Tech Law Journal Daily E-Mail Alert
May 7, 2001, 8:00 AM ET, Alert No. 181.
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People & Appointments
5/2. The Senate confirmed Brenda Becker to be Assistant Secretary of Commerce and Theodore Kassinger to be General Counsel of the Department of Commerce.
5/3. The USTR announced several staff appointments. Naotaka Matsukata will be Special Assistant for Policy Planning. He previously was on the staff of Sen. Joe Lieberman (D-CT). Dayna Cade will be a Deputy Assistant USTR for Congressional Affairs. She previously worked on the Bush Cheney campaign. Before that she was the Director of Government Affairs for the Airports Council International (ACI). Matt Niemeyer will be a Deputy Assistant USTR for Congressional Affairs. He was previously the Deputy Political Director for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. Prior to that he worked for the Independent Insurance Agents of America, for former Rep. Gerald Solomon (R-NY), and for Sen. John McCain (R-AZ). Heather Wingate will be an Assistant USTR for Intergovernmental Affairs and Public Liaison. She was previously Chief of Staff to Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KS). Before that she worked for the NRA. Richard Mills will be Press Secretary. He was previously Communications Director for House Rules Committee Chairman David Dreier (R-CA). Before that he worked as Press Secretary to the Senate Banking Committee. See release.
Rambus Patents
5/4. The U.S. District Court (EDVa) dismissed Rambus' claims for patent infringement against Infineon involving SDRAM and DDR SDRAM technology. Rambus stated that it will appeal. See, Rambus release.
New Bills
5/3. Rep. Ralph Hall (D-TX) introduced HR 1693, which is described in the Congressional Record as a "bill to improve science, mathematics, and technology education in elementary and secondary schools, advance knowledge on the effective uses of information technologies in education, increase participation in science, mathematics, and engineering careers by groups underrepresented in those fields, provide for more effective coordination of public and private sector efforts to improve science, mathematics, and technology education, and for other purposes." It was referred to the House Science Committee, and the House Education and Workforce Committee.
5/3. Rep. Howard Berman (D-CA) and Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) introduced HR 1707, a bill to give the Commerce Department jurisdiction over exports of commercial satellites. The State Department currently has this authority. The bill was referred to the House International Relations Committee and House Armed Services Committee. See, Berman release.
Satellite Privatization
5/3. May 3 was the deadline to submit comments to the NTIA regarding "the advantages accorded signatories of the INTELSAT, in terms of immunities, market access, or otherwise, in the countries or regions served by INTELSAT, the reason for such advantages, and an assessment of progress toward fulfilling a pro- competitive privatization of that organization." The NTIA published copies of comments which it received in its web site.
PanAmSat submitted a comment in which it stated that it and other private satellite operators face market entry barriers. Motient, which operates a mobile satellite service (MSS) system in L-band, stated that Inmarsat has not complied with ORBIT Act.
In contrast, INTELSAT stated that its "privatization process continues apace" and "in a manner consistent with the ORBIT Act." Lockheed Martin stated that International Satellite Organizations (ISOs) have no competitive advantages that negatively impact the satellite market. See, comments of  ITSO, Lockheed Martin, Motient Services, and PanAmSat. See also, copy of notice requesting comments.
New Documents
GAO: report on Gramm Leach Bliley Act, 5/3 (PDF, GAO).
Berman: HR 1707 a bill to transfer authority over satellite exports to the Commerce Department, 5/3 (HTML, LibCong).
Financial Privacy
5/4. The GAO released a report [PDF] titled "Financial Privacy: Too Soon to Assess the Privacy Provisions in the Gramm- Leach- Bliley Act of 1999." The report, which was mandated by the Act, concluded that "As of March 31, 2001, federal regulatory and enforcement agencies had not taken any enforcement actions or prosecuted any cases under this law. FTC staff have begun to monitor firms' compliance with the statute's provisions and have several pending nonpublic investigations. However, FTC staff and Department of Justice officials told us that until they have fully prosecuted cases under the statute, they would lack the necessary experience to assess the effectiveness of Subtitle B provisions. The federal financial regulatory agencies are still in the process of taking steps to ensure that the financial institutions that they regulate have reasonable controls to protect against fraudulent access to financial information. ... Lastly, we found that there are limited data available to indicate the impact of Subtitle B on the prevalence of fraudulent access to financial information."
5/3. The U.S. Attorney (DNJ) charged two individuals and one company by criminal complaint with conspiracy to commit wire fraud. The complaint alleges that Hai Lin and Kai Ku, citizens of the People's Republic of China, while working at Lucent, conspired to steal source code and software associated with an Internet server developed by Lucent, and to transfer the stolen technology to a company owned by the PRC. The FBI also arrested Lin and Ku, and a third individual, and executed search warrants at their homes. The complaint also charged ComTriad Technologies, Inc., a New Jersey corporation founded by Lin and Ku. The U.S. Atty also stated that "It is expected that the matter will be presented to a grand jury." See, release.
Napster News
5/6. Napster released a statement in Q&A format about "acoustic fingerprinting", a technology for blocking the copying of copyrighted music files.
Trade and Fast Track
5/3. Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT), the ranking Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee, and a leading free trade advocate, gave an address in the Senate on trade. He stated that "despite a strong feeling in the Congress that we need to continue the aggressive pursuit of trade liberalization and market opening around the world, we have made no progress at all this year." He said that progress is being held up by the dispute over how to deal with environmental labor standards in trade agreements, and specifically, with the U.S. Jordan Free Trade Agreement. He concluded: "We need to delink Jordan from the rest of our trade agenda."
5/4. Sen. Robert Byrd (D-WV), a leading protectionist in the Senate, gave an address in the Senate on trade and fast track trade negotiating authority. He stated that "The administration wants fast track. The administration says it needs this deviation from the traditional prerogatives of Congress in order to negotiate multilateral trade agreements. ... Under the Constitution, which I hold in my hand, Congress has this responsibility. We ought to read it. ... we don't need fast track. We need to live by this Constitution which I hold in my hand."
5/4. The FCC published a summary in the Federal Register of its Second Order on Reconsideration [PDF] in its CALEA proceeding (CC Docket No. 97-213). It adopted this order on April 9, 2001, and released it on April 16, 2001. See, story in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert of April 17, 2001. The FCC rejected two FBI petitions for reconsideration which asked the FCC to impose further "personnel security obligations" upon carriers, and to require carriers to generate an automated message that would permit LEAs "to confirm periodically that the software used to conduct an interception is working correctly and is accessing the equipment, facilities, or services of the correct subscriber." However, the FCC did make minor revisions to 64.2103 and 64.2104 of its rules to clarify the arrangements telecommunications carriers subject to CALEA must make to ensure that LEAs can contact them when necessary, and the interception activity that triggers a record keeping requirement. The new rules go into effect on June 4, 2001.
Network Security
5/5. The FBI's National Infrastructure Protection Center (NIPC) released an advisory regarding potential DDoS attacks. It stated that "The NIPC has received reliable information indicating ongoing attempts to disrupt web access to several sites. The activity has been seen from several networks, and consists entirely of fragmented large UDP packets directed at port 80. Analysis indicates that this activity may be intended to bypass standard port/protocol blocking techniques, as certain major routing equipment manufacturer's products will block the first fragment of a large UDP packet, but may not block subsequent packets, thereby permitting the denial of service to continue."
First day of two day workshop hosted by the Federal Trade Commission on competition issues that arise in connection with business to business (B2B) and business to consumer (B2C) e-commerce. See, release.
Deadline to submit written comments and rebuttal comments to the USTR on further actions against Ukraine for its denial of adequate protection of intellectual property rights. On March 12, the USTR designated Ukraine as a "Priority Foreign Country" under the "Special 301" program. See, notice in the Federal Register, April 6, 2001, Vol. 66, No. 67, at Pages 18346 - 18348. See also, USTR release of March 13.
Deadline to file reply comments with the FCC regarding its annual report to various Congressional committees regarding the progress being made under the ORBIT Act in promoting competition in satellite communications services, and in privatizing INTELSAT and Inmarsat. See, FCC notice.
Day one of a three day conference hosted by the Electronics Industry Alliance (EIA). See, EIA conference web site and agenda. Location: Grand Hyatt Hotel, 1000 H Street NW, Washington DC.
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM. The EIA and the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) will jointed host a seminar titled "New Agendas for Emerging Technologies," See TIA release.
12:00 NOON. Sen. Bob Bennett (R-UT) will address a luncheon at the EIA conference.
5:30 - 7:30 PM. The Association for Competitive Technology (ACT) will host a reception titled the Third Annual "Let's Talk Privacy" Kick-Off Reception. RSVP to Susan Blank at 202-331-2130 (ext.107) or by email at Location: United States Capitol, Mansfield Room, Washington DC.
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