|Sen. Hollings Will Not Run in 2004
8/4. Sen. Ernest Hollings (D-SC)
announced that he will not run for re-election to
the Senate in 2004. He is the ranking Democrat on the
Senate Commerce Committee,
and the ranking Democrat on the Senate Appropriations Committee's Subcommittee
on Commerce, Justice, State and the Judiciary, which also funds the
Communications Commission (FCC). See,
of retirement announcement.
The Democrat with the next most seniority on the Commerce Committee is
Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-HI). He is up for
re-election in 2004. He is now 78 years old, and will be 80 at the time of the
election. Next in seniority is Sen. Jay
Sen. Hollings' speech was not gracious. He
said that "we've got the weakest president and weakest government in the history
of my 50 years of public service. I say weak president in that the poor boy
campaigns all the time and pays no attention to what's going on in the Congress.
Karl Rove tells him to do this or do that or whatever it is".
Sen. Hollings (at right) also criticized free
trade in his speech. He stated that "at the end of World War II we
had 40 percent of our workforce in manufacturing. And now we're down to 10
percent. We've got 10 percent of the country working and producing, and we've
got the other 90 percent talking and eating. That's all they're doing." He
added, "we're eliminating jobs -- hard manufacture, service, high-tech -- all
except the press and the politicians. They don't import us. If they'd imported
us, they'd get rid of us, too."
On July 31, Sen. Hollings voted against
HR 2738, the
"United States-Chile Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act". See,
Roll Call No. 319. He also voted against
HR 2739, the
"United States-Singapore Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act". See,
Roll Call No. 318. Both bills passed overwhelmingly in both the House and
Sen. Hollings has a record of supporting the interests of competitive local exchange
carriers (CLECs) in the Senate. Russell Frisby, President of
CompTel, stated in a
release that "Sen.
Hollings leaves behind many legacies after serving seven terms in the Senate,
including his long-time advocacy of the principles of an open, competitive
telecommunications marketplace. Sen. Hollings' heroic efforts to open the local
telephone market to competition resulted in the Telecommunications Act of 1996.
As a result, his constituents in South Carolina and consumers across the nation,
now have the opportunity to select innovative, low-cost services from a variety
Walter McCormick, P/CEO of the U.S. Telecom
Association (USTA), a group that represents the interests of the incumbent local
exchange carriers (ILECs), stated in a
that "Senator Hollings has had a distinguished career, has been a leading voice
on telecommunications issues and has played a significant role in shaping
today's communications marketplace."
In 2002 Sen. Hollings was responsible for derailing the DOJ FTC merger review
agreement. Charles James, the previous Assistant Attorney General in charge of
the Department of Justice's (DOJ) Antitrust
Division reached an agreement
Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Chairman
Timothy Muris to
divide responsibility for merger reviews. The two issued a
Memorandum of Agreement
in January 2002 concerning clearance procedures for
merger reviews and other antitrust matters. The agreement attempted to define,
by industry, which transactions would be reviewed by which agency.
However, this agreement was dropped following opposition from, and threats of
appropriations cuts by, Sen. Hollings. See, story titled "DOJ & FTC
Abandon Merger Review Agreement Under Threat from Sen. Hollings" in
TLJ Daily E-Mail
Alert No. 436, May 22, 2002.
Sen. Hollings cosponsored, along with
Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA),
which requires that schools and libraries receiving e-rate subsidies to use
filtering software on computers to block access to material that is harmful to
More recently, Sen. Hollings has been one of the leading advocates in the
Senate for rolling back the FCC's revisions to its media ownership rules.
|Senate Judiciary Committee Approves Bill to
Regulate Internet Cigarette Sales
7/31. The Senate Judiciary
Committee amended and approved
S 1177, the
"Prevent All Cigarette Trafficking (PACT) Act of 2003". The bill would amend the
Jenkins Act of 1949, 15 U.S.C. Ё 375-378, to, among other things, expand the
reporting requirements of the Act to cover internet sales of cigarettes.
The bill is intended, in part, to facilitate state collection of taxes on
cigarette sales over the internet. See, story titled "Senators Introduce Bill to
Regulate Internet Cigarette Sales" in
TLJ Daily E-Mail
Alert No. 675, June 6, 2003.
The Jenkins Act requires that any person who sells and ships cigarettes
across a state line to a buyer, other than a licensed distributor, to report the
sale to the buyer's state tobacco tax administrator. Some states impose vastly
higher taxes on the sales of cigarettes than others. The Jenkins Act helps these
states enforce their cigarette tax laws. Currently, many internet based
cigarette sellers are not reporting sales to state tax administrators.
|Internet Cigarette Sales Bill Introduced in House
7/23. Rep. Mark Green
(WI), Rep. Marty Meehan (D-MA) and others introduced
the "Internet Tobacco Sales Enforcement Act", a bill to amend the Jenkins Act to
aide states in collecting taxes on internet tobacco sales.
Rep. Meehan (at right) stated that "This
bill will help to
reduce youth smoking and crack down on cigarette sellers who evade state taxes.
Smokers of all ages have increasingly turned to the Internet to buy cheaper
cigarettes. Over 200 smoke shops have come online in the past few years offering
cheap cigarettes. The reason these cigarettes are so cheap is that Internet
sellers typically don't collect sales or excise taxes." See, Meehan
Meehan continued that "In a study of 147 Internet
tobacco retailers, the GAO found none of the sites posted information that
indicated the vendors complied with the Jenkins Act. In addition, the GAO found
that because Internet tobacco retailers are not collecting state cigarette
excise taxes, the sales are creating a huge revenue loss for states, including
Massachusetts. The states already lose millions in tax revenue as a result of
Internet tobacco sales, and Internet sales are expected to constitute about 20
percent of the U.S. cigarette market by 2006, so the problem is only going to
See, August 13, 2002, General Accounting Office
(GAO) report [60 pages in
PDF] titled "Internet Cigarette Sales: Giving ATF Investigative Authority May
Improve Reporting and Enforcement". See also, story titled "GAO Reports on
Internet Cigarette Sales" in
TLJ Daily E-Mail
Alert No. 491, August 14, 2002.
Meehan added that the problem is that "the Jenkins Act
is toothless." He explained that HR 2824 "will fix the problem by placing new
restrictions on Internet sales and giving state attorneys general the tools they
need to bring effective enforcement actions against Internet tobacco sellers who
break the law. The Green-Meehan bill will make Internet tobacco sellers follow
the same kinds of laws and requirements that in-state bricks-and-mortar sellers
of tobacco products must comply with relating to the collection of state taxes."
|GAO Reports on Information Security Control
Weaknesses at Pay.gov
7/31. The General Accounting
Office (GAO) released a
report [PDF] titled "Information Security: Computer Controls
Controls over Key Treasury Internet Payment System". The report finds
information security control weaknesses in the Department of the Treasury's
Financial Management Service's (FMS)
Pay.gov website, which allows the public to
make certain payments to the federal government (not including income tax
payments) via the internet.
The report notes that "The federal government is moving toward implementing Web-based
electronic government to provide public services. At the same time, the computer
systems that support these services face increasing security risks from viruses,
hackers, and others who seek to interrupt federal operations or to obtain
sensitive information that is stored in federal computers."
This report focuses on just one of the federal government's electronic
government initiatives, the pay.gov website, which the report states is
"estimated to eventually handle up to 80 million transactions valued at $125
The report finds that "Although FMS and the Federal Reserve have documented and
implemented many security controls to protect Pay.gov, security controls and
practices have not always been effectively implemented to ensure the
confidentiality, integrity, and availability of the Pay.gov computing
environment and data."
The report elaborates that "numerous information security control weaknesses increased
the risk that external and internal users could have gained unauthorized access
to Pay.gov, which could have led to the inappropriate disclosure or modification
of its data or to the disruption of service. For example, FMS and the Federal
Reserve had not consistently implemented access controls to prevent, limit, and
detect electronic access to the application and computing environment. In
addition, weaknesses in other information system controls (segregation of
duties, software change controls, and service continuity) and application
security controls reduced FMS抯 effectiveness in mitigating the risk of errors
or fraud, preventing unauthorized changes to software, and ensuring the
continuity of data processing operations when unexpected interruptions occur."
(Parentheses in original.)
This report was prepared for Rep. Tom
Davis (R-VA), the Chairman
of the House Government Reform Committee, and
Rep. Adam Putnam (R-FL), the
Chairman of the Subcommittee on Technology, Information Policy,
Intergovernmental Relations, and the Census.
|Senate Subcommittee Holds
Hearing on ICANN
7/31. The Senate Commerce Committee's
Communications Subcommittee held a hearing on the Internet
Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).
The ICANN manages the domain name system (DNS) pursuant to a Memorandum of
Understanding (MOU) with the Department of Commerce (DOC). The current MOU
expires at the end of September.
Nancy Victory, head of the DOC's National
Telecommunications and Information Administration, stated in her
prepared testimony that "ICANN has made significant strides this year in
developing into a more stable, transparent and responsive organization. ICANN
has completed a comprehensive reform effort that has resulted in major
structural adjustments and refinements to its decision-making processes that
allow for greater transparency and responsiveness to all critical Internet
Victory continued that the DOC "is currently in the process of reviewing
ICANN's accomplishments and assessing what actions remain under the MOU. This
review will underlie any decision to extend the MOU and, if so, how best to
modify the agreement to focus ICANN's and the Department's efforts going
Paul Twomey, P/CEO of ICANN, reported on its activities. See,
Ari Balough, SVP of VeriSign, stated
prepared testimony that "As the ONLY institution serving in a multi-national
capacity in the Internet space -- other than the professional technical
standards bodies -- ICANN has ``acquired创 some roles, and ``assumed创 others
that have little to do with ``coordinating the administration of the naming and
numbering system.创 And this functional ``ambiguity创 for ICANN has led to
significant debate around the nature of and proper scope of responsibility for
any entity taking on responsibilities of Internet ``coordination.创"
Balough argued that "any entity charged with ensuring the stability,
availability and growth of the Internet requires the legitimacy, capacity and
authority necessary to accomplish those tasks. Today's ICANN cannot effectively
do this. ICANN's legitimacy is hampered by the non-inclusion/non-participation
of regional numbering authorities, the collective community of root server
operators or over 200 country code Top Level Domain registries. ICANN抯 capacity
is questioned by those who see security and stability as essential to the
Internet, but find ICANN preoccupied with regulation of registrar business
practices and the minutiae of delegation of new generic registries. ICANN's
authority is clouded by its ambiguous status as a contractor with the U.S.
Department of Commerce, but a PR message espousing its ``international创
He also stated that ICANN should be involved in promoting security and
stability of the 13 root servers that serve as the nerve center of the
Internet's addressing system.
Alan Davidson, of the Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT),
stated in his
prepared testimony that "serious questions persist about ICANN's public
accountability and its ability to fulfill its role as a steward of an important
public trust. While CDT remains a believer in the ideal behind ICANN, close
oversight by Congress and the Department of Commerce are essential to provide
accountability for ICANN."
Paul Stahura, CEO of eNom, a domain name registrar, stated in his
prepared testimony, that "while ICANN is the correct model, there should be
changes to increase ICANN's accountability to, and foster trust from, those they
Sen. Conrad Burns (R-MT) presided. See, Burns
|People and Appointments
8/1. The Senate confirmed Josette Shiner to be a Deputy U.S. Trade
8/1. The Senate confirmed James Jochum to be an Assistant Secretary of
8/1. The Senate confirmed Rene Acosta to
be an Assistant Attorney General in charge of the
Civil Rights Division.
8/1. The Senate has not confirmed Daniel Bryant to be an Assistant Attorney
General in charge of the
Office of Legal Policy (OLP), because
Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA) placed a
hold on his nomination on August 1. The
Senate Judiciary Committee
approved his nomination on July 31. If confirmed, Bryant would replace
Viet Dinh, who has returned to his teaching position at
Georgetown University Law Center.
The OLP is tasked with making recommendations to the Congress regarding
anti-terrorism legislation, such as amendments to the PATRIOT Act. Sen. Grassley
stated that "I have placed a
hold on this individual because I have numerous outstanding issues that have yet
to be resolved by the Department of Justice. More specifically, I have several
outstanding written requests before the Department of Justice. Some of these
requests are more that 6 months overdue. In addition, I am presently working
with the Department of Justice to overcome a number of procedural issues
directly affecting my ability, as a member of the Judiciary Committee to, among
other things, conduct oversight of the Department of Justice, and the Federal
Bureau of Investigations." See, Congressional Record, August 1, 2003, at
8/4. Anastasia Kelly was named EVP, General Counsel and Corporate
Secretary of MCI WorldCom, effective immediately. She will report to Ch/CEO
Michael Capellas. She will oversee legal, regulatory and public policy
initiatives. She was previously General Counsel of Sears Roebuck. Before that,
she worked for Fannie Mae. And before that, she worked for the law firm of
Wilmer Cutler & Pickering. See, MCI WorldCom
|Atlanta Lawyers at DOJ
8/1. George Bush has nominated numerous Georgia attorneys to top positions at
the Department of Justice (DOJ). There have
been several recent developments regarding the Georgia contingent at the DOJ.
The Attorney General, John
Ashcroft, is not from Georgia. However, the Deputy Attorney General, which
is the second highest position at the DOJ, is
Larry Thompson. He was
previously as partner in the law firm of
King & Spalding in Atlanta, Georgia.
On June 27, the Senate confirmed Robert McCallum to be the Associate
Attorney General, the third highest position at the DOJ. He was previously
Acting Associate Attorney General, and before that, Assistant Attorney General
in charge of the DOJ's Civil Division. And before that, he was a partner in the
law firm of Alston & Bird, which is
based in Atlanta, Georgia.
On July 31, the Senate confirmed Joe Whitley to be General Counsel of
the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). He
too was a partner in the law firm of Alston & Bird. He was previously U.S. Attorney for both the
Northern and Middle Districts of Georgia. He has also held positions at the DOJ.
Meanwhile, Ralph Boyd, the outgoing Assistant Attorney General (AAG)
in Charge of the Department of Justice's (DOJ)
Civil Rights Division (CRD),
and Robert Driscoll, the outgoing Chief of Staff and Deputy AAG in the
CRD, will join the law firm of Alston & Bird. On July 31, the Senate confirmed
Rene Acosta to replace Boyd.
On July 30, Sen. Charles Grassley
(R-IA), a senior member of the
Senate Judiciary Committee, stated that he has placed a hold on the
nomination of Christopher Wray to be an AAG in charge of the DOJ's
Criminal Division. He is currently
Acting AAG. Wray previously worked for the law firm of King & Spaulding, which
is based in Atlanta.
Sen. Grassley stated that "I have several outstanding written requests before
the Department of Justice. Some of these requests are more than 6 months
overdue. In addition, I am presently working with the Department of Justice to
overcome a number of procedural issues directly affecting my ability, as a
member of the Judiciary Committee to, among other things, conduct oversight of
the Department of Justice, and the Federal Bureau of Investigations." See,
Congressional Record, July 30, 2003, at S10258.
The DOJ's Computer Crimes and
Intellectual Property Section (CCIPS) is a part of the Criminal Division.
And, it should be noted, the head of the CCIPS, John Malcolm, is a
And finally, on August 1, David Nahmias was named one of the Deputy Assistant
Attorneys General in the Criminal
Division. He replaces Alice Fisher, who left the DOJ on July 31. He
will oversee the Counterterrorism, Fraud and Criminal Appellate sections of the
Criminal Division, and the Capital Case Unit. See, DOJ
Nahmias is a Georgian.
Nahmias has been Counsel to the Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal
Division since October of 2001. He has coordinated investigations and
prosecutions of Al Qaeda and other terrorist activity, assisted in policy
making, and acted as Criminal Division liaison to other federal agencies on
terrorism related issues. Before that he was an Assistant U.S. Attorney in
|Tuesday, August 5
The House is in recess until September 3. Senate is in recess until
September 2. The Supreme Court is in recess.
10:00 AM - 12:00 NOON. The Department of
State's (DOS) International Telecommunication Advisory Committee (ITAC)
will meet to prepare for the meeting of the International Telecommunications
Union's ITU-D, Study Groups 1 and 2, in Geneva, Switzerland on September 2-11,
notice in Federal Register, July 22, 2003, Vol. 68, No. 140, at Page
43413. Location: DOS, Room 2533-A.
|Wednesday, August 6
9:30 AM. The Federal Communications
Commission (FCC) will hold a meeting. See,
agenda [PDF]. Location: FCC, 445 12th Street, SW,
Room TW-C05 (Commission Meeting Room).
Deadline to submit comments to the Federal
Communications Commission (FCC) in response to its
Notice of Inquiry [21 pages in PDF] in its proceeding titled "In the Matter
of Inquiry Regarding Carrier Current
Systems, including Broadband over Power Line Systems". See,
notice in the Federal Register, May 23, 2003, Vol. 68, No. 100, at Pages 28182 - 28186.
See also, story titled "FCC Announces NOI Regarding Broadband Over Powerlines"
in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 628, April 24, 2003, and story titled "FCC
Releases NOI on Broadband Over Power Lines" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 656,
May 7, 2003.This is ET Docket No. 03-104. For more information, contact Anh Wride at 202
418-0577 or email@example.com.
POSTPONED. The Federal
Communications Commission (FCC) will hold an auction of Direct Broadcast
Satellite (DBS) Service Licenses. This is Auction No. 52. See,
notice of postponement in Federal Register, June 20, 2003, Vol. 68, No.
119, at Page 36989.
|Thursday, August 7
10:00 AM. The U.S. Court of Appeals
(FedCir) will hear oral argument in Microsoft v. Multi-Tech Systems, No. 03-1138,
and Multi-Tech Systems v. Net2Phone, No. 03-1139.
This is an appeal from the U.S.
District Court (DMinn) in a patent infringement case involving data
communications technology. Location: Courtroom 201, 717
Madison Place, NW.
10:00 AM - 12:00 NOON. The Federal Communications
Commission (FCC) Office of Engineering
and Technology (OET) will sponsor a tutorial titled "Fiber to the Home
Technology". Location: FCC, 445 12th Street, SW,
Room TW-C05 (Commission Meeting Room). See,
|Friday, August 8
Deadline to submit comments to the Federal
Communications Commision (FCC) in response to its
notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) [7 pages in PDF] regarding the
draft Nationwide Agreement [28 pages in PDF] of the FCC, the Advisory
Council on Historic Preservation, and the National Conference of State
Historic Preservation Officers, regarding undertakings for communications
facilities, including communications towers and antennas, under the
National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA). This proceeding is titled "In the
matter of Nationwide Programmatic Agreement Regarding the Section 106 National
Historic Preservation Act Review Process". It is WT Docket No. 03-128. For
more information, contact Frank Stilwell at 202 418-1892 or
firstname.lastname@example.org. See, story titled
"FCC Announces NPRM Regarding Communications Facilities and the National
Historic Preservation Act" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 677, June 10, 2003.
notice in the Federal Register, July 9, 2003, Vol. 68, No. 131, at Pages
40876 - 40887.
|Monday, August 11
2:00 - 3:30 PM. The American Enterprise
Institute (AEI) will host a panel discussion titled "Trade
Agreements and Capital Controls". The speakers will be John Taylor
(Treasury Department) and Jagdish Bhagwati (Columbia University). See,
Location: AEI, 12th Floor, 1150 17th Street, NW.
Deadline to submit comments to the General
Services Administration's (GSA) Office of Electronic Government and
Technology regarding its draft policy titled "Draft E -- E-Authentication for
Federal Agencies". See,
notice in the Federal Register, July 11, 2003, Vol. 68, No. 133, at Pages
41370 - 41374.
|Senate Banking Committee Approves Internet
7/31. The Senate Banking Committee
amended and approved
S 627, the
"Unlawful Internet Gambling Funding Prohibition Act", a bill to
prevent the use of certain payments instruments, credit cards, and fund
transfers for unlawful internet gambling. See, Banking Committee
The Committee held a hearing on this bill in March. See,
titled "Senate Committee Holds Hearing on Internet Gambling Bill", March 18,
On July 31, the Committee approved an amendment in the nature of a substitute
that makes several changes to the bill as introduced. The amendment eliminates
an exemption from the act for any lawful transaction with a business licensed or
authorized by a state. The amendment also grandfathers state sanctioned and
regulated parimutuel wagering on horse and dog racing that is conducted on a
closed-loop subscriber system, and provides that any closed-loop subscriber
system must be reasonably designed to verify the location at which a bet or
wager is made.
The amendment also grandfathers gambling on a closed-loop system or private
network in cases where both the sender and receiver of the bet are on Indian
The amendment also provides that a person shall not be liable for restricting
a transaction that is reasonably believed to be an online bet.
On June 10, 2003, the House amended and passed its version of the bill,
which is also titled the "Unlawful Internet Gambling Funding Prohibition Act".
It passed by a vote of 319-104. See,
Roll Call No. 255. See also, story titled "House Passes Internet Gambling
Bill" in TLJ Daily
E-Mail Alert No. 678, June 11, 2003.
8/4. The Federal Communications
Commission (FCC) announced that there is now public WiFi access "on the
Twelfth Street, Courtyard, and Eighth Floor levels" of the FCC headquarters at
445 12th Street, SW, in Washington DC. The FCC supports 802.11a and 802.11b
protocols. Visitors must use their own hardware. The FCC will provide no
technical support. See, FCC
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