|Oct. 6, 2000
8:00 AM ET.
Alert No. 36.
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10/5. The Senate
Judiciary Committee approved an amendment in the
nature of a substitute to S 2448 [PDF], the Internet Integrity
and Critical Infrastructure Protection Act of 2000. The original
bill would have amended current law regarding sending transmissions
intending to cause damage, and intentionally accessing computer and
recklessly causing damage, to eliminate the jurisdictional triggers
and to criminalize as misdemeanors all such offenses, whether or not
they cause $5,000 loss or other specified injury. The amendment
adopted by the Committee retains the $5,000 threshhold. See also, Sen Patrick Leahy's (D-VT) statement
summarizing the changes made in the amendment.
10/5. The House Commerce
Committee approved HR
3011, the Truth in Telephone Billing Act of 1999. The Committee
Print [PDF], was adopted by a voice vote, after an Amendment
[PDF] offered by Rep. John
Dingell (D-MI) was adopted by a voice vote. The bill would
require phone companies that are required to assess charges to
support the FCC's e-rate
program to explain these charges on customers' monthly
bills. The bill is supported by the ILECs, and
opposed by the FCC. Specifically, it provides that "A
telecommunications carrier that is required to contribute to, or
that is otherwise assessed for, any support mechanism under section 254,
or any other governmental mechanism, fund, tax, or program, shall
identify on each subscriber’s bill, in simple, plain language ...
the identity of the governmental ... program to which the
contribution or assessment is made, and the identity of the
governmental authority whose rules require or authorize the
contribution or assessment ..."
10/5. The U.S.
Chamber of Commerce, the AFL-CIO, and the Communications Workers of America
announced their opposition to legislation proposed by Sen. Ernest Hollings
(D-SC) that would restrict foreign government ownership of U.S.
telecom companies. See, Chamber
release and CWA release.
Sen. Hollings' bill, S 2793,
would provide that no FCC license can be held by a company that is
more than 25% controlled by a foreign government -- such as Deutsche
10/5. The House Science
Committee's Subcommittee on Technology held a hearing titled
"Rural Access To Technology: Connecting The Last American
10/5. The COPA Commission
held the second of two days public meetings regarding the writing of
its report to Congress. The COPA Commission is a congressionally
appointed panel mandated by the Child Online Protection Act to write
a report that identifies "technological or other methods that
will help reduce access by minors to material that is harmful to
minors on the Internet."
10/5. Microsoft filed its Reply
In Support Of Its Motion For An Order Governing Further Proceedings
with the U.S. Court of
Appeals (DCCir) in the antitrust
case. Microsoft seeks a slow briefing schedule, and long briefs. The
government seeks a faster briefing schedule and shorter briefs.
Microsoft accused the government of seeking "to short-circuit
the appellate process by curtailing both the scope of Microsoft’s
submissions and the time allowed for their preparation."
10/5. The U.S. Court of
Appeals (DCCir) heard
oral argument in Eldred
v. Reno, a case challenging the constitutionality of the Copyright
Term Extension Act. The three judge panel is comprised of Judges
Ginsburg, Sentelle and Henderson.
10/5. The USITC voted to
institute an investigation of certain WAP compatible
wireless communication devices and components, including Internet
access capable cell phones and pagers. Geoworks filed a complaint on
Sept. 8 alleging that the importation into the U.S. of WAP devices
and components infringes its U.S. patent in violation of § 337
of the Tariff Act of 1930. The respondents are Phone.com, Sanyo, and
Sanyo's U.S. subsidiary. See, ITC release.
WAP is an open, global specification which gives mobile users with
wireless devices the opportunity to access and interact with
information and services. The protocol is developed by WAP Forum.
10/5. The USITC issued a Notice of Investigation
that a complaint was filed with the ITC on Sept. 11, and
supplemented on Sept. 26, under § 337 of the Tariff Act of
1930, on behalf of Rambus,
which alleges violations of § 337 in the importation into the
U.S. of certain synchronous dynamic random access memory devices and
modules and products containing the same by reason of infringement
of Rambus patents.
10/5. The EPIC published in
its web site JPEG copies
of documents which it obtained from the FBI about its Carnivore
e-mail surveillance system, as a result of its FOIA request and
10/5. FCC Chairman Wm. Kennard
gave a speech
to the Telecommunication
Industry Association in Washington DC. "We are in danger of
suffering a “spectrum drought” in our country. And from my
vantage point, everybody seems to have a different solution to this
problem," said Kennard. "The band manager auction is an
important start. But much more must be done. As the Internet
migrates from the personal computer into web-enabled wireless
devices, spectrum scarcity has emerged as a major “gating
factor” in the New Economy. Some estimate that we will need as
much as 300 MHz of additional spectrum to meet the bandwidth demands
of the wireless web." He offered several suggestions, including
"secondary markets for underused spectrum". He also state
that "software defined radios can be used to manage spectrum
more efficiently. They allow users to operate over wide areas of
spectrum in efficient ways. Let us harness software defined radio
technology to head off a spectrum drought." See also, FCC
10/5. EMI and Time Warner
informed the European
Commission that they have decided to terminate their merger
agreement. See, EU
release and Time
10/4. The House Judiciary
Committee released its report on HR 5018, the Electronic
Communications Privacy Act of 2000. See, Rept. 106-932.
See also, TLJ
Summary of HR 5018.
10/3. The FTC extended the time for
filing comments on information privacy rules for financial
institutions under Section 501(b) of the Graham Leach Bliley bill
until October 24. See, Federal Register
Notice [PDF]. Under § 501 the FTC and other federal agencies
are required to establish appropriate safeguards standards for
financial institutions to protect certain customer nonpublic records
and information. For background, see original March 1, 2000 Federal Register
Notice [PDF] requesting public comment.
10/2. The FTC filed a complaint in
U.S. District Court (SDNY)
against Verity International alleging unfair or deceptive trade
practices in violation of §5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act.
Defendants operate a porn web site that fraudulently billed users
for telephone calls to Madagascar that did not take place. The FTC
obtained a temporary restraining order. 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
3011, the Truth in Billing Act, re identifying e-rate
charges on phone bills, and the Dingell
Amendment, both adopted by the HCC on 10/5 (PDF, HCC).
the Internet Integrity and Critical Infrastructure Protection Act of
2000, as amended by the Sen. Jud. Comm. on 10/5 (PDF, CDT).
In Support Of Its Motion For An Order Governing Further Proceedings,
10/5 (HTML, MSFT).
re spectrum for web enabled wireless devices, 10/5 (HTML, FCC).
106-932 re HR 5018, the Electronic Communications Privacy
Act of 2000, 10/4 (HTML, LOC).
re web based phone billing scam, 10/2 (HTML, FTC).
|New and Updated Sections
from Around the Web (updated daily).
|Quote of the Day
"... last night, under the cloak of darkness, without notice,
without the opportunity to participate, by voice vote on an
unwritten suspension calendar, after we had been told there would be
no further votes for the day, at a time when most Members had left
the Chamber for evening activities, the House passed S. 2045,
legislation related to the increase of H-1B visas."
Rep. Eva Clayton (D-NC)