|Bush Picks Muris
|3/21. President Bush will nominate Timothy Muris to be
Chairman of the Federal Trade
Commission. Timothy Muris is currently a professor at George Mason University School
of Law. He held several top positions at the FTC during
the Reagan administration, including Director of the Bureau of Competition,
Director of the Bureau
of Consumer Protection, and Assistant to the Director of
the Office of Policy, Planning & Evaluation. He was also
Deputy Counsel to President Reagans Task Force on
Regulatory Relief and Executive Associate Director of the Office of Management
& Budget. He has written widely about antitrust,
consumer protection, franchising, and budget law and policy.
The term of the current Chairman, Robert Pitofsky, ends in
September, but he may step down earlier. The FTC is one of
three federal agencies exercising antitrust merger review
authority over transactions involving technology companies.
The FTC has also been increasingly active on online privacy
|Summary of HR 718
|HR 718, as amended on March 21, would:
criminalize the sending of any unsolicited
commercial e-mail with knowledge that any domain name, header
information, or data or time stamp is false or inaccurate.
prohibit sending commercial e-mail without a valid
e-mail address to which the recipient may send an opt out
prohibit continuing to send commercial e-mail after
a recipient has opted out of receiving further e-mail from
prohibit sending unsolicited commercial e-mail
without identifying it as such, providing notice of opt out
opportunity, and providing a physical address.
prohibit sending unsolicited commercial e-mail in
violation of an ISP's policy, if such policy is clear and
create immunity from state and federal civil and
criminal liability for ISPs that block e-mail.
create civil remedies for ISPs, the FTC, e-mail
recipients, and states.
|PennPUC to Vote on Verizon
|3/22. The Pennsylvania
Public Utility Commission (PPUC) is scheduled to vote on a
plan to break Verizon
into a wholesale and a retail unit. On Sept. 30, 1999, the
PPUC issued an Opinion
and Order directing Verizon to submit a plan to create a
separate affiliate to supply retail telecommunications
services. It stated that this would "jump-start
competition in the local telecommunications markets. It will
increase the number of local telephone companies consumers can
choose from and boost investment in high-tech data and voice
networks." On April 27, 2000, the PPUC issued an Order
instituting the current Structural Separation proceeding. On
January 26, 2001, the Recommended Decision of Administrative
Law Judge Weismandel was issued. See, agenda.
3/21. AT&T filed a
petition with the Florida
Public Service Commission seeking structural separation of
separate retail and wholesale operations. See, AT&T
re FSC, 3/20 (HTML, EU).
to CIA, 3/21 (HTML, WH).
|Anti Spam Bill
|3/21. The House
Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Telecom & the
Internet approved a revised version of HR
718, the Unsolicited Commercial Electronic Mail Act
of 2001. The bill is sponsored by Rep. Heather Wilson
(R-NM) and Rep. Gene
Green (D-TX), and has almost 100 cosponsors. The House
passed Rep. Wilson's anti-spam bill in the 106th Congress (HR 3113)
on July 18, 2000, by a vote of 427 to 1,
but it was not acted upon by the Senate. She reintroduced the
same bill on Feb. 14. She offered an amendment in the nature
of a substitute at the Wednesday morning markup. The
amendment, and the bill as amended, both were adopted by
unanimous voice votes. However, the bill is still a work in
progress, and is likely to be amended further by the full
Commerce Committee, by the Judiciary Committee,
which also has jurisdiction, and then by the Senate. See
of Commerce Committee Chairman Billy
Tauzin (R-LA) and statement
of ranking Democrat John Dingell
Rep. Chris Cox (R-CA)
stated at the markup that he opposes the language in the bill
which creates a state parens
patriae cause of action. He also praised the
bill generally, and its rejection of a class action remedy
specifically. He argued that a state parens patriae cause of
action may create an end run around the ban on class actions.
He and Rep. Wilson agreed to work on further language before
the full committee markup.
Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), who is on the Judiciary Committee,
wants to strengthen the bill's ban on forging header
information in UCE.
He has introduced HR 1017,
which would also criminalize the selling or distributing of
"any computer program that (i) is designed or produced
primarily for the purpose of concealing the source or routing
information ... (ii) has only limited commercially significant
purpose or use other than to conceal such source or routing
information; or (iii) is marketed by the violator or another
person acting in concert with the violator and with the
violator's knowledge for use in concealing the source or
routing information of such messages".
|3/20. Rep. Heather
Wilson (R-NM) introduced HR 1137, a bill to make permanent
the research and development tax credit.
3/21. The House passed by voice vote HR
496, the Independent Telecommunications Consumer
Enhancement Act of 2001, sponsored by Rep. Barbara Cubin
(R-WY). This bill provides regulatory relief to small (less
than 2% of subscriber lines) telephone companies. The House Commerce Committee
approved this bill on February 28 by unanimous voice vote.
3/21. FEC Commissioner Bradley
Smith spoke at the Cato
Institute about his book, Unfree
Speech: The Folly of Campaign Finance Reform. However,
he did not address any issues pertaining to FEC regulation of
political activity on the Internet.
3/21. The U.S. Court
of Appeals (3rdCir) issued its opinion
ReCendant, a case regarding attorneys fees awards
in securities class action suits.
3/19. The U.S.
Supreme Court denied certiorari in Contemporary Media v.
FCC, No. 00-972, a broadcast radio license revocation case.
See, March 19 Order
List. See also, opinion
of the U.S. Court of Appeals (DCCir) of June 16, 2000.
|3/20. Peter Morch plead guilty in U.S. District Court
one count of exceeding authorized access to a protected
computer and obtaining information valued at more than $5,000,
in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 1030(a)(2)(C) & 1030(c)(2)(B)(iii).
Morch, a former employee of Cisco,
exceeded his authorized access to the computer systems of
Cisco by logging into the computer system from a workstation
belonging to another Cisco software engineer and copying
proprietary information that he knew he was not authorized to
have. Just prior to leaving Cisco to work for a competitor, he
copied Cisco project ideas, general descriptions,
requirements, specifications, limitations of design, and
procedures to overcome the design difficulties for a
voice-over and optical networking software product. The
sentencing is scheduled for June 27, 2001. See, release,
March 21 plea
agreement [PDF], and March 13 Information
|3/21. President Bush announced his intent to nominate Peter
Allgeier to be a Deputy USTR. He is
currently the Senior Director for International Economic
Affairs at the National
Economic Council; prior to that, he worked at the USTR.
President Bush also announced his intent to nominate Linnet
Deily to be a Deputy USTR. She
presently works for the Charles
Schwab Corporation. See, release.
3/21. John Richardson, deputy head of the EC delegation
to the U.S., gave a speech
in Brussels titled "Two Issues Determining the Future of
Transatlantic Relations," in which he addressed the U.S.
replacement legislation for the Foreign Sales Corporation
tax regime, passed at the end of the last Congress. The WTO
ruled that the previous FSC regime constituted an illegal
export subsidy. Richardson stated that "the Congress has
changed the law, but in a way which leaves the relative
advantage of exports intact, and we have brought another panel
against the US. We will win this one too, and Congress will
not be pleased."
|3/19. President Bush gave at speech
at the CIA in which he
stated that "Today, that single threat has been replaced
by new and different threats, sometimes hard to define and
defend against; threats such as terrorism, information
warfare, the spread of weapons of mass destruction and the
means to deliver them."
|9:30 AM. The U.S.
Court of Appeals (DC Cir) will hear oral argument in Coalition for
Noncommercial Media v. FCC, Appeal No. 00-1253. Judges
Edwards, Williams and Henderson will preside. This is a
petition for review of an FCC order approving a license
transfer associated with the sale of WNEQ-TV by the Western
New York Public Broadcasting Association to LIN Television
10:00 AM. The Senate
Banking Committee will meet to mark up S
149, the Export Administration Act of 2001. The
mark-up was originally scheduled for March 15. Location: Room
538, Dirksen Building.
10:00 AM. The House
Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Courts, Internet,
and Intellectual Property will hold an oversight hearing
titled ICANN, NEW gTLDS, and the Protection of Intellectual
Property. Location: Room 2141, Rayburn Building.
10:00 AM. The House
Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Health will hold a
hearing titled "Assessing HIPAA: How Federal Medical
Record Privacy Regulations Can Be Improved." Location:
Room 2123, Rayburn Building. The witnesses will be John Melski
(Marshfield Clinic), John Clough (Cleveland Clinic
Foundation), Bob Heird (Anthem BlueCross BlueShield), Carlos
Ortiz (CVS Pharmacy), Janlori Goldman (Georgetown University),
Paul Appelbaum (Univ. Mass. Med. School), and Mary Foley
(American Nurses Assoc.)
2:00 PM. The House Government Reform Committee's Technology
and Procurement Subcommittee will hold a hearing titled
"Toward a Telework Friendly Government Workplace:
Successes and Impediments in Managing Federal Telework
Policies." Room 2154, Rayburn Building.
Deadline to file applications with the NTIA
for Technology Opportunity Program (TOP) grants. The
NTIA will award $42.5 Million in grants in FY 2001, up from
$12 Million in FY 2000. These grants go to state, local, and
tribal governments, colleges and universities, and non-profit
entities to extend advanced telecommunications technologies to
inaccessible, rural and underserved urban communities. See, NTIA
release and notice
in Federal Register.
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