Tech Law Journal Daily E-Mail Alert
September 30, 2002, 9:00 AM ET, Alert No. 519.
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House Passes Conference Report on DOJ Authorization Bill, With Tech Provisions
9/26. The House passed HR 2215, the 21st Century Department of Justice Appropriation Authorization Act, by a vote of 400-4. See, Roll Call No. 422. The bill does far more than authorize the Department of Justice (DOJ). It is also the vehicle for passage of numerous other tech related items.
It requires the DOJ to annually report certain information to the Congress regarding use of the Carnivore e-mail surveillance system; it changes the procedure for serving certain search warrants upon ISPs; and, it modifies the process for extending H1B visas for high tech workers. See, stories below.
The DOJ authorization bill also amends the Copyright Act to facilitate distance learning (TEACH Act); it amends the Patent Act regarding inter partes reexamination, and other matters; and, it includes the Madrid Protocol Implementation Act. See, stories in tomorrow's issue.
The House passed an earlier version of HR 2215 on July 23, 2001. The Senate later passed its own version of the bill on December 20, 2001. Hence, a conference committee was required to adjust the differences between the two versions of the bill. House and Senate conferees reached agreement on September 25. The text of conference report is printed in the Congressional Record for September 25, at pages H6586-6649.
The House has now passed the conference report. The Senate is likely to pass it during the week of September 30, with the President's signature shortly thereafter.
Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI), the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee (HJC), stated on the House floor on September 26 that "This conference report represents the first Department of Justice authorization that will be signed into law since 1979. The Department has gone for 23 years without an authorization. This legislation will help the Congress to do better oversight over the Department of Justice and will allow the Department of Justice to do better oversight over itself through improvements in the Inspector General's Office."
He stated that "H.R. 2215 also ensures effective market competition by making important improvements to federal antitrust statues, and establishes a Commission to review the adequacy of existing antitrust laws."
The bill provides, at Section 102, that "There are authorized to be appropriated for fiscal year 2003, to carry out the activities of the ... Antitrust Division: $141,855,000." (Cong. Rec., at H6588.)
Rep. Sensenbrenner also said that the bill "promotes America's economic competitiveness by strengthening protections for intellectual property, modernizing the application process at the Patent and Trademark Office, and ensuring that holders of U.S. trademarks are accorded the full protection of international law."
See also, HJC release and HJC summary of the conference report.
DOJ Authorization Bill Changes Procedure for Service of Search Warrants on ISPs
9/26. The House passed the conference report on HR 2215, the 21st Century Department of Justice Appropriation Authorization Act, by a vote of 400-4 on September 26. The Senate will likely pass the bill during the week of September 30. The bill includes, among other things, a provision regarding persons authorized to serve search warrants on Internet Service Providers (ISPs). It removes the requirement that a law enforcement officer be present.
Under current law, 18 U.S.C. 3105 covers persons authorized to serve search warrants. It specifies "an officer authorized by law". Section 11010 of HR 2215 would add a new subsection to 18 U.S.C. 2703. This section is a part of Title 121, which pertains to "Stored Wire and Electronic Communications and Transactional Records Access". This title was revised last year by the USA PATRIOT Act.
The new subsection 2703(g) provides, in full, that "(g) PRESENCE OF OFFICER NOT REQUIRED. -- Notwithstanding section 3105 of this title, the presence of an officer shall not be required for service or execution of a search warrant issued in accordance with this chapter requiring disclosure by a provider of electronic communications service or remote computing service of the contents of communications or records or other information pertaining to a subscriber to or customer of such service."
Thus, law enforcement authorities will be able to serve search warrants on ISPs by fax, without having to travel in person around the country. Likewise, ISPs will be more able to keep law enforcement officers off of their premises.
DOJ Authorization Bill Includes Carnivore Reporting Provisions
9/26. The House passed the conference report on HR 2215, the 21st Century Department of Justice Appropriation Authorization Act, by a vote of 400-4 on September 26. The Senate will likely pass the bill during the week of September 30. The bill includes, among other things, a provision requiring the Department of Justice (DOJ) to prepare annual reports for the Congress regarding its use of the Carnivore. Carnivore is a surveillance system installed on the facilities of Internet Service Providers (ISPs). It is also known as DCS 1000. The relevant language is found in Section 305 of the bill.
Currently, 18 U.S.C. 3126 requires the DOJ to submit annual reports to the Congress on the number of pen register orders and trap and trace device orders.
These are both old telephone industry concepts. Originally, a pen register recorded the numbers that were dialed or punched into a telephone. Similarly, a trap and trace device captured the number from which a communication was received. Prior to passage of the USA PATRIOT Act, the definitions covered "wire" communications only.
The issuance of pen register and trap and trace orders is covered by  3123. The terms pen register and trap and trace device are defined at  3127. The Congress amended these sections last year in the USA PATRIOT Act. In particular, the definitions of pen register and trap and trace device were expanded to include electronic communications, thus encompassing technologies such as the DOJ's Carnivore. That it, law enforcement authorities may capture the "To:" and "From:" addresses in e-mail communications.
Also, currently, 18 U.S.C. 2519 requires the DOJ to submit reports pertaining to wiretap orders. These orders, also known as Title III orders, allow the government to obtain the content phone conversations, and now, electronic communications. (Procedure for wiretap orders is covered in  2518.)
Section 305 of the DOJ authorization bill, amends both reporting requirements of both  3126 and  2519.
3126, regarding pen register and trap and trace devices, would be amended to also require the DOJ to report such things as "the period of interceptions authorized by the order ... the offense specified in the order ... the number of investigations involved ... the number and nature of the facilities affected ... the identity of the applying investigative or law enforcement agency making the application for an order" and "the specific persons authorizing the use of the DCS 1000 program".
2519, regarding wiretap orders, would be amended to require the DOJ to report a larger number of items. One of the additional items would be "the number of orders in which encryption was encountered and whether such encryption prevented law enforcement from obtaining the plain text of communications intercepted pursuant to such order". The bill would also require reporting of information pertaining to the numbers of resulting arrests, trials, convictions, and motions to suppress (and grants).
However, there is nothing in the new Section 305 pertaining to reporting to the Congress regarding orders issued under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).
DOJ Authorization Bill Modifies Extension Procedure for H1B Visas
9/26. The House passed the conference report on HR 2215, the 21st Century Department of Justice Appropriation Authorization Act, by a vote of 400-4 on September 26. The Senate will likely pass the bill during the week of September 30. The bill includes, among other things, a provision regarding extension of H-1B visas.
These visas commonly enable technology companies to employ aliens in positions for which there is a worker shortage among U.S. citizens. Section 11030A of the bill provides for an extension of H-1B status for aliens with lengthy adjudications.
Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) was the Chairman of the House Immigration Subcommittee when the House passed the American Competitiveness in the 21st Century Act (Public Law 106-313), also known as "AC21", during the previous Congress. He explained this new section during the floor debate. He said that it "will permit H-1B aliens who have labor certification applications caught in lengthy agency backlogs to extend their status beyond the 6th year limitation or, if they have already exceeded such limitation, to have a new H-1B petition approved so they can apply for an H-1B visa to return from abroad or otherwise re-obtain H-1B status."
He continued that "Either a labor certification application or a petition must be filed at least 365 days prior to the end of the 6th year in order for the alien to be eligible under this section." The problem, said Smith, is the the AC21 Act has an unforeseen defect. The Act provides for an extension of H-1B status beyond 6 years in one year increments, as long as an employment based immigrant visa petition or employment based adjustment of status application has been filed and at least 365 days have elapsed since the filing of the petition or a labor certification application. Smith said that the Department of Labor has slowed down its processing, making this process useless for many otherwise qualified applications.
FCC to Hold Hearing on Financial State of Telecom Industry
9/27. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced that it will hold an en banc hearing on "the current state of the telecommunications sector and to discuss steps needed to restore its financial health". It will be held on Monday, October 7, from 2:00 - 4:00 PM, in the Commission Meeting Room.
FCC Chairman Michael Powell stated in a release [PDF] that "The purpose of this hearing is to bring together key voices from the financial and research communities to discuss the financial state of the industry and what measures need to be taken to revitalize and restore the financial health of the telecommunications industry, restore public trust and prevent further erosion from the current financial turmoil in this sector". The FCC did not release a list of participants.
Sen. Baucus Calls WTO Dispute Settlement Process a "Kangaroo Court"
9/26. Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT), the Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, gave a speech [PDF] titled "U.S. Trade Law and the WTO". He that a growing number of World Trade Organization (WTO) panels "have inappropriately ruled against U.S. trade laws ... I am deeply troubled about what has been going on in the WTO dispute settlement process. These proceedings are looking more and more like a kangaroo court against U.S. trade laws. This trend must stop."
Sen. Max BaucusSen. Baucus (at right) reviewed the creation of the WTO dispute settlement process. He said that "During the Uruguay Round negotiations, the U.S. fought for and achieved a system of binding dispute resolution. We also fought for and won a deferential standard of review for trade remedy cases. This standard requires dispute settlement panels to defer to national authorities when they make reasonable interpretations of fact and WTO provisions. It was supposed to apply to all trade remedy cases, but it has been improperly narrowed. And even where notionally applied, it has been disrespected. As a nation with trade laws that are transparent, fair, and consistent with the express language of WTO agreements, we thought we had little to fear and much to gain from a system that would require our trading partners to bring their practices into compliance with WTO standards."
Sen. Baucus next discussed the Foreign Sales Corporation (FSC) tax regime, and its replacement, the Extraterritorial Income (ETI) regime. The WTO has held that both of these constitute illegal trade subsidies. On August 30 the WTO released a Decision of the Arbitrator [46 pages in PDF] that authorizes the EU to impose $4 Billion in countermeasures, or retaliatory tariffs. On September 13 the European Union published a document [14 pages in PDF] that lists thousands of product category numbers that identify products that may be subject to retaliatory tariffs. It includes many tech products.
Sen. Baucus stated that while the FSC/ETI matter "is not a case involving trade laws, it is one more example of arbitrary decision making. Of course, I believe the EC was wrong even to bring this case. But on the merits, the Appellate Body's decisions make an unworkable distinction between countries that rely primarily on direct taxes (like income taxes) and countries that rely primarily on indirect taxes (like the VAT). Even though the Appellate Body acknowledged countries' sovereign right to set their own tax systems, they interpret WTO rules in a way that heavily favors one particular model."
He added that he and Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA), the ranking Republican on the Finance Committee, "convened a working group on FSC this week, and I am hopeful that working together with our colleagues in Congress and with the Administration, we can evaluate all options and come up with possible solutions."
The U.S. could avoid the imposition of retaliatory tariffs, by repealing the ETI tax regime. Rep. Bill Thomas (R-CA), the Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, introduced HR 5095, the American Competitiveness and Corporate Accountability Act of 2002, on July 11, 2002, to address the WTO's rulings regarding the FSC and ETI. However, no action has been taken on the bill. Also, neither Sen. Baucus, nor any other member of the Senate, has yet introduced a bill in that body.
Sen. Baucus asked rhetorically, "So, why have we lost all these cases? What is going on here?" He answered that the "WTO dispute settlement panels are legislating. They are ignoring the deferential standard of review. They are exceeding their powers to add to the obligations and diminish the rights of the United States. In sum, they are making up rules out of whole cloth -- substituting their judgment for the negotiated agreement. They are making up rules that the United States never negotiated, that Congress never approved, and, I suspect, that Congress would not approve."
He concluded that "Overall, one thing is clear. WTO proceedings must be governed by the rule of law, not simply an abiding dislike on the part of our trading partners for some aspects of U.S. trade policy. If this trend is not addressed, this will be the next major trade issue. And it absolutely threatens the legitimacy of the WTO."
House Subcommittee Holds Hearing on Berman P2P Piracy Bill
9/26. The House Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet and Intellectual Property held 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".
The bill would add a new Section 514 to Chapter 5 (pertaining to copyright infringement and its remedies) of Title 17 (the Copyright Act).
The bill provides, in part, that "Notwithstanding any State or Federal statute or other law, ... a copyright owner shall not be liable in any criminal or civil action for disabling, interfering with, blocking, diverting, or otherwise impairing the unauthorized distribution, display, performance, or reproduction of his or her copyrighted work on a publicly accessible peer-to-peer file trading network, if such impairment does not, without authorization, alter, delete, or otherwise impair the integrity of any computer file or data residing on the computer of a file trader."
See also, story titled "Rep. Berman Introduces Bill to Legalize Self Help Technologies to Disable P2P Piracy" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 478, July 26, 2002.
Rep. Howard BermanRep. Berman (at right) said in his opening statement that while there have been "some truly outrageous press attacks", the basic premise of the bill is "that copyright owners should be able to use reasonable, limited self help measures to thwart rampant, notorious P2P piracy."
He continued that "Unauthorized distribution or downloading of copyrighted works on public P2P networks is illegal. To paraphrase the 9th Circuit in the Napster case: public P2P users ``infringe at least two of the copyright holders' exclusive rights: the rights of reproduction and distribution. P2P users who upload file names to the search index for others to copy violate a copyright holder's distribution rights. P2P users who download files containing copyrighted music violate a copyright holder's reproduction rights. Any attempt to say otherwise is a bald-faced attempt to rewrite well settled law."
"Massive theft of copyrighted works is the predominant use for public P2P networks today," said Rep. Berman. "Rather than looking for solutions to piracy, P2P companies are designing their systems to be better piracy tools. Both Morpheus and KaZaA have upgraded their software specifically to impair the ability of copyright owners to proliferate decoy files through the networks. Based on these facts, what can an objective person conclude other than that P2P companies plan to profit from piracy, and have no intent or desire to stop it?"
He stated that his bill "says that copyright owners should not be liable for thwarting the piracy of their works on P2P networks IF they can do so without causing harm." He added that this is necessary because "a variety of state and federal statutes can be read to create liability for copyright owners engaging in such harmless self help."
Rep. Howard Coble (R-NC), the Chairman of the Subcommittee, condemned critics of the bill for using "scare tactics" and accusing the bill's supporters of being "in the pockets of Hollywood". Rep. Coble, who is an original cosponsor of the bill, said in his opening statement that Recent technological advances have created a digital environment that is almost solely devoted to the unauthorized use of copyrighted works. In other words, P-2-P network customers are primarily using the program to obtain music, movies, software, photographs and other works without paying for the product."
Rep. Berman also wrote a speech for delivery at a Cato Institute panel discussion on peer to peer piracy on September 19. However, he was unable to attend, and the Minority Counsel for the Subcommitte, Alec French, delivered the speech in his place.
Rep. Rick Boucher (D-VA), a leading critic of HR 5211, said in his opening statement that "I question at the outset what it is the industry wants to do under the provisions of the bill that it cannot do under current law. Spoofing is allowed now. Decoys are allowed now. Redirection to legitimate websites is allowed now."
He raised several questions about the bill. He stated: "Would any of these intended self help mechanisms harm innocent Internet users by slowing down the speed of a shared network such as a cable modem service? Would any of these mechanisms permit the recording industry to intrude into the personal computer space of an Internet user?  If so, what are the implications of such intrusions for the privacy rights of individuals? If any damage is done to hardware, software or data owned by an Internet user, how would the damaged party know who to proceed against? After all, no notice to him is required under the bill that his space is being invaded or who is doing the invading. What assurance will there be that material which is protected under the fair use doctrine will not be blocked or disables by a self help invasion?"
He stated that the music industry should "simply place entire inventories on the Web for permanent portable downloading at a reasonable price". He also promoted his own legislative proposal "to facilitate the lawful distribution of music across the Internet in a manner that assumes that all owners of copyright are paid. Mr. Cannon and I have introduced a comprehensive measure, the Music Online Competition Act, each of the elements of which if enacted into law would help achieve that goal." The two introduced this bill, HR 2724, or the "MOCA" bill, on August 2, 2001.
Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), who represents a Silicon Valley district, also spoke in opposition to the bill. She said that peer to peer applications are the "next killer app", and give consumers an incentive to embrace broadband.
Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Rep. Robert Wexler (D-FL) both delivered emphatic excoriations of peer to peer piracy.
Rep. Marty Meehan (D-MA) called the bill a "good first step". Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) expressed support for efforts to combat piracy, and criticized misuse of peer to peer networks. However, he also said, "I have not yet cosponsored this bill."
Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-CA) reflected on the parties to the debate. He said that "there is an intramural battle going on in the technology community." He added that for some companies that provide both equipment and content, such as Sony, "it is not even clear that companies are on the same page".
"Congress is not going to sit and watch this go on much longer," said Rep. Weiner. He conclude that "no one has made a good argument to me why this should be allowed to continue."
See also, prepared statements of witnesses: Hilary Rosen (CEO of the RIAA), Randy Saaf (President of Media Defender), Phil Galdston (songwriter), and Gigi Sohn (founder of Public Knowledge).
This hearing was likely Rep. Coble's last as Chairman of the Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet and Intellectual Property. He has served the maximum six years permitted by House Republicans. Members took the opportunity to praise Rep. Coble's hard work, fairness, and bipartisanship. Although, most of the praise came from the Democrats on the Subcommittee.
FCC and NextWave Argue Over Pleadings on Eve of Oral Argument
9/27. The Supreme Court will hear oral argument in FCC v. Nextwave, Case No. 01-653, and Arctic Slope Corp. v. Nextwave, Case No. 01-657, on Tuesday, October 8. On September 27, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) filed a pleading with the Supreme Court titled "Response of the Federal Communications Commission to the Respondents' Motion to File Supplemental Appendix". The FCC stated in this latest pleading that the respondents' September 20 "Motion to File a Supplemental Appendix" is in fact a "sur-reply not provided for by this Court's rules", and that the Court should not accept it. The Acting Solicitor General, who is counsel for the FCC, is shocked that someone else would raise matters in an untimely manner.
NextWave obtained spectrum licenses at FCC auctions in 1996. The FCC permitted NextWave to obtain the licenses, and make payments under an installment plan, thus creating a debtor creditor relationship between NextWave and the FCC. NextWave did not make payments required by the plan, and filed a Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition. The FCC cancelled the licenses. It then proceeding to re-auction the disputed spectrum. The U.S. Court of Appeals (DCCir) ruled in its June 22, 2001 opinion that the FCC is prevented from canceling the spectrum licenses by 525 of the Bankruptcy Code. The FCC petitioned the Supreme Court for writ of certiorari. The Court granted certiorari.
The FCC argued in its May 6 Brief that 525 "does not displace the FCC's exclusive regulatory authority over spectrum licensing and the license allocation mechanism established in 47 U.S.C. 309(j)." See also, August 12 Reply Brief [PDF].
More News
9/27. The General Accounting Office (GAO) released a report [PDF] titled "Information Technology: Greater Use of Best Practices Can Reduce Risks in Acquiring Defense Health Care System". This report examines the Defense Department's acquisition of the $1 Billion Composite Health Care System (CHCS) II.
9/27. The Commerce Department's Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS), formerly known as the Bureau of Export Administration (BXA), published a notice in the Federal Register that it is requesting comments on its foreign policy based export controls set forth in the Export Administration Regulations (EAR). This includes, among other things, high performance computers and encryption products. Comments are due by November 29, 2002. See, Federal Register, September 27, 2002, Vol. 67, No. 188, at Pages 61047 - 61049.
9/27. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced that it has conditionally approved Shell Oil Company's proposed acquisition of Pennzoil Quaker State Company, subject to certain divestitures. See, FTC release. Specifically, the FTC filed an administrative complaint [5 page in PDF] against Shell and Pennzoil Quaker State alleging that their merger plan violates Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act, 15 U.S.C. 45, and Section 7 of the Clayton Act, 15 U.S.C. 18. Then, the parties simultaneously settled the matter. See, Agreement Containing Consent Order [4 pages in PDF], Decision and Order [10 pages in PDF], and Order to Hold Separate and Maintain Assets [17 pages in PDF]. See also, the FTC's summary [PDF] of the proceeding.
9/27. The New Millennium Research Council hosted a panel discussion titled "A WorldCom Phoenix: Is Bankruptcy a Tool for Competitive Advantage?" See, release.
House to Vote on Internet Gambling Bill
9/27. The House of Representatives has scheduled a vote on HR 556, the Unlawful Internet Gambling Funding Prohibition Act, for Tuesday, October 1. It will be considered under a suspension of the rules, which means that no amendments are in order, and that passage requires two thirds of those voting.
HR 556 is sponsored by Rep. James Leach (R-IA). It provides, in part, that "No person engaged in the business of betting or wagering may knowingly accept, in connection with the participation of another person in unlawful Internet gambling (1) credit, or the proceeds of credit, extended to or on behalf of such other person (including credit extended through the use of a credit card); (2) an electronic fund transfer or funds transmitted by or through a money transmitting business, or the proceeds of an electronic fund transfer or money transmitting service, from or on behalf of the other person; (3) any check, draft, or similar instrument which is drawn by or on behalf of the other person and is drawn on or payable at or through any financial institution; or (4) the proceeds of any other form of financial transaction as the Secretary may prescribe by regulation which involves a financial institution as a payor or financial intermediary on behalf of or for the benefit of the other person."
The House Financial Services Committee approved the bill by a vote of 34-18 on October 31, 2001. See, story titled "House Committee Passes Internet Gambling Funding Bill" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 299, Nov. 1, 2002.
There is another, broader, bill aimed at Internet gambling pending in the House -- HR 3215, the Combating Illegal Gambling Reform and Modernization Act. It is sponsored by Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA).
HR 3215 contains language similar to the above quoted language of HR 566. However, HR 3215 contains much more. For example, it would amend 18 U.S.C. 1081 and 1084, which contain the definitions and prohibition, respectively, of the Wire Act. The Wire Act currently criminalizes the use of "wire communications facilities" in interstate commerce for gambling. The Wire Act does not ban gambling. This is a matter of state law. HR 3215 expands the prohibition to cover all communications between states or with other foreign countries. It maintains the principle that gambling is otherwise a matter of state law. Hence, under HR 3215, use of the Internet for gambling purposes would become illegal (if interstate or foreign).
Monday, September 30
The House will meet at 2:00 PM in pro forma session.
The Senate will meet at 1:00 PM for morning business. At 2:00 PM the Senate will resume consideration of HR 5005, the Homeland Security Act.
9:00 AM - 4:30 PM. The President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) will hold an open meeting. The agenda includes: the science and technology of combating terrorism, federal investment in science and technology research and development, and "demand issues that can speed the deployment of a 21st Century broadband infrastructure". See, notice in the Federal Register for pre-clearance requirements and other information. Location: Loy Henderson Conference Room, Department of State, 2201 C St., NW. The public must use the 23rd Street entrance.
Third of three deadlines to submit proposals to the NIST for FY 2002 Advanced Technology Program (ATP) funds. See, notice in Federal Register.
Deadline to submit comments to the FCC in response to it Public Notice [7 pages in PDF] regarding relief for the Auction No. 35 winners. The FCC asks for public comments regarding two possible scenarios for providing relief to the winning bidders in the January 2001 re-auction of spectrum previously auctioned to NextWave: full refund and option to dismiss all pending applications, and selective opt out for pending applications.
Deadline to submit comments and Notices of Intention to Participate to the Copyright Office "royalty fees collected for calendar year 2000 under the section 111 cable statutory license". The CO seeks comments "as to whether a Phase I or Phase II controversy exists as to the distribution of those fees, and a Notice of Intention to Participate in a royalty distribution proceeding." See, notice in the Federal Register.
Deadline to submit comments and proposals to the Copyright Office (CO) regarding data format and delivery for record keeping requirements to be established by the CO for the Section 112 and 114 statutory licenses. See, notice [8 pages in PDF].
Tuesday, October 1
The House will meet at 10:30 AM for morning hour and at 12:00 NOON for legislative business. No votes are expected before 6:30 PM. The House will consider numerous of measures under suspension of the rules, including HR 556, the Unlawful Internet Gambling Funding Prohibition Act, sponsored by Rep. James Leach (R-IA). See, Whip Notice.
9:30 AM. The Senate Commerce Committee will hold a hearings to examine the government's role in promoting the future of the telecommunications industry and broadband deployment. The scheduled witnesses include Reed Hundt (former FCC Chairman), Michael Price (Evercore Partners), Lawrence Lessig (Stanford University), Peter Huber (Manhattan Institute), and Craig Mundie (Chief Technical Officer of Microsoft). Location: Room 253, Russell Building.
10:00 AM. The House Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet will hold a hearing titled "Recording Industry Marketing Practices: A Check-Up". Location: Room 2123, Rayburn Building.
10:00 AM. The House Government Reform Committee's Subcommittee on Technology and Procurement Policy will hold a hearing titled "Ensuring Coordination, Reducing Redundancy: A Review of OMB's Freeze on IT Spending at Homeland Security Agencies". Web cast. Location: Room 2154, Dirksen Building.
10:00 AM. The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing titled "Narrowing the Nation's Power: The Supreme Court Sides with the States". Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) will preside. The Committee has not yet released an agenda or witness list. Nevertheless, the scope of the hearing could include the 1996 ruling in Seminole Tribe of Florida v. Florida that the Congress lacks authority under Article I of the Constitution to abrogate the States' 11th Amendment immunity from suit in federal courts. The Supreme Court extended this to the context of intellectual property in the 1999 rulings in Florida Prepaid v. College Savings Bank (invalidating the Patent and Plant Variety Protection Remedy Clarification Act) and College Savings Bank v. Florida Prepaid (invalidating the Trademark Remedy Clarification Act). Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and others have introduced S 2031, the Intellectual Property Protection Restoration Act of 2002, to stop states from evading liability for infringing intellectual property rights by asserting 11th Amendment immunity. Location: Room 226, Dirksen Building.
12:30 PM. U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Robert Zoellick will give a luncheon address. Location: National Press Club, Ballroom, 529 14th St. NW, 13th Floor.
Wednesday, October 2
The House will meet at 10:00 AM for legislative business. The agenda includes several non tech related matters. See, Whip Notice.
10:00 AM. The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing titled "Stopping Child Pornography: Protecting our Children and the Constitution". See, notice. Location: Room 226, Dirksen Building.
1:30 - 3:30 PM. The FCC's WRC-03 Advisory Committee Informal Working Group 7: Regulatory Issues and Future Agendas will meet. Location: Boeing Company, Arlington, VA.
Thursday, October 3
The House will meet at 10:00 AM for legislative business. The agenda includes several non tech related matters. See, Whip Notice.
10:00 AM - 12:00 NOON. The AEI Brookings Joint Center will host an event titled "High Stakes Antitrust: The Clinton Legacy". Location: Stein Room, Brookings Institution, 1775 Massachusetts Ave., NW.
1:00 - 3:00 PM. The FCC's Office of Engineering and Technology will host a tutorial titled "Free Space Optical Communications". FSO is the practice of transmitting information, or data by means of modulated beams of light through the atmosphere, rather than through fiber optical cables. John Schuster, CTO of Terabeam Corporation, will speak. See, notice [PDF]. Location: FCC, Commission Meeting Room (TW-C305), 445 12th Street, SW.
The George Mason University (GMU) Tech Center and the Federalist Society will host a one day conference on cyber crime. Registration is free, except for persons seeking CLE credit, who must pay $50. A continental breakfast and buffet lunch will be provided. See, notice. Location: GMU School of Law, 3301 Fairfax Drive, Arlington, VA.
Friday, October 4
Target adjournment date for the House and the Senate.
The House will meet at 9:00 AM for legislative business. The agenda includes several non tech related matters. See, Whip Notice.
9:30 AM. The U.S. Court of Appeals (DCCir) will hear oral argument in Seven Company Services, Inc. v. FCC, No. 01-1326. This is a petition for review of a final order of the FCC regarding 47 U.S.C. 224 (Section 703 of the 1996 Act) and rates, terms and conditions of access for attachments by cable operators and telecommunications carriers to utility poles, ducts, conduits and rights of way. See, FCC order [78 pages in PDF in three parts: 1 | 2 | 3] titled "Consolidated Partial Order on Reconsideration", released on May 25, 2001. This in the proceedings titled "In the Matter of the Commission's Rules and Policies Concerning Pole Attachments" (CS Docket No. 97-98), and "In the Matter of the Implementation of Section 703(e) of the Telecommunications Act of 1996" (CS Docket No. 97-151). Judges Edwards, Rogers and Garland will preside. Location: 333 Constitution Ave., NW.
9:30 - 10:45 AM. Paul Gallant (Chair of the FCC's Media Ownership Working Group) will participate on a panel titled, "Media Ownership and the Public Interest: The Role of the FCC" at a Consumer Federation of America's conference on energy and communications regulation. Location: Radisson Barcelo Hotel.
12:15 PM. The FCBA's Wireless Committee will host a luncheon titled "Wireless Industry Consolidation: Is It Needed? Will It Happen?" The scheduled speakers are Chris Murphy (Consumers Union), Rudy Baca (Precursor Group), and Lauren Patrich (FCC Commercial Wireless Division). The price to attend is $15. RSVP to wendy@fcba.org. Registrations and cancellations due by 5:00 PM on October 1. Location: Sidley Austin, 1501 K Street, NW, Conference Room 6E.
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