Tech Law Journal Daily E-Mail Alert
January 16, 2002, 9:00 AM ET, Alert No. 347.
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TechNet Makes Broadband Policy Recommendations
1/15. The Technology Network (TechNet) released a document [PDF] titled "A National Imperative: Universal Availability of Broadband by 2010" in which it calls on policy makers to "make broadband a national priority and to set a goal of making an affordable 100 megabits per second broadband connection available to 100 million American homes and small businesses by 2010." The report also lists numerous policy recommendations.
SEC Fines BellSouth
1/15. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed a civil complaint in U.S. District Court (NDGa) against Bellsouth alleging violations of federal securities laws. The SEC also instituted a related administrative proceeding against BellSouth. Both proceedings pertain to BellSouth's actions and omissions relating to its Latin American subsidiaries in Venezuela (Telcel) and Nicaragua (Telefonia Celular de Nicaragua). See also, SEC litigation release and order instituting administrative proceeding.
The SEC found in its order that BellSouth violated  13(b)(2)(A) and 13(b)(2)(B) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. It further ordered BellSouth to cease and desist from committing any further violations. These sections are the "books and records" and "internal controls" provisions, respectively, of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). The SEC found that "Telcel created false books and records by improperly recording the falsely documented, unsubstantiated payments to the offshore companies as bona fide services. In addition, Telcel's internal controls failed to detect the unsubstantiated payments for a period of at least two years."
The SEC also found that Telefonia created false books and records by improperly recording payments to the wife of a Nicaraguan legislator as "consulting services".
BellSouth consented to the entry of this cease and desist order. It also consented to entry of judgment in the court proceeding directing it to pay a $150,000 civil penalty.
FCC Sets Comment Deadlines in Rule Making Proceedings
1/15. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) published a notice in the Federal Register in which it set deadlines for public comments in response to its notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) regarding the appropriate regulatory requirements for incumbent local exchange carriers' (ILECs') provision of broadband telecommunications services. The FCC adopted this NPRM at its December 12 meeting. Comments are due March 1, 2002; and reply comments are due April 1, 2002. This is CC Docket No. 01-337. See, Federal Register, January 15, 2002, Vol. 67, No. 10, at Pages 1945 - 1947.
1/15. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) published a notice in the Federal Register in which it set deadlines for public comments in response to its notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) regarding its unbundling analysis under  251 of the Communications Act and the identification of specific unbundling requirements for incumbent local exchange carriers (ILECs). The FCC adopted this NPRM at its December 12 meeting. Comments are due March 18, 2002; reply comments are due April 30, 2002. This is CC Docket No. 01-338. See, Federal Register, January 15, 2002, Vol. 67, No. 10, at Page 1947 - 1953.
EPIC Files FOIA Suit Seeking LEAs' Records Re Purchase of Personal Data
1/15. The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) filed a complaint in U.S. District Court (DC) against the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Department of the Treasury (DOT) alleging violation of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552. The complaint alleges that the EPIC submitted FOIA requests for records pertaining to the purchase of personal information from the private sector by law enforcement agencies that are a part of the DOJ or DOT, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The complaint further alleges that the DOJ and DOT failed to respond fully to the FOIA requests. The EPIC seeks an order directing the DOJ and DOT to disclose the requested records in their entireties.
The complaint references an article in the Wall Street Journal reporting that federal law enforcement agency "employees had electronic access to citizens' assets, phone numbers, driving records, and other personal information from their desktop computers."
The complaint further states that "The use of private sector databases of personal information enables the government to obtain detailed information on citizens while avoiding the creation of files that would implicate protections provided under the Privacy Act ..." See, 5 U.S.C. 552a.
The EPIC seeks to compel the various law enforcement agencies that are a part of the DOJ and DOT to produce "all records relating to transactions, communications, and contracts concerning businesses that sell individuals' personal information."
Chris Hoofnagle, who is listed as lead counsel for the EPIC in the complaint, stated in a release that "Through the mining of public records and the purchase of credit reporting data, private sector companies are amassing troves of personal information on citizens for the government ... Serious questions exist involving citizen access to profiles, their accuracy, and the potential for misuse of personal information."
Internet Securities Fraud
1/14. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed a civil complaint in U.S. District Court (SDCal) against three individuals and four related entities alleging violation of  17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933,  10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5 thereunder. The complaint alleges that the defendants engaged in an Internet based "pump and dump" scheme. The complaint alleges that defendants acquired stocks, touted them in a web site named Red Hot Stocks, and then sold them. See, SEC release.
More News
1/15. President Bush gave a speech in New Orleans, Louisiana, in which he advocated passage of legislation giving the President trade promotion authority, also known as fast track authority.
1/15. The Communications for Coordinated Assistance and Response to Emergencies Alliance (Comcare) released a report titled "The E-Safety Program To Make Americans Safer". See also, executive summary. The report offers a set of policy recommendations for improving emergency communications. It recommends more wireless and wireline capacity; continued deployment of E-911 service, and its extension to automobiles; and federal funding for training, education, and research. It also recommends that "first responders and their supporting agencies could be connected to each other through a national emergency electronic registry, data sharing systems, mapping, and other applications that could send real time emergency information to and from multiple agencies."
Wednesday, Jan 16
8:30 AM - 5:00 PM. The North American Numbering Council (NANC) may continue its meeting of January 15, if necessary. Location: FCC, 445 12th Street, SW, Room TW-C305 (Commission Meeting Room).
11:00 AM. The Cato Institute will host a panel discussion titled "Closing 'Windows' on Antitrust or Opening a New Era of Intervention? Competition Policy after the Microsoft Settlement". The participants will be Jeffrey Eisenach (Progress and Freedom Foundation), Robert Levy (Cato), Kenneth Starr (Kirkland & Ellis), Jonathan Zuck (Association for Competitive Technology), and James Miller (Citizens for a Sound Economy). A luncheon will follow. See, online registration page. Location: Cato Institute, 1000 Massachusetts Avenue, NW.
Thursday, Jan 17
9:30 AM. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will hold a meeting that will focus on a review of FCC policies and procedures by the Commissioners and senior agency officials. There will be three panel presentations. Panel One will include Chiefs of the Mass Media Bureau, Cable Service Bureau and Common Carrier Bureau. Panel Two will include the Chiefs of the Consumer Information Bureau and the Enforcement Bureau. Panel Three will include the Chiefs of the Office of Engineering and Technology, the International Bureau, and the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau. See, FCC release. Location: FCC, Commission Meeting Room (Room TW-C305), 445 12th Street, SW.
7:00 PM. Jim Dempsey (Deputy Director of the CDT) and David Cole (Georgetown law school) will discuss the newly revised and expanded edition of their book titled "Terrorism and the Constitution: Sacrificing Civil Liberties in the Name of National Security". See, Amazon listing. Location: Politics and Prose Bookstore, 5015 Connecticut Ave., NW. (This is at the corner of Connecticut and Nebraska. It is one mile north of the Van Ness Metro stop.)
Monday, Jan 21
Martin Luther King Day. The FCC and other federal offices will be closed.
Tuesday, Jan 22
12:15 PM. The Federal Communications Bar Association's Common Carrier Practice Committee will host a brown bag lunch. The speaker will be Dorothy Attwood, Bureau Chief of the FCC's Common Carrier Bureau. RSVP to Rhe Brighthaupt rbrighth@wrf.com. Location: Wiley Rein & Fielding, 1750 K St., NW, 10th Floor Conference Room.
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