|1/18. The FCC released a Notice
of Inquiry [PDF] regarding cable interactive television
services. Interactive TV (ITV), which is in a very early
stage of development, is intended to combine video and data
services, integrate web content with video programming, allow
real-time interaction between viewers, and facilitate
television commerce. The Notice of Inquiry (NOI) seeks
comments on many topics, including:
• whether any other distribution platform does or
might possess market power in the distribution of ITV
services, and if so, what regulatory approach might be
• the likely ITV delivery capabilities of other
delivery platforms, such as DBS and DSL;
• whether ITV distributors that the FCC finds to have
the power to act anticompetitively should be subject to
regulations that require nondiscriminatory treatment of
unaffiliated ITV providers.
• what should be the legal classification of ITV
• how the FCC should enforce any rules regarding ITV
1/18. The Commissioners of the FCC were
divided over how to proceed on interactive TV. Outgoing FCC
Kennard released a statement
supporting the NOI. Commissioner Tristani
released a statement
in which she complained that the FCC did not go far enough;
she wanted a full blown rule making proceeding. In contrast,
wrote a dissent
in which he argued that it is improper to "raise the
specter of government regulation ... for services that are
still in their gestational period." He also argued that
the FCC lacks legal authority to conduct the proceeding
because the Cable Act prevents the FCC from regulating cable
1/18. NCTA CEO
Robert Sachs condemned the FCC's Notice of Inquiry regarding
ITV services. He said that "asking dozens of hypothetical
questions about regulating a business which has yet to take
form still puts the cart before the horse, in regulatory
terms. Interactive TV is just starting to develop and is
likely to evolve in different ways. There is no evidence to
suggest that government regulation is called for here."
|1/18. The U.S. Court
of Appeals (4th Cir) issued its opinion
Scrap Corp. v. David Joseph Co., a case involving
§ 1 of the Sherman Antitrust Act. This is not a
high tech case; it is about scrap metal processing. However,
tech companies, and their attorneys, may find the Court's
discussion of the Noerr Pennington doctrine pertinent.
Baltimore Scrap sued David Joseph Co. and others alleging that
the defendants violated the Sherman Act by surreptitiously
financing litigation in state court in order to prevent or
delay Baltimore Scrap's entry into the market. The defendants
argued that the Noerr-Pennington doctrine immunizes those who
petition the courts from antitrust liability. The district
court agreed, and dismissed the suit. See, opinion.
The Appeals Court affirmed.
of Inquiry re cable interactive television services,
1/18 (PDF, FCC).
on the effect of UWB on existing public safety and national
security systems, 1/18 (PDF, NTIA).
Report, 1/18 (HTML, NTIA).
re compensating incumbent federal agency users that may be
required to modify their systems as a result of spectrum
reallocation for 3G wireless uses, 1/18 (TXT, FedReg).
in Baltimore Scrap re Noerr Pennington doctrine, 1/18 (HTML,
re broadcasting and the pubic interest, 1/18 (PDF, FCC).
|1/18. The Senate
Foreign Relations Committee approved the nomination of Colin
Powell to be Secretary of State by unanimous voice vote.
1/18. The NTIA
released a study
[huge PDF file] on the effect of ultrawideband (UWB) on
existing public safety and national security systems. UWB
operates across a wide range of spectrum frequencies at low
power levels using very narrow pulses. Hence, there is the
potential for interference. It is a promising technology that
can be used for wireless networks, remote sensing or tracking,
and ground penetrating radars. The NTIA conducted interference
tests on the Air Route Surveillance Radar (1240-1370 MHZ),
Airport Surveillance Radar (2700-2900 MHZ) and Air Traffic
Control Beacon System (1090 MHZ), and developed mathematical
simulation models for other systems. The NTIA found that
there is a potential to operate UWB in the 3 GHz-6 GHz range. The
study is titled "Assessment of Compatibility Between
Ultrawideband Devices and Selected Federal Systems." See
statement of NTIA chief Greg Rohde.
1/18. The NTIA
released its Annual
Report for the year 2000. The report reviews the major
activities of the NTIA, and contains policy recommendations.
See also, statement
by NTIA chief Greg Rohde.
1/18. The NTIA
published in the Federal Register its Notice
of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) regarding compensating
incumbent federal agency users in the 1755-1850 MHz band that
may be required to modify their systems as a result of
spectrum reallocation for 3G wireless uses. The NTIA
released the NPRM on Jan. 17. See, TLJ
story. However, the Federal Register notice contains
deadlines for submitting comments. Comments are due on or
before March 19, 2001. Reply comments are due April 18, 2001.
Kennard, the outgoing Chairman of the FCC, wrote a report
[PDF] titled "Report to Congress on the Public Interest
Obligations of Television Broadcasters as They Transition to
Digital Television." See also, summary
[HTML] and letter
[PDF] to Senators.
1/18. The FBI's NIPC
placed at the top of the home page of its web site a hyperlink
to an advisory
regarding distributed denial of service attacks that it
originally issued on Oct. 13, 2000. Advisory No. 00-055 states
that "New variants of the Trinity and Stacheldraht
Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) tools have been found in
the wild. As was demonstrated in February of this year, DDoS
attacks can bring down networks by flooding target machines
with more traffic than the machines can process." The
NIPC did not elaborate on why it republicized this advisory.
The NIPC issues three level of warnings: assessments,
advisories, and alerts. Advisories have the middle level of
1/18. The FBI's NIPC
published a list
of courses offered to federal, state, and local law
enforcement officers on conducting network intrusion
investigations. Courses are taught by the NIPC's Training
and Continuing Education Unit at Quantico, Virginia.
1/18. Cal. Gov. Gray
Davis announced the release of $167 million in education
technology grants for high schools.
1/17. The GSA began
construction of the USPTO's
new consolidated headquarters facility in Alexandria,
Virginia. See, USPTO
1/17 The SEC instituted
an administrative proceeding, and issued an order, against
Mark Lynch, a CPA, and former CFO of MicroStrategy. The
SEC states that Lynch knowingly or recklessly participated in
the material overstatement of MicroStrategy's revenues and
earnings in its financial statements included in periodic
reports and registration statements filed with the SEC, and
that he falsified books and records. The Order
bars Lynch from appearing or practicing before the SEC as an
accountant. Also, in December of 2000 the SEC filed a civil complaint
in U.S. District Court (DDC),
and obtained a judgment against, Lynch, enjoining him from
violating § 17(a) of the Securities Act, § 10(b)
of the Exchange Act, or Rules 10b-5 and 13b2-1 thereunder.
|TechNet and the National Venture Capital
Association will host an event titled "New Economy
Policy Luncheon." The scheduled speakers are Floyd Kvamme
(Kleiner Perkins), Jim Barksdale (The Barksdale Group), Meg
Whitman (eBay), Bob Herbold (Microsoft), Rep. David Dreier
(R-CA), Rep. Billy Tauzin (R-LA), Rep. Cal Dooley (D-CA), Rep.
John Boehner (R-OH), Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), Sen. Bob Bennett
(R-UT). Rick White of TechNet and Mark Heesen of NVCA will
also be present. For more information, contact Adam Rak at firstname.lastname@example.org or
650-213-1166. Location: Holeman Lounge, National Press Club,
529 14th St. NW, 13th Floor, Washington DC, 20045.
|1/18. The U.S. Attorney's
Office for the Northern District of California announced
several personnel changes. Beginning on Jan. 22, George
Bevan will be the Chief of Narcotics, and Susan Badger
will be the Chief of General Crimes. Both will report to David
Shapiro, who remains Chief of the Criminal Division. Bevan
replaces Kathy Bostick who will become corporate
counsel for Microsoft
in Singapore. Badger prosecuted Operation Cyberstrike in 1988,
in which seven defendants were convicted of criminal copyright
infringement for operating computer bulletin boards offering
pirated software. See, release.
1/18. Intel announced
several promotions. It named Thomas
Dunlap Senior Vice President. He was already General
Counsel and Secretary of the company, with responsibility for
legal and government affairs. He has been with Intel since
1974. See, release.
1/18. The FCC announced
that Chief of Staff Kathy Brown "will be leaving
the Agency shortly. She can be reached at kathybrown99 @hotmail.com."
|1/17. The American Library
Association's Executive Board voted to initiate legal
action to challenge the Children's
Internet Protection Act, which became law in Dec. of
2000. The Act requires schools and libraries which receive
e-rate subsidies to use a porn filtering technology on
Internet access computers used by children. See, release.
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