|Identity Theft is Most
Common Consumer Complaint to FTC
|1/23. The Federal Trade
Commission (FTC) published data on consumer complaints in
2001. It received 204,000 complaints. Of these, the largest
number (86,168, or 42% of all complaints) pertained to
identity theft. Complaints pertaining to Internet auctions
came in a distant second, at 10% of all complaints. In third
place, 7% pertained to Internet services and computers.
In a state by state breakdown, the state or district with the
highest per capita identity fraud rate was the District of
Columbia (76.7 per 100,00), followed by California (44.6 per
100,000). The most common use of personal information was
credit card fraud (42%), followed by phone or utilities fraud
(20%), and then by bank fraud (13%). See, FTC release.
|US Imposes Tariffs on
Ukrainian Exports for IPR Violations
|1/23. The U.S. announced that it is placing prohibitive
tariffs on Ukrainian exports "because of the continued
failure of the Ukrainian Parliament to enact legislation
cracking down on sound recording and optical media piracy. The
sanctions, which will require the payment of 100 percent
duties on imports of Ukrainian metals, footwear, and other
products, will offset U.S. government estimates of the amount
of annual damages to the U.S. economy caused by the piracy of
optical media (CDs, CD-ROMs, DVDs, etc.)."
U.S. Trade Representative Robert Zoellick stated in a release
that "Today's action highlights that the United States
will move forcefully to protect its rights when our trading
partners do not live up to their commitments".
|Sen. Grassley Calls for
February Vote on TPA
|1/23. Sen. Charles
Grassley (R-IA), the ranking Republican on the Senate Finance
Committee, spoke in the Senate in support of quick passage
of trade promotion authority (also know as TPA, or fast
track). He stated that "Trade Promotion Authority for the
President is not only key to our economic recovery. It is also
an important tool which helps us help other nations in the
world, especially poorer countries. Trade creates jobs."
He added that "The bill has strong bipartisan support. It
will pass the Senate by a strong margin. That is why I am
urging the majority leader to put TPA on the floor for a vote
by the end of February."
|Bush Wants Soldiers to Have
High Tech Equipment
|1/23. President Bush gave a speech
to the Reserve Officers Association in Washington DC in which
he said that his proposed FY 2003 budget calls for a large
increase in military spending. He stated that "My '03
budget calls for more than $48 billion in new defense
spending. This will be the largest increase in defense
spending in the last 20 years, and it includes another pay
raise for the men and women who wear the uniform." He
also stated that "We will invest in more precision
weapons, in missile defenses, in unmanned vehicles, in
high-tech equipment for soldiers on the ground."
|FBI Wants to Hire Special
Agents with IT Skills
|1/23. The FBI announced
that it "plans to hire approximately 900 Special Agents (SAs)
before September 30, 2002 and is focusing its recruitment
efforts on identifying candidates for the Special Agent
position who possess certain critical skills which are deemed
essential to address our increasingly complex
responsibilities." The first item on the FBI's list of
skills is "Computer Science and other Information
Technology specialities". See, FBI
|1/23. The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural
Utilities Service published a notice
in the Federal Register regarding the availability of $80
Million in loans in the Broadband Pilot Loan Program for FY
2002. This loan program exists to finance the construction of
facilities and systems providing broadband transmission
service to rural consumers. See, Federal Register, January 23,
2002, Vol. 67, No. 15, at Pages 3140 - 3143.
1/23. World Trade Organization
(WTO) Director General Mike Moore gave a speech
in Strasbourg, France, in which he addressed the recent
meeting in Doha and the new round of trade negotiations.
|NTIA Chief Addresses
Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA)
chief Nancy Victory gave a speech
titled "The New Medium for a New Media?" at the
Broadband Outlook 2002 Conference in Washington DC. She stated
that the administration does not yet have a broadband policy.
However, she offered some broad principles.
She stated that the government should facilitate the
deployment of broadband, but that "wherever possible, the
market, not government, should drive this deployment."
She also said that "as we saw on September 11th, there
are network reliability and security advantages to having a
diversity of facilities based competitors." She also said
that government should promote a "technology neutral
paradigm", and that "the market might not always
work as well or at the same pace in all areas, particularly in
rural and certain urban areas."
|Treasury Secretary O'Neill
Addresses Japanese Economy and Communications
|1/23. Treasury Secretary Paul
O'Neill gave a speech
in Tokyo, Japan, in which he advocated pro competitive
reforms. He said that "Japan has tremendous resources in
the diligence of its workforce and the competitiveness of the
best of its firms", but that every country "goes
through periods where decisive economic adjustments and
changes in policy are required."
He stated that "I would also like to discuss the
introduction of true price competition throughout Japanese
industry. While Japan's best firms face price competition on a
daily basis -- both at home and abroad -- in significant parts
of the Japanese economy there are firms that owe their
survival less to the creation of real economic value than to
barriers and regulation. Increased price competition through
deregulation and structural reform can lead to adjustments and
some dislocation. However, it also creates economic
opportunities and activity that will lead to a new entry by
both domestic and foreign firms, increased employment, renewed
growth, and a secure future."
He cited mobile communications as an example. "The
telecommunications industry is a clear example of the benefits
that opening up new markets to competition can bring. Freeing
up entry and price competition in mobile telephone services
led to a rush of investment in base station and antenna
facilities, and to a skyrocketing number of cellular telephone
subscribers. And, as a result of the opportunities created and
the new competition introduced, NTT DoCoMo is now a world
leader in mobile communications innovation."
|People and Appointments
|1/23. President Bush nominated 24 people to be U.S. District
Court Judges. See, White
1/22. Phil Bond, who is currently Undersecretary for
Technology at the Department of
Commerce (DOC), will also assume the role of Chief of
Staff. He will replace Laurie Fenton. Prior to his
appointment to the DOC, he directed federal public policy at Hewlett Packard; he also was an
SVP for Government Affairs and Treasurer of the Information
Technology Industry Council (ITIC). He has also worked as
Chief of Staff to Rep.
Jennifer Dunn (R-WA), and as Deputy Assistant Secretary of
Defense for Legislative Affairs for then Secretary of Defense
Dick Cheney. See, DOC
release and Technology
Administration web site.
1/23. Linda Thomsen was named Deputy Director of the Securities and Exchange Commission's
Division of Enforcement. She has worked at the SEC since 1995.
Before that, she worked at the law firm of Davis Polk & Wardwell. See,
1/23. Pepper English, BellSouth's Vice
President Congressional Relations, was named to the Democratic
National Committee's 2004 Site Selection Advisory Committee.
|About Tech Law Journal
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|Thursday, Jan 24
|The House will meet at 10:00 AM to take up HR 1762, a
bill to amend the Higher Education Act.
9:30 AM. The House
Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Oversight and
Investigations will hold a hearing the destruction of Enron
related documents by Anderson personnel. Location: Room 2322,
11:00 AM. The Cato Institute
will host a panel discussion titled "Eye in the Sky --
and Everywhere Else: Do Biometric Technologies Violate Our
Rights?" The speakers will be Joseph Atick (Visionics
Corp.), Marc Rotenberg (EPIC),
Dorothy Denning (Georgetown University), and John Woodward
(RAND). A lunch will follow the program. Location: Cato
Institute, 1000 Massachusetts Avenue, NW.
12:15 PM. The FCBA's
Mass Media Committee will host a brown bag lunch. The speakers
will be David Solomon, Chief of the FCC's Enforcement
Bureau, and Linda Blair, Deputy Chief of the FCC's
Enforcement Bureau. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Location: NPR, 635
Massachusetts, Ave., NW, 1st Floor.
12:30 PM. The Computer Systems
Policy Project (CSPP) will hold a press conference to
outline its specific recommendations to policymakers and
release a report titled "Building the Foundation of the
Networked World: A Vision for 21st Century Wired and Wireless
Broadband". Michael Dell (Dell), Craig Barrett (Intel),
Christopher Galvin (Motorola), Lou Gerstner (IBM), Lars Nyberg
(NCR), and Larry Weinbach (Unisys) are scheduled to appear.
release. Location: First Amendment Room, National Press Club, 529 14th
St. NW, 13th Floor.
2:00 PM. The Senate
Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on judicial
nominations. Sen. Maria
Cantwell (D-WA) will preside. The list of nominees include
Richard Leon, who has been nominated for the U.S. District
Court for the District of Columbia. Location: Room 226,
|Friday, Jan 25
|The House will meet at 10:00 AM in pro forma session only.
9:30 AM - 1:00 PM. The National
Coalition for Technology in Education and Training (NCTET)
will host an event titled "Measuring the Impact: A
National Summit on Education Technology". This is an
invitation only event. For more information, contact Brenda
Kempster at 760-674-8919 or Brenda@kempstergroup.com.
Location: U.S. Chamber of Commerce, 1615 H Street, NW.
|Monday, Jan 28
|Day one of the COMNET Conference & Expo. Location:
8:30 - 10:00 AM. The American
Enterprise Institute (AEI) will host a press breakfast.
AEI scholars will provide as well a retrospective on the first
six years under the Telecommunications Act of 1996. RSVP to
Veronique Rodman at 202 862-4871 or email@example.com. Location:
AEI, 1150 17th Street, NW, 11th Floor, Conference Room.
12:00 NOON. Deadline to submit comments to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR)
regarding the operation and effectiveness of the World Trade Organization (WTO)
Basic Telecommunications Agreement, the telecommunications
provisions of the NAFTA, and other telecommunications trade
agreements. This request for comments is pursuant to an annual
review of telecom agreements required by Section 1377. See, notice
in the Federal Register.
|Tuesday, Jan 29
|Day two of the COMNET Conference & Expo. Location:
President Bush will deliver the State of the Union Address
to a joint session of the Congress.
|Wednesday, Jan 30
|Day three of the COMNET Conference & Expo. Location:
8:45 AM - 3:45 PM. The NIST
Advanced Technology Program Advisory Committee will hold a
partially closed meeting. See, notice
in Federal Register, January 15, 2002, Vol. 67, No. 10, at
Page 1967. Location: NIST, Administration Building, Employees'
Lounge, Gaithersburg, MD.
POSTPONED TO FEB 6.
AM - 12:00 NOON. The FCC's Advisory Committee for the 2003
World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-03) will meet.
Location: FCC, 445 12th Street, SW, Room TWC305 (Commission
Meeting Room). See, FCC
notice of postponement [PDF].
12:15 PM. The Federal
Communications Bar Association's Cable Practice Committee
will host a luncheon. The speaker will be Stacy Robinson,
Mass Media Legal Advisor to FCC Commissioner Kathleen
Abernathy. The price to attend is $15. RSVP to Wendy
Parish at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Location: National Cable & Internet Association, 1724
Massachusetts Ave., NW.