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August 10, 2006, Alert No. 1,429.
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Rep. Markey Advocates Data Destruction Bill

8/9. Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA) stated in a release that "Internet companies are often able to glean personal information through a computer user's surfing and searching of Internet sites. Such entities should not hoard this data, which often hold the imprints of millions of individuals and their Internet use. This stored-up data about consumers’ Internet use should not be needlessly kept in perpetuity, inviting data thieves or fraudsters, or disclosure through judicial fishing expeditions".

Rep. Markey, is the ranking Democrat on the House Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet, and the sponsor of HR 4731, the "Eliminate Warehousing of Consumer Internet Data Act of 2006".

This bill provides that "An owner of an Internet website shall destroy, within a reasonable period of time, any data containing personal information if the information is no longer necessary for the purpose for which it was collected or any other legitimate business purpose, or there are no pending requests or orders for access to such information pursuant to a court order."

The bill also would also give the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) civil enforcement authority. Violations would constitute unfair or deceptive acts under the FTC Act.

While Rep. Markey introduced this bill on February 8, 2006, his latest statement follows America Online's disclosure that it released a database of users' online search histories, without authorization from users.

HR 4731 recites in its findings that "Certain information about Internet searches or website visits conducted from a particular computer can be obtained and stored by websites or search engines, and can be traced back to individual computer users."

Also, while Rep. Markey seeks to limit data retention, the Department of Justice (DOJ) is urging the Congress to enact legislation that would mandate the retention of certain data by service providers that they do not currently retain. See for example, April 20, 2006, speech by Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, and story titled "Gonzales Proposes Data Retention Mandate, Web Site Labeling, and Ban on Deceptive Source Code" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 1,357, April 25, 2006.

Rep. Markey's bill also states that "Consumers have an ownership interest in their personal information".

John Locke wrote in his Second Treatise on Government (Chapter 5) that "every man has a property in his own person".

CDT Reports that Well Known Companies Pay to Have Their Ads Displayed Via Harmful Adware

8/9. The Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT) released a report [28 pages in PDF] titled "Following the Money II: The Role of Intermediaries in Adware Advertising".

This report states that "Potentially harmful advertising software has grown from an annoying computing issue into a serious computer security risk. Well-known companies are helping to spread this unwanted adware, often unwittingly, by paying to have their ads displayed by nuisance or harmful adware programs. Many high-profile companies are unaware of this problem because the chain of intermediaries involved in moving ads from marketers to adware applications can be incredibly complex."

The report does not identify these well know companies.

The CDT's Ari Schwartz stated in a release that "It's deeply frustrating that legitimate companies continue to willingly do business with adware distributors known to be engaged in unethical, and in some cases illegal, distribution practices ... Clearly these companies haven't gotten the message about how fed up consumers are with adware and spyware. I can't understand why any legitimate company would risk tarnishing its brand by association with such practices."

The report provides a summary participants of the online advertising industry and their activities.

It also contains recommendations for marketers, ad agencies and intermediaries to follow, such as "Having a policy that explicitly states which ad placements are considered acceptable will provide a standard to which all advertising partners can be held" and requiring "all advertising partners by contract to adhere to those policies. All partners must also require their partners to include these ad placement terms in their contracts with their partners, essentially forcing the contractual bind all the way down the advertising chain."

Sen. Hagel Bill Ties Foreign Assistance to Anti-Counterfeiting Measures

8/3. Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE) introduced S 3800, the "Stop Assistance to Counterfeiters Act", a bill that would condition foreign assistance on certification that the recipient will not use the assistance to traffic in goods or services that contain counterfeit trademarks.

Sen. Chuck HagelSen. Hagel (at left) stated in a release that "It is outrageous that U.S. foreign assistance are being provided to individuals or organizations that engage in counterfeiting practices. This common sense bill will help U.S. companies, like Gallup, compete fairly to provide goods and services abroad". Gallup USA is based in Nebraska.

This bill is similar, but not identical, to HR 5249, introduced by Rep. Lee Terry (R-NE) on April 27, 2006.

S 3800 would amend the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 to provide that "assistance may not be provided to a person seeking United States assistance for a fiscal year until such person submits to the President a certification" that "such assistance will not be used to intentionally traffic in goods or services that contain counterfeit marks", that "such assistance will not be used by any person that has had an administrative or judicial determination issued against the person for infringement, counterfeiting, or piracy of intellectual property in the United States or a foreign country", and that "any material or product, including a material or product in electronic form, that was developed, in whole or in part, using such assistance will not be imported into the United States" in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2320 (regarding trafficking in counterfeit goods or services) or 19 U.S.C. § 1526(a).

HR 5249 is limited in scope to "Assistance to a nongovernmental organization". S 3800 elaborates that the "certification requirement ... shall not be applied to assistance provided under this Act or any other Act directly to the government of a foreign country or an entity of such government or to an international organization that is an association of representatives of national governments, including the United Nations." It further provides that a "person seeking United States assistance" means "a person, including an international or domestic organization that is not an association of national governments ..."

While HR 5249 has 60 cosponsors, the House has taken no action on it.

S 3800 was referred to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

More News

8/9. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced in a release that it recommends that "Windows Operating Systems users apply Microsoft security patch MS06-040 as quickly as possible. This security patch is designed to protect against a vulnerability that, if exploited, could enable an attacker to remotely take control of an affected system and install programs, view, change, or delete data, and create new accounts with full user rights." See also, Microsoft's web page titled "Microsoft Security Bulletin MS06-040" for more information, and to download the patch. See also, United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) notice.

8/3. Sen. Richard Durbin (D-IL) introduced S 3820. the "Broadband for Rural America Act of 2006". It was referred to the Senate Commerce Committee.

Washington Tech Calendar
New items are highlighted in red.
Thursday, August 10

The House will next meet at 2:00 PM on Wednesday, September 6. See, Republican Whip Notice.

The Senate will next meet at 11:00 AM on Tuesday, September 5.

Day two of a three day continuing legal education (CLE) seminar hosted by the American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA) titled "Practical Patent Prosecution for New Lawyers". See, notice [PDF]. For more information, call 703-415-0780. Location: Hilton Crystal City, 2399 Jefferson Davis Highway, Arlington, VA.

Friday, August 11

Day three of a three day continuing legal education (CLE) seminar hosted by the American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA) titled "Practical Patent Prosecution for New Lawyers". See, notice [PDF]. For more information, call 703-415-0780. Location: Hilton Crystal City, 2399 Jefferson Davis Highway, Arlington, VA.

5:00 PM. Deadline to submit comments to the National Institute of Standards and Technology's (NIST) Computer Security Division regarding its draft [11 pages in PDF] of Special Publication 800-96, titled "PIV Card / Reader Interoperability Guidelines".

Tuesday, August 15

1:00 - 3:00 PM. The Department of State's (DOS) International Telecommunication Advisory Committee will meet to prepare for ITU Radiocommunication Sector's Special Committee on Regulatory/Procedural Matters that will take place on December 4-8, 2006, in Geneva, Switzerland. See, notice in the Federal Register, May 4, 2006, Vol. 71, No. 86, at Pages 26397-26398. Location: Boeing Company, 1200 Wilson Blvd., Arlington, VA.

6:00 - 9:15 PM. Day one of a two day continuing legal education (CLE) seminar titled "Software Patent Primer: Acquisition, Exploitation, Enforcement and Defense" hosted by the DC Bar Association. The speakers will include Stephen Parker (Novak Druce), Brian Rosenbloom (Rothwell Figg Ernst & Manbeck), David Temeles (Temeles & Temeles), and Martin Zoltick (Rothwell Figg). The price to attend ranges from $95-$170. For more information, call 202-626-3488. See, notice and notice. Location: D.C. Bar Conference Center, 1250 H Street NW, B-1 Level.

Wednesday, August 16

6:00 - 9:15 PM. Day two of a two day continuing legal education (CLE) seminar titled "Software Patent Primer: Acquisition, Exploitation, Enforcement and Defense" hosted by the DC Bar Association. For more information, call 202-626-3488. See, notice and notice. Location: D.C. Bar Conference Center, 1250 H Street NW, B-1 Level.

Friday, August 18

Deadline to submit comments to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers' (ICANN) General Names Supporting Organization (GNSO) regarding its report titled "GNSO Initial Report: Introduction of New Generic Top-Level Domains". See, request for comments.

People and Appointments

8/9. President Bush named Brent McIntosh to be Associate Counsel to the President. He was previously a Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Department of Justice's (DOJ) Office of Legal Policy (OLP). He has worked on confirmation of judicial nominees. Also, on May 24, 2006, he testified before the House Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Crime regarding HR 4239, the "Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act". See, prepared testimony [PDF]. See, White House release.

8/9. President Bush named Neal Burnham to be Special Assistant to the President for White House Management. He was previously a Deputy Assistant Secretary at the Department of Commerce. See, White House release.

8/9. President Bush named Gregory Jacob to be Special Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy. He was previously Deputy Solicitor of Labor at the Department of Labor. See, White House release.

8/9. Jeff Joseph will leave the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), effective August 30, 2006. He is the CEA's VP for Communications and Strategic Relations. He will join the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO). See, CEA release.

August Recess Reading List

8/9. Readers may find some of the following recently published technology related books appropriate reading material for the August recess.

Accelerating the Globalization of America: The Role for Information Technology [Amazon] by Catherine Mann and Jacob Kirkegaard. Most of this book is also available in eight PDF files in the web site of the Institute for International Economics (IIE). Published June 15, 2006, by the IIE.

Creating Breakthrough Innovations (Results-Driven Manager)" [Amazon], published by Harvard Business School Press on June 30, 2006.

Identity Crisis: How Identification Is Overused and Misunderstood [Amazon], by Jim Harper (Cato Institute), published by Cato in May, 2006. See also, Cato book sale page.

Nanotechnology Regulation And Policy Worldwide [Amazon], by Jeffrey Matsuura, published by Artech House Publishers on June 30, 2006.

Net Neutrality or Net Neutering: Should Broadband Internet Services be Regulated?, a collection of essays edited by Tom Lenard and Randy May (Progress and Freedom Foundation), and published by Springer Science and Business Media in July, 2006.

Spoiling for a Fight: The Rise of Eliot Spitzer" [Amazon], by Washington Post writer Brooke Masters, published by Times Books on July 25, 2006.

The Wealth of Networks: How Social Production Transforms Markets and Freedom [Amazon], by Yochai Benkler (Yale Law School), published by Yale University Press on May 16, 2006.

Who Controls the Internet?: Illusions of a Borderless World" [Amazon], by Jack Goldsmith (Harvard Law School) and Timothy Wu (Columbia Law School), published by Oxford University Press on March 17, 2006.

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