|Senate Commerce Committee Approves FCC
6/26. The Senate Commerce Committee
amended and approved S 1264,
the Federal Communications Commission Reauthorization Act of 2003. The bill
would reauthorize the
Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
through 2008. However, the bill also contains many significant substantive
provisions pertaining to media ownership rules, e-rate fraud, FCC enforcement,
lobbying by former FCC officials, and the effect of bankruptcy on spectrum auctions.
Extension of Reauthorization
Through 2008. The Committee approved by voice vote a perfecting amendment
offered by Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) (at
right) and Sen. Ernest Hollings (D-SC)
that, among other things, extends the reauthorization of appropriations for the
2008. The bill as introduced reauthorized the FCC through 2007.
Video Description Rules. This perfecting amendment also requires the FCC to
initiate a proceeding to determine whether it is economically and technically
feasible to include crawlers in the video description rules. It provides
that the FCC "shall initiate a proceeding within 180 days after the enactment of
this Act to consider whether it is economically feasible and consistent with the
public interest to include ``accessible information´´ in its video description
rules". The amendment defines the term "accessible information" as "written
information displayed on television screens during regular programming,
hazardous warnings and other emergency information, local and national news
bulletins, and any other information the Commission deems appropriate."
Private Causes of Action Against FCC and the Conboy Case. This
amendment also struck from the bill as introduced a provision regarding private
causes of actions against common carriers. The bill, as introduced, would have
provided 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. The Committee did not debate or discuss this item at the mark up
47 U.S.C. § 206 currently provides for recovery of damages for violation of
the statute, but not for violation of rules or orders. It provides that "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." The bill, as introduced, would have changed this to
the following: ""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.'' But, the Committee removed this provision from the
On February 26, 2001, the
U.S. Court of Appeals (2ndCir)
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
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.)
Revocation of Broadcast Licenses for Obscene Content. The Committee
next approved an amendment offered by Sen. Hollings that requires the FCC
to conduct a license revocation proceeding in certain situations involving the
"broadcast of obscene or indecent material". Sen. Hollings complained that the
FCC "punted" in a recent obscenity matter, and that "I am trying to wake up the FCC".
Broadcast Political Ads. The Committee next approved an amendment
offered by Sen. McCain regarding political advertisements on broadcast media. It
would require the FCC to conduct a rule making proceeding to address, among
other things, "sponsorship identification".
Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK) described this as "transparency in political
advertising". Sen. George Allen (R-VA)
raised the "question of privacy" in "political speech or advocacy". Nevertheless,
the amendment passed by a voice vote.
Digital TV Translators. The Committee next approved by voice vote an
amendment offered by Sen. Stevens that amends
47 U.S.C. § 336(f)(4) to provide
that "Within 60 days after the date of enactment, the Federal Communications
Commission shall initiate a rulemaking implementing this section to authorize
the operation of digital television translators and digital on-channel
Broadcast Localism. The Committee next debated, but did not approve,
an amendment offered by Sen. Byron Dorgan
(D-ND) regarding "localism, diversity and competition". Sen. Dorgan withdrew his
It would have provided that the FCC "shall initiate a proceeding to establish
a minimum amount of locally originated programming that each broadcast licensee
shall be required to broadcast to satisfy the public interest obligation of a
licensee." However, the amendment would also have allowed the FCC to waive the
programming requirement "for good cause based on hardship or other unforeseen
Sen. Dorgan stated that consolidation has resulted in less local programming
content in broadcast media. Sen. Stevens, who urged approval of the amendment,
commented that the underlying purpose of "must carry is that there is localism".
Frequency of FCC Reviews of Media Ownership Rules. The Committee next
approved an amendment offered by Sen. John
Sununu (R-NH) regarding the frequency of the FCC's reviews of its media
ownership rules. The statute currently requires that a review be conducted at
least every two years. The Committee recently approved a bill that would reduce
the frequency to every five years. This amendment sets the frequency at four
Citizen Standing to Challenge Broadcast License Renewals. The
Committee next debated, but did not approve, an amendment offered by
Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA) regarding
challenges to broadcast license renewals. She complained that about the current
automatic renewal of licenses. Sen. McCain stated that "I don't think average
citizens are heard enough in this process."
This amendment would have created the possibility of "endless harassment",
said Sen. Trent Lott (R-MS), "by just
anybody who walks in off the street." He also noted the financial cost to small
broadcasters of fighting these challenges.
Sen. Stevens argued that this amendment "will lead to a multiplicity of
people claiming to represent the public interest". He argued that all citizens
should have the right to comment, but not to challenge. He said that this is
normally done by the state, or some elected official.
Sen. Cantwell's amendment would have amended
47 U.S.C. § 309(d)(1) to provide that "a party of
interest shall include any listener or viewer of the specific broadcast station
to be licensed or renewed who asserts an interest in vindicating the general
public interest, and otherwise makes the specific allegations and showings
required by this paragraph".
Sen. Cantwell withdrew her amendment, but added that she will work on revised
language to offer when the full Senate takes up the bill.
Public Interest Programming and License Renewals. The Committee next
debated, but did not approve, an amendment offered by Sen. Cantwell regarding
the broadcast license renewal process. It would have added a new subsection to
47 U.S.C. § 309(k) that provides that "A broadcast license renewal applicant
shall provide to the Commission, and make publicly available in such manner and
for such time as the Commission shall prescribe, a disclosure of any and all
specific programming identified as programming in fulfillment of the obligations
of the applicant to provide programming in the public interest, convenience, and
Sen. McCain, who opposed the amendment, stated that he wants to hold a
hearing on this issue in July. Sen. Cantwell withdrew the amendment.
UHF Discount. Finally, the Committee also approved, by a vote of
13-10, an amendment offered by Sen.
Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), regarding the UHF discount. The amendment phases
out the attribution discount permitted for UHF television stations.
The bill as approved by the Committee also retains many key provisions that
were included in the bill as introduced.
E-Rate Program Fraud. The bill requires 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."
The bill increases certain statutory caps on
penalties ten fold, and extends statute of limitations on certain actions. Sen.
Hollings (at right) stated in a
prepared statement that "this bill makes great strides in increasing maximum
forfeiture penalties by ten times the current high water mark. It is my hope
that the FCC will take the hint and use these tools that we are providing in
this bill to benefit consumers."
Lobbying Restrictions. The bill contains two provisions related to
lobbying. First, it limits payment of travel costs of FCC officials and
staff. Second, it expands the list of FCC positions subject to the one year
ban on lobbying.
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. The bill adds 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.
Spectrum Licenses, Bankruptcy and Security Interests. The bill also
addresses the situation presented in the NextWave case. 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."
See, January 27, 2003
[34 pages in PDF] of the Supreme Court, and
titled "Supreme Court Rules Against FCC in NextWave Case", January 27, 2003.
|Senate Commerce Committee Approves
Commercial Spectrum Enhancement Act
6/26. The Senate Commerce Committee
amended and approved
the Commercial Spectrum Enhancement Act.
The House passed its version of the bill on June 11 by a vote of 408-10. See,
Roll Call No. 260. The Senate version of the bill now contains the
NorthPoint amendment. The House bill does not.
This bill, which is sponsored by Rep.
Fred Upton (R-MI), 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
The Senate Commerce Committee approved, by a vote of 13 to 8, an amendment offered by
Sen. John Sununu (R-NH) and
Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA), that would
exempt from auction spectrum for fixed terrestrial services in the 12.2-12.7
This amendment would benefit NorthPoint.
It describes its technology as follows: "Northpoint is a
patented, digital, wireless, cell based, terrestrial transmission technology
that reuses radio frequency spectrum previously reserved for satellite systems.
Northpoint can reuse this spectrum by keeping the terrestrial signal below the
level to cause interference to the satellite signal, but above the level
required to provide reliable terrestrial service. This is accomplished through
several means, one of which is directional transmission. The Northpoint system
consists of directional broadcast antennas located on towers, poles, buildings
or mountains. The transmissions are oriented in a limited azimuth range, based
upon the look angles to the satellite systems with which the Northpoint system
will share frequencies, allowing harmonious simultaneous co-channel
transmissions between satellite and terrestrial services." See,
NorthPoint paper [9 pages in PDF]. See also, story titled "FCC Acts on
Northpoint Application" in
TLJ Daily E-Mail
Alert No. 417, April 24, 2003.
(at right) argued that this amendment is about promoting broadband
deployment in rural areas. She continued that exceptions have been allowed in
the past, such as for first responders, and that an exception should be made
Sen. Burns spoke in support of the amendment. He said that "this is a very
narrow piece of spectrum". He also commented that when spectrum is auctioned,
sometimes the auction price is so high that companies have no money left to
Sen. Burns also commented that perhaps, rather than auctioning spectrum, the
federal government should treat it like federal lands. He suggested that perhaps
service providers should "graze on spectrum" the way ranchers "graze on public
Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK) stated that
this amendment "would allow small rural areas to get wireless service", and that
without this amendment, some communities in the state of Alaska will remain
without wireless services. He said that "This bill is not going to leave the
Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), the Chairman
of the Committee, stated that he opposes this amendment, the administration
opposes it, and the wireless industry opposes it. He said that "this would give
away valuable spectrum".
Specifically, the amendment provides that "Section 647 of the ORBIT Act (47
U.S.C. 765f) is amended (1) by striking ``global satellite communications
services.´´ and inserting ``global satellite communications services or for the
provision of fixed terrestrial services in the 12.2-12.7 GHz band.´´; and (2) by
adding at the end the following: ``No license for fixed terrestrial services in
the 12.2-12.7 GHz band may be used for the provision of mobile terrestrial
The Committee also discussed an amendment written by
Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK). However, he
did not offer it.
It would require the National
Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), "at the time of
providing an initial estimate of relocation costs" to the FCC pursuant to
paragraph (4)(A) of the bill, to submit to the House and Senate Appropriations
and Commerce Committees for their "approval", a "copy of such estimate and the
timelines for relocation". It further states that "Unless disapproved within 30
days, the estimate shall be approved. If disapproved, the NTIA may resubmit a
revised initial estimate."
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.
|Appeals Court Vacates Java Must Carry
Injunction in Sun v. Microsoft
6/26. The U.S.
Court of Appeals (4thCir) issued its
pages in PDF] in Sun
Microsystems v. Microsoft,
vacating the portion of the District Court's preliminary injunction that
requires Microsoft to incorporate in and
distribute with every copy of its Windows PC operating system and every copy of
its web browser Sun's Java software. This was also known as the "must carry
injunction". See, December 23, 2002
[42 pages in PDF] of the District Court.
However, the Appeals Court upheld the portion of the District Court's
preliminary injunction prohibiting
Microsoft from distributing any software developments of Java software, other
than products licensed to Microsoft by Sun in a 2001 settlement agreement
arising out of prior litigation over Microsoft's alleged misuse of Java source
District Court. Sun Microsystems
filed a complaint in the U.S. District
Court (NDCal) against Microsoft
alleging violations of antitrust law, and copyright infringement. This
is just one of several such antitrust actions filed in the wake of the
governments' success. The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation transferred
the action to the U.S. District Court
(Maryland) for resolution of pretrial issues.
This action is distinct from the federal government's antitrust action
against Microsoft, which was brought in the U.S. District Court (DC). It is also
distinct from Sun's earlier Java related suit against Microsoft in the U.S.
District Court (NDCal). However, this case builds on these previous cases.
In the present case Sun asked the District Court to require Microsoft to carry Java. It seeks an
injunction requiring Microsoft "to set up Sun's most current Java runtime
environment to be installed by default on any product containing .NET, including
Windows XP (the most recent iteration of the Windows operating system) and
Internet Explorer. Under the proposed injunction, the Java runtime environment
is to be provided by Sun to Microsoft at no cost, and it must pass the relevant
Java compatibility tests available from the Java Community Process."
(Parentheses in original.)
The District Court (Maryland), in granting this relief, wrote that "The theory underlying Sun’s
requested injunction is that Microsoft, having unlawfully fragmented the Java
platform and having destroyed Sun's channels of distribution for that platform,
is now taking advantage of its past antitrust violations to leverage its
monopoly in the Intel-compatible PC market into the market for general purpose,
Internet enabled distributed computing platforms."
The Court added that "The ``must-carry´´ remedy Sun proposes is designed to
prevent Microsoft from obtaining future advantage from its past wrongs and to
correct the distortion in the marketplace that its violations of the antitrust
laws have caused."
In reaching this conclusion, the Court conceded that
Sun's Java, not Microsoft's .NET, is dominant today. But, the Court reasoned, as
part of the analysis of likelihood of irreparable harm, that the market might
reach an irreversible "tipping point".
See also, story titled "District Court Rules Microsoft Must Carry
Sun's Java" in TLJ
Daily E-Mail Alert No. 574, December 24, 2003.
Appeals Court. The Appeals Court vacated the mandatory
injunction. It wrote that "Because the
district court was unable to find immediate irreparable harm and because it
entered a preliminary injunction that does not aid or protect the court’s
ability to enter final relief on Sun’s PC operating-systems monopolization
claim, we vacate the mandatory preliminary injunction."
However, the Appeals Court affirmed the District Court injunction
prohibiting Microsoft from distributing products that infringe Sun's copyright
The Court noted that "The traditional office of a preliminary
injunction is to protect the status quo and to prevent irreparable harm during
the pendency of a lawsuit ultimately to preserve the court’s ability to render a
meaningful judgment on the merits." Yet, mandatory injunctions generally do not
preserve the status quo.
The Court reviewed the requisite elements for granting a
preliminary injunction, and found that immediate irreparable harm if the
injunction is not entered was lacking.
The Court also held that "the mandatory preliminary injunction
aimed at preventing ``distortion´´ in the new emerging market for middleware has
not been linked in fact or by any established legal theory to the final relief
that Sun seeks in its claim that Microsoft has illegally maintained its monopoly
in the market for worldwide licensing of Intel-compatible PC operating systems.
Reaction. Lee Patch, Sun's VP for Legal Affairs, stated in a
release that "We
are extremely pleased with the Appellate Court's ruling today affirming the
copyright infringement injunction. This decision confirms that Microsoft
violated our prior settlement agreement, and that it did so in a way that
continued to fragment the Java platform on PCs ... While we are disappointed
with the delay that results from the Court's determination to vacate and remand
the Must Carry preliminary injunction, the Court accepted the District Court's
determination that Microsoft engaged in anticompetitive acts. We look forward to
a speedy trial and our opportunity to more fully address these and significant
additional violations when we present our complete antitrust case against
|The Congress will be in recess for the week of the 4th of
July. The Supreme Court has issued all of its opinions for the
current term. There will be little activity at the federal
agencies. Hence, the TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert will be published on
Monday and Tuesday, but not on Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday (July 2-4).
|Friday, June 27
The House will meet at 9:00 AM for legislative business. See,
Republican Whip notice.
8:45 AM. The will be a Rose Garden event at the White House
to launch the telemarketing do not call registry. President
Bush, FCC Chairman
Michael Powell, FTC Chairman Timothy Muris, and others will participate.
9:00 AM. The Progress and Freedom Foundation
(PFF) will host a conference titled "Net Neutrality: Consumer Protection or
Commercial Ploy?". At 9:00 AM,
Nancy Victory, Director of the
National Telecommunications and Information
Administration (NTIA), will give the opening keynote address. At 9:30 AM,
there will be a panel titled "Industry Perspectives on the Need for Regulating
Broadband Networks". The participants will include Paul Misener (Amazon),
Robert Sachs (National Cable &
Telecommunications Association), Tom Tauke (Verizon), and Jeffrey Campbell (Cisco Systems). At 10:45 AM, there will be a
panel titled "Economic and Public Policy Perspectives on the Need for
Regulating Broadband Networks". The participants will include
(Stanford Institute of Economic Policy Research),
Joseph Farrell (University
of California at Berkeley), and David Scheffman (Bureau of Economics, Federal
Trade Commission). See,
Location: J.W. Marriott Hotel.
Day long meeting of the Federal
Communications Commission's (FCC) Consumer Advisory Committee.
Deadline to submit comments to the U.S.
Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in response to its
notice of proposed changes to its rules of practice to implement the
inter partes reexamination provisions, and other patent related
(107th Congress), the 21st Century Department of Justice Appropriations
Authorization Act, which President Bush signed on November 2, 2002. For more
information, contact Kenneth Schor at 703 308-6710. See, Federal Register,
April 28, 2003, Vol. 68, No. 81, at Pages 22343 - 22353.
|Monday, June 30
The House will be in recess from June 30 through July 4 for the
Independence Day District Work Period. The Senate will be in recess also.
1:30 PM. The National Association of Manufacturers
(NAM) will host
a media roundtable to discuss strenthening and making permanent
the research and development tax credit. The speakers
will include Monica McGuire of the NAM, and Evan Liddiard,
Senior Tax Advisor to Sen.
Orrin Hatch (R-UT).
Location: NAM, 1331 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Suite 600.
The Securities and Exchange Commission's
(SEC) rule changes that require that reports by insiders disclosing their
securities holdings be filed electronically with the SEC become effective. The
SEC stated in an April 24
release that it "voted to mandate the electronic filing of beneficial
ownership reports filed by officers, directors and principal security holders
under Section 16(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and to require
issuers with corporate websites to post these reports. Electronic filing and
website posting of these reports will result in earlier public notification of
insiders' transactions and wider public availability of information about
those transactions. The new rules and amendments implement the requirements of
Section 16(a)(4), as amended by Section 403 of the Sarbanes Oxley Act of
Deadline to submit comments to the U.S.
Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in response to its notice of proposed
rule making regarding regulation under the Patent Cooperation Treaty. The
USPTO published a
notice in the Federal Register stating that it proposes to "amend the
rules of practice to conform them to certain amendments made to the
Regulations under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) that will take effect on
January 1, 2004. These amendments will result in the addition of a written
opinion in PCT chapter I, as well as a simplification of PCT designations and
the PCT fee structure. In addition, the Office is proposing to adjust the
transmittal, search, and international preliminary examination fees for
international applications filed under the PCT ..." See, Federal Register, May
30, 2003, Vol. 68, No. 104, at pages 32441 - 32448.
|Tuesday, July 1
8:30 AM - 5:15 PM. The U.S. Department of Commerce will host a one day
conference on the U.S. India high tech cooperation titled "Financing
Innovation Forum". The speakers will include
Phil Bond (Under Secretary of
Commerce for Technology),
Kenneth Juster (Under Secretary of Commerce in charge of the
Bureau of Industry and Security), and
Sam Bodman (Deputy
Secretary of the Department of Commerce). See,
agenda. Location: Ronald Reagan Building International Trade Center.
Deadline to submit reply 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
email@example.com or 202 418-7046 or Linda
Senecal at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202 418-7044.
|Wednesday, July 2
Deadline to submit comments to the National
Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) regarding its
[PDF] titled "Guideline for Identifying an Information System as a National
Security System". This is NIST Draft Special Publication 800-59. It provides
guidelines for identifying an information system as a national security system
consistent with applicable requirements for national security systems as
specified in Title III to Public Law 107-347, the Federal Information Systems
Management Act of 2002 (FISMA). Send comments to William Barker at
|People and Appointments
6/25. President Bush nominated Julie Myers to be an Assistant
Secretary of Commerce in charge of export enforcement. If confirmed by the
Senate, she will replace Michael Garcia. She is currently Chief of Staff to the
Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Criminal Division. Before that, she
was Deputy Assistant Secretary for Money Laundering and Financial Crimes at the
Department of the Treasury's Office of Enforcement. She also previously worked
for the law firm of Mayer Brown & Platt. See,
House release and second
6/26. President Bush nominated Rene Acosta to be an Assistant Attorney General
for the Civil Rights Division. If confirmed by the Senate, he will replace Ralph
6/26. President Bush nominated Penrose Albright to be an Assistant Secretary
of Homeland Security. See,
6/25. Secretary of Homeland Security
announced the appointment
of 18 members of the Homeland Security Advisory Council (HSAC). The HSAC will be
chaired by Joseph Grano (Ch/CEO of UBS Paine Webber). Its Executive Director
will be Richard Andrews. The membership will include several former top
government officials: William Webster (former federal judge and former FBI
Director), James Schlesinger (former Secretary of Defense, Secretary of
Energy, and Director of the CIA), and Lee Hamilton (former Representative
from Indiana). It will also include several current state and local government
officials: Anthony Williams (Mayor of Washington DC), Michael Leavitt (Governor
of Utah), and James Moore (Commissioner of the Florida Department of Law
Enforcement). It will also include several industry leaders: Richard Davidson
(Ch/CEO of Union Pacific), Vance Coffman (Ch/CEO of Lockheed Martin), Sidney
Taurel (P/Ch/CEO of Eli Lilly), and Kathleen Bader (Dow Chemical Company). The
membership list will also include Jared Cohon (President of Carnegie Melon
University), Norman Augustine, Lydia Thomas, Ruth David, and Christopher Furlow.
See, DHS release.
6/26. Former Sen. Strom Thurmond (R-SC) died.
6/26. The Federal Communications Commission
(FCC) announced, but did not release, its Eighth
Annual Report on the state of competition in the Commercial Mobile Radio
Services (CMRS) industry. The FCC issued a
press release [2 pages in PDF] describing the Report. Also, FCC Chairman
Michael Powell wrote a
statement in which he argued that the Report "demonstrates how a lighter
regulatory hand has ushered in innovation and technological advancement, and the
power of facilities-based competition into the marketplace." In contrast,
Commissioner Michael Copps
separate statement [3 pages in PDF] in which he complained that these
reports contain "insufficient data. Much of the limited data included are
unverifiable and are derived from sources with a stake in the outcome of our
determination." He added that "The Report is largely based on unverified
corporate press releases and advertisements, surveys conducted by industry
lobbying organizations, unverified Wall Street analysts’ reports that may be
influenced by the stock holdings of those analysts’ firms, SEC filings that are
not designed for this purpose, and newspaper reports." This is WT Docket No.
6/26. The Federal Communications Commission
(FCC) announced, but did not release, a Report and Order pertaining to
satellite licensing procedures. The FCC issued a brief
press release [1 page in PDF]. See also,
statement [PDF] by FCC Chairman
Michael Powell. This is IB
Docket Nos. 02-34 and 00-248.
6/26. The Federal Communications
Commission (FCC) announced, but did not release, a Report and Order amending
its rules implementing the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 (TCPA) and
establishing a national do not call registry. The FCC issued a
press release [4 pages in PDF] describing the Report and Order. See also,
statement of FCC Chairman
statement of Commissioner
statement of Commissioner
Michael Copps, and
statement of Commissioner
Jonathan Adelstein. This
is CG Docket No. 02-278.
6/26. The Federal Communications Commission
(FCC) approved Qwest Communications'
application to provide in region interLATA services in the state of Minnesota.
release [2 pages in PDF] and
order [114 pages in PDF].
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