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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
Oct. 20, 2000
8:00 AM ET.
Alert No. 46.

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News Briefs

10/19. The BXA published new encryption export rules [PDF] in the Federal Register. These rules amend the Export Administration Regulations that implement the administration's update to its encryption policy announced on July 17. The previous regulatory update took place in January 2000. The new rules allow exports of encryption products to end-users in 23 EU and other nations under a license exception. U.S. companies can export under license exception most encryption products to any end-user in 23 named countries, including the worldwide offices of firms and organizations headquartered in these nations. U.S. companies can ship their products to these nations immediately after they have submitted a commodity classification to BXA, rather than waiting for the review to be completed. The regulation streamlines and reduces post-export reporting requirements for many products containing or preloaded with encryption, including PCs, laptops, handheld devices, network appliances, and short-range wireless technologies. See, Federal Register, Vol. 65, No. 203, at pages 62600-62610. See also, BXA release and summary.
10/19. U.S. Register of Copyrights Marybeth Peters participated on a panel on copyright in cyberspace at the annual meeting of the American Intellectual Property Law Association. She stated that while "the rules don't quite fit yet" for web sites and databases, "registration is still important". She added the Copyright Office will conduct a rule making proceeding, probably in 2001.
10/19. The GAO wrote a report on consumer choices of ISPs at the request of Sen. Mike DeWine (R-OH) and Sen. Herb Kohl (D-WI), the Chairman and ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee's Antitrust Subcommittee. The report is titled "Technological and Regulatory Factors Affecting Consumer Choice of Internet Providers." The Senators stated that "the report also indicates that as users shift from narrowband to broadband Internet access, competitive options might become limited. Accordingly, it is important to ensure that competition continues to thrive in this expanding market."
10/19. House Majority Leader Dick Armey (R-TX) sent a letter to Atty. Gen. Janet Reno regarding the DOJ's "independent review" of the Carnivore e-mail surveillance system, and related systems. He wrote that "documents recently released under the Freedom of Information Act indicate that the Department of Justice has been busy working on enhanced versions of Carnivore. That leads one to ask, is the review of the current version of the software, or will the review include Carnivore 2.0 and Carnivore 3.0? And will it also include the other tools that are part of the 'DragonWare Suite'?" Rep. Armey also questioned whether the people hired by the DOJ to conduct its independent review are actually independent.
10/19. Ted Waite resigned from his position as a Director of, which has been sued under copyright laws by recording companies. Waite is the founder and Chairman of Gateway. See, release.
10/19. U.S. Trade Representative Charlene Barshefsky gave a speech at the National Press Club titled "From the Cold War to the Wired World: Trade Policy in the Clinton Era." She cited several high tech trade accomplishments. "The Uruguay Round, vigorous use of WTO dispute settlement, U.S. law and 28 bilateral IPR agreements, led well over 100 countries to adopt modern copyright, patent and trademark laws; and radically improve enforcement." She also reviewed progress in opening markets for high tech goods and services. She also stated that "we will soon inaugurate a major 'networked economy' initiative - easing trade in the high-tech manufactures and services at the heart of the world information infrastructure, and addressing related topics such as intellectual property protection in the digital environment and capacity-building to address concerns about an international digital divide. In doing so, as it opens up export opportunities it will help move our trading partners toward the flexible, sophisticated New Economy we have entered at home."
10/19. Doug Melamed, the Acting Asst. Atty. Gen. for the DOJ Antitrust Division gave a speech at Fordham University titled "Promoting Sound Antitrust Enforcement in the Global Economy." He stated that "The increasing importance of global markets means that nations face an increasing prospect that their economies will be harmed by anticompetitive conduct that takes place, at least to some degree, in other countries. And it means that each country, including the U.S., has an interest in the choices other countries make about the adoption and enforcement of antitrust laws." He continued that "We need to ensure that antitrust works effectively and efficiently in the global economy. Enforcement coherence cannot be defined and decreed, once and for all, by the U.S. or anyone else."
10/19. Commerce Sec. Norman Mineta is on a three day campaign swing through western states promoting "digital divide" programs. He said in a speech in Oakland CA that "I want to help President Clinton and Vice President Gore continue their efforts to work with private and public partners to help close the digital divide for all Americans." See also, speech in San Francisco, speech at the SF Public Library, and release. At all events, Sec. Mineta discussed the NTIA's annual "digital divide" report, titled "Falling Through the Net: Toward Digital Inclusion," which was released on Oct. 16. See, full report [139 pages in PDF] and NTIA release.
10/19. The USTA, a group that represents local exchange carriers, sent a letter to Members of Congress opposing any changes to the law regarding capping cable ownership by a single company. AT&T supports a change. The USTA asserted that "Allowing AT&T to continue to own facilities serving more than 40 percent of America’s cable customers – even for an additional year -- would allow AT&T to raise residential cable prices and dominate the high speed internet market." The Consumers Union also released a statement criticizing AT&T. "This is a blatant attempt by AT&T to circumvent the conditions it agreed to when the FCC cleared the AT&T- MediaOne merger," said CU chief Gene Kimmelman.
10/19. The Board of Directors of the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association (CTIA) approved the acquisition of the Wireless Data Forum (WDF). The WDF Board of Directors has already approved the merger. See, release.
10/17. The FBI's National Infrastructure Protection Center (NIPC) issued an advisory regarding a new DDoS threat. "A new variant of the SubSeven Trojan Horse has been discovered in the wild. This malicious computer code could constitute a new threat of distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks. DDoS attacks were responsible for serious disruptions of several major e-commerce web sites in February 2000. The NIPC and industry partners believe that this new variant may be used to conduct further DDoS attacks which may be more difficult to detect."
9/29. Stan Smith filed a complaint in U.S. District Court (NDAl) against Network Solutions alleging violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act for refusing to delete expired domain names from its central WHOIS registry database. The named plaintiff, who seeks class action status, is represented by Scott Powell of the law firm of Hare, Wynn, Newell and Newton, of Birmingham AL. See, Hare 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 Law Journal.
New Documents

BXA: amendments to encryption export rules, 10/19 (PDF, BXA).
Armey: letter to Reno re Carnivore, 10/19 (HTML, Armey).
Barshefsky: speech re trade and high tech, 10/19 (HTML, USTR).
Melamed: speech re globalization and antitrust, 10/19 (HTML, DOJ).
New and Updated Sections

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

"I have questioned the independence of this review. Several in the media have questioned this review. Several universities refused to submit review proposals because, in their opinion, the review process was unfair. It seems to me that there is no point in spending $175,000 on a review that raises more questions than it answers."

Rep. Dick Armey (R-TX) on the DOJ's "independent review" of Carnivore.

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