Tech Law Journal Daily E-Mail Alert
September 27, 2001, 9:00 AM ET, Alert No. 274.
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Sen. Bennett Introduces Cyber Security Bill
9/24. Sen. Robert Bennett (R-UT) and Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) introduced S 1456, the "Critical Infrastructure Information Security Act of 2001." One of the main purposes of the bill to encourage information sharing pertaining to cyber security issues, by removing legal disincentives for such actions.
The bill would provide a Freedom of Information Act exemption for certain cyber security information provided to certain federal agencies, including the NIPC, FCC, Justice Department, Defense Department, and Commerce Department. The bill would also provide an antitrust exemption for certain collaboration on cyber security issues. The bill was referred to the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee, of which Sen. Bennett is a member. See also, Bennett release.
Sen. Graham Introduces FISA Bill
9/21. Sen. Bob Graham (D-FL) and four other Democrats introduced S 1448, the "Intelligence to Prevent Terrorism Act of 2001". The bill would amend the electronic surveillance authority under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). The bill was referred to the Senate Intelligence Committee, of which Sen. Grahm is the Chairman.
Rep. Smith Introduces Electronic Surveillance Bill
9/20. Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) introduced HR 2915, the "Public Safety and Cyber Security Enhancement Act of 2001". The bill was referred to the House Judiciary Committee, of which Rep. Smith is a senior member.
The bill contains several provisions pertaining to surveillance of electronic communications. It would amend the pen register and trap and trace sections of Title 18, which currently allow law enforcement agencies (LEAs) to obtain orders to obtain incoming and outgoing telephone numbers. The bill would extend the information obtainable under pen register and trap and trace orders to include Internet routing and addressing information.
It would also expand LEAs' authority to intercept computer trespasser information. Current law does not allow victims of computer trespassing to request LEA assistance in monitoring unauthorized attacks as they occur. This bill would change this.
This bill would also define "computer trespasser" as "a person who is accessing a protected computer without authorization and thus has no reasonable expectation of privacy in any communication transmitted to, through, or from the protected computer".
This bill includes some of the same language that is in the Bush Administration's draft [PDF] of the "Anti Terrorism Act of 2001," which is a much larger and more comprehensive bill than HR 2915. The House Judiciary Committee held a hearing on the Administration's proposal on Monday, September 24. Committee Chairman James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) announced at the conclusion of that hearing that the Committee would mark up that bill some time next week.
9/18. John Barker joined the Washington DC office of the law firm of Arnold & Porter as Of Counsel. He will focus on export control, international technology transfer, and trade sanction issues. He previously was Deputy Assistant Secretary for Nonproliferation Controls at the State Department. Before that, he was Deputy Assistant Secretary for Export Controls. See, A&P release.
9/17. Stellman Keehnel joined the Seattle office of the law firm of Gray Cary. He focuses on securities class action defense and intellectual property litigation. See, GC release.
9/26. Alison Pauly, Stefani Shanberg and Amy Smith joined the Menlo Park office of the law firm of Perkins Coie as associates in the firm's intellectual property and patent practice group. Pauly and Shanberg focus on intellectual property litigation. Both were formerly associates at the law firm of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati in Palo Alto. Smith is a patent prosecution attorney with specialties in biology and chemistry who previously worked at Woodard Emhardt Naughton Moriarty & McNett in Indianapolis, Indiana. See, PC release.
9/11. Karen Kincaid, a partner in the communications practice of the law firm of Wiley Rein & Fielding, died on September 11 in the crash of American Airlines Flight 77. See, WRF statement.
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Sen. Enzi Introduces Internet Education Bill
9/21. Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WY) and others introduced S 1445, the Internet Equity and Education Act of 2001, a bill to make it easier to obtain federal financial aid for web based education programs. The bill was referred to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, of which Sen. Enzi is a member.
The bill would amend the Higher Education Act of 1965 (HEA) to expand the opportunities for higher education via the Internet. Currently, the HEA limits the amount of aid a student enrolled in distance education courses delivered via telecommunications may receive if the institution offers half or more of its courses by correspondence or telecommunications. S 1445 would remove this limitation for postsecondary institutions that are already participating in the federal student loan programs with student loan default rates under 10%. The bill would also repeal the 12-hour rule with respect to non-standard term programs. This rule governs the amount of "seat-time" students must spend in class per week. Finally, the bill addresses incentive compensation.
The House Education and Workforce Committee passed a similar bill, HR 1992, sponsored by Rep. Johnny Isakson (R-GA), on August 1, by a vote of 31 to 10. Opponents, such as Rep. Patsy Mink (D-HI), argued that the changes contained in this legislation would invite abuse of student loan programs, and increase the student loan default rates.
"The Internet is a valuable tool that can be used to improve learning opportunities. Further increasing the flexibility of distance education programs through the Internet would benefit students, especially those in rural areas," said Sen. Enzi in a release.
GAO Reports on IPR and E-Commerce Aspects of FTAA
9/26. The GAO released a report [131 pages in PDF] titled "Free Trade Area of the Americas: Negotiators Move Toward Agreement That Will Have Benefits, Costs to U.S. Economy." It concludes that "the United States could benefit substantially from commitments from other FTAA countries to liberalize services and strengthen protection of investment and IPR."
Intellectual Property Rights. The report concludes that "Because the United States maintains a decisive competitive advantage in high technology, knowledge based industries that are dependent on IPR, this is one of the most important topics for U.S. negotiators. FTAA countries have somewhat divergent interests in this area. Developed countries want to bolster enforcement of existing rules and cover new technologies, such as the Internet and biotechnology. Developing countries, despite wider recognition of the importance of IPR to fuel innovation and investment, are reluctant to go beyond existing trade and IPR treaties and face the need to build enforcement capacity. Certain issues within the negotiations, such as compulsory licensing and the patenting of plants, animals, and biological processes, may also prove controversial." See also, report at pages 58-64.
Electronic Commerce. The report states that "Because fostering a supportive environment and maintaining a liberal trading regime for e-commerce are goals of FTAA nations, they have created a forum to share information. E-commerce issues also arise in several areas of the FTAA negotiations, such as the exchange of goods and services and the protection of intellectual property. The FTAA could result in commitments that provide a more open and predictable environment for this promising technology." See also, report at pages 82-84.
More Intel Via Patent Infringement Suits Filed
9/26. Intel announced that it filed four patent infringement lawsuits in Germany, the United Kingdom, and Hong Kong against Via Technologies and others. Intel alleges that "Via's C3 Microprocessors and P4X266 chipsets infringe on eight Intel patents." Intel's complaint filed in Germany alleges that the P4X266 chipset infringes on European patent EP 0 694 849 and German patent DE 195 80 990. One Intel complaint filed in the United Kingdom alleges that Via's P4X266 chipset infringes on U.K. patent 2 287 162B and European patent 694 849 B1. Another Intel complaint filed in the United Kingdom alleges that Via's C3 microprocessor infringes U.K. patent 2 230 118, U.K. patent 2 261 753 and U.K. patent 2 326 494. Finally, Intel's complaint filed in Hong Kong alleges that Via's C3 microprocessor infringes Hong Kong patent 931073, Hong Kong patent 1006754 and Hong Kong patent 1016711. See, Intel release.
Thursday, Sept 27
Yom Kippur. The Senate will not be in session. There will be no votes in the House.
Deadline to submit reply comments to the FCC in response to its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) regarding implementation of the local competition provisions of the Telecom Act of 1996. This NPRM invites parties to update and refresh the record on issues pertaining to the rules the FCC adopted in the First Report and Order in CC Docket No. 96-98. See, notice in Federal Register, August 13, 2001, Vol. 66, No. 156, at Page 42499.
Deadline to submit comments to the USPTO on issues associated with the development of a plan to remove the patent and trademark classified paper files from the USPTO's public search libraries. See, notice in Federal Register, August 27, 2001, Vol. 66, No. 166, at Pages 45012 - 45014.
Deadline to submit comments to the Copyright Office (CO) on proposed amendments to the regulations governing the content and service of certain notices on the copyright owner of a musical work. The notice is served or filed by a person who intends to use the work to make and distribute phonorecords, including by means of digital phonorecord deliveries, under a compulsory license, pursuant to 17 U.S.C. 115. See, notice in Federal Register, August 28, 2001, Vol. 66, No. 167, Page 45241 - 45245.
5:30 PM. Guy Verhofstadt (Prime Minister of Belgium and President of the European Council) and Romano Prodi (President of the European Commission and former Prime Minister of Italy) will speak on "E.U. U.S. Cooperation in Fighting Terrorism." Location: Murrow Room, National Press Club, 529 14th St. NW, 13th Floor, Washington DC.
Friday, Sept 28
There will be no votes in the House. The Senate will meet in pro forma session.
CANCELLED. 10:00 AM - 12:00 NOON. The FCC's WRC-03 Advisory Committee will hold a meeting to continue preparations for the 2003 World Radiocommunication Conference. Location: Federal Communications Commission, 445 12th Street, SW, Room TW-C305, Washington DC. See, notice in Federal Register, September 7, 2001, Vol. 66, No. 174, at Pages 46793 - 46794.
Extended deadline for submitting comments and notices of intent to participate in a copyright arbitration royalty panel proceeding to the Copyright Office regarding its proposed regulations that will govern the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) collective when it functions as the designated agent receiving royalty payments and statements of accounts from nonexempt, subscription digital transmission services which make digital transmissions of sound recordings, pursuant to 17 U.S.C. 114. See, notice [PDF] in Federal Register, September 21, 2001, Vol. 66, No. 184, at page 48648.
Deadline to submit rebuttal comments to the USTR in its investigation of the intellectual property laws and practices of the government of Ukraine. See, notice in Federal Register, September 24, 2001, Vol. 66, No. 185, at Page 48898. Location: Office of the USTR, 1724 F Street, NW, Rooms 1 and 2, Washington DC.
Monday, Oct 1
9:30 AM. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit will hear oral argument in AT&T Wireless Services v. FCC, No. 00-1304. Judges Edwards, Rogers and Tatel will preside. Location: 333 Constitution Ave., NW, Washington DC.
2:00 PM. Timothy Muris, Chairman of the FTC, and lawyers and investigations from FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection will hold a press conference to announce an Internet fraud enforcement initiative. Location: FTC Internet lab, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington DC.
More News
9/26. The NTIA published a notice of vacancy for the position of Associate Administrator for International Affairs. This position is responsible for the development and management of the NTIA's international telecommunications and information policy. The job pays $120,261 to $133,700.
9/26. The FTC announced that it settled a civil lawsuit that it filed in U.S. District Court (DAriz) against RJB Telecom and its principals for illegally billing consumers' credits cards and phone bills for access to their pormographic web sites. The settlement agreement bars deceptive billing practices in the future, requires e-mail confirmation of membership requests and prompt refunds of improperly billed charges, and the establishment of a $250,000 escrow fund, to be forfeited if the settlement agreement is violated. See, FTC release.
9/25. WorldCom announced that it received approval from the U.S. Bankruptcy Court (SDNY) to acquire DSL assets of Rhythms. See, WC release.
9/26. Exodus Communications filed a Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court (DDel). See, Exodus release.