Tech Law Journal Daily E-Mail Alert
July 26, 2001, 9:00 AM ET, Alert No. 235.
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Sen. Baucus Makes Trade Promotion Authority Proposal
7/25. Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) released a proposal for extending trade promotion authority (also known as "fast track") to the President. He released a summary [PDF] and a statement [PDF]; however, he has not yet introduced a bill. Sen. Baucus proposes a two year grant of authority, with the possibility of extension for an additional three years. And, he includes labor and environment provisions.
Sen. Baucus is the new Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, which has jurisdiction over this legislation. He stated that "There has been a great deal of discussion of how to develop a realistic, bipartisan approach to fast track. But there has been very little serious work. The Administration misses few opportunities to call upon the Congress to grant fast track. But it has yet to table a serious proposal or bill to achieve that goal. Some of my colleagues in the House have introduced a fast track bill. But it is a bill that completely ignores the most controversial issue of the day – the appropriate handling of labor rights and environmental issues. No one has put forward a truly bipartisan proposal on fast track extension."
Labor and Environment. Sen. Baucus proposes "achieving agreements from countries not weaken their labor or environmental laws to distort trade; provisions to support existing labor rights and environmental norms; and flexible enforcement procedure that allows the President to select from a range of options, including trade sanctions, fines, incentives, or other measures appropriate to the circumstances."
IPR. Sen. Baucus also proposes to "Continue to pursue efforts to protect intellectual property rights, taking into account the need for special rules that may need to apply to health emergencies."
E-Commerce. Sen. Baucus proposes to "Promote the liberalization of services essential to e-commerce, including telecommunications, computer related services, advertising and business services, distribution services (including the distribution of digitized content), information technology services, and financial services, including internet payments", "Seek the protection of intellectual property both online and offline, including stronger enforcement", and "Seek to eliminate all trade barriers to digitized trade, especially the online delivery of digitized content (including movies, music, software and publications)."
Other Bills. There are already several pending bills to extend trade promotion authority to the President. Sen. Bob Graham (D-FL), Sen. Frank Murkowski (R-AK), and others introduced, S 1104, the Trade Promotion Act of 2001. See also, S 599. On the House side, Rep. Phil Crane (R-IL) has introduced HR 2149.
Senate Holds Hearing On Cybercrime and NIPC
7/25. The Senate Judiciary Committee's Technology, Terrorism, and Government Information Subcommittee held a hearing on the National Infrastructure Protection Center (NIPC) and cybercrime. The NIPC, which is a part of the FBI, was created by Presidential Decision Directive (PDD) 63 in May of 1998 as a part of the federal government's strategy to protect national infrastructures from hostile attacks, especially computer based attacks.
Robert Dacey, of the Congress's General Accounting Office (GAO), testified regarding a GAO study of the NIPC. He concluded in his prepared testimony that "we found that progress in developing the analysis, warning, and information sharing capabilities called for in PDD 63 has been mixed. The NIPC has initiated a variety of critical infrastructure protection efforts that have laid a foundation for future government wide efforts. In addition, it has provided valuable support and coordination related to investigating and otherwise responding to attacks on computers. However, at the close of our review in February 2001, the analytical and information sharing capabilities that PDD 63 asserts are needed to protect the nation's critical infrastructures had not yet been achieved, and the NIPC had developed only limited warning capabilities."
See, prepared testimony of witnesses: Ron Dick (NIPC), Robert Dacey (GAO), Sallie McDonald (General Services Administration), James Savage (Secret Service), Michehl Gent (North American Electric Reliability Council), and Christopher Klaus (Internet Security Systems).
FCC Approves Fox Chris Craft Transfers
7/25. The FCC approved the application of Fox Television Stations to acquire licenses of 10 TV stations held by Chris-Craft Industries and its subsidiaries BHC Communications and United Television. The FCC approved the license transfers with conditions requiring the licensee to comply with FCC rules on television duopolies, the 35% national television audience cap, and newspaper / broadcast cross ownership. See, FCC release.
Export Administration Act News
7/25. The House International Relations Committee approved HR 2602 by a voice vote. This bill, which is sponsored by Rep. Henry Hyde (R-IL), would extend the Export Administration Act (EAA) until November 20, 2001. It is currently set to expire in August. The Senate Banking Committee passed S 149 on March 22, 2001. That bill would extend the EAA and ease restraints on the export of most dual use products, such as computers and software. There are several variations of this bill pending in the House, including HR 2568 (Dreier), HR 2581 (Gilman), and HR 2557 (Menendez).
7/24. Sen. Tom Daschle (D-SD), the Senate Majority Leader, briefly addressed the EAA on the Senate floor. He stated that "the Export Administration Act is also in peril. The act expires during the August recess. The administration has indicated this is a high priority for them. It is a high priority for our caucus, but I think, on a bipartisan basis, Senators on both sides of the aisle have indicated a strong desire not to allow this legislation to expire in August. So it is my expectation that it, too, must be dealt with prior to the time we leave." See, Congressional Record, July 24, at Page S8102.
7th Circuit Rules in Trade Secrets Case
7/25. The U.S. Court of Appeals (7thCir) issued its opinion in 3M v. Accu-Tech Plastics, a case involving misappropriation of trade secrets by former employees of 3M.
Facts. 3M makes carrier tape. Three employees of 3M who were integral to 3M's development of carrier tape manufacturing clandestinely formed their own company, Accu-Tech Plastics, to manufacture and market resin sheeting, the essential component of carrier tape. When 3M learned of Accu-Tech, it terminated the individuals, and filed a complaint in U.S. District Court (WDWisc) against Accu-Tech and the three former employees.
Complaint. The complaint alleged, as to the three individual defendants, breach of fiduciary duty, breach of employment contracts, and misappropriation of trade secrets. The complaint also alleged, as to Accu-Tech, misappropriation of trade secrets, unfair competition, tortious interference with prospective contractual relationships, and tortious inducement to breach his employment contract with 3M.
Trial Court. The jury found that Accu-Tech had misappropriated trade secrets from 3M, and that Accu-Tech's founders had breached duties of loyalty owed to 3M. The District Court overturned some of the jury's findings of liability, upheld other findings, and granted 3M's request for a permanent injunction barring the disclosure, but not the use, of the trade secrets which the jury found Accu-Tech had misappropriated.
Appeals Court. Both sides appealed. The Appeals Court affirmed the District Court on all matters, except that it reversed and remanded the District Court's grant of summary judgment to Accu-Tech on 3M's claim for unlawful competition.
New Bills
7/24. Rep. Henry Hyde (R-IL) and others introduced HR 2602, a bill to extend the Export Administration Act until November 20, 2001.
7/24. Rep. Bill Thomas (R-CA) introduced HR 2603, a bill to implement the agreement establishing a U.S. Jordan free trade area.
7/24. Rep. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) introduced S 1232, a bill to provide for the effective punishment of online child molesters, by removing the requirement of interstate travel.
More News
7/25. Verizon notified the Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission that it intends to file a Section 271 application with the FCC to provide interLATA services in Rhode Island. See, Verizon release.
7/25. The FCC published a notice in the Federal Register of its most recent postponement of auctions for spectrum licenses licenses in the 747-762 and 777-792 MHz band (Auction No. 31). These had been scheduled to begin on September 12, 2001. See, Federal Register, July 25, 2001, Vol. 66, No. 143, at Pages 38704 - 38705.
7/25. The NCTA filed a supplemental brief [PDF] with the Supreme Court of the United States in NCTA v. Gulf Power Company, the pole attachments case.
 7/24. Napster announced that Konrad Hilbers has replaced Hank Barry as CEO. See, Napster release.
Thursday, July 26
8:30 - 10:00 AM. Press breakfast on telecommunications issues with former FCC Commissioner Harold Furchtgott-Roth. RSVP to Veronique Rodman, Director of Public Affairs, AEI at 202-862-4871 or
9:00 AM. The Department of Commerce's Bureau of Export Administration's Information Systems Technical Advisory Committee (ISTAC) will hold the second session of a two day meeting. Part of the meeting is open to the public, and part is closed. See, notice in Federal Register, June 29, 2001, Vol. 66, No. 126, at Page 34613. Location: Herbert Hoover Building, Room 3884, 14th Street between Pennsylvania Avenue and Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington DC.
9:30 AM. The House Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade, and Consumer Protection will hold a hearing titled "How Do Businesses Use Customer Information: Is the Customer’s Privacy Protected?" The scheduled witnesses are Harriet Pearson (IBM), Jacqueline Hourigan (General Motors), Zeke Swift (Proctor & Gamble), Paul Misener (, David Johnson, (Land’s End), Jennifer Barrett (Acxiom), Deborah Zuccarini (Experian), John Ford (Equifax).Location: Room 2322, Rayburn Building.
9:30 AM - 2:00 PM. The Federalist Society will host a conference titled Broadband Policy for an Internet Age. The price to attend is $30. There is no charge for students and Capitol Hill staff. See, online registration page. Location: The National Press Club, 529 14th Street, NW, Washington DC.
  • The first panel discussion is titled "What Path to Broadband Paradise?" The panelists will be David Baker (EarthLink), Robert Crandall (Brookings), James Glassman (American Enterprise Institute), Thomas Hazlett (American Enterprise Institute), Janusz Ordover (New York University), and John Frantz (Verizon).
  • The second panel is titled "Are Narrowband Regulators Ready for a Broadband World?" The panelists will be Kenneth Ferree, (FCC Cable Services Bureau), Raymond Gifford (Colorado Public Utilities Commission), Randolph May (Progress & Freedom Foundation), Howard Waltzman (House Commerce Committee), and David Lawson (Sidley & Austin).
  • There will be a lunch. The speaker will be Alfred Kahn (Cornell University). The title of his address will be "Knowing When To Let Go: The FCC and Broadband."
10:00 AM. The Senate Finance Committee will hold a business meeting. The agenda includes S 643, a bill to implement the agreement establishing a U.S. Jordan free trade area. Location: Room 215, Dirksen Building.
2:00 PM. The House Financial Services Committee's Capital Markets Subcommittee will hold a hearing titled "Market Data II: Implications to investors and market transparency of granting ownership rights over stock quotes." Location: Room 2128, Rayburn House Office Building.
2:00 PM.  The House Ways and Means Committee will hold a meeting to mark up HR 2603, the U.S. Jordan Free Trade Area Implementation Act of 2001, and HJRes 51, regarding Vietnam. Location: Room 1100, Longworth Building.
2:30 PM. The Senate Banking Committee will hold a hearing on several pending nominations, including that of Michael Garcia to be Assistant Secretary for Export Enforcement at the Department of Commerce. Location: Room 538, Dirksen Building.
Friday, July 27
8:30 AM. Daniel Griswold and Daniel Ikenson, both of the Cato Institute, will speak on "Threats to Trade Promotion Authority: Antidumping Laws and Labor and Environmental Sanctions." Register by 12:00 Noon on July 26, at the online registration page, or by contacting Julie Johnson at 202-789-5229 or Location: Room B-339, Rayburn House Office Building.
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