Tech Law Journal Daily E-Mail Alert
January 20, 2003, 9:00 AM ET, Alert No. 586.
Home Page | Calendar | Subscribe | Back Issues | Reference
Sen. Feingold Introduces Data Mining Moratorium Bill
1/16. Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) introduced S 188, the Data-Mining Moratorium Act of 2003, a bill that would require the Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security to suspend the development of data mining systems.

The bill states in its findings that "There has been no demonstration that data-mining by a government, including data-mining such as that which is to occur under the Total Information Awareness program, is an effective tool for preventing terrorism."

The bill provides that until "there is enacted a law specifically authorizing data-mining", "no officer or employee of the Department of Defense or the Department of Homeland Security may take any action to implement or carry out for data-mining purposes any part of (including any research or development under) (1) the Department of Defense component of the Total Information Awareness program or any other data-mining program of the Department of Defense; or (2) any data-mining program of the Department of Homeland Security that is similar or related to the Total Information Awareness program."

Sen. Feingold stated in the Senate that "Without Congressional review and oversight, data mining would allow the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Defense and other government agencies to collect and analyze a combination of intelligence data and personal information like individuals' traffic violations, credit card purchases, travel records, medical records, communications records, and virtually any information collected on commercial or public databases. Through comprehensive data-mining, as envisioned with Total Information Awareness, everything from people's video rentals or drugstore purchases made with a credit card to their most private health concerns could be fed into a computer and monitored by the Federal Government." See, Cong. Record, Jan. 16, 2003, at S1079-80.

Sen Feingold added that "There is no evidence that data mining will, in fact, prevent terrorism. And when one considers the potential for errors in data, for example, credit agencies that have data about John R. Smith on John D. Smith's credit report, the prospect of ensnaring many innocents is real. This approach might also lead to the same kinds of so-called ``preventive´´ detentions that are unconstitutional and put more than 1,100 individuals in jail after September 11."

Sen. Feingold also stated that "The Administration's assurances that a data-mining system will not abuse our privacy rights ring hollow, particularly to those of us who questioned the breathtaking new Federal powers in the USA PATRIOT Act."

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), a cosponsor of the bill, also spoke in support of the bill in the Senate. He said that "My concern is the program that has been developed by Mr. Poindexter is going forward without congressional oversight and without clear accountability and guidelines. That is why I think it is important for the Senate, as we reflect on the need to fight terrorism while balancing the need to protect the rights of our citizens, to emphasize how important it is a program such as this be subject to congressional oversight and that there be clear accountability." See, Cong. Record, Jan. 16, 2003, at S319-20.

Sen. Wyden said that "We need to make sure there are guidelines and rules so that there has to be, for example, evidence there is activity that could threaten the country before additional intrusive steps are taken and, second, that there are safeguards in place at a time when it is possible, because of modern technology and new databases, to share information very quickly."

Tom Ridge, President Bush's nominee to be Secretary of Homeland Security, testified before the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee on January 17. He said in his prepared statement that "Before any new homeland security technologies are deployed, we will ensure that we are upholding the laws of the land. Any new data mining techniques or programs to enhance information sharing and collecting must and will respect the civil rights and civil liberties guaranteed to the American people under the Constitution. Furthermore, as we go about developing new technologies and programs to strengthen our homeland, treating citizens differently on the basis of religion or ethnicity will not be tolerated."

Sen. Jon Corzine (D-NJ) and Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) are also original cosponsors of the bill. See also, Feingold release.

Sen. Allen Introduces Bill to Create Technology Grant Program for MSIs
1/17. Sen. George Allen (R-VA) introduced S 196, the Digital & Wireless Network Technology Program Act of 2003, a bill to create a technology grant program for minority serving institutions (MSIs) at the National Science Foundation (NSF).

The bill would create a new office at the NSF named the Office of Digital and Wireless Network Technology (ODWNT). The bill would also authorize the appropriation of $250,000,000 for each of the fiscal years 2004 through 2008 for grants to be administered by this new office, to provide instruction in digital and wireless network technologies.

The institutions eligible for grants would include "a historically Black college or university", "a Hispanic-serving institution", and "a tribally controlled college or university".

Grants could be used "to acquire the equipment, instrumentation, networking capability, hardware and software, digital network technology, wireless technology, and infrastructure". It could also be used "to develop and provide educational services, including faculty development, to prepare students or faculty ...". It could also be used to provide teacher training, and to "implement joint projects and consortia to provide education regarding technology".

This bill is similar to S 414 (107th Congress). That bill was sponsored by former Sen. Max Cleland (D-GA), and cosponsored by Sen. Allen and others. It was approved by the Senate Commerce Committee on May 17, 2002. The Committee amended, approved and reported the bill, without debate or discussion, by unanimous consent motion. Its companion bill in the House was HR 1034 (107th).

S 414 (107th) differs from S 196 (108th) in several respects. In particular, S 414 would have given grant making authority to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA).

Sen. George AllenSen. Allen (at right) stated that "Our legislation establishes a new grant program within the National Science Foundation, NSF, that provides up to $250 million to help Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Hispanic Serving Institutions, and Tribal Colleges bridge the digital divide." See, Cong. Record, Jan. 17, 2003, at S1151-2.

He elaborated that "The legislation allows eligible institutions the opportunity through grants, contracts or cooperative agreements to acquire equipment, instrumentation, networking capability, hardware and software, digital network technology and wireless technology/ infrastructure, such as wireless fidelity or WiFi, to develop and provide educational services. Additionally, the grants could be used for such activities as equipment upgrades, technology training and hardware/ software acquisition. A Minority Serving Institution also could use the funds to offer its students universal access to campus networks, dramatically increase their connectivity rates, or make necessary infrastructure improvements."

The bill's original cosponsors are Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK), Sen. Ernest Hollings (D-SC), and Sen. Zell Miller (D-GA).

Sen. Boxer and Sen. Allen Introduce WiFi Spectrum Bill
1/14. Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Sen. George Allen (R-VA) introduced S 159, the Jumpstart Broadband Act, a bill to require the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to promptly set aside a large block of spectrum for unlicensed broadband wireless devices, such as those employing 802.11 technology.

The bill would require the FCC to allocate 255 MHz of contiguous spectrum for unlicensed use by wireless broadband devices. The bill further would require the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to write standards for interference protection. And, all of this is to be done in six months.

More specifically, the bill provides that "Within 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Commission shall allocate not less than an additional 255 megahertz of contiguous spectrum in the 5 gigahertz band for unlicensed use by wireless broadband devices while ensuring that Department of Defense devices and systems are not compromised."

The bill further provides that "Within 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration shall, after consultation with all interested agencies and parties, including the Department of Defense, establish standards for interference protection that is reasonably required to enable incumbent Federal government agency users of spectrum allocated under paragraph (1) to continue to use that spectrum, and advise the Commission of those standards."

The bill does not specify any wireless technology, such an 802.11 standard. Nor does it set minimum transfer rates to qualify as "broadband". The bill references "wireless broadband devices" that are "capable of 2-way digital communications". It further states that "broadband devices" must be "capable of reliably transmitting voice, data, and/or video simultaneously between and among digital devices and between these devices and the Internet, on a consistent basis, at data transfer rates no slower than those defined from time to time by the Commission."

Currently, for the purpose of measuring broadband use, the FCC counts any lines "Over 200 kbps in at least one lirection". See, the FCC's twice yearly reports on high speed Internet access written by the FCC's Wireline Competition Bureau's Industry Analysis and Technology Division.

Sen. Barbara BoxerSen. Boxer stated that "We need this legislation to unleash the potential of new, exciting technologies that promise to deliver high-speed broadband connections wirelessly. Currently, congestion and interference from numerous devices such as cordless phones, ham radios, microwave ovens, ham radios and garage door openers is limiting the potential of these new networks." See, Cong. Record, Jan. 14, 2003, at S300-1.

Sen. Allen stated that "The goal of the Jumpstart Broadband Act is to create an environment that embraces innovation and encourages the adoption of next-generation wireless broadband Internet devices. Most important, our legislation will build confidence among consumers, investors and innovators in the telecommunications and technology industries to eventually make the broadband dream a reality." See, Cong. Record, Jan. 14, 2003, at S301-2.

He continued that "Over this past few years Congress, and specifically the Senate, have been locked in debate over the best approach to promote and encourage widespread broadband adoption. ... However, the current debate over broadband has focused only on two platforms, Digital Subscriber Line, DSL, and cable and the regulatory treatment of those services. This perspective fails to consider that alternative modes or other technologies are available that can jumpstart consumer driven investment and demand in broadband services. I think it is beneficial to shift the policy discussion away from this debate and focus on something positive Congress can do that fosters innovation, stimulates the technology and telecom sectors, and encourages the adoption of broadband services."

He added that "Our legislation complements and encourages the exciting work being done in the area of Wireless Local Area Networks, WLANs. Also known as Wireless Fidelity or WiFi, this technology provides wireless broadband service operating in the unlicensed spectrum bank with up to 10 megabits of capacity and an always-on connection. WiFi is a technology driven platform, viewed by many as a possible answer to wire-line limitations and obstacles that exist in the current marketplace. WiFi however is only the beginning and this legislation will create an environment where cognitive radios and dynamic frequency selection of technologies can grow and innovate to offer services that are unimaginable today."

Sen. Boxer and Sen. Allen circulated a draft version of this bill in November of 2002. The draft bill, and the bill as filed, are very similar. One key change is that the draft specified spectrum below 6 MHz, while the bill as filed specifies spectrum in the 5 MHz band.

The bill was referred to the Senate Commerce Committee, of which both Sen. Boxer and Sen. Allen are members.

Sen. Corzine Introduces Bill to Prohibit Use of Cell Phones While Driving
1/16. Sen. Jon Corzine (D-NJ) introduced S 179, the Mobile Telephone Driving Safety Act of 2003, a bill to prohibit the use of mobile telephones while operating a motor vehicle.

The bill would withhold a proportion of federal funds appropriated for the states from any state that does not enact legislation "that prohibits an individual from using a mobile telephone ... while operating a motor vehicle, except in the case of an emergency or other exceptional circumstance ..."

Sen. Corzine stated in the Senate that "I am introducing this legislation because of the significant threat posed by people who use cell phones while driving. According to a study by the Harvard Center for Risk Analysis released in December of 2002, ``the use of cell phones by drivers may result in approximately 2,600 deaths, 330,000 moderate to critical injuries and 1.5 million instances of property damage in America per year´´." See, Cong. Record, Jan. 16, 2003, at S1072-3.

People and Appointments
1/17. The Senate Governmental Affairs Committee held a hearing on the nomination of Tom Ridge to be Secretary of Homeland Security. The Committee approved the nomination. The full Senate could approve the nomination as early as Tuesday, January 21. See also, prepared statement of Ridge, and prepared statement of Sen. Joe Lieberman (D-CT), the ranking Democrat on the Committee.
Tech Crime Report
1/16. A grand jury of the U.S. District Court (CDCal) returned an indictment of Igor Serebryany charging three counts of theft of trade secrets. The indictment alleges that Serebryany stole information from the law office of Jones Day Reavis & Pogue about one of its clients, DirecTV. It further alleges that he worked for a document imaging company that Jones Day had retained in connection with litigation to which DirecTV is a party. The indictment alleges that Serebryany stole and distributed information about DirecTV's latest and most sophisticated conditional access card. See, USAO release.

1/17. The Sedgwick County (Kansas) Sheriff's Department arrested Kenneth Fetterman for marijuana possession. Back on March 8, 2001, a grand jury of the U.S. District Court (EDCal) returned an indictment against Fetterman and two others alleging that they participated in a scheme to fraudulently bid in hundreds of art auctions on the Internet auction web site eBay. Fetterman was identified as a wanted fugitive through his fingerprints. See, USAO release [PDF].

More News
1/17. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) published a notice in the Federal Register in which it stated that "it intends to request public comments on the rule, guides, and statements of policy" on a number of topics, including the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). See, Notice of Intent To Request Public Comments in the Federal Register, January 17, 2003, Vol. 68, No. 12, at Page 2465.

1/16. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced that it filed six civil complaints in U.S. District Courts against defendants who used web sites and spam e-mail to market and sell fake "international driving licenses". The FTC seeks injunctive relief, restitution, disgorgement, and other relief. The FTC also announced that it has obtained temporary restraining orders in five cases. See, FTC release. See also, for example, complaint [10 pages in PDF] against Carlton Press, Inc, et al., and Temporary Restraining Order [19 page PDF scan].

Monday, January 20
Martin Luther King Day. The Senate will not meet. The House will next meet on January 27. The FCC will be closed. Legal holiday.

The Securities and Exchange Commission's (SEC) final rule providing relief for Internet investment advisers goes into effect. The rule exempts certain investment advisers who provide advisory services through the Internet from the prohibition on SEC registration. The rule change permits advisers whose businesses are not connected to any state to register with the SEC instead of with state securities authorities. See also, notice in Federal Register, December 18, 2002, Vol. 67, No. 243, at Pages 77619 -77626, and story titled "SEC Amends Rule for Internet Investment Advisers" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 568, December 16, 2002. For more information, contact Marilyn Barker or Jamey Basham 202 942-0719.

Close of recruitment for the Department of Commerce's (DOC) International Trade Administration's (ITA) Information and Communication Technology Trade Mission to Toronto, Canada, on February 18-20, 2003. For more information, contact Viktoria Palfi at the DOC at 416 595-5412 ext. 229 or See, notice in the Federal Register, December 27, 2002, Vol. 67, No. 249, at Pages 79059 - 79060.

Tuesday, January 21
10:00 AM. The Senate will meet, and resume consideration of HJRes 2, making further appropriations for FY 2003.

12:00 NOON. The Federalist Society will host a press conference titled "Federalism, Preemption & the Supreme Court". For more information, contact Julie Walker at 202 822-8138. Location: Holeman Lounge, National Press Club, 529 14th St. NW, 13th Floor.

12:30 PM. Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA) will speak at a National Press Club (NPC) luncheon. Location: Ballroom, NPC, 529 14th St. NW, 13th Floor.

Wednesday, January 22
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM. The North American Numbering Council will hold a meeting. Location: FCC, 445 12th Street, SW.

11:00 AM. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) will hold a press conference to announce its Consumer Sentinel State Trends Report, which includes the top ten fraud complaint categories and fraud and identity theft complaint trends. See, FTC notice. Location: FTC, 600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Room 432.

5:00 PM. The FCBA's Diversity Committee and Young Lawyers Committee will host a Law School Outreach Program at the University of Baltimore for law students interested in practicing communications law.

6:00 - 8:00 PM. The FCBA will host a CLE seminar titled "The Transition to Digital Television". The price to attend is $60 for FCBA members, $50 for government/law student members, and $80 for non-members. Registrations & cancellations are due by 5:00 PM on January 21. RSVP to Wendy Parish Location: Wiley Rein & Fielding Conference Center, 1750 K Street, NW, 10th Floor.

Thursday, January 23
9:00 AM - 12:30 PM. The American Enterprise Institute (AEI) will host a half day conference titled "Have We Overestimated the Importance of Audited Earnings?" The keynote speaker, at 9:15 AM, will be Peter Fisher, Under Secretary of the Treasury for Domestic Finance. There will be a panel at 9:45 AM titled "Cash versus Reported Earnings". The participants will be Richard Bassett (Risktoolz), Robert Eccles (Price Waterhouse Coopers), Alex Porter (Porter Felleman), James Glassman (AEI), and Peter Wallison (AEI). There will be a second panel at 11:15 AM titled "Policy Implications". The participants will be Kevin Hassett (AEI), Peter Wallison, Pippa Malmgren (Canonbury Group), and James Glassman. See, notice and registration page. Location: AEI, 12th Floor, 1150 17th Street, NW.
Friday, January 24
Deadline to submit comments to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regarding the Tier III Coalition's petition to forbear, up to December 31, 2005, from enforcing the E911 accuracy and reliability standards set forth in § 20.18(h) of the FCC’s Rules with respect to Commercial Mobile Radio Service (CMRS) provided by Tier III wireless carriers. See, FCC notice [PDF]. This is WT Docket No. 02-377.
Monday, January 27
2:00 PM. The House will return from a two week adjournment.

12:30 PM. Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Sen. Tom Daschle (D-SD) will speak at a luncheon. Location: National Press Club, 529 14th St. NW, 13th Floor.

The Supreme Court will be in recess from January 27 through February 23.

Day one of a two day conference titled "First International Conference on the Economic
and Social Implications of Information Technology
". The scheduled speakers include Secretary of Commerce Don Evans, John Marburger (President’s Science Advisor), Floyd Kvamme (Co-Chairman of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, or PCAST), Sam Bodman (Deputy Secretary of Commerce), Nancy Victory (NTIA Directory), Phil Bond (Under Secretary for Technology), and Bruce Mehlman (Assistant Secretary for Technology Policy). See, notice and schedule. The price to attend is $100, and $60 for government, academic, and nonprofit personnel. Location: Main Auditorium, Department of Commerce, 14th St. and Constitution Ave.

Day one of three day COMNET Conference & Expo. See, conference web site. Location: Washington Convention Center.

Extended deadline to submit comments to the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) regarding the Report [73 pages in PDF] of the FCC Spectrum Policy Task Force (SPTF). The report recommends that "spectrum policy must evolve towards more flexible and market oriented regulatory models." See, original notice [PDF] and notice of extension [PDF].

Deadline to submit comments to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in response to its Notice of Inquiry regarding competition in the Commercial Mobile Services (CMRS) industry. The FCC seeks data and information for its Eighth Annual Report and Analysis of Competitive Market Conditions with Respect to Commercial Mobile Services. This is WT Docket No. 02-379. See, notice in the Federal Register, January 7, 2003, Vol. 68, No. 4, at Pages 730 - 740. For more information, contact Chelsea Fallon at 202 418-7991.


Tech Law Journal is instituting several new practices and procedures with the New Year. All of these changes have one central purpose -- protecting the rights of the author, David Carney.

The Tech Law Journal web site and the Tech Law Journal Daily E-Mail Alert (TLJ Alert) are both authored and published by David Carney. This is a business. The sole source of revenue for this business is subscription payments for the TLJ Alert. Yet, it is currently being widely infringed. This is undermining the financial viability of the business.

See, Letter from the Publisher, which summarizes the new practices and procedures.

See, Subscription Information page for price schedule, methods of payment, and related matters.

See, Memorandum regarding "E-Mail Monitoring".

See, Memorandum regarding "Disclosure of Information to Third Parties".

See, Memorandum to law students explaining why free subscriptions for law students will end after the January 17 issue.

See, Memorandum regarding "Termination of state officials' subscriptions" explaining why free subscriptions for state government officials will end after the January 17 issue.

See, Subscription Form and Contract (for firms, companies, groups, and other entities), or the shorter Subscription Form and Contract (for persons subscribing individually). These contracts are for new paying subscribers, and paying subscribers renewing their subscriptions. Persons receiving free subscriptions (journalists and government officials) should not sign a contract. Paying subscribers whose subscription term has not expired should not sign a contract, until their existing subscription term expires and they resubscribe.

And finally, see revised Privacy Policy.

About Tech Law Journal
Tech Law Journal publishes a free access web site and subscription e-mail alert. The basic rate for a subscription to the TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert is $250 per year. However, there are discounts for subscribers with multiple recipients. Free one month trial subscriptions are available. Also, free subscriptions are available for journalists, federal elected officials, and employees of the Congress, courts, and executive branch. The TLJ web site is free access. However, copies of the TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert are not published in the web site until one month after writing. See, subscription information page.

Contact: 202-364-8882; E-mail.
P.O. Box 4851, Washington DC, 20008.
Privacy Policy
Notices & Disclaimers
Copyright 1998 - 2003 David Carney, dba Tech Law Journal. All rights reserved.