|Bush Signs Dot Kids Bill
|12/4. President Bush signed
HR 3833, the Dot Kids Implementation and
Efficiency Act. The bill provides that the NTIA must require the establishment of second level domain
within the .us country code domain that is restricted to material that is not
harmful to minors.
The bill requires that the National
Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) "shall require the
registry selected to operate and maintain the United States country code
Internet domain to establish, operate, and maintain a second-level domain within
the United States country code domain that provides access only to material that
is suitable for minors and not harmful to minors ..."
Bush gave a
at a signing ceremony at the White House. He said, "Legislation I sign today
will create a new place on the Internet that is safe for our children to learn
and to play and to explore. Dot Kids will be part of the U.S. country domain on
the Internet. It will function much like the children's section of the library,
where parents feel comfortable allowing their children to browse. Be a safe
place for children to go."
He continued that "This bill is a wise and necessary step to safeguard our
children while they use computers and discover the great possibilities of the
Internet. Every site designated .kids will be a safe zone for children. The
sites will be monitored for content, for safety, and all objectionable material
will be removed. Online chat rooms and instant messaging will be prohibited,
unless they can be certified as safe. The websites under this new domain will
not connect a child to other online sites outside the child friendly zone."
Bush also took several questions from reporters. However, all of the
questions dealt with Iraq, Al Qaeda, and the Middle East.
is largely the product of two members of the
House Commerce Committee:
Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL) (at right) and
Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA). Both are
also members of its Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet.
Shimkus and Markey first introduced a bill,
that would have required a "top-level, International domain", but later
settled for a second level domain within the .us country code domain. See, stories titled
"Reps. Shimkus and Markey Seek a .kids Domain",
TLJ Daily E-Mail
Alert No. 234, July 25, 2001; "House Subcommittee Holds Hearing on Kids Domain"
E-Mail Alert No. 300, November 2, 2001; and "House Passes Dot Kids Domain
Bill", TLJ Daily
E-Mail Alert No. 436, May 22, 2002.
|FCC Announces Agenda for Open Meeting
|12/4. The Federal Communications
Commission (FCC) announced the
for its open meeting on Wednesday, December 11, 2002. The agenda indicates that
the FCC will likely adopt several spectrum related notices of inquiry.
The FCC's Spectrum Policy Task Force
(SPTF) released its
[73 pages in PDF] on November 15. Several items on the agenda relate to issues
addressed in the report.
This is the FCC's last open meeting for the year 2002. Notably, it appears
unlikely that the FCC will act on several proceedings that Commissioners have
previously stated ought to be completed this year. For example, there is nothing
in the agenda for the December 11 meeting regarding the UNE triennial
proceeding, performance measures or broadband.
One item on the agenda is a NOI regarding "the effectiveness of current regulatory tools in
facilitating the delivery of spectrum based services to rural areas and the
extent to which rural telephone companies and other entities seeking to serve
rural areas have opportunities to provide spectrum based services."
The SPTF report recommended that the FCC "explore ways to promote spectrum
access and flexibility in rural areas". In particular, it recommended that the
FCC "should promote the development of an efficient and flexible secondary
markets regime that, in addition to partitioning, facilitates the leasing of
spectrum usage rights in rural areas, which would significantly lower
transaction costs. The Commission could also consider expanding ``easements´´ on
licensed spectrum ... in low-congestion areas to allow access, on a
non-interference basis, by other spectrum users." The report also recommended
that the FCC "should consider the impact of its rules
on access to rural spectrum". See, report, at pages 58-60.
Another agenda item is a NOI "concerning
the possibility of permitting unlicensed transmitters to operate in additional
frequency bands". The agenda further specifies that this would be spectrum bands
"Below 900 MHz and in the 3 GHz Band".
The SPTF report recommended that the FCC "should
consider designating additional bands for unlicensed use to better optimize
spectrum access", and that "it appears that additional spectrum is needed for
The report found that "the growing
popularity of computer networking has stimulated a heightened interest in
unlicensed technology and one of the fastest growing applications of unlicensed
devices is for WLANs. Among the more popular wireless data services are devices
that operate in the 2.4 GHz band in accordance with the 802.11b or ``Wi-Fi´´
standards and protocols developed by the Institute of Electrical and Electronic
Engineers. Unlicensed devices are also being developed to provide very short
range wireless ``personal area´´ networks (WPANs), such as Bluetooth." See,
report, at pages 54-55.
Another item is a NOI "seeking information that can be
used to analyze the status of competition in the CMRS
industry for purpose of its Eighth Report and Analysis of Competitive Market
Conditions with Respect to Commercial Mobile Services."
There are two other items are on the agenda. The FCC will consider a
Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking concerning "access to emergency services
from services and devices that may not be currently within the scope of the
Commission’s E911 rules", and the FCC's Wireless Telecommunications Bureau will
report on "the status of unintentional wireless 911 calls".
The meeting will be held at 9:30 AM, in the Commission Meeting Room, TW-C305,
at FCC offices at 445 12th Street, SW. It is open to the public, and web cast.
|WorldCom and AT&T Seek Cert in USTA v. FCC
AT&T and Covad filed a
Petition for Writ of
Certiorari [42 pages in PDF] with the
Supreme Court seeking review of the
May 24, 2002
opinion of the U.S. Court of Appeals
USTA v. FCC granting petitions for review of an FCC
unbundling order and line sharing order. (The West citation for the opinion is 290 F.3d 415.)
Incumbent local exchange carriers (ILECs) and the
U.S. Telecom Association (USTA), a group that
represents them, challenged the Federal
Communications Commission's (FCC) order requiring ILECs to lease a variety
of unbundled network elements to competitive local exchange carriers (CLECs).
They also challenged a FCC line sharing order that requires ILECs to lease to
CLECs only a portion of local copper loops, rather than the whole line, for the
purpose of offering DSL service.
The Appeals Court granted both petitions. It remanded both rules to the FCC
for further proceedings. The ILECs prevailed.
The FCC already had underway a
proceeding in which it is examining its unbundling rules. That proceeding is
The petitioners now assert that the question presented is as follows: "Under
AT&T Corp. v. Iowa Utilities Board, 525 U.S. 366 (1999), Verizon
Communications Inc. v. FCC, 122 S.Ct. 1646 (2002), and the provisions of the
Telecommunications Act of 1996, may the FCC require incumbent telephone
monopolists to lease elements of their network to competitors based on the FCC's
findings that the ability of hundreds of firms to provide competing services
will be materially lessened if they must obtain the elements from sources
outside the incumbents' networks, or must the FCC also satisfy extra-statutory
requirements in order to address putative adverse effects that the leasing of
those elements will have on investment in alternative facilities?"
Mark Rosenblum, AT&T's VP for law, stated in a
"There's no question that the D.C. Circuit Court decision reflects a view of the
1996 Act that is radically different from the one Congress enacted, that is
foreclosed by the Supreme Court's decisions in two prior cases, and that cannot
possibly create the local telephone competition consumers have been promised ...
We are simply asking the Supreme Court to reaffirm its two previous rulings and
provide the certainty needed to set the telecom industry back on course."
In sharp contrast, Walter McCormick, P/CEO of the USTA stated in a
release that "AT&T
could invest its financial resources in facilities and jobs, but instead it
chooses to invest in lawyers and litigation. We are confident that the Supreme
Court will dismiss AT&T's arguments. The public interest lies in economic growth
and job creation that can best be encouraged through investment in facilities
Similarly, Herschel Abbott, BellSouth VP for governmental affairs, stated in
a release that "The original court decision lent support to the direction that
the Federal Communications Commission seems to be going with its current reviews
of rules on the microscopic dissection of Bell networks. We urge the commission
to stay the course. The commission is nearing completion of a fact-based
proceeding to see which rules are really necessary to spur competition and which
can be abandoned because competition has already taken hold. The May 24th
appeals court decision seems to support going down that path."
|Court Holds California PUC Does Not Have
Jurisdiction Over Unfair Competition Complaints
California Court of Appeal (1/3) issued its
[MS Word] in Greenlining
Institute v. PUC,
a petition for writ of review of an order of the California
Public Utilities Commission (PUC).
The Greenlining Institute and others
filed complaints against Pacific Bell with
the PUC alleging that Pacific used a variety of misleading and deceptive
marketing practices to sell optional services to customers in violation of PUC
rules, and California unfair competition statutes. The PUC determined that
certain of Pacific Bell's practices were unlawful and ordered prospective and
retrospective relief. However, the PUC did not adjudicate the claims arising
under California unfair competition law.
Greenlining then filed this petition for review with the Court of Appeal. The
Court of Appeal held that the PUC does not have jurisdiction over complaints
arising under California unfair competition law. This is a matter for the
|11/21. Chris Israel gave a
the Dot Com Bubble: Supporting Global E-Commerce and Sharing the Promise of
Technology" in Lima, Peru. Israel is Deputy Assistant Secretary for Technology
Policy at the Commerce Department. He spoke to an American Chamber of Commerce
Conference on E-Commerce.
12/4. The Commerce Department's Bureau of
Industry and Security (BIS)
announced that it fined Jet Info Systems International (Jet) $40,000 for
re-exportation of computers to Russia in violation of U.S. export controls. The
BIS, which was formerly known as the Bureau of Export Administration (BXA),
stated that Jet re-exported computers in 1996 from Germany to the Russian
Federal Nuclear Center of the Russian Research Institute of Experimental Physics
without BIS authorization. The BIS also imposed a two year denial of export
privileges on Jet. See, BIS
12/4. The U.S.
Court of Appeals (DCCir) issued its
a civil case involving, among other things, the wiretap provisions of the Omnibus Crime Control and
Safe Streets Act of 1968. Plaintiffs alleged illegal wiretapping of their home and
office telephones. The jury returned a verdict for plaintiffs. The Appeals Court
reversed, on statute of limitations grounds.
12/4. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
(USPTO) announced that it is adjusting certain patent and trademark fee amounts
to reflect increases in the Consumer Price Index (CPI). See,
release, with list of fee increases.
12/4. The Progress & Freedom Foundation (PFF)
will move its office location to 1401 H Street, NW, effective as of January 6,
|Bush Names McCallum Associate Attorney
|12/4. President Bush announced his intent to nominate Robert McCallum
to be the Associate Attorney General at the Department of Justice
(DOJ). He is currently
Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Civil Division. See,
(at right) was previously a partner in the Atlanta office of the law firm of
Alston & Bird. He focused on
civil litigation, including appeals, commercial real estate litigation,
insurance class action litigation and medical malpractice defense.
The top officer at the DOJ is the Attorney General,
John Ashcroft. The second position is the
Deputy Attorney General, Larry Thompson. The Associate Attorney General oversees many of the
civil units of the DOJ, including five key divisions: Civil,
Environment and Natural Resources, and Civil Rights. He also oversees many other
units, including the Office of Justice Programs, Community Oriented Policing
Services (COPS), Community Relations Service, Office of Dispute Resolution,
Violence Against Women Office, Office of Information and Privacy, Executive
Office of U.S. Trustees, and the Foreign Claims Settlement Commission.
not have authority, however, over the Solicitor General, the Office of Legal
Counsel, or any of the crime related units. See,
DOJ Organizational Chart.
Jay Stephens was the previous Associate Attorney General. Peter Keisler (a telecom lawyer from Sidley Austin) is currently the acting
Associate Attorney General.
McCallum is one of many Atlanta lawyers, sometimes called the "Atlanta mafia", who
joined the DOJ as part of the Bush Administration. Others include Deputy
Attorney General Thompson, and the head of the
Computer Crimes and Intellectual
Property Section, John Malcolm.
|Thursday, December 5
|9:00 AM - 3:30 PM. Day two of a three day meeting of the
National Institute of Standards and Technology's
(NIST) Computer System Security and Privacy Advisory Board (CCSPAB). The CCSPAB
advises the Secretary of Commerce and the Director of NIST on security and
privacy issues pertaining to federal computer systems. The agenda includes (1)
GSA update on e-authentication, (2) updates on recent computer security
legislation, (3) update by OMB on privacy and security issues, (4) briefing on
OMB enterprise architecture effort, (5) briefing on NIST certification and
authentication effort. See,
Federal Register. Location: North Gaithersburg Hilton Hotel, 620 Perry
Parkway, Gaithersburg, MD.
9:30 AM. The U.S. Court of Appeals
(DCCir) will hear oral argument in Sprint v. FCC, No. 01-1266.
Judges Ginsburg, Rogers and Tatel will preside. Location: 333 Constitution
9:30 - 11:30 AM. The FCC's WRC-03 Advisory Committee's Informal
Working Group 7: Regulatory Issues and Future Agendas will meet. Location:
Boeing Company, Arlington, VA.
10:00 AM. The U.S. Court of Appeals (FedCir)
will hear oral argument in Resonate v. Alteon Websytems, No. 02-1201.
Resonate filed its complaint in
U.S. District Court (NDCal)
against Alteon Websystems, which has since been acquired by
Nortel Networks, alleging infringement of
U.S. Patent No. 5,774,660, titled "World Wide Web Server With Delayed
Resource Binding For Resource Based Load Balancing On A Distributed Resource
Multi Node Network". The District Court issued a a claim construction ruling
adverse to Resonate. Location: Courtroom 402, 717 Madison Place, NW.
10:00 AM. The U.S. Court of Appeals (FedCir)
will hear oral argument in Intel v. Via Technologies, No. 02-1212.
Location: Courtroom 201, 717 Madison Place, NW.
10:00 AM. The Federal Election Commission
(FEC) will meet. The agenda includes consideration of the final rules
implementing the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 (BCRA) regarding
coordinated and independent expenditures. Location: FEC, 9th floor hearing
room, 999 E St. NW.
10:15 AM - 3:30 PM. The American Enterprise
Institute (AEI) will host a panel discussion titled "The Use of Safeguards
as Trade Policy Instruments: Where Have We Been, Where Are We Going?". See,
notice and registration page.
Location: AEI, 12th floor, 1150 17th St., NW.
2:30 - 5:15 PM. The Department of Commerce's (DOC) Central & East European
Business Information Center (CEEBIC) will host a briefing and reception. The
speakers will be visiting regulators and officials. For more information,
contact Jennifer Gothard (CEEBIC) at 202 482-2645 or
|Friday, December 6
|10:00 AM. The U.S. Court of Appeals (FedCir)
will hear oral argument in Apex Computer v. Raritan, No. 02-1303. This
is an appeal from the U.S. District Court
(SDNY) in a patent infringement
case. Location: Courtroom 201, 717 Madison Place, NW.
10:00 AM - 1:00 PM. The
Network Reliability and Interoperability Council (NRIC) will hold a meeting. For more
information, contact Jeffery Goldthorp at 202 418-1096 or
which will be chaired by FCC Chairman
Michael Powell and NRIC
Chairman Richard Notebaert, will address "recommendations to protect the
nation's communications infrastructure -- both physical and cyber -- against
notice [MS Word]. See also,
notice in the Federal
Register. Location: FCC, Room TW-C305, 445 12th St. SW.
? 12:15 - 1:30 PM. The
FCBA's Wireless Telecommunications Practice Committee will host a luncheon
titled "WiFi -- What's all the Buzz About?" The speakers will be Julie
Knapp (Deputy Chief of the FCC's Office of Engineering & Technology), Peter
Pitsch (Intel), and Rebecca Arbogast (Legg Mason). The price to attends is
$15. RSVP to email@example.com. Location:
Sidley Austin Brown & Wood, 1501 K St.
NW, 6th Floor, Conference Room 6E.
12:30 PM. Rep. Richard Armey
(R-TX), the outgoing House Majority Leader,
will speak at a luncheon. Location: National Press Club,
529 14th St. NW, 13th Floor.
2:00 - 3:00 PM. Bill Whyman, President of the
Precursor Group, will speak at an
Information Technology Association of America
(ITAA) event. The title of his presentation is "Precursor Group's Tech
Demand Model: IT Spending Set to Improve in '03". See,
notice. For more information, contact Madeleine Wickwire at
Extended deadline to submit comments to the
in response to its
Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) [15 pages in PDF] in its proceeding
titled "In the Matter of Digital Broadcast Copy Protection". This NPRM
proposes that the FCC promulgate a broadcast flag rule, and seeks comment on
this, and related questions. This is MB Docket No. 02-230. See also,
FCC release [PDF] and
Order [PDF] of October 11, 2002 extending deadlines.
|Monday, December 9
|2:00 PM. The Information Technology
Association of America (ITAA) will host a web cast event titled "Protecting
Intellectual Property in Federal Government Contract Procurements". The
speaker will be
of the law firm of
Gibson Dunn & Crutcher. See,
registration page. For more information, contact Thomas Vincent at
Extended deadline to submit comments to the
in response to its requests for comments regarding whether to revise, clarify
or adopt any additional rules in order to more effectively carry out
Congress's directives in the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 (TCPA).
This is CG Docket No. 02-278. See, original
in the Federal Register, and
of extension [PDF].
|Tuesday, December 10
|12:15 PM. The
FCBA's Cable Practice Committee will host a luncheon. The speaker will be
Marsha MacBride (FCC Chief of Staff). The price is $15. No walk-ins. For more
information, contact Lisa Cordell at 202 939-7900. RSVP to
firstname.lastname@example.org. Location: NCTA, 1724
Massachusetts Ave., NW.
Deadline to submit comments to the
National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA)
regarding the wills, codicils, and testamentary trusts exception to the E-SIGN
Act. The Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce (E-SIGN) Act
provides, at Section 101, for the acceptance of electronic signatures in
interstate commerce, with certain enumerated exceptions. Section 103 of the
Act provides that "The provisions of section 101 shall not apply to ... a
State statute, regulation, or other rule of law governing the creation and
execution of wills, codicils, or testamentary trusts". The Act also requires
the NTIA to review, evaluate and report to Congress on each of the exceptions.
notice in the Federal Register, October 11, 2002, Vol. 67, No. 198, at
Pages 63379 - 63381.
|Wednesday, December 11
|9:30 AM. The
will hold a meeting. see,
Location: FCC, 445 12th Street, SW, Room TW-C05
(Commission Meeting Room).
|Thursday, December 12
|9:00 AM. The President's
Council of Advisors on Science and Technology's (PCAST)
Subcommittee on Federal Research and Development Investment and its National
Benefits will hold an
open public forum on federal technology transfer mechanisms. See,
in the Federal Register. Location: RAND Washington Office, 1200 S. Hayes St., Arlington, VA,
Room 4204 (which is accessible from the Pentagon City metro stop).
12:00 NOON. The Cato Institute will
host a Capitol Hill briefing titled "Yellow Light on Total Information
Awareness". The scheduled speakers include Wayne Crews, Robert Levy,
Charles Peña. See, notice
and online registration form. Location: 1539 Longworth House Office Building.
FCBA will host its annual Chairman's Dinner. See,
registration form [PDF].
Location: Washington Hilton and Towers.
Day one of a two day conference hosted by the Practicing Law Institute and the
FCBA titled "Telecommunications Policy and Regulation". At 12:15 PM
Martin will deliver a keynote address. Location: Reagan International
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