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May 9, 2002, 9:00 AM ET, Alert No. 428.
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Rep. Stearns Introduces Information Privacy Bill
5/8. Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-FL), Chairman of the House Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade & Consumer Protection, and others, introduced HR 4678, the Consumer Privacy Protection Act of 2002.
The bill, which is 33 pages long on paper, would require both online and offline "data collection organizations" to provide a clear notice of what information about consumers is collected, and how that information will be used. The bill also contains opt out language. It would also mandate information security policies. Enforcement would be handled by self regulatory programs, backed up by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The bill creates no private right of action, or state right of action. The bill would also preempt state laws. The bill exempts government entities and certain non profits and small businesses.
A bipartisan group of Representatives held a joint press conference in the Capitol Building to announce the introduction of the bill. The participants included, in addition to Rep. Stearns, Rep. Billy Tauzin (R-LA), Rep. Rick Boucher (D-VA), Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-CA), Rep. Lee Terry (R-NE), and Rep. Jim Moran (D-VA). Rep. Tauzin is the Chairman of the House Commerce Committee, which has jurisdiction over the bill.
Rep. Stearns said that the "underlying principal that anchors this bill is DO NO HARM. Our economy is a consumer based economy, where some two thirds of all economic activity is driven by consumer spending. Historically, consumer information has played an important role in our economic growth. The free flow of consumer information has served all of us, as American consumers, well throughout our modern economic history. Any federal law or regulation that unduly burdens such information sharing activity, may bring about a substantial and negative impact upon our economy."
Rep. Eshoo said that "privacy is a right that the American people really cherish. ... We don't want anyone -- either big browser, or big government -- coming after it." Rep. Moran said that "this is responsible balanced legislation that goes a long way towards protecting people's privacy" while also protecting technology companies.
Rep. Boucher said that "many companies will offer higher level of protection than the statute provides". He added that "this measure serves as a floor, not a ceiling."
The bill's backers touted its chances for passage. Rep. Eshoo stated that "I think that because this is so bipartisan that we have a good shot at it." Rep. Moran said that "it stands a good chance of enactment."
Rep. Tauzin and Rep. Stearns both stated that the next step is for the House Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade & Consumer Protection to hold hearings on the bill. Rep. Tauzin added that the bill is "a good statement of the consensus" on privacy, but it is still a work in progress.
Notice. The bill requires that a "data collection organization shall establish a privacy policy with respect to the collection, sale, disclosure for consideration, or use of the personally identifiable information of consumers". This privacy policy must be "clear and conspicuous and written in plain language" and "accessible". It must disclose, among other things, "The identity of each data collection organization, or a description of each class or type of data collection organization, that may collect or use the information", "The types of information that may be collected, sold, disclosed for consideration, or used", "How the information may be used", and "Whether the consumer is required to provide the information in order to do business with the data collection organization". See, Section 102.
Moreover, the data collection organization must provide notice to consumers, which, in the case of a website, may be a hyperlink to another page. See, Section 101.
Opt Out Provision. The bill provides that "A data collection organization shall provide to the consumer, without charge, the opportunity to preclude any sale or disclosure for consideration of the consumer’s personally identifiable information, that may be used for a purpose unrelated to a transaction with the consumer, to any data collection organization that is not an information- sharing partner of the data collection organization providing such opportunity." See, Section 103.
Information Security Policy. The bill also requires data collection organizations to maintain security policies. It states that "A data collection organization shall prepare, revise as necessary, and implement an information security policy that is applicable to the information security practices and treatment of personally identifiable information maintained by the data collection organization, in order to prevent the unauthorized disclosure or release of such information." See, Section 105.
FTC Civil Enforcement. The bill provides that violation of the provisions of the bill would constitute an unfair or deceptive act or practice in violation of Section 5 of the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C. § 45(a)(1). Civil penalties under the FTC Act would be limited to $500,000 for all related violations by a single violator. See, Section 107.
Self Regulatory Programs. The bill also contemplates that the much of the enforcement would be conducted by private self regulatory programs that are approved by the FTC. To give companies an incentive to join such programs, the bill provides that "A data collection organization that participates in a self-regulatory program ... shall not be liable for a civil penalty arising out of a violation ... unless such violation results from willful noncompliance with the guidelines, procedures, requirements, or restrictions of the program." See, Section 106.
Existing Federal Privacy Laws. The provides that "To the extent that personally identifiable information protected under this title is also protected under a provision of Federal privacy law", such as the Gramm Leach Bliley act, a "data collection organization that complies with the relevant provision of such other Federal privacy law shall be deemed to have complied with the corresponding provision of this title." See, Section 109.
Preemption of State Laws. The bill provides that it "preempts any statutory law, common law, rule, or regulation of a State, or a political subdivision of a State, to the extent such law, rule, or regulation relates to or affects the collection, use, sale, disclosure, or dissemination of personally identifiable information in commerce. " See, Section 109.
No State Right of Action. States could not bring actions to enforce this bill. It states that "No State, or political subdivision of a State, may take any action to enforce this title." See, Section 109.
No Private Right of Action. The bill does not provide any private right of action. "No private civil action relating to any act or practice governed under this title may be commenced or maintained in any State court or under State law (including a pendent State claim to an action under Federal law)." (Parentheses in original.) See, Section 108.
Entities Not Covered by the Bill. The bill would exempt government entities, non-profit entities ("to the extent that personally identifiable information is not used for a commercial purpose"), and certain small businesses (a business which has fewer than 25 employees, which has annual gross revenue less than $1,000,000, which "collects or uses personally identifiable information from fewer than 1,000 consumers for a purpose unrelated to a transaction with the consumer", which "does not process personally identifiable information of consumers", and which "does not sell or disclose for consideration such information to another person"). See, Section 401.
Identity Theft. The bill also addresses identity theft, such as through requiring the FTC "to take such action as necessary to solicit the acceptance and acknowledgement of standardized Identity Theft Affidavit ..." (See, Title II.)
Bruce Josten of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce stated in a release that "Business has heard the call from consumers that security and privacy are high priorities, and they have responded", and business "has taken the lead in developing transparent ways to empower and protect consumers." Hence, said Bruce Josten, "The Chamber strongly cautions Congress to think twice before enacting unnecessary laws that could stifle the emerging Internet economy."
Jonathan Zuck, President of the Association for Competitive Technology (ACT) stated in a release that "While this is great step forward from previous proposals, it just isn't 'there' yet. ... On privacy policies, the bill only seems to codify existing business practices. This could prevent ebusinesses from changing their privacy policies to meet consumer demands while imposing costs on those businesses as they try to meet the letter of the law from the new regulations."
EU Investigates Deutsche Telekom for Antitrust Violations
5/8. The European Commission (EC) announced that it sent Deutsche Telekom (DT) "a statement of objections setting out the preliminary conclusion that the German incumbent telecommunications operator has abused its dominant position through unfair pricing regarding the provision of local access to its fixed telecommunications network (local loop)." (Parentheses in original.)
The EC further stated that it "is concerned about DT's practice of charging new entrants higher fees for wholesale access to the local loop than what DT's subscribers pay for retail access. This discourages new companies from entering the market and, therefore, creating new jobs, and reduces the choice of suppliers of telecoms services as well as price competition for consumers."
Competition Commissioner Mario Monti stated that "After four years of complete liberalisation of the telecommunications markets in Europe, competition has come to a critical stage. This is particularly acute in the local loop where many very promising new entrants have already been forced to give up their business. I believe that much can still be done to foster competition in this field and that is clearly one of our priorities now. We have already acted in Italy and Spain to ensure a proper balance between the monthly telephone subscription fees and the call charges, allowing the new entrants in both countries to better compete with the incumbent operators." See, EC release.
Senate Committee Holds Hearing on Cyber Security Information Sharing
5/8. The Senate Governmental Affairs Committee held a hearing on S 1456, the Critical Infrastructure Information Security Act of 2001, sponsored by Sen. Bob Bennett (R-UT). The bill contains a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) exemption to encourage the sharing of information regarding cyber security with the federal government, and an antitrust exemption to encourage cooperative efforts.
Deputy Assistant Attorney General John Malcolm stated that "The Justice Department believes that the sharing of private sector security information on critical infrastructure between private sector entities and with the federal government to avert acts that harm, or threaten to harm, our national security is of the utmost importance."
Malcolm also reviewed existing FOIA law in his written testimony. He stated that "Exemption 4 of FOIA protects ``trade secrets and commercial or financial information obtained from a person [that is] privileged or confidential.´´ The exemption affords protection to those business submitters who are required to furnish commercial or financial information to the government, either directly or indirectly, by safeguarding them from the competitive disadvantages that could result from disclosure."
Malcolm added that "It is important to recognize that the courts have regularly rejected any notion that either an information submitter's request for confidentiality, or an agency's promise that submitted information would not be released, by itself, suffices to insulate such information from disclosure under FOIA."
He continued that the U.S. Court of Appeals (DCCir) interpreted Exemption 4 in Critical Mass Energy Project v. NRC, 975 F.2d 871 (1992) (en banc), cert. denied, 113 S. Ct. 1579 (1993). He stated that this case held that "commercial information information that is required to be furnished to the Government can be withheld primarily to the extent that the Government can demonstrate that its disclosure would result in ``substantial competitive harm.´´ However, where information is ``voluntarily´´ submitted to the government, such information is protected to the extent that it is not ``customarily´´ disclosed to the public by the submitter, a considerably easier standard to satisfy. It is our expectation that most information regarding critical infrastructure vulnerabilities will fall into the ``voluntarily´´ submitted category and will, therefore, readily qualify for Exemption 4 protection under the DC Circuit’s Critical Mass decision."
However, Malcolm added that "business submitters are aware that this D.C. Circuit Court precedent might not come to be accepted in all other judicial circuits, which gives rise to reasonable concerns. ... Were the decision in Critical Mass a definitive legal principle decided by the United States Supreme Court, concerns regarding protection of this information would be greatly reduced.  Since that is not the case, the Department recognizes that the broad protection afforded such information by the District of Columbia appellate court does not provide the complete assurances to the submitters of private sector infrastructure that they seek."
Harris Miller of the Information Technology Association of America (ITAA) endorsed S 1456. He stated that "corporate counsels advise their clients not to share voluntarily the details of computer attacks with government agencies because the risk that such data could ultimately be divulged through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) -- even over the agency's objections -- is unacceptably high."
David Sobel of the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) testified in opposition to creating a new cyber security information FOIA exemption. He said in his prepared testimony that "this exemption approach is fundamentally inconsistent with the basic premise of the FOIA ... the Freedom of Information Act has worked extremely well over the last 25 years, ensuring public access to important information while protecting against specific harms that could result from certain disclosures. After monitoring the development of critical infrastructure protection policy for the last several years, I have heard no scenario put forth that would result in the detrimental disclosure of information under the current provisions of the FOIA."
See, prepared testimony of witnesses: Ronald Dick (Director, FBI's National Infrastructure Protection Center), John Malcolm (Deputy Assistant Attorney General, Criminal Division, U.S. Department of Justice), John Tritak (Director, Critical Infrastructure Assurance Office), Michehl Gent (P/CEO, North American Electric Reliability Council), Harris Miller (President, ITAA), Alan Paller (Director of Research, The SANS Institute), Ty Sagalow (Board Member, Financial Services ISAC), David Sobel (General Counsel, EPIC), Rena Steinzor (Professor, University of Maryland School of Law).
House Committee to Hold Hearing and Mark Up of Tech Crime Bills
5/9. The House Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Crime is scheduled to hold a hearing, and then a mark up session, for three technology related crime bills, on Thursday, May 9. See, HJC schedule.
HR 4640, a bill to provide criminal penalties for providing false information in registering a domain name on the internet, was introduced by Rep. Howard Coble (R-NC) and Rep. Howard Berman (D-CA) on May 2. It would provide that "Whoever knowingly and with intent to defraud provides material and misleading false contact information to a domain name registrar, domain name registry, or other domain name registration authority in registering a domain name shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both."
HR 4658, the Truth in Domain Names Act, was introduced by Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN), Rep. Sheila Lee (D-TX), and Rep. Robert Simmons (R-CT) on May 2. It would provide that "Whoever knowingly uses a misleading domain name with the intent to attract a minor into viewing a visual depiction of sexually explicit conduct on the Internet shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 2 years, or both."
Finally, HR 4623, the Child Obscenity and Pormography Prevention Act of 2002, pertains to computer generated images.
Local Radio Ownership Rules and the Internet
5/8. The Minority Media and Telecommunications Council (MMTC) submitted a reply comment [61 pages in PDF] to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in its proceeding titled "In the Matter of Rules and Policies Concerning Multiple Ownership of Radio Broadcast Stations in Local Markets" (MM Docket No. 01-317). The MMTC argued that "Some commenters urged that the Internet has already obviated the need for multiple radio ownership. Perhaps that will happen someday, but Internet radio has hardly become a substitute for the real thing. ... At some level, the Internet is a substitute for radio. But it is a poor substitute."
In contrast, Viacom submitted a reply comment [PDF] in which it stated that the FCC "has maintained a local radio ownership rule in one form or another for over 60 years based on the hypothesis that the rule is necessary to promote public access to diverse viewpoints. ... The average American suffers not from a lack of access to media outlets, but from news and information overload."
People and Appointments
5/8. President Bush announced his intent to nominate Ben Bernanke to be a Member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. He is Chairman of the Department of Economics at Princeton University. He has been picked for a seat which has only two years remaining in its term. See, WH release.
5/8. President Bush announced his intent to nominate Donald Kohn to be a Member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. Kohn is a long time advisor to Alan Greenspan. He will serve the remainder of a fourteen year term expiring on January 31, 2016. See, WH release.
5/8. Lisa Nelson was named Co-Chair of CapNet. She is VP of External Relations for AOL Time Warner. She replaces George Vradenburg, who is an advisor to AOL Time Warner. The other Co-Chair remains former Congressman Vic Fazio of Clark & Weinstock. See, CapNet release.
5/8. Michael Willner, P/CEO of Insight Communications, was re-elected for a second term as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA). See, NCTA release.
More News
5/1. Phillip Bond, Under Secretary of Commerce for Technology, gave a speech titled "Convergence: Digital, Global, and Policy" to the Utah Information Technology Association in Salt Lake City, Utah. He stated that information technology has "a history of minimal regulation, robust competition, rapid innovation, market driven economics and falling prices. Telecom has traditionally been heavily regulated, monopolistic, slow to change, heavily subsidized and often marked by high prices. While convergence of information technology and telecom creates wonderful innovations & new services for consumers, it's hardly frictionless -- ask any legislator in Washington about the last mile -- or about privacy or about digital rights management or about spectrum. And they have to know how to handle these issues along with environmental law, education reform, agriculture policy, national security, corporate governance, ad infinitum ad nauseum."
5/8. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced that it "approved proposed changes to the rules of the National Association of Securities Dealers and the New York Stock Exchange to address conflicts of interest that are raised when research analysts recommend securities in public communications. These conflicts can arise when analysts work for firms that have investment banking relationships with the issuers of the recommended securities, or when the analyst or firm owns securities of the recommended issuer." See, SEC release.
5/8. The Federal Election Commission (FEC) fined the Friends of Jane Harman $12,000 for failure to file 48 hour reports. Rep. Jane Harman (D-CA) is a member of the House Commerce Committee and its Telecom and Internet Subcommittee. See, FEC release.
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Thursday, May 9
The House will meet at 10:00 AM for legislative business.
The Supreme Court is on recess until May 13.
10:00 AM. The House Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Crime will meet to conduct a hearing on several bills, including HR 4640, a bill to provide criminal penalties for providing false information in registering a domain name on the internet, HR 4658, the Truth in Domain Names Act, and HR 4623, the Child Obscenity and Pormography Prevention Act of 2002. Webcast. Press contact: Jeff Lungren or Terry Shawn at 202 225-2492. Location: Room 2141, Rayburn Building.
10:00 AM - 12:00 NOON. The House Science Committee's Subcommittee on Research will hold a hearing on HR 4664, the National Science Foundation Reauthorization Act of 2002. Press contact: Heidi Tringe Heidi.Tringe 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 Heidi.Tringe or 202 225-4275. Webcast. Location: Room 2318, Rayburn Building.
10:15 AM. Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA), the ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, and USTR Robert Zoellick will hold a press conference to announce their opposition to the Dayton Craig amendment to the trade promotion authority bill, HR 3005. Location: Room SC-4, Capitol Building.
2:00 PM. The House Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Crime will meet to mark up several bills, including HR 4640, a bill to provide criminal penalties for providing false information in registering a domain name on the internet, HR 4658, the Truth in Domain Names Act, and HR 4623, the Child Obscenity and Pormography Prevention Act of 2002. Webcast. Press contact: Jeff Lungren or Terry Shawn at 202 225-2492. Location: Room 2141, Rayburn Building.
2:00 PM. The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on pending judicial nominations, including  Richard Clifton (U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit), Christopher Conner (U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania), Joy Conti (U.S.D.C., Western District of Pennsylvania), and John Jones (U.S.D.C., Middle District of Pennsylvania). See, agenda. Press contact: Mimi Devlin at 202 224-9437. Location: Room 226, Dirksen Building.
2:00 PM. The House Ways and Means Committee's Subcommittee on Select Revenue Measures will hold another hearing on the Extraterritorial Income Regime. Location: Room 1100, Longworth 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 or 301 975-5607. See, notice in Federal Register.
Friday, May 10
The House will meet at 9:00 AM for legislative business. No votes are expected after 2:00 PM.
8:30 AM - 4:30 PM. The New America Foundation and Public Knowledge will co-host a conference titled "Protecting the Information Commons: Asserting the Public Interest In Copyright Law and Digital Infrastructure". The scheduled speakers include Rep. Rick Boucher (D-VA). RSVP to Tina Sherman at 202 986-2700 or sherman Location: National Guard Association, One Massachusetts Ave. NW.
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM. The Copyright Office will hold "a 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. Requests to attend or participate must be submitted by the close of business on Monday, May 6, 2002. Location: Room LM620 (Dining Room A), Madison Building, 1st and Independence Ave., SE.
9:30 AM. The U.S. Court of Appeals (DCCir) will hear oral argument in AT&T v. FCC, No. 01-1467, and Verizon v. FCC, No. 01-1371. Judges Ginsburg, Randolph and Tatel will preside. Location: 333 Constitution Ave. NW.
9:30 AM - 1:00 PM. The SEC will hold an event titled "Investor Summit" which will also be webcast. See, SEC release. Location: WOD Room, basement, SEC, 450 5th Street NW.
10:00 AM. The House Government Reform Committee's Subcommittee on Technology and Procurement Policy will hold a hearing titled "Intellectual Property and Government R&D for Homeland Security". Location: Room 2154, Rayburn Building.
10:00 AM. The U.S. Court of Appeals (FedCir) will hear oral argument in ULead Systems v. Lex Computer, No. 01-1320, an appeal from the U.S. District Court (CDCal). The lower court held that U.S. Patent No. 4,538,188 is unenforceable due to the owner's inequitable conduct in fraudulently paying reduced small entity maintenance fees to the USPTO when it was not a small entity. Location: LaFayette Square, at 717 Madison Place, NW.
11:30 AM. The American Electronics Association (AEA) will hold a press briefing regarding the Internal Revenue Service's (IRS) proposal to impose payroll taxes on certain broad based stock options beginning January 1, 2003. To participate by telephone, call 703 871-3016. See, AEA notice. RSVP to Deanna Keim at 202 289-6700 or djkeim Location: AEA, 601 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, 6th Floor. (The entrance is on Indiana Ave. between 6th and 7th Streets.)
12:15 PM. The The FCBA's Wireless Committee will host a luncheon.
1:00 PM. The House Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet will hold a field hearing titled "Chatting On Line: A Dangerous Proposition for Children." Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI) will preside. Press contact: Ken Johnson or Jon Tripp at 202-225-5735. Location: Kalamazoo Valley Community College M-Tec Facility, Oshtemo, Michigan.
Monday, May 13.
The Supreme Court of the U.S. will return from recess.
Tuesday, May 14
8:45 AM - 3:45 PM. The NIST's Advanced Technology Program (ATP) Advisory Committee will hold a meeting that will be open in part, and closed in part. 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 a study on the ATP Computer Based Software Focus Program. Pre-registration by May 9 is required for attendance; submit your name, time of arrival, e-mail address and phone number to Carolyn Stull at carolyn.stull or 301 975-5607. See, notice in Federal Register. Location: NIST, Administration Building, Lecture Room A, Gaithersburg, MD.
9:00 - 11:00 AM. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce (USCC), Ernst & Young, and the Internet Education Foundation (IEF) will co-host forum on online privacy and the Platform for Privacy Preferences (P3P) created by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA) will make opening remarks. There will be two panels. The first panel will address online privacy issues; the speakers will be Joe Rubin (USCC), Shane Ham (Progressive Policy Institute), and Ari Schwartz (Center for Democracy and Technology). The second panel will address P3P; the speakers will be Martin Marshall (IBM), Marc Berejka (Microsoft), Brian Tretick (Ernst & Young), and Brian Zwit (AOL). RSVP by e-mail to rsvp, or call Joshua Freed (IEF) at 202 638-4370. Coffee and snacks will be provided. Location: Herman Lay Room, USCC, 1615 H Street, NW.
TIME CHANGE. 9:00 AM. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will hold a hearing on proposed regulations relating to tax treatment of incentive stock options and options granted under employee stock purchase plan. See, original notice in the Federal Register. See also, supplemental notice rescheduling hearing time, Federal Register. Location: Auditorium, Internal Revenue Building, 1111 Constitution Avenue, NW.
9:30 AM - 4:00 PM. The Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice and the FTC will hold another in their series of hearings on antitrust and intellectual property. This event is titled "Antitrust Analysis of Licensing Practices". At 9:00 AM there will be a panel titled "Antitrust Analysis of Specific Intellectual Property Licensing Practices". At 1:30 PM there will be a panel titled "Practical Issues Encountered in Antitrust Analysis of Licensing Practices". The DOJ requires that attendees provide their name and date of birth 24 hours in advance to Kathleen Leicht at kathleen.leicht or 202 514-7018. For more information, contact Gina Talamona in the Office of Public Affairs at 202 514-2007, or Frances Marshall in the Antitrust Division at 202 305-2520. Location: Great Hall, DOJ, Main Building, 950 Pennsylvania Ave., NW.
10:00 AM. The Senate Indian Affairs Committee and the Senate Commerce Committee will hold a joint hearings on telecommunications issues in Indian country.
10:00 AM. The Senate Banking Committee will hold a hearing on the Annual National Export Strategy Report of the Trade Promotion Coordinating Committee (TPCC). The scheduled witnesses include: Donald Evans (Secretary of Commerce), Eduardo Aguirre (Export Import Bank), Hector Barreto (SBA), Peter Watson (Overseas Private Investment Corp.), and Thelma Askey (U.S. Trade and Development Agency). Location: Room 538, Dirksen Building.
Deadline to submit oppositions and responses to the FCC in its AT&T Comcast merger review proceeding. This proceeding is titled "In the Matter of Applications for Consent to the Transfer of Control of Licenses, Comcast Corporation and AT&T Corp., Transferors, To AT&T Comcast Corporation, Transferee". See, FCC notice.
Wednesday, May 15
8:45 - 9:30 AM. FTC Commissioner Orson Swindle will give the opening keynote address titled "The Urgency of Security In A Networked World" at the Information Integrity World Summit. See, notice. Location: Wyndham Washington, 1400 M Street NW.
9:30 AM - 12:00 NOON. The U.S. International Telecommunication Advisory Committee, which advises the Department of State on policy and technical issues with respect to the International Telecommunication Union, will meet to prepare for the June 2002 meeting of the Telecommunication Sector Advisory Group. Location: TIA, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave., NW., Suite 350.
11:00 AM. The Cato Institute will host a panel discussion titled "Digital Copy Protection: Mandate It? Ban It? Or Let the Market Decide?" The speakers will be Rick Lane (News Corporation), Jonathan Potter (Digital Media Association), Sarah Deutsch (Verizon), and Steve DelBianco (Association for Competitive Technology). See, online registration page. Webcast. Location: Cato, 1000 Massachusetts Avenue, NW.
12:30 PM? The Association of Federal Communications Consulting Engineers will hold a luncheon meeting. For more information, contact Noel Luddy at luddyen or 301 299-2270.
7:30 PM. There will be a panel discussion titled "Tech Talk: Information Security and Information Warfare". The panelists will be Robert Norris (National Defense University), Daniel Kuehl (National Defense University), and Lance Hoffman (George Washington University). The event is free, but reservations are required. Call 202 662-7501 or email pnelson for reservations. For more information, contact Laura Falacienski at 202 662-7564 or lauraf Location: National Press Club, Murrow Room, 529 14th St. NW, 13th Floor.
Deadline to submit comments to the USTR regarding the requests of 23 nations to join the WTO. See, notice in Federal Register.
Deadline to submit comments to the USPTO regarding its plan to disseminate all future editions of the Trademark Manual of Examining Procedure (TMEP) solely in electronic format. See, notice in Federal Register.