Tech Law Journal Daily E-Mail Alert
Dec. 7, 2000, 8:00 AM ET, Alert No. 78.
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New Documents

McConnell: report on cyber crime laws in 52 countries, 12/6 (HTML, MI).
Bellovin: Comments on the Carnivore study, 12/3 (HTML, CDT).
EPO: Act Revising the Convention on the Grant of European Patents, 11/29 (PDF, EPO).
New and Updated Sections

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

"Which is coming faster, the crunch, or the technology?"

Bob Lucky, who presided at a Dec. 6 FCC hosted discussion of spectrum issues.
News Briefs

12/6. McConnell 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 DC.
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 Law Journal.


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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