|Bush Discusses Surveillance, FISA and HR
10/3. President Bush gave a
El Dorado Hills, California, at a campaign event for
Rep. John Doolittle (R-CA). Bush
addressed government surveillance as a partisan issue in election politics.
He said that "our people need the tools necessary to protect you. And that's
why I established the Terrorist Surveillance Program, to monitor terrorist
communications coming into this country and out of this country."
He continued that "On each of these programs -- the Patriot Act, and the
Terrorist Surveillance Program, and the legislation to authorize aggressive
interrogation of terrorists -- the Democrats say they share our goals, but when
it comes time to vote, they have consistently opposed giving our personnel the
tools they need to protect us. And this is an issue in this campaign."
The House approved
the "Electronic Surveillance Modernization Act", sponsored by Rep. Heather
Wilson (R-NM), on September 28, 2006. The House vote was 232-191. Republicans
voted 214-13, while Democrats voted 18-177. See,
Call No. 502.
However, the Senate has not approved this as a stand alone bill. Moreover, this bill
was not inserted into any of the conference reports that the House and Senate both approved
just before adjourning for the elections on September 30, 2006.
See also, the House Judiciary Committee's
(HJC) report, House Report No. 109-680,
Part I and
And see, letter
[PDF] of various groups opposed to the bill, and
critique [PDF] written
by the Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT).
Bush stated in his speech on October 3 that "I know you're familiar with the program
of the National Security Agency called the Terrorism Surveillance Program that I installed.
I did so to protect you. The philosophy behind the program is pretty clear, pretty simple to
understand: If al Qaeda or an al Qaeda associate is calling into the United States, we want
to know why. We want to know their intentions. We want to be able to prevent an attack."
"People say, well, how do you know they're al Qaeda? Well, a lot of times,
we're picking up information on the battlefield -- say, one of these people we
pick up has got a phone number on their possession and it happens to be a U.S.
phone number", said Bush.
"Last week, when the legislation providing additional authority for the
Terrorist Surveillance Program came before the House of Representatives, 177
Democrats voted against listening in on terrorist communications. See, it's a
clear position. It's a clear signal of how they view the world in which they
live. I'm not saying these people are not patriotic; they are. I'm not saying
they don't love America; they do. They just see the world differently. And it's
an important issue in this campaign as to how we see the world."
Bush concluded that "I see the world as a dangerous place. I see the world with
enemies coming to try to hurt us. I see our most important job is to protect you. And,
therefore, we will give our folks on the front line of terror the tools necessary to do
Bush also spoke at length about the interrogation of terrorists.
Democratic Opposition to the FISA Bill.
Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), the
ranking Democrat on the HJC, spoke in opposition to HR 5825 in the House on
September 28. He said that "we support our government intercepting each and
every conversation involving al Qaeda and its supporters. But I cannot support
legislation that not only fails to bring the warrantless surveillance program
under the law, but dramatically expands the administration's authority to
conduct warrantless surveillance on innocent Americans."
Rep. Conyers (at right) said that
"This is the Bush bill. It is amazing to me that we would even be taking up a law that
fails to regulate the present domestic spying program. Nearly 9 months after we first
learned from the New York Times that there was a warrantless surveillance program going on,
and we did not know it until then, there has been no attempt to conduct an independent
inquiry into its legality."
He added that "Not only has the Congress failed to conduct any sort of
investigation, but the administration summarily rejected all requests for a
special counsel or Inspector General review, and when the Office of Professional
Responsibility finally opened an investigation, the President of the United
States himself squashed it by denying the investigators security clearances."
Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), a
senior member of the HJC, decried "the right to spy on Americans in the United
States without a warrant from a court". He stated in the House that "It is also
a dangerous and easily abused power. We have plenty of experience with the abuse
of that power. Remember J. Edgar Hoover wiretapping Martin Luther King, for
example. That is why we have a Constitution. That is why we have courts. That is
why we have checks and balances. That is why we have legal controls on the
executive branch, not to protect the bad guys but to protect the rest of us from
abuses of power."
Rep. Doolittle. Rep. Doolittle is perhaps best know in the tech sector
for his cosponsorship of
HR 1201, the
"Digital Media Consumers' Rights Act of 2005". This bill would create a fair use
exception to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act's (DMCA) ban on circumvention.
President Bush did not comment on this bill, or its subject matter, in this speech.
The lead sponsor is Rep. Rick Boucher
(D-VA). Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) is the
third original cosponsor. This bill has not been approved by any committee or
subcommittee. It is adamantly opposed by the music and movie industries.
Rep. Doolittle voted for HR 5825.
|House and Senate Approve Port Security Bill
With Tech Provisions
9/30. The House and Senate both approved the conference report on
the "Port Security Improvement Act of 2006", just before adjourning for the
The House had approved a much different version of the bill back on May 4, 2006. The
Senate amended and approved the bill on September 14, 2006. This article does not address
the provisions related to port security. Rather, this article addresses VOIP communications,
the WARN Act, and the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act.
IP Enabled VOIP Communications. The September 14 version of the bill
had included the "IP-Enabled Voice Communications and Public Safety Act of 2006".
However, this is not in the conference report.
There remains a hypothetical, but unlikely, possibility that the Senate will approve this
as a stand alone bill after the November 7 elections in the lame duck session.
See also, story
titled "Summary of 911 VOIP Provisions in Senate's Port Security Bill" in TLJ
Daily E-Mail Alert No. 1,453, September 20, 2006.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has a proceeding titled
"E911 Requirements for IP-Enabled Service Providers". See especially, its "First Report and
Order and Notice of Proposed Rulemaking" [90 pages in PDF], numbered FCC 05-116 in
Docket Nos. 04-36 and 05-196, adopted on May 19, 2005, and released on June 3, 2005.
The FCC's order extended 911/E911 regulation to interconnected VOIP service
providers. It also imposed draconian notice and service termination requirements
on interconnected VOIP service providers. However, it did not require local
exchange carriers to interconnect with VOIP service providers, or state any
other incumbent local exchange carriers (ILEC) obligations to VOIP service
providers. Nor did it provide that VOIP service providers have any right of
access to emergency facilities such as 911/E911 call centers, most of which are
owned by ILECs. Nor did it extend immunity to VOIP service providers
WARN Act. Sen. Jim DeMint
S 1753, the
"Warning, Alert, and Response Network Act", or "WARN Act", on September
22, 2005. The Senate Commerce Committee (SCC)
amended and approved this as a stand alone bill on October 20, 2005. See, story titled
"Senate Commerce Committee Approves WARN Act" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No.
1,238, September 24, 2006. The September 14 version of the port security bill included a
version of S 1753. See, story titled "Senate Adopts National Alert System
Amendment" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 1,449, September 14, 2006. The conference
report on the port security bill, as approved by the House and Senate, includes a further
revised version of the WARN Act.
See also, House bills,
HR 5556 and
The conference report approved by the House and Senate provides that "Within 180 days
after the date on which the Commercial Mobile Service Alert Advisory Committee,
established pursuant to section 603(a), transmits recommendations to the Federal
Communications Commission, the Commission shall complete a proceeding to adopt
relevant technical standards, protocols, procedures, and other technical
requirements based on the recommendations of such Advisory Committee necessary
to enable commercial mobile service alerting capability for commercial mobile
service providers that voluntarily elect to transmit emergency alerts. The
Commission shall consult with the National Institute of Standards and Technology
regarding the adoption of technical standards under this subsection."
It also provides that that with 120 days after the FCC
adopts these technical standards, it "shall complete a proceeding -- (A) to
allow any licensee providing commercial mobile service ... to transmit emergency
alerts to subscribers to, or users of, the commercial mobile service provided by
such licensee; (B) to require any licensee providing commercial mobile service
that elects ... not to transmit emergency alerts to provide clear and
conspicuous notice at the point of sale of any devices with which its commercial
mobile service is included, that it will not transmit such alerts via the
service it provides for the device ..."
Then, within 30 days of of this order, "each licensee providing commercial mobile
service shall file an election with the Commission with respect to whether or
not it intends to transmit emergency alerts."
The bill further provides that "Any commercial mobile service licensee
electing to transmit emergency alerts may offer subscribers the capability of
preventing the subscriber's device from receiving such alerts, or classes of
such alerts, other than an alert issued by the President." However, the bill
also requires the FCC to submit a report to the Congress after two years
regarding this provision.
Internet Gambling. The conference report approved by the House and Senate
includes the "Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006". See,
10/3. The Government Accountability Office (GAO)
released a report [PDF] titled
"Information Security: The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Needs to
Improve Controls over Key Communication Network". The GAO examined the
state of information security for the Department of Health and
Human Services' (HHS) Centers for Medicare &
Medicaid Services (CMS), which oversees the Medicare and
Medicaid programs. The GAO report concludes that "Information
security controls over the communication network were ineffective in protecting
the confidentiality and availability of information and information resources."
The report states that "the network had control weaknesses in areas such as user
identification and authentication, user authorization, system boundary
protection, cryptography, and audit and monitoring of security-related events.
Taken collectively, these weaknesses place financial and personally identifiable
medical information transmitted on the network at increased risk of unauthorized
disclosure and could result in a disruption in service."
10/3. The Department of Agriculture's Rural
Utilities Service (RUS) published a
notice in the Federal Register that announces the depreciation rates for
telecommunications plant for the period ending December 31, 2005. See,
Federal Register, October 3, 2006, Vol. 71, No. 191, at Page 58371.
10/3. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) held
a pair of public hearings in California on regulation of media ownership. See,
statement [PDF] of FCC Chairman Kevin Martin,
statement [PDF] of Commissioner Michael Copps,
statement [PDF] of Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein,
statement [PDF] of Commissioner Robert McDowell, and
statement [PDF] of Commissioner Deborah Tate.
9/29. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairman
Chris Cox gave a speech
at the SEC's Government and Business Forum on Small Business Capital Formation in Washington
DC. As usual, he advocated the use of interactive data in SEC filings. He argued that
the use of interactive data by small companies can "improve their analyst coverage"
and "their internal controls". He elaborated that "By permitting analysts to
cover more companies more efficiently, interactive data will help companies with little or
no coverage today to improve their overall visibility to investors. Better research analyst
coverage, in turn, should help smaller companies raise capital at a lower cost."
9/20. The Institute for Policy Innovation (IPI) released
report titled "The True Cost of Motion Picture Piracy to the U.S. Economy".
The author is Stephen Siwek, a principal of
|Washington Tech Calendar
New items are highlighted in red.
|Wednesday, October 4
The House will not meet. It may return from it elections recess on Monday,
November 13, 2006. The adjournment resolution (HConRes 483)
provides for returning on Thursday, November 9, at 2:00 PM.
The Senate will not meet. See,
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.
12:00 NOON - 1:00 PM. The
Heritage Foundation will host a panel discussion
titled "Government 2.0: How Bloggers Claimed Their First Major Policy
Victory". It will address the role of bloggers in the enactment of
the "Federal Funding Accountability Act". The speakers will be Bill Allison
(Sunlight Foundation), N.Z. Bear (Truthlaidbear.com), Rebecca Carr (Cox Newspapers),
Justin Rood (TPMmuckraker.com), Mark Tapscott (Washington Examiner), and Tim Chapman
notice. Location: Heritage, Massachusetts Ave., NE.
12:00 NOON. John
Samples will talk about his book titled
Fallacy of Campaign Finance Reform" [Amazon]. The
Cato Institute's notice of the event does not state
whether or not Samples will discuss use of the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA) to
regulate internet based speech. The other speakers will be
Robert Bauer (Perkins Coie)
and Eliza Carney (National Journal). See,
notice and registration form.
Lunch will be served after the event. Location: Cato
Institute, 1000 Massachusetts Ave., NW.
|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 Dolby’s 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
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),
Becker (Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman), and
(McGuire Woods). The price to attend ranges from $15 to $35. For more information, call
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)
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,
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
|Tuesday, October 10
10:00 AM. The Supreme
Court will hear oral argument in Global Crossing v. Metrophones, Sup.
Ct. No. 05-705, a case regarding whether 47 U.S.C. § 201(b) creates a private right of
action for a provider of payphone services to sue a long distance carrier for alleged
violations of the FCC's regulations concerning compensation for coinless payphone calls.
1:30 - 4:30 PM. The
Department of Homeland Security's (DHS)
Infrastructure Advisory Council (NIAC) will hold a meeting. The agenda includes an
item titled "Convergence of Physical and Cyber Technologies and Related Security
Management Challenges". The speakers will include John Chambers (P/CEO of Cisco
Systems), George Conrades (Executive Chairman of Akamai Technologies), and Gregory Peters
(former P/CEO of Internap Network Services). The NIAC also accepts written public comments.
notice in the Federal Register, September 27, 2006, Vol. 71, No. 187, at
Pages 56541-56542. Location: National Press Club, 529 14th Street, NW.
Deadline to submit reply comments to the
Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in response to
of Proposed Rulemaking [22 pages in PDF] in a new proceeding titled "In the Matter
of Amendment of Section 90.20(e)(6) of the Commission's Rules". This is a reaction to
Lojack's petition for rulemaking relating to the use
of spectrum for stolen vehicle recovery systems (SVRS). The FCC proposes to revise
section 90.20(e)(6) of its rules "to permit increased mobile output power, to permit
digital emissions in addition to the analog emissions currently authorized by the Rules,
and to relax the limitations on duty cycles", among other things. The FCC adopted
this item on July 19, 2006, and released it on July 24, 2006. It is FCC 06-107, in WT
Docket No. 06-142. See,
notice in the Federal Register, August 23, 2006, Vol. 71, No. 163, at
Deadline to submit initial comments to the
Federal Communications Commission's (FCC)
Federal-State Joint Board on Universal Service in response to the FCC's
notice [PDF] requesting comments regarding the use of reverse auctions to determine
high cost universal service funding to eligible telecommunications carriers.
This proceeding is WC Docket No. 05-337 and CC Docket No. 96-45. See,
notice in the Federal Register, August 25, 2006, Vol. 71, No. 165, at
|Wednesday, October 11
6:00 - 8:00 PM. The
Federal Communications Bar Association (FCBA) will host a continuing legal education
(CLE) seminar titled "FCC's Media Ownership Rules". Registrations and
cancellations are due by 5:00 PM on October 9. The price to attend ranges from $50 to
registration form [PDF]. Location: Dow Lohnes,
Suite 800, 1200 New Hampshire Ave., NW.
|About Tech Law Journal
Tech Law Journal publishes a free access web site and
subscription e-mail alert. The basic rate for a subscription
to the TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert is $250 per year. However, there
are discounts for subscribers with multiple recipients. Free one
month trial subscriptions are available. Also, free
subscriptions are available for journalists,
federal elected officials, and employees of the Congress, courts, and
executive branch. The TLJ web site is
free access. However, copies of the TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert are not
published in the web site until one month after writing. See, subscription
P.O. Box 4851, Washington DC, 20008.
Copyright 1998 - 2006 David Carney, dba Tech Law Journal. All