Tech Law Journal Daily E-Mail Alert
September 29, 2006, Alert No. 1,458.
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WTO Panel Releases Report on EU Biotech Ban

9/29. A World Trade Organization's (WTO) panel issued it report on the complaint submitted by the US, Canada and Argentina against the EU regarding its ban on biotech products. The panel recommended that the EU has acted inconsistently with its obligations under the SPS Agreement. See, Conclusions and Recommendations [21 pages in PDF], and web page with hyperlinks to other parts of the report, in MS Word and PDF.

Susan Schwab, the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), stated in a release that "The WTO has ruled in favor of science-based policymaking over the unjustified, anti-biotech policies adopted in the EU ... After eight years of legal wrangling and stalling by Europe, we are a step closer to clearing barriers faced by U.S. agricultural producers and expanding global use of promising advances in food production."

She also urged the EU "to fully comply with its WTO obligations, and consider all outstanding biotech product applications, and evaluate their scientific merits in accordance with the EUís own laws, without undue delay".

SEC Initiative Would Update Books and Records Requirement for New IT

9/25. Andrew Donohue, Director Securities and Exchange Commission's (SEC) Division of Investment Management, gave a speech in New York, New York, in which he addressed updating the SEC's books and records requirements to take into account new information technologies.

He said that a "major initiative the Division of Investment Management hopes to tackle involves a less exciting, but no less critical issue -- books and records modernization. The investment adviser books and records rule was adopted in the early 1960s". He added that "the rule has not kept up with changes in the industry and thus is in great need of reform".

He continued that "What I envision for this project is a comprehensive review of our books and records requirements, including consideration of the purpose behind each requirement and whether we can obtain the same information in a more meaningful manner. As part of this review, we should consider technologies available today that may assist firms in maintaining and producing records in a cost-effective manner. Many of these technologies were certainly not available four decades ago when the books and records rule was adopted."

Task Force on Child Obesity and Media Formed

9/27. Members of Congress, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), companies and groups formed a group titled "Task Force on Child Obesity and Media".

The members of the task force include the Beverly LaHaye Institute, Children Now, Disney, the Parents Television Council, Sesame Workshop, and the Benton Foundation.

Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KS), an organizer of the task force, stated in a release that "Given the saturation of media in our children's lives, we need to understand how media impacts their health and behavior ... I'm pleased that representatives from the public and private sector are coming together to address the rising rate of childhood obesity and its relationship to media and advertising. I hope this task force helps government, parents, and the business community define how to address childhood obesity."

FCC Chairman Kevin Martin spoke at the event. He stated that "children watch two to four hours of television per day and view 40,000 ads per year. And the majority of these commercials are for candy, cereal, soda and fast food. ... The research linking childhood obesity with media and advertising to children troubles me as a parent and as Chairman of the FCC." See, speech [PDF].

More Capitol Hill News

9/29. The House Commerce Committee's (HCC) Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations held a day long hearing on Thursday, September 28, titled "Hewlett Packard's Pretexting Scandal". The Subcommittee held another four hours of hearings on Friday, September 29. TLJ anticipates publishing stories in the Monday issue on HP's spying scandal, as well as pretexting generally, litigation involving data brokers, HR 4943 (the "Prevention of Fraudulent Access to Phone Records Act"), spyware, and the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.

9/28. The House approved HR 5825, the "Electronic Surveillance Modernization Act" by a vote of 232-191. See, Roll Call No. 502.

9/28. The House approved HR 5418, a bill regarding specialized patent judges, by voice vote. This untitled bill would establish a limited ten year pilot program in a least five U.S. District Courts to develop expertise in judges and court staff in patent and plant variety cases. See also, items titled "HJC Approves Bill Regarding Specialized Patent Judges" and "HR 5418 As Approved by House Judiciary Committee" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 1,449, September 14, 2006.

9/28. Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) introduced S 3967, a bill to require the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) to report on the impact of each free trade agreement. It was referred to the Senate Finance Committee.

9/26. Rep. Geoff Davis (R-KY) and Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX) introduced HR 6183. The Congressional Record describes this as "A bill to amend title II of the Social Security Act to provide for employer data sharing with the Department of Homeland Security regarding employers of employees with mismatched social security account numbers". It was referred to the House Ways and Means Committee.

9/26. Rep. Peter King (R-NY) introduced HR 6189, a  bill to amend the Telemarketing and Consumer Fraud and Abuse Prevention Act to authorize the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to write new rules to establish a requirement that telemarketers shall not make any calls during the hours of 5 and 7 PM. It was referred to the House Commerce Committee.

9/26. Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KS) introduced S 3935, a bill to direct the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to write rules that prohibit deceptive conduct in the rating of video and computer games. It was referred to the Senate Commerce Committee.

People and Appointments

9/29. Rep. Mark Foley (R-FL) resigned. He was a member of the House Ways and Means Committee and its Subcommittee on Trade.

9/29. President Bush announced his intent to nominate Robert Hoyt be General Counsel for the Department of the Treasury. He is currently Associate Counsel to the President. He was previously an attorney at the law firm of Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale & Dorr. See, White House release.

9/27. The Senate Finance Committee (SFC) approved the nomination of John Veroneau to be Deputy United States Trade Representative by a vote of 20-0.

9/27. The Senate Finance Committee (SFC) approved the nomination of Robert Steel to be Under Secretary at the Department of the Treasury by a vote of 20-0.

9/27. The Senate Commerce Committee (SCC) approved the nomination of Cynthia Glassman to be Under Secretary for Economic Affairs at the Department of Commerce. See, SCC release.

9/27. The Senate Commerce Committee (SCC) approved the nomination of Sharon Hays to be Associate Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy. See, SCC release.

More News

9/27. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced in a release that it "has sent letters to 166 advertisers and 77 media outlets warning them that their advertisements targeting Hispanics are potentially deceptive. The ads were spotted during a one-day surf of Spanish-language newspaper, magazine, Internet, radio, and television advertisements ..."

9/27. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed a civil complaint [35 pages in PDF] in U.S. District Court (NDCal) against The Children's Internet, Inc. (TCI), Nasser V. Hamedani, Sholeh A. Hamedani, and others, alleging 10b-5 fraud and numerous other violations of federal securities laws in connection with the sale of stock of TCI. The SEC stated in a release that "the Hamedanis fraudulently induced investors to purchase approximately 2.7 million shares of stock in The Children's Internet, a company which sells subscriptions to a children's internet product, by misrepresenting and omitting key facts." It added that "investors were told, among other things, that the shares could be freely traded and would be listed on a national stock exchange shortly, none of which was true." This case is SEC v. The Children's Internet, Inc., et al., U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, D.C. No. C-06-6003-CW.

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Notice
There was no issue of the TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert on Thursday, September 28, 2006.
Washington Tech Calendar
New items are highlighted in red.
Friday, September 29

The Republican Whip Notice states that the House will meet at 9:00 AM for legislative business.

Target date for the House and Senate to recess until after the November elections.

9:00 AM - 3:30 PM. Day three of a three day meeting of the Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board's (ATBC) Telecommunications and Electronic and Information Technology Advisory Committee. See, notice in the Federal Register, September 12, 2006, Vol. 71, No. 176, at Pages 53629-53630. Location: National Science Foundation, Room II-555, 4201 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA.

TIME AND LOCATION CHANGE. 10:00 AM. The House Commerce Committee's (HCC) Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations will hold a hearing titled "Internet Data Brokers and Pretexting: Who Has Access to Your Private Records?". See, notice. The witnesses will include representatives of the FCC and FTC, John Rooney (P/CEO of U.S. Cellular), Robert Dotson (P/CEO of T-Mobile USA), Stanley Sigman (P/CEO of Cingular Wireless), Scott Ford (P/CEO of Alltel Wireless), Gary Forsee (P/CEO of Sprint Nextel), and Dennis Strigl (P/CEO of Verizon Wireless), and others. Press contact: Terry Lane (Barton) at 202-225-5735. Location: Room 2123, Rayburn Building.

Day three of a three day conference for attorneys who represent media companies titled "Media Law Conference: Protecting the First Amendment in Challenging Times". It is hosted by the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), Newspaper Association of America (NAA), and Media Law Resource Center (MLRC). See, conference web site. Location: Hilton Alexandria Mark Center, Alexandria, VA.

Day one of a three day conference hosted by the Telecommunications Policy Research Conference (TPRC) titled "34th Research Conference on Communication, Information and Internet Policy". At 2:00 PM there will be a panel titled "The Relationship Between Antitrust and Regulation after Trinko and Brand X", and another panel titled "Municipal and Community Wireless Networks". At 4:00 PM, there will be a panel titled "The Promise and Perils of Peer Production: Evaluating Benklerís Wealth of Networks". See, book [Amazon] titled "The Wealth of Networks: How Social Production Transforms Markets and Freedom". At 6:00 PM David Farber (University of Pennsylvania) will give a speech titled "Network Neutrality". See, notice and agenda. Location: George Mason University Law School, Arlington, VA.

Deadline to submit comments to the National Institute of Standards and Technology's (NIST) Computer Security Division regarding its Draft Special Publication 800-101 [98 pages in PDF], titled "Guidelines on Cell Phone Forensics".

Saturday, September 30

Day two of a three day conference hosted by the Telecommunications Policy Research Conference (TPRC) titled "34th Research Conference on Communication, Information and Internet Policy". At 8:30 AM, there will be five different panels, titled "Standards and Technological Change", "European Regulation", "Spectrum Policy I -- New Policy Trends", "Universal Service", and "Television Broadcasting and Media Content I". At 10:40 AM there will be five panels, titled "New Theories of Network Pricing", "Net Neutrality and Open Access I", "Spectrum Policy II -- Spectrum Allocation Models and Tools", "Digital Divide, Affordable Access and Sustainable Development I" and "Television Broadcasting and Media Content II". At 2:00 PM, there will be five panels titled "Externalities and Effective Regulation", "Net Neutrality and Open Access II", "Spectrum Policy III -- Shared Use of Bandwidth", "Digital Divide, Affordable Access and Sustainable Development II", and "Media Concentration and Content Issues". At 4:10 PM, there will be five panels titled "Regulation and Firm Structure", "Understanding Broadband Diffusion", "Municipal Wireless Initiatives", "Service Deployment and Use in Rural & Remote Areas", and "Intellectual Property and Digital Rights I". At 6:30 PM, FCC Commissioner Deborah Tate will give the dinner speech. See, notice and agenda. Location: George Mason University Law School, Arlington, VA.

Deadline to submit comments to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers' (ICANN) Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) regarding its review of practices associated with the technical checks that it performs on data provided by top level domain operators for inclusion in the root zone. See, ICANN notice.

Sunday, October 1

Day three of a three day conference hosted by the Telecommunications Policy Research Conference (TPRC) titled "34th Research Conference on Communication, Information and Internet Policy". At 8:30 AM, there will be five panels, titled "Industry Structure", "Internet, Telephony and the Law", "MVNO: Regulation and Economics", "Municipal and Community Broadband", and "Privacy, Security and e-Business". At 10:40 AM, there will be five panels titled "The State and its Citizens", "Internet Governance", "An Economic Experiment: Congestion in Common Pool Resources", "Access", and "Internet Content Protection and Commerce". See, notice and agenda. Location: George Mason University Law School, Arlington, VA.

Monday, October 2

Yom Kippur.

8:30 AM - 1:30 PM. The President's Committee on the National Medal of Science will hold a closed meeting to discuss the selection of the 2006 National Medal of Science recipients. See, notice in the Federal Register, August 10, 2006, Vol. 71, No. 154, at Page 45862. Location: Room 1235, National Science Foundation, 4201 Wilson Blvd, 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 Special Publication 800-78-1 [22 pages in PDF] titled "Cryptographic Standards and Key Sizes for Personal Identity Verification".

5:00 PM. Deadline to submit comments to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) regarding its Special 301 review of the nations of Canada, Latvia and Saudi Arabia. The Trade Act of 1974 requires the USTR to identify countries that deny adequate and effective protection of intellectual property rights or deny fair and equitable market access to U.S. persons who rely on intellectual property protection. See, notice in the Federal Register, August 23, 2006, Vol. 71, No. 163, at Pages 49491-49492.

Tuesday, October 3

10:00 AM. The U.S. Court of Appeals (FedCir) will hear oral argument in Immersion v. Sony Computer, an appeal from the U.S. District Court (NDCal) in a patent infringement case involving the technology used in the controller in Sony PlayStation consoles. This case is App. Ct. No. 2005-1227 and D.C. No. C-02-071 CW (WDB). Location: Courtroom 201, 717 Madison Place, NW.

10:00 AM - 1:30 PM. The American Enterprise Institute (AEI) will host a program titled "The World Trading System after the Collapse of Doha: The WTO, Developing Countries, and Regionalism". There will be a panel discussion at 10:00 AM. The speakers will include Grant Aldonas (recently Under Secretary of Commerce), Claude Barfield (AEI), Daniel Drezner (Tufts University), and Daniel Tarullo (Georgetown University Law Center). U.S. Trade Representative Susan Schwab will give the luncheon address. See, notice. Location: 12th floor, 1150 17th St., NW.

3:00 - 5:00 PM. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) will host a roundtable on interactive data. The speakers will include Chris Cox (SEC Chairman), Indra Nooyi (CEO of PepsiCo), Terry Savage (Chicago Sun-Times), Alfred Berkeley (Pipeline Trading Systems), Robert Blake (Rivet Software), Timothy Bray (Sun Microsystems), Martijn Cremers (Yale School of Management), William Diefenderfer (enumerate Solutions), Darren Duffy (Lipper Inc.), and Frank Hodge (University of Washington). The SEC also seeks written comments. See, notice and notice. Location: SEC, auditorium, 100 F Street, NE.

Wednesday, October 4

11:00 AM - 12:00 NOON. The Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) WRC-07 Advisory Committee will meet to discuss preparations for the 2007 World Radiocommunication Conference. See, notice in the Federal Register, September 6, 2006, Vol. 71, No. 172, at Page 52544. Location: FCC, Room TW-C305, 445 12th Street, SW.

Thursday, October 5

8:00 AM - 11:30 AM. The Information Technology Association of America (ITAA), Federal Communications Bar Association (FCBA), Kirkpatrick Lockhart Nicholson Graham (KLNG), and Washington Metropolitan Area Corporate Counsel Association (EMACCA) will host a continuing legal education (CLE) seminar titled "Media, Telecom & Technology Convergence". The speakers will be Joe Bogdan (World Wrestling Entertainment), Lawrence Cooper (BET Holdings), Susan Fox (The Walt Disney Company), Anne Hoge (Yahoo), Kevin Kuzas (Comcast Interactive Media), Ross Vincenti (Sprint Nextel), and Ted Stern (Amazon.com). See, notice. For more information, contact Nikki Stevens at 202-778-9341 or nstevens at klng dot com. Location: KLNG, 1601 K St., NW.

10:00 AM. The U.S. Court of Appeals (FedCir) will hear oral argument in Safeclick v. Visa International Service Association. This is an appeal from the U.S. District Court (NDCal) in a patent infringement case involving a patent pertaining to authentication of the identity of a payment cardholder in an online transaction. This is case is App. Ct. No. 2006-1227 and D.C. No. 03-5865. Location: Courtroom 201, 717 Madison Place, NW.

10:00 AM. The U.S. Court of Appeals (FedCir) will hear oral argument in Dolby Laboratories v. Lucent Technologies. This is an appeal from the U.S. District Court (NDCal) in a patent infringement case involving Dolbyís AC-3 technology. This is case is App. Ct. No. 2006-1053. Location: Courtroom 203, 717 Madison Place, NW.

10:00 AM - 12:00 NOON. The Department of State's (DOS) Advisory Committee on International Communications and Information Policy will meet. The agenda includes (1) the USG telecommunications/ICT consultations in Tokyo on October 16-18, 2006, and in Beijing on October 19-20, 2006; (2) the International Telecommunication Union Plenipotentiary Conference on November 6-24, 2006; (3) the Internet Governance Forum on October 30-November 2, 2006; (4) the U.S.-India Working Group Meeting on December 14-15, 2006; and (5) the U.S. domestic public safety radio communications coordination in United States border regions. See, notice in the Federal Register, September 22, 2006, Vol. 71, No. 184, at Pages 55542-55543. Preregistration by 5:00 PM on October 2 is a prerequisite for attending this meeting. Location: Loy Henderson Auditorium, Truman Building, 2201 C Street, NW.

12:00 NOON - 2:00 PM. The DC Bar Association will host a panel discussion titled "Developments in U.S. Policies and Procedures Concerning Exports to the PRC". The speakers will include Matthew Borman (Deputy Assistant Secretary for Export Administration, Bureau of Industry and Security), William Reinsch (National Foreign Trade Council), Stephan Becker (Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman), and Debra Cheng (McGuire Woods). The price to attend ranges from $15 to $35. For more information, call 202-626-3463. See, notice. Location: D.C. Bar Conference Center, 1250 H Street NW, B-1 Level.

5:00 PM. Deadline to submit comments to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) regarding its Draft Special Publication 800-76-1 [33 pages in PDF] titled "Biometric Data Specification for Personal Identity Verification".

Day one of a two day conference hosted by the Association of American Publishers' (AAP) School Division and the Software & Information Industry Association's (SIIA) Education Division titled "School Technology Summit on K-12 Digital Content: Evolving Models and Markets". See, notice. Prices vary. Location: Renaissance Hotel, 999 Ninth St., NW.

2:00 - 3:30 PM. The Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT) will host a panel discussion event titled "Warehousing Consumers' Online Travels to Catch Child Predators and Terrorists". The panelists will include Jim Halpert (DLA Piper) and David Sobel (Electronic Freedom Foundation). For more information, contact Danielle Yates at dyates at netcaucus dot org or 202-638-4370. Location: Mike Mansfield Room, U.S. Capitol Building.

Friday, October 6

Day two of a two day conference hosted by the Association of American Publishers' (AAP) School Division and the Software & Information Industry Association's (SIIA) Education Division titled "School Technology Summit on K-12 Digital Content: Evolving Models and Markets". See, notice. Prices vary. Location: Renaissance Hotel, 999 Ninth St., NW.

Deadline to submit comments to the National Institute of Standards and Technology's (NIST) Computer Security Division regarding its Draft Special Publication 800-45A [143 PDF], titled "Guidelines on Electronic Mail Security".