|Tech CEOs Advocate Federal
|1/24. CEOs of major technology companies traveled to
Washington DC to ask policy makers to adopt a national
broadband policy. The group, which is organized as the Computer Systems Policy Project
(CSPP), includes Michael Dell (Dell), Craig Barrett (Intel),
Christopher Galvin (Motorola), Lou Gerstner (IBM), and Lars
The CSPP also held a press conference in Washington DC to
release a report titled Building
the Foundation of the Networked World [28 pages in PDF].
This report states that "The President and the
Administration should articulate by the end of 2002 a clear,
10-year vision for this nation's wired/wireless infrastructure
and adopt them as part of a national strategy for 21st century
economic development." It also states what the elements
of the national policy should be.
More Bandwidth. The report recommends that the national
policy should provide that "By year-end 2003, 80 percent
of U.S. homes should be able to get at least 1.5 Mbps capacity
and 50 percent of U.S. homes should be able to get 6 Mbps from
at least two providers." It also states that "by the
end of the decade 100 million homes and small businesses
should be able to get up to 100 Mbps affordable broadband
More Spectrum. The report states that the U.S.
government should "make available in the marketplace 120
MHz of spectrum by 2004, with another 80 MHz made available by
2010, to be harmonized with global spectrum use to the maximum
extent possible. In addition, the U.S. should implement a
process to make additional licensed and unlicensed spectrum
available beyond 2010 in a way that is consistent with an
effective, long term vision for its management.
Fewer Regulatory Barriers. The report states that
"Government at all levels should take steps to eliminate
barriers to widespread, advanced, wired and wireless broadband
Tax Incentives. The report states that "Congress
should adopt incentives such as a rural broadband tax credit
to increase investment in the infrastructure at all
levels." See, for example, S
88, the Broadband Internet Access Act of 2001.
More Research. The report also calls for more federal
research and development spending.
The report takes no position on many policy issues affecting
broadband deployment and adoption, such as the Tauzin Dingell
bill, and various proposals to modify copyright laws affecting
digital content. See also, CSPP
|SEC Chairman Pitt Addresses
Post Enron Disclosure System Reforms
Pitt, Chairman of the Securities
and Exchange Commission (SEC), gave a speech
to the 29th Annual Securities Regulation Institute in Denver,
Colorado, regarding post Enron reform. He addressed "how
we must improve our existing disclosure and financial
He stated that "the public can have full confidence that
Division will learn who bears responsibility for this
disaster and those who violated the laws we administer will be
He also stated that "There are many systemic problems
that need repair in the wake of Enron. In my view, these
include ... an outdated disclosure model that does not provide
timely disclosure when it is most needed, and focuses on
historical information while neglecting current and trend
information". He reviewed a number of possible changes to
the disclosure system, including "Making use of
technology to simplify disclosure documents".
|Deputy USTR Addresses
Telecom and IT Competition in Japan
|1/24. Jon Huntsman, Deputy United
States Trade Representative (USTR), gave a speech
at the Foreign Correspondents Club of Japan in Tokyo. He spoke
about "the business of putting sacred cows to pasture
through structural and regulatory reform".
He offered some telecom reform proposals: "Although Japan
has taken some important steps forward in this sector, we
still think more needs to be done to establish a genuinely
pro-competitive regime. One important proposal is to eliminate
and reduce the maze of filing and reporting requirements on
carriers that compete with NTT. Streamlining these
requirements would enable competitive carriers to respond to
market forces more quickly and lower their cost of doing
business in Japan. We are also looking forward to Japan's
vigorous enforcement of its dominant carrier regulation, which
is intended to prevent anti-competitive abuses by NTT. And we
are continuing to work with Japan to reduce interconnection
rates to competitive levels."
Huntsman praised the beneficial effects of telecom
deregulation in the U.S. "Take, for example, what
happened in the wake of telecom deregulation in the United
States. Information technology (IT) grew from 4 to 8 percent
of the economy between 1977 and 1998. Long distance telephone
traffic more than doubled between 1988 and 1998. Competitive
local carriers invested over $50 billion in the U.S. between
1996 and 2001 and their revenues increased from $3 billion to
about $10 billion. Who could have imagined you could get so
much vitality and growth out of a previously monopolized
He also stated that "We are therefore working with Japan
to promote the use of e-commerce in the private sector, expand
and accelerate e-government initiatives that would make
business transactions with the Japanese Government more
efficient and less costly, and protect intellectual property
rights in the digital age. This would include the
implementation of a well-balanced ISP (Internet Service
Provider) liability law, which would in turn spur the
development of innovative products for Japan's software
He continued that "We welcome Japan's ambitious goal of
constructing one of the world's most advanced
telecommunications network infrastructures by 2005,
particularly given the multiplier effect growth in this sector
can have on stimulating investment, efficiency, and
productivity throughout the economy."
|Greenspan Testifies About
the Economy and Technology
|1/24. Alan Greenspan, Chairman of the Board of Governors of
the Federal Reserve
System, testified before the Senate Budget Committee.
He said that "The retrenchment in capital spending over
the past year was central to the sharp slowing we experienced
in overall activity. The steep rise in high tech spending that
occurred in the early post Y2K months was clearly not
sustainable. The demand for many of the newer technologies was
growing rapidly, but capacity was expanding even faster,
exerting severe pressure on prices and profits. New orders for
equipment and software hesitated in the middle of 2000 and
then fell sharply as firms re-evaluated their capital
However, he continued that "new technologies will present
ample opportunities to earn enhanced rates of return. Indeed,
reports from businesses around the country suggest that the
exploitation of available networking and other information
technologies was only partially completed when the cyclical
retrenchment of the past year began. Many business managers
are still of the view, according to a recent survey of
purchasing managers, that less than half of currently
available new, and presumably profitable, supply chain
technologies have been put into use. If the recent more
favorable economic developments continue and gather momentum,
uncertainties will diminish, risk premiums will fall, and the
pace of capital investment embodying these technologies will
increase. As we have witnessed so clearly in recent years, the
resulting enhanced growth of productivity will lift our
standard of living."
|Cato Panel Debates Facial
|1/24. The Cato Institute
hosted a panel discussion titled "Eye in the Sky -- and
Everywhere Else: Do Biometric Technologies Violate Our
Rights?" The speakers included John
Woodward, a Senior Policy Analyst for the Rand Corporation, and Marc
Rotenberg, the Executive Director of the Electronic Privacy Information
The debate focused on the use of facial recognition
technologies. Woodward stated that "there is no right to
privacy in the face you show in public". He pointed out
that neither the Supreme Court of the U.S., nor of any state,
has recognized such a privacy right. He added that "the
key to facial recognition is what goes in the database. ... I
think that is where you have to focus your regulatory
Rotenberg conceded that the courts have not found a privacy
right in facial features shown in public. However, he
continued that key issue is whether the government can compel
the revealing of one's identity when in public. He also stated
that "the most obvious database of facial images ... are
the two hundred million digitized photographs that sit in
department of motor vehicle agencies." He asked
rhetorically whether one has "any reason to believe that
those images won't be incorporated into that database."
Rotenberg also suggested that the U.S. Congress has a clear
obligation to legislate a framework for the regulation of the
use of facial recognition technology, much as it has long
regulated telephone wiretaps.
Woodward stated that September 11 was a watershed day for
facial recognition technology. He said that pre 9-11, the
prevailing view was "why do we really need this
technology?", and post 9-11, the prevailing view is
"why aren't we using this technology?"
|Judicial Nominee Discusses
Privacy and Electronic Court Records
|1/24. The Senate
Judiciary Committee held a hearing on several
non-controversial judicial nominations, including that of
Michael Melloy to be a judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for
the Eighth Circuit.
Melloy was appointed as a U.S. Bankruptcy Judge in 1986. He
was appointed to the U.S.
District Court for the Northern District of Iowa in 1992.
He is also Chairman of the Bankruptcy Administration Committee
of the Judicial Conference. In September 2001, the Judicial
Conference's Committee on Court Administration and Case
Management, with input from the Bankruptcy Administration
Committee, released its report
[PDF] titled "Report on Privacy and Public Access to
Electronic Case Files".
This report states that "documents in bankruptcy case
files should be made generally available electronically to the
same extent that they are available at the courthouse",
with the exception that certain personally identifying
information, such as social security numbers, dates of birth,
financial account numbers, and names of minor children, be
Sen. Maria Cantwell
(D-WA), who presided at the hearing, asked Melloy about
privacy. He stated that court documents can contain
"pretty sensitive information". He added that
"we have been concerned about identity theft that might
result from posting that type of information on the Internet.
And, we have take some measures to adjust those
Melloy's nomination is supported by both Sen. Charles Grassley
(R-IA) and Sen. Tom
Harkin (D-IA). He is likely to be confirmed with
|Bush Seeks More Funding for
Homeland Defense and Communications Compatibility
|1/24. President Bush gave a speech
to a gathering of mayors and county officials at the White
House. He stated that his FY 2003 budget "proposes
$3.5 billion in federal aid to state and local first
responders. That is a thousand percent increase over what our
government has spent. It's necessary money. It's
part of the $38 billion budget I'm going to be asking for for
He added that "Part of our task is to recognize there's
36,000 local jurisdictions all around the country. ...
How do we make sure that the communications equipment and the
rescue equipment is compatible not only within a state but
|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.
3:00 PM. Procomp
will hold a press conference. For more information, contact
Paul Skowronek at 973-2913. Location: Murrow Room, National Press Club, 529 14th
St. NW, 13th Floor.
|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 a retrospective on the first six
years under the Telecom Act of 1996. RSVP to Veronique Rodman,
Director of Public Affairs, at 202 862-4871 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Location:
AEI, 1150 17th Street, NW, 11th Floor, Conference Room.
12:00 NOON. Deadline to submit comments to the Office of the USTR regarding
the operation and effectiveness of the WTO
Basic Telecommunications Agreement, the telecommunications
provisions of the North American Free Trade Agreement (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
|President Bush will deliver the State of the Union
Address to a joint session of the Congress.
Day two of the COMNET Conference & Expo. Location:
|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. Location: NIST, Administration Building,
Employees' Lounge, Gaithersburg, MD.
9:00 AM. The Global Business Dialogue will host a press
conference on the Foreign Sales Corporation (FSC) tax regime.
For more information, contact Judge Morris at 202 463-5075.
Location: First Amendment Room, National Press Club, 529 14th
St. NW, 13th Floor.
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), Washington DC. See, FCC
notice of postponement [PDF].
12:15 PM. The FCBA's
Cable Practice Committee will host a luncheon. The speaker
will be Stacy Robinson, Mass Media Legal Advisor to FCC
Abernathy. The price to attend is $15. RSVP to Wendy
Parish at email@example.com.
Location: National Cable & Internet Association, 1724
Massachusetts Ave., NW.
|Thursday, Jan 31
|12:30 PM. John Browne, the Director of the Los Alamos National Laboratories,
will speak at a luncheon. Location, Ballroom, National Press Club, 529 14th
St. NW, 13th Floor.
12:30 - 2:00 PM. The FCBA's
International Practice Committee will host a brown bag lunch
with FCC Commissioner Kathleen
Abernathy. Location: FCC, 445 12th St, SW, 8th Floor,
Conference Room 1.
7:00 - 8:00 PM. There will be a panel discussion titled
"The State of Online Journalism" featuring Rich
Jaroslovsky (Wall Street Journal) and Doug Feaver (Washington
Post). Location: National
Press Club, 529 14th St. NW, 13th Floor.
Chairman Thomas Wheeler wrote a letter
to FCC Chairman Michael Powell
opposing FCC mandated wireless number portability. He
stated that "The difficulty with the wireless number
portability regulation (which, as you know, was specifically
not required by Congress but imposed by the FCC) is how it
will force carriers to redirect spending that otherwise would
go to expanding consumer service. There is no cost-benefit
analysis to support a Commission action that forces carriers
to redirect scarce resources from system build outs and
expanded coverage to number portability that is neither
mandated by Congress, nor warranted by a lack of wireless
competition." (This is WT Docket No. 01-184.)
1/24. The SEC announced
that iCapital Markets LLC, formerly Datek Securities Corp.,
consented to pay a $6.3 Million penalty in connection with SEC
allegations of securities fraud and widespread violations of
the SEC's broker dealer books and records and reporting
provisions. See also, SEC release
and Datek web site.
1/24. Biogen announced
that "it has reached a settlement in its long standing
litigation with Berlex
Laboratories over a claim that the manufacture of AVONEX®
(Interferon beta-1a) infringes Berlex’s “McCormick”
patents." See, Biogen
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