Tech Law Journal Daily E-Mail Alert
February 7, 2006, Alert No. 1,304.
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FCC to Host Event in Keller Texas

2/3. The four Commissioners of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will host an event titled "Open Commission Meeting" on Friday, February 10, 2006, in Keller, Texas. See, FCC notice [PDF].

Keller is a fast growing suburb in the Dallas-Ft. Worth metropolitan area. It lies northeast of downtown Ft. Worth. The meeting will be at the Keller Pointe Community Center, at 405 Rufe Snowe Drive.

There are two items on the published agenda [PDF]. The Commissioners will comment on and vote on approval of the Media Bureau's 12th annual report to Congress on the status of competition in the market for the delivery of video programming. There will also be panel on video competition.

Verizon is installing fiber-optic cable to the premises of homes and businesses, also know as FTTP, in Keller, Texas. See, Verizon's May 19, 2004, release.

Directions from DFW Airport: Head north on the airport highway towards the north exit of the airport. This becomes TX 97 Spur. Take TX 114 west towards Ft. Worth and Keller (heading west for four miles). Take the Wall St. / E. Southlake Blvd. exit onto TX 114 (for 0.3 mile). Bear left on Southlake Blvd. (heading west for 6 miles). This turns into E. Price. Turn left at Rufe Snowe Drive (heading south for one half mile).

Bush Signs Bill Extending Sunset Date of PATRIOT Act Provisions

2/3. President Bush signed HR 4659, a bill to extend the expiring provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act until March 10, 2006. See, White House release.

Without this bill, 16 sections of the PATRIOT Act, and one provision of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act, would have expired on February 3.

See also, story titled "House Approves Further Extension of Expiring Sections of PATRIOT Act" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 1,302, February 2, 2006.

Bush Nominates Robert McDowell to Be FCC Commissioner

2/6. President Bush announced his intent to nominate Robert McDowell to be a Commissioner on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on February 3, 2003. See, White House release. On February 6, he formally nominated McDowell. See, White House release. This nomination is for the remainder of a five year term expiring on June 30, 2009.

If confirmed by the Senate, he will replace former Commissioner Kathleen Abernathy, and fill the last remaining vacancy.

McDowell is SVP and Assistant General Counsel for the Competitive Telecommunications Association (CompTel). Before that, he was EVP and General Counsel for the America's Carriers Telecommunications Association (ACTA).

FCC Chairman Kevin Martin stated in a release that "If confirmed, Rob McDowell will a great asset to the Commission. He has a wealth of knowledge in the communications arena, and we will rely on his insight when evaluating the issues before us. I look forward to working with a full complement of Commissioners should Mr. McDowell be confirmed."

FCC Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein stated in a release that "I welcome the White House's announcement of the nomination of Robert M. McDowell to serve as a commissioner at the FCC ... Robert has a great deal of experience in the field of telecommunications that should be of great value to all of us at the Commission. I have enjoyed working with him in the past and look forward to the many contributions he will make to our deliberations upon his confirmation to the Commission."

Gary Shapiro, of the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), stated in a release that "We congratulate Robert McDowell on his nomination to serve as FCC commissioner. We believe he is a very strong and worthy candidate. McDowell's tenure at Comptel has proven his experience and expertise in the telecommunications arena. We appreciate his dedication and work to ensure a competitive and dynamic communications marketplace. We urge the Senate to act quickly on this nomination."

Herschel Abbott, of BellSouth, stated in a release that "Mr. McDowell's 15 years of involvement in the communications industry certainly means he knows telecom issues inside and out and has the capacity to do a great job on the FCC. We are confident that he will support policies that will bring consumers the benefit of widespread broadband deployment and new competition in providing television service free of government interference."

Steve Largent, head of the CTIA, stated in a release that "Robert McDowell is in an excellent choice for a seat on the FCC. His considerable knowledge of the telecommunications industry and his firm belief in policies that promote free market competition make him an exceptional choice for this important post at this current time."

More People and Appointments

2/6. There was a ceremony at the White House for the new Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board (FRB), Ben Bernanke. See, transcript of speeches by President Bush and Bernanke.

2/3. President Bush named Scott Jennings to be Special Assistant to the President and Deputy Director of Political Affairs. See, White House release.

2/3. President Bush named Jeffrey Kupfer to be Special Assistant to the President for Economic Policy. He is a lawyer, rather than an economist. See, White House release.

2/3. President Bush named Luis Reyes to be Special Assistant to the President for Presidential Personnel. See, White House release.

2/3. Rose Romero was named District Administrator of the Securities and Exchange Commission's (SEC) Fort Worth District Office. See, SEC release.

2/3. Goldy Kamali was named National Government Procurement and Events Manager of the American Electronics Association's (AeA) Potomac Council. See, release.

More News

2/6. The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) issued a release [3 pages in PDF] that touts support for the USTR's plans to negotiate a free trade agreement with the Republic of Korea.

Highlights of
CDT State of the Net Conference
Wednesday, February 8
8:30 AM. Keynote speeches by Rep. Rick Boucher (D-VA) and Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX).
9:20 AM. Panel titled "Living Our Lives Online: Are We (and the Net) Ready?". The speakers include Jonathan Liebowitz (FTC Commissioner) and Dan Caprio (Department of Commerce).
10:30 AM. Panel titled "Innovation Disrupting Copy Rights: What is the Appropriate Role of Government?".
11:30 AM. Panel titled "On the Internet, Can/Should Everyone Be A Publisher?"
11:30 AM. Panel titled "Trolling for Patents: A Boon or Bar to Innovation?"
12:30 Lunch: The speakers will be Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) and Vint Cerf (Google).
1:30 PM. Panel titled "Is 'Net Neutrality' on the Internet a BIT Relative?"
2:30 PM. Panel titled "Privacy and Security: Legislation and Regulation". The speakers will include David Cavicke (House Commerce Committee staff), Ivy Johnson (Senate Judiciary Committee staff), Steve DelBianco (Association for Competitive Technology), Ari Schwartz (Center for Democracy & Technology).
2:30 PM. Panel titled "Internationalization: How Does the Internet Fit into the New World Order?" The speakers will include David Gross, (State Department), Derek Wyatt (Member of U.K. Parliament), and others.
3:30 PM. Panel titled "Broadband Reform: De-regulation, Re-regulation, or No Regulation?".
3:30 PM. Panel titled "Privacy & Security: Online Medical And Financial Records At The Crossroads".
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Notice
There was no issue of the TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert on Monday, February 6, 2006.
Washington Tech Calendar
New items are highlighted in red.
Tuesday, February 7

The House will meet at 2:00 PM in pro forma session. See, Republican Whip Notice.

The Senate will meet at 9:45 AM. It will begin consideration of S 852, the asbestos claims bill.

9:30 AM. The Senate Finance Committee will hold a hearing titled "The Presidentís Fiscal Year 2007 Budget Proposal". Secretary of the Treasury John Snow will testify. See, notice. Location: Room 215, Dirksen Building.

9:30 AM. The U.S. Court of Appeals (DCCir) will hear oral argument in Paradise Cable v. FCC, No. 05-1040. Judges Ginsburg, Henderson and Randolph will preside. Location: Prettyman Courthouse, 333 Constitution Ave., NW.

10:00 AM. The Senate Commerce Committee (SCC) will hold a hearing titled "Net Neutrality". The witnesses will be Earl Comstock (CompTel), Vinton Cerf (Google), Kyle McSlarrow (National Cable and Telecommunications Association), Walter McCormick (U.S. Telecom Association), Jeffrey Citron (Vonage), Kyle Dixon (Progress & Freedom Foundation), Lawrence Lessig (Stanford Law School), Gregory Sidak (Georgetown University Law Center), Gary Bachula (Internet2). See, notice. Press contact: Melanie Alvord (Stevens) at 202 224-8456, Aaron Saunders (Stevens) at 202 224-3991, or Andy Davis (Inouye) at 202 224-4546. The hearing will be webcast by the SCC. Location: Room 562, Dirksen Building.

10:00 AM. The U.S. Court of Appeals (FedCir) will hear oral argument in Arendi USA v. Microsoft, an appeal from the U.S. District Court (DRI) in patent infringement case involving smart tags in Microsoft's Office XP. This is App. Ct. No. 05-1170. Location: Courtroom 402, 717 Madison Place, :NW.

RESCHEDULED. 1:00 PM. The House Ways and Means Committee will hold a hearing titled "President's Fiscal Year 2007 Budge". See, notice. Location: Room 1100, Longworth Building.

2:30 PM. The Senate Commerce Committee (SCC) will hold a hearing on several pending nominations, including that of Robert Cresanti to be head of the Technology Administration at the Department of Commerce. Press contact: Melanie Alvord (Stevens) at 202 224-8456, Aaron Saunders (Stevens) at 202 224-3991, or Andy Davis (Inouye) at 202 224-4546. The hearing will be webcast by the SCC. Location: Room 562, Dirksen Building.

3:00 PM. The Senate Budget Committee will hold a hearing titled "The Presidentís Fiscal Year 2007 Budget Proposal". Joshua Bolton, Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) will testify. See, notice [PDF]. Location: Room 608, Dirksen Building.

TIME CHANGE. 4:00 PM. The Senate Judiciary Committee (SJC) may hold a hearing on pending judicial nominations. The agenda includes the nomination of Timothy Batten (to be Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia), Thomas Johnston (Southern District of West Virginia), and Leo Maury Gordon (U.S. Court of International Trade). See, notice. The SJC frequently cancels or postpones meetings without notice. Location: Room 226, Dirksen Building.

5:00 PM. Deadline to submit applications to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) for Public Telecommunications Facilities Program (PTFP) grants for fiscal year 2006. See, NTIA notice and notice in the Federal Register, December 13, 2005, Vol. 70, No. 238, at Pages 73737 - 73738.

Wednesday, February 8

The House will meet at 2:00 PM for legislative business. It will consider several non-technology related items under suspension of the rules. Votes will be postponed until 6:30 PM. See, Republican Whip Notice.

8:15 AM - 4:30 PM. The Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT) will host an event titled "2006 Internet Caucus State of the Net Conference". See, notice. For more information, contact Danielle Yates at dyates at netcaucus dot org or 202 638-4370. Location: Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill, 400 New Jersey Ave., NW.

10:00 AM. The House Ways and Means Committee will hold a hearing titled "President's Fiscal Year 2007 Budget". See, notice. Location: Room 1100, Longworth Building.

10:00 AM. The U.S. Court of Appeals (FedCir) will hear oral argument in All Computers, Inc. v. Intel, an appeal from the U.S. District Court (EDVa). This is App. Ct. No. 05-1271. Location: Courtroom 402, 717 Madison Place, NW.

10:00 - 11:30 AM. The American Enterprise Institute (AEI) will host a panel discussion titled "The Tenth Anniversary of the Telecommunications Act of 1996: A Tough Act to Follow?". The speakers will be Kevin Martin (FCC Chairman), former Sen. Ernest Hollings (D-SC), former Sen. Larry Pressler (R-SD), former Rep. Tom Bliley (R-VA), and Harold Furchtgott-Roth (former FCC Commissioner). See, notice. Location: 12th, 1150 17th St., NW.

10:30 AM. The Senate Budget Committee will hold a hearing titled "President's Fiscal Year 2007 Budget Proposal". Secretary of the Treasury John Snow will testify. Location: Room 608, Dirksen Building.

12:00 NOON - 1:30 PM. The DC Bar Association will host a panel discussion titled "State Sales Tax and Congress: An Update on the SST and Corresponding Federal Legislation". The topics will include the 1992 opinion of the Supreme Court in Quill v. North Dakota, which is reported at 504 U.S. 298, and Senate bills S 2152, the "Sales Tax Fairness and Simplification Act", and S 2153, the "Streamlined Sales Tax Simplification Act ". The speakers will include Neal Osten (National Conference of State Legislatures), Maureen Riehl (National Retail Federation), and Leonard Bickwit (Miller & Chevalier). The price to attend ranges from $15-$27. For more information, call 202 626-3463. See, notice. Location: D.C. Bar Conference Center, 1250 H Street NW, B-1 Level.

2:00 - 4:00 PM. The Department of State's International Telecommunication Advisory Committee (ITAC) will hold the fifth in a series of weekly meetings to prepare for the International Telecommunications Union's (ITU) 2006 ITU Plenipotentiary Conference, to be held November 6-24, 2006, in Antalya, Turkey. See, notice in the Federal Register, December 21, 2005, Vol. 70, No. 244, at Page 75854. This notice incorrectly states that these meetings will be held on Tuesdays; they are on Wednesdays. For more information, contact Julian Minard at 202 647-2593 or minardje at state dot gov. Location: AT&T, 1120 20th St., NW.

2:30 PM. The Senate Commerce Committee (SCC) will hold a hearing on protecting consumer phone records. The witnesses will be Kris Montieth (Chief of Enforcement Bureau, Federal Communications Commission), Lydia Parnes (Director of the Bureau of Consumer Protection, Federal Trade Commission), Steve Largent (Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association), Marc Rotenberg (Electronic Privacy Information Center), Robert Douglas (PrivacyToday.com), and Cindy Southworth (National Network to End Domestic Violence). Sen. George Allen (R-VA) will preside. See, notice. Press contact: Melanie Alvord (Stevens) at 202 224-8456, Aaron Saunders (Stevens) at 202 224-3991, or Andy Davis (Inouye) at 202 224-4546. The hearing will be webcast by the SCC. Location: Room 562, Dirksen Building.

TIME CHANGE. 4:30 PM. The House Ways and Means Committee will hold a hearing titled "President's Fiscal Year 2007 Budget". The witness will be OMB Director Joshua Bolten. See, notice. Location: Room 1100, Longworth Building.

5:00 - 7:00 PM. The Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT) will host its "Ninth Annual Reception and Technology Fair". See, notice. Location: Room G-50, Dirksen Building.

6:00 - 8:15 PM. The Federal Communications Bar Association (FCBA) will host a continuing legal education (CLE) seminar titled "The New Telecom Bills -- The Return of the Tax Certificate? & The Future of FCC Designated Entity (DE) Credits". The speakers will be Carolyn Williams (Director of the FCC's Office of Communications Business Opportunities), Dirck Hargraves (Issue Dynamics), David Honig (Minority Media and Telecommunications Council), Jeneba Ghatt (The Ghatt Law Group), Jenell Trigg (Leventhal Senter & Lerman), and Andrew Barrett (The Barrett Group). See, notice [MS Word] and registration form [MS Word]. The price to attend ranges from $50-$175. Location: Hogan & Hartson.

Deadline to submit to the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) petitions to participate in three proceedings to determine reasonable rates and terms of royalty payments. See, notice in the Federal Register (January 9, 2006, Vol. 71, No. 5, at Pages 1453 - 1454) regarding the commencement of a proceeding to determine the reasonable rates and terms for use of certain works in connection with noncommercial broadcasting; notice (January 9, 2006, Vol. 71, No. 5, at Pages 1454 - 1455) in the Federal Register regarding the commencement of a proceeding to determine the reasonable rates and terms for making and distributing phonorecords; and, notice (January 9, 2006, Vol. 71, No. 5, at Page 1455) in the Federal Register regarding the commencement of a proceeding to determine the reasonable rates and terms for preexisting subscription and satellite digital audio radio services. See also, story titled "Copyright Royalty Board Commences Proceedings" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 1,285, January 9, 2006.

Deadline for the parties in U.S. v. Microsoft, D.C. No. 98-1232 (CKK), to file their next Joint Status Report with the U.S. District Court.

Thursday, February 9

The House may meet. The Republican Whip Notice states that "no votes are expected".

9:00 AM - 5:30 PM. The Anti-Spyware Coalition (ASC) will host a one day conference titled "Anti-Spyware Coalition Public Workshop: Defining the Problem, Developing Solutions". The speakers will include FTC Chairman Deborah Majoras, Walt Mossberg (Wall Street Journal Columnist), and Susannah Fox (Pew Internet and American Life). See, agenda. For more information, contact Ari Schwartz of the Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT) at 202 637-9800. The price to attend is $200 (for registrations before December 3), $250 (after December 3). The ASC states that "The event is free for press. Contact David McGuire, (202) 637-9800 x106 to obtain credentials." Location: Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill, 400 New Jersey Ave., NW.

9:30 - 10:30 AM. The Heritage Foundation will host a panel discussion titled "When Bin Laden Calls ... Should We Listen in?" The speakers will be James Woolsey (Booz Allen Hamilton, and former CIA Director), Todd Gaziano (Heritage), and Peter Brookes (Heritage). See, notice. Location: Heritage, 214 Massachusetts Ave., NE.

10:00 AM. The Senate Commerce Committee (SCC) will hold a hearing titled "Transportation Security Administration's Aviation Passenger Pre-Screening Programs -- Secure Flight and Registered Traveler". The witnesses will be Kip Hawley (Assistant Secretary, Transportation Security Administration), Cathleen Berrick (GAO), James May (Air Transport Association of America), Charles Barclay (American Association of Airport Executives), Tim Sparapani (ACLU), and Bill Connors (National Business Travel Association). The hearing will be webcast by the SCC. Press contact: Melanie Alvord (Stevens) at 202 224-8456, Aaron Saunders (Stevens) at 202 224-3991, or Andy Davis (Inouye) at 202 224-4546. See notice. Location: Room 562, Dirksen Building.

10:00 AM. The U.S. Court of Appeals (FedCir) will hear oral argument in Fiber Optic Design v. Season Special, App. Ct. No. 05-1488. Location: Courtroom 201, 717 Madison Place, NW.

12:00 NOON - 2:00 PM. The DC Bar Association will host a panel discussion titled "E-Mail and the Securities Regulators: The View From All Sides". The speakers will include Donald Dowie (SEC's Division of Enforcement), Kevin Carroll (NASD's Enforcement Department), Ann Griffith (Friedman Billings Ramsey Group), Jay Perlman (O'Melveny & Myers), Daniel Regard (LECG), Julian Ackert (LECG), and Ivan Knauer (Bingham McCutchen). The price to attend ranges from $5-$10. For more information, call 202 626-4363. See, notice. Location: D.C. Bar Conference Center, 1250 H Street NW, B-1 Level.

Friday, February 10

10:00 AM. The U.S. Court of Appeals (FedCir) will hear oral argument in FMStar Semiconductor v. International Trade Commission, App. Ct. No. 05-1129. Location: Courtroom 201, 717 Madison Place, NW.

8:30 - 11:45 AM. The Alliance for Public Technology (APT) will host an event titled "Tuning In to the New Age of Video: Ensuring the Benefits of Advanced Technology for All Americans". The speakers will include Johanna Shelton (House Commerce Committee), Eloise Gore (FCC Media Bureau), Link Hoewing (Verizon), and Larry Goldberg (WGBH National Center for Accessible Media). See, notice. Location: National Press Club, 529 14th St. NW, 13th Floor.

11:45 AM - 1:45 PM. The Alliance for Public Technology (APT) will host a luncheon titled "Susan G. Hadden Pioneer Awards Luncheon". See, notice.

The House may meet. The Republican Whip Notice states that "no votes are expected".

Sunday, February 12

Day one of a four day conference hosted by the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) titled "2006 Winter Committee Meetings". See, notice. Location: Hyatt Regency Washington.

Monday, February 13

9:30 AM. The U.S. Court of Appeals (DCCir) will hear oral argument in FCC v. ATT, App. Ct. No. 05-1096. Judges Randolph, Garland and Williams will preside. Location: Prettyman Courthouse, 333 Constitution Ave., NW.

6:00 - 8:15 PM. The Federal Communications Bar Association (FCBA) will host an event titled "Luncheon with State PUC Officials". See, registration form [MS Word]. The price to attend ranges from $35 to $70. Location: Atrium Ballroom, Washington Court Hotel, 525 New Jersey Ave., NW.

12:00 NOON. The Cato Institute will host a panel discussion titled "The Federal Budget Outlook". The speakers will be Donald Marron (acting Director of the Congressional Budget Office), Chris Edwards (Cato), and Stephen Slivinski (Cato). See, notice and registration page. Lunch will be served. Location: Room 2237, Rayburn Building.

Deadline to submit initial comments to the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) [26 pages in PDF] regarding Section 621(a)(1)'s directive that local franchising authorities (LFAs) not unreasonably refuse to award competitive franchises. The FCC adopted this NPRM on November 3, 2005, and released it on November 18, 2005. It is FCC 05-189 in MB Docket No. 05-311. See, notice in the Federal Register, December 14, 2005, Vol. 70, No. 239, at Pages 73973 - 73980. See also, story titled "FCC Adopts NPRM Regarding Local Franchising of Video Services" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 1,247, November 4, 2005.

Day two of a four day conference hosted by the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) titled "2006 Winter Committee Meetings". See, notice. Location: Hyatt Regency Washington.

Tuesday, February 14

10:00 AM. The Senate Commerce Committee (SCC) will hold a hearing titled "State and Local Issues and Municipal Networks". See, notice. Press contact: Melanie Alvord (Stevens) at 202 224-8456, Aaron Saunders (Stevens) at 202 224-3991, or Andy Davis (Inouye) at 202 224-4546. The hearing will be webcast by the SCC. Location: Room 562, Dirksen Building.

Day three of a four day conference hosted by the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) titled "2006 Winter Committee Meetings". See, notice. Location: Hyatt Regency Washington.