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January 5, 2004, 9:00 AM ET, Alert No. 809.
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DOD Releases Report on DARPA's Total Information Awareness Program

12/31. The Department of Defense's (DOD) Office of Inspector General (OIG) released a report [42 pages in PDF], titled "Information Technology Management: Terrorism Information Awareness Program", and dated December 12, 2003.

The report concludes that DOD's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's (DARPA) Terrorism Information Awareness (TIA) Program, which was previously named "Total Information Awareness", "could prove valuable in combating terrorism", but "DARPA could have better addressed the sensitivity of the technology to minimize the possibility of any Governmental abuse of power and could have assisted in the successful transition of the technology into the operational environment."

The report recommends that Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics (ATL) and the Director of the DARPA "should perform a privacy impact assessment before TIA type technology research continues". The report also recommends that the Undersecretary "should appoint a Privacy Ombudsman".

Anthony TetherThe report is numbered D-2004-003. The report is addressed to the Undersecretary for ATL, and the Director of the DARPA, Anthony Tether (at right). However, it also states that it addresses questions raised in letters to the DOD from Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA), Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) and Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE). These letters were written in late 2002, and are included in the report. The report was prepared by Thomas Gimble, the Acting Deputy Inspector General for Intelligence.

The report offers this summary of TIA. "DARPA conducts research for DoD and was developing the TIA program to combat terrorist threats. The TIA research and development effort will integrate information technologies into a prototype system that will assist intelligence analysts in detecting, classifying, and identifying potential terrorist activities."

It adds that "The TIA program seeks to develop information technology in three areas. Those areas are language translation, data search with pattern recognition and privacy protection, and advanced collaborative and decision support tools. Language translation technology would enable the rapid analysis of foreign languages, both spoken and written, and allow analysts to quickly search the translated materials for clues about emerging threats. The data search, pattern recognition, and privacy protection technologies would permit analysts to search vast quantities of data for patterns that suggest terrorist activity while at the same time controlling access to the data, enforcing laws and policies, and ensuring detection of misuse of the information obtained. The collaborative reasoning and decision support technologies would allow analysts from different agencies to share data."

However, the Congress passed legislation late last year terminating most of the funding for TIA. On October 1, 2003, President Bush signed HR 2658, the "Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2004". Section 8131 of the bill prohibits, subject to certain classified exceptions, funds from being used to support the TIA program. See, story titled "President Signs Defense Appropriations Bill, With Total Information Awareness Ban" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 751, October 2, 2003.

John Poindexter, who recently resigned as head of the DARPA's Information Awareness Office (IAO), which ran the TIA program, wrote a public letter [5 pages in PDF] addressed to Tether, in which he explained and advocated the activities of his office. See also, story titled "Poindexter Writes About Uses of Information Technology to Fight Terrorism" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 719, August 15, 2003.

The OIG report further states that "For domestic law enforcement purposes, DARPA should consider more fully during development the impact of the technology on an individual’s privacy by conducting a privacy impact assessment. Statute does not require a privacy impact assessment for systems that involve intelligence activities. However, an assessment could provide decision-makers with enough information to help them make fully informed policy, program, system design, funding, and procurement decisions that are based on an understanding of the privacy implications, the involved risks, and the options available for avoiding or mitigating risks. A privacy impact assessment could also help reduce the risk of terminating or modifying TIA type technology after implementation to comply with privacy laws and regulations."

The report recommends that the Undersecretary "should appoint a Privacy Ombudsman or equivalent official specifically for the development of Terrorism Information Awareness type technology who will ensure that individual Terrorism Information Awareness type technology are scrutinized from a privacy perspective as a means of safeguarding individual privacy. The appointee, in consultation with the Office of the General Counsel, should conduct assessments on the impact of Terrorism Information Awareness type technology on privacy."

It recommends that the Undersecretary for ATL and the Director of the DARPA "should perform a privacy impact assessment before TIA type technology research continues". The report elaborates that this assessment should:
"a. Identify any personally identifiable information associated with business processes.
b. Document any collection, use, disclosure, and destruction of personally identifiable information.
c. Assess potential privacy risk and the options available for mitigating that risk.
d. Ensure that accountability for privacy issues is clearly incorporated in the program.
e. Create a consistent format and structured process for analyzing both technical and legal compliance with relevant regulations."

For more on stories on recent legislative activity pertaining to the TIA program, see:

 • "Senators Write AG Ashcroft Re Data Mining by DOJ" and "Groups Write House Armed Service Committee Re Total Information Awareness" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 584, January 16, 2003.
 • "DARPA States FBI Is Involved in Total Information Awareness Program" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 588, January 22, 2003.
 • "Senate Approves Total Information Awareness Amendment" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 590, January 24, 2003.
 • "House and Senate Pass FY 2003 Appropriation Package With TIA Amendment" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 604, February 14, 2003.
 • "Tether States that DARPA's Total Information Awareness Project Does Not Data Mine" and "Tether Addresses TIA and Other Defense Info Tech Projects" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 633, March 31, 2003.
 • "DARPA Releases TIA Report" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 666, May 21, 2003.
 • "House Passes Defense Appropriations Bill" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 694, July 9, 2003.

DOT To Allow Most Airline Computer Reservation Systems Rules to Sunset

12/31. The Department of Transportation (DOT) released a notice (that is to be published in the Federal Register) that announces and describes changes to its regulations governing computer reservations systems (CRS) for airlines. The notice states that "most of the rules should be allowed to sunset on January 31, 2004".

The notice adds, "We believe, however, that we should adopt the rules prohibiting display bias and certain rules barring unreasonably restrictive requirements in the contracts between systems and their airline customers for a six-month transition period to provide an opportunity for the affected parties to prepare for complete deregulation of computer reservation systems."

The DOT adopted these regulations in 1984 to limit the potential for anti-competitive behavior arising out of the circumstance that these systems were owned by airlines. The DOT now finds that the rules are no longer necessary because airline divestiture of their ownership interests has eliminated the basis for the rules.

"Airlines use several distribution methods: direct sales through their reservations agents, sales through ``brick-and-mortar´´ travel agencies, sales through individual airline websites, and sales through on-line travel agencies. In the past, the ``brick-and-mortar´´ travel agency channel produced the great majority of airline revenues for almost all airlines", the notice states. But recently, "the Internet has become an increasingly important distribution channel."

There are four systems operating in the U.S.: Sabre, Galileo, Worldspan, and Amadeus. The report states that "Each of them was originally developed by one or more U.S. airlines (Amadeus entered the U.S. market by acquiring a U.S. system). Two of the systems -- Sabre and Galileo -- were no longer owned or controlled by any U.S. airlines when we issued the notice of proposed rulemaking. At that time, three U.S. airlines -- American, Delta, and Northwest -- owned Worldspan. Amadeus was then owned by three European airlines -- Air France, Iberia, and Lufthansa -- as well as by public shareholders (and has the same ownership today). Worldspan's airline owners sold that system to two private venture capital firms on June 30, 2003, after the issuance of our notice of proposed rulemaking. As part of that sale, the airline owners agreed to certain parity clauses and marketing commitments. ... Amadeus is now the only system with any airline ownership."

However, the notice states that "The systems that have no airline owners have marketing ties with their former owners. United markets Galileo, American markets Sabre, and Delta and Northwest have agreed to market Worldspan for several years following the closing of the system's sale."

The DOT also stated that "Since 1999 the shares of Galileo and Amadeus have been declining, while Worldspan's share has risen sharply, from 19.3 percent to 26.5 percent. The growth in Worldspan’s share in large part reflects its status as the booking engine for two of the three largest on-line travel agencies, Expedia and Orbitz."

The DOT explained the reason for sunsetting most of its rules. "When these rulemakings were held, one or more airlines or airline affiliates owned or controlled each system, airlines depended heavily on travel agencies for distribution, travel agents used a system to research airline service options and to make bookings, and each travel agency predominantly relied on one system to perform these tasks. Systems therefore did not need to compete for airline participants (a ``participant´´ is an airline that agrees to make its services saleable through a system). The airlines that controlled the systems had the incentive and ability to use them to prejudice the competitive position of non-owner airlines and to provide information on airline services through the systems to travel agents that gave an undue preference to the services operated by the owner airlines. Competitive market forces did not discipline the prices and terms for services offered by systems to participating airlines."

But now, the DOT states, "All of the U.S. airlines that had controlled a system have divested their CRS ownership interests. As a result, none of the four systems now operating in the United States is owned or controlled by any U.S. airline or airline affiliate. Furthermore, airlines are selling an increasingly large share of their tickets through their Internet websites and a diminishing share through travel agencies using a system. The airlines' control over access to their webfares, the discounted fares originally offered only through individual airline websites, has enabled them to obtain lower fees from two of the systems. And travel agencies are increasingly demanding -- and winning -- contracts from the systems that give them more freedom to use alternative booking channels and to switch systems periodically."

Sabre stated in a release that "We applaud the Bush Administration's embrace of full deregulation of the CRS industry, a victory for consumers and the entire travel industry. This move will enhance competition and innovation in the travel industry." It added that "The existing and proposed pre-Internet computer reservation system rules were obsolete and barriers to innovation and growth in today’s travel distribution industry. The proposed rules would have negatively affected some consumers preferred choice of bookings, in particular, weakening the travel agency network, upon which many consumers rely. Free of government restrictions, travel distribution industry participants will have more opportunities to form partnerships and alliances for special traveler offerings, and more opportunities to bring new products to the marketplace."

The DOT stated in a release that "After extensive analysis and an exhaustive dialogue with the travel community, the Department concluded that the existing CRS rules are no longer necessary given the dramatic changes that have taken, and continue to take, place in how airline tickets are bought and sold. However, the department retains its statutory authority to pursue future regulatory or enforcement action as necessary."

More News

12/30. The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) published a notice in the Federal Register stating that it proposes to dispose of 27,866 magnetic tape cartridges containing copies of e-mail records of the Clinton administration created from July 15, 1994 through December 1999. February 13, 2004 is the deadline to submit comments to the NARA regarding this proposed disposition. See, Federal Register, December 30, 2003, Vol. 68, No. 249, at Pages 75286 - 75287.

12/30. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) announced that it will hold a public round table meeting on the effectiveness of inter partes reexamination proceedings. The USPTO stated in a notice in the Federal Register that it "seeks comments from former, current and prospective participants and other interested parties on whether inter partes reexamination proceedings are believed to be inequitable to any of the parties in interest and, if so, what changes are suggested to remove such inequities". The round table meeting is tentatively scheduled for February 17, 2004 at the USPTO offices in Arlington, Virginia. Requests to participate in the round table meeting must be received by January 28, 2004. Comments must be received by February 20, 2004. See, notice in the Federal Register, December 30, 2003, Vol. 68, No. 249, at Pages 75217 - 75218.

12/31. The U.S. Court of Appeals (3rdCir) issues its opinion [39 pages in PDF] in Gucci America v. Daffy, a trademark case involving counterfeit Jackie-O handbags. The District Court denied Gucci America's request for an order compelling Daffy to recall counterfeit Jackie-O handbags, and for an accounting. The Appeals Court affirmed. This case is Gucci America, Inc. v. Daffy, Inc. and John Does 1-10, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit, No. 02-4046, an appeal from the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey, Judge Alfred Wolin presiding, D.C. No. 00-cv-04463.

The password for access to password protected pages in the TLJ web site has been changed to S.
Rep. Hall Becomes a Republican

1/2. Rep. Ralph Hall (R-TX) switched his party affiliation from Democrat to Republican. He also registered to run for re-election as a Republican on Friday.

President Bush stated in a release that "I welcome Congressman Ralph Hall to the Republican Party. Ralph is a close friend of the Bush family. He is a well-respected leader of the highest integrity, and a tireless advocate for the people of Texas. We have worked closely together on the important challenges facing our Nation. I strongly support his re-election."

Rep. Ralph HallRep. Hall (at right) is currently the ranking Democrat on the House Science Committee, and the 4th ranking Democrat on the House Commerce Committee. Although, he is not a member of the Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet. He currently is a member of both the Energy and Health Subcommittees.

Rep. Hall's district is overwhelmingly conservative and Republican. For many years, his voting record has been more Republican than that of some Republicans. He voted to impeach former President Bush. At the beginning of the 108th Congress, he  voted "present", rather than cast a vote in favor of Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) to be House Minority Leader.

In 2001, he voted for HR 1542 (107th Congress), the "Internet Freedom and Broadband Deployment Act of 2001" (also known as the Tauzin Dingell bill) in both Committee and the House.

He was one of 21 Democrats to vote in favor of HR 3005, the Bipartisan Trade Promotion Authority Act, on December 6, 2001. It passed by a vote of 215 to 214. See, Roll Call No. 481. This bill gives the President authority to negotiate trade agreements that can only be voted up or down, but not amended, by the Congress. trade promotion authority strengthens the bargaining position of the President, and the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), in trade negotiations with other nations.

In 2000, Rep. Hall voted in favor of the Coble Amendment to increase funding for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) by $134 Million. This was an amendment to HR 4690 (106th Congress), the Commerce Justice State (CJS) appropriations bill for FY 2001. It failed by a vote of 145-223. See, Roll Call No. 321. See also, story titled "House Rejects Coble Amendment on USPTO Funding" and story titled "Analysis of House Vote on Coble Amendment" June 25, 2000.

FCC News

1/2. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced that its Reference Information Center will reopen on Monday, January 5, with restrictions. See, notice [PDF].

1/5. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Michael Powell will give a luncheon speech, and answer questions, on January 14 at the National Press Club (NPC). For information about prices and reservations, call 202 662-7501. The event will be in the NPC Ballroom, at 529 14th St. NW, 13th Floor.

12/30. The Federal Communications Commission's International Bureau (IB) and Office of Engineering and Technology (OET) announced the International Telecommunication Union -- Radiocommunication Sector (ITU-R) Task Group (TG) will hold a meeting on compatibility between ultrawideband and radiocommunication services on June 9-18, 2004 in Boston, Massachusetts. See, notice [PDF].

Washington Tech Calendar
New items are highlighted in red.
Monday, January 5

The House is in adjournment. (It will convene on January 20, 2004.)

The Senate is in adjournment. (It will convene on January 20, 2004.)

The Supreme Court is in recess. (It will return on January 12, 2004.)

3:00 PM. Doris Meissner and Sandra Polaski (Carnegie Endowment) will speak on "The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)". For more information contact Peter Hickman at 301 530-1210 or 202 662-7540, or Cara Pianisi 202 939-2372. Location: Lisagor Room, National Press Club, 529 14th St. NW, 13th Floor.

Deadline to submit initial comments to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in response to its Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking [198 pages in PDF] in it proceeding titled "In the Matter of Promoting Efficient Use of Spectrum Through Elimination of Barriers to the Development of Secondary Markets". The FCC adopted this item on May 15, 2003, but did not release it until October 7, 2003. This is FCC 03-113 in WT Docket No. 00-230. See, TLJ story titled "FCC Adopts Order Allowing Some Secondary Leasing of Spectrum", May 15, 2003, and story titled "FCC Finally Releases R&O and FNPRM in Secondary Spectrum Markets Proceeding" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 755, October 8, 2003.

Deadline to submit comments to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) regarding its proposed rule changes regarding revision of patent term extension and patent term adjustment provisions related to decisions by the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences. See, notice in the Federal Register, December 4, 2003, Vol. 68, No. 233, at Pages 67818 - 67821.

Deadline to submit comments to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) regarding the operation and effectiveness of, and the implementation of and compliance with, the World Trade Organization (WTO) Basic Telecommunications Agreement, other WTO agreements affecting market opportunities for U.S. telecommunications products and services, the telecommunications provisions of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Chile FTA and Singapore FTA, and other telecommunications trade agreements. See, notice in the Federal Register, December 8, 2003, Vol. 68, No. 235, at Pages 68444 - 68445.

Tuesday, January 6

12:15 PM. The Federal Communications Bar Association's (FCBA) Mass Media Practice Committee will hold a brown bag lunch titled "Meet the Trade Press". The speakers will be Bill McConnell (Broadcasting and Cable), Brooks Boliek (Hollywood Reporter), Mike Feazel (Communications Daily), Ted Hearn (Multichannel News), Susan Crabtree (Variety), and Leslie Stimson (Radio World). Location: 8th Floor Conference Room, Dow Lohnes & Albertson, 1200 New Hampshire Ave., NW.

Deadline to submit reply comments to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regarding its notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) regarding human exposure to radiofrequency (RF) energy. The FCC adopted this notice of proposed rulemaking on June 12, 2003, and released it on June 26, 2003. This is ET Docket No. 03-137. For more information, contact Robert Cleveland in the FCC's Office of Engineering and Technology at 202 418-2422 or See, notice in the Federal Register, September 8, 2003, Vol. 68, No. 173, at Pages 52879 - 52889.

Wednesday, January 7

10:00 AM. The U.S. Court of Appeals (FedCir) will hear oral argument in Webmethods v. iWork Software, No. 03-1410. This is a patent infringement case brought by iWork Software in the U.S. District Court (NDIll). Webmethods moved to intervene pursuant to Rule 24, Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, but the District Court denied the motion. Location: Courtroom 402, 717 Madison Place, NW.

4:00 - 5:30 PM. Sydney Key (Federal Reserve System) will discuss his new book titled The Doha Round and Financial Services Negotiations. Bernard Hoekman (World Bank), Peter Wallison (AEI), and Claude Barfield (AEI) will then discuss the book. See, notice. Location: American Enterprise Institute (AEI), Twelfth floor, 1150 17th St., NW.

Thursday, January 8

11:00 AM - 1:00 PM. The American Enterprise Institute (AEI) will host a pair of panel discussions titled "Expensing Employee Stock Options Looks Like a Major Mistake". The speakers will include Kevin Hassett (AEI), Charles Calomiris (Columbia University), James Glassman (AEI), Peter Wallison (AEI), Paul Atkins (SEC), and George Benston (Emory University). See, notice. Location: AEI, Twelfth floor, 1150 17th St., NW.

Friday, January 9

10:00 AM. The U.S. Court of Appeals (FedCir) will hear oral argument in Fujitsu Compound Semiconductor v. U.S., No. 03-1293. Location: Courtroom 201, 717 Madison Place, NW.

12:15 PM. The Federal Communications Bar Association's (FCBA) Wireless Committee will host a luncheon. Mark Rubin (Western Wireless) and Marie Gillory (National Telephone Cooperative Association) will speak on universal service and the distribution of funding in rural areas. The price to attend is $15. RSVP to Wendy Parish at by 5:00 PM on Wednesday, January 7. For more information, contact Laura Phillips at 202 842-8891 or Location: Sidley Austin, 1501 K Street, NW, 6th Floor.

EXTENDED TO JANUARY 23. Deadline to submit comments to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in response to its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking [35 pages in PDF] regarding unlicensed devices. See, notice in the Federal Register, December 10, 2003, Vol. 68, No. 237, at Pages 68823 - 68831. The FCC adopted this NPRM on September 10, 2003. See, FCC release [PDF]. The FCC released the NPRM [35 pages in PDF] on September 17, 2003. This NPRM is FCC 03-223 in ET Docket No. 03-201. See also, stories titled "FCC Announces NPRM Regarding Unlicensed Devices" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 739, September 15, 2003, and "FCC Announces Deadlines for Comments on Unlicensed Devices NPRM" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 800, December 16, 2003.

Monday, January 12

The Supreme Court will return from the recess that it began on December 15, 2003.

The Supreme Court will hear oral argument in Nixon v. Missouri Municipal League, and related petitions, regarding 47 U.S.C. § 253(a) and state statutes that prohibit political subdivisions from offering telecommunications services. See, story titled "Supreme Court Grants Certiorari in Nixon v. Missouri Municipal League" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 687, June 25, 2003, and "Briefs Filed With Supreme Court in Nixon v. Missouri Municipal League" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 776, November 11, 2003. Location: 1 First St., NW.

Deadline to submit comments to the Department of Commerce's (DOC) Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS), which is also known as the Bureau of Export Administration (BXA), regarding its notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) regarding amending the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) to implement a revised version of the BIS's Simplified Network Application Processing (SNAP+) system. This proposed rule also would mandate use of SNAP+ for all filings of Export License applications (except Special Comprehensive Licenses), Reexport Authorization requests, Classification requests, Encryption Review requests, and License Exception AGR notifications, unless the BIS authorizes paper filing for a particular user or transaction. See, notice in the Federal Register, November 12, 2003, Vol. 68, No. 218, at Pages 64009-64023.

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