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May 14, 2003, 9:00 AM ET, Alert No. 661.
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Adelstein and Copps Seek Delay of FCC Action on Media Ownership

5/13. Two of the five Commissioners of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced that they favor delaying the FCC's decision on revising its media ownership rules. FCC Chairman Michael Powell has stated that the FCC would announce its decision on June 2.

Jonathan AdelsteinCommissioner Jonathan Adelstein (at right) and Commissioner Michael Copps issued a release [MS Word] which states that they have requested that the FCC "postpone the announced June 2nd consideration of changes to the Commission’s media concentration protections. Under long-standing Commission practices, such requests from Commissioners are traditionally honored." The two also "reiterated a request for a public airing of the proposed rule changes."

They stated in the release that "We believe a full notice and comment period on the specific proposals is warranted. Sound policymaking, perhaps even the law, requires no less. ... When the Commission is considering significant changes that could unalterably remake our media landscape for years to come, we believe it is prudent to have a transparent process that ensures we understand the full implications of our decisions. Such an open forum is especially critical for issues of this magnitude when the Notice to the public asked broad, general questions, and did not set forth specific proposed rule changes."

They added that "Revealing the outlines of the proposals to the public would allow us to obtain concrete input that would not only help avoid unintended consequences, but would also provide a sounder basis for defending the specific proposals against the inevitable court challenges."

FCC Commissioner Kathleen Abernathy, who is one of three Commissioners who favor relaxing media ownership rules, responded in a release [MS Word].

Kathleen AbernathyAbernathy (at right) wrote that "I must respectfully oppose their request. I conclude that for both legal and policy reasons we should move forward with the June 2nd meeting. The Commission has a statutory obligation to review our broadcast ownership rules every two years. We are already behind schedule, as June 2003 is past the date by which our 2002 biennial review should have been completed. Furthermore, we are fast approaching the time in which we need to begin our 2004 biennial review. If we don’t act, the courts may step in themselves."

She added that "We have compiled a thorough and comprehensive record in this proceeding, which includes over 18,000 comments, 12 studies and testimony from a number of broadcast ownership hearings. We have provided notice of the rules we are reviewing, and the comments in the record reflect an understanding of these issues. I am satisfied that we have the information and the input we need to make a sound, judicially sustainable decision that will benefit the public interest. Although we are resolving very important and difficult issues, this task will not become any easier a week from now, a month from now, or even a year from now."

FCC Commissioner Kevin Martin stated in his release that "Many of the rulemakings incorporated into this proceeding have been pending for over a year. Indeed, the newspaper/broadcast rulemaking was opened in September 2001. The Commission has not acted on this rule in any of its biennial reviews since the biennial provision was enacted in 1996. It is past time for the Commission to act. I think the Commission should go forward with the scheduled vote on June 2."

FBI Legal Memorandum Addresses Questions Related to FBI Use of Internet and Private Databases

5/13. The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) published in its web site a heavily redacted copy of a Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) memorandum [16 page PDF scan] titled "GUIDANCE REGARDING THE USE OF CHOICEPOINT FOR FOREIGN INTELLIGENCE COLLECTION OR FOREIGN COUNTERTERRORISM INVESTIGATIONS".

The memorandum is dated September 17, 2001, which is several days after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. It is also several months after the Wall Street Journal published an article titled "FBI's Reliance on the Private Sector Has Raised Some Privacy Concerns", by Glenn Simpson, dated April 13, 2001. The FBI memorandum addresses whether the FBI may pay for access to ChoicePoint's database of personally identifiable information about Americans. Were the FBI to collect and maintain such data itself, it might violate the Privacy Act.

Chris Hoofnagle, Deputy Counsel for the EPIC, told Tech Law Journal that the memorandum is important because it "show the thinking of the FBI's General Counsel" on the use of internet materials in its investigations, and the use of ChoicePoint.

The unredacted portions of the memorandum state that the FBI may use the internet to collect publicly available information in foreign counterintelligence investigations (FCI) provided that the FBI complies with the Privacy Act and the Attorney General's Guidelines. See, Department of Justice (DOJ) document [28 pages in PDF] titled "The Attorney General's Guidelines on General Crimes, Racketeering Enterprise and Terrorism Enterprise Investigations". This version was signed by Attorney General John Ashcroft on May 30, 2002.

However, on the question of whether the FBI may use ChoicePoint's private database, the memorandum's key sections are redacted. There is an unredacted statement at the conclusion of the memorandum that states that "Finally, the Attorney General Guidelines do not preclude the use of an Internet resource, such as ChoicePoint, to obtain publicly available identifying data concerning either known or unknown persons."

The unredacted portions of the memorandum further state that use of ChoicePoint does not violate the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FRCA). See, 15 U.S.C. § 1681, et seq.

The memorandum was prepared by the FBI's Office of the General Counsel's National Security Law Unit. However, the names of its authors, reviewers, and recipients have all been redacted. This memorandum pertains to foreign counterintelligence investigations (FCI), not criminal investigations. However, the EPIC also published a copy of a PowerPoint presentation [PDF] that indicates that the FBI also uses for ChoicePoint for criminal investigations.

The EPIC obtained the document in response to a request made pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). The EPIC regularly uses the FOIA to seek government records that relate to the privacy of individuals. The EPIC is also a frequent FOIA litigant. It makes all records that it obtains available to the public.

The EPIC has already filed a complaint under the FOIA relating to records on this topic. Chris Hoofnagle told Tech Law Journal that the FBI has "redacted beyond reason". He added that the EPIC will ask to Court to compel the FBI to make available more of the memorandum.

ChoicePoint. ChoicePoint states in its web site that it is a "provider of identification and credential verification services for making smarter decisions in a world challenged by increased risks". It states that its "database of more than 17 billion public records includes in excess of 63 million criminal convictions and other identity verification data". It further states that it provides "decision-making information that helps reduce fraud and mitigate risk" to financial institutions, insurance companies, government entities, and others.

ChoicePoint's SEC Form 10-Q, for the quarter ended March 31, 2003, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), states that its "businesses are focused on three primary markets -- Insurance Services, Business & Government Services, and Marketing Services."

This filing states that "The Insurance Services group (``Insurance´´) provides information products and services used in the underwriting and claims processes by property and casualty insurers. Major offerings to the personal lines property and casualty market include claims history data, motor vehicle records, police records, credit information and modeling services."

It states that "The Business & Government Services group (``B&G´´) provides information products and services to Fortune 1000 corporations, consumer finance companies, ... and federal, state and local government agencies. Major offerings include employment background screenings and drug testing administration services, public record searches, vital record services, credential verification, due diligence information, Uniform Commercial Code searches and filings, DNA identification services, authentication services and people and shareholder locator information searches."

Finally, this 10-Q states that "The Marketing Services group (``Marketing´´) provides direct marketing services to Fortune 1000 corporations, insurance companies, and financial institutions. Marketing Services offers a full complement of products, including data, print fulfillment, teleservices, database and campaign management services, as well as Web-based solutions."

FBI Use of Internet Sources. The FBI memorandum states, "With respect to the use of the Internet to conduct intelligence investigations, this Office has previously opined that ``[FBI personnel] who are collecting information in support of the FBI's FCI/counterintelligence mission [are permitted] to use the Internet and collect publicly available information ... so long as [the collection of that information] conforms to the requirements of the Privacy Act and relevant Attorney General Guidelines.´´ Our opinion with regard to these issues has not changed." (Brackets in original.)

After some discussion of various DOJ guidelines and principles, and their discussion of publicly available information, the memorandum concludes that "These definitions, we believe, are unambiguous and clearly reflect Departmental policy permitting the use of information gleaned from public sources, including the Internet. Thus, we reiterate our prior conclusion that resources of the Internet may be used to collect publicly available information for FCI investigations ..."

FBI Use of ChoicePoint Database. The memorandum states that "There is, however, the additional legal issue presented here concerning the FBI's use of ChoicePoint: namely, whether the use of a private (i.e., commercial) information resource, such as ChoicePoint, is consistent with the Attorney General Guidelines which place specific restrictions on the use of" ... However, what follows is heavily redacted. Indeed, the entire next page is redacted. What remains does not provide readers an understanding of the FBI's analysis of this question.

However, the conclusion to the memorandum provides some indication. It states "In collecting foreign intelligence and conducting foreign counterintelligence investigations, FBI personnel may not review the ChoicePoint data prior to the [the two following lines are redacted] Finally, the Attorney General Guidelines do not preclude the use of an Internet resource, such as ChoicePoint, to obtain publicly available identifying data concerning either known or unknown persons."

Fair Credit Reporting Act. The FBI memorandum also reviews whether the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FRCA) applies to the FBI's use of ChoicePoint. It concludes that the FCRA does not apply. The facts recited by the FBI memorandum in this analysis may be compared and contrasted with statements made in ChoicePoint's latest 10-Q filing.

The memorandum states, "We also were asked to consider whether the FBI's use of ChoicePoint is consistent with the restrictions of the Fair Credit Reporting Act ... In our opinion, it is."

The FBI memorandum reasons that "The FCRA protects information in consumer (credit) reports compiled by consumer reporting agencies from disclosure except for the permissible purposes described in Section 1681b of the Act. As used in the Act, however, the term ``consumer report´´ is defined, in pertinent part, in Section 1681a(d) as: any written, oral, or other communication of any information by a consumer reporting agency bearing on a consumer's credit worthiness, credit standing, credit capacity, character, general reputation, personal characterizations, or mode of living which is used or expected to be used or collected in whole or in part in establishing the consumer's eligibility for (A) credit or insurance to be used primarily for personal, family, or household purposes; (B) employment purposes; or (C) ..." (Parentheses and emphasis in original.)

The memorandum states that "In this instance, none of the information which the FBI would seek to review has been collected by ChoicePoint for any of the purposes highlighted above."

In contrast, ChoicePoint's SEC Form 10-Q, for the quarter ended March 31, 2003, states that ChoicePoint provides "credit information". This 10-Q also states that this information is provided to "insurers". It also states that ChoicePoint provides "employment background screenings" to businesses, government agencies and others.

The FBI memorandum also states that "Because ChoicePoint does not collect ``public record information´´ for any of the highlighted purposes, ChoicePoint is not acting as a ``consumer reporting agency´´ for the purposes of the FCRA.

In contrast, ChoicePoint's 10-Q states that it provides "public records searches", and that its recent acquisitions "extend ChoicePoint's ... public records business".

Nevertheless, the FBI memorandum concludes, "Consequently, because the information being provided in any particular case is not a ``consumer report´´ as that term is used in the Act, the other requirements of the Act do not apply."

Chris Hoofnagle of the EPIC concludes that "ChoicePoint is selling credit reports" to the FBI.

PowerPoint Presentation. The EPIC also published in its web site a copy of an FBI presentation [14 page PDF scan] titled "The FBI's Public Source Information Program: Fact Versus Fiction".

This item appears to be a PDF scan of a photocopy of a paper printout of a PowerPoint presentation. It contains useful statements, such as, "Information Super Highway was built".

Another page states, in full, "How much has the FBI's use of public source information grown? Usage of public source information systems has increased by 9,600% since 1992." However, following pages are redacted in full.

Another page references an arrest of an FBI Top Ten fugitive as a result of information obtained by ChoicePoint. The presentation also contains information about another criminal case. That section was partly redacted in the copy provided to the EPIC.

Another page states, "Since the Wall Street Journal article in May 2001, there have been other news articles and one television show that have focused on the FBI contract with ChoicePoint and other public records providers. There have also been many privacy websites that have discussed the FBI's use of public source information. There is both fact and fiction contained in these documents." However, the presentation does not list or identify any instances of  "fiction".

ChoicePoint Biometrics. The EPIC also published in its web site a complaint [32 page PDF scan] filed by International Biometric Group LLC in U.S. District Court (NDGa) against ChoicePoint alleging breach of contract of misappropriation of trade secrets.

This complaint alleges that "the parties entered into a Consulting Agreement" under which "IBG agreed to develop and write programming code for storing and transmitting biometric data from multiple types of inputs that would result in the creation of a central biometric authority (``CBA´´). The basic capabilities of the CBA are to provide secure and standardized acquisition, matching, and indexing of biometric data; the encrypted transfer of biometric information and results of biometric matches between trusted and non-trusted parties; auditing and logging of biometric transactions; and privacy-sympathetic data retention, management, and usage."

However, ChoicePoint filed an answer (35 page PDF scan) which "specifically denies the characterization" of the Agreement.

People and Appointments

5/13. Sprint announced the appointment of Gary Forsee as Chairman of its Board of Directors, effective immediately. He is already President and CEO. See, Sprint release. Sprint also announced the appointment of Michael Stout as EVP and Chief Information Officer, and Bruce Hawthorne as EVP and Chief Staff Officer. Hawthorne is a partner in the Atlanta office of the law firm of King & Spalding, and chairman of the firm's telecom practice group. He was lead outside counsel for Sprint in the proposed merger of Sprint and MCI Worldcom, which was rejected by regulators. See, Sprint release.

Legislators Introduce Bills to Establish 35% National Broadcast Ownership Cap

5/13. On May 9, Rep. Richard Burr (R-NC), Rep. John Dingell (D-MI), Rep. Nathan Deal (R-GA), Rep. David Price (D-NC), and Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA) introduced HR 2052, the "Preservation of Localism, Program Diversity, and Competition in Television Broadcast Service Act of 2003". On May 13, Sen. Ernest Hollings (D-SC) and Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK) introduced the companion bill in the Senate. The bill would establish by statute a 35% national broadcast ownership cap.

Sen. Hollings, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Commerce Committee, stated in a release that "While many of us in Congress had hoped that the FCC would recognize the serious consequences that could result from a laissez faire approach to media ownership, it appears the message is not getting through".

Sen. Ernest HollingsSen. Hollings (at right) continued that "While details of the Commission's proposal are finally starting to leak into the press, the process conducted by the FCC on a matter so fundamental to the foundation of American democracy has been shameful ... Instead of sparking a national debate by putting forward specific rule changes to stand in the rigors of sunlight, as earlier requested by a majority of the members of this committee, the FCC has instead opted to keep its plans under wraps, further strengthening the hand of big media companies with direct-dial connections to the FCC and keeping the American public in the dark. Furthermore, by creating an arbitrary deadline of June 2nd, Chairman Powell and other proponents of further deregulation have sought to squelch any meaningful criticism of this proposal and hammer through one of the most far-reaching policy decisions in the history of American media."

Rep. Price issued a release which states that "HR 2052 would preserve a 35% cap on media ownership for companies, meaning that businesses would be prohibited from owning stations that reach greater than 35% of the national television audience. The 35% cap protects against the nationalization of local programming decision by maintaining a healthy balance of local, non-network owned stations that are obligated to serve local community interests. The cap is one of six rules currently under consideration by the FCC, and Chairman Michael Powell has expressed a preference to raise the cap to 45%."

On May 12, Rep. Dingell, who is the ranking Democrat on the House Commerce Committee, and Rep. Burr, a member of the Committee, wrote a letter to Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Michael Powell. They stated that "We believe any weakening of the present rule will provide Americans with fewer sources of news and information and damage the delicate competitive balance that presently exists in the broadcast industry. We are particularly concerned, however, with recent news reports that the FCC may substantially raise the national cap for reasons pertaining to the emergence of new media, but, at the same time, may completely ignore those same facts with regards to an adjustment in the UHF discount."

They also asked several questions: "Do you agree that the circumstances that dictated the initial 50% UHF discount have largely changed? If no, why not? If yes, shouldn’t the Commission consider altering or eliminating the UHF discount in the pending proceeding?"

In addition, they asked, "During the public hearing on media ownership which occurred at Columbia University on January 16, 2003, you stated ``The right way [for the FCC to proceed] is by building rules that are based on empirical evidence. That is why the FCC has been engaged in an unprecedented fact finding effort.´´ What empirical evidence in the record supports keeping the UHF discount at 50%?"

Also on May 13, the Senate Commerce Committee held another hearing on media ownership. This hearing focused on broadcast media. See, prepared statement of Sen. Hollings. See also, prepared testimony of witnesses, Mel Karmazin (P/COO of Viacom), Jim Goodmon (P/CEO of Capitol Broadcasting Company), Frank Blethen (Publisher of the Seattle Times), William Singleton (Vice Chairman and CEO of Media News Group and Publisher of the Denver Post and Salt Lake Tribune), and Kent Mikkelsen (Vice President of Economists Inc.)

Mikkelsen wrote that "it is difficult to find any connection at all between diversity concerns and the national television broadcast ownership cap. What matters to diversity is the range of viewpoints available to individuals. That range is not diminished when a local media outlet available to an individual is jointly owned with another media outlet in another geographic area that is not available to the individual. In conclusion, competition in media can be preserved using antitrust standards without the need for one-size-fits-all restrictions like the ``duopoly´´ rule and the cross-ownership ban."

Antitrust Division Has No Present Intention to Challenge Chemical Industry Database

5/13. Hewitt Pate, Acting Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Department of Justice's (DOJ) Antitrust Division, wrote a business review letter to William Jibilian, attorney for BroChem Marketing, Inc. regarding the DOJ's antitrust enforcement intentions regarding the proposed Chemical Information System (CIS), a computer database that would be made available to chemical distributors seeking information on the product lines of chemical producers.

The letter recites facts provided by BroChem. For example, it states that "Chemical producers will be able to access the database for the information they have provided to BroChem, and chemical distributors will be able to access the database for the information on the chemical products they are selling." It also states that "price-sensitive information is not accessible to competitors or others who should not have access to it." It adds that "BroChem will establish computer safeguards to ensure that each chemical producer can access only the data that the producer has provided to BroChem, and that each chemical distributor has access only to information regarding products that the chemical producers have authorized the distributor to market."

The DOJ letter concludes that "we conclude that the revised CIS is not likely to reduce competition. Therefore, the Department has no present intention to challenge the proposed operations of BroChem. In accordance with our normal practice, however, we remain free to bring whatever action or proceeding we subsequently come to believe is required by the public interest, if BroChem's operations prove to be anticompetitive in purpose or effect." See also, DOJ release.

Wednesday, May 14

The House will meet at 10:00 AM for legislative business. It will consider several non tech related items under suspension of the rules.

9:30 AM. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Commissioner Kathleen Abernathy will hold a press briefing on media ownership. Press contact: Mathew Brill at 202 418-2400. Location: FCC, Room 8B-115, 445 12th Street SW.

10:00 AM. The House Judiciary Committee will meet to mark up HR 21, the "Unlawful Internet Gambling Funding Prohibition Act of 2003". The event will be webcast. Press contact: Jeff Lungren or Terry Shawn at 202 225-2492. Location: Room 2141, Rayburn Building.

10:00 AM. The House Science Committee will hold a hearing on cybersecurity research and development. The witnesses will be Arden Bement, Director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), Charles McQuery, Under Secretary for Science and Technology at the Department of Homeland Security, Rita Colwell, Director of the National Science Foundation (NSF), and Anthony Tether, Director of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). Press contact: Heidi Tringe at 202 225-4275. Location: Room 2318, Rayburn Building.

8:30 AM. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) will hold a one day workshop on the role of technology in helping consumers protect the privacy of personal information, including the steps taken to keep their information secure. See, FTC release and notice in the Federal Register, February 26, 2003, Vol. 68, No. 38, at Pages 8904 - 8906. The FTC stated that "Reporters unable to attend the discussion may call in: Dial-in: 1-800-377-4872 Confirmation Number: 17001898". Location: FTC, 601 New Jersey Ave., NW.

EXTENDED TO MAY 21. Deadline to submit reply comments to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in response to its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) [MS Word] titled "In the Matter of Second Periodic Review of the Commission’s Rules and Policies Affecting the Conversion To Digital Television". This is MB Docket No. 03-15, RM 9832, and MM Docket Nos. 99-360, 00-167, and 00-168. See also, FCC release and notice in the Federal Register, February 18, 2003, Vol. 68, No. 32, at Pages 7737-7747. See also, notice [PDF] extending deadlines.

Thursday, May 15

The House will meet at 9:00 AM. It will consider HR 1527, the National Transportation Safety Board Reauthorization.

8:45 - 10:30 AM. The Global Business Dialogue (GBD) will hold a press conference titled "Singapore Issues". The speakers will be James Mendenhall (Office of the U.S. Trade Representative), Petros Sourmelis (European Commission), Seong-bong Lee (Institute for International Economic Policy in Seoul), and Melissa Haslam (JBC International). For more information, contact Judge Morris at 202 463-5074. The GDB states that there is a "$35 general admission ($25 for members of the National Foreign Trade Council). GBD members are prepaid for this event, and there is no charge for press or for US Government staff." Location: First Amendment Lounge, National Press Club, 529 14th St. NW, 13th Floor.

9:30 AM. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will hold a meeting. Location: FCC, 445 12th Street, SW, Room TW-C05 (Commission Meeting Room).

9:30 AM. The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold an executive business meeting. See, notice. Press contact: Margarita Tapia at 202 224-5225. Location: Room 226, Dirksen Building.

10:00 AM. The Senate Banking Committee will hold a hearing to examine the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and issues presented by the re-authorization of the expiring preemption provisions. Location: Room 538, Dirksen Building.

10:00 AM. The House Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on HR 1115, the Class Action Fairness Act of 2003. The hearing will be webcast. Press contact: Jeff Lungren or Terry Shawn at 202 225-2492. Location: Room 2141, Rayburn Building.

11:00 AM. Representatives of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and other government entities will hold a press conference to announce spam related enforcement actions. The event will be in Dallas, Texas. However, the FTC states that "Reporters who cannot attend can participate by calling: Phone Number: 1- 888-532-2243 Confirmation Number: 16950466". See, notice.

12:00 NOON. Stratton Sclavos, Ch/CEO of VeriSign, will speak at a Congressional Internet Caucus luncheon. RSVP to or 202 638-4370. Lunch will be served. Location: Mansfield Room (S-207), Capitol Building.

Friday, May 16

12:00 NOON. The Federal Communications Bar Association's (FCBA) Diversity Committee will host a brown bag lunch. The speakers will be Bill Bailey and Toni Cook Bush. RSVP to Harry Wingo at 202 418-1783 or Location: Room 253, Russell Building.

Extended deadline to submit reply comments to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in response to its Notice of Inquiry (NOI) [MS Word] regarding "Additional Spectrum for Unlicensed Devices Below 900 MHz and in the 3 GHz Band". Unlicensed devices would include, among other things, 802.11. See, notice in Federal Register, January 21, 2003, Vol. 68, No. 13, at Pages 2730-2733. See also, story titled "FCC Announces Notice of Inquiry Re More Spectrum for Unlicensed Use" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 566, December 12, 2002. For more information, contact Hugh Van Tuyl in the FCC's Office of Engineering & Technology at or 202 418-7506. This is OET Docket No. 02-380. See, notice of extension [PDF].

Saturday, May 17

2:00 PM. Richard Clarke will speak at the commencement ceremony at George Mason University School of Law. See, notice. Location: GMU Center for the Arts, Fairfax, Virginia campus.

Monday, May 19

The Supreme Court will return from a recess that it began on Monday, May. 5.

9:30 AM - 5:00 PM. The Federal Communications Commisssion's (FCC) Office of Engineering and Technology (OET) will host a public workshop on cognitive radio technologies. See, notice and agenda [PDF]. This event will be webcast. For more information, contact Michael Marcus at 202 418-2418 or mike.marcus or Jim Schlichting at 202 418-1547 or jim.schlichting Location: FCC, Commission Meeting Room, 445 12th Street, SW.

Tuesday, May 20

6:00 - 8:15 PM. The Federal Communications Bar Association (FCBA) will host a continuing legal education (CLE) program titled "What Every Communications Practitioner Should Know About Sarbanes Oxley and Corporate Compliance". The speakers will include Tom Hickey (Assistant General Counsel, Nextel), Barry Summer (Assistant Director, Division of Corporation Finance, SEC), and Andrew Hruska (Office of the Deputy Attorney General). Location: Dow Lohnes & Albertson, 1200 New Hampshire Avenue, NW, Suite 800.

Deadline to submit reply comments to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regarding AOL Time Warner's petition [58 pages in PDF] requesting relief from the FCC's January 22, 2001 Memorandum Opinion and Order (MOO) approving the merger of AOL and Time Warner, and imposing conditions upon AOL Time Warner regarding instant messaging services. Specifically, AOL Time Warner seeks relief from the condition restricting its ability to offer internet users streaming video advanced Instant Messaging based high speed services (AIHS) via AOL Time Warner broadband facilities.

Deadline to submit requests to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to present oral testimony at it May 30 hearing regarding its notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend its regulations to implement the Madrid Protocol Implementation Act of 2002 (MPIA). See, notice in the Federal Register, March 28, 2003, Vol. 68, No. 60, at Pages 15119 - 15138.

More News

5/13. Nancy Victory, Director of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), gave a speech at a meeting titled "Wireless Innovations: New Technologies and Evolving Policies", hosted by the NTIA, State Department and Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

5/13. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released a list of the members of the FCC's Technology Advisory Council. It also announced that the Council will next meet at 10:00 AM on July 7, 2003. See, notice [PDF].

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