|House Commerce Committee
Approves Bill to Delay Spectrum Auction
|5/2. The House
Commerce Committee approved HR 4560,
the Auction Reform Act of 2002, without amendment, by a voice
vote. This bill would eliminate the deadlines for spectrum
auctions of spectrum in the 700 megahertz band previously
allocated to television broadcasting. These are auctions 31
and 44 scheduled for June 19, 2002.
Secretary of Commerce Donald
Evans wrote a letter
to Rep. Billy Tauzin
(R-LA), the Chairman of the House Commerce Committee, on May 2
to again express his support for the bill. He wrote that
"I am writing to support legislation being considered by
the House Energy and Commerce Committee that would postpone
the Federal Communications Commission's auctions of spectrum
in the 700 MHz band. The Administration believes that, until
more certainty exists about the means for and timing of
clearing this spectrum, an auction of the Upper and Lower 700
MHz bands would be premature and contrary to the public
He added that "in late February, the Administration
transmitted to Congress proposed legislation that would, among
other things, postpone the statutory deadlines for the
auctions of spectrum currently assigned to television channels
60-69 (747-762 MHz and 777-792 MHz) and 52-59 (698-746 MHz).
As recognized in that proposal, a shift of the auction
deadlines is needed to provide the time necessary to resolve
existing uncertainties about when and how this spectrum will
be cleared and ready for the deployment of new services."
Rep. John Dingell
(D-MI), the ranking Democrat on the Committee, said in his prepared
statement that "Back in 1997, and again in 2000, over
this Committee's objections, the Budget Committees
commandeered the management of the Nation's airwaves. They set
auction deadlines that were asinine, constituting a gross
mismanagement of spectrum. Today we take back the reins and
restore rationality to the process. Without question, moving
forward with these auctions in June would impose a heavy price
on the American public. Until the FCC develops a cohesive
spectrum management plan -- taking into account the
uncertainties of the digital television transition and the
creation of a workable band plan for third generation
("3G") wireless services -- we have very little idea
what these frequencies are worth or for what they would be
used. More importantly, neither do the potential bidders. The
likely result would be another auction debacle."
Telecommunications & Internet Association (CTIA)
praised the vote. See, release.
|Senators Introduce Spectrum
Auction Delay Bill
|5/2. Sen. John
Ensign (R-NV) and Sen.
John Kerry (D-MA) introduced the Spectrum Auction Reform
Act of 2002. This is the Senate companion bill to HR 4560,
which passed the House Commerce Committee on May 2. Both
Ensign and Kerry are members of the Senate Commerce
Sen. Ensign stated in a release that "This bill will
delay the ill timed, premature auction of spectrum that is
already occupied and not ready for commercial use". Sen.
Kerry stated that "To proceed with the auction at this
time would be a terrible example of budget politics taking
precedence over sound spectrum management".
|Senate Judiciary Committee
|5/2. The Senate
Judiciary Committee held an executive business meeting to
consider several judicial nominees. The Committee approved the
nominations of Julia Gibbons (to be a judge of the U.S. Court
of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit), Leonard Davis (U.S.
District Court, Eastern District of Texas), Andrew Hanen
(USDC, SDTexas), Samuel Mays (USDC, WDTenn), and Thomas Rose (USDC,
SDOhio). These nominees still require confirmation by the full
Senate. In addition, the nomination of David Godbey (USDC,
NDTexas), which was on the agenda, was held over.
|Senate Judiciary Committee
Postpones Vote on Bills
|5/2. The Senate
Judiciary Committee held an executive business meeting.
included mark up of several technology, intellectual property
and privacy related bills, including S 2031,
the Intellectual Property Protection Restoration Act of 2002, S 848,
the Social Security Number Misuse Prevention Act of 2001, and S 1742,
the Restore Your Identity Act of 2001. All three were held
over -- again.
|House Subcommittee Approves
Bill Affecting Reports on Wiretap Orders and Requests
|5/2. The House
Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet
and Internet and Intellectual Property approved HR 4125,
the Federal Courts Improvement Act of 2002. Section 104 of the
bill would affect the timing of judges' reports regarding the
expiration or wiretap orders, or denial of requests for
wiretap orders. The Subcommittee approved one amendment that
did not pertain to wiretaps.
U.S.C. § 2519 pertains to reports concerning intercepted
wire, oral, or electronic communications. Currently, this
section begins, "(1) Within thirty days after the
expiration of an order (or each extension thereof) entered
under section 2518, or the denial of an order approving
an interception, the issuing or denying judge shall report to
the Administrative Office of the United States Courts--".
The statute then lists the information that must be reported.
HR 4125 would change this language to read as follows:
"(1) In January of each year, any judge who has issued an
order (or extension thereof) under section 2518 which expired
during the preceding year or who has denied approval of an
interception during that year, shall report to the
Administrative Office of the United States Courts--". HR 4125
would not affect the information that must be reported.
|State Department in Cyber
Security Talks in India
|4/30. Lincoln Bloomfield, Assistant Secretary of State for
Political Military Affairs, held a press conference in New
Delhi, India, at which he addressed cyber security. Bloomfield
traveled to New Delhi for the inaugural session of the Indo US
Cyber Security Forum. See, transcript.
He stated that "These talks marked the start of what will
be a regular relationship between India and the US on cyber
security." He said that the U.S. is also engaged in cyber
security "dialogues with a number of our closest friends
and partners in the economic sphere. It is quite appropriate
that we should come to New Delhi insofar as India's presence
in the international cyber environment and in the global
market is significant and is destined to grow quite
In addition, Bloomfield addressed the U.S. response to cyber
threats generally. "Cyber security is a relative newcomer
to the bureaucratic environment in Washington and it is
clearly an outgrowth of the phenomenal proliferation of
computers and information technology and the Internet. The
organizations represented on the US delegation in the last two
days in the main did not exist very few years ago. Now we find
that our own government bureaucracy, our defense and
intelligence establishments must guard its information
infrastructure against all manner of cyber threats. In
addition, most of the critical infrastructure in the United
States is not government owned or government operated. It
belongs to the private sector, the financial markets in
particular, and the entire range of corporations and small
businesses. So, in the United States, the government needs to
enlist the cooperation of the private sector to work
collegially for their own mutual benefit."
|House Committee Holds
Hearing on Government Purchase Cards
|5/1. The House
Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Oversight and
Investigations held a hearing titled "Oversight and
Management of the Government Purchase Card Program".
The General Accounting Office
(GAO) provided testimony
[PDF] in which it stated that "The use of purchase cards
has dramatically increased in past years as agencies have
sought to eliminate the bureaucracy and paperwork long
associated with making small purchases. The benefits of using
purchase cards are lower costs and less red tape for both the
government and the vendor community."
The GAO also found that Department of Education employees
"purchased computers using their purchase cards, which
was a violation of Education's policy prohibiting the use of
purchase cards for this purpose." The GAO added that
"several of the computers that were purchased with
purchase cards were not entered in property records, and we
could not locate them."
|Jury Returns Verdict for
Adobe in Patent Suit Against Macromedia
|5/2. A jury of the U.S. District Court (DDel) returned a
verdict in Adobe v. Macromedia in favor of Adobe Systems. In August
2000, Adobe filed a complaint against Macromedia in federal
court in Delaware alleging infringement of its U.S.
Patent No. 5,546,528, titled "Method of displaying
multiple sets of information in the same area of a computer
screen". The jury found willful infringement, and awarded
damages of $2,822,280.
Bryan Lamkin, SVP of Adobe's graphics business unit, stated in
that "We are very pleased with the verdict, ... We've
maintained all along that Macromedia infringes this patent.
While we would have preferred to settle this issue out of
court, we are satisfied that the validity of this key
innovation has been upheld."
Macromedia stated in a release
that it "filed counterclaims of patent infringement in
response to Adobe's lawsuit in the U.S. District Court of
Delaware in September 2000. Macromedia will be presenting its
case as it relates to its patents beginning on Monday, May 6,
2002. In October 2001, Macromedia brought a patent
infringement suit against Adobe in the Northern District of
California relating to additional patents that Macromedia
believes that Adobe infringes."
On October 19, 2001, Macromedia filed a complaint
District Court (NDCal) against Adobe alleging infringement
of its U.S.
Patent No. 5,845,299, titled "Draw based editor for
web pages" and its U.S.
Patent No. 5,911,145, titled "Hierarchical structure
editor for web sites".
|Identity Theft News
|5/2. Several U.S. Attorneys Offices (USAOs) have issued
statements publicizing recent arrests and charges that are
part of a nation wide sweep of identity thieves.
The USAO for the Eastern District of California announced in a
[PDF] that it has obtained four indictments as a part of
"73 criminal prosecutions against 134 individuals in 24
federal judicial districts around the country." The USAO
for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania announced in a release
[PDF] that it has brought two cases as a part of "50
criminal prosecutions against 64 individuals in 20 districts
in an unprecedented, nationwide crackdown on identity
theft." See also, release
of the USAO for the District of Massachusetts.
Drivers License Modernization Act
|5/1. Rep. Jim Moran
(D-VA) and Rep. Tom
Davis (R-VA) introduced HR 4633, the Driver's License
Modernization Act of 2002. This bill would establish standards
for state programs for the issuance of drivers' licenses and
identification cards. It was referred to the House
Transportation Committee, the House Judiciary
Committee, and the House
Rep. Moran stated in a release
that the bill would "Ensure drivers' licenses would be
more foolproof by including a biometric feature -- such as a
retinal scan or finger print -- on an encrypted smart chip
embedded on the drivers' licenses."
He stated also that it would "Require states motor
vehicle departments' databases to be linked, thereby allowing
one state's motor vehicle department to verify the identity of
an individual from another state applying for a driver's
The Electronic Privacy
Information Center (EPIC) stated in its web site that this
bill "would establish a National ID system in
|People and Appointments
|5/2. Rep. James
Barcia (D-MI) announced that he will not run for
re-election to the House of Representatives. He is the ranking
Democrat on the House
Science Committee's Subcommittee
on the Environment, Technology, and Standards, which has
jurisdiction over technology programs at the Department of
Commerce, including the National
Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).
Redistricting has placed him in the same district as another
Democratic incumbent. The next in line for ranking Democrat on
this subcommittee would be Rep. Lynn Rivers
(D-MI), who is in a tough re-election battle against Rep. John Dingell
(D-MI). The Republican Michigan state legislature placed them
in one district also. The next in line to be the top Democrat
on the Technology Subcommittee would be Rep. Zoe Lofgren
(D-CA) from Silicon Valley, who has a safe seat.
5/2. California Governor Gray Davis announced his appointment
of Fresno County Superior Court Judge Gene Gomes as an
Associate Justice of the Court of Appeal, Fifth Appellate
|5/1. Hewlett Packard issued
in which it stated that "the independent Inspectors of
Election, representatives of IVS Associates, Inc., have issued
their final Inspectors of Election report with respect to the
special meeting of shareowners held on March 19, 2002.
According to the report, there were 838,401,376 shares of HP
common stock voted for the proposal to approve the issuance of
shares of HP common stock in connection with the merger
transaction with Compaq Computer Corporation (NYSE:CPQ),
793,094,105 shares voted against the proposal and 13,950,651
shares abstained. Based on this report, HP confirms that the
proposal has passed in accordance with New York Stock Exchange
requirements. HP expects to close the deal on May 3, 2002. The
launch of the new HP will take place on May 7, 2002."
5/2. The Federal Communications
Commission (FCC) published a notice
in the Federal Register which summarizes the FCC's Order on
Remand regarding implementation of the Communications
Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA), 47 U.S.C. §
1001, et seq. The FCC adopted its Third Report and Order on
September 24, 1999 requiring that wireline, cellular, and
broadband PCS carriers implement all electronic surveillance
capabilities of the J-STD-025, or J-Standard, and six
additional capabilities requested by the FBI known as the
punch list. This Third Report and Order was challenged. On
August 15, 2001, the U.S.
Court of Appeals (DCCir) issued its opinion
in USTA v. FCC, 227 F. 3d 450, remanding four items to the
FCC. This Federal Register notice summarizes the Order on
Remand. The FCC adopted this order on April 5, 2002, and
released it on April 11, 2002. This is CC Docket No. 97-213.
See, Federal Register, May 2, 2002, Vol. 67, No. 85, Page
21999 - 22008.
5/1. The U.S. District Court (DNJ) sentenced David Smith to
serve 20 months in federal prison. He previously plead guilty
to violation of 18
U.S.C §§ 1030(a)(5)(A) and 2 in connection with his
having unleashed the Melissa computer virus in 1999,
which caused damage to computers and computer networks. He was
also ordered to pay a fine of $5,000 and perform 200 hours of
community work service. See, CCIPS
5/2. The House
Government Reform Committee's Subcommittee on Government
Efficiency, Financial Management, and Intergovernmental
Relations held a hearing on HR 3844,
the Federal Information Security Reform Act of 2002. General Accounting Office (GAO)
[PDF] titled "Information Security: Additional Actions
Needed to Fully Implement Reform Legislation". See, also,
testimony of Benjamin Wu, Deputy Under Secretary for
Technology at the Department of Commerce.
5/2. The National
Research Council announced that it has published for sale
a book titled "Youth, Pormography and the Internet".
|Friday, May 3
|The House will not be in session.
9:15 AM. USPTO Director James Rogan
will speak at the Licensing Executives Society Spring Meeting.
He will address his plans for the agency and his work with the
reduce costs for American patent owners in obtaining and
preserving their IP rights abroad. See, USPTO
release. Press contact: Brigid Quinn at 703 305-8341 or brigid.quinn @uspto.gov.
Location: The Mayflower Hotel, Grand Ballroom, 1127
Connecticut Avenue, NW.
9:30 AM. The U.S.
Court of Appeals (DCCir) will hear oral argument in Trans
Union v. FTC, No. 01-5202. This is a consolidated action
for review of the FTC's rules implementing the privacy
provisions of the Gramm Leach Bliley Act. The other
defendants are the Board
of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Federal Deposit Insurance
Corporation (FDIC), Office of the Comptroller of the
Currency, National Credit Union
Administration (NCUA), and SEC. The other
plaintiff is Individual
Reference Services Group. Judges Edwards, Henderson and
Garland will preside. This case is listed first on the Court's
agenda. The Court has scheduled 30 minutes per side. The FTC's
attorneys on this case are Michael Bergman, Lawrence Wagman,
and John Daly. Location: 333 Constitution Ave. NW.
9:30 AM - 3:30 PM. The FCC will host a
public forum and technology expo on Telecommunications
Relay Service. Location: FCC, 445 12th Street, SW, Room
TW-C305 (Commission Meeting Room).
10:00 AM - 3:00 PM. The FCC's Consumer
and Governmental Affairs Bureau will host a public forum and
technology expo on the Telecommunications Relay Service.
Location: FCC, Commission Meeting Room, 445 12th St., SW.
Extended deadline to submit comments to the FCC in response
to its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking titled "In the
Matter of Appropriate Framework for Broadband Access to the
Internet over Wireline Facilities". This is CC Docket No.
02-33. See, Order
[PDF] extending deadline from April 15 to May 3. See also, original
notice in Federal Register.
|Monday, May 6
|Deadline to submit requests to attend or participate in the Copyright Office's
(CO) public roundtable discussion concerning "issues
raised in the course of an ongoing rulemaking proceeding to
adopt requirements for giving copyright owners reasonable
notice of the use of their works for sound recordings under
the section 114 and 112 statutory licenses and for how records
of such use shall be kept and made available to copyright
owners." See, notice
in Federal Register.
|Tuesday, May 7
|9:30 AM. The Senate
Commerce Committee will hold a hearing on the Memorandum of
Agreement between the Federal
Trade Commission (FTC) and the Department of Justice's
(DOJ) Antitrust Division
regarding division of responsibility for merger reviews. Press
contact: Andy Davis 224-6654. Location: Room 253, Russell
12:00 NOON. The Advisory Committee to the Congressional Internet Caucus
will host a luncheon. The speaker will be Marty Cooper,
inventor of the portable cellular telephone and CEO or
ArrayComm. RSVP to email@example.com
or Danielle Wiblemo at 202 638-4370. Location: Reserve
1:30 to 3:30 PM. The State
Department's International Telecommunication Advisory
Committee, Radiocommunication Sector (ITAC-R) will hold a
meeting. The ITAC advises the State Department on policy,
technical and operational issues with respect to the
International Telecommunication Union (ITU). This meeting will
address preparations for the ITU-R World Radiocommunication
Conference 2003 (WRC-03). See, notice
in Federal Register. Location: Department of State, Dean
|Wednesday, May 8
|9:00 AM - 12:00 NOON. The Telecommunications Service
Priority (TSP) System Oversight Committee will meet. See, notice
in Federal Register. Location: NCS conference room, 2nd floor,
701 South Court House Road, Arlington, VA.
9:30 AM. The Senate
Governmental Affairs Committee will hold a hearing to
examine infrastructure security, focusing on private public
information sharing. Location: Room 342, Dirksen Building.
10:00 AM - 12:00 NOON. The FCBA's
International Practice Committee will host a roundtable
discussion with David Gross, Deputy Assistant Secretary
for International Communications and Information Policy, U.S.
Department of State. RSVP to Maggie McBride at 202 719-7101.
Location: Wiley Rein &
Fielding, 1750 K Street, NW.
10:00 AM. The Senate
Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing regarding reform
of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Department of
Justice. Location: Room 226, Dirksen Building.
Extended deadline to submit comments to the FCC in its
proceeding titled "In the Matter of Rules and Policies
Concerning Multiple Ownership of Radio Broadcast Stations in
Local Markets Definition of Radio Markets". This is MM
Docket Nos. 01-317 and 00-244. See, FCC
|Thursday, May 9
|10:00 AM - 12:00 NOON. The House Science Committee's
Subcommittee on Research will hold a hearing on HR ___,
the National Science Foundation Reauthorization Act of 2002.
Press contact: Heidi Tringe at Heidi.Tringe
@mail.house.gov or 202 225-4275. Webcast. Location: Room
2318, Rayburn Building.
10:00 AM - 12:00 NOON. The House Science Committee's
Subcommittee on Research will meet to mark up HR 3130,
the Technology Talent Act of 2001 (immediately
following the hearing on the NSF reauthorization bill). This
bill would authorized grants to be awarded on a competitive
basis to institutions of higher education to increase the
number of students studying and receiving associates or
bachelor's degrees in science, mathematics, engineering, and
technology. Press contact: Heidi Tringe at Heidi.Tringe
@mail.house.gov or 202 225-4275. Webcast. Location: Room
2318, Rayburn Building.
Deadline to pre-register to attend the National Institute of Standards
and Technology's (NIST) Advanced
Technology Program (ATP) Advisory Committee meeting on May
14. The agenda includes a discussion on universities and
R&D technology issues, a presentation on In-Q-Tel (the CIA's
Silicon Valley venture capital group), an update on the ATP
competition, and a presentation on the ATP Computer Based
Software Focus Program. Submit your name, time of arrival,
e-mail address and phone number to Carolyn Stull at carolyn.stull @nist.gov
or 301 975-5607. See, notice
in Federal Register.
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