International (MI) released a report titled Cyber
Crime ... and Punishment? Archaic Laws Threaten Global
Information. The report, which is a continuation of previous
work by MI, analyzes laws in 52 countries, and finds widespread
absence of necessary prohibitions and penalties. The report states
that "Undeterred by the prospect of arrest or prosecution,
cyber criminals around the world lurk on the Net as an omnipresent
menace to the financial health of businesses, to the trust of their
customers, and as an emerging threat to nations' security." The
report also finds that "The majority of countries are relying
on archaic statutes that predate the birth of cyberspace and have
not yet been tested in court" and that "The weak penalties
in most updated criminal statutes provide limited deterrence for
crimes that can have large-scale economic and social effects." See also, release.
MI and others will hold a press conference on Oct. 7 at 10:30 AM ET
at SAIS, Kenney Auditorium, 1740 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Washington
12/6. The FCC's Technology
Advisory Council (TAC) held a day long meeting at which it
discussed a wide range of developing technologies, and related
regulatory issues. The topics included broadband wireless Internet
access, 3G and 4G, spectrum management, secondary markets in
spectrum rights, unlicensed spectrum, shared spectrum, military
spectrum, software defined radio, security threats to SDR, ultra
wideband, BLAST, frequency hopping, Bluetooth, 802.11, cell sizes,
and related developments in the EU and Japan. The group also
addressed making future telecommunications and Internet services
accessible to people with disabilities, including deafness,
blindness, and inability to speak. Bob Lucky (Telcordia) presided.
Dale Hatfield (Chief of the FCC's Office
of Engineering and Technolgy) and Kent Nilsson (Deputy Chief of
OET's Network Technology Division) participated. Other active
participants and presenters included Vint Cerf (MCI WorldCom), Paul
Kolodzy (DARPA), Joe Nowack and Dennis Robertson (Motorola), Charles
Jackson, DeWayne Hendricks, Greg Vanderheiden, Bob Martin (Lucent),
Stagg Newman, Christine Hendrick (Cisco), Ross Ireland (SBC), and
Jules Bellisio (Telcordia). FCC Commissioner Furchtgott- Roth
appeared briefly; he praised the FCC's OET and TAC. The TAC provides
discussion and advice only.
12/4. Xilinx filed a complaint
against Altera with the U.S.
International Trade Commission (ITC) seeking to bar Altera from
importing or selling products into the U.S. that it alleges infringe
three Xilinx patents regarding field programmable gate array
technology. See, Xilinx release.
Altera stated that it "believes that Xilinx's ITC complaint is
a reaction to Altera's most recent patent infringement suit filed in
June of this year." See, Altera
release. Both companies produce programmable logic devices.
12/3. Steven Bellovin
(AT&T Laboratories), Matt Blaze
(AT&T Laboratories), David Farber (University of Pennsylvania), Peter Neumann (SRI
International), and Eugene Spafford
(Purdue University CERIAS) submitted Comments
on the Carnivore System Technical Review to the Department of
Justice. They concluded that "the limited nature of the
analysis described in the draft report simply cannot support a
conclusion that Carnivore is correct, safe, or always consistent
with legal limitations." In addition, they stated that "we
were disappointed that more attention was not paid to operational
and "systems" issues. It is simply not possible to draw
meaningful conclusions about isolated pieces of software without
also considering the computing, networking, and user environment
under which they are running."
12/3. EchoStar filed a complaint
in U.S. District Court (DColo) against Gemstar
TV Guide alleging violation of state and federal antitrust
and unfair competition laws in connection with its interactive
program guide technology. See, Echostar
release. EchoStar is a direct broadcast satellite (DBS) TV
company based in Littleton, Colorado. Its DISH Network serves over 5
Million customers. Gemstar develops, markets and licenses
proprietary technologies and systems for consumers' interaction with
electronics products and other platforms that deliver video,
programming information and other data. It acquired TV Guide in
1999. On Oct. 23, Starsight Telecast, a Gemstar subsidiary, filed a
complaint against EchoStar in U.S. District Court (WDNC)
alleging patent infringment. Gemstar's U.S. Patent No.
4,706,121 relates to electronic program guide functions. EchoStar
also filed an answer and counterclaim in that action. It denies
infringement, and challenges the validity and enforceability of
Gemstar's patent. EchoStar also seeks to have the North Carolina
action moved to Colorado.
12/1. The SEC filed a civil
complaint in U.S. District Court (NDGa)
against LinkTel Communications and Jeffrey Altman alleging fraud
in connection with the sale of investment contracts in coin-operated
telephones and public access Internet phones. The Court issued an
order that freezes defendants' assets, orders an accounting, and
appoints a receiver. See, SEC release.
11/29. The European Patent Organisation adopted an Act
Revising the Convention on the Grant of European Patents [PDF]
at the conclusion of its Nov. 21 - 29 deliberations in Munich on the
revision of the 1973 European Patent Convention.
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
9:30 AM. The FCC will hold a
Commission Meeting. The agenda
includes consideration of a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking
regarding authorization and use of Software Defined Radios.
(ET Docket No. 00-47.) Location: FCC, Portals II, 445 12th
Street, SW, Washington DC.
10:30 AM. Bruce McConnell, President McConnell
International, will hold a press conference to release and
discuss a report
on global laws pertaining to cyber crimes. He will be
joined by Henrik Kaspersen, Jeffrey Pryce (Steptoe & Johnson), and
James Dempsey (CDT).
Location: SAIS, Kenney Auditorium, 1740 Massachusetts Ave. NW,
Washington DC. See, release.
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