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July 27, 2005, 9:00 AM ET, Alert No. 1,183.
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Senate Committee Approves Cybercrime Treaty

7/26. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee recommended the ratification by the full Senate of the Council of Europe Convention on Cybercrime, which was signed by the U.S. on November 23, 2001.

The Business Software Alliance (BSA) is pleased. Robert Holleyman, P/CEO of the BSA, wrote in a release that "Today's action is a significant step forward in the fight against worldwide cybercrime. The BSA and its member companies have long advocated loud and clear that the U.S. Senate take up and pass this important international treaty. With the rise of organized cybercrime, and information and data theft, businesses and consumers are increasingly recognizing the importance of protecting themselves and thwarting such attacks. By passing the treaty today, Chairman Lugar and the committee are sending the right signal to our international partners who work with us to fight these global, borderless criminals. We urge the full Senate to take up and pass this treaty in short order so we have the necessary tools to deter and prosecute global cybercrime."

The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) opposes ratification of this treaty. Marc Rotenberg and Cedric Laurent of the EPIC wrote a letter to Sen. Richard Lugar (R-IN) on July 26. They stated that "The treaty would create invasive investigative techniques while failing to provide meaningful privacy and civil liberties safeguards, and specifically lacking judicial review and probable cause determinations required under the Fourth Amendment. A significant number of provisions grant sweeping investigative powers of computer search and seizure and government surveillance of voice, e-mail, and data communications in the interests of law enforcement agencies, but are not counterbalanced by accompanying protections of individual rights or limit on governments' use of these powers."

Senate Banking Committee Holds Hearing on Nomination of Rep. Cox to Be SEC Chairman

7/26. The Senate Banking Committee held a hearing on the nominations of Rep. Christopher Cox (R-CA), Roel Campos, and Annette Nazarath to be Commissioners of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Rep. Cox stated in his prepared testimony [PDF] that "I will strongly support the Commission's ongoing work to ensure that the rules governing our financial markets keep pace with advancing technology. The rapid globalization of securities markets, and the amazing development of the Internet as a medium for commerce and information, have taken place at the same time that the number of Americans who are directly invested in securities has reached a record level. These developments offer both investors and issuers extraordinary new opportunities -- but they also bring unprecedented risks. As a result, the work of the SEC is now more important than ever."

Roel Campos stated in his prepared testimony [PDF] that the SEC " must continue to reduce and eliminate antiquated rules".

See also, prepared testimony [PDF] of Annette Nazareth. Nazareth was accompanied at the hearing by her husband, Roger Ferguson, who often testifies before the Committee as the Vice Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board.

Sen. Hatch Comments on Judicial Selection and IP Law

7/26. Senate Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Intellectual Property held a hearing titled "Perspective on Patents: Harmonization and Other Matters". Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), the Chairman of the Subcommittee, was the only Senator to participate in the hearing.

TLJ spoke with Sen. Hatch after the hearing about the selection of federal judges and intellectual property law. He stated that intellectual property issues do not play much of a role in judicial selection, with two exceptions. He said that it is important in the selection of Judges for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.

The Federal Circuit has exclusive jurisdiction over appeals in most patent related cases. See, 28 U.S.C. 1295. The DC Circuit hears many cases that involve the 1984 Hatch-Waxman amendments to the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. This was the "Drug Price Competition and Patent Term Restoration Act of 1984. It is Public Law No. 98-417.

The Senate Judiciary Committee has jurisdiction over both intellectual property bills and appointments to the federal judiciary and to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

Tether Testifies Regarding DARPA's Development of Ultraviolet Optical Communications

7/21. The House Armed Services Committee's (HASC) Subcommittee on Terrorism, Unconventional Threats and Capabilities and the House Homeland Security Committee's Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Science and Technology Subcommittee held a joint hearing on counter terrorism technology sharing.

Tony TetherTony Tether (at right), the Director of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), discussed, among other topics, DARPA's work on machine translation of natural languages, and Semiconductor Ultraviolet Optical Sources (SUVOS).

The DARPA's SUVOS program has applications for military communications. He wrote that "Compared to conventional technologies, SUVOS will achieve a 50-fold reduction in power requirements and a 100-fold reduction in size and weight." See, Tether's prepared testimony [PDF].

Tether addressed the military and homeland security applications of SUVOS. However, the attributes of this technology for communications (light weight, low power, high bandwidth, non-line of sight, and short range) suggest possible applications for wireless/mobile consumer and business communications. See also, DARPA's SUVOS web page.

See also, prepared testimony [PDF] of Sue Payton (Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Advanced Systems and Concepts), prepared testimony [PDF] of John Kubricky (Acting Director, Homeland Security Advanced Research Projects Agency), and prepared testimony [PDF] of Peter Verga (Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Homeland Defense.

More Capitol Hill News

7/26. The House rejected HR 3283, the "United States Trade Rights Enforcement Act", by a vote of 240-186. See, Roll Call No. 421. The bill was considered under suspension of the rules, which means that a two-thirds majority was required for approval. It was a party vote. Republicans voted 221-5. Democrats voted 19-180.

7/21. The Senate Commerce Committee (SCC) met to mark up several bills. It amended and approved S 1392, the "Federal Trade Commission Reauthorization Act of 2005". This short bill authorizes the appropriation of $213 Million for FY 2006, $241 Million for FY 2007, $253 Million for FY 2008, $264 Million for FY 2009, and $276 Million for FY 2010. The SCC approved amendments pertaining to pharmaceuticals. See, SCC release.

PFF Paper Criticizes Compulsory Music Licensing

7/26. The Progress and Freedom Foundation (PFF) released a paper [13 pages in PDF] titled "Why Government Can't Be Trusted With Trust Funds: A 118-Year-Old Case Study Highlights the Dangers of Compulsory Licensing". It was written by Patrick Ross of the PFF.

It reviews and criticizes various proposals to replace the current copyright regime for music with compulsory licensing of digital music, and compensation for creators provided from a government trust, funded by taxation of such things as ISPs or consumer electronic devices.

The paper reviews five proposals, or collections of proposals.
 • Distributed Computing Industry Association's (DCIA) proposal [17 pages in PDF] titled "P2P Revenue Engine".
 • Electronic Frontier Foundation's (EFF) proposal.
 • Berkman Center for Internet & Society's (Harvard Law School) four proposals. See, overview and paper [83 pages in PDF] titled "Content and Control: Assessing the Impact of Policy Choices on Potential Online Business Models in the Music and Film Industries".
 • William Fisher's (professor at Harvard Law School) proposal in his book titled "Promises to Keep: Technology, Law and the Future of Entertainment" [Amazon].
 • Lawrence Lessig's (professor at Stanford Law School) proposal in his book titled " Free Culture: How Big Media Uses Technology and the Law to Lock Down Culture and Control Creativity" [Amazon].

Ross argues first that the government has a poor record of administering other trust funds. He discusses the example of the Dawes Act of 1887 and the federal government's failed management of Indian lands and the Indian Trust Fund.

He states that both compulsory licensing and trust funds "involve the federal government attempting to monitor the marketplace, and extract rent from one party to fund another. This is an extremely difficult thing to do, but a relatively simple thing for a market to perform. Both also are systems that, once in place, are difficult to dismantle, because parties in the system become dependent on them."

He concludes that "Just because the Internet has enabled theft of intellectual property in ways never before contemplated does not mean our existing system should be abandoned. Rather, those claiming to support artists and their right to be compensated should defend the current legal structure -- incrementally improve it where warranted -- and work constructively to promote artists and mitigate the harmful impact of online theft."

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Washington Tech Calendar
New items are highlighted in red.
Wednesday, July 27

The House will meet at 10:00 AM for legislative business. It may take up HR 3045, the "Dominican Republic-Central America-United States Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act". See, Republican Whip Notice.

The Senate will meet at 9:30 AM. It will resume consideration of the motion to proceed to S 397, the gun liability bill.

9:00 AM - 5:00 PM. Day two of a two day roundtable hosted by the Copyright Office on orphan works. See, notice in the Federal Register, July 7, 2005, Vol. 70, No. 129, at Pages 39341 - 39343. Location: Room 2237, Rayburn Building, Capitol Hill.

9:00 AM. Day one of a two day meeting of the Bureau of Industry and Security's (BIS) Information Systems Technical Advisory Committee. The agenda includes "Department of Energy's uses of High Performance Computers", "Ethernet Technology Trends" and "Nanotechnology Update". Part of the meeting will be close to the public. See, notice in the Federal Register, July 11, 2005, Vol. 70, No. 131, at Pages 39720 - 39721. Location: Room 3884, Department of Commerce, 14th Street between Constitution and Pennsylvania Avenues, NW.

9:30 AM. The Senate Judiciary Committee may hold a hearing titled "FBI Oversight". The scheduled witnesses include Robert Mueller (Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation), Glenn Fine (Inspector General of the Department of Justice), Lee Hamilton (Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars), William Webster (law firm of Milbank Tweed, and former FBI Director), and John Russack (Office of the Director of National Intelligence). The SJC frequently cancels meetings without notice. See, notice. Press contact: Blain Rethmeier (Specter) at 202 224-5225, David Carle (Leahy) at 202 224-4242 or Tracy Schmaler (Leahy) at 202 224-2154. Location: Room 226, Dirksen Building.

10:00 AM. The House Ways and Means Committee's Subcommittee on Health will hold a hearing titled "Health Care Information Technology". See, notice. Location: Room 1100, Longworth Building.

10:00 AM. The House Judiciary Committee (HJC) will meet to mark up several bills, including HR 3402, the "Department of Justice Appropriations Authorization Act, Fiscal Years 2006 through 2009". The meeting will be webcast by the HJC. Press contact: Jeff Lungren or Terry Shawn at 202 225-2492. Location: Room 2141, Rayburn Building.

12:00 NOON - 2:00 PM. The New Republic will host a panel discussion titled "Updating America's Telecommunications Laws: What's In It For Us?" The speakers will be Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR), Sen. John Kerry (D-MA), Sen. Joe Lieberman (D-CT), Michael Crowley (Senior Editor of The New Republic), Kim Anderson (National Education Association), Harry Alford (National Black Chamber of Commerce), George Kohl (Communications Workers of America), and Clyde Prestowitz (Economic Strategy Institute). Lunch will be served. For more information, contact Joan Daly at 703 407-3204 or jdaly at tnr dot com. Location: Room 11, Dirksen Building, Capitol Hill.

2:00 - 3:00 PM. The President's National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee (NSTAC) will meet by teleconference. The meeting will be partially closed. See, notice in the Federal Register, July 12, 2005, Vol. 70, No. 132, at Page 40052, and notice in the Federal Register, July 20, 2005, Vol. 70, No. 138, at Page 41778.

2:30 PM. The Senate Commerce Committee will hold a hearing on S 1372, the "Fairness, Accuracy, Inclusivity, and Responsiveness in Ratings Act of 2005", a bill to regulate television ratings services. The witnesses will be George Ivie (Media Rating Council), Susan Whiting (Nielsen Media Research), Ceril Shagrin (Univision), Pat Mullen (Tribune Broadcasting), Kathy Crawford (MindShare Worldwide), and Gale Metzger. See, notice. Press contact: Melanie Alvord (Stevens) (202) 224-8456 or Melanie_Alvord at commerce dot senate dot gov, or Andy Davis (Inouye) at 202 224-4546 or Andy_Davis at commerce dot senate dot gov Location: Room 253, Russell Building.

Deadline to submit initial comments to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in response to its Further Notice of Proposed Rule Making (FNPRM) regarding advancing the date on which all new television receiving equipment must include the capability to receive over the air DTV broadcast signals from July 1, 2007, to a date no later than December 31, 2006. The FCC adopted and released this item on June 9, 2005. This item is FCC 05-121 in ET Docket No. 05-24. See, notice in the Federal Register, July 6, 2005, Vol. 70, No. 128, at Pages 38845 - 38848. See also, story titled "FCC Adopts Order and NPRM Regarding Its Digital Tuner Rules" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 1,153, June 14, 2005.

Thursday, July 28

The House will meet at 10:00 AM for legislative business. It may take up HR 3045, the "Dominican Republic-Central America-United States Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act". See, Republican Whip Notice.

9:00 AM. Day two of a two day meeting of the Bureau of Industry and Security's (BIS) Information Systems Technical Advisory Committee. The agenda includes "Department of Energy's uses of High Performance Computers", "Ethernet Technology Trends" and "Nanotechnology Update". Part of the meeting will be close to the public. See, notice in the Federal Register, July 11, 2005, Vol. 70, No. 131, at Pages 39720 - 39721. Location: Room 3884, Department of Commerce, 14th Street between Constitution and Pennsylvania Avenues, NW.

9:30 AM. The Senate Judiciary Committee (SJC) may hold an executive business meeting. The SJC frequently cancels meetings without notice. The agenda includes S __, the "Personal Data Privacy and Security Act of 2005", S 751, the "Notification of Risk to Personal Data Act", and S 1326, the "Notification of Risk to Personal Data Act". See, notice. The SJC rarely follows its published agenda. Press contact: Blain Rethmeier (Specter) at 202 224-5225, David Carle (Leahy) at 202 224-4242 or Tracy Schmaler (Leahy) at 202 224-2154. Location: Room 226, Dirksen Building.

9:30 AM. The Senate Armed Services Committee will hold a hearing on numerous pending nominations for the Department of Defense, including that of John Grimes to be Assistant Secretary for Networks and Information Integration. Location: Room 106, Dirksen Building.

10:00 AM. The Senate Commerce Committee (SCC) will meet to mark up S 1408, the "Identity Theft Protection Act". See, notice. Press contact: Melanie Alvord (Stevens) (202) 224-8456 or Melanie_Alvord at commerce dot senate dot gov, or Andy Davis (Inouye) at 202 224-4546 or Andy_Davis at commerce dot senate dot gov. Location: Room 253, Russell Building.

10:00 AM. The House Commerce Committee's (HCC) Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade, and Consumer Protection will hold a hearing titled "Data Security: The Discussion Draft of Data Protection Legislation". The hearing will be webcast by the HCC. See, notice. Press contact: Larry Neal at 202 225-5735. Location: Room 2123, Rayburn Building.

10:00 AM - 3:00 PM. The Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) Technological Advisory Council will meet. See, notice in the Federal Register, March 25, 2005, Vol. 70, No. 57, at Page 15316. See also, notice in the Federal Register, July 6, 2005, Vol. 70, No. 128, at Pages 38928. Location: FCC, 445 12th Street, SW, Commission Meeting Room (TW-C305).

10:00 AM - 12:00 NOON. The Department of State's (DOS) International Telecommunication Advisory Committee (ITAC) will meet to prepare for the Americas Regional Preparatory Meeting for the World Telecommunication Development Conference (WTDC-06) in Lima, Peru, from August 9-11, 2005. See, notice in the Federal Register, June 22, 2005, Vol. 70, No. 119, Page 36224. Location: DOS, Room 2533A.

10:30 AM -12:30 PM. The Internet Governance Project and others will host a panel discussion titled "Regime Change on the Internet? Internet Governance After WGIG". See, notice. See also, the United Nation's (UN) Working Group on Internet Governance (WGIG). Location: Syracuse University's Paul Greenberg House, 2301 Calvert Street, NW.

2:00 - 5:15 PM. The DC Bar Association will host a continuing legal education (CLE) seminar titled "How to Do Legal Research on the Internet: Find It Fast and Free". The speakers will be Carole Levitt and Mark Rosch of Internet for Lawyers. The price to attend ranges from $80-$135. For more information, call 202-626-3488. See, notice. Location: D.C. Bar Conference Center, 1250 H Street NW, B-1 Level.

2:00 - 4:00 PM. The Department of tate's (DOS) International Telecommunication Advisory Committee's (ITAC) U.S. Study Group A will meet to prepare positions for the next meeting of ITU-T's Study Group 3 (tariff and accounting principles for international telecommunication services), which will be on September 12-16, 2005, in Geneva, Switzerland. To participate by teleconference, contact minardje at state dot gov. See, notice in the Federal Register, July 8, 2005, Vol. 70, No. 130, at Pages 39544 - 39545. Location: AT&T, Suite 210, 1133 21st Street, NW.

2:30 PM. The Senate Commerce Committee will hold a hearing titled "Issues Related to MGM v. Grokster". The witnesses will be Adam Eisgrau (P2P United), Gregory Kerber (Ch/CEO, Wurld Media), Mark Heesen (President, National Venture Capital Association), Dave Baker (VP Law & Public Policy, Earthlink), Mitch Bainwol (Ch/CEO, Recording Industry Association of America), and Fritz Attaway (EVP, Motion Picture Association of America).See, notice. Press contact: Melanie Alvord (Stevens) (202) 224-8456 or Melanie_Alvord at commerce dot senate dot gov, or Andy Davis (Inouye) at 202 224-4546 or Andy_Davis at commerce dot senate dot gov Location: Room 253, Russell Building.

Friday, July 29

The House will may meet at 10:00 AM for legislative business. See, Republican Whip Notice.

12:15 PM. The Federal Communications Bar Association's (FCBA) Young Lawyers Committee will host a brown bag lunch titled "Defying Classification: Can the Information Services/Telecommunications Services Regulatory Dichotomy Survive in an IP World?". The speakers will be Jonathan Askin (General Counsel of Pulver.com), David Hickey (Legislative Counsel to Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-FL), Alexandra Wilson (Cox Enterprises), Jack Zinman (SBC Communications), and Drew Caplan (Nextel). No RSVP requested. For more information, contact Phil Marchesiello at pmarchesiello at akingump dot com or 202 887-4348 or Natalie Roisman natalie at roisman at fcc dot gov. Location: Akin Gump, 1333 New Hampshire Ave., NW, 10th Floor.

Monday, August 1

The House will not meet on Monday, August 1 through Monday, September 5. See, House calendar.

The Senate will not meet on Monday, August 1 through Monday, September 5. See, Senate calendar.

EXTENDED TO OCTOBER 1. Deadline for the National Cable & Telecommunications Association's (NCTA) and Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) to file their first round of status reports with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regarding progress in talks regarding the feasibility of a downloadable security solution for integrating navigation and security functionalities in cable set top boxes. See, FCC's Second Report and Order [37 pages in PDF] adopted and released on March 18, 2005. This order is FCC 05-76 in CS Docket No. 97-80. See also, FCC release [PDF] summarizing this order, and story titled "FCC Again Delays Deadline for Integrating Navigation and Security Functionalities in Cable Set Top Boxes" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 1,099, March 21, 2005. See, notice of extensions (DA 05-1930) [2 pages in PDF].

Deadline to submit reply comments to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in response to its Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FNPRM) regarding the exchange of customer account information between local exchange carriers (LECs). This FNPRM is FCC 05-29 in CG Docket No. 02-386. See, notice in the Federal Register, June 1, 2005, Vol. 70, No. 104, at Pages 31406 - 31409.

Tuesday, August 2

10:00 AM - 12:00 NOON. The Department of State's (DOS) International Telecommunication Advisory Committee (ITAC) will meet to prepare for the ITU-D's meetings of Study Group 1 and Study Group 2, which will take place in September, Geneva, on September 6-9 and 12-15, 2005. See, notice in the Federal Register, July 8, 2005, Vol. 70, No. 130, at Pages 39544 - 39545. Location: Room 2533A, State Department.

Wednesday, August 3

10:00 AM. The U.S. Court of Appeals (FedCir) will hear oral argument in Microstrategy v. Business Objects, No. 04-1572. This is a patent infringement case involving relational databases. Location: U.S. Court of Appeals, LaFayette Square, 717 Madison Place, Courtroom 402.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will hold Auction 61, the auction of of ten Automated Maritime Telecommunications System (AMTS) licenses. See, notice in the Federal Register, February 11, 2005, Vol. 70, No. 28, at Pages 7270 - 7274; notice in the Federal Register, May 23, 2005, Vol. 70, No. 98, at Pages 29497 - 29510; and, notice in the Federal Register, June 1, 2005, Vol. 70, No. 104, at Pages 31468 - 31469.