|Sen. Feingold Introduces Data Mining Moratorium
|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
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
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
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,
|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
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
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
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
|1/14. Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and
Sen. George Allen (R-VA) introduced
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
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
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.
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
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
|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.
|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,
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].
|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).
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,
complaint [10 pages in PDF] against Carlton Press, Inc, et al., and
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
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
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 email@example.com.
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,
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,
site. Location: Washington Convention Center.
Extended deadline to submit comments to the Federal
Communications Commission's (FCC) regarding the
[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 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.
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