|Sept. 28, 2000
9:00 AM ET.
Alert No. 30.
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9/27. The House passed HR
3100, the Know Your Caller Act, on a roll call vote of 420 to
13. The bill would amend the Communications Act of 1934 to prohibit
telemarketers from interfering with the caller identification
service of any person to whom a telephone solicitation is made.
9/27. The House passed HR
2346 by voice vote. The bill would authorize the enforcement by
State and local governments of certain FCC regulations
regarding use of citizens band radio equipment.
9/27. The House Commerce
Committee's Telecom Subcommittee held a hearing titled "The
Future of the Interactive Television Services Marketplace: What
Should Consumers Expect?" See, prepared statements of Rep.
Tom Bliley (R-VA), Steve
Case (AOL), and Gerald
Levin (Time Warner).
9/27. The House Science
Committee held a hearing to investigate continued computer
security lapses at the Federal
Aviation Administration (FAA). GAO
witness Joel Willemssen provided a report which concluded that the
"FAA's agencywide computer security program has serious and
pervasive problems." Committee Chairman Rep. James Sensenbrenner
(R-WI) criticized the FAA for its problems, and for not taking
seriously repeated reports of its computer security problems. FAA
Administrator Jane Garvey defended the FAA's record on computer
security. Committee Democrats downplayed accusations of FAA computer
9/27. Verizon filed a brief
with the U.S. Court of
Appeals (4th Cir.) in the Henrico County cable access
case in which it argued that broadband Internet access provided over
cable facilities is a telecommunications service within the meaning
of Communications Act. It further argued that such cable operators
must provide "open access" to their cable facilities to
competing ISPs. In Dec. 1999, the Henrico
County Board of Supervisors passed an ordinance approving the
transfer of MediaOne's cable license to AT&T, conditioned upon allowing
open access. AT&T filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court (EDVa).
In May 2000, the Court held that the County's franchising authority
was preempted by federal law. Henrico County and Verizon appealed.
release. On June 22, the U.S.
Court of Appeals (9th Cir.) issued its opinion
in a similar case, AT&T
v. Portland, holding that broadband Internet access over cable
is a telecommunications service.
9/27. Macromedia filed
counterclaims in the U.S. District Court (DDel) against Adobe alleging patent
infringement. It alleges infringement of three patents: U.S.
Patent No. 5,467,443, which relates to changing blended elements and
automatic re-blending of elements, and which is alleged to be
infringed by Adobe Illustrator; and U.S. Patents Nos. 5,151,998 and
5,204,969, which relate to visually displaying and editing sound
waveforms, and which are alleged to be infringed by Adobe Premiere.
release. On Aug. 10, Adobe filed suit against Macromedia
alleging infringement of U.S. Patent No. 5,546,528, which covers
Adobe's tabbed palette, a method of displaying and working with
multiple sets of information in the same area of the computer
screen. See, Adobe
release of Aug. 10.
9/27. The FTC and European Commission
approved Boeing's acquisition
of Hughes Space and
Communications, Electron Dynamics and Spectrolab from Hughes Electronics Corporation.
The new entity will be operated as a wholly owned subsidiary called
Boeing Satellite Systems (BSS). Under agreements with the FTC
and the EC, Boeing will establish firewalls to ensure both the
confidentiality of launch vehicle information that is provided to
BSS by various launch service providers and satellite information
provided by various manufacturers to Boeing's Expendable Launch
Systems unit. See, Boeing
release. To impose these restrictions upon Boeing, the FTC filed
and settled an administrative Complaint.
Order and Decision and Order.
See also, FCC
release and EC
9/27. California Gov. Gray Davis
signed several bills pertaining to technology related crimes:
1862, sponsored by Assemblyman Tom Torlakson (D-Antioch), which
requires the Calif. Dept. of Justice to establish and maintain a
database of identity theft victims to assist them in clearing
2232, sponsored by Assemblyman Rico Oller (R-San Andreas), which
increases the criminal penalties for unlawfully accessing a
computer, introducing a computer virus, and knowingly using
another’s domain name, and which expands the definition of injury
within the scope of computer crimes by including denial of access to
legitimate users of a computer system, network, or program.
2727, sponsored by Assemblyman Herb Wesson (D-Los Angeles),
which provides a civil cause of action to the owner or lessee of a
computer, system, network, program, or data who is harmed via the
Internet by someone who maliciously causes a denial of service.
1357, sponsored by Sen. Patrick Johnston (D-Stockton), which
requires the appointment of a designee of the Dept. of Information
and Technology or the Science and Technology Agency to the High
Technology Crime Advisory Committee.
9/27. Microsoft published an
regarding online privacy in its web site.
9/25. The Office of the
Attorney General of the State of Texas filed a complaint and
joint settlement agreement with bankrupt Internet retailer
living.com in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Austin, TX. On Aug. 31
living.com filed a Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition. The company's privacy
policy states that "living.com does not sell, trade or rent
your personal information to others without your consent. We may
choose to do so in the future with trustworthy third parties, but
you can tell us not to by sending a blank email to email@example.com...."
The proposed settlement agreement provides that a court appointed
bankruptcy trustee will oversee the destruction of customers' credit
card, bank account and social security numbers. However, the trustee
may sell or transfer the customer list, after giving notice to all
of living.com's customers and giving them an opportunity to opt-out
of the proposed sale. See, release.
The bankruptcy court may reject the settlement agreement. A
bankruptcy court recently rejected a similar settlement agreement
between the FTC and Toysmart.
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
Bill 1862, re establishing a database of identity theft
victims to assist them in clearing their names, signed 9/27 (HTML,
2232, re increasing criminal penalties for computer crimes,
signed 9/27 (HTML, Calif.).
2727, re creating a civil cause of action to victims
of malicious denial of service attacks, signed 9/27 (HTML, Calif.).
Bill 1357, re the High Tech Crime Advisory Comm., signed
9/27 (HTML, Calif.).
|New and Updated Sections
from Around the Web (updated daily).
|Quote of the Day
"FAA has allowed unknown and unchecked contractor personnel,
including foreign nationals from countries that harbor ill will to
our own, access some of FAA's most sensitive computer systems and
and software. This egregious oversight, which violates FAA's own
security policies - not to mention every tenant of good computer
security practice - has increased the risk of intrusion and attack
to our Nation's aviation control system. This is inexcusable." Rep.
James Sensenbrenner (R-WI).