|House Votes for Extension
of Export Administration Act
|7/30. The House passed HR 2602 by a voice vote. This bill
would extend the Export Administration Act, which is set to
expire on August 20, until November 20. The extension would
provide the Congress more time to work on replacement
legislation to update the current export control regime.
The Senate Banking
Committee passed S 149,
the Export Administration Act of 2001, sponsored by Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WY), on
March 22 by a vote of 19 to 1. That bill is supported by
the Bush administration, but opposed by several Republican
Senators who assert that it would jeopardize national
security. S 149 would ease restraints on the export of
most dual use products, such as computers and software. It
would end export controls on high performance computers based
However, it would increase penalties for remaining violations.
There are several bills pending in the House; the House
International Relations Committee has held several hearings.
|Senate Judiciary Committee
Begins Mueller Hearing
|7/30. The Senate
Judiciary Committee held the first day of hearings on the
nomination of Robert Mueller to be Director of the
Federal Bureau of Investigation. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT),
Chairman of the Committee, said in his opening
statement that "The American public has lost some
confidence in the Bureau. This is not just a PR problem. This
erosion of public trust threatens the FBI's ability to perform
its mission." See also, opening
statement of Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), the ranking
Mueller stated in his prepared
testimony that "Waco, Ruby Ridge, the FBI lab, Wen Ho
Lee, Robert Hanssen, and the McVeigh documents – these
familiar names and events remind us all that the FBI is far
from perfect and that the next Director faces significant
management and administrative challenges." He also stated
that "while new technologies create new possibilities for
the global economy, they also present new opportunities for
enterprising criminals. Here, as well, the FBI is responsible
for ensuring the security of our technological infrastructure
and for bringing cybercriminals to justice."
The hearing continues on July 31 at 10:00 AM in Room 216 of
the Hart Building.
|7/30. eBay filed a
complaint in U.S. District Court (NDCal)
against BidBay alleging trademark
7/30. BellSouth filed
a request with the Tennessee
Regulatory Authority seeking an endorsement for a Section
271 application to the FCC for permission to provide in region
interLATA services. See, BS
7/30. The Florida Public
Service Commission began hearings on the petition by
AT&T, TCG South Florida, and MediaOne for structural
separation of BellSouth Telecommunications into two
distinct wholesale and retail corporate subsidiaries. The
Regional Bell Operating Companies (RBOCs) oppose structural
separation. See, BellSouth
release and Verizon
|7/30. Officials from government agencies, groups and
Microsoft held a press conference to request that companies
and others running servers with Microsoft's Internet
Information Services (IIS) install a patch provided by
Microsoft that prevents the Code Red worm from infecting
servers. See, Microsoft
The FBI's National
Infrastructure Protection Center (NIPC) explained the
threat: "The worm scans the Internet, identifies
vulnerable systems, and infects these systems by installing
itself. Each newly installed worm joins all the others causing
the rate of scanning to grow rapidly. This uncontrolled growth
in scanning directly decreases the speed of the Internet and
can cause sporadic but widespread outages among all types of
systems. Code Red is likely to start spreading again on July
31st, 2001 8:00 PM EDT and has mutated so that it may be even
more dangerous. This spread has the potential to disrupt
business and personal use of the Internet for applications
such as electronic commerce, email and entertainment."
Alert 01--016 (7/29).
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|FTC NPRM on GLB Standards
for Security of Customer Financial Data
|7/30. The FTC published in its web
site a copy of a notice
of proposed rule making (NPRM) to be published in the
Federal Register on the subject of standards relating to
administrative, technical, and physical information safeguards
for financial institutions subject to the FTC's jurisdiction.
The Gramm Leach Bliley (GLB) Act, passed during the last
Congress, requires the FTC and other agencies to promulgate
rules establishing standards for the protection of customers'
financial data. See also, FTC release.
|Court Affirms Injunction of
|7/30. The U.S.
Court of Appeals (6thCir) issued its opinion
v. Szoka, a case involving an unlicensed FM
radio micro broadcaster. Of course, the FCC ordered him to
stop, the local District Court granted the FCC an injunction,
and the Appeals Court affirmed. However, the Appeals Court's
reconciliation of the issuance of an injunction with the First
Amendment and the law of injunction makes interesting reading.
Jerry Szoka. The appellant broadcasted dance music, and
news and information for gays and lesbians, in Cleveland,
Ohio, on empty frequency (96.9 FM) at a low power
(48.8 watts). He did not have a license from the FCC. He
did not seek a license. He just started broadcasting.
FCC Licensing. The National Radio Act of 1927
nationalized spectrum, and created a National Radio Commission
to issue licenses in the "public interest". The
Communications Act of 1934 continued this framework, and
transferred licensing and regulatory authority to the FCC,
which licenses spectrum to this day. The Supreme Court
declined to extend First Amendment protections afforded other
media to broadcast media in the landmark decision, NBC v.
FCC, 319 U.S. 190 (1943). The Court reaffirmed this
holding in Red Lion v. FCC, 395 U.S. 367 (1969).
Low Power FM. The FCC recently instituted a program for
licensing non-commercial low power FM broadcasters -- over the
strenuous objections of commercial broadcasters and National
Public Radio. However, this program does not extend to those
who have violated FCC licensing rules in the past. Hence,
Szoka is not eligible.
Legal Proceedings. The FCC moved to shut Szoka down.
There is a separate proceeding in Washington DC. The FCC
issued a cease and desist order. An administrative law judge
rejected Szoka's First Amendment arguments. Szoka has
petitioned for review by the U.S. Court of Appeals (DCCir).
Oral arguments are next month. However, Szoka ignored the
cease and desist order, so the FCC also filed a complaint in
U.S. District Court (NDOhio)
against Szoka seeking an injunction. It is the issuance of a
permanent injunction by the District Court in Cleveland that
is the subject of the present appeal.
Public Interest. Szoka raised the obvious, but futile,
argument that the FCC's use of the courts to obtain an
injunction of his broadcast operation implicates the First
Amendment, to no avail. Szoka (through his attorney, Mark
Wallach, of the Cleveland law firm of Calfee Halter &
Griswold) also argued that for the government to obtain an
injunction, it had to satisfy not only the Communications Act
of 1934, but also the equitable standards for issuance of an
injunction -- likelihood of success on the merits, irreparable
injury, absence of substantial harm to others, and public
interest in issuance of the injunction. The government argued
against application of equitable standards to the FCC. Thus,
it argued that in managing spectrum in the public interest,
the FCC could not actually be held to a public interest
standard. The Court of Appeals agreed, and so held.
The District Court, while granting the FCC its injunction, had
stated in dicta that "the Court is inclined to agree that
the FCC's non-commercial low-power broadcasting ban smacks of
favoritism towards wealthier interest groups who do not wish
to share the airwaves with non-commercial stations." It
also wrote that the FCC's ban on low-power stations would run
"contrary to the FCC's obligation to distribute the
airwaves in a manner that furthers the 'public interest' and,
thus, would be inconsistent with the First Amendment."
|Court Upholds First
Amendment Right of Unlicensed Printer
|7/30. The U.S.
Court of Appeals (8thCir) issued its opinion
[PDF] in Steele
v. Bemidji. This is another first Amendment
case involving the government licensing of speech -- in this
case, print speech. Steele filed a complaint in U.S. District
against the City of
Bemidji, city officials, and others, seeking relief from
actions by Bemidji to prevent him from distributing his
newspapers. He did not have a solicitation permit, an
obstruction permit, or post a bond. The district court granted
summary judgment to the defendants. The Appeals Court reversed
as to Steele's First Amendment claims.
|Tuesday, July 31
|10:00 PM. The Senate
Judiciary Committee will continue its hearing on the
nomination of Robert Mueller to be Director of the FBI.
Location: Room 216, Hart Building.
AM. The House
Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Oversight and
Investigations will hold a hearing for titled "How Secure
is Sensitive Commerce Department Data and Operations? A Review
of the Department's Computer Security Policies and
10:00 AM. The House
Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade, and
Consumer Protection will hold a hearing titled Current
Issues Before the Financial Accounting Standards Board.
Location: Room 2322, Rayburn Building.
10:00 AM. The House
Government Reform Committee's Technology and Procurement
Policy Subcommittee will hold a hearing titled "Public
Service for the 21st Century: Innovative Solutions to the
Federal Government's Technology Workforce Crisis".
Location: Room 2154, Rayburn Building.
10:00 AM. The House
Transportation Committee's Highways and Transit
Subcommittee will hold a hearing on red light cameras.
Location: Room 2167, Rayburn Building.
10:00 AM. The Senate
Finance Committee will hold a hearing on several pending
nominations, including Rosario Marin to be Treasurer of
the United States and Jon Huntsman to be a Deputy U.S.
Trade Representative. Location: Room 215, Dirksen Building.
10:00 AM. Ronald Dick, Director of the FBI's National Infrastructure Protection
Center, will speak on the NIPC's efforts to detect, deter,
warn of, respond to and investigate malicious acts, both
physical and cyber, that threaten critical
infrastructures.Location: Zenger Room, National Press Club, 529 14th
St. NW, 13th Floor, Washington DC.
2:00 PM. The House
Science Committee's Research Subcommittee will hold a
hearing titled "Innovation in Information Technology:
Beyond Faster Computers and Higher Bandwidth." Location:
Room 2318, Rayburn Building.
2:30 PM. The Senate
Commerce Committee's Communications Subcommittee will hold
a hearing on spectrum management and third generation
wireless systems. The scheduled witnesses are William
Hatch (NTIA), Julius Knapp (FCC), Linton Wells (DOD), Denny
Strigl (Verizon Wireless), Carroll McHenry (Nucentrix
Broadband Networks), Mark Kelly (Leap Wireless), Martin Cooper
(ArrayComm), Thomas Wheeler (CTIA). Location: Room 253,
|Wednesday, August 1
|9:30 AM. The Senate
Commerce Committee will hold a hearing on trade
issues. Location: Room 253, Russell Building.
10:00 AM. The Senate
Finance Committee will hold a hearing on whether to extend
the existing Internet tax moratorium, and whether to
allow state and local governments to impose sales taxes on
remote sellers, including Internet retailers. The scheduled
witnesses are Tom Woodward (Congressional Budget Office),
Frank Shafroth (National Governors Association), David
Bullington (Wal-Mart), Frank Julian (Federated Department
Stores), Michael Grieve (American Enterprise Institute),
Steven Rauschenberger (National Conference of State
Legislatures), and Jeff Friedman (KPMG). Location: Room 215,
10:00 AM. The Senate
Banking Committee will hold a meeting to mark up
legislation and to vote on nominations. The agenda includes
the nominations of Michael Garcia to be Assistant
Secretary of Commerce for Export Enforcement and Henrietta
Fore to be Director of the Mint. Location: Room 538,
10:00 AM - 12:00 NOON. The U.S. International
Telecommunication Advisory Committee Telecommunication
Development Sector (ITAC-D) will hold a public meeting. 48
hour pre-clearance is required. See, notice
in Federal Register, July 16, 2001, Vol. 66, No. 136, at Pages
37086 - 37087. Location: Room 2533A, Department of State, 2201
C Street, NW, Washington DC.
10:15 AM. The House
International Relations Committee will meet to mark up
several bills, including HR
2581, the Export Administration Act of 2001,
sponsored by Rep.
Benjamin Gilman (R-NY). Location: Room 2172, Rayburn
10:30 AM. The House
Education Committee will meet to mark up several bills,
1992, the Internet Equity and Education Act of 2001,
sponsored by Rep.
Johnny Isakson (R-GA). The bill would make it easier to
obtain federal financial aid for web based education programs.
Location: Room 2175, Rayburn Building.
12:30 PM. Carl Yankowski, CEO of Palm will speak at an NPC
Luncheon. For more information, call 202-662-7501 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Location: National Press Club,
529 14th St. NW, 13th Floor, Washington DC.
2:30 PM. The Senate
Commerce Committee will hold a hearing on several pending
nominations, including Nancy Victory to be Assistant
Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information.
Location: Room 253, Russell Building.