|3/30. Reps. Billy Tauzin (R-LA), John Dingell (D-MI), Fred
Upton (R-MI), and Ed Markey (D-MA) sent a letter
to Commerce Sec. Donald Evans regarding Commerce Department's role in
reviewing the recently announced renegotiation of a 1999
contract between VeriSign
and the ICANN.
The four, who are the Chairman and Ranking Members of the Commerce Committee
and its Telecom Subcommittee, respectively, stated that they
want "a competitive and transparent domain name
|3/30. The Immigration and
Naturalization Service (INS) published a notice
in the Federal Register that, effective April 13, 2001, the
INS will only accept the December 18, 2000, version of Form
I-129W, titled "H-1B Data Collection and Filing Fee
Exemption." Prior editions of the form will not be
accepted. H1B visas enable technology companies to hire aliens
in positions for which there is a shortage of U.S. workers.
See, Federal Register, March 30, 2001, Vol. 66, No. 62, at
|3/30. European Commissioner Mario
Monti gave a speech
in Washington DC to the Institute for International Economics
titled "EU-US Cooperation in the Control of International
Mergers -- Recent Examples and Trends."
3/28. The FCC and the Department of Justice
filed an amicus
curiae brief with the U.S. Court of
Appeals (11thCir) in support of Intermedia in Intermedia
Communications v. BellSouth. Intermedia seeks
to provide local phone service in regions served by BellSouth, and to do so,
it interconnnects with BellSouth's telephone network.
Intermedia filed a complaint in U.S. District Court (MDFl)
against BellSouth. It alleged, among other things, that
BellSouth's conduct constituted monopolization and attempted
monopolization in violation of § 2 of the Sherman Act.
The District Court dismissed the antitrust claims, stating
that "most of the allegations that serve as a basis for
the antitrust claims involve violations of the [Telecom Act]
..." and "violations of the [Telecom Act] do not
automatically serve as a basis for an antitrust claim."
The FCC and DOJ argue that the Telecom Act of 1996 does not
create any implied antitrust immunity.
|3/29. The U.S. District Court (SNDY)
dismissed all pending federal privacy suits against Internet
advertising company DoubleClick.
Multiple federal privacy suits against DoubleClick were
consolidated into one action, Healy v. DoubleClick. The
plaintiffs alleged that DoubleClick's practice of using
cookies in connection with online advertising violated three
federal statutes: the Electronic Privacy Act, the Wiretap Act,
and the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. The District Court ruled
that plaintiffs failed to state a claim. However, related
actions in state courts are still pending against DoubleClick.
The law firm of Morrison &
Foerster represents DoubleClick in these proceedings. The
law firm of Bernstein
Litowitz is co-lead counsel for plaintiffs. See also,
|3/27. Thomas Foley rejoined the Washington DC office
of the law firm of Akin Gump
as a partner. He was previously Ambassador to Japan. He also
represented eastern Washington state in the House of
Representatives from 1964 through 1994, culminating as
on foreign trade barriers, 3/30 (HTML/PDF, USTR).
FCC: report re
spectrum for 3G wireless services, 3/30 (PDF, FCC).
summary of 3G report, 3/30 (HTML, TLJ).
re spectrum for 3G wireless services, 3/30 (PDF, NTIA).
summary of 3G report, 3/30 (HTML, TLJ).
Petition to delay MDS and ITFS license modifications, 3/28
to Commerce Sec. Evans re ICANN and VeriSign, 3/30 (HTML, TLJ).
re market integrity and the Internet, 3/30 (HTML, SEC).
re EU US cooperation on antitrust matters, 3/30 (HTML, EU).
re entry of Russia into WTO, 3/30 (HTML, WTO).
curiae brief in Intermedia v. BellSouth, 3/28 (HTML, DOJ).
re new H1B form, 3/30 (TXT, FedReg).
IH, the Medical Information Protection and Research
Enhancement Act of 2001, 3/27 (HTML, LibCong).
1259 IH, the Computer Security Enhancement Act of 2001,
3/28 (HTML, LibCong).
|3/30. The FCC and NTIA,
which have spectrum allocation authority in the U.S., released
reports which relate the difficulty of locating and
reallocating spectrum for Third Generation (3G) wireless
services. 3G is intended to bring broadband Internet access to
portable devices, but needs spectrum allocated for its use.
The reports address two spectrum bands identified by the
International Telecommunication Union (ITU) 2000 World
Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-2000) for possible 3G use.
The reports address the 1710 to 1885 MHz band, which is
currently being used by federal agencies, especially the
Department of Defense, and which is subject to NTIA
jurisdiction, and the 2500 to 2690 MHz band, which is
currently being used for MMDS
and which is subject to FCC jurisdiction. The reports detail
incumbent users and their uses, and technical difficulties
associated with sharing and segmenting spectrum, and the
difficulties and costs of relocating incumbent users.
The FCC released
[101 pages in PDF] titled "Final Report: March 30, 2001:
Spectrum Study of the 2500-2690 MHz Band: The Potential for
Accommodating Third Generation Mobile Systems". See also,
summary. This report states that "The MDS industry
has invested several billion dollars to develop broadband
fixed wireless data systems in this band, including high-speed
access to the Internet. These systems offer a significant
opportunity for further competition with cable and digital
subscriber line (DSL) services in the provision of broadband
services in urban and rural areas. The band is used to provide
video services for education and training in schools, health
care centers and a wide variety of other institutions, as well
as for the provision of a commercial video distribution
service known as wireless cable." The report concludes
that this spectrum is already heavily licensed throughout the
country, that it would be technical difficult to segment or
share the spectrum, and that relocation could cost between
$10.2 and 30.4 Billion. See also, FCC
release. (ET Docket No. 00-258.)
The NTIA released a report
[169 pages in PDF] titled "The Potential for
Accommodating Third Generation Mobile Systems in the 1710–1850
MHz Band: Federal Operations, Relocation Costs, and
Operational Impacts". See also, executive
summary. The major user is the Defense Department. The
1755-1850 MHz is used for tracking, telemetry, and commanding
for space systems; medium-capacity, conventional fixed
microwave communications systems; military tactical radio
relay systems; air combat training systems; precision guided
munitions; high resolution airborne video data links; and land
mobile video functions such as robotics, and surveillance. The
report concludes that there are significant obstacles to use
of spectrum in this band by 3G services. For example, with
respect to satellite control, the report concludes that
"This function could not be completely relocated until
all satellites using this band have expired, which could be as
late as 2030." See also, NTIA
The Department of Defense released a separate report
[328 pages in PDF] titled "Department of Defense
Investigation of the Feasibility of Accommodating the
International Mobile Telecommunications (IMT) 2000 Within the
1755-1850 MHz Band". Similarly, the Air Force re-released
[14 pages in PDF] titled "Case Study: Impact Assessment
on Precision Strike Weapon Data Link Systems to Accomodate IMT
2000: 5 January 2001: Prepared By Eglin AFB, Florida."
Currently, spectrum is a national resource that is allocated
by license by the federal government, "in the public
interest." The 3G wireless industry is arguing with the
military before the NTIA over who will use spectrum in one
band; it is arguing with private sector ITFS and MDS users
before the FCC over who will use spectrum in another band.
Commissioner Furchtgott-Roth, the FCC's free market proponent,
released a statement
in which he argued that part of the problem is that the
government is making spectrum allocation decisions. He wrote:
"Government intervention is not required in order for
spectrum to flow to its highest valued uses. A fully
functioning secondary market would achieve this goal. When
government intervenes to impose its own view of the highest
valued use of spectrum, there is a significant risk that
government will get it exactly wrong. Ultimately we must have
faith that the marketplace is the best mechanism to chose
among commercial applications for spectrum."
The Catholic Television Network, which is a major incumbent
ITFS operator, stated that "it should be recognized that
there are other options for 3G wireless, including existing
cellular spectrum. Also, as recognized by the FCC, it is
important to determine whether the cellular industry truly
needs more spectrum, or whether it can operate more
efficiently and use its existing spectrum for 3G
services." Also, a collection of educational institutions
and groups wrote to Secretary of Commerce Donald Evans, asking
for his "direct and personal involvement" to
"assure that educators maintain their critically needed
ITFS spectrum allocation. Accommodation of new 3G mobile
services offered by cellular companies must not come at the
expense of our students, teachers and communities." The
NTIA is a part of the Commerce Department. They also wrote a
similar letter to Education Secretary Rod Paige.
Industry Association (TIA) issued a release
in which it conceded that "both reports conclude that
substantial challenges lie ahead in any efforts to accommodate
3G systems in the bands studied." In addition, TIA
President Matthew Flanigan stated that "we do not
necessarily agree with all of NTIA's conclusions in this
3/28. Verizon Wireless filed with the FCC an Emergency
Petition to Defer Action on Applications [PDF] requesting
that the FCC defer the granting of pending applications by MDS
licensees for modification of existing facilities to provide
two way operations. The Wireless
Communications Association promptly filed a response
[PDF] with the FCC in which it stated that Verizon's petition
is an "outrageous and unprecedented attempt to delay the
deployment of broadband wireless services that will compete
against Verizon’s own DSL offerings ..."
|IBM Holocaust Class Action
|3/29. The law firm of Cohen Milstein
announced the dismissal of complaint filed in U.S. District
Court seeking class action status against IBM alleging
involvement in the Nazi holocaust. See, release.
See also, IBM's release
of Feb. 15.
|3/30. Laura Unger, Acting Chairman of the SEC,
gave a speech
to the Philadelphia Bar Association titled "Protecting
the Integrity of Financial Information in Today's
Marketplace." She addressed the integrity of investment
advice; she stated that "Online suitability is an
especially important concern in today's markets as technology
developments lead firms to offer a wider array of investment
related tools and information." Next, she addressed the
integrity of investment information available online; she said
that "the Internet has also afforded easy access to
fraudsters looking to hoodwink investors", such as
"Tokyo Joe". She added that "I have asked the
Enforcement Division to be especially watchful for online
stock-picking sites." She also addressed the integrity of
financial information and the integrity of fund performance
|3/30. The USTR released
titled "The 2001 National Trade Estimate Report on
Foreign Trade Barriers." See, State
3/30. WTO Director General
Mike Moore gave a speech
in Moscow on Russia's request to join the WTO. He stated that
"The WTO will not be a truly World Trade Organization
until Russia, and other acceding countries, take their
rightful place at our table." He also said that
"entry into the WTO requires that the applicant
government undertake legally binding commitments that have an
impact upon a wide range of sectors." In particular,
"Members too are keen to see the improvement of
implementing legislation in critical areas such as ...
announced that it resolved its dispute with Gotan Hsu SA over
packaging for thermal inkjet cartridges in Spain. Under the
settlement, Gotan has agreed to cease sales of the disputed
packaging. See, HP
3/29. The PRC's Xinhua
stated that "The Shanghai Intellectual Property Agency,
funded by the local government, will begin business ... The
opening of the agency is a step Shanghai has taken to improve
intellectual property protection for China's foreseeable
accession into the World Trade Organization ..." See, release.
|3/26. Benjamin Ballard was arrested in Portland, Oregon, on
a felony complaint filed in U.S. District Court (SDNY)
charging him with sending an interstate threatening
communication via the Internet. The complaint alleges that he
used his home computer to access the Internet, and engage in
an instant message exchange with a student at a high school in
White Plains, New York. In this IM exchange he pretended to be
a senior at at the school, and warned the recipient not to go
to school the next day because "theres going to be a lot
of people dead tomorrow ..." The FBI was able to trace
the IM back to him. AUSA
Lauren Goldberg is in charge of the prosecution. See, DOJ
James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) introduced HR
1329, a bill to make permanent the research and
development tax credit. It was referred to the House Ways
and Means Committee.
3/30. The Canadian business and technology law firm of Gowlings and the
Calgary based law firm of Ballem MacInnes voted to merge,
effective May 1, 2001. The merged firm will have almost 600
lawyers and patent and trademark agents in seven Canadian
cities and Moscow, Russia. It will continue to be known as
Gowlings. See, release.
|The House will not meet.
10:00 AM. The U.S. Court of Appeals (Fed Cir) will hear oral
argument in Techsearch v. Intel, Appeal No. 00-1226. Location:
10:00 AM. The U.S. Court of Appeals (Fed Cir) will hear oral
argument in Semitool v. Novellus Systems, Appeal No. 00-1375.
Location: Courtroom 203.
7:00 - 8:30 PM. Napster will hold a "teach in" on
music file copying at the Catholic University law school. See,
notice. Location: Columbus School of Law, 3600 John
McCormack Rd. NE, Washington DC.
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