|SEC Issues Cease and Desist Order to
1/13. The Securities and Exchange Commission
(SEC) issued a cease
and desist order in its administrative proceeding titled In the Matter
of Google Inc. and David C. Drummond. The order states that the two
violated Section 5 of the Securities Act of 1933 by failing to register with the
SEC the issuance of certain stock options to employees of Google. It also orders
the two not to violate Section 5 again. The SEC imposed no fine or other penalties.
The order states that "Google, a Silicon Valley search engine technology
company, issued over $80 million worth of stock options to the company's
employees and consultants from 2002 to 2004 without registering the offering and
without providing financial information required to be disclosed under the
federal securities laws. As a result, Google employees and other persons
accepted Google securities as part of their compensation without certain
detailed financial information about the company. By issuing the options without
registering the offering and without the legally required disclosures, Google
violated the securities registration provisions of Section 5 of the Securities
Act. As described below, Google's General Counsel, David C. Drummond, caused
Google to violate these provisions."
The order provides that Google and Drummond must not violate Section 5 in the
future. Google and Drummond cooperated with the SEC, admitted no wrongdoing, and
consented to the cease and desist order.
Stephen Cutler, Director of the SEC's Enforcement Division stated in a
release that "The
securities laws exist to ensure full disclosure to investors, including
employees accepting stock options as compensation. Companies cannot freely
decide that they don't need to comply with the law."
The order and release both state the Google and Drummond violated the legal
requirements regarding registration and disclosure obligations in the offer or
sale of securities. However, neither the order nor the release allege that any
investors or employees were harmed by the conduct of Google and Drummond.
In addition, the California Department of
Corporations settled civil charges against Google for issuing certain stock
options to Google's employees and consultants during 2003 without registering
the offering and without providing financial information required to be
disclosed under state securities laws in violation of Section 25110 of the
California Corporations Code.
See also, Google's investor relations
|FTC to Revise COPPA Rule
1/14. The Federal Trade Commission
(FTC) published a
notice in the Federal Register on January 14 that describes and sets the
comments deadline (February 14, 2005) for a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM)
regarding the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). See,
Federal Register, January 14, 2005, Vol. 70, No. 10, at Pages 2580 - 2582.
This NPRM proposes to permanently allow web site operators and
online services to obtain verifiable parental consent for the collection of
personal information from children for internal use by the web site operator
through sending an e-mail message to parents coupled with additional steps.
The FTC published its final COPPA rule in a
notice in the Federal
Register (November 3, 1999, Vol. 64, No. 212, at Pages 59887-59915); the final
rule is also codified at 16 CFR part 312.
The FTC also issued a release
regarding this NPRM. It states that "The Rule
currently contains a ``sliding scale´´ approach for obtaining parental consent.
Operators of Web sites and online services that collect children’s personal
information solely for internal use can obtain parental consent through the use
of an e-mail plus an additional step to provide assurance that the person
providing the consent actually is the parent. Operators that wish to disclose
children’s information publicly or to third parties must employ more reliable
methods of obtaining parental consent, such as using a print-and-send consent
form; a credit card transaction; a toll-free telephone number staffed by trained
personnel; a digital certificate using public key technology; or an e-mail with
a password or PIN obtained by one of the above methods."
This release also states that "The FTC is seeking comments concerning
whether: (1) current or anticipated reliable technology or infomediary services
could facilitate obtaining verifiable parental consent at a reasonable cost; (2)
eliminating, extending, or making permanent the sliding scale approach would
affect the incentive to develop secure technology for the purpose of obtaining
parental consent; (3) eliminating the sliding scale approach would have an
effect on how Web site operators would use personal information collected from
children; and (4) the sliding scale approach should be eliminated, extended, or
Also, on January 12, the FTC published a
notice in the Federal Register stating that it plans to request public
comments on two rules as a part of its systematic review of all of its rules:
(1) the COPPA rule, and (2) Deceptive Advertising as to Sizes of Viewable
Pictures Shown by Television Receiving Sets Rule, which is codified at 16 CFR
part 410. See, Federal Register, January 12, 2005, Vol. 70, No. 8, at Page 2074
|EU and US Tariff Systems Challenged
1/13. The Progressive Policy Institute (PPI),
a new Democratic think tank, released a
pages in PDF] titled "Hoover's Last Legacy: Time to Fix America's Tariff
System". The paper finds that the US system is unfair and hopelessly
outdated. Also, the Office of the U.S.
Trade Representative (USTR) filed a complaint with the
World Trade Organization (WTO) regarding the
European Union's tariff system. The USTR argues the EU system is inconsistent
The PPI paper, which was written by Edward Gresser, states that "while
American tariffs seem ineffective at protecting U.S. jobs, they are very good at
complicating the lives of single mothers. This is because tariffs are low on industrial
inputs for factories, luxury goods, and other products bought mainly by businesses and
wealthy consumers, but high on cheap clothes, shoes, food, and other products important
to poor families. An extreme, but not unrepresentative, case is that of cheap sneakers,
which carry the highest tariff rate in the system (48 percent). This tariff then travels
through the system to end as a large, hidden sales tax. Bought only by the poor, these shoes
have not been made in the United States since at least the 1970s."
(Parentheses in original.)
The paper also points out that these tariffs, which are mirrored
in other industrialized nations, also prevent poorer nations, particularly
Asian and Muslim countries, from exporting products to industrialized nations.
This paper recommends that "An appropriate opportunity to scrap the system exists in the
World Trade Organization (WTO)'s Doha Round of trade policy negotiations as part
of a general reform of world trade regimes."
Concurrently, the USTR announced that it has requested the
World Trade Organization (WTO) to form a
dispute settlement panel in the case against the European Union regarding EU
customs laws and regulations.
The USTR stated in a
release that "Many important aspects of customs administration in the EU are
handled differently by different member State customs authorities, resulting in
inconsistencies from country to country. Although the EU is a customs union,
there is no single EU customs administration. Lack of uniformity, coupled with
lack of procedures for prompt EU-wide review, can hinder U.S. exports,
particularly for small to mid-size businesses."
1/13. The Federal Communications
Commission (FCC) held a monthly meeting. It received reports from the
bureaus and offices of the FCC. See,
agenda [PDF] and FCC
with hyperlinks to PowerPoint and PDF copies of the reports.
1/13. The Federal Communications Commission
(FCC) published a
notice in the Federal Register stating that it solicits comments regarding
the progress made by the states in implementing E911 solutions for
multi-line telephone systems (MLTSs). Comments are due by February 28, 2005.
Reply comments are due by March 29, 2005. See, Federal Register, January 13,
2005, Vol. 70, No. 9, at Pages 2405 - 2406.
1/12. The Federal Communications
Commission (FCC) released a
Notice of Apparent
Liability for Forfeiture (NAL) that proposes to fine Univision Radio License
Corporation, and its subsidiary, Tichenor License Corporation, $28,000 for the
apparent willful broadcast of a telephone conversation between an on-air
radio personality and the recipient of the call without first informing the
recipient that the call was being broadcast, in violation of 47 C.F.R.
§ 73.1206. See also, FCC
FCC also released a
[PDF] that proposes to fine Scripps Howard Broadcasting Company, licensee of Station
WEWS-TV, in Cleveland, Ohio, $6,000, and a
[PDF] that proposes to fine NOE Corp. LLC, licensee of Station KNOE-TV, in
Monroe, Louisiana, $10,000.
|People and Appointments
1/13. John Rogovin, General Counsel of the
Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will
leave the FCC. He will become a partner at the law firm of
Pickering Hale & Dorr. Austin Schlick will become Acting General Counsel.
release [PDF]. Schlick has been Deputy General Counsel responsible litigation. He
only joined the FCC in February of 2004. Before that, he worked in Department of Justice's
(DOJ) Office of the Solicitor General. Before
that, he was a partner in the Washington DC communications law firm of
Kellogg Huber Hansen Todd & Evans. He also previously
worked for the law firm of Klein Farr Smith & Taranto.
1/13. Barbara Douglas, Director of the
Federal Communications Commission's (FCC)
Office of Workplace Diversity, will leave the FCC. See, FCC
1/13. Wendy Wysong was named Deputy Assistant Secretary of
Commerce for Export Enforcement in the Department of Commerce's
Bureau of Industry and
Security (BIS). She will also be the acting
Assistant Secretary, pending the nomination and confirmation of a new Assistant
Secretary. The BIS stated in a
release that she will
work on "enforcing the export control and antiboycott provisions of the Export
1/13. Brian Dietz was named Vice President, Communications, of the
National Cable and Telecommunications Association (NCTA).
He was previously the NCTA's Senior Director, Communications. See, NCTA
1/13. Amy Banse was named SVP of Content Development at Comcast Corporation,
and EVP of Content Development at Comcast Cable. She has worked for Comcast since 1991.
1/12. The National Institute of Standards and
Technology (NIST) published a
notice in the Federal Register requesting comments regarding new or revised requirements
for Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) 140-3, which pertains to security for
cryptographic modules that are utilized by federal agencies. The notice states that
the NIST "plans to develop Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) 140-3, which
will supersede FIPS 140-2, Security Requirements for Cryptographic Modules. FIPS 140-2,
approved by the Secretary of Commerce and announced in the Federal Register (June 27, 2001,
Volume 66, Number 124, Pages 34154-34155), identifies requirements for four levels of security
for cryptographic modules that are utilized by Federal agencies to protect the security of
Federal information systems." The deadline to submit comments is February 28, 2005.
See, Federal Register, January 12, 2005, Vol. 70, No. 8, at Pages 2122 - 2123.
1/14. The Office of the U.S.
Trade Representative (USTR) published a
notice in the Federal Register that requests public comments for the USTR's
Trade Policy Staff Committee on the scope of the environmental review of the
multilateral negotiations of the Doha Development Agenda (DDA) conducted
under the auspices of the World Trade Organization
(WTO). The deadline to submit comments is March 31, 2005. See, Federal Register,
January 14, 2005, Vol. 70, No.10, at Pages 2695 - 2696.
|Washington Tech Calendar
New items are highlighted in red.
|Friday, January 14
The House will not meet. It will next meet on January 20, 2005.See,
Republican Whip Notice.
The Senate will not meet. It will next meet on January 20, 2005.
9:30 AM. The U.S.
Court of Appeals (DCCir) will hear oral argument in Northpoint Technology
v. FCC, No. 04-1052. Judges Edwards, Henderson and Randolph will preside.
Location: Prettyman Courthouse, 333 Constitution Ave., NW.
9:30 AM - 12:00 NOON. The Department of State's
Telecommunication Advisory Committee (ITAC) will meet to prepare for the
International Telecommunications Union's ITU-T
Study Group 2 (Service Definitions, Numbering, Routing, and Global Mobility) meeting.
See, the ITU's calendar
of meetings. See,
notice in the Federal Register, December
30, 2004, Vol. 69, No. 250, at Pages 78515-78516. For more information, including the
location, contact email@example.com. Location:
12:15 PM. The Federal
Communications Bar Association (FCBA) Wireless Telecommunications Practice Committee
will host a lunch. The speakers, Scott Delacourt, Cathy Seidel and
Peter Tenhula of the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC)
Wireless Telecommunications Bureau (WTB),
will address "WTB hot topics". The price to attend is $15.00. Registrations
are due 5:00 PM on Tuesday, January 11. See,
registration form [PDF].
Sidley Austin, 6th Floor, 1501
K Street, NW.
Wiley Rein & Fielding, 1776 K Street, NW,
Ground Floor Conference Center.
Deadline to submit comments to the
Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in
response to its Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FNPRM) regarding wireless
services in rural areas. On September 27, 2004, the FCC released the
text [137 pages in PDF] of its Report and Order and FNPRM. The FCC adopted
this item at its July 8, 2004 meeting. This item is 04-166 in WT Docket Nos.
02-381, 01-14, and 03-202. See,
notice in the Federal Register, December 15, 2004, Vol. 69, No. 240, at
Pages 75174 - 75185.
Deadline to submit reply comments to the
Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in
response to its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FNPRM) regarding the
application of 47 U.S.C. 251(h)(2) to the reclassification of competitive
local exchange carriers (LECs) to incumbent LECs. This is the Mid-Rivers
Telephone Cooperative, Inc. proceeding. This NPRM is FCC 04-252 in WC Docket
No. 02-78. See,
notice in the Federal Register, November 30, 2004, Vol. 69, No. 229, at
Pages 69573 - 69578.
|Monday, January 17
The Federal Communications Commission
(FCC) and other federal offices will be closed in observance of Martin Luther King's
birthday. See, Office of Personnel Management's (OPM)
list of federal holidays.
12:00 NOON. Deadline to submit reply comments to
the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative
(USTR) regarding various trade related telecommunications issues. The
USTR seeks comments on "Whether any WTO member is acting in a manner that is
inconsistent with its commitments under the WTO Basic Telecommunications
Agreement or with other WTO obligations", "Whether Canada or Mexico has failed
to comply with their telecommunications commitments or obligations under
NAFTA", "Whether Chile or Singapore or any other FTA partner with an Agreement
that comes into force on or before January 1, 2005 has failed to comply with
their telecommunications commitments or obligations under the respective FTAs",
"Whether other countries have failed to comply with their commitments under
additional telecommunications agreements", and "Whether there remain
outstanding issues from previous Section 1377 reviews". See,
notice in the
Federal Register, Vol. 69, No. 226, Wednesday, November 24, 2004, at Page
|Tuesday, January 18
9:00 AM. The
Senate Foreign Relations Committee will hold a hearing on the nomination
of Condi Rice to be Secretary of State. Location: Room 216, Hart Building.
Deadline to submit comments to the
Federal Communications Commission
(FCC) in response to its Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (2FNPRM)
regarding reducing barriers to secondary markets for spectrum rights. See,
notice in the Federal Register, December 27, 2004, Vol. 69, No. 247, at
Pages 77560 - 77568. This 2FNPRM is a part of a larger item that the FCC
adopted on July 8, 2004, and released on September 2, 2004. See, story titled
"FCC Adopts Second Secondary Markets Report and Order" in
TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert
No. 934, July 9, 2004; and story titled "FCC Releases Second Secondary Markets
Report and Order" in
TLJ Daily E-Mail
Alert No. 969, September 3, 2004. See also, story titled "FCC Sets Comment
Deadlines on 2FNPRM Regarding Secondary Markets for Spectrum" in TLJ Daily
E-Mail Alert No. 1,045, December 28, 2004.
|Wednesday, January 19
8:30 AM - 12:00 NOON. The National Institute
of Standards and Technology (NIST) will host a meeting to discuss the policy,
privacy, and security issues associated with Homeland Security Presidential Directive-12,
titled "Common Identification Standard for Federal Employees and Contractors".
[PDF]. The event is free and open to the public. However,
January 11 is the deadline to register. Contact Sara Caswell at
Sara.firstname.lastname@example.org or 301 975-4634.
Location: auditorium, Potomac Center Plaza, 550 12th Street, SW (near the Smithsonian
and L’Enfant Plaza metro stations).
9:00 AM. The Senate Foreign Relations
Committee will hold a hearing on the nomination of Condi Rice to be Secretary of
State. Location: Room 216, Hart Building.
9:30 AM. The
Senate Judiciary Committee will hold an executive business meeting.
Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA) will
notice. Location: Room 226, Dirksen Building.
9:30 AM - 5:00 PM. The North American
Numbering Council (NANC) will meet. See, FCC
notice [PDF] and
notice in the Federal Register, December 3, 2004, Vol. 69, No. 232, at
Page 70259. Location: FCC, Room TWC305, 445 12th, SW.
9:30 AM - 12:30 PM. The
Information Systems Security Educators' Association (FISSEA) will host a
workshop on NIST Special Publication 800-16, titled "Information Technology
Security Training Requirements: A Role- and Performance-Based Model". See,
[845 KB in PDF],
Part 2 [96 KB in PDF], and
Part 3 [374 KB in PDF]. Preregistration is required. See,
notice. Location: National Institute of Standards
and Technology (NIST), North Building.
12:00 NOON. The Federal Communications Bar
Association's (FCBA) Common Carrier Practice Committee will host a brown bag lunch.
The topic will be the FCC's Remand Order on unbundled network elements. The
speakers will include Tom Hughes (SBC) and Praveen Goyal (Covad
Communications). RSVP to
email@example.com by Friday, January 7.
Location: Hogan & Hartson, Moot Courtroom,
555 13th St., NW.
2:00 PM. The Senate Finance Committee
will hold a hearing on the nomination of Michael Leavitt to be Secretary of
Health and Human Services. Location: Room 215, Dirksen Building.
2:00 - 4:00 PM. The Department of State's
Telecommunication Advisory Committee (ITAC) will meet to prepare for the
International Telecommunications Union's (ITU)
Telecommunication Standardization Advisory Group (TSAG) meeting. See, the ITU's
notice in the Federal Register, December 20, 2004, Vol. 69, No. 243, at Page
76027. For more information, including the location, contact Julian Minard at
2:00 PM. The Software
and Information Industry Association (SIIA) will host an event titled
"Improving the Ed Tech RFP: What Works and What Doesn't". See,
notice. The price to
participate is $40 for non-members of the SIIA. This event will be webcast and telecast
2:30 PM. The Senate Energy and Natural
Resources Committee will hold a hearing on the nomination of Samuel Bodman
to be Secretary of Energy. Location: Room 366, Dirksen Building.
4:00 - 5:00 PM. The President's National Security Telecommunications
Advisory Committee (NSTAC) will meet via conference call. The NSTAC addresses
issues and problems related to implementing national security and emergency
preparedness communications policy. This meeting is be closed to the public. See,
notice in the Federal Register, January 4, 2005, Vol. 70, No. 2, at Page 370.
|Thursday, January 20
The Senate will reconvene at 3:00 PM. It will begin with a period for
morning business, and then proceed to consideration of cabinet nominees. See,
Senate calendar. See also,
Congressional Inaugural Committee web site.
Inauguration Day. This is not a federal holiday listed in the
Office of Personnel Management's (OPM)
list of federal holidays. The
OPM states that "An employee who works in the District of Columbia, Montgomery
or Prince George's Counties in Maryland, Arlington or Fairfax Counties in
Virginia, or the cities of Alexandria or Falls Church in Virginia, and who is
regularly scheduled to perform non-overtime work on Inauguration Day, is
entitled to a holiday. There is no in-lieu-of holiday for employees who are
not regularly scheduled to work on Inauguration Day."
The Copyright Office will be closed.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
will be closed. See, FCC
calendar [PDF]. The Department of Justice
(DOJ) issued a
memorandum stating that its Washington DC area employees may take the day
off; however, it is silent on closure of DOJ offices.
|Friday, January 21
Deadline to submit to the Federal
Communications Commission (FCC) oppositions to petitions to deny the
applications of NextWave Telecom and Cellco Partnership dba Verizon Wireless for FCC
approval of their proposed transfer of control of broadband Personal Communications
Services (PCS) licenses from NextWave to Cellco. See, FCC
[4 pages in PDF]. This notice is DA 04-3873 in WT Docket No. 04-434.
EXTENDED TO JANUARY 28.
to submit reply comments to the Federal Communications
Commission (FCC) in response to the FCC's public notice regarding
BellSouth's petition for forbearance from certain
Title II and Computer Inquiry requirements. This proceeding is WC Docket No. 04-405.
of extension [PDF].
Deadline for licensees to submit responses to the Federal
Communications Commission (FCC) to its second audit letter and notice of cancellation
to certain licensees in the paging and radiotelephone service and certain licensees
operating on 929-930 MHz exclusive private carrier paging channels. See,
notice in the Federal Register, December 21, 2004, Vol. 69, No. 244, at
Pages 76469 - 76470.
|About Tech Law Journal
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