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June 16, 2003, 9:00 AM ET, Alert No. 681.
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Sen. McCain Introduces Telecom Bill

6/13. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), introduced S 1264, the "FCC Reauthorization Act of 2003". The bill would reauthorize the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) through 2007. However, the bill also contains many significant substantive provisions pertaining to media ownership rules, e-rate fraud, FCC enforcement, private causes of actions against common carriers, lobbying by former FCC officials, and the effect of bankruptcy on spectrum auctions.

Sen. John McCainSen. McCain (at right), the Chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, also announced that the Committee will meet on Thursday, June 19, to mark up this bill, and others.

Bill Summary. This bill would change the Section 202(h) media ownership biennial review provision. It would require the FCC to prepare annual reports on fraud in its e-rate program. It would raise the statutory caps on fines and forfeitures for violations of the Communications Act. It would provide a private right of action, and recovery of damages, for violation of FCC rules and orders by common carriers, and thus address the 2001 holding of Second Circuit in Conboy v. AT&T. It would preclude a successful bidder in a spectrum auction from using bankruptcy to avoid its obligation to pay for its spectrum license, and thus address the holdings of the DC Circuit and the Supreme Court in the NextWave case. It would enumerate various FCC staff positions subject to the one year lobbying ban. It would also prevent industry from paying travel expenses for FCC staff to attend conventions.

Michael PowellFCC Chairman Michael Powell (at right) stated in a release [PDF], "I applaud and support Senator McCain's introduction of the FCC Reauthorization Act of 2003. The bill contains several provisions that I have long advocated. Increased enforcement authority and penalties, clarifications to the biennial review standard and timing, and important bankruptcy provisions will make the FCC a more effective agency. I look forward to working with the Senate Commerce Committee on these and other important telecommunications issues."

E-Rate Program Fraud. The bill would require to FCC to write annual reports on fraud and abuse in the schools and libraries universal service subsidies program, also known as the e-rate. The bill states that the FCC "shall conduct an investigation into the implementation, utilization, and Commission oversight of activities authorized by section 254(h) of the Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 254(h)) ... for each of fiscal years 2004 through 2007, with a particular emphasis on determining the specific fraud or abuse of Federal funds that has occurred in connection with such activities or operations."

Thus, the bill would not require the FCC to report on fraud that has already occurred, or fraud that occurs after FY 2007.

Sen. McCain stated in the Senate that "Serious allegations of fraud in the operation of the e-rate fund have been raised in recent months, and we should provide the Commission adequate resources to ensure that e-rate funds are being used for the purposes intended." See, Congressional Record, June 13, 2003, at page S7882.

Media Ownership. The bill would revise the biennial review provision of Section 202(h) of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 (S 652 in the 104th Congress, Public Law No. 104-104).

Section 202(h) provides that "The Commission shall review its rules adopted pursuant to this section and all of its ownership rules biennially as part of its regulatory reform review under section 11 of the Communications Act of 1934 and shall determine whether any of such rules are necessary in the public interest as the result of competition. The Commission shall repeal or modify any regulation it determines to be no longer in the public interest."

Sen. McCain's bill would amend Section 202(h) to read as follows:

"(h) FURTHER COMMISSION REVIEW.--
(1) IN GENERAL.--The Commission shall review its rules adopted pursuant to this section, and all of its ownership rules quinquennially (beginning with 2007), and shall determine whether -- (A) any rule requires strengthening or broadening; (B) any rule requires limiting or narrowing; (C) any rule should be repealed; or (D) any rule should be retained.
(2) CHANGE, REPEAL, OR RETAIN.--The Commission shall change, repeal, or retain such rules pursuant to its review under paragraph (1) as it determines to be in the public interest."

This would accomplish several significant changes. First, reviews would take place every five years, instead of every two years. Second, it deletes the reference to "necessary" which the DC Circuit found to be critical to its interpretation. Third, it removes the presumption in favor of repealing or relaxing ownership rules.

Enforcement. The bill would increase certain statutory caps on penalties ten fold, and extends statute of limitations on certain actions.

Sen. McCain stated that "The bill would increase the Commission's ability to enforce the Communications Act of 1934, the 1934 Act, by raising the statutory cap on Commission fines and forfeitures by a factor of ten. The Commission has sought this increased enforcement ability to ensure communications providers do not accept Commission fines as a ``cost of doing business. The bill also increases the statute of limitations for violations of FCC rules or regulations from one year to two years. The legislation also allows the Commission to assess fines against direct broadcast satellite (DBS) operators for violations of the Communications Act in the same manner that the Commission may assess fines against broadcasters and cable operators."

Lobbying Restrictions. The bill contains two provisions related to lobbying. First, it would limit payment of travel costs of FCC officials and staff. Second, it would expand the list of FCC positions subject to the one year ban on lobbying.

Sen. McCain stated that the bill "would ban any payment or reimbursement to the FCC of travel costs for FCC officials or staff from a nongovernmental sponsor of a convention, conference, or meeting. Recent reports indicate that during the last eight years, FCC officials and staff have taken more than 2,500 trips paid for by the industries they regulate. Although this is perfectly legal and it is often appropriate for FCC officials and staff to attend such conventions, conferences, or meetings, it should be without the appearance of impropriety."

The one year ban on lobbying is codified at 18 U.S.C. 207. It provides, at 207(c)(1) that "... any person who is an officer or employee ... of the executive branch of the United States (including an independent agency), who is referred to in paragraph (2), and who, within 1 year after the termination of his or her service or employment as such officer or employee, knowingly makes, with the intent to influence, any communication to or appearance before any officer or employee of the department or agency in which such person served within 1 year before such termination, on behalf of any other person (except the United States), in connection with any matter on which such person seeks official action by any officer or employee of such department or agency, shall be punished ..."

Paragraph (2), in turn, provides guidance as to which persons the restriction of paragraph (1) applies. Sen. McCain's bill would add an enumerated list of FCC positions subject to the one year ban. It lists the chiefs of the bureaus (MB, WCB, WTB, IB, OET, EB, CGAB). It also includes the chief of OSP, the Inspector General, the General Counsel, and the Director of OLA.

Sen. McCain said that "The bill would impose a one year lobbying ban on high-level FCC staffers who leave the FCC's employment."

Spectrum Licenses, Bankruptcy and Security Interests. The bill also addresses the situation presented in the NextWave case.

Sen. McCain stated that "the bill would ensure that valuable spectrum does not lie fallow unnecessarily. It precludes a successful bidder in a spectrum auction from using bankruptcy to avoid its obligation to pay for its spectrum license. The bill also establishes an office within the Commission for the recording and perfecting of security interests related to licenses."

Specifically, the bill would provide that "The bankruptcy laws shall not be applied (A) to avoid, discharge, stay, or set-off any pre-petition debt obligation to the United States arising from an auction under this Act, (B) to stay the payment obligations of the debtor to the United States if such payments were a condition of the grant or retention of a license under this Act, or (C) to prevent the automatic cancellation of licenses for failure to comply with any monetary or non-monetary condition for holding any license ..."

The bill would also provide that "A debtor in a proceeding under the bankruptcy laws shall have no right or interest in any portion of the proceeds from an auction of any license reclaimed by the Commission for failure to pay a monetary obligation of the debtor to the United States in connection with the grant or retention of a license under this Act."

Finally, the bill would provide that the FCC may "(A) establish rules and procedures governing security interests in licenses, or the proceeds of the sale of licenses, issued by the Commission; and (B) establish an office within the Office of Secretary for the recording and perfection of such security interests without regard to otherwise applicable State law."

These amendments would only apply prospectively. It would only apply "to cases and proceedings commenced on or after the date of enactment of this Act."

Private Cause of Action Against Common Carriers for Violation of FCC Rules and Orders. The bill would also provide for the recovery of damages for injuries caused by common carriers as a result of their violation of the Communications Act or FCC rules or orders. Section 206 currently provides for recovery of damages for violation of the statute, but not for violation of rules or orders. This change addressed the holding of the Second Circuit in Conboy v. AT&T.

Sen. McCain stated that "The need for this clarification is underscored by the recent decision by the United States Court of Appeals or the Second Circuit in Conboy v. AT&T Corp. Moreover, the new section would allow for the recovery of attorneys' fees in complaints filed either in district court or at the FCC."

On February 26, 2001, the U.S. Court of Appeals (2ndCir) issued its opinion in Conboy v. AT&T, a case regarding the Telecommunications Act of 1996 and electronic privacy. The Appeals Court affirmed the District Court's decision dismissing the plaintiffs' complaint.

The plaintiffs, Edward and Eileen Conboy, filed a class action complaint in U.S. District Court (SDNY) alleging that AT&T improperly disseminated personal information about them to AT&T Universal Card Services (UCS) to help UCS collect credit card debt, in violation of  222 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, FCC regulations thereunder, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, and New York State law.

Plaintiffs were neither the debtors, nor guarantors of the debt; their daughter is law was the debtor. Nevertheless, AT&T gave UCS their unlisted phone number. UCS made between 30 and 50 harassing phone calls to them, some at unusual hours. The District Court dismissed the entire complaint for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. The Appeals Court affirmed.

The Appeals Court wrote that "The text of the Telecommunications Act contains no language that explicitly provides a private right of action for damages for violations of the two FCC regulation at issue here. Section 401(b) of the Communications Act permits private parties to enforce FCC ``orders, but it does not provide authority for the recovery of damages. Moreover, no private right of action for money damages can be implied."

(The Appeals Court also held in Conboy that the Plaintiffs could not sue for violation of the statute, because they "failed to allege recoverable damages". That is, they could not recover for mere harassment.)

Peter Keisler, formerly with Sidley Austin, argued and won the case for AT&T. On June 5, the Senate confirmed him to be Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Civil Division. The Electronic Privacy Information Center filed an amicus brief on behalf of the harassed phone customers, but lost.

S 1264 would amend 47 U.S.C. 206 to read as follows: "A common carrier that does, or causes or permits to be done, any act, matter, or thing prohibited or declared to be unlawful in this Act, or in any rule, regulation, or order issued by the Commission, or that fails to do any act, matter, or thing required to be done by this Act, or by any rule, regulation, or order of the Commission is liable to any person injured by such act or failure for the full amount of damages sustained in consequence of such act or failure, together with a reasonable attorney's fee. The amount of the attorney's fee shall be -- (1) fixed by the court in every case of recovery in a judicial proceeding; or (2) fixed by the Commission in every case of recovery in a Commission proceeding.''

Section 206 currently provides: "In case any common carrier shall do, or cause or permit to be done, any act, matter, or thing in this chapter prohibited or declared to be unlawful, or shall omit to do any act, matter, or thing in this chapter required to be done, such common carrier shall be liable to the person or persons injured thereby for the full amount of damages sustained in consequence of any such violation of the provisions of this chapter, together with a reasonable counsel or attorney's fee, to be fixed by the court in every case of recovery, which attorney's fee shall be taxed and collected as part of the costs in the case."

Sen. Schumer Introduces Wireless Number Portability Bill

6/10. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) introduced S 1221, the "Wireless Telephone Number Portability Act of 2003", a bill to require certain wireless carriers to provide number portability -- that is, to provide consumers the ability to keep their phone numbers when switching carriers.

The bill would provide that "Commencing not later than six months after the date of the enactment of this Act, or November 24, 2003, whichever is earlier, the Federal Communications Commission shall require each wireless telephone service provider offering service in one of the 100 largest Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA), as defined by the Bureau of the Census, to provide consumers with the option to port telephone numbers between wireless telephone service providers by implementing wireless telephone number portability throughout the networks of wireless telephone service providers in each of such 100 largest Metropolitan Statistical Areas."

Also, in smaller MSAs, in which there are three or more wireless telephone services providers, the FCC be required to mandate wireless number portability within 18 months.

The bill was referred to the Senate Commerce Committee. Sen. Schumer is not a member.

Senators Introduce Cell Phone Users Bill of Rights

6/9. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) introduced S 1216, the "Cell Phone Users Bill of Rights".

The bill contains the wireless number portability provisions of S 1221. See, story titled "Sen. Schumer Introduces Wireless Number Portability Bill", above.

The bill would also require the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to promulgate regulations mandating the form and content of wireless telephone service providers' publications regarding charges, minutes, contract terms and taxes and surcharges.

The bill would also require that each "wireless telephone service provider shall make available a map showing the wireless telephone service area of such provider. Each such map shall contain the maximum practicable level of granularity."

The bill would also require the FCC to "monitor the quality of wireless telephone service" and prepare semiannual reports.

The bill also contains a very broad definition of the term "wireless telephone service". It encompasses not only current cell phone service, broadband PCS, and SMR, but also "any successor service to such service (including so-called next generation or third generations service)." (Parentheses in original.) The bill does not reference IP number or URL portability.

The bill was referred to the Senate Commerce Committee.

Rep. Sanders Introduces Bill to Reverse FCC's Media Ownership Report & Order

6/12. Rep. Bernie Sanders (Soc-VT) and others introduced HR 2462, the "Protect Diversity in Media Act". It provides that "The final rules adopted by the Federal Communications Commission pursuant to its media ownership proceeding, and announced by the Commission on June 2, 2003, shall be invalid and without legal effect."

Moreover, the bill provides that "The Federal Communications Commission shall not apply section 202(h) of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 or section 11(b) of the Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 161(b)) to any review of broadcast media ownership rules after the date of enactment of this Act."

In addition to Rep. Sanders, the bill has 26 cosponsors. All are Democrats. Several are members of the House Commerce Committee, which has jurisdiction -- Rep. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Rep. Janice Schakowsky (D-IL) and Rep. Hilda Solis (D-CA).

See, stories titled "FCC Announces Revisions to Media Ownership Rules" and "Reaction to the FCC's Media Ownership Announcement" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 672, June 3, 2003.

People and Appointments

6/13. The Senate confirmed Hewitt Pate to be an Assistant Attorney General at the Department of Justice (DOJ) by a vote of 71-0. See, Roll Call No. 226. He replaces Charles James as head of the Antitrust Division.

6/12. The Senate confirmed John Woodcock to be Judge of the U.S. District Court (DMaine).

Senate Commerce Committee to Hold Mark Up Session

6/16. The Senate Commerce Committee will hold a meeting on Thursday, June 19, to mark up 14 bills, including several technology and communications related bills. The agenda includes a FCC reauthorization bill, a FTC reauthorization bill, the Commercial Spectrum Enhancement Act, a nanotechnology bill, a spam bill, and a media ownership bill. See, SCC release.

McCain FCC Reauthorization Bill (S 1264). The agenda includes S 1264, the "Federal Communications Commission Reauthorization Act of 2003", sponsored by Sen. John McCain (R-AZ). Despite its title, this bill is actually a wide ranging bill that would accomplish far more than merely authorizing appropriations for the FCC for fiscal years 2004 through 2007.

It also contains many significant substantive provisions pertaining to media ownership rules, e-rate fraud, FCC enforcement, private causes of actions against common carriers, lobbying by former FCC officials, and the effect of bankruptcy on spectrum auctions. See, story titled "Sen. McCain Introduces Telecom Bill", at left.

Spectrum Relocation Fund Bill (S 865). The agenda also includes S 865, the "Commercial Spectrum Enhancement Act", sponsored by Sen. McCain and others. This is the Senate companion bill to HR 1320, which is also titled the "Commercial Spectrum Enhancement Act". The House passed its version of this bill on June 11, 2003, by a vote of 408-10. See, Roll Call No. 260.

This bill would change the process for reallocating spectrum from federal users to commercial users, such as for Third Generation (3G) wireless services. For example, the Department of Defense (DOD) currently uses spectrum in the 1710-1755 MHz band. The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and Federal Communications Commission (FCC) have identified this band for reallocation for 3G services. The DOD will incur expenses to relocate to other spectrum bands. The bill would create a Spectrum Relocation Fund, funded by auction proceeds, to compensate federal agencies for the cost of relocating. The bill would replace the current role of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees.

See also, TLJ story titled "House Subcommittee Holds Hearing On Commercial Spectrum Enhancement Act", March 25, 2003; story titled "House Subcommittee Approves Spectrum Relocation Fund Bill" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 641, April 10, 2003; story titled "House Commerce Committee Passes Spectrum Relocation Bill" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 653, May 1, 2003; and story titled "House Passes Commercial Spectrum Enhancement Act" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 679, June 12, 2003.

Sen. Ted Stevens

Stevens/Hollings Media Ownership Bill (S 1046). The agenda also includes S 1046, the "Preservation of Localism, Program Diversity, and Competition in Television Broadcast Service Act of 2003". It was introduced on May 13, 2003, by Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK) (at right), Sen. Ernest Hollings (D-SC) and others.

It would establish by statute a national broadcast television multiple ownership cap of 35%. Specifically, the bill provides that the FCC "shall not permit any license for a commercial television broadcast station to be granted, transferred, or assigned to any party (including all parties under common control) if the grant, transfer, or assignment of such license would result in such party or any of its stockholders, partners, or members, officers, or directors, directly or indirectly, owning, operating or controlling, or having a cognizable interest in television stations which have an aggregate national audience reach exceeding 35 percent." (Parentheses in original.)

The FCC has long had a rule providing for a 35% cap. However, on June 2, 2003, the FCC announced that it would raise this cap to 45%.

The FCC stated in a press release [10 pages in PDF] that the "FCC incrementally increased the 35% limit to a 45% limit on national ownership." The FCC elaborated that "A company can own TV stations reaching no more than a 45% share of U.S. TV households." It added that "The share of U.S. TV households is calculated by adding the number of TV households in each market that the company owns a station. Regardless of the station's ratings, it is counted for all of the potential viewers in the market. Therefore, a 45% share of U.S. TV households is not equal to a 45% share of TV stations in the U.S."

See, stories titled "FCC Announces Revisions to Media Ownership Rules" and "Reaction to the FCC's Media Ownership Announcement" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 672, June 3, 2003.

Burns/Wyden Spam Bill (S 877). The agenda also includes S 877, the "Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pormography and Marketing Act of 2003", or "CAN-SPAM Act". This bill was introduced on April 10, 2003, by Sen. Conrad Burns (R-MT), Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), and others.

The bill would create civil bans on sending unsolicited commercial e-mail (UCE) with false header information, or with intentionally false or misleading content. It would also require UCE senders to include a return e-mail address, and ban sending further UCE to persons who have objected to receiving more UCE. It would also ban the practice of sending UCE to lists of addresses that have been harvested from websites by automated means.

The bill would give enforcement authority to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), states, and internet access providers, but not individuals. The bill would preempt state UCE laws, with exceptions.

Senators Burns and Wyden also introduced anti-spam legislation in the 106th and 107th Congresses. Their bill in the last Congress, S 630 (107th), was approved by the Senate Commerce Committee on May 17, 2002. However, the full Senate did not pass the bill.

See, story titled "Senators Burns and Wyden Re-Introduce Can Spam Bill" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 643, April 14, 2003.

Other Bills. The agenda also includes S 189, the "21st Century Nanotechnology Research and Development Act", introduced on January 16, 2003 by Sen. Wyden, Sen. George Allen (R-VA) and others; S 1234, the "Federal Trade Commission Reauthorization Act of 2003", sponsored by Sen. McCain and Sen. Gordon Smith (R-OR); and S 1260, the "Commercial Space Transportation Act of 2003", sponsored by Sen. McCain and Sen. Sam Brownback R-KS).

The meeting will be held at 9:30 AM in Room 253 of the Russell Building.

Monday, June 16

The House will meet at 12:30 PM for morning hour and at 2:00 PM for legislative business. It will consider several non tech related items under suspension of the rules. Votes will be postponed until 6:30 PM. See, Republican Whip Notice.

The Senate will meet at 2:00 PM. It will begin consideration of S 1, the prescription drug benefits bill.

The Supreme Court will return from a one week recess.

Deadline to submit comments to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regarding News Corp.' proposed acquisition of an interest in DirecTV. See, FCC notice [7 pages in PDF], and story titled "FCC Sets Deadlines for Comments on News Corp.'s DirecTV Deal" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 664, May 19, 2003. This is MB Docket No. 03-124. For more information, contact Marcia Glauberman at mglauber@fcc.gov or 202 418-7046 or Linda Senecal at lsenecal@fcc.gov or 202 418-7044.

Deadline to submit comments to the Bureau of Industry and Security (aka Bureau of Export Administration) regarding its proposal titled "Best Practices for Exporters/Re-exporters and Trade Facilitation/Freight Forwarding Companies Regarding the Transit, Transshipment, and Reexport of Dual-Use Items".For more information, contact Rick Cupitt at rcupitt@bis.doc.gov or 202 482-1459. See, notice in Federal Register, May 16, 2003, Vol. 68, No. 95, at Pages 26567 - 26569.

Tuesday, June 17

The House will meet at 10:30 AM for morning hour and 12:00 PM for legislative business. It will consider several non tech related items. See, Republican Whip Notice.

10:00 AM. The Senate Finance Committee will hold a hearing titled "The Implementation of U.S. Bilateral Free Trade Agreements With Singapore and Chile". See, notice [PDF]. Location: Room 215, Dirksen Building.

RESCHEDULED FOR JUNE 24. 12:15 PM. The Federal Communications Bar Association's (FCBA) Cable Practice Committee will host a brown bag lunch. The speaker will be Kyle Dixon, Deputy Bureau Chief of the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) Media Bureau, and Special Counsel to the Chairman for Broadband. RSVP to Wendy Parish at wendy@fcba.org. Location: National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA), 1724 Massachusetts Ave., NW, 2nd Floor Conference Room.

CANCELLED. 12:15 PM. The Federal Communications Bar Association's (FCBA) Mass Media Practice Committee will host a brown bag lunch on "current issues". RSVP to moconnell @newscorp.com. Location: NAB, 1771 N Street, NW.

2:00 PM. The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing to examine whether personal and national security risks compromise the potential of P2P networks. Press contact: Margarita Tapia at 202 224-5225. Location: Room 226, Dirksen Building.

4:30 PM. The House Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet and Intellectual Property will hold a hearing on HR 2344, the "Intellectual Property Protection Restoration Act of 2003", a bill to address state sovereign immunity from liability for infringement of intellectual property rights. The hearing will be webcast. Press contact: Jeff Lungren or Terry Shawn at 202 225-2492. Location: Room 2141, Rayburn Building.

Deadline to submit reply comments to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in response to its notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) regarding its slamming rules. Slamming is the unauthorized changing of subscriber's selection of a provider of telephone exchange service or telephone toll service. The FCC adopted this NPRM on February 28, 2003, and released it on March 17. See, Third Order on Reconsideration and Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking [63 pages in PDF]. This is FCC Docket No. 94-129. See also, FCC release [PDF]. For more information, contact Kelli Farmer at 202 418-7057.

Wednesday, June 18

The House will meet at 10:00 AM legislative business. It will consider several non tech related items. See, Republican Whip Notice.

1:30 PM. Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge will address the National Federation of Independent Business. Location: St. Regis Hotel, 923 16th Street, NW.

2:30 PM. The Senate Judiciary Committee's Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights Subcommittee will hold a hearing on the proposed NewsCorp DirecTV transaction, focusing on global distribution. Press contact: Margarita Tapia at 202 224-5225. Location: Room 226, Dirksen Building.

Scheduled completion of voting by the Media Security and Reliability Council's (MSRC) Advisory Committe on the MSRC's Best Practices Recommendations [5 pages in MS Word] to ensure effective delivery of emergency information to the public during terrorist attacks, natural disasters, and other emergencies. The MSRC provides recommendations to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and industry. See, story titled "Media Security and Reliability Council Considers Recommendations" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 669, May 29, 2003.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) will host a workshop titled "Information Flows: The Costs and Benefits to Consumers and Businesses of the Collection and Use of Consumer Information". It will address the issue of the costs and benefits to consumers and businesses of consumer information collection and use. It will explore how consumer information is collected and used by businesses to facilitate commercial transactions, as well as how it can be used to fight fraud. See, agenda. The FTC states that "preregistration will be required for the press". Location: FTC Conference Center, 601 New Jersey Ave., NW.

Thursday, June 19

The House will meet at 10:00 AM legislative business. It will consider several non tech related items. See, Republican Whip Notice.

9:00 AM - 5:00 PM. The Department of Defense's (DOD) Technology and Privacy Advisory Committee (TAPAC) will hold a public meeting. The TAPAC is a Total Information Awareness Project oversight board. The notice states that "The purpose of the meeting is for presentations of interest and discussion concerning the legal and policy considerations implicated by the application of advanced information technologies to counter-terrorism and counter-intelligence missions." For more information, contact Lisa Davis, TAPAC Executive Driector, at 703 695-0903. See, notice in the Federal Register, June 11, 2003, Vol. 68, No. 112, at Page 34909. Location: Hyatt Arlington, 1325 Wilson Blvd., Arlington, VA.

9:30 AM. The Senate Commerce Committee will meet in executive session to mark 14 bills and consider several pending nominations. See, agenda, at right. Location: Room 253, Russell Building.

10:00 PM. The Senate Banking Committee will hold a hearing titled "The Growing Problem of Identity Theft and Its Relationship to the Fair Credit Reporting Act". See, notice. Location: Room 538, Dirksen Building.

12:15 - 2:00 PM. The Forum on Technology and Innovation will host a panel discussion on intellectual property protections and their impact on innovation. The speakers will be Bruce Mehlman, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Technology Policy, and Gigi Sohn, President of Public Knowledge. See, notice and registration page. Register by Tuesday, June 17 at 5:00 PM. A box lunch will be served. Location: Room 106, Dirksen Building.

Deadline to submit comments to the Copyright Office (CO) in response to its notice in the Federal Register "requesting comment on proposed regulations that set rates and terms for the use of sound recordings in eligible nonsubscription transmissions and new subscription services, other than transmissions made by certain noncommercial entities, together with related ephemeral recordings. The rates and terms are for the 2003 and 2004 statutory licensing period, except in the case of new subscription services in which case the license period runs from 1998 through 2004." This notice also states that "The agreement published herein supersedes the agreement published in the Federal Register on May 1, 2003, and parties should only comment on the proposed rates and terms set forth in this notice." See, Federal Register, May 20, 2003, Vol. 68, No. 97, at Pages 27506 - 27513. See also, superseded notice in the Federal Register, May 1, 2003, Vol. 68, No. 84, at Pages 23241 - 23249. For more information, contact David Carson (CO General Counsel) or Tanya Sandros (Senior Attorney, CARP) at 202 707-8380.

Bill Would Task DHS's IAIPD With National Parks Protection Responsibilities

6/9. Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) introduced S 1212, an untitled bill to amend the Homeland Security Act of 2002 regarding the protection of National Park Service sites, including Mount Rushmore and the Statute of Liberty.

What is significant about the bill, from a technology standpoint, is that it would amend Section 201 of the Act. This is the section that created the Information Analysis and Infrastructure Protection Directorate (IAIPD). See, Homeland Security Act of 2002, HR 5005 (107th), Public Law No. 107-296. The Act created the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Title II of the Act creates the IAIPD, which has primary responsibility for protecting critical infrastructures, such as computer and communications systems.

For example, Section 201 provides that the responsibilities of the IAIPD include developing "a comprehensive national plan for securing the key resources and critical infrastructure of the United States, including power production, generation, and distribution systems, information technology and telecommunications systems (including satellites), electronic financial and property record storage and transmission systems, emergency preparedness communications systems, and the physical and technological assets that support such systems." (Parentheses in original.)

Sen. Clinton's bill would define "key resources", as used in Section 201, to include certain "National Park Service sites". Thus, the governmental entity responsible for protecting against cyber attacks, would be required to devote resources to studying terrorist threats to Mount Rushmore and other tourist destinations.

In a related matter, on June 6, the DHS announced the creation of a National Cyber Security Division (NCSD), located in the DHS's IAIPD. Information technology groups expressed disappointment that the head of the NCSD will be three levels below the Secretary. For example, Harris Miller, President of the Information Technology Association of America (ITAA), stated in a release the "position was not given the rank within the Administration that we believe it merits". See, story titled "DHS Creates Cyber Security Division" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 676, June 9, 2003.

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