|Oct. 2, 2000
8:00 AM ET.
Alert No. 32.
TLJ Home Page
Tech Law Journal is a free access online publication that
provides news, records, and analysis of legislation, litigation, and
regulation affecting the computer and Internet industry.
This email service is offered free of charge to anyone who requests
P.O. Box 15186, Washington DC, 20003.
Copyright 1998 - 2000 David Carney, dba Tech Law Journal. All rights
9/29. The FCC approved BellSouth's and SBC's new entity for cellular and PCS
services, named Alloy. Specifically, the FCC issued a Memorandum
Order and Opinion (DA 00-2223) in a proceeding on SBC's and
to transfer control of wireless
licenses and associated international authorizations; the
proceeding was also in the nature of an antitrust merger review
analysis. The FCC found that "that the combination of SBC and
BellSouth’s U.S. wireless properties will not adversely affect
competition ..." See, FCC
9/29. The Telecommunications
Industry Assoc. (TIA) submitted a report
[89 pages in PDF] to the FCC
titled "Surveillance of Packet-Mode Technologies."
The FCC has responsibility for adopting rules implementing the Communications Assistance for Law
Enforcement Act (CALEA). Congress passed the CALEA in 1994 for
the purpose of allowing law enforcement authorities to maintain
their existing wiretap capabilities in new telecommunications
devices. It provides that wireline, cellular, and broadband PCS
carriers must make their equipment capable of certain surveillance
functions. However, the CALEA also provides that its provisions do
not apply to "information services". The FBI has since
sought an implementation of CALEA that expands surveillance
capabilities beyond those provided in the statute. The FCC has sided
with the FBI on most points, and relied on the technical
recommendations of the TIA. The FCC adopted its Third Report and Order
[huge WP file] in Aug. 1999, adopting the TIA's standard known as
J-STD-025. This Order also directed TIA to conduct a study of
government surveillance of packet mode technologies, including "steps that can be taken, including
particular amendments to J-STD-025, that will better address privacy
concerns." The report just published is TIA's response. It also
addresses Carnivore. The TIA represents companies that
provide communications materials, products, and systems in
government relations, market support, and standards development.
Phone companies and privacy groups successfully challenged several
parts of the FCC's Third Report and Order. See, Aug. 15, 2000 Opinion
of the U.S. Court of Appeals (DCCir). See
9/29. The NIST
announced that it will announce its proposed choice for the Advanced Encryption
Standard on Monday, Oct. 2 at 11:00 AM ET. See, NIST
9/29. The FCC and Industry
of Understanding [74 pages in PDF] regarding the introduction of
digital television service (DTV) along the US Canada border.
The letter covers DTV operations within 400 kilometers on either
side of the border. It contains a table of DTV channel allotments
for each country and the procedures each country will use in
notifying and evaluating proposed DTV facilities. See, FCC
release and Industry
9/29. The FCC
issued a MO&O
a 9 month extension of the Oct. 1, 2000 deadline by which it must
conduct an Initial Public Offering (IPO). It was created in 1979 as
a joint venture of governments, but was recently privatized,
following pressure from the U.S.
9/29. The Commerce Department's National
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) awarded a $34
Million contract to Raytheon
for a new high performance computing system (HPCS) to be used to
improve understanding of weather and climate. It will be used by
NOAA's Geophysical Fluid
Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL) in Princeton, NJ. SGI will
develop the computational hardware and supporting software. StorageTek will supply the
equipment for GFDL's data archive. See, NOAA
9/29. California Gov. Gray Davis
Bill 2519, sponsored by Assemblyman Kevin Shelley
(D-San Francisco). This bill would establish an Internet Voting
Pilot Program in three counties to test the viability of such a
system. See, Davis
9/29. California Gov. Gray Davis
Bill 1874, sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Richard Polanco
(D-Los Angeles). This bill would require the Secretary of State to
develop an online system allowing entities to submit campaign
disclosure reports directly into the Secretary of State’s
office via the Internet. See, Davis
issued a statement
regarding the practice of pre-registration of new top level
domains (TLDs). Quote: "The Names Council feels it is
premature for companies to offer pre-registration services for
domain names in speculative new TLDs. To date, no new TLDs have been
selected and there is no guarantee that any particular organization
will be authorized to take registrations for any particular TLD."
9/29. The ITC's Office of
Economics published an article titled "United States-Japan
Agreement on Telecommunications Access Fees to Reduce Costs and
Likely Increase Competition" in the current issue
[PDF 685 KB] of its International
Economic Review (IER). See also, ITC release.
To request a paper copy, write to the Office of the Secretary, U.S.
International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW, Washington, D.C.
20436, or fax a request to 202-205-2104.
9/29. FCC Commissioner Susan Ness
released a statement
criticizing NBC and Fox for not televising the debate between George
Bush and Al Gore on Oct. 3. ABC and CBS plan to carry the debate.
Ness also asserted: "I respect and defend the First Amendment
right of broadcasters to determine what programming they will
air". See also, statement
by FCC Chairman Wm. Kennard.
Kennard gave a speech
in St. Paul Minnesota to the Indian Telecom Training Initiative.
Quote: "Through the leadership of President Clinton and
Vice-President Gore, we have already wired 95% of the nations
schools -- and over one million American classrooms -- to the web.
Our e-rate program ..."
9/28. The Senate
Judiciary Committee approved S 2924,
the Internet False Identification Prevention Act of 2000, with an
amendment in the nature of a substitute. The bill is sponsored by Sen. Susan Collins
(R-ME), and would amend 18 USC § 1028, regarding fraud and related
activity in connection with government identification documents.
9/28. The Herrick
District Library Board of Trustees in Holland, Michigan, voted
unanimously to install filtering software on public Internet
terminals. In Feb. 2000, city voters rejected a ballot measure that
would have required the city to withhold funds from the library
unless it installed Internet filtering software.
9/22. The FTC's Bureau of Consumer
Protection submitted Comments
on Study of Privacy Issues in Bankruptcy Data to the Department
of Justice, the Department of the Treasury, and the Office of
Management and Budget. These agencies are conducting a study of how
the bankruptcy proceedings affect the privacy of individual consumer
information that becomes part of a bankruptcy case. See, notice
of the study, and request for public comments, in the Federal
Register (July 31, 2000, Vol. 65, No. 147, Pages 46735-46738.) The
FTC's comments address two main topics: privacy and identity
theft issues raised by the collection and handling of sensitive
information in bankruptcy, and the electronic compiling and commercial
sale by trustees and creditors of information contained in
bankruptcy records. The comments also briefly touch upon the
trustee's or debtor in possession's powers to sell assets, including
customer information, in violation of debtor's online privacy
policy. See, FTC release.
See also, TLJ story.
9/20. The U.S. Attorney’s Office (NDCa)
charged by information one Jason Everett Spatafore, aka Dis-man, on
four counts of criminal copyright infringement for Internet
movie piracy in violation of 17 U.S.C. §§ 506(a)(1) and (a)(2) and
18 U.S.C. §§ 2319(b)(3) and (c)(3). The Dis-man reproduced and
distributed copies of Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace. See, release.
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
|New TLJ Stories
Comments on Privacy in Bankruptcy Proceedings. (10/2) The
FTC submitted comments to a group of federal agencies that are
studying how bankruptcy proceedings affect the privacy of
individuals involved in, or affected by, those proceedings. The FTC
advised that personal information in the public record in bankruptcy
proceedings can be used to facilitate identity theft and other
Boucher Introduces Bill to Permit Some Internet Music Copying. (9/29) Rep. Boucher introduced a bill in the House
of Representatives that would allow the copying of certain sound
recordings on the Internet. It would amend copyright law to provide
that the transmission of a personal interactive performance of a
sound recording is not an infringement of copyright.
to the FCC on Surveillance of Packet- Mode Technologies,
9/29 (PDF, TIA).
of Understanding re DTV (PDF, FCC).
Bill 2519 re Internet voting, vetoed 9/29 (HTML, Cal.).
Bill 1874 re filing campaign reports on Internet, vetoed
9/29 (HTML, Cal.).
5275 IH, Music Owners' Listening Rights Act, introduced 9/25
Comments on Study of
Privacy Issues in Bankruptcy Data, 9/22 (HTML, FTC).
|New and Updated Sections
from Around the Web (updated daily).
|Quote of the Day
"Before Internet voting can be successfully implemented,
security measures to protect against fraud and abuse must be more
fully developed. Other states are experimenting with online voting
with varying degrees of success. I am not convinced the necessary
safeguards are in place to begin this experiment in California.
Accordingly, I am returning AB 2519 without my signature."
Cal. Gov. Gray Davis (source)