|9th Circuit Holds That Wireless Zoning
Ordinance Violates § 253(a), But This Creates No Private Right Of Action Under §
3/13. The U.S. Court of Appeals
(9thCir) issued its
opinion [33 pages in PDF] in Sprint v. County of San Diego,
affirming the judgment of the District Court that the wireless zoning ordinance
in question is preempted by 47 U.S.C. § 253, but that this violation creates no
private right of action for damages under 18 U.S.C. § 1983.
Sprint Telephony PCS and Pacific Bell Wireless, dba Cingular, provide wireless services.
The County of San Diego enacted a zoning ordinance affecting wireless services, which the
opinion refers to as a wireless telecommunications ordinance, or WTO.
The Court of Appeals offered this summary of the ordinance: "A permit
applicant must: (1) identify the geographic area served by the site, list all of
the applicant’s other sites in the area, and describe why the site is necessary
to the applicant’s network; (2) submit a ``visual impact analysis´´ that describes
the ``maximum silhouette, viewshed analysis, color and finish palette and
proposed screening,´´ and includes simulated photographs of the site; and (3)
create a narrative detailing the site’s height, maintenance, noise emissions,
alternative placement in a preferred site (if the site does not fall within one
of the geographic areas preferred by the County for wireless facilities),
landscaping plan, fire service plan, hazardous materials use, maintenance
personal parking plan (if the site is located in a public right of way), ``a
letter stating the applicant's willingness to allow other carriers to co-locate
on their facilities whenever technically and economically feasible and
aesthetically desirable,´´ and the ``lease area of the proposed facility on the
plot plan.´´ ... The WTO also discusses the general and design regulations
applicable to wireless facilities ..." (Parentheses in original.)
Sprint and Cingular filed a complaint in
U.S. District Court (SDCal) against
the County of San Diego and its county supervisors alleging that the ordinance is
preempted by 47 U.S.C. § 253 and seeking monetary damages under 18 U.S.C. § 1983.
Notably, this is not an action brought under
47 U.S.C. § 332,
which specifically addresses local regulation of wireless services.
On March 22, 2005, the Court issued its
opinion [22 pages in PDF] in Rancho Palos Verdes v. Abrams
holding that an individual who brings an action to enforce the limitations on
state and local authority to regulate the location, construction, and
modification of wireless communications facilities under 47 U.S.C. § 332,
cannot also recover damages under
42 U.S.C. § 1983. See also, story titled "Supreme Court Holds That
Individuals Who Sue Under §332 Cannot Also Recover Damages Under §1983" in
TLJ Daily E-Mail
Alert No. 1,101, March 23, 2005.
The District Court held in the present case that the zoning ordinance is
preempted by § 253, but that violation of § 253 creates no private right of
action under § 1983.
Sprint and Cingular appealed the judgment of the District Court as to § 1983.
The County of San Diego cross-appealed the judgment of the District Court as to § 253.
The Court of Appeals affirmed.
47 U.S.C. § 253 provides, in part, that "No
State or local statute or regulation, or other State or local legal requirement,
may prohibit or have the effect of prohibiting the ability of any entity to
provide any interstate or intrastate telecommunications service." However, it
also contains several limitations upon the scope of this prohibition.
18 U.S.C. § 1983 provides that "Every person who, under color of any
statute, ordinance, regulation, custom, or usage, of any State or Territory or
the District of Columbia, subjects, or causes to be subjected, any citizen of
the United States or other person within the jurisdiction thereof to the
deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution
and laws, shall be liable to the party injured in an action at law, suit in
equity, or other proper proceeding for redress ..."
The Court of Appeals held that "local zoning ordinances
regulating the construction and placement of wireless communications facilities
are within the preemptive scope of § 253(a) (removing barriers). Moreover, the
County’s WTO is outside the scope of permissible land use regulations because it
has the effect of prohibiting wireless communication services. We thus affirm
the decision of the district court that § 253(a) preempts the WTO as a matter of
law." (Parentheses in original.)
It also held that "§ 253(a) does not create a
private right of action enforceable under § 1983".
This case is Sprint Telephony PCS and Pacific Bell Wireless v. County of
San Diego, et al., U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, App. Ct. Nos.
05-56076 and 05-56435, appeals from the U.S.
District Court for the Southern District of California, D.C. No. CV-03-1398-BTM,
Judge Barry Ted Moskowitz presiding. Judge Myron Bright wrote the opinion of the
Court of Appeals, in which Judges Wallace Tashima and Carlos Bea joined.
|Viacom Files Complaint Against Google and
YouTube Alleging Violations of Copyright Law
3/12. Viacom and others filed a
complaint [PDF] in U.S. District Court (SDNY)
against Google and YouTube alleging violation of copyright law in connection with the
operation of a commercial web site that permits users to publish copies of copyrighted works,
The six count complaint alleges direct infringement by public performance, direct
infringement by public display, direct infringement by reproduction, inducement of copyright
infringement, contributory copyright infringement, vicarious copyright infringement.
Google owns YouTube. Viacom International Inc. is a content company. The plaintiffs are
Viacom, and its affiliates, Comedy Partners, Country Music Television, Inc., Paramount
Pictures Corporation, and Black Entertainment Television, LLC.
The plaintiffs are represented by
Donald Verrilli and other attorneys
at the law firm of Jenner & Block. Verrilli also represented content providers before
the Supreme Court in the landmark case of MGM v. Grokster.
On June 27, 2005, the Supreme Court
issued its unanimous
opinion [55 pages in PDF] in MGM v. Grokster, reversing the judgment
of the U.S. Court of Appeals (9thCir)
regarding vicarious copyright infringement by the distributors of peer to peer
(P2P) systems. The Supreme Court held that "one who distributes a device with
the object of promoting its use to infringe copyright, as shown by clear
expression or other affirmative steps taken to foster infringement, is liable
for the resulting acts of infringement by third parties." See,
titled "Supreme Court Rules in MGM v. Grokster" in
TLJ Daily E-Mail
Alert No. 1,163, June 28, 2005.
The complaint states that broadband networks and digital technologies have
"been misused to fuel an explosion of copyright infringement by exploiting the
inexpensive duplication and distribution made possible by digital technology.
Some entities, rather than taking the lawful path of building businesses that
respect intellectual property rights on the Internet, have sought their fortunes
by brazenly exploiting the infringing potential of digital technology."
It continues that "YouTube is one such entity. YouTube has harnessed
technology to willfully infringe copyrights on a huge scale, depriving writers,
composers and performers of the rewards they are owed for effort and innovation,
reducing the incentives of America's creative industries, and profiting from the
illegal conduct of others as well. Using the leverage of the Internet, YouTube
appropriates the value of creative content on a massive scale for YouTube’s
benefit without payment or license. YouTube’s brazen disregard of the
intellectual property laws fundamentally threatens not just Plaintiffs, but the
economic underpinnings of one of the most important sectors of the United States
The complaint states that "YouTube’s website purports to be a forum for users
to share their own original" content, but in reality "a vast amount of that
content consists of infringing copies of Plaintiffs' copyrighted works".
The complaint alleges that the plaintiffs "have identified more than 150,000
unauthorized clips of their copyrighted programming on YouTube that had been
viewed an astounding 1.5 billion times".
The complaint also alleges that "YouTube prevents copyright owners from
finding on the YouTube site all of the infringing works", and that "YouTube has
also implemented features that prevent copyright owners from finding infringing
videos by searching the YouTube site."
The complaint asserts that the "Defendants actively engage in, promote and
induce this infringement. YouTube itself publicly performs the infringing videos
on the YouTube site and other websites. Thus, YouTube does not simply enable
massive infringement by its users. It is YouTube that knowingly reproduces and
publicly performs the copyrighted works uploaded to its site."
"Defendants know and intend that a substantial amount of the content on the
YouTube site consists of unlicensed infringing copies of copyrighted works and
have done little or nothing to prevent this massive infringement. To the
contrary, the availability on the YouTube site of a vast library of the
copyrighted works of Plaintiffs and others is the cornerstone of Defendants’
business plan. YouTube deliberately built up a library of infringing works to
draw traffic to the YouTube site, enabling it to gain a commanding market share,
earn significant revenues, and increase its enterprise value."
The complaint also states that "YouTube has deliberately chosen not to take
reasonable precautions to deter the rampant infringement on its site", and that
"YouTube has deliberately withheld the application of available copyright protection
measures in order to coerce rights holders to grant it licenses on favorable terms."
Viacom stated in a
release that "After a great deal of unproductive negotiation, and remedial efforts
by ourselves and other copyright holders, YouTube continues in its unlawful business model.
Therefore, we must turn to the courts to prevent Google and YouTube from continuing to steal
value from artists and to obtain compensation for the significant damage they have
On March 6, 2007, Thomas Rubin, Microsoft's
Associate General Counsel for Copyright, Trademark and Trade Secrets, gave a
speech in which he stated that Google systematically violates copyright.
See, story titled "Microsoft Counsel Says Google Systematically Violates
Copyright" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 1,547, March 6, 2007.
He primarily addressed Google's copying of books. However, he also said that Google's
YouTube "follows a similar cavalier approach to copyright". He said that
"television companies, movie studios and record labels have all complained that the
site knowingly tolerates piracy. In the face of YouTube’s refusal to take any effective
action, copyright owners have now been forced to resort to litigation. And Google has yet
to come up with a plan to restrain the massive infringements on YouTube".
Gigi Sohn, head of the Public
Knowledge, stated in a release that "Without commenting on the specific allegations
involved, we note that simply because material is ``unauthorized´´ does not make its use
illegal. There are limitations to copyright law, known as fair use, that do not require the
copyright owner’s permission before use of a work. Many of the users of YouTube
who have posted short clips of main-stream media’s works have done so using
their fair use rights, for reasons of criticism, comment, education, and news
reporting. We are confident YouTube and Google will continue to take appropriate
actions in accordance with the safe-harbor provisions of the Digital Millennium
Copyright Act (DMCA). By a previous request of Viacom, YouTube has already
removed some 100,000 clips."
Ed Black, head of the Computer and Communications
Industry Association (CCIA), stated in a release that "This lawsuit represents
another attack on balanced copyright by rightsholder interests who mistakenly believe they
are the sole gatekeepers for how copyrighted works may be used. The fair use doctrine
says otherwise. Much of the content on YouTube represents news, commentary, and
criticism -- these represent the heart of our fair use doctrine."
Black continued that "for
any content that is not protected by fair use, processes exist to resolve
copyright concerns that do not involve firing off lawsuits. These disputes
should be addressed under the carefully balanced notice-and-takedown system
provided for in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. That system relieves
service providers of the impossible obligation to affirmatively monitor the
Black accuses "some
mega-content companies" of seeking "to undo their deal and pressure innovative
internet companies through specious litigation."
|NTIA Releases Converter Box Coupon Program
3/12. The Department of Commerce's (DOC) National
Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) released a
notice [61 pages in PDF] to be published in the Federal Register that announces rules
regarding its Digital-to-Analog Converter Box Coupon Program.
This program is authorized by the Section 3005 Digital Television Transition and Public
Safety Act of 2005, which Act is Title III of the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005, which is
now Public Law No. 109-171.
The Act requires full power television stations
to cease analog broadcasting, and to broadcast solely digital transmissions, after
February 17, 2009. Television broadcasters will return this analog
television spectrum to be auctioned. Proceeds of the auction will be
deposited into a new Treasury fund titled "Digital Television Transition and
Public Safety Fund". The Act also provides that consumers who want to continue
receiving broadcast television over the air using analog only televisions not
connected to cable or satellite service are eligible to receive digital to
analog converter box assistance. The Act directs the NTIA to implement and
administer this program. The just announced rules are part of this
The purpose of this program is to ensure that no television viewers are left without
any television programming when broadcasters complete the transition to digital television.
The NTIA stated in a
release that "Starting Jan. 1, 2008, all U.S. households will be eligible to
request up to two $40 coupons to be used toward the purchase of up to two,
digital-to-analog converter boxes, while the initial $990 million allocated for
the program is available."
It added that "If the initial funds are used up, the Act permits funding to increase
by $510 million, upon certification to Congress that the initial allocated amount is
insufficient to fulfill coupon requests. If the additional funds are needed,
eligibility for those coupons will be limited exclusively to over-the-air-only
television households. Consumers requesting coupons from these contingent funds
must self-certify to NTIA that they do not subscribe to cable, satellite or
other pay television services. This program is structured to monitor demand to
help ensure that over-the-air reliant households will not lose total access to
television broadcasts after the Feb. 17, 2009, transition date."
Rep. John Dingell (D-MI), the Chairman of
the House Commerce Committee, which oversees
the NTIA, stated in a release that "I support the digital television transition
date of February 2009. Unfortunately, NTIA's decision to limit eligible households may
impede a smooth transition, which could delay both getting spectrum to public safety users
and the benefits of advanced wireless technologies to consumers. After the Administration
opposed Democratic efforts to secure sufficient funding in favor of more tax cuts, the
Administration now shows newfound concern that not all households will be covered. If the
Administration believes additional funds are needed to prevent consumers' television sets
from going dark, then it should ask the Congress for such funding."
The NTIA will hold a public meeting at 10:00 AM on Monday, March 19, 2007, to discuss
its just released rules. The meeting will be in the DOC's Auditorium, at 1401 Constitution
|People and Appointments
3/12. Kyle Sampson, the
Chief of Staff at the Department of Justice (DOJ),
resigned, effective March 12, 2007. Sampson had served as Chairman of the DOJ's Task
Force on Intellectual Property. His departure was related to an ongoing
competition between the
Bush administration and Democratic Senators regarding the appointment and
replacement of U.S. Attorneys. See also,
of March 13, 2007, news conference of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.
|Washington Tech Calendar
New items are highlighted in red.
|Wednesday, March 14
The House will meet at 10:00 AM for legislative
business. See, Rep. Hoyer's
weekly calendar [PDF].
8:00 AM. The Federal Communications
Bar Association (FCBA) will host a breakfast. The speaker will be Richard Barth
(Assistant Secretary for Policy Development at the Department of Homeland Security).
The deadline for registrations and cancellations is 5:00 PM on March 8.
The price to attend ranges from $30-$55. See,
[PDF]. Location: Mayflower Hotel, 1127 Connecticut Ave., NW.
9:00 AM. The House Commerce Committee's (HAC)
Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet will hold a hearing titled
"Oversight of the Federal Communications Commission". Location: Room
2123, Rayburn Building.
12:00 NOON - 1:30 PM. The
DC Bar Association will host a panel discussion
titled "Internet Governance 101". The speakers will include
David Gross (Department of State),
Beckwith Burr (Wilmer Hale), Joe Sims
(Jones Day), and Russ Hanser
(Wilkinson Barker Knauer). The price to attend ranges from $15 to
$20. For more information, call 202-626-3463. See,
Location: DC Bar Conference Center, 1250 H St NW B-1 Level.
|Thursday, March 15
The House will meet at 10:00 AM for legislative business. See, Rep. Hoyer's
8:20 AM. Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff will give a speech to the Northern Virginia Technology Council.
Press contact: 202-282-8010. Location: McLean
Hilton, 7920 Jones Branch Drive, McLean, VA.
9:00 AM - 4:30 PM. Catholic University of America's (CUA) law school
will host a conference titled "Content Abundance in a Multimedia World: Challenges
& Opportunities for Multi-Platform Content Delivery & Regulation". See,
[PDF]. Location: CUA, Columbus School of Law, 3600 John McCormick Road, NE.
10:00 AM. The Senate Judiciary
Committee (SJC) may hold a business meeting. The agenda includes consideration of
S 236, the
"Federal Agency Data Mining Reporting Act of 2007". The SJC rarely follows
its published agendas. Press contract: Tracy Schmaler (Leahy) at 202-224-2154 or Courtney
Boone (Specter) at Courtney_Boone at judiciary-rep dot senate dot gov or 202-224-2984.
Location: Room 226, Dirksen Building.
11:00 AM. The House
Commerce Committee's (HCC) Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade, and Consumer Protection
will hold a hearing titled "Combating Spyware: H.R. 964, The Spy Act".
Location: Room 2322, Rayburn Building.
12:00 NOON. Kyle McSlarrow, head of the
National Cable and Telecommunications
Association (NCTA) will hold a news briefing. The NCTA notice states,
"Please contact Pam Ford at 202-222-2356 if you plan on attending". Lunch will
be served. Location: NCTA Headquarters, 25 Massachusetts Ave., NW.
1:00 PM. The House
Ways and Means Committee's Subcommittee on Trade will hold a hearing on
HR 1229, the
"Nonmarket Economy Trade Remedy Act of 2007". Location: Room 1100,
RESCHEDULED FROM MARCH 8. 2:00 - 4:00 PM. The Department
of State's (DOS) International
Telecommunication Advisory Committee (ITAC) will meet to prepare advice on U.S.
positions for the International Telecommunication Union's (ITU) Telecommunication
Standardization Sector Study Group 3 (Tariff and accounting principles
including related telecommunication economic and policy issues). See, original
notice in the
Federal Register, January 11, 2007, Vol. 72, Number 7, at Page 1363. See, rescheduling
notice in the Federal Register, February 12, 2007, Vol. 72, No. 28, at
Pages 6640-6641. Location: AT&T, Suite 210, 1133 21st St., NW.
2:00 - 4:00 PM. The Department of State's (DOS) International
Telecommunication Advisory Committee (ITAC) will meet to prepare advice
for the meeting of the Telecommunication Development Advisory Group (TDAG). See,
notice in the Federal Register: February 12, 2007, Vol. 72, No. 28, at
Pages 6640-6641. Location: DOS, Room 2533A.
Deadline to submit comments to the Office
of the U.S. Trade Representative (OUSTR) regarding the 2005 WTO ministerial decision
on duty free quota free market access for the least developed countries. See,
notice in the Federal Register, January 18, 2007, Vol. 72, No. 11, at
|Friday, March 16
weekly calendar [PDF] states that "no votes are expected in the House".
2:00 PM. The Progress & Freedom
Foundation (PFF) will host a panel discussion titled "What Goes Up Must Come
Down: Copyright and Process in the Age of User-Posted Content". The speakers will
include Jim Delong (PFF moderator), Bill Rosenblatt (DRMWatch and GiantSteps Media
Strategies), Solveig Singleton (PFF), and Don Verrilli (Jenner & Block). See,
notice. Location: Room B340, Rayburn Building, Capitol Hill.
|Saturday, March 17
Saint Patrick's Day.
|Monday, March 19
7:30 AM - 5:00 PM. The Information
Technology Association of America (ITAA) will host an event titled "Beyond
the Beltway 2007: State & Local Government IT Market Watch". See,
Location: Ritz-Carlton, Tysons Corner, McLean, VA.
10:00 AM. The Department of Commerce's (DOC)
National Telecommunications and Information
Administration (NTIA) will hold a public meeting to discuss its just
released DTV coupon program rules. See,
notice [PDF] to be published in the Federal Register. Location: DOC,
Auditorium, 1401 Constitution Ave., NW.
Deadline to submit comments to the U.S.
Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) regarding several proposed rule changes. See,
notice in the Federal Register, February 16, 2007, Vol. 72, No. 32, at
Deadline to submit initial comments to the Federal Communications Commission
(FCC) regarding AT&T's petition for forbearance from enforcement of certain FCC cost
assignment rules. See,
Notice [3 pages in PDF] (DA 07-731). This proceeding is WC Docket No. 07-21.
|Tuesday, March 20
10:30 AM - 12:30 PM. The
House Science Committee's (HSC) Research and Science
Education Subcommittee will hold a hearing titled "National Science Foundation
Reauthorization, Part 1". The witnesses will be Arden Bement (Director of the
National Science Foundation) and Steven Beering (Chairman
of the NSF's National Science Board). Press contact: Alisha Prather at 202-225-6375 or
alisha dot prather at mail dot house dot gov. Location: Room 2318, Rayburn
12:15 - 1:30 PM. The Federal
Communications Bar Association's (FCBA) Common Carrier Practice Committee will host
an event titled "Practice before other agencies: Why it matters and what you
should know". The speakers will be representatives of the NTIA, FTC and DOJ. For
more information, contact Colleen Nunez at cnunez at gci dot com or 202-457-8815. Location:
Sidley Austin, 1501 K Street NW, 6th Floor.
Deadline to submit reply comments to the
Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in response to
Locus Telecommunications, Inc.'s petition for a declaratory ruling that calls to a prepaid
calling card provider’s toll-free customer service numbers are not subject to payphone
compensation or, in the alternative, to initiate a rulemaking. See,
Notice [3 pages in PDF] (DA 07-513). This is proceeding is RM 11354.
|Wednesday, March 21
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM. Day one of a two day public meeting of the
Federal Accounting Standards Advisory Board (FASAB). See,
notice in the Federal Register, July 12, 2006, Vol. 71, No. 133, at Pages
39318. Location: Room 7C13, GAO Building, 441 G St., NW.
12:15 PM. The Federal
Communications Bar Association's (FCBA) Young Lawyers Committee will host
a brown bag lunch titled "The Business of Telecommunications". For more
information, contact Devin Crock at drcock at dc dot bhb dot com, Natalie
Roisman at nroisman at akingump dot com, Chris Fedeli at chrisfedeli at dwt
dot com, or Devin Crock at dcrock at dc dot bhb dot com. Location: Akin Gump,
1333 New Hampshire Ave., NW, 10th Floor.
Deadline to register to attend the Federal
Communications Bar Association's (FCBA) April 10 reception and dinner. The speaker
will be FCC Chairman Kevin
registration form [PDF].
Deadline to submit applications to the Federal Communications Commission
(FCC) to participate in its 2007 Attorney Honors Program. This program is for new
and recent law school graduates and judicial clerks. See, FCC
|DOJ IG Releases Reports on Use of NSLs and
Section 215 Authority
3/9. The Department of Justice's (DOJ) Office of the
Inspector General (OIG) released a
report [30 MB in PDF] titled
"A Review of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Use of National Security Letters",
and a second report [10 MB
in PDF] titled "A Review of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Use of Section
215 Order for Business Records".
Attorney General Alberto Gonzales
gave a speech
on Friday, March 9, 2007, in which he discussed these reports.
Gonzales said, with regard to
national security letters (NSLs), that "the IG found that the FBI did not have
sufficient controls, did not provide adequate training, and failed to follow its own
policies and Attorney General Guidelines."
NSLs enable the government to seize records from internet service providers, phone
companies, banks, credit card companies and other financial entities, without court approval.
§ 505(a) of the USA PATRIOT Act expanded the reach of NSL authority by removing
the requirement that these NSLs pertain to an "agent of a foreign power", and by
allowing NSLs to be used to compel ISPs to produce records about people who use their
services. However, these provisions were not sunsetted, and hence, were not at the center
of the Congressional debates in 2005 and early 2006 over extension of the sunsetted
Nevertheless, the House Judiciary Committee's
(HJC) Subcommittee on Crime did hold a hearing, one topic of which was NSLs, on April 28,
2005. See, story titled "House Crime Subcommittee Holds Hearing on Library and ISP
Records and § 215 of the Patriot Act and National Security Letters" in
TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No.
1,125, April 29, 2005.
Gonzales also discussed the use of NSLs. He said that "an NSL is a letter request
for information held by a third party that is issued by the FBI in connection
with an authorized counterterrorism or counterintelligence investigation."
He continued that "We have had this tool for many years, but previously the letters
had not been used as frequently. In this post-9/11 era, however, with concerns about
terrorists operating inside our borders and the threat of homegrown terror cells, they have
become much more valuable."
He asserted that "We use NSLs to begin to tie together the various threads of the
life of a suspected terrorist -- where he lives, who his friends are, what phone numbers he
is calling most often. In an era when prevention is critical, and time is of the
essence, NSLs are vital to our national security."
Gonzales also commented on the Section 215 report. He said that this report
"confirmed that the Department and the FBI have acted responsibly in exercising
their authority under Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act, which authorizes the
government to obtain business records and other materials through the FISA
Court. The IG reported only two examples where inadvertent errors, one by a case
agent and one by a third party, resulted in the FBI getting more information
than it should have. In both cases the data were either sequestered or
destroyed, and the appropriate oversight authorities were notified."
Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), the Chairman of the
Senate Judiciary Committee (SJC), stated in a
release that "National
Security Letters are a powerful tool, and when they are misused they can do great harm to
innocent people. The government expects Americans to follow the law, but the American people
also have a right to expect that the government follows the law."
He added that "These improper and illegal violations might all be
continuing if it were not for the sunshine provisions about the use of NSLs that
we insisted on adding to the PATRIOT Act. I intend for the Senate
Judiciary Committee to conduct extensive hearings on these findings, their
significance and possible remedies in our ongoing oversight efforts, including
at a hearing with the FBI Director later this month."
Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD), the House
Majority Leader, stated in a release that "I am deeply troubled by the Inspector
General's report finding that the nation's premier law enforcement agency failed to
implement and diligently follow all the controls necessary in obtaining thousands of
financial and communications records."
He added that "President Bush, Attorney General Gonzales, and F.B.I. Director
Mueller owe it to the American people to explain how they will correct the problems detailed
in the report. It is not enough for this Administration to claim that it is upset by today's
disclosures. It must also take full responsibility for the errors that occurred, hold the
appropriate officials accountable for what happened, and, most important, ensure that it
does not happen again."
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) stated in a
NSLs remain "an indispensable investigative tool". Also, FBI Director Mueller
spoke at news conference. See,
transcript. And, AG Gonzales wrote a
[PDF] to the IG, Glen Fine, on March 9, 2007. Finally, the DOJ issued a
3/13. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released a FCC
Notice [PDF] (DA 07-1188) regarding its rural health care pilot subsidy program. The
deadline to submit applications to the FCC for subsidies under this program is May 7,
3/13. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced that it will hold yet another
hearing on regulation of media ownership on Monday, April 30, 2007. See, FCC
This one will be somewhere in the Tampa St. Petersburg, Florida, area.
3/12. The House approved
by voice vote. This untitled bill amends the High-Performance Computing Act of 1991.
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