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July 14, 2003, 9:00 AM ET, Alert No. 697.
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Sen. Smith Introduces Universal Service Reform Bill

7/9. Sen. Gordon Smith (R-OR) and others introduced S 1380, the "Rural Universal Service Equity Act of 2003". It would require the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to rewrite its high cost universal service support rules to provide for distributing funds to telephone company wire centers with the highest cost.

The FCC's universal service programs are cross subsidy programs under which some phone service consumers are, in effect, taxed to subsidize the service of others. While the FCC has long managed a universal service system, it was first codified by the Telecom Act of 1996. See, 47 U.S.C. § 254.

Sen. Gordon SmithSen. Smith (at right) described universal service as "a decades old Federal program intended to keep telephone service available and affordable across America. The Federal Universal Service Program has been a tremendous success." See, Congressional Record, July 9, 2003, at pages S9121-2.

He said that "Yet many of the most rural States in America the very States the program was intended to assist -- receive no funding at all. North Dakota, South Dakota, Idaho, Iowa, Utah, Kansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Nebraska and other rural States receive no funding under this program."

"When the FCC created this program in 1999, it determined which States would be eligible for funding by comparing the average cost of providing telephone service per line in each State to a benchmark tied to the national average cost per line. If a State's average cost of service per line exceeded the benchmark, that State would be eligible for funding. If the average cost was below the national benchmark, it would not be eligible."

Sen. Smith continued that "This method is skewed, in part, because telephone service in a metropolitan area is less expensive to provide than service in a rural area. Customers in cities are closer to one another, and the same facilities can serve more people at a lower cost. As a consequence, if you are served by a larger carrier and you live in a State with a city--no matter how rural an area, or no matter how far from the city you live--your State probably receives no support."

He then summarized his bill. "The Act directs the FCC to replace the current state-wide average formula with a new formula that distributes funds to telephone company wire centers with the highest cost. Wire centers are the telephone facilities where all of the telephone lines in a given area converge. And because funds would be directed to high-cost wire centers, as opposed to States with the highest average costs, rural residents would no longer be penalized if they lived in a State with a city hundreds of miles away."

The bill would requires the FCC to amend its regulations codified at 47 CFR 54.309 and 54.311. (See, Part 54 of the FCC rules.) Specifically, the bill provides that "In calculating Federal universal service support for eligible telecommunications carriers that serve rural, insular, and high cost areas, the Commission shall ... revise the Commission's support mechanism for high cost areas to provide support to each wire center in which the incumbent local exchange carrier's average cost per line for such wire center exceeds the national average cost per line by such amount as the Commission determines appropriate for the purpose of ensuring the equitable distribution of universal service support throughout the United States."

The bill is cosponsored by 10 Republicans, and Sen. Evan Bayh (D-IN), who are from states with large rural populations.

New Technologies and Universal Service Funding. The bill recites in its finding that "Local telephone competition and emerging technologies are threatening the viability of Federal universal service support." However, the bill would do nothing to change the way universal service is funded, such as by taxing new communications technologies. The bill states that one of its purposes is to "To begin consideration of universal service reform."

Sen. Gordon also stated that "the Universal Service Program has challenges beyond the inequities of the program for larger carriers. I look forward to participating in the broader debate on how to reform the Universal Service Program and ensure its long term viability and effectiveness. This bill will help further that debate. However, broadly reforming the Universal Service Program is complex and divisive. It may take years. And I do not believe the inequities of the program for larger carriers should be allowed to continue while Congress grapples with the broader issues."

BellSouth's Herschel Abbott stated in a release that "This legislation is looking at the wrong end of the question. It would cut off subsidy funding for phone service for people in some rural parts of the country. Yet it does not address the crucial problem in ensuring affordable universal telephone today -- that is, where does the money come from? Technology now allows people to be connected in many ways, yet the responsibility for funding universal service is not being borne by people making connections through the internet. It is the funding side of the universal service equation that is in peril, the distribution side should not be addressed separately."

GSA and OMB Release Draft E-Authentication Policy

7/11. The General Services Administration's (GSA) Office of Electronic Government and Technology published a notice in the Federal Register regarding electronic authentication. The notice attaches, and requests comments on, the draft policy titled "Draft E -- E-Authentication for Federal Agencies".

This notice states that "This attached GSA policy guidance provides agencies with a policy for the use of electronic authentication (or e-authentication) in electronic transactions. ... This memorandum establishes a four level approach for authentication to ensure trustworthy electronic transactions and to fulfill Federal privacy and information security requirements. These four levels reflect an increasing degree of confidence in the identity presented and represent a range of authentication technologies."

The draft was prepared with support from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Comments are due by August 11, 2003. See, Federal Register, July 11, 2003, Vol. 68, No. 133, at Pages 41370 - 41374.

DC Circuit Upholds FCC Payphone Order

7/11. The U.S. Court of Appeals (DCCir) issued its opinion [17 pages in PDF] in New England Public Communications Council v. FCC, upholding one of the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) payphone orders.

47 U.S.C. § 276(a) prohibits "any Bell operating company that provides payphone service" from subsidizing or discriminating in favor of its own payphone service. It also authorizes the FCC to promulgate implementing regulations. Pursuant to this authority, the FCC issued order requiring the Bell operating companies (BOCs) to price the service lines used by payphone service providers at forward looking cost based rates.

One group of petitioners, composed of BOCs, challenged the FCC's authority to require a specific rate setting methodology for intrastate payphone lines. The other group of petitioners, composed of payphone service providers that use non-BOC local exchange carriers' payphone lines, challenged the FCC's decision to limit the forward looking cost based methodology requirement to BOCs.

The Appeals Court denied all petitions, and affirmed the order of the FCC.

4th Circuit Rules in Cybersquatting Case

7/9. The U.S. Court of Appeals (4thCir) issued its opinion [PDF] in Hawes v. Network Solutions, a case interpreting the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA), Rule 12(b)(1) motions to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, and Rule 12(b)(6) motions to dismiss for failure to state a claim. The District Court dismissed a two count complaint brought by a domain name registrant against a company that claimed trademark rights in the domain name, and the domain name registrar that transferred the domain name to that company. The Appeals Court affirmed in part and reversed in part, in a opinion that could be put to good use in civil procedure and trademark law courses.

Background. In April 1999 Christopher Hawes registered the domain name with Network Solutions, Inc. (NSI). L'Oreal, is a French cosmetics company.

L'Oreal filed a complaint in a French court against Hawes alleging infringement of its trademark. NSI then transmitted a Registrar Certificate for the domain name to counsel for L'Oreal in France, tendering control and authority over the registration of the domain name to the French court, in accordance with NSI's standard agreement with registrants. Hawes did not appear, and the court entered judgment for L'Oreal, ordering that the domain name be transferred to L'Oreal.

Hawes then sent a letter to NSI stating that if it transferred the domain name, pursuant to NSI's standard agreement and the French order, he would file suit in a United States federal court seeking judgment that his registration and use of the domain name were not unlawful. Nevertheless, NSI then transferred the domain name to L'Oreal.

District Court. Hawes filed a two count complaint in U.S. District Court (EDVa) against NSI and L'Oreal. He alleged that NSI violated its standard agreement with registrants. He also sought declaratory and injunctive relief under the Lanham Act, as amended by the ACPA, against L'Oreal. See, 15 U.S.C. § 1114(2)(D). He sought a declaratory judgment that NSI's transfer of his domain name to L'Oreal was improper, and that his registration and use of the domain name was not unlawful. He also sought an injunction ordering the return of the domain name. L'Oreal counterclaimed for trademark infringement and trademark dilution.

The District Court dismissed the complaint for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, pursuant to Rule 12(b)(1) of the FRCP. The District Court dismissed the count against NSI on the grounds that Hawes did not allege a violation of the ACPA against NSI. The District Court dismissed the count against L'Oreal on the grounds that there is no justiciable case or controversy, that the domain name was transferred pursuant to a French court order rather than NSI's standard agreement, and that 28 U.S.C. § 2201 allows the court discretion not to grant injunctive relief.

L'Oreal dismissed its counterclaims. This appeal followed.

Statutes and Rules. 15 U.S.C. § 1114(2)(D)(i)(I) provides that "A domain name registrar, a domain name registry, or other domain name registration authority that takes any action described under clause (ii) affecting a domain name shall not be liable for monetary relief or, except as provided in subclause (II), for injunctive relief, to any person for such action, regardless of whether the domain name is finally determined to infringe or dilute the mark."

15 U.S.C. § 1114(2)(D)(i)(II), in turn, provides, in part, that "A domain name registrar, domain name registry, or other domain name registration authority described in subclause (I) may be subject to injunctive relief only if such registrar, registry, or other registration authority has ... (bb) transferred, suspended, or otherwise modified the domain name during the pendency of the action, except upon order of the court"

Also, 15 U.S.C. § 1114(2)(D)(v) provides that "A domain name registrant whose domain name has been suspended, disabled, or transferred under a policy described under clause (ii)(II) may, upon notice to the mark owner, file a civil action to establish that the registration or use of the domain name by such registrant is not unlawful under this chapter. The court may grant injunctive relief to the domain name registrant, including the reactivation of the domain name or transfer of the domain name to the domain name registrant."

28 U.S.C. § 2201 provides, in part, that "In a case of actual controversy within its jurisdiction ... as determined by the administering authority, any court of the United States, upon the filing of an appropriate pleading, may declare the rights and other legal relations of any interested party seeking such declaration, whether or not further relief is or could be sought. Any such declaration shall have the force and effect of a final judgment or decree and shall be reviewable as such."

Rule 12, FRCP, provides, in part, that "Every defense, in law or fact, to a claim for relief in any pleading, whether a claim, counterclaim, cross-claim, or third-party claim, shall be asserted in the responsive pleading thereto if one is required, except that the following defenses may at the option of the pleader be made by motion: (1) lack of jurisdiction over the subject matter, ... (6) failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, ..."

Appeals Court. The Appeals Court affirmed in part (the dismissal as to NSI), reversed in part (the dismissal as to L'oreal), and remanded.

The Appeals Court first examined the complaint, which was poorly drafted, and misstated the the statutory authority upon which it was based. The Appeals Court concluded that the first count, against NSI, alleged a violation of 15 U.S.C. 1114(2)(D)(i)(II)(bb), while the second count, against L'Oreal, alleged a violation of  15 U.S.C. 1114(2)(D)(v).

Then, the Appeals Court examined the District Court's dismissal of the first count. It held that the District Court erred in dismissing pursuant to Rule 12(b)(1), regarding lack of subject matter jurisdiction. While the ACPA generally limited the liability of domain name registrars, subsection (D)(i)(II)(bb) provides an exception, and that is what Hawes plead. But, the Appeals Court continued that NSI also moved to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6), regarding failure to state a claim. The Appeals Court held that Hawes failed to state a claim, and that the count against NSI should have been dismissed for this reason.

The Appeals Court reasoned that "Hawes did allege that Network Solutions tendered control over the domain name to the French court after L'Oreal commenced an action in France against Hawes for infringing L'Oreal's French trademarks, but the pendency of a foreign action is irrelevant to the question of whether a registrar is exposed to liability under the Lanham Act. This conclusion that the French proceedings are irrelevant to a registrar’s liability under § 1114(2)(D)(i) is compelled by the language of the Lanham Act as amended by the ACPA, as well as its scope and structure."

The Court continued that "The ACPA creates a cause of action for cybersquatting against anyone who registers, traffics in, or uses a domain name that is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark with the bad-faith intent to profit from the good will associated with the trademark. See 15 U.S.C. § 1125(d)(1). It also creates a cause of action for reverse domain name hijacking against trademark owners who misuse or abuse their rights in bringing a cybersquatting action."

"The ACPA thus protects both trademark owners and domain name registrants. In creating these causes of action, Congress intended expressly to limit the liability of domain name registrars under the Act as long as the domain name registrars comply with the conditions stated in § 1114(2)(D)(i)."

The Court added that "Without such limitation of liability, all registrars would potentially have been exposed to the offense of cybersquatting because they register and traffic in domain names that could be infringing or diluting trademarks protected by the Lanham Act. See 15 U.S.C. § 1125(d)(1). Thus, § 3004 of the ACPA, which contains the language codified at 15 U.S.C. § 1114(2)(D)(i) and is captioned ``Limitation on Liability,´´ generally exempts domain name registrars from the liability imposed by the Act for cybersquatting or reverse domain name hijacking. Because the provisions conditioning the limitation of liability in § 1114(2)(D)(i) relate to liability imposed by the Lanham Act as amended by the ACPA, cooperating conduct by registrars with respect to foreign courts under foreign law is given no relevance in interpreting § 1114(2)(D)(i)(II)(bb) insofar as it requires the pendency of an ``action.´´"

The Court concluded that "In this case, there was no anticybersquatting action or reverse anticybersquatting action under the ACPA pending in any court at the time Network Solutions transferred the domain name <>. Because there was no action adjudicating Lanham Act liability, there could be no allegation that Network Solutions was not cooperating with a court in a domain name dispute involving domain name hijacking or reverse domain name hijacking, and thus there could be no basis to consider an exception from the limitation of liability. Accordingly, the district court was correct in concluding that the complaint failed to include a necessary averment of fact in support of a claim to find Network Solutions’ conduct fell within the exception to the limitation of liability granted by § 1114(2)(D)(i)." Hence, the Court wrote that "we agree with the district court that the claim against Network Solutions must be dismissed, but we affirm this conclusion on the basis of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6)."

Next, the Appeals Court examined the District Court's dismissal of the second count, against L'Oreal. The District Court dismissed an ACPA (D)(v) claim for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.

The District Court dismissed, in part, because it held that the transfer of the domain name was pursuant to a French court order, rather than NSI's standard agreement, and one element of a (D)(v) claim is that the transfer be pursuant to the registrar's policy. The Appeals Court ruled that "Implicitly, the court concluded that the element was a jurisdictional one. Again we disagree."

The Appeals Court explained. "But the statute makes none of these elements jurisdictional. Rather, jurisdiction is conferred by the fact that the cause of action provided under § 1114(2)(D)(v) is part of the ACPA which amended the Trademark Act of 1946 (the Lanham Act), and as such is a civil action relating to trademarks. Section 1338 of Title 28 confers subject matter jurisdiction on federal courts for actions relating to trademarks. Thus, if Hawes failed to allege any of the elements for a reverse domain name hijacking claim, L'Oreal’s remedy would be to file a motion for failure to state a claim under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). Although we agree with the district court that the failure to allege one of the required elements would be fatal to recovery, it would not be fatal to the district court's jurisdiction."

But, the Appeals Court continued that the District Court misinterpreted the complaint. It wrote that "Fully and fairly read, the complaint alleges that the transfer of the domain name took place pursuant to Network Solutions' Domain Name Dispute Policy as contained in the Domain Name Registration Agreement, and it was because of that policy, as interpreted by Network Solutions, that the Registrar Certificate was filed with the French court and that the domain name was ultimately transferred. Because L'Oreal is alleged to have received the domain name <> on the basis of Network Solutions’ interpretation of the scope of its ``Domain Name Dispute Policy,´´ the second element for a cause of action under § 1114(2)(D)(v) would appear to have been adequately alleged."

Hence, not only was it error to dismiss the count against L'Oreal for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, but Hawes plead a claim upon which relief may be granted.

The Appeals Court rejected the 28 U.S.C. § 2201 discretion argument in a single footnote. It wrote, "But a federal district court possesses no similar discretion in adjudicating an action brought under 15 U.S.C. § 1114(2)(D)(v), in which Congress created a new and independent cause of action and, unlike in § 2201, used no language indicating that a district court may exercise discretion regarding whether to grant declaratory relief."

House to Take Up Ag Approps Bill, With Distance Learning, Telemedicine & Broadband Provisions

7/14. The House is scheduled to take up HR 2673, the "Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill, 2004" on Monday, July 14. See, Republican Whip Notice.

This bill includes funding for, among other things, rural telecommunications, distance learning and telemedicine, and broadband telecommunication programs.

The bill contains the following language regarding distance learning, telemedicine and broadband grants and loans:

    "For the principal amount of direct distance learning and telemedicine loans, $300,000,000; and for the principal amount of broadband telecommunication loans, $336,000,000."

    "For grants for telemedicine and distance learning services in rural areas, as authorized by 7 U.S.C. 950aaa et seq., $25,000,000, to remain available until expended."

    "For the cost of direct and guaranteed broadband loans, as authorized by 7 U.S.C. 901, et seq., $9,116,000 ..."

    "In addition, $8,000,000, to remain available until expended, for a grant program to finance broadband transmission in areas that meet the definition of `rural area' used for the Broadband Loan Program authorized by 7 U.S.C. 901."

The House Appropriations Committee report, House Rpt.108-193, states that "For the Distance Learning, Telemedicine, and Broadband Program, the Committee provides an appropriation of $42,116,000, a decrease of $14,455,000 below the amount available for fiscal year 2003 and an increase of $6,000,000 above the budget request, including $25,000,000 for Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grants, $9,116,000 for Broadband Telecommunications loan subsidy, and $8,000,000 for Broadband Grants."

On June 25, 2003, the House Agriculture Committee held a hearing on the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Rural Utility Service's (RUS) distance learning and telemedicine programs. See, prepared testimony [in PDF] of Tom Dorr (Under Secretary, Rural Development, Department of Agriculture), Karen Rheuban (University of Virginia Health System), Howard Chapman (Saltville Medical Center), George O’Brien (Copenhagen Central School District), Patti Patterson (Texas Tech University Health Science Center), and Carl Taylor (University of South Alabama).

Dorr wrote in his prepared testimony that "Telemedicine projects are providing new and improved health care services beginning with patient diagnosis, through surgical procedures, and post-operative treatment. New advancements are being made in the telepharmaceutical and telepsychiatry arenas providing health care options never before available to many medically under-served, remote, rural areas. Distance learning projects continue to provide funding for computers and Internet connection in schools and libraries."

He continued that "Distance learning and telemedicine services that can be deployed over broadband networks are literally changing the landscape of rural America. They enable rural students to take virtual field trips to places all over the world, from historic Williamsburg to the Louvre in Paris. They provide life saving medical treatment over telemedicine networks – allowing for specialists to guide surgeries hundreds of miles away! And there are real economic benefits as well. Building on advanced telecommunications platforms, distance learning and telemedicine technologies are not only improving the quality of life in rural areas, but they are also making direct contributions to the economies in rural areas by introducing the skills needed for a high-tech workforce and promoting sound health care practices, including preventative care initiatives."

NAB Withdraws Support for Bill to Set National TV Ownership Cap at 35%

7/10. The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) stated in a release that "Through amendments in recent weeks, the Senate Commerce Committee has modified S. 1046 in numerous ways that are unacceptable to the broadcast industry. We have previously announced our opposition to that legislation. We would prefer a clean bill that would codify the national television ownership cap at 35%."

The NAB continued that "However, in evaluating the current legislative climate, we have concluded that is politically and legislatively infeasible. Therefore, NAB is withdrawing its support for legislation in the House and Senate. We remain grateful to Congressmen Burr and Dingell and Senators Stevens and Hollings and other Members of Congress for their longstanding support of free, local over-the-air broadcasters."

Sen. Ernest HollingsSen. Ernest Hollings (D-SC) (at right) responded in a release that "The NAB's recent about-face is regrettable, but this battle is being fought for the American people and diversity of expression, not the NAB. Americans from widely differing perspectives have made it quite clear that they want the FCC's ruling reversed. We will continue to move forward on our bill and work to ensure that the public airwaves serve the public interest and not the economic interest of a few big media conglomerates."

On June 19, 2003, the Senate Commerce Committee amended and passed S 1046, the "Preservation of Localism, Program Diversity, and Competition in Television Broadcast Service Act of 2003". The bill, as amended, would roll back some of the changes to the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) media ownership rules that the FCC announced at its June 2, 2003 meeting. See, TLJ story titled "Senate Commerce Committee Passes Media Ownership Bill", June 19, 2003.

On June 2, the FCC announced rules changes that raise the national TV ownership cap from 35% to 45%. That is, one company can own TV stations reaching no more than a 45% share of U.S. TV households. 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, and story titled "FCC Releases Media Ownership Order and NPRM" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 692, July 7, 2003. See also, FCC press release [10 pages in PDF] of June 2, 2003, and Report and Order and Notice of Proposed Rulemaking [257 pages in PDF] released on July 2, 2003.

S 1046, which is sponsored by Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK), Sen. Hollings, and others, 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.)

Monday, July 14

The House will meet at 10:30 AM for morning hour and at 12:00 NOON for legislative business. Votes will be postponed until 6:30 PM. The House will consider HR 2673, the Agriculture, Rural Development, FDA and related agencies appropriations bill. This bill includes funding for rural telecommunication loans, and distance learning, telemedicine, and broadband telecommunication loans and grants. See, Republican Whip Notice.

The Senate will meet at 2:00 PM. It will begin consideration of HR 2658, the defense appropriations bill, which the House passed on July 8. See, story titled "House Passes Defense Appropriations Bill" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 694, July 9, 2003.

2:00 PM. The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing to examine temporary entry provisions of the proposed free trade agreements with Chile and Singapore. Press contact: Margarita Tapia at 202 224-5225. Location: Room 226, Dirksen Building.

Tuesday, July 15

The House will meet at 9:00 AM for morning hour and at 10:00 AM for legislative business. It will consider several non tech related items. See, Republican Whip Notice.

10:00 AM. Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan will testify before the House Financial Services Committee. He will deliver his semiannual report on monetary policy. See, notice. Press contact: Peggy Peterson or Scott Duncan at 202 226-0471. Location: Room 2128, Rayburn Building.

10:00 AM. The Senate Finance Committee will hold a hearing titled "An Examination of U.S. Tax Policy and Its Effect on the International Competitiveness of U.S.-Owned Foreign Operations." The scheduled witnesses include Sen. George Allen (R-VA), Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Sen. John Ensign (R-NV), Pamela Olson (Deputy Assistant Secretary, Department of the Treasury),  Dan Kostenbauder (Hewlett Packard), David Rosenbloom, (Caplin & Drysdale), James Hines (University of Michigan Business School), Charles Hahn (Dow Chemical), Mike Gaffney (Merrill Lynch), and Stephen Shay (Ropes & Gray). Location: Room 215, Dirksen Building.

Deadline to submit to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) outlines of topics to be discussed at the IRS's September 10, 2003, hearing on proposed regulations relating to the definition of toll telephone service for purposes of the communications excise tax. See, notice in the Federal Register, June 17, 2003, Vol. 68, No. 116, at Pages 35828 - 35829.

Wednesday, July 16

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

The Federal Communications Commission's (FCC)  Public Safety National Coordination Committee's (PSNCC) subcommittees will hold meetings. The Interoperability Subcommittee will meet from 9:00 - 11:30 AM. The Technology Subcommittee will meet from 12:30 - 3:00 PM. The Implementation Subcommittee will meet from 3:00 - 5:30 PM. Location: FCC, 445 12th Street, SW, Room TW-C305 (Commission Meeting Room).

9:30 AM. The Senate Commerce Committee will hold a hearing on proposed legislation to make permanent the moratorium on taxes on Internet access. See, notice. Location: Press contact: Rebecca Hanks (McCain) 202 224-2670 or Andy Davis (Hollings) at 202 224-6654. Room 253, Russell Building.

10:00 AM - 12:00 NOON. The House Science Committee will hold a hearing titled "Supercomputing: Is the U.S. on the Right Path?" Location: Room 2318, Rayburn Building.

10:00 AM. Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan will testify before the Senate Banking Committee. Location: Room 538, Dirksen Building.

10:30 AM. The House International Relations Committee will hold a hearing titled "Intellectual Property Crimes: Are Proceeds From Counterfeited Goods Funding Terrorism?" Location: Room 2172, Rayburn Building.

12:00 NOON - 2:00 PM. The Federal Communications Bar Association's (FCBA) International Practice Committee and the Computer & Telecommunications Law Section of the D.C. Bar Association will host a brown bag lunch (with admission charges) titled "Is There a Worldwide Consensus on Implementing New Wireless Services? - A Debriefing of the 2003 World Radiocommunications Conference". The scheduled speakers include John Giusti (FCC's International Bureau), Jennifer Manner (Legal Advisor to FCC Commissioner Abernathy), Cecily Holiday (State Department), Karl Nebbia (NTIA's Office of Spectrum Management), James Voorhies (NTIA International Spectrum Plans Program Manager), Audrey Allison (Boeing), Jennifer Warren (Lockheed Martin). The moderators will be Lisa Choi (FCC's International Bureau), and Troy Tanner (Swidler Berlin). Location: Wilmer Cutler & Pickering, 2400 N St., NW, Concourse Level. For more information contact laurabsherman

Thursday, July 17

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

9:30 AM. The Senate Commerce Committee will meet to consider pending calendar business. Press contact: Rebecca Hanks (McCain) 202 224-2670 or Andy Davis (Hollings) at 202 224-6654. See, notice. Location: Room 253, Russell Building.

9:30 AM - 2:30 PM. The Federal Communications Commission's (FCC)  Public Safety National Coordination Committee (PSNCC) will hold a general membership meeting. See, notice in the Federal Register, June 20, 2003, Vol. 68, No. 119, at Pages 6989 - 36990. Location: FCC, 445 12th Street, SW, Room TW-C305 (Commission Meeting Room).

Friday, July 18

9:30 AM. The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on several pending judicial nominations: Steven Colloton (U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit), Henry Floyd (District of South Carolina), Brent McKnight (Western District of North Carolina), David Proctor (Northern District of Alabama). The hearing will also include the nomination of Rene Acosta to be an Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Civil Rights Division. Press contact: Margarita Tapia at 202 224-5225. Location: Room 226, Dirksen Building.

Deadline to submit comments to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regarding its proposed consent agreement with Guess?, Inc. and, Inc. (Guess) pertaining to the FTC's allegations of false or misleading representations Guess made to consumers about the security of personal information collected online through, Guess' online store. See, notice in the Federal Register, June 24, 2003, Vol. 68, No. 121, at Pages 37496 - 37498.

People and Appointments

7/11. President Bush announced his intent to nominate former Representative Connie Morella (R-MD) to be Ambassador to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). She was a member of the House for 16 years, before losing in the 2002 election. She was also a member of the House Science Committee. See, White House release.

7/10. David Svanda will step down as President of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC), effective August 4, 2003. NARUC First Vice President Stan Wise will then assume the presidency. See, NARUC release [PDF].

7/8. Avie Tevanian was named Chief Software Technology Officer of Apple. Bertrand Serlet was named SVP of Software Engineering. Apple stated in a release that "Tevanian will focus on setting company-wide software technology directions, and Serlet will now report directly to Apple CEO Steve Jobs and lead the company's OS Software Engineering group."

7/9. The Senate approved the nominations of Mary Ellen Williams, Victor Wolski, Susan Braden, and Charles Lettow to be a Judges of the U.S. Court of Federal Claims for a term of fifteen years.

More News

7/11. Reuters filed a complaint in U.S. District Court (SDNY) against Bloomberg alleging patent infringement. See, Bloomberg release.

7/9. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) released a report [14 pages in PDF] titled "PATRIOT Propaganda: The Justice Department's Campaign to Mislead The Public About the USA PATRIOT Act". The report pertains to Section 215 of the Act, which is codified at 50 U.S.C. § 1862. Section 215 addresses access to records of common carriers, public accommodation facilities, and others, under the Foreign Intelligence Security Act (FISA). The report states that "Section 215 allows the government to obtain -- without an ordinary criminal subpoena or search warrant and without probable cause -- an order from a court giving them records on clients or customers from libraries, bookstores, doctors, universities, Internet service providers and other public entities and private sector businesses."

7/9. Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-CO) introduced HR 2688, a bill to amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to repeal authorities relating to H1-B visas, which are used by high tech workers. It is a short and simple bill that provides that "The Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101 et seq.) is amended by striking section 101(a)(15)(H)(i)(b) ..." It was referred to the House Judiciary Committee.

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