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September 23, 2002, 9:00 AM ET, Alert No. 514.
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House Telecom Subcommittee to Hold Hearing on Draft DTV Bill
9/20. The House Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet announced that it will hold a hearing on the transition to digital television on Wednesday, September 25. The Subcommittee also released a draft of a proposed bill [16 pages in PDF] and a summary of that draft bill.

The draft bill requires broadcasters to cease analog service by the end of 2006, requires the FCC to write rules that mandate that digital devices capable of receiving a digital signal recognize the use of a broadcast flag by January 1, 2006, prohibits the FCC from imposing dual must carry requirements, and requires digital television cable compatibility.

The draft bill amends the Communications Act of 1934, at Section 309(j)(14), to require that television broadcasters are required to cease analog television service, and operate in digital, by December 31, 2006.

The draft bill also requires the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to initiate a rule making proceeding to write rules to require digital devices capable of receiving a digital signal to recognize the use of a broadcast flag by January 1, 2006. The purpose of this is to prevent the unauthorized redistribution of marked digital terrestrial broadcast television content over the Internet.

The draft bill also provides that cable operators are not required to carry both the analog and the digital signal during the transition to digital television.

The draft would also require the FCC to promptly initiate another rule making proceeding to revise its rules "to ensure the nationwide interoperability with cable systems, and the nationwide portability, of equipment capable of receiving, recording, or displaying, or navigating among, television signals that is sold as capable of providing digital television service using a cable connection."

Such rule revisions would, among other things, "require all cable operators, by July 1, 2005, to transmit signals in accordance with a uniform family of technical standards accredited by the American National Standards Institute and prescribed by the Commission, that enable subscribers to receive, without the need for a separate cable set-top box, at a minimum -- (i) basic and premium digital television cable programming offered by the cable operator in both standard and high definition; and (ii) standard definition digital programming offered on a per program or per channel basis without the use of integrated bidirectional communications".

Such rule revisions would also "require all cable operators, by July 1, 2005, to make available to subscribers point of deployment modules for use with digital television receivers that are manufactured in accordance with a uniform family of technical standards accredited by the [ANSI] and prescribed by the [FCC]".

Industry Reaction. The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) stated in a release that "This draft legislation is a welcome, critical and helpful step toward driving the digital television transition. ... "We especially appreciate the draft bill's focus on the single most important issue related to mass market acceptance of DTV - cable compatibility. The draft legislation would establish fair, pro-consumer requirements to ensure compatibility between digital cable and digital television products. Indeed, the draft's guarantees of nationwide portability and compatibility will finally allow all of America's 70 million cable households to participate in the DTV transition." The CEA also stated that "the draft contains many other provisions which require further review and discussion."

Robert Holleyman, P/CEO of the Business Software Alliance (BSA), stated in a release that "An ongoing concern of our industry has been to ensure that whatever technologies are deployed to protect content do not impede technological progress, increase the cost of software and computers to consumers, or erode the performance of computers, ... We commend the Committee for having issued a draft that seeks to take these considerations into account." He added that "the draft raises a number of important issues which will require careful consideration and discussion".

Robert Sachs, P/CEO of the National Cable Telecommunications Association (NCTA) stated in a release that "The leadership and staff of the House Energy & Commerce Committee have devoted considerable time and resources in a very constructive process to bring industries together and facilitate the transition to digital TV. We look forward to working with the committee as it considers the staff draft and ways to resolve the many complex issues involved in the DTV transition. At the same time, we will continue to work to achieve inter-industry solutions to as many of these issues as is possible."

BellSouth & SBC File §271 Applications for Florida, Tennessee and California
9/20. BellSouth filed a Section 271 application with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to provide in region interLATA service in the states of Florida and Tennessee. Meanwhile, SBC filed a §271 application for the state of California.

The FCC approved BellSouth's application for the Georgia and Louisiana on May 24. It approved BellSouth's application for Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina and South Carolina on September 18. If approved, BellSouth would have authority to offer long distance service in all of the states within its original territory.

The FCC has already approved SBC's applications for the states of Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Texas. See also, FCC web page summarizing §271 applications and SBC release.

AT&T continues to oppose the granting of §271 applications. An AT&T officer stated in a release condemning the FCC's September 18 decision that "BellSouth enters the market controlling virtually all residential service and the lion's share of business customers. This decision removes BellSouth's incentives to open its markets to competition. State regulators now must ensure that BellSouth does not squash what little competition exists."

The FCC has 90 days to act upon these applications. Also, the Department of Justice's Antitrust Division is required to first issue its evaluations of these applications.

The FCC also issued a protective order [PDF] in the Florida and Tennessee proceeding, and a protective order [PDF] in California proceeding, pertaining to the submission to the FCC of certain documents. The FCC also issued notice [PDF] regarding the Florida and Tennessee proceeding, and a notice [PDF] regarding the California proceeding, that specify various deadlines. The FCC also assigned docket numbers. The Florida and Tennessee proceeding is WC Docket No. 02-307; the California proceeding is WC Docket No. 02-306.

The following are key deadlines in these proceedings:
October 9. Deadline to submit comments to the FCC regarding SBC's California application.
October 10. Deadline to submit comments to the FCC regarding BellSouth's Florida and Tennessee application.
October 25. Deadline for the DOJ to release its evaluation of BellSouth's Florida and Tennessee application.
October 29. Deadline for the DOJ to release its evaluation of SBC's California application.
November 1. Deadline to submit reply comments to the FCC regarding BellSouth's Florida and Tennessee application.
November 4. Deadline to submit comments to the FCC regarding SBC's California application.
December 19. Deadline for the FCC to rule on SBC's California application.
December 19. Deadline for the FCC to rule on BellSouth's Florida and Tennessee application.

GAO Reports on USPTO
9/19. The General Accounting Office (GAO) released a report [PDF] titled "Intellectual Property: Information on the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's Past and Future Operations".

The report states that "As the U.S. economy depends increasingly on new innovations, the need to patent or trademark quickly the intellectual property resulting from such innovations becomes more important."

The report details U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) statistics: "Patent activity grew substantially from fiscal year 1990 through 2001. The numbers of patent applications filed and patents granted nearly doubled, and the inventory of patent applications more than tripled; patent pendency increased from slightly over 18 months to nearly 25 months; and the number of patent examiners increased by about 80 percent," according to the report. Also, "Between fiscal years 1999 and 2001, fee collections increased from $887 million to $1.085 billion ..."

The report also reviews and contrasts the USPTO Business Plan, released February 2002, and The 21st Century Strategic Plan, released in June, 2002, both of which cover FY 2003 through 2007.

The report was prepared for Rep. Jim Saxton (R-NJ), the Chairman of the Joint Economic Committee, and Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), a member of the House Judiciary Committee. Rep. Smith stated in a release that "It is critically important that the USPTO become more efficient, accurate and productive in its duties so that innovators aren't stifled by delay nor encumbered by red tape.  When the process fails, American intellectual property and our economy suffer."

GAO Reports on Allocation of Export Reviews Between State and Commerce
9/20. The General Accounting Office (GAO) released a report [PDF] titled "Export Controls: Processes for Determining Proper Control of Defense Related Items Need Improvement".

The U.S. export control system is divided between one regulatory regime managed by the Department of State (for defense items) and a second regulatory regime managed by the Department of Commerce (for dual use items that have both military and commercial applications, such as certain computers and software). This GAO report addresses how various export permit applications are allocated between the two departments.

The GAO report finds that "Determining which department has jurisdiction over an item and how that item is controlled is fundamental to the proper implementation of the bifurcated U.S. export control system. Yet over the years, the U.S. government has experienced interagency disagreements over proper jurisdiction for items, and companies have been uncertain about which department controls the export of their items."

The report concludes that "Commerce has improperly classified some State controlled items as Commerce controlled and has not adhered to regulatory time frames for responding to requests. Improper classifications have occurred because Commerce rarely obtains input from State and Defense before making decisions."

The report also asserts that "in several instances, Commerce improperly provided companies with classifications for State controlled items, increasing the risk of such items being inappropriately exported."

The report also states that "The bifurcated U.S. export control system seeks to manage risks by balancing national security and foreign policy with economic interests. Commerce has altered this balance by not implementing the commodity classification process in a manner that considers other stakeholder interests."

The report was prepared for Rep. Christopher Shays (R-CT), Chairman of the House Government Reform Committee's Subcommittee on National Security, Veterans Affairs, and International Relations.

Groups File Amicus Brief in FISA Appeal
9/20. The Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT) and other groups filed an amicus curiae brief [54 pages in PDF] with the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review in a proceeding titled "In Re Appeal from July 19, 2002 Opinion of the United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court". The brief supports affirmance.

The brief states that this case "raises the question whether federal law enforcement officials can use the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act ... to initiate, control or direct surveillances for criminal investigation. In the court below, the government sought a judicial ruling that FISA can be used where the primary or even exclusive purpose of surveillance is to gather evidence of criminal conduct."

The brief argues that "While FISA now allows coordination, consultation and information sharing between intelligence and law enforcement officials, it does not authorize surveillance whose primary or exclusive purpose is law enforcement. Indeed, expanding the scope of secret surveillance under FISA would violate the Fourth Amendment and the Due Process guarantees of the Fifth Amendment, and would jeopardize the First Amendment right to engage in lawful public dissent."

New Bills
9/19. Rep. Mike Ferguson (R-NJ) and Rep. Harold Ford (D-TN) introduced HR 5414. The Congressional Record describes this as "A bill to facilitate check truncation by authorizing substitute checks, to foster innovation in the check collection system without mandating receipt of checks in electronic form, and to improve the overall efficiency of the Nation's payments system". It was referred to the House Committee on Financial Services.

9/19. Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), Rep. George Gekas (R-PA), Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), and Rep. Jane Harman (D-CA) introduced HR 5424. The Congressional Record describes this as "A bill to prevent the crime of identity theft [and] mitigate the harm to individuals victimized by identity theft". It was referred to both the House Judiciary Committee and the House Financial Services Committee.

9/20. The House Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet released a draft of a proposed bill [16 pages in PDF] regarding the transition to digital television. The bill would require broadcasters to cease analog service by the end of 2006, require the FCC to write rules that mandate that digital devices capable of receiving a digital signal recognize the use of a broadcast flag by January 1, 2006, prohibit the FCC from imposing dual must carry requirements, and require digital television cable compatibility. See also, Subcommittee's summary of draft bill.

Senate Adds Cyber Security Amendment to Homeland Security Bill
9/19. The Senate approved by unanimous consent an amendment to HR 5005, the Homeland Security Bill, offered by Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) that pertains to cyber security. It is essentially the same as HR 3482, the Cyber Security Enhancement Act, sponsored by Rep. Lamar Smith (D-TX), which passed the House on July 15, 2002, by a vote of 385-3.

See, story titled "House Passes Cyber Security Enhancement Act" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 470, July 16, 2002, for a section by section summary of the bill. See also, House Roll Call No. 296.

Sen. Hatch (at right) said in a statement in the Senate that "one of the many important tasks of the new Department of Homeland Security will be protecting our country's computer infrastructure from cyber attacks. Computer technology is at the heart of our country's economy and has improved every aspect of our lives. Terrorists and others who wish to harm our country recognize that cyber attacks on our vital computer and related technological systems can have a devastating impact on our country, our economy and the lives of our people." However, the amendment would pertain to cyber crimes generally, not just those committed by terrorists.

Sen. Hatch continued that "The amendment will strengthen our criminal laws and provide greater flexibility to communications providers and law enforcement when necessary to prevent and protect against devastating cyber attacks. Specifically, the amendment would increase the criminal penalty in Section 1030 of Title 18 of the United States Code for a cyber attack to a maximum of 20 years imprisonment where such an attack causes serious bodily injury, and life imprisonment where such an attack causes death. Currently, Section 1030 provides a maximum punishment of only 10 years imprisonment for a cyber attack which results in serious bodily injury or death."

Sen. Hatch also commented that "it is not difficult to imagine an assault on a computer system which might cause death or serious bodily injury. For example, a hacker who infiltrates a hospital database to erase records may thereby cause a patient to be deprived of necessary medication or treatment. As another example, consider the possibility of a cyber attack on a natural gas distribution pipeline that opens safety valves and releases fuel or gas. Attacks on sophisticated control systems, such as those involving natural gas, oil, electric power and water, which typically use automated supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems, would have a far reaching effect."

Treasury Official Urges Unified Rule Writing Process, But Diverse Supervision
9/20. Peter Fisher, Undersecretary of the Treasury for Domestic Finance, gave a speech titled "The Need to Reduce Regulatory Arbitrage" at the Brooklyn Law School Center for the Study of International Business Law.

He presented a case for a single rule maker for all financial services (similar regulatory treatment for similar products), but argued that there should remain separate entities for supervision. He said that this is because while there will be financial supermarkets, information and communication technology will permit "small firms to outsource many functions and thereby recapture some of the advantages previously associated only with economies of scale".

He argued that "there is a compelling case for greater coherence in our rule writing process for financial services, perhaps even for a ``super-regulator´´. But I draw a sharp distinction between financial regulation – rule writing -- and financial supervision." (Emphasis in original.)

He stated that "A single rule writer would need to respect two principles: first, that like products and like services should receive a like regulatory treatment and, second, that distinct products and distinct services should receive distinct regulatory treatment."

He continued that "Supervision -- the hands on business of looking over the shoulders of the financial intermediaries -- will and should remain divided among a number of different agencies and organizations, focused discretely on individual firms, products, and different policy objectives."

He also explained his reasoning. He said that "I am skeptical of the view that the future belongs to large conglomerates operating as financial ``supermarkets.´´ Large financial firms do have some important advantages, among them greater potential for diversification. Diversification spreads risk and stabilizes earnings."

However, said Fisher, "Advances in information and communication technology offset some of the scale and diversification advantages that large institutions may have. Today, technology permits small firms to outsource many functions and thereby recapture some of the advantages previously associated only with economies of scale."

"Thus, I expect that we will have a world in which nimble financial institutions of varying sizes, including both financial supermarkets and more focused financial firms, will compete with one another. As a society, we have – and want to retain – different, competing forms of financial intermediation, whether based on charter, product, function, or other form," said Fisher.

4th Circuit Rules No Recovery Under Privacy Act for Disclosure of SSNs Without Showing of Actual Damages
9/20. The U.S. Court of Appeals (4thCir) issued its split opinion [48 pages in PDF] in Doe v. Chao, holding that a plaintiff must prove actual damages to recover under the Privacy Act for improper disclosure of Social Security Numbers by the federal government.

Background. The Department of Labor adjudicates coal miners' black lung compensation claims. The DOL used applicants' social security numbers (SSNs) as its claim identifying numbers. The DOL and its administrative law judges disclosed SSNs in public documents.

District Court. Various black lung claimants filed complaints in the U.S. District Court (WDVa) against the Secretary of Labor (Elaine Chao is the current Secretary) alleging violation of the Privacy Act, 5 U.S.C. § 552 et seq, and violation of a right to privacy under the Constitution. Plaintiffs also sought class certification. The District Court consolidated the various cases. The DOL stipulated that it would stop its practice of publicly disclosing SSNs, and the District Court so ordered. The District Court held that actual damages are necessary to recover statutory damages under the Privacy Act, and that only one plaintiff had done so, by proving emotional distress. It granted summary judgment to the DOL as to all but one plaintiff (Buck Doe), denied the remaining plaintiffs' motion to amend the complaint to allege actual damages, and denied class action certification. The District Court also ruled for the DOL on the Constitutional claim. The black lung claimants appealed. The DOL cross appealed the emotional distress ruling as to Buck Doe.

Statute. 5 U.S.C. § 552a(g)(4) provides, in part, that "In any suit brought under the provisions of subsection (g)(1)(C) or (D) of this section in which the court determines that the agency acted in a manner which was intentional or willful, the United States shall be liable to the individual in an amount equal to the sum of (A) actual damages sustained by the individual as a result of the refusal or failure, but in no case shall a person entitled to recovery receive less than the sum of $1,000; and" costs and attorneys fees.

Appeals Court. The Court held that "a person must sustain actual damages to be entitled to the statutory minimum damages award."

The Court wrote that while Buck Doe had sworn in an affidavit that he was "embarrassed", "degraded", and "devastated", by the disclosure of his SSN, this was insufficient to raise an issue of fact. He did not allege the requisite manifestations of emotional distress, such as "medical or psychological treatment", "purchase of medications", and "physical consequences". The Court concluded that "because Buck Doe utterly failed to produce evidence sufficient to permit a rational trier of fact to conclude that he suffered any ``actual damages,´´ the district court's entry of summary judgment in Buck Doe's favor as to his entitlement to a statutory ``actual damages´´ award must be reversed, and we must remand with instructions to enter summary judgment in favor of the Government on his claim."

The Appeals Court further affirmed the District Court's denial of the motion to amend pleadings, and the denial of class certification.

The Appeals Court also affirmed the District Court's ruling on the Constitutional claim. It held that since the DOL stated that it would stop its practice of publicly disclosing SSNs, the issue was moot. The Court held that "no further effective relief can be given".

Judge Karen Williams wrote the opinion. Judge Michael Luttig joined. Recent press reports have speculated that Judge Luttig is on President Bush's short list of prospective nominees for the next opening on the Supreme Court.

Dissent. Judge Blane Michael wrote a 30 page dissent. He wrote that he disagreed with the majority's conclusion "that only a plaintiff who can prove actual damages is entitled to recover statutory damages under 5 U.S.C. § 522a(g)(4)." He wrote that "I would hold that proof of actual damages is not a prerequisite for the recovery of statutory damages under § 522a(g)(4)(A). A plaintiff who proves that he has suffered an adverse effect as a result of an agency's willful or intentional violation of the Act is entitled to the statutory damages remedy. A plaintiff may, of course, recover any proven actual damages in excess of $1,000."

He advanced three arguments in support of his interpretation of the statute. "First, Congress created the statutory damages remedy as an incentive to suit because it recognized that damages from government invasions of privacy are hard to prove. Second, Congress recognized that the typical injury caused by the invasion of privacy is emotional distress. Third, Congress intended for the statutory damages remedy to be available to plaintiffs who suffered even very minor harms as a result of the government’s intentional or willful invasion of their privacy."

However, Judge Michael concurred with the majority on the other issues on appeal.

DOJ Official Addresses International Competition Network
9/20. William Kolasky gave a speech titled "The International Competition Network: Guiding Principles for Merger Review". The International Competition Network (ICN) is an international entity comprised of about 65 nations' antitrust and competition regulatory authorities, such as the U.S.'s Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Antitrust Division. The ICN will hold a meeting on September 28-29.

Kolasky is a Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice. He spoke to the International Bar Association's Sixth Annual Competition Conference in Fiesole, Italy.

He said that the ICN is "helping to tame the multinational merger thicket that has grown up around us as an increasing number of jurisdictions -- roughly 65 at last count -- have enacted merger notification regimes."

"The concept behind ICN was to form a global network of competition authorities focused exclusively on competition -- ``all antitrust all the time´´ as my boss Charles James put it. The goal was twofold. First, to provide support for new competition agencies both in enforcing their laws and in building a strong competition culture in their countries. Second, to promote greater convergence among these authorities around sound competition principles by working together, and with stakeholders in the private sector, to develop best practice recommendations for antitrust enforcement and competition advocacy that could then be implemented voluntarily by the member agencies."

He said that while "The spread of merger notification is, of course, a positive development as a general matter ... These benefits, however, do not come without cost."

He elaborated that "The first significant cost is the cost of determining in which jurisdictions a particular transaction must be notified. The second is the cost and potential delay associated with preparing and filing the required notifications and then responding to requests for additional information as multiple agencies review the transaction. The third is the uncertainty created by the potential for conflicting outcomes, a potential we saw realized last year in GE/Honeywell."

"As cross border trade and investment grows, and as more and more jurisdictions enact antitrust laws, it becomes all the more critical that antitrust agencies impose no unnecessary bureaucratic roadblocks on the merger process and that antitrust authorities worldwide continue to achieve greater convergence. Of course, we do not expect to achieve convergence in the first year, or even the second or third years. Rather, ICN members expect to maintain a continuous, collegial, and focused dialogue and to achieve meaningful improvements in the practice of international antitrust enforcement, one step at a time, over both the short and long terms. In that way we can hopefully turn the multinational merger thicket into a well manicured English garden," Kolasky concluded.

James, Muris, Monti, Others to Speak at International Competition Network Meeting
9/20. Charles James, the Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Antitrust Division, and Timothy Muris, the Chairman of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), will participate in, and speak at, the first annual conference of the International Competition Network (ICN) in Naples, Italy on September 28-29.

Muris will speak on the morning of the 28th. James will speak on the afternoon of the 28th. Other speakers will include Mario Monti (Commissioner for Competition, European Commission), John Vickers (Director General, UK Office of Fair Trading), Giuseppe Tesauro (Chairman, Italian Competition Authority), Konrad von Finckenstein (Commissioner, Canadian Competition Bureau), and James Rill (former Co-Chair, DOJ's International Competition Policy Advisory Committee).

See also, DOJ release, FTC release, and conference agenda [PDF].

Tech Crime
9/17. Lynn Booker plead guilty in U.S. District Court (EDCal) to checking kiting via ATMs and unauthorized computer transactions through computer home banking. Check kiting is a fraudulent scheme in which a bank customer utilizes the time it takes for checks to clear to create artificially high balances of nonexistent funds through a systematic exchange of checks among accounts.

The U.S. Attorneys Office described Booker's scheme in a release [PDF]: "One account belonged to her and the other belonged to another person for which she was originally a co-signer, but was subsequently removed from the account. Investigators learned that defendant BOOKER forged checks on the other person's  account and deposited the forged checks into her account. BOOKER then deposited checks drawn on her account to the other person's account to sustain the check ``kite´´. BOOKER used Co-Op ATMs which provided additional float time for the check ``kite,´´ since they were not proprietary ATMs of the original credit union. On a number of occasions, BOOKER also conducted unauthorized computer transactions through computer home banking, and transferred funds between the two accounts. At the time of the transactions, BOOKER had no authority to make these transactions on the other person's account."

More News
9/22. Qwest Communications announced in a release that it will again restate its 2000 and 2001 financial statement, resulting in a $950 Million change in revenues. It stated that the restatement pertains to "revenue recognition and accounting treatment for exchanges and sales of optical capacity assets (IRUs). In restating its 2000 and 2001 financial statements with respect to these matters to be in conformance with generally accepted accounting principles, the company will reverse $ 950 million in revenues and related costs related to exchanges of optical capacity assets previously recognized."

9/20. The FCC published a notice in the Federal Register that it seeks further comments to refresh its record regarding customer proprietary network information (CPNI) implications when a carrier goes out of business, sells all or part of its customer base, or seeks bankruptcy protection. This is the FCC's Third Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in CC Docket Nos. 96-115, 96-149 and 00-257. Comments are due October 21, 2002; reply comments are due November 19, 2002. See, Federal Register, September 20, 2002, Vol. 67, No. 183, at Pages 59236 - 59239.

NTIA Extends ICANN Contract for One Year
9/19. The Commerce Department's National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) amended and extended its memorandum of understanding (MOU) with International Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) for the management of the the domain name system (DNS). See, document titled "Memorandum of Understanding Between the U.S. Department of Commerce and the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers: Amendment 5".

The original MOU was executed in November of 1998. The current MOU was set to expire on September 30, 2002.

Recently, there has been wide dissatisfaction with the performance of the ICANN. See, story titled "Senate Subcommittee Holds Hearing on ICANN", TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 450, June 13, 2002.

The NTIA also issued a statement critical of the ICANN. The statement provides that the ICANN "must be globally and functionally representative, operate on the basis of open and transparent processes, and possess robust, professional management".

It further stated that the NTIA "views the one year term of this extension to be a critical period for ICANN to make substantial progress on the remaining transition tasks. Indeed, the tasks themselves have been revised and augmented to highlight areas where both ICANN and the Department agree that ICANN's attention needs to be focused. During this one year term of the MOU extension, the Department will be closely monitoring ICANN's efforts, particularly through a quarterly reporting mechanism, and expects to see significant advancement."

The NTIA statement elaborated that the "ICANN should not be ``the government of the Internet.´´ Particularly, as the registry and registrar markets become increasingly competitive, the Department believes that market forces should play a greater role and that ICANN's involvement in policy making in this area should be correspondingly narrow."

It also stated that the NTIA has been "disappointed that ICANN's progress on the MOU tasks has moved so slowly", and that the MOU was extended in part because of the "uncertainty that would be generated by a drastic change in direction on DNS management".

NTIA Director Nancy Victory said in a release that "Although the MOU tasks have been augmented, ICANN should be a technical coordination body whose policy making role is limited ... ICANN should not be the government of the Internet."

The Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT) stated that "The new MOU imposes some new tasks on ICANN regarding improved accountability, transparency, and overall security of the Internet's Domain Name System, but fails to provide guidance on what the appropriate limits on ICANN's power should be."

Monday, September 23
The House will meet at 2:00 PM in pro forma session only.

The Senate will meet at 2:30 PM for morning business. At 3:30 PM the Senate will resume consideration of HR 5093, the Interior Appropriations bill.

Day one of a three day conference and exhibit titled "Biometric Consortium Conference (BC2002)". The conference is sponsored by the NIST's Information Technology Laboratory (ITL) and the Advanced Technology Program (ATP), the NSA, the DOD's Biometrics Management Office, the GSA, the Federal Technology Service (FTS) Center for Smart Card Solutions, and the state of West Virginia. The price to attend is $260. See, conference web site and agenda. Location: Hyatt Regency Crystal City, Arlington, VA.

Tuesday, September 24
The House will meet at 12:30 PM for morning hour and at 2:00 PM for legislative business. No votes are expected before 6:30 PM. The House will consider a number of non tech related measures under suspension of the rules. See, Whip Notice.

Day two of a three day conference and exhibit titled "Biometric Consortium Conference (BC2002)". See, conference web site and agenda.

9:00 AM. The House Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade, and Consumer Protection will hold a hearing on HR 4678, the Consumer Privacy Protection Act of 2002, sponsored by Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-FL). Web cast. Location: Room 2322, Rayburn Building.

10:00 AM. The House Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations will hold a hearing titled "Capacity Swaps by Global Crossing and Qwest: Sham Transactions Designed to Boost Revenues?" See, notice. Web cast. Press contact: Ken Johnson or Arturo Silva at 202 225-5735. Location: Room 2123, Rayburn Building.

10:00 AM. The Senate Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Judiciary Administrative Oversight and the Courts will hold a hearing on "the Washington, D.C. judicial circuit". Location: Room 226, Dirksen Building.

11:00 AM. The Cato Institute will host a policy forum titled "Digital Pearl Harbor: How Real Is the Cybersecurity Threat, and Who's Responsible Anyway?" The scheduled speakers include Howard Schmidt (Federal Office of Cybersecurity), Ken Silva (Verisign), Ira Parker (Genuity), and Scott Charney (Microsoft). See, notice and online registration page. Lunch will follow the program. Location: Cato, 1000 Massachusetts Ave., NW.

12:15 PM. The FCBA's Young Lawyers Committee will host a brown bag lunch to "discuss FCC's recent order mandating that consumer electronics manufacturers install digital television tuners in almost all new TVs, as well as TV interface devices such as VCRs". The scheduled speakers are Lynn Claudy (NAB), Michael Petricone (CEA), and Valerie Schulte (NAB). RSVP to Ryan Wallach at rwallach Location: Willkie Farr & Gallagher, 1875 K Street, NW.

CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC. 5:30 PM. Meeting of a legislative executive working group on the Foreign Sales Corporation (FSC) and Extraterritorial Income Exclusion Act (ETI) issue. Location: Room 211, Dirksen Building.

Deadline to submit opposition comments to the Copyright Office (CO) regarding the motion for stay filed by various broadcasters of the CO's final rule that provides that transmissions of a broadcast signal over a digital communications network are not exempt from copyright liability under 17 U.S.C. § 114(d)(1)(A). See, notice in the Federal Register.

Wednesday, September 25
The House will meet at 10:00 AM for legislative business. The House will consider several non tech related bills. See, Whip Notice.

Day three of a three day conference and exhibit titled "Biometric Consortium Conference (BC2002)". See, conference web site and agenda.

8:30 AM - 12:00 NOON. The FCC's North American Numbering Council will meet. Location: FCC, 445 12th Street, SW, Room TW-C305.

10:00 AM. The House Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet will hold a hearing on the transition to digital television. See, draft of proposed bill [16 pages in PDF] and summary of draft bill. Web cast. Press contact: Ken Johnson or Jon Tripp at 202 225-5735. Location: Room 2123, Rayburn Building.

12:15 PM. The FCBA's Online Communications Committee will host a brown bag lunch. The topic will be the Bush Administration's just released report titled "National Strategy to Secure Cyberspace". The speakers will be John Tritak (Director, Critical Infrastructure Assurance Office) and Tom Orlowski (VP of Information Systems, National Association of Manufacturers). RSVP to bviera Location: Kelley Drye & Warren, 1200 19th St., Suite 500.

Thursday, September 26
The House will meet at 10:00 AM for legislative business.  The House will consider several non tech related bills. See, Whip Notice.

TIME? The House Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Court, the Internet and Intellectual Property will hold a hearing on HR 5211, sponsored by Rep. Howard Berman (D-CA). The bill is sometimes referred to as the "peer to peer piracy protection act", or as the "Berman bill".

10:00 AM. The House Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection will hold a hearing titled "State Impediments to E-Commerce: Consumer Protection or Veiled Protectionism?" Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-FL) will preside. Press contact: Ken Johnson or Jon Tripp at 202 225-5735. Location: Room 2322, Rayburn Building.

10:00 AM. The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing to examine pending judicial nominations. Press contact: Mimi Devlin at 202 224-9437. Location: Room 106, Dirksen Building.

10:00 AM. The Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee will hold a hearings on web based education. Location: Room 430, Dirksen Building.

12:00 NOON. The FCBA will host a lunch. The speaker will be Duane Ackerman, CEO of BellSouth. The price to attend is $45 for members, $35 for government persons and law student members, and $55 for non-members. Registrations and cancellations are due by 5:00 PM on September 23. Location: Mayflower Hotel, 1127 Connecticut Avenue, State Ballroom.

3:00 PM. Niva Koren (University of Haifa Faculty of Law) will present at paper titled "Seizing Power in the Information Environment: The Comeback of the State", as a part of the George Washington University Law School Intellectual Property Workshop Series. For more information, contact Prof. Robert Brauneis at 202 994-6138. Location: Clinic Moot Court Room H 105, 716 20th Street, NW.

Friday, September 27
The House will not meet.

7:30 - 9:30 AM. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce will host a breakfast and panel discussion for technology professionals titled "Partnering Insights for Challenging Times". The scheduled speakers are Patrick Sweeney (ServerVault), Shane Oleson (Keymind division of Axiom Resources Management), Tim Grimes (Siemens Enterprise Networks), and Val Sriban (META Group). See, notice and registration page. The price to attend is $35 for the general public, and $25 for members of Partnerpoint, the U.S. Chamber, and co-sponsoring organizations. Location: U.S. Chamber of Commerce, 1615 H Street, NW.

TIME? The Federal Accounting Standards Advisory Board (FASAB) will meet to discuss issues related inter-entity costs, the Credit Reform Task Force, and other matters. See, notice in Federal Register. Location: Room 2N30, GAO Building.

Deadline to submit reply comments to the FCC regarding WorldCom's August 8, 2002, petition for declaratory ruling pursuant to 47 C.F.R. § 1.2, that requesting carriers are entitled to access ILEC Line Information Database data at cost based rates when they use such data to provide interexchange and exchange access service. This is CC Docket No. 01-338. See, FCC notice [PDF].

Deadline to submit reply comments to the Copyright Office (CO) regarding the motion for stay filed by various broadcasters of the CO's final rule that provides that transmissions of a broadcast signal over a digital communications network are not exempt from copyright liability under 17 U.S.C. § 114(d)(1)(A). See, notice in the Federal Register.

People and Appointments
9/20. The Senate confirmed Reena Raggi to be a Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals (2ndCir) by a vote of 85-0.

9/19. Jonathan Sokobin was named Deputy Chief Economist of the Securities and Exchange Commission's (SEC) Office of Economic Analysis. He was previously a member of the faculty at Southern Methodist University (SMU). See, SEC release.

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