access cards that connect mobile PCs to corporate
networks, the Internet, and intranets, including its RealPort
PC cards. 3Com, based in Santa Clara, Calif., makes similar
products, including its Type III
PC Cards. 3Com filed a complaint in U.S. District Court (DUt) against
Xircom in May.
9/21. Lernout & Hauspie
confirmed that SEC is conducting an
investigation of its prior financial statements, and stated that it
is cooperating fully in the investigation. The company makes speech
and language products, including speech recognition, text to speech,
and translation software. See, LH
9/21. California Gov. Gray Davis
announced an eGovernment initiative, which includes:
• an Executive Order requiring state agencies and
departments to make it easier to receive services on the Internet,
including fishing and hunting licenses, and DMV appointments.
• establishment of a Governors eGovernment Business Advisory
• naming Arun Baheti as Calif. Director of
9/21. Bill Clinton and FCC Commissioner Susan Ness
campaigned in Flint, Mich. Clinton gave a speech
in which he said: "Now, for nearly eight years now, the Vice
President and I have worked to break down barriers that hold people
back. One of the most important things we did was to fight hard in
the Telecommunications Act of 1996 to insist that people with
disabilities have full access to telephone equipment and service
that most people take for granted. And one of our Federal
Communications Commissioners, Susan Ness, is here with me today. I
thank her and I thank all of those who helped us to fight for the
rights of disabled Americans in the Telecommunications Act of
1996." He also stated that "Millions of other people with
disabilities can also access and use the information super highway
if we build the necessary on ramps."
9/21. Bill Clinton announced his intent to nominate Daniel
Burnham as Chairman of the National Security Telecommunications
Advisory Committee (NSTAC). He is the Chairman and CEO of Raytheon. See, White
9/20. California Gov. Gray Davis
signed SB 88
[PDF], sponsored by Sen. Byron Sher
(D-Palo Alto). This bill exempts computer software employees engaged
in intellectual or creative work and whose hourly rate of pay is at
least $41.00, from the provisions of the overtime pay requirements
contained in the California Labor Code and Industrial Welfare
Commission Orders. See also, Davis
9/20. The Senate Commerce
Committee passed S 2454,
the Low Power Television Pilot Project Digital Data Services Act, by
a voice vote. This bill, is sponsored by Sen. Conrad Burns (R-MT), and
would establish 10 pilot projects to provide for two way digital
data services by low power television stations, and grant the FCC
authority to promulgate regulations. See, release.
9/20. The Senate Commerce
Committee passed S 2029,
the Know Your Caller Act. This bill, which is sponsored by Sen. Bill Frist (R-TN),
would amend §227 of the Communications Act to prevent telemarketers
from taking any actions to block their name and telephone number
from registering on Caller ID displays. See, release.
The House Commerce
Committee adopted its version of the Know Your Caller Act, HR
3100, on Sept. 14; it issued its Report (H.
Rept. 106-872) on Sept. 20.
9/20. The Senate Finance
Committee reported HR 4986, with amendments on Sept. 19. It
issued its report on Sept. 20. The bill would repeal the provisions
of the tax code relating to foreign sales corporations (FSCs)
(which the WTO found to constitute an illegal export subsidy), and
to instead exclude extraterritorial income from gross income. See,
Rept. No. 106-416. The House passed its version of HR 4986 on Sept.
9/19. The law firm of Milberg
Weiss filed a complaint in
U.S. District Court (SDCa)
against MP3.com, its CEO Michael
Robertson, and others, alleging fraud in violation of §10b of the
Securities Exchange Act, and Rule 10b5 thereunder. The complaint
seeks class action status. Milberg Weiss is San Diego based law firm
that specializes in bringing class action 10b5 suits against
technology companies when their stock prices drop.
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
RS, the Low Power Television Pilot Project Digital Data
Services Act, 9/20 (HTML, TLJ).
Rept. 106-872, re Know Your Caller Act, 9/20 (HTML, LOC).
in Ivanoff v. MP3.com, 9/19 (HTML, MWBHL).
SB 88, re overtime pay exemption for highly paid high
tech workers, (PDF, Calif. Sen.).
|New and Updated Sections
from Around the Web (updated daily).
|Quote of the Day
"At many times, it seemed that the majority was more interested
in casting blame upon Democrats than in actually passing
legislation. Instead of working in good faith with the minority to
bring this bill to the floor, the majority spent its time trying to
convince leaders in the information technology industry that the
Democratic Party is hostile to this bill and that only Republicans
are interested in solving the legitimate employment shortages faced
by many sectors of American industry." Sen. Patrick Leahy
(D-VT), on S 2045, a bill to increase the annual cap on H1B
visas, to which Democrats have insisted on attaching unrelated
immigration provisions, Sept. 20.