|FTC Chairman Opposes
|10/4. Timothy Muris, Chairman of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC),
gave a speech
titled "Protecting Consumers' Privacy: 2002 and
Beyond" at the Privacy 2001 Conference in Cleveland,
Ohio. He stated that "We plan to increase resources
devoted to protecting privacy by 50 percent". He also
said that he opposes new privacy legislation at this time. He
was silent on pending spam bills.
Privacy Legislation. Muris stated that "I have
learned that there are clearly good arguments for such
legislation: online privacy legislation could increase
consumer confidence in the Internet by establishing a clear
set of rules about how personal information is collected and
used. Moreover, federal legislation could help ensure
consistent regulation of collection practices across the 50
states. These are desirable goals. Nevertheless, it is too
soon to conclude that we can fashion workable legislation to
accomplish these goals."
Muris elaborated three reasons for opposing legislation.
First, he stated that the "recent experience with Gramm
Leach Bliley privacy notices should give everyone pause about
whether we know enough to implement effectively broad based
legislation based on notices. Acres of trees died to produce a
blizzard of barely comprehensible privacy notices. Indeed,
this is a statute that only lawyers could love -- until they
found out it applied to them."
He also stated that he is concerned that pending legislation
addresses only online privacy, and not privacy generally. He
also said that "the slowing of the growth of the Internet
emphasizes the need to understand the cost of online privacy
Enforcement of Privacy Policies. Muris stated that the
FTC would continue to encourage businesses to adopt privacy
policies, and to bring enforcement actions against those which
violate their policies. He added that "Privacy promises
made offline should be held to the same standard."
Muris also suggested how the FTC would catch violators.
"We will seed lists with names to ensure that
restrictions on disclosures to third parties are honored. We
will also work with seal programs and others to get referrals
of possible privacy violations."
Spam. Muris addressed unsolicited e-mail. He stated
that "We will also heighten our attack on deceptive spam.
It is the bane of cyberspace. Unsolicited messages from
legitimate businesses may be annoying, but most businesses
stop before they alienate their customers. Fraudulent spammers
have no such incentive and promote shifty schemes like chain
letters, pyramid schemes, and other forms of deceptive,
"get rich quick" frauds." However, he took no
position on any anti-spam legislation pending in the Congress.
Nor did he state that the FTC would initiate any rule making
He also addressed identity theft, pretexting (obtaining
personal financial information by fraud), enforcement of the
Fair Credit Reporting Act, and the Telemarketing Sales Rule.
Industry Reaction. Industry groups expressed support
for Muris' statement. Jonathan Zuck, of the Association for Competitive
Technology, praised the speech: "Chairman Muris is
obviously aware of the problems inherent in most privacy bills
floating around Capitol Hill. Generally, they concentrate on
regulating new technologies instead of protecting sensitive
information regardless of how it was collected. The result is
anti technology rather than pro privacy policies that are
ineffective and unfairly burden small online companies.
Additionally, the pace of technological change makes any
attempt to legislatively address specific aspects of
technology extremely difficult and potentially very costly for
the industry. The new direction of the FTC is exactly what ACT
and the American people have been advocating." See also,
US Chamber of Commerce release.
|Senate Committee Holds
Hearing on Information Infrastructure Protection
|10/4. The Senate
Governmental Affairs Committee held another hearings on
the security of critical governmental infrastructure.
It also held a hearing on September 12, 2001. See, prepared
statements of witnesses: Ronald
Dick (FBI's National Infrastructure Protection Center), Sally
McDonald (GSA's Federal Computer Incident Response
Tritak (BXA's Critical Infrastructure Assurance Office), Frank
Cilluffo (Center for Strategic and International Studies),
Nacchio (Qwest Communications), and Kenneth
Watson (Partnership for Critical Infrastructure Protection
2981, a bill to establish a 2 year recovery period for
depreciation of computers and other technological equipment, a
24 month useful life for depreciation of computer software,
and a 7 year useful life for depreciation of certain spectrum
licenses, 10/2 (HTML, LibCong).
2975, the PATRIOT Act, 10/2 (HTML, LibCong). This version
of the bill does not include amendments adopted by the House
Judiciary Committee on October 3.
Supports Privacy Legislation
|FTC Chairman Timothy Muris also stated in his speech
on privacy that the views which he expressed "are those
of the Chairman, and do not necessarily reflect the views of
the Commission or of any other Commissioner." FTC
Commissioner Sheila Anthony, a Democrat appointed by former
President Clinton, issued a response
stating her contrary views.
Anthony wrote, in full, that: "I support the Chairman's
plans to expand the Commission’s privacy agenda in the
commercial arena, but I do not believe that he has made the
case for the Commission to depart from its earlier legislative
recommendation. Although some companies have made a good faith
effort, the private sector, as a whole, continues to fail to
effectively self regulate. Absent federal legislation that
sets standards to be followed by everyone, it is unlikely that
consumers' privacy can be adequately protected from identity
theft, commercial harassment, and hucksterism."
|7th Circuit Rules in Lanham
|10/4. The U.S.
Court of Appeals (7thCir) issued its opinion
Salon v. Bliss World, a Lanham Act case. Bliss
Salon has operated a single beauty salon in northwest Chicago
for over twenty years; it never registered a mark. Bliss World
is a newer New York based chain that operates spas and sells
products. It registered its mark in 1997. Bliss Salon (the
Chicago shop) filed a complaint in U.S.
District Court (NDIll) against Bliss World (the chain)
under § 43(a)(1)(A) of the Lanham Act, 15
U.S.C. § 1125(a)(1)(A), seeking an injunction that would
forbid Bliss World from operating within 100 miles of Chicago.
The District denied the request for an injunction. The Appeals
Court affirmed, on the grounds that there is no likelihood of
confusion. It called the 100 mile request an "outlandish
demand" for a single beauty parlor. It also noted that
Bliss Salon had engaged in cyber squatting on Bliss
World's marks. Hence, if there were any likelihood of
confusion, it would have resulted from Bliss Salon's conduct.
|10/4. The Computer and
Communications Industry Association (CCIA) wrote a letter
[PDF] to Sen. Judd Gregg
(R-NH) and Congressional leaders in which it expressed
"serious concern with your proposal to roll back
important reforms in U.S. encryption policy, and implement
unprecedented government controls on technology and computer
The CCIA also stated that "Government controls on
encryption and mandatory key escrow would do very little to
prevent terrorism or protect our national security, and there
is no evidence that your proposal would have even a negligible
impact in anti-terrorism efforts. Furthermore, this
legislation would be extremely counterproductive to our
industry's efforts to promote a healthy, competitive, global
economy as well as ensuring secure, authenticated, trusted
communications and digital asset protection in the global
|9th Circuit Affirms in
Humetrix v. Gemplus
|10/4. The U.S.
Court of Appeals (9thCir) issued its opinion
v. Gemplus, a contract and Lanham Act case
relating to smart card technology. Humetrix, an American
health care consulting company, filed a complaint against Gemplus, a French smart
card technology company, in U.S. District Court (SDCal)
alleging breach of contract and breach of its fiduciary duty
as Humetrix's partner. Humetrix also sued Guy Guistini, a
Gemplus employee, for intentional interference with
contractual relations. It also sued Inovaction, a French
company holding the French trademark for "Vaccicard",
seeking a declaration that Humetrix was entitled to use the
"Vaccicard" trademark in the U.S. The jury awarded
Humetrix $15 Million in damages and declared that Humetrix was
entitled to use the trademark "Vaccicard" in the
U.S. The Court of Appeals affirmed.
|10/4. October 4 was the deadline to submit reply comments to
the FCC regarding SBC's Section 271 application
to provide interLATA service in the states of Arkansas and
Missouri. See, FCC
notice [PDF] and reply
comment [PDF] submitted by Sage Communications. (CC Docket
10/4. The Senate
Judiciary Committee postponed its executive business
meeting which had previously been scheduled for October 4.
10/4. The Mississippi
Public Service Commission (MPSC) endorsed BellSouth's Section 271
application to provide interLATA service in Mississippi.
BellSouth now plans to file its long distance application for
Mississippi with the FCC.
10/4. California Gov. Gray Davis announced the appointment of Susan
Breall as a judge of the San Francisco County Superior
Court. She has been with the San Francisco District Attorney's
office since 1984.
10/4. California Gov. Gray Davis signed Assembly
Bill 245, an identity theft bill sponsored by
Assembly member Mark Wyland (R-Del Mar). It broadens the
definition of identity theft to include using lawfully gained
information in an illegal manner.
|Friday, Oct 5
|9:30 AM. There will be a press briefing on possible remedies
in the Microsoft antitrust case. For more information, contact
Bert Foer, American
Antitrust Institute, 202-244-9800 or email.
Location: West Room, National
Press Club, 529 14th St. NW, 13th Floor, Washington DC.
10:00 AM. The House
Government Reform Committee's Subcommittee on Government
Efficiency, Financial Management, and Intergovernmental
Affairs will hold a hearing titled "Information
Technology -- Essential Yet Vulnerable: How Prepared Are We
for Attack?" Location: Room 2154, Rayburn Building.
12:15 PM. The Federal
Communications Bar Association's (FCBA) Wireless
Telecommunications Practice Committee will host a lunch. The
speakers will be Kathleen Ham and Jim Schlichting,
Deputy Chiefs of the FCC's Wireless
Telecommunications Bureau. The price to attend is $15.
Register with email@example.com
by 5:00 PM on October 2. Location: Sidley & Austin, 1501 K
Street, NW Conference Room 6-E, Washington DC.
6:30 PM. FTC Commissioner Mozelle Thompson will deliver the
pre dinner address titled "Competition and Antitrust
Policy" before the Economic Strategy Institute's Global
Forum 2001 Technology Summit. Location: Mayflower Hotel,
Second day one of a two day conference hosted by the
Department of Commerce's Bureau
of Export Administration on export control law. This is
the 14th annual east coast "Update Conference on Export
Controls and Policy." It will cover U.S. export control
policies, regulations, and procedures through a wide array of
plenary sessions and workshops. The price is $595. See, BXA's
web page on the conference. Location: Hilton Washington
Hotel, Washington DC.
Deadline to submit reply comments to the FCC in
response to its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) regarding
the concept of a unified intercarrier compensation regime,
including reciprocal compensation, and alternative approaches
such as "bill and keep." See, notice
in Federal Register, May 23, 2001, Vol. 66, No. 100, at Pages
28410 - 28418.
Deadline to submit comments to the USPTO regarding
its notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) pertaining to
requirements for claiming the benefit of prior filed
applications under 18 month publication of patent
applications. See notice,
Federal Register, September 5, 2001, Vol. 66, No. 172, at
Pages 46409 - 46415.
|Monday, Oct 8
Day one of a two day seminar offered by the Federal Communications Bar
Association (FCBA) on communications law. See, agenda [PDF].
Location: Georgetown University Law Center, 600 New Jersey
Avenue, NW, Washington DC.
|Tuesday, Oct 9
|2:30 PM. The Senate
Commerce Committee will hold a hearing on the nomination
of John Marburger to be Director of the Office of
Science and Technology Policy, and the nomination of Phillip
Bond to be Under Secretary of Commerce for Technology.
Location: Room 253, Russell Building.
Day two of a two day seminar offered by the Federal Communications Bar
Association (FCBA) on communications law. See, agenda [PDF].
University Law Center, 600 New Jersey Avenue, NW,
Deadline to file reply comments with the FCC in its
third inquiry into whether advanced telecommunications
capability is being deployed to all Americans in a reasonable
and timely fashion, pursuant to Section
706 of the Telecom Act of 1996. This notice of inquiry was
adopted by the FCC at its August 9, 2001, meeting. See, Aug.
9 FCC release. See also, notice
in Federal Register, August 24, 2001, Vol. 66, No. 165, at
Page 44636. (CC Docket No. 98-146.)
|TIA Wants National
|10/4. The Telecommunications
Industry Association (TIA) wrote a letter
[PDF] to President Bush urging the "development of a
national broadband policy and implementation strategy."
The TIA stated that such policy should include tax credits for
investing in broadband services, more spectrum for Third
Generation (3G) wireless services, and various changes to FCC
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