|Bush Picks Bybee for OLC
|7/10. President Bush announced his intent to nominate Jay
Bybee to be Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC).
Other former heads of the OLC include Chief Justice William
Rehnquist, Justice Antonin Scalia, former Attorney General
William Barr, and 4th Circuit Judge Mike Luttig.
Bybee is a professor at the University
of Nevada Law School. Prior to that he was a professor at
Louisiana State University Law School from 1991 to
1998. He was an Associate Counsel to former President
Bush. Prior to that he worked at the Department of Justice in
the Office of Legal Policy and then in the Civil
Division. And before that he was an associate in
Washington DC law firm of Sidley
& Austin. See, White
House release and UNLV bio.
|Walker to Leave SEC
|7/10. Richard Walker, Director of the Division of
Enforcement at the SEC, announced
that he will leave the SEC and return to the private sector.
He has not yet accepted a new position. See, SEC release.
During his tenure, the Enforcement Division created an Office
of Internet Enforcement and began the SEC's efforts
against online securities fraud.
|More People and
|7/10. President Bush announced his intent to nominate Mark
Olson to be a Member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System,
for the remainder of a 14 year term expiring January 31,
2010. He was previously Staff Director of the Securities
Subcommittee for the Senate
Banking Committee. See, release.
7/10. President Bush nominated Harvey Pitt to be a
Member of the SEC for a term
expiring June 5, 2005. He will replace Isaac Hunt. See, release.
7/10. President Bush nominated Michael Melloy to be a
U.S. Circuit Judge for the Eighth Circuit. See. release.
7/10. Senate Democrats announced new additions to committees
to reflect the Democratic control of the Senate following Sen. Jim Jeffords' (VT)
switch. Sen. John Edwards
(D-NC) was added to the Senate Judiciary
Committee. Also, Sen.
Bill Nelson (D-FL) was added to the Senate Commerce
|Trade Subcommittee Holds
Hearing on China Trade
|7/10. The House
Ways and Means Committee's Subcommittee on Trade held a
hearing on renewal of Normal Trade Relations with the People's
Republic of China. Rep.
Philip Crane (R-IL), Chairman of the Subcommittee, said in
statement that "we must keep the momentum moving
forward toward our common goal of integrating China into the
international system of rules and standards. It is my judgment
that, after 15 years, we are almost there. ... slapping China
through revocation of NTR will not bring about the changes
that we all seek in China."
See also, prepared statements of witnesses: Rep.
Frank Wolf (R-VA), Nancy
Pelosi (D-CA), Rep.
Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), Rep.
Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Jeffrey
Bader (Assistant USTR China, Hong Kong, Mongolia, and
Stallman (American Farm Bureau Federation), Gary
Benanav (New York Life), Robert
Kapp (U.S. China Business Council), and Calman
Cohen (Emergency Committee for American Trade).
|GAO Reports Information
Security Weaknesses at Interior Dept.
|7/10. The GAO
released a study
[PDF] titled "Information Security: Weak Controls
Place Interior's Financial and Other Data at Risk." The
GAO examined "information system general controls over
the financial systems maintained by the Department of the
Interior at its National Business Center (NBC) in Denver,
CO." It concluded that "weaknesses were identified
in NBC-Denver’s information system control environment.
Specifically, NBC-Denver had not adequately limited users
access, controlled system software, secured network access, or
established a program to comprehensively monitor access. Also,
NBC-Denver was not providing adequate physical security,
segregating computer functions, controlling changes to
application programs, or ensuring that all aspects of its
service continuity needs were addressed. These weaknesses
placed sensitive NBC-Denver financial and personnel
information at risk of disclosure, critical financial
operations at risk of disruption, and assets at risk of
|Powell Meets with CLEC CEOs
|7/10. FCC Chairman Michael Powell
met with the CEOs of a dozen competitive local exchange
carriers (CLECs). See, FCC
release. The agenda included "what has worked and
what has not worked in terms of CLEC market entry; what issues
relate to the successes or failures of CLEC access to capital
markets; to what extent CLEC success or failure can be
attributed to business/market decisions as compared to
policy/regulatory decisions; what is necessary for the CLEC
industry to succeed; are there any technological limitations
that pose challenges to the success of the CLEC industry; and
what, if anything, can the FCC do, consistent with the law and
principled economics, to support local communications
competition beyond what it has already done."
|Computerized Voting Systems
|7/10. The FEC published a notice
in the Federal Register that it requests comments on proposed
revisions to the 1990 national voluntary performance standards
for computerized voting systems. Comments are due by September
10, 2001. See, Federal Register, July 10, 2001, Vol. 66, No.
132, at Pages 35978 - 35980.
|SEC Files Complaint Against
|7/10. The SEC announced
that it filed a civil complaint in U.S. District Court (NDCal)
against Packet Switch and its principal, Steven Ristau,
alleging violation of federal securities laws in connection
with the sale of securities in a corporation set up to develop
a wireless Internet technology by which movies could be viewed
via the Internet. The complaint alleges that the defendants
misrepresented that they had a new technology that allowed it
to broadcast movies wirelessly over the Internet, and that
they had or were in the process of obtaining patents. The
complaint alleges violation of §§ 5 and 17(a) of the
Securities Act of 1933 and § 10(b) of the Securities Exchange
Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 thereunder against Ristau and
Packet Switch. It also alleges violation of § 15(a) of the
Exchange Act (broker dealer registration) against Ristau. See,
|Markle Foundation Advocates
|7/10. The Markle Foundation
released a report
[3.86 MB in PDF] based on public opinion polls and focus
groups studies titled "Toward a Framework for Internet
Accountability" at events at the National Press Club and
on Capitol Hill. The report advocates taxing sales over the
Internet, and regulation of the Internet. See also, Markle
The poll was conducted by Greenberg Quinlan
& Rosner. Stan Greenberg, who was a pollster for Bill
Clinton, and Zoe Baird, President of the Markle Foundation,
presented the report. It is a massive 108 pages, packed with
tables, bar charts, and thermometers depicting responses to
poll questions. It is part study, and part advocacy. The
questions were selected and worded to provide support for the
policy objectives of the authors.
Among the major conclusions of the report are that a majority
of the American public believe that "the government
should develop rules to protect people when they are on the
Internet", that "Businesses and people on the
Internet can't be trusted to regulate themselves", that
companies should have opt-in privacy policies, and that
e-commerce should be taxed.
Other than regulation in general, and privacy and taxes in
particular, the report reveals little about public attitudes
about many other current Internet public policy issues. For
example, the poll asked individuals to rate their concerns
about the Internet, from a list provided by the pollster. The
list included Internet pormography, privacy, hacking, and
other topics. However, respondents were not given the option
of naming spam. Nor did this question, or any other question
contained in the report, address antitrust issues (such as
Microsoft's conduct), or intellectual property issues (such as
peer to peer music file copying). Nor does the Markle report
examine public attitudes about the "digital divide"
or promoting broadband access (such as with the Tauzin Dingell
Privacy. The report states by 64% to 32% the public
favors the government developing new rules for the Internet.
Then, on the next page, the report states that the public
favors opt-in to opt-out privacy practices by 58% to 37%. The
wording of this question did not reference the government
mandating privacy practices.
Taxes. The report contains poll results on taxing
Internet commerce. It found that 60% of respondents answered
affirmatively to the statement, "On-line commerce should
be subject to the same taxes as other commerce, so that
Internet businesses do not have an artificial advantage over
other businesses." The report contains no questions
regarding bans on multiple taxes, discriminatory taxes, or
taxes on Internet access, which are the subject of the current
tax moratorium, as well as the legislation that is likely to
pass later this year extending the moratorium.
Filtering. When the pollsters asked respondents to name
their concerns about the Internet, "pormagraphy and
violence on the Internet" was named most (49%).
"Protecting children on the Internet" came in second
(46%). "Privacy of information on the Internet" was
third (34%). The report presents follow up questions on
privacy. The report contains no follow up questions on
pormagraphy or protecting children. There is no question in
the report regarding whether respondents favor mandating the
use of filtering by schools and libraries, or protecting
children from material on the Internet that is harmful to
minors. Also, while the report touts the statistic that 64%
favor government rules, the report does not explore what kinds
of rules the public wants -- i.e., privacy rules, filtering
rules, spam rules, or what.
|Lessig Condemns Congress
and Courts on Intellectual Property
Lessig, a professor at Stanford Law School, participated
in a panel discussion on the Markle Report at the Capitol Hill
event. He did not discuss the report. Instead, he offered his
analysis of intellectual property on the Internet,
discrimination in Internet architecture, and other issues not
addressed by the Markle report.
Copyright. Lessig stated that "if we focus now on
what have the priorities of the government been, both the
legislative and judicial priorities, it, of course, has been
the priorities of Hillary Rosen and Jack Valenti, and not the
priorities of the American people." He continued that
"Privacy is an extremely important issue. The legislative
response has been, 'Well, let's go slow. Let's let the market
take care of itself.' " In contrast, "the
legislative response has been to radically increase the
legislative support for the protection of copyrights. The same
thing in the context of the judiciary branch. In context of
the number one priority of protecting children from access to
pormography in cyberspace, the judicial response has been, 'We
have got to go slow; we have got to make sure that any
regulations are actually effective, and we don't harm free
speech in cyberspace.' In the context of copyright, the
courts' response has been 'Let's go as quickly as we can to
make sure that we stop all violations of copyright in
cyberspace.' " (Hillary Rosen is P/CEO of the Recording Industry Association of
America; Jack Valenti is P/CEO of the Motion Picture Association of
Code. Lessig also reiterated the thesis of his book, Code
and other Laws of Cyberspace. He stated that "the
significant issue about governance in cyberspace is the way in
which the architecture matters. The architecture of cyberspace
is the space where rules are set. And it is a pathetic,
incomplete analysis that most of us have about cyberspace to
think that it is really about what legislators say. The real
legislators are the code writers."
Discriminatory Internet Architecture. Lessig also
lamented that the Internet is becoming less of a neutral
platform. He stated that "the Internet is a library
because its architecture is neutral. It is a neutral platform.
... Barnes and Noble is not a library. Cable companies are not
a libraries. The problem with the emerging architecture of
cyberspace is that the architecture itself is becoming a
platform where discrimination is enabled. The generation of
broadband technologies is the generation where the owners of
the platform, the cable companies, will have the rights, and
in Broward County, a First Amendment right, to discriminate in
the kind of content ... ." (See, District Court opinion
v. Broward County.)
|Fed Circuit Rules in Patent
|7/10. The U.S.
Court of Appeals (FedCir) issued its opinion in Door
Master v. Yorktowne, a patent infringement case
involving cabinet door design. The Appeals Court held that the
District Court correctly declined to enter judgment as a
matter of law, thereby allowing the jury's findings of
validity and infringement to stand. Also, the District Court
did not abuse its discretion in declining to award attorney
|Davis and Moran Reintroduce
Cyber Security Bill
|7/10. Rep. Tom
Davis (R-VA) and Rep.
Jim Moran (D-VA) introduced the Cyber Security Information
Act of 2001. They also sponsored similar legislation in the
106th Congress. The bill is intended to give critical
infrastructure industries incentives to share information in
order to fight cyber threats. Rep. Davis stated that
"Many in the private sector have expressed strong support
for information sharing models, but have also expressed
concerns about voluntarily sharing information with the
government and the unintended consequences they could face for
acting in good faith. There has been concern, for example,
that industry could potentially face antitrust violations for
sharing information with other industry partners; have their
shared information be subject to the Freedom of Information
Act; or face potential liability concerns for information
shared in good faith. This bill addresses all of those
concerns." See, Davis
Industry groups praised the bill. See, release
of the Information Technology Association of America, and release
of the Chamber of Commerce.
|Wednesday, July 11
|9:30 AM. The Senate
Governmental Affairs Committee will hold a hearings on S
803, a bill to establish a Federal Chief Information
Officer within the Office of Management and Budget.
Location: Room 342, Dirksen Building.
9:30 AM. The Senate
Commerce Committee will hold a hearing on Internet
privacy issues. The scheduled witnesses are Marc
Rotenberg (EPIC), Paul
Misener (Amazon.com), Fred Cate
School of Law), Hans Brondmo, Paul Schwartz
(Brooklyn Law School), Les Seagraves (Earthlink), Ira
Rubinstein (Microsoft), and Erik Olbetter (Schwab Capital Markets).
Location: Room 253, Russell Building.
10:00 AM. The House
Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Courts, the
Internet, and Intellectual Property will meet to mark up S
487, the Technology, Education, and Copyright Harmonization
(TEACH) Act of 2001. Location: Room 2141, Rayburn House Office
10:15 AM. The House
International Relations Committee will hold its third
hearing on S 149,
The Export Administration Act. Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WY) will
testify. Location: Room 2172, Rayburn Building.
10:30 AM. The House
Science Committee's Subcommittee on 21st Century
Competitiveness will meet to mark up HR 1992, the
"Internet Equity and Education Act of 2001."
Location: Room 2175, Rayburn House Office Building.
12:00 NOON. The House
Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and
Consumer Protection will hold a hearing titled "The
Potential for Discrimination in Health Insurance Based on
Predictive Genetic Tests." Location: Room 2322, Rayburn
House Office Building.
2:00 PM. The Hispanic Council on International Affairs, the
U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the Latin American
Management Association and the U.S. Mexican Chamber of
Commerce will hold a press conference to announce their
support for trade promotion authority (formerly known
as fast track) and the free trade area of the Americas. For
more information, contact Peter Hickman at 301-530-1210.
Location: National Press Club,
Holeman Lounge, 529 14th St. NW, 13th Floor, Washington DC.
|Thursday, July 12
|9:30 AM. The Federal
Communications Commission will hold a meeting to announce
decisions in several matters, including a Fourth Report and
Order concerning the collocation obligations of incumbent
local exchange carriers. (See, Deployment of Wireline Services
Offering Advanced Telecommunications Capability, CC Docket No.
98-147). Location: FCC, Portals II, 445 12th Street, SW, Room
10:00 AM. The Senate
Banking Committee will hold a hearing on several pending
nominations, and vote on several other nominations. The agenda
includes votes on the nominations of Roger Ferguson to be a
member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve
System, Donald E. Powell to be Chairman of the FDIC, and
Donald Rosenfeld to be President of the Government National
Mortgage Association. Location: Room 538, Dirksen Building.
10:00 AM - 12:00 NOON. The American
Enterprise Institute (AEI) will host a panel discussion
titled Broadband Access - Competition, Regulation, and
Consumer Welfare. The speakers will be Harold Furchtgott-Roth,
James Glassman, Thomas Hazlett, and Christopher DeMuth. See, online registration
page. Location: AEI, 1150 17th Street, NW, Washington DC.
11:00 AM. The House
Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Courts, the
Internet, and Intellectual Property will hold a hearing titled
The Whois Database: Privacy and Intellectual Property
Issues. Location: Room 2141, Rayburn Building.
1:45 PM. The House
Ways and Means Committee will meet to mark up following:
• HJRes 50, disapproving the extension of the waiver
authority contained in § 402(c) of the Trade Act of 1974 with
respect to the People's Republic of China.
• HJRes 55, disapproving the extension of the waiver
authority contained in § 402(c) of the Trade Act of 1974 with
respect to Vietnam.
• HR 1954, the ILSA Extension Act of 2001.
Location: Room 1100, Longworth Building.
2:00 PM. The House
Financial Service Committee's Oversight and Investigations
Subcommittee will hold a hearing on Internet gambling.
The scheduled witnesses are John Suarez (New Jersey Division
of Gaming Enforcement), Sebastian Sinclair (Christiansen Capital
Advisors), Keith Whyte (National Council on Problem
Gambling), Valerie Lorenz (Compulsive Gambling Center),
Frank Fahrenkopf (American
Gaming Association), Bill Saum (National Collegiate
Athletic Association), Mark MacCarthy (VISA), Sue Schneider (Interactive Gaming Council),
Penelope Kyle (Virginia Lottery), Greg Avioli (National Thoroughbred Racing
Association). Location: Room 2128, Rayburn Building.
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