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August 1, 2006, Alert No. 1,422.
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GAO Reports on Federal Government Transition to IPv6

7/31. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report [30 pages in PDF] titled "Internet Protocol Version 6: Federal Government in Early Stages of Transition and Key Challenges Remain".

Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6), which is currently replacing IPv4, provides a vastly increased number of internet addresses. It also provides for more efficient and faster routing, enhanced mobility features, and improved security, for example, through authentication. See also, story titled "House Government Reform Committee Holds Hearing on IPv6" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 1,168, July 5, 2005.

The GAO's report states that "Federal agencies have taken steps to plan for the transition to IPv6, but several agencies have not completed key activities. For example, as of April 2006, almost all of the 24 major agencies have assigned an official to lead and coordinate the IPv6 transition. However, ten agencies had not developed IPv6-related policies and enforcement mechanisms."

The report also states that "Applications that take advantage of IPv6 features are being planned or implemented both within and outside of the federal government, including applications to support emergency response, enhance warfighting capabilities, and facilitate continuity of operations planning. However, these applications are few, in large part because organizations are still in the early stages of the transition or because they lack incentives to use the new protocol."

The Department of Defense (DOD) is the only federal agency covered by the report that is actually developing IPv6 applications. The report states that the "increased address space of IPv6 will provide DOD with an opportunity to reconstitute its address space architecture to better respond to the future proliferation of numerous unmanned sensors and mobile assets."

The report adds that "Permitting devices to directly communicate on the move is essential because DOD wants to use the enhanced mobility and automatic configuration to rapidly deploy networks across the globe. Further, DOD believes that the return to an end-to-end communications security model will allow it to provide greater information assurance by, among other things, providing for more secure peer-to-peer communications. Finally, DOD is developing applications that take advantage of IPv6s improved quality of service features to enhance many of its other initiatives, such as voice over IP, which is the transmission of voice data over an IP-based network instead of the traditional transmission over a general purpose circuit-switched network."

See also, story titled "DISA's IPv6 Transition Chief Indicted for P2P Porn on Office Computer" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 1,333, March 21, 2006.

The report also touches on uses of IPv6 outside of the federal government. For example, it states that "One broadband/cable provider is currently planning to migrate to IPv6 by 2008 to use the increased address space for better management of its cable equipment." The report does not identify which service provider this is.

The report also states vaguely that "The telecommunications industry is working on improving customer services by developing the next generation network. This is a new network model that is based on the extensive use of Internet protocols -- particularly IPv6 -- to accommodate the diversity of applications inherent in emerging broadband technologies."

And, the report states that "The Japanese government reported making progress in implementing several IPv6 applications to improve existing operations. According to the Japanese IPv6 Promotion Council, Japan plans to have almost all of its telecommunications run on IPv6 to support applications that would improve telephone, cable, and facility management (e.g., security and electricity) services. For example, the use of an IPv6 infrastructure for facility management would support applications that minimize energy use in industrial buildings." (Parentheses in original.)

The report also addresses challenges that government agencies face in transitioning for IPv4 to IPv6. The report addresses in some detail the security related issues.

DOJ Closes Investigation of MediaNews' Acquisition of Mercury News and Contra Costa Times

7/31. The Department of Justice's (DOJ) Antitrust Division announced in a release that it has closed its investigation into MediaNews Group Inc.'s proposed acquisition of the Mercury News and the Contra Costa Times.

The DOJ stated that "only a relatively small number of readers and advertisers view MediaNews' papers, on the one hand, and the Contra Costa Times and Mercury News, on the other hand, as substitutes. In this respect, competition among these newspapers in the East Bay is unlike that in other markets where the Department has concluded that newspaper mergers would cause significant competitive harm."

It added that "following the acquisition, MediaNews will continue to face competition for the sale of newspapers and newspaper advertising in the East Bay from the San Francisco Chronicle, which is owned by Hearst Corporation (Hearst) and is not involved in the proposed transaction. In addition, the Division concluded that the transaction would enable MediaNews to achieve large cost savings by combining the production and delivery systems of the Contra Costa Times and Mercury News with those used by the papers it already owns in the East Bay. These savings--and the parties' inability to achieve them absent the merger--were documented by detailed analyses provided by the parties. These savings will benefit consumers and allow MediaNews' East Bay papers to compete more effectively against the San Francisco Chronicle for readers and advertisers."

The Contra Costa Times publishes suburban newspapers in Northern California. Its web site offers this summary of its daily and weekly publications: "The Contra Costa Newspapers is comprised of four daily editions: Contra Costa Times, San Ramon Valley Times, West County Times and Valley Times. In addition, the Times produces twelve weekly newspapers that focus on local news: Ledger Dispatch, Brentwood News, Walnut Creek Journal, Concord Transcript, Contra Costa Sun, Pleasant Hill/Martinez Record, West County Weekly and the Hills Newspapers (Montclarion, Piedmonter, Alameda Journal, Berkeley Voice and El Cerrito Journal)." (Parentheses in original.)

See also, Contra Costa Times story titled "Newspaper deal expected to close this week", by George Avalos.

The Mercury News publishes a newspaper in Silicon Valley, California, and a web site. It is currently owned by The McClatchy Company, which owns newspapers around the United States. See also, Mercury News story titled "Justice Department approves sale of Mercury News to MediaNews", by Pete Carey.

MediaNews Group owns 40 newspapers in 9 states, including many in the San Francisco area.

On July 28, 2006, the U.S. District Court (NDCal) denied a motion for a temporary restraining order affecting the two proposed acquisitions. See, McClatchy release.

Federal Circuit Orders Reassignment in Eolas v. Microsoft

7/31. The U.S. Court of Appeals (FedCir) its opinion [9 pages in PDF] in Eolas v. Microsoft, reversing the District Court's denial of Microsoft's motion to have the case reassigned to a different judge.

Previously, the Court of Appeals reversed in part a judgment of the U.S. District Court (NDIll) and remanded for further proceedings. Microsoft sought assignment of a new judge, not because of bias or prejudice, but pursuant to the rules of the 7th Circuit and the Northern District of Illinois, which provide for automatic reassignment following certain remands.

The rules of the 7th Circuit provide for automatic reassignment in certain cases remanded from the 7th Circuit. But, since this is a patent case, the Federal Circuit had jurisdiction. Nevertheless, the Federal Circuit concluded in the present opinion that the rules of the 7th Circuit require reassignment, and hence, reversed.

This case is Eolas Technologies, Inc. and Regents of the University of California v. Microsoft Corporation, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, App. Ct. No. 06-1238, an appeal from the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Judge James Zagel presiding. Judge Rader wrote the opinion of the Court of Appeals, in which Judges Plager and Prost joined.

Washington Tech Calendar
New items are highlighted in red.
Tuesday, August 1

The House will not meet from Monday, July 31, through Tuesday, September 5. The House will next meet at 2:00 PM on Wednesday, September 6. See, Republican Whip Notice.

The Senate will meet at 9:45 AM. It will resume consideration of S 3711, the Gulf of Mexico energy security bill.

LOCATION CHANGE. 9:00 AM. The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee's Subcommittee on Investigations will hold a hearing titled "Offshore Abuses: The Enablers, The Tools & Offshore Secrecy". This hearing will focus on the use of foreign financial services companies by U.S. citizens, but not the use of U.S. financial services companies by foreign citizens. See, notice. Location: Room 106, Dirksen Building.

10:00 AM. The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) will host an event to release a report on supply chain security. The speakers will include Jerry Jasinowski (NAM), Theo Fletcher (IBM), Lesley Sept (Stanford University), and Arnold Allemang (Dow Chemical Company). For more information, contact Laura Narvaiz at 202-637-3104 or lnarvaiz at nam dot org. Coffee and doughnuts will be served. Location: NAM, 1331 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Suite 600.

2:00 PM. The Senate Judiciary Committee (SJC) may hold a hearing on judicial nominations. See, notice. The agenda includes consideration of Peter Keisler to be a Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals (DCCir), and Valerie Baker and Philip Gutierrezto be a Judges of the U.S. District Court (CDCal). Location: Room 226, Dirksen Building.

Wednesday, August 2

9:45 AM - 12:00 NOON and 2:00 - 3:30 PM. The DC Bar Association will host two events titled "Visits to the U.S. Copyright Office". The price to attend ranges from $15-$25. For more information, call 202-626-3463. See, notice and notice. Location: Copyright Office, Room 401, James Madison Memorial Building, 1st Street & Independence Ave., SE.

Thursday, August 3

8:30 AM - 5:00 PM. The U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission will hold a hearing titled "China's Role in the World: Is China a Responsible Stakeholder?". See, notice in the Federal Register, July 20, 2006, Vol. 71, No. 139, at Pages 41316-41317. Location: Room 385, Russell Building, Capitol Hill.

2:00 PM. The Senate Judiciary Committee (SJC) may hold an executive business meeting. Location: Room 226, Dirksen Building.

9:30 AM. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will hold a meeting. See, agenda [PDF], and story titled "FCC Releases Agenda for August 3 Meeting" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 1,420, July 28, 2006. The event will be webcast by the FCC. Location: FCC, 445 12th Street, SW, Room TW-C05 (Commission Meeting Room).

10:00 AM. The Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT) will hold a news briefing pending bills that would mandate internet filtering and web site labeling. The speakers will be Leslie Harris and John Morris of the CDT. Breakfast will be served. For more information, contact David McGuire at 202-637-9800 x106. Location: ___.

Friday, August 4

8:30 AM - 12:30 PM. The U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission will hold a hearing titled "China's Energy Security". See, notice in the Federal Register, July 20, 2006, Vol. 71, No. 139, at Pages 41316-41317. Location: Room 385, Russell Building, Capitol Hill.

Monday, August 7

The Senate will not meet from Monday, August 7 (tentative), through Monday, September 4. See, 2006 Senate calendar.

10:00 AM. The U.S. Court of Appeals (FedCir) will hear oral argument in Overstock.com, Inc. v. Furnace Brook, LLC, a patent case involving personal jurisdiction. Furnace Brook bought a patent at a bankruptcy auction. It did not practice it. It sent cease and desist letters to other companies, alleging infringement, and seeking licensing fees. One recipient, Overstock.com, filed a complaint in U.S. District Court (DUtah) seeking a declaration that it did not infringe the patent. The Federal Circuit has held that sending a cease and desist letter into a state does not give rise to personal jurisdiction over the sender in that state. The District Court dismissed for lack of personal jurisdiction. However, the District Court also held that Furnace Brook is a "patent troll". See, opinion [PDF]. This is App. Ct. No. 2006-1121, and D.C. No. 2:05-CV-00679 PGC. Location: Courtroom 201, 717 Madison Place, NW.

2:00 - 4:00 PM. The American Enterprise Institute (AEI) will host a discussion of the book titled " Spoiling for a Fight: The Rise of Eliot Spitzer" [Amazon]. The speakers will be Brooke Masters (author), Michael Greve (AEI), and Judge William Pryor (U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit). See, notice. Location: 12th floor, 1150 17th St., NW.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will conduct a mock auction for Auction 66. This is the auction of Advance Wireless Services (AWS) licenses in the 1710-1755 MHz and 2110-2155 MHz (AWS-1) bands. See also, notice in the Federal Register, June 2, 2006, Vol. 71, No. 106, at Pages 32089-32091.

Deadline to submit comments to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) regarding its Draft Special Publication 800-100 [huge Zipped PDF] titled "Information Security Handbook: A Guide for Managers".

Tuesday, August 8

Deadline to submit to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) outlines of topics to be discussed at the IRS's public hearing on August 29, 2006, regarding its notice of proposed rule making pertaining to the application of 26 U.S.C. 199, which provides a deduction for income attributable to domestic production activities, to certain transactions involving computer software. See, notice in the Federal Register, June 1, 2006, Vol. 71, No. 105, at Pages 31128-31129.

People and Appointments

7/31. President Bush named Kenneth Kiyul Lee to be Associate Counsel to the President. He was previously an attorney at the law firm of Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz. Before that, he was Special Counsel to the Senate Judiciary Committee. See, White House release.

7/31. President Bush named Andrea Looney to be Special Assistant to the President for Legislative Affairs. She was previously Chief of Staff to Sen. Bill Frist (R-TN). See, White House release.

7/31. President Bush announced his intent to nominate Susan Dudley to be Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). She is currently Director of the Regulatory Studies Program of the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. See, White House release.

7/31. President Bush announced his intent to nominate Arthur Reilly to be a Member of the National Science Board (National Science Foundation), for the remainder of a six-year term expiring May 10, 2012. See, White House release.

7/31. President Bush named Bryan Corbett to be Special Assistant to the President for Economic Policy. He was previously Senior Advisor to the Deputy Secretary of the Department of Treasury. See, White House release.

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