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May 3, 2007, Alert No. 1,574.
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Rep. Frank Introduces Bill to Facilitate Licensed Internet Gambling

4/26. Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) and others introduced HR 2046, the "Internet Gambling Regulation and Enforcement Act of 2007".

The bill would provide for the licensing of operators of internet gambling facilities by the Department of the Treasury's (DOT) Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN).

Rep. Barney FrankThe bill would not repeal the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA), the recently enacted law that targets the financial transactions associated with internet gambling. Rather, Rep. Frank (at left) said in a release that the UIGEA needs to be "undone".

The bill would exempt from the provisions of the UIGEA financial transactions with licensed operators of internet gambling facilities.

The bill does not expressly repeal or amend the federal Wire Act, or preempt any state laws banning any types of gambling or internet gambling. However, the bill provides that "It shall be a defense against any prosecution or enforcement action under any Federal or State law against any person possessing a valid license under this subchapter that the activity is authorized under and has been carried out lawfully under the terms of this subchapter".

The bill allows states (as well as Indian tribes) to prohibit internet gambling within their borders. It also empowers sports leagues to prohibit gambling on their sporting events.

Rep. Frank's summary of HR 2046 [PDF] states that this bill "would establish a federal regulatory and enforcement framework under which Internet gambling operators could obtain licenses authorizing them to accept bets and wagers from individuals in the U.S., on the condition that they maintain effective protections against underage gambling, compulsive gambling, money laundering and fraud, and enforce prohibitions or restrictions on types of gambling prohibited by states, Indian Tribes, and sporting leagues."

Rep. Frank's release also states that "Traditional forms of legalized gambling already exist in nearly every state. By continuing to prohibit Internet gambling in the U.S., the U.S. has left Americans who choose to gamble online without meaningful consumer protections. The proposed legislation would institute practical and enforceable standards to bring transparency to Internet gambling and provide consumers the protections they expect and deserve."

The bill would add a new subchapter, titled "Regulation of Unlawful Internet Gambling", to Title 31 of the U.S. Code, which addresses financial services.

Opposition. Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) has long advocated legislation to ban internet gambling. He stated in a release on April 26, 2007, that "I will strongly oppose any efforts to ease or remove the mechanisms that our state and federal authorities have long sought to help enforce existing laws prohibiting online gaming."

Sen. Jon KylSen. Kyl (at left) also released a short essay on April 30, 2007, expressing his opposition to internet gambling in general, and HR 2046 in particular.

He wrote that "Online gambling is already illegal under existing federal and state laws. The UIGEA simply provides the legal mechanisms necessary for authorities to enforce those laws. Principally, the UIGEA requires financial systems to block fund transfers associated with illegal Internet gambling, which is the most effective way to curb illegal activities of offshore websites beyond the reach of traditional law enforcement."

He added that "There is an attempt underway by Congressman Barney Frank to remove the online gambling enforcement mechanisms provided by the UIGEA. I oppose efforts to remove the tools that our state and federal authorities have long sought to help enforce existing laws prohibiting any form of online gambling."

Rep. Bob GoodlatteTLJ spoke with Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) (at right), who has long been a leader of efforts in the House to ban internet gambling.

He opposes HR 2046, and added that "Congress will steer clear" of it.

He said that Rep. Frank "wants to go in the opposite direction" of the legislation enacted last year. He added that "to try to help these offshore sites suck money out of the country" is not in the best interests of the U.S.

Anti Internet Gambling Legislation in 109th Congress. Last year the Congress enacted the " Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act" (UIGEA). Ultimately, it was not approved as a stand alone bill, but rather a one component of the unrelated port security bill, which both the House and Senate approved on September 29, 2006.

The larger bill was HR 4954 (109th Congress), the "Port Security Improvement Act of 2006". It is now Public Law No. 109-347. Title VIII of this bill is the UIGEA. See, story titled "House and Senate Approve Port Security Bill With Tech Provisions" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 1,461, October 4, 2006.

The UIGEA is an attempt to stop internet gambling by regulating the financial transactions that fund what already constitutes unlawful internet gambling. It provides that no one engaged in the "business of betting or wagering" may knowingly accept certain financial transactions, including checks, electronic fund transfers, and credit card debt, in connection with "unlawful Internet gambling".

The UIGEA then requires the Department of the Treasury (DOT) and the Federal Reserve Board (FRB) to write regulations that require each "designated payment system" to identify and block these restricted transactions through the establishment of policies and procedures. It requires each "financial transaction provider" to comply with these DOT/FRB regulations.

The House had previously passed the UIGEA as a stand alone bill, HR 4411 (109th), on July 11, 2006. The vote was 317-93. See, Roll Call No. 363. Republicans voted 201-17. Democrats voted 115-76. Former Rep. Jim Leach (R-IA), who was the sponsor of HR 4411, lost his bid for re-election in November of 2006.

See also, story titled "House Approves Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 1,408, July 11, 2006, and story titled "House Financial Services Committee Approves Internet Gambling Bill" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 1,330, March 16, 2006.

There was also an attempt in the 109th Congress, as in previous Congresses, to enact legislation dealing with criminal prohibitions related to internet gambling. The bill in the 109th Congress was HR 4777, the "Internet Gambling Prohibition Act", sponsored by Rep. Goodlatte.

On May 3, 2006, the House Judiciary Committee's (HJC) Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security approved this bill by voice vote, without amendment.  See also, story titled "House Crime Subcommittee Approves Internet Gambling Prohibition Act" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 1,364, May 5, 2006. The full Committee amended and approved the bill on May 25, 2006. However, this bill did not become law.

HR 2046: FinCen. One of the main functions of the just introduced bill, HR 2046, is the creation of a licensing regime to be administered by the FinCEN.

The bill would allow financial institutions to provide services to internet gambling facilities that are licensed by the DOT's FinCen, and would allow certain operations of internet gambling facilities that are licensed by the DOT's FinCen.

The FinCEN is a unit of the DOT with about 300 employees. It currently works with law enforcement agencies, other financial services regulatory agencies, and financial services providers to combat criminal money laundering.

FinCen does not currently have the resources or expertise to assume the role of an effective sectoral licensor and regulator for the internet gambling industry. Although, FinCen does have expertise regarding financial transactions.

The bill would give the FinCEN rulemaking authority, licensing and license revocation authority. The bill states that the funding of the new licensing regime would be provided by license fees.

Rep. Goodlatte told TLJ that this regulatory regime would be "a totally foreign experience for" the FinCEN. He elaborated that internet gambling is associated with the social problems of gambling addiction, gambling by minors, family problems, bankruptcies, and organized crime. He said that the Department of the Treasury is not qualified to handle these problems.

HR 2046: Licensing Regime. The bill would add a new Section 5383 to Title 31. It provides that "No person shall engage in the business of Internet betting or wagering in the United States without a license issued by the Director in accordance with this subchapter".

To obtain a license, the applicant must agree "to be subject to United States jurisdiction and all applicable United States laws relating to Internet gambling activities".

The licensee must also maintain various mechanisms and safeguards to, among other things, "ensure that the individual placing a bet or wager is 18 years of age or older", "ensure that all taxes relating to Internet gambling due to Federal and State governments and to Indian tribes from persons engaged in Internet gambling are collected", "combat fraud and money laundering", "combat compulsive Internet gambling", and "protect the privacy and security of any person engaged in Internet gambling".

The primary enforcement mechanism under this bill would likely be the FinCEN's decisions to grant and revoke licenses.

Rep. Goodlatte told TLJ that HR 2046 would attempt to create "a totally unworkable scheme". For example, he said that "there is no technology that exists" to ensure that someone placing bets is at least 18 years old, or outside of a particular state.

HR 2046: Financial Activities, Payment Processing, and Investment Banking. The bill would add a new Section 5384 to Title 31 that provides exemption from the prohibition of the UIGEA for entities that provide financial activities and transactions, including payment and transaction processing activities, or  investment banking services.

It provides that "No financial institution shall be held liable for engaging in financial activities and transactions for or on behalf of a licensee or involving a licensee, if such activities are performed in compliance with this subchapter and with applicable Federal, State, and foreign banking laws and regulations."

It also provides that "No person shall be held liable for engaging in payments processing activities for or on behalf of a licensee or involving a licensee, if such activities are performed in compliance with this subchapter.

It further provides that "No person shall be held liable for engaging in investment banking activities for or on behalf of a licensee or involving a licensee, if such activities are performed in compliance with this subchapter, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, the Securities Act of 1933 Act, the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and any other applicable laws governing securities."

Rep. Frank's summary of the bill states that "Investment banks, financial institutions and payment processors that provide services to Internet gambling operators licensed under the Act would be protected from liability for such services."

HR 2046 would not repeal the UIGEA. Moreover, for internet gambling transactions involving unlicensed operators, and operators whose licenses have been revoked, the UIGEA would remain applicable.

HR 2046: State Laws. HR 2046 would add a new Section 5385 to Title 31 that provides for the preservation of certain state authority.

It provides that "No Internet gambling licensee may engage, under any license issued under this subchapter, in the business of Internet betting or wagering in any State which prohibits such business within such State if the Governor or other chief executive officer of such State informs the Director of such prohibition ..."

Rep. Frank's summary of the bill states that "Individual states and Indian tribes would have the option to prohibit or impose limits in whole or in part on Internet gambling within their borders."

Rep. Goodlatte told TLJ that this is unworkable. He noted that some states, like Utah, will assert a complete ban, while others, like Nevada, will permit many forms of gambling. He said that under the proposed regulatory regime of HR 2046, the internet gambling entity will "need to know where the  person is placing the bet", but this will be impossible with wireless devices. Hence, this bill would "upend all of the state gambling laws".

HR 2046: Sports Leagues. HR 2046 would add a new Section 5386 to Title 31 that permits sports leagues, in effect, to declare unlawful internet gambling on their sports events.

It provides that "No Internet gambling licensee may engage, under any license issued under this subchapter, in the business of Internet betting or wagering in connection with any sport event or contest of any sporting league which prohibits such business if the chief executive officer of such sporting league informs the Director of such prohibition ..."

Rep. Frank's summary of the bill states that "Sporting leagues would have the option of prohibiting Internet gambling on sporting events or contests on league activities."

HR 2046: Impact Upon Federal Wire Act and State Gambling Laws. The criminal prohibition of the Wire Act, which is codified at 18 U.S.C. 1084, provides that "Whoever being engaged in the business of betting or wagering knowingly uses a wire communication facility for the transmission in interstate or foreign commerce of bets or wagers ... shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than two years, or both."

The Wire Act does not ban gambling. Although, state laws can and do ban gambling. The Wire Act only bans the use of a "wire communications facility" for transmitting bets.

Since the current statute affects only wire communication facilities, and some internet communications do not involve wires, this it leaves open the possibility that some internet gambling communications may not be illegal under the Wire Act. Bills introduced by Rep. Goodlatte in prior Congresses, which did not become law, would have addressed this issue.

Rep. Goodlatte told TLJ on May 3 that "the Wire Act is out of date and needs to be updated". However, he added that he has "not made any decision" whether to introduce a bill in this Congress to update the Wire Act.

HR 2047 would add a new Section 5387 to Title 31 that would provide relief to both financial institutions and operators of internet gambling facilities. It provides that "It shall be a defense against any prosecution or enforcement action under any Federal or State law against any person possessing a valid license under this subchapter that the activity is authorized under and has been carried out lawfully under the terms of this subchapter."

The Wire Act is a principle means by which the Department of Justice (DOJ) prosecutes offshore internet gambling entities. HR 2046 would preclude further prosecutions of licensed entities.

WTO and Trade Treaties. The U.S. faces actual and potential legal challenges before the World Trade Organization (WTO) for current state and federal laws affecting internet gambling. That is, internet gambling is a service that can be provided across national boundaries.

For example, to the extent that U.S. laws do not reach certain internet gambling permitted under the Interstate Horseracing Act, and remote gambling conducted by native American tribal groups, the claim can be asserted that U.S. law discriminates against foreign providers of gambling services.

Also, the nation of Antigua and Barbuda has filed a complaint with the WTO. See, stories titled "WTO Panel Instructs Congress to Amend Wire Act to Legalize Internet Gambling" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert 1,016, November 11, 2004; "WTO Appellate Body Upholds U.S. Laws Affecting Internet Gambling" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 1,111, April 8, 2005; and "Allgeier Addresses Trade Agreements and Internet Gambling" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 1,118, April 19, 2006.

See also, November 6, 2007, Cato Institute short paper titled "U.S. Response to Gambling Dispute Reveals Weak Hand", and TLJ story titled "Cato Paper Assesses WTO Proceeding on Internet Gambling" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 1,484, November 7, 2006.

TLJ spoke with Cato's Sallie James, who wrote the above referenced paper. She noted that since HR 2046 provides an opt out for states, states will still be able to restrict internet gambling, and for some states that will mean a disparate impact on foreign providers. Hence, while the bill may ameliorate some existing trade issues, it would leave others in place.

James added that she supports the bill on "libertarian principles" but nevertheless has concerns about remaining trade issues.

Legislative Process. The original cosponsors include Rep. Shelley Berkley (D-NV), who represents Las Vegas, Nevada, and Rep. Robert Wexler (D-FL) who represents a south Florida District.

Rep. Frank Lobiondo (R-NJ) is not a cosponsor. He represents a district that includes Atlantic City, New Jersey. The only Republican cosponsor is Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), a maverick libertarian, who has long opposed many types of government regulation of individual behavior, including online gambling.

The Library of Congress' Thomas web site states that this bill has been referred to the House Financial Services Committee (HFSC), which Rep. Frank chairs, and the House Commerce Committee (HCC). This Thomas listing does not identify a referral to the House Judiciary Committee (HJC). However, the bill would make it a crime, under Title 18, to violate the bill. Crime falls within HJC jurisdiction.

Rep. Goodlatte, who is a member of the HJC, told TLJ that HR 2046 "falls very squarely within the jurisdiction of the Judiciary Committee". However, he also said that it is the responsibility of the Chairman to request a referral.

Rep. Frank's release states that there will be a hearing on the bill in June of 2007.

Washington Tech Calendar
New items are highlighted in red.
Thursday, May 3

The House will meet at 10:00 AM for legislative business. It may consider HR 1868, the "Technology Innovation and Manufacturing Stimulation Act of 2007", subject to rules. See, Rep. Hoyer's weekly calendar [PDF].

The Senate will meet at 9:30 AM. It will resume consideration of of S 1082, the Food and Drug Administration authorization bill.

10:00 AM. The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee will hold a hearing titled "The Internet: A Portal to Violent Islamist Extremism". See, notice. Location: Room 342, Dirksen Building.

10:00 AM. The Senate Judiciary Committee (SJC) may hold an executive business meeting. The agenda includes consideration of S 495, the "Personal Data Privacy and Security Act of 2007", S 239, the "Notification of Risk to Personal Data Act of 2007", and S 1202, a bill to require agencies and persons in possession of computerized data containing sensitive personal information to disclose security breaches where such breach poses a significant risk of identity theft. The agenda also includes consideration of several judicial nominees: Debra Ann Livingston (to be a Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circiut), Roslynn Renee Mauskopf (U.S.D.C., Eastern District of New York), Richard Joseph Sullivan (U.S.D.C. Southern District of New York), and Joseph Van Bokkelen (U.S.D.C., Northern District of Indiana). The SJC rarely follows its published agenda. See, notice. Press contact: Tracy Schmaler at 202-224-2154 or Tracy_Schmaler at judiciary dot senate dot gov. Location: Room 226, Dirksen Building.

10:00 AM - 5:00 PM. The National Science Foundation's (NDF) Advisory Committee for Cyberinfrastructure will meet.. See, notice in the Federal Register, March 30, 2007, Vol. 72, No. 61, at Page 15170. Location: 4201 Wilson Boulevard, Room 1235, Arlington, VA.

2:00 - 4:00 PM. The Department of State's (DOS) International Telecommunication Advisory Committee (ITAC) will hold the first of a series of three meeting to prepare advice for the next meetings of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development Working Parties on the Information Economy (WPIE) and Communications and Infrastructure Services Policy (CISP). See, notice in the Federal Register, April 5, 2007, Vol. 72, No. 65, at Page 16868. Location: Room 2533a, Harry Truman Building, 2201 C St., NW.

? 2:00 PM. The Department of State's (DOS) International Telecommunication Advisory Committee (ITAC) will hold the first of a series of three teleconferences to prepare advice for the next meeting of the International Telecommunication Union's Study Group 9 (Integrated broadband cable networks and television and sound transmission). See, notice in the Federal Register, April 5, 2007, Vol. 72, No. 65, at Page 16868.

3:00 PM. The House Commerce Committee (HCC) Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection will hold a hearing on HR  1902, the "Protecting Consumer Access to Generic Drugs Act of 2007". Location: Room 2123, Rayburn Building.

Deadline to submit initial comments to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in response to its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) [53 pages in PDF] in its proceeding titled "In the Matter of Assessment and Collection of Regulatory Fees for Fiscal Year 2007". This NPRM is FCC 07-55 in MD Docket No. 07-81.

Friday, May 4

The House will next meet on Monday, May 7.

9:00 AM. The National Institute of Standards and Technology's (NIST) Information Technology Laboratory (ITL) will host a meeting titled "Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) Test Materials for the United States Government". See, notice in the Federal Register, April 17, 2007, Vol. 72, No. 73, at Pages 19178-19179. Location: NIST Administration Building, 100 Bureau Drive, Lecture Room B, Gaithersburg, MD.

POSTPONED. 9:30 AM - 2:00 PM. The Progress and Freedom Foundation (PFF) will host a convention titled "2nd Annual Internet Security Summit". See, PFF notice, and agenda and registration page. For more information, contact Amy Smorodin at 202-289-8928. A continental breakfast and lunch will be served. Location: Ronald Reagan Building & International Trade Center, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave., NW.

10:00 AM - 2:00 PM. The National Science Foundation's (NDF) Advisory Committee for Cyberinfrastructure will meet.. See, notice in the Federal Register, March 30, 2007, Vol. 72, No. 61, at Page 15170. Location: 4201 Wilson Boulevard, Room 1235, Arlington, VA.

10:30 AM. The National Science Foundation's (NSF) National Science Board (NSB) will meet in closed session by teleconference to discuss candidates for the NSB Executive Committee. See, notice in the Federal Register, May 3, 2007, Vol. 72, No. 85, at Page 24625.

3:00 - 5:00 PM. The National Science Foundation's (NSF) Advisory Committee of International Science and Engineering will meet to provide advice concerning the NSF programs in international science and engineering. See, notice in the Federal Register, April 13, 2007, Vol. 72, No. 71, at Pages 18690-18691. Location: NSF, 4201 Wilson Boulevard, Room 950, Arlington, VA.

Deadline to submit comments to the Copyright Office regarding its proposed rules changes regarding applications for registration of claims to the renewal term of copyright. See, notice in the Federal Register, April 4, 2007, Vol. 72, No. 64, at Pages 16306-16311.

Monday, May 7

The House will meet at 12:30 PM.

TIME? The Department of Defense's (DOD) Defense Science Board Task Force on Integrating Sensor-Collected Intelligence will hold another of its closed sessions regarding intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance systems. See, notice in the Federal Register, April 2, 2007, Vol. 72, No. 62, at Page 15659. Location: Science Applications International Corporation, 4001 N. Fairfax Drive, Arlington, VA.

Deadline to submit applications to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to participate in its rural health care pilot subsidy program. See, FCC Public Notice [PDF] (DA 07-1188).

Deadlines to submit comments to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (OUSTR) regarding its complaint filed with the World Trade Organization (WTO) regarding the People's Republic of China's (PRC) failure to fulfill its treaty obligations regarding the protection of intellectual property rights. See, notice in the Federal Register, April 23, 2007, Vol. 72, No. 77, at Pages 20144-20146, and notice in the Federal Register, April 23, 2007, Vol. 72, No. 77, at Pages 20143-20144.

Tuesday, May 8

TIME? The Department of Defense's (DOD) Defense Science Board Task Force on Integrating Sensor-Collected Intelligence will hold another of its closed sessions regarding intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance systems. See, notice in the Federal Register, April 2, 2007, Vol. 72, No. 62, at Page 15659. Location: Science Applications International Corporation, 4001 N. Fairfax Drive, Arlington, VA.

Wednesday, May 9

2:00 - 4:00 PM. The Copyright Office (CO) and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) will hold a "public roundtable discussion concerning the work at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in the Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR) on a proposed Treaty on the Protection of the Rights of Broadcasting Organizations". The CO and USPTO add that "The deadline for receipt of requests to observe or participate in the roundtable is 5:00 p.m. on Friday, May 4, 2007." See, notice in the Federal Register, April 12, 2007, Vol. 72, No. 70, at Pages 18493-18494. See also, WIPO's March 8, 2007, paper [MS Word] titled "Draft Non-paper on the WIPO Treaty on the Protection of Broadcasting Organizations", which includes draft treaty language. Location: Mumford Room, 6th floor, Madison Building, Library of Congress, 101 Independence Ave., SE.

Thursday, May 10

8:00 AM - 5:30 PM. The Information Technology Association of America (ITAA) will host a conference titled "The New New Internet: IPv6 conference". See, notice. For more information, contact Trey Hodgkins at thodgkins at itaa dot org. Location: Hyatt Regency, Arllington, VA.

2:00 - 4:00 PM. The Department of State's (DOS) International Telecommunication Advisory Committee (ITAC) will hold the second of a series of three meeting to prepare advice for the next meetings of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development Working Parties on the Information Economy (WPIE) and Communications and Infrastructure Services Policy (CISP). See, notice in the Federal Register, April 5, 2007, Vol. 72, No. 65, at Page 16868. Location: Room 2533a, Harry Truman Building, 2201 C St., NW.

? 2:00 PM. The Department of State's (DOS) International Telecommunication Advisory Committee (ITAC) will hold the second of a series of three teleconferences to prepare advice for the next meeting of the International Telecommunication Union's Study Group 9 (Integrated broadband cable networks and television and sound transmission). See, notice in the Federal Register, April 5, 2007, Vol. 72, No. 65, at Page 16868.

6:00 - 8:30 PM. The Federal Communications Bar Association's (FCBA) Enforcement Committee will host a continuing legal education (CLE) seminar titled "What to do When the FCC Comes a' Calling: A Practitioner's Guide to FCC Enforcement". The price to attend ranges from $50 to $125. See, registration form [PDF]. Location: Arnold & Porter, 10th floor, 555 12th Street, NW.

More News

5/3. The Copyright Office (CO) published a notice in the Federal Register that announces that it received on April 2, 2007, from SoundExchange, a notice of intent to audit 2005 statements of account concerning the eligible nonsubscription transmissions of sound recordings made by Microsoft under statutory license of 17 U.S.C. 114. See, Federal Register, May 3, 2007, Vol. 72, No. 85, at Pages 24623-24624.

5/3. The House Judiciary Committee (HJC) announced, then postponed, a hearing by its Judiciary Committee Task Force on Antitrust titled "The findings and recommendations of the Antitrust Modernization Commission". The hearing was briefly scheduled for May 3 at 1:30 PM. It has not been rescheduled. The Antitrust Modernization Commission (AMC) has completed its work. It issued its report [540 pages in PDF, 2.1 MB] on April 3, 2007. See, story titled "Antitrust Modernization Commission Releases Report", story titled "AMC Addresses Innovation" and story titled "AMC Seeks End to Duplicative FCC Antitrust Merger Reviews" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 1,560, April 4, 2007.

5/2. The House Judiciary Committee (HJC) approved HR 1525, the "Internet Spyware (I-SPY) Prevention Act of 2007", by voice vote without amendment. See, HJC release. One of its cosponsors, Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), stated in a release that "By imposing criminal penalties on these bad actors, this legislation will help deter the use of spyware, and will thus help protect consumers from these aggressive attacks. At the same time, the legislation leaves the door open for innovative technology developments to continue to combat spyware programs." His release adds that "The legislation will now be sent to the full House of Representatives for consideration." See also, story titled "House Crime Subcommittee Approves Spyware Bill" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 1,573, May 2, 2007.

4/30. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report [159 pages in PDF] titled "Information Technology: Immigration and Customs Enforcement Needs to Fully Address Significant Infrastructure Modernization Program Management Weaknesses".

5/2. The U.S. Court of Appeals (FedCir) issued an opinion [PDF] in E-Pass v. Microsoft, a patent infringement case in which the Court of Appeals affirmed the summary judgment of noninfringement of the District Court. This disposition is nonprecedential. This case is E-Pass Technologies, Inc. v. Microsoft Corporation and Compaq Computer Corporation, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, App. Ct. No. 2006-1604, an appeal from the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, D.C. No. 4:02-00439.

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