Tech Law Journal Daily E-Mail Alert
Jan. 30, 2001, 8:00 AM ET, Alert No. 112.
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Senate Confirmations
1/29. The Senate confirmed Elaine Chao to be Secretary of Labor on a voice vote. She is a former Heritage Foundation fellow, and the wife of Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY). The Department of Labor (DOL) deals with a few technology related issues. For example, the DOL has sought to extent the reach of OSHA regulations to tele-workers at home. The DOL also has responsibility for writing regulations regarding the employment of workers with H1B visas.
1/29. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), the Ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, stated that he would vote against Attorney General nominee John Ashcroft, but that he would not filibuster. See, statement. The Committee has scheduled a vote on the Ashcroft nomination for Tuesday Jan. 30 at 2:30 PM. However, this Committee frequently postpones scheduled matters.
New Documents
MSFT: reply brief in antitrust case, 1/29 (HTML, MSFT).
USAO: criminal complaint for insider trading against Kim, 1/26 (PDF, USAO).
Tauzin: letter to Richard Clarke (NSC) re government computer and network security, 1/25 (HTML, TLJ).
Carey: speech on market information, 1/25 (HTML, SEC).
ICANN: Preliminary Report from the DNSO Review Task Force, 1/29 (HTML, ICANN).
SIIA: complaint for copyright infringment against Kish, (HTML, TLJ).
SIIA: complaint for copyright infringement against Chu, (HTML, TLJ).
Securities Law
1/26. The U.S. Attorney's Office (NDCal) and the FBI filed a criminal complaint and supporting affidavit in U.S. District Court (NDCal) against Keith Joon Kim alleging insider trading in violation of Section 10b of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. The affidavit was sworn by FBI Special Agent Omer Meisel, who is a former SEC investigator. The affidavit states that Kim learned of merger negotiations between Meridian Data Inc. and Quantum Corp. while traveling to a ski retreat with a small group of corporate officers in March of 1999. Kim then placed orders to purchase a total of 187,300 shares of Meridian stock at a cost of $583,110. When Meridian announced its merger with Quantum in May, 1999, its stock rose. Kim's Meridian shares increased in value to $1,415,988, an illegal gain of $832,877. Asst. U.S. Attorney Patrick Robbins will prosecute the criminal case.
1/25. SEC Commissioner Paul Carey gave a speech in Coronado California to the 28th Annual Securities Regulation Institute on market data. The emergence of electronic communications networks (ECNs) has created new issues regarding who owns market data, how it will be disseminated, and how it will be priced. Carey stated that the SEC's Market Information Advisory Committee is studying the subject, and that he hopes that "industry can reach consensus on a model".
Olson to be Solicitor General
1/29. Ted Olson, a partner in the Washington DC office of Gibson Dunn and Crutcher, will likely be nominated for the position of Solicitor General, the AP and Wall Street Journal reported. Olson, like Ashcroft, has a record of supporting electronic privacy. He successfully argued for the petitioners in USTA v. FBI. In this case, the U.S. Court of Appeals (DCCir) issued an opinion overturning parts of an FCC order on wiretap standards under the 1994 CALEA. Congress passed the CALEA in 1994 to allow law enforcement authorities to maintain their existing wiretap capabilities in new telecommunications devices. It provides that wireline, cellular, and broadband PCS carriers must make their equipment capable of certain surveillance functions. The CALEA also provides that its provisions do not apply to "information services". The FBI and the TIA have since sought an implementation of CALEA that expands surveillance capabilities beyond those provided in the statute. The FCC sided with the FBI on most points when it adopted its Third Report and Order [huge WP file] in Aug. 1999.
1/29. Ted Olson has a long history in Washington DC. Former Attorney General William Smith brought Olson to Washington DC in 1981 to head up the Office of Legal Counsel. Both came from Gibson Dunn & Crutcher. Olson returned to Gibson Dunn in 1984, working in its Washington DC office. He has remained a loyal and active Republican. Most recently, he argued George Bush's election case before the Supreme Court. He has also represented corporate media in numerous First Amendment cases. In a some cases he has opposed some conservatives. For example, he represented Time Warner in a challenge to the constitutionality of litigation claiming personal injuries resulting from "copy-cat" imitations of conduct depicted in the Oliver Stone movie, "Natural Born Killers." He is also the Olson of Morrison v. Olson.
More News
1/29. The FTC published a short report [PDF] on consumer complaints to the FTC during the time period Jan. 1 - Dec. 31, 2000. The most common type of complaint was identity theft; it comprised 23% of all complaints. Complaints about Internet services and computers made up 11% of all complaints. Complaints about Internet auctions made up another 8%. See also, FTC release.
1/29. Microsoft filed its reply brief with the U.S. Court of Appeals (DCCir) in the antitrust case. See also, PDF copy.
1/28. The ICANN released its Preliminary Report from the DNSO Review Task Force -- DNSO Review Report Version 2.0a.
1/25. Rep. Billy Tauzin (R-LA), Chairman of the House Commerce Committee, wrote a letter to Richard Clarke, the National Coordinator for Security, Infrastructure Protection, and Counter-Terrorism, of the National Security Council. He complained about the Clinton administration's last minute appointments to the National Infrastructure Assurance Council (NAIC), and its failure to provide to the Congress a final report on the Administrationís efforts to protect the most sensitive government computer networks from cyber attacks by hackers or terrorists, as required by law.
Walker, White House Counsel
1/29. Helgi Walker will work in the Office of White House Counsel. She has been Senior Legal Advisor and Chief of Staff to FCC Commissioner Harold Furchtgott-Roth, the Commission's free market economist. Walker provided much of the legal advice and drafting behind Furchtgott-Roth's ardent pursuit of market competition, limited government, regulatory rollback, and adherence to statutory law. She has focused on mass media, cable, and antitrust matters. Walker has also been an aide to Sen. Strom Thurmond (R-SC), a clerk to Judge Harvey Wilkerson (USCA, 4th Cir), a clerk to Justice Clarence Thomas, an associate at Gibson Dunn and Crutcher, and most recently, an election attorney in Florida. While the White House Counsel's primary responsibility in recent years has been scandal management, in other administrations it is a powerful office which provides legal advice to the President, screens judicial nominees, and provides guidance to executive branch agencies on a variety of policies. Walker will work for Alberto Gonzales, the White House Counsel. She is likely to play a role in media, telecom and Internet policy making.
10:00 AM. The Senate Finance Committee will hold a hearing on the nomination of Robert Zoellick to be United States Trade Representative. Location: Room 106, Dirksen Senate Office Building.
10:00 AM - 12:00 NOON. The FCC's WRC-03 Advisory Committee will hold a meeting on beginning preparations for the World Radiocommunication Conference 2003. Location: FCC, 445 12th Street, SW., Room TW-C305, Washington, DC 20554. See, notice in Federal Register.
2:30 PM. The Senate Judiciary Committee has scheduled a meeting at which it might consider the nomination of John Ashcroft to be Attorney General. Location: Room 226, Senate Dirksen Building.
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