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May 21, 2008, Alert No. 1,771.
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Rep. Barton Asks Google for Answers to Questions Regarding DoubleClick, Cookies and Privacy

5/21. Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX), the ranking Republican on the House Commerce Committee (HCC) sent another letter [3 pages in PDF] to Eric Schmidt, Ch/CEO of Google, regarding its acquisition of DoubleClick, cookies, cybersecurity, and consumer privacy.

Rep. Joe BartonRep. Barton (at left) also sent a letter [PDF] to Eric Schmidt on December 12, 2007, while both the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and European regulators were reviewing the pending Google DoubleClick merger.

On December 20, 2007, the FTC announced, after a long review, that it will not seek to block the Google DoubleClick merger. See, story titled "FTC Will Not Block Google DoubleClick Merger" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 1,691, December 19, 2007.

In his May 21 letter, Rep. Barton wrote that "Now that the FTC and the European Union have approved the merger, I would like to take this opportunity to ask questions about Google's policies and practices as they relate to the Google-DoubleClick merger." He then propounded three pages of interrogatories.

For example, he asked if Google will merge Google and DoubleClick data, and if so, what data.

He also asked numerous other questions regarding cookies. For example, he asked "Is it DoubleClick's policy or practice that advertisers ``own´´ the cookie data associated with their advertisements, and that this data cannot be shared with other advertisers or publishers who are associated with DoubleClick?"

He also asked about manipulation of Google Search by hackers.

Sen. Kerry Introduces Internet Crime Education Bill

5/14. Rep. John Kerry (D-MA) and others introduced S 3016 [LOC | WW], the "Internet Crime Prevention Act of 2008".

This bill would create a grant program at the Department of Justice (DOJ) to fund internet crime prevention education programs that "educate parents, children, educators, and communities about how to recognize and prevent potentially criminal activity on the Internet".

The bill states that "potential criminal activity" includes "access through the Internet and other electronic devices to potentially illegal activity including sexual or racial harassment, cyberbullying, sexual exploitation, exposure to pornography, and privacy violations".

The bill would define "cyberbullying" as "verbal, visual, or written psychological bullying or harassment by an individual or group, using an electronic device or devices including e-mail, instant messaging, text messages, blogs, telephones, pagers, and websites, to support deliberate, repeated, and hostile behavior that is intended to harm others".

This bill would also authorized the appropriation of $5 Million per year for fiscal years 2008 through 2012.

The original cosponsors of this bill are Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Sen. Norm Coleman (R-MN), and Sen. Joe Lieberman (D-CT). The bill was referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee (SJC). Sen. Whitehouse is a member.

Rep. Harman Introduces D Block Reauction Bill

5/14. Rep. Jane Harman (D-CA) introduced HR 6055 [LOC | WW], the "Public Safety Broadband Authorization Act of 2008", a bill to instruct the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on how to reauction the D block component of the 700 MHz auction. The FCC adopted an NPRM regarding this reauction on May 14.

Rep. Jane HarmanRep. Harmon (at right) issued a statement regarding her bill. She wrote that "Congress should be involved in this process and ensure that the Public Safety Broadband Licensee, the not-for-profit entity representing public safety in this partnership, is an independent and effective voice for first responders."

She continued that her bill "will start a conversation about how to achieve that goal. It authorizes $4 million -- a modest, interim funding stream -- to help the FCC establish this new interoperable network and allows the FCC to grant part of these funds to the Public Safety Broadband Licensee to cover its administrative and operational costs."

She also wrote that "My legislation includes requirements to ensure transparency and promote vigorous oversight by both Congress and the FCC. It prohibits the Public Safety Broadband Licensee from accepting third-party funds after receiving FCC grants and from using government funding to repay outstanding debts. The bill also mandates strict reporting requirements to the FCC and Congress."

D Block. The D Block is 10 megahertz of paired spectrum (758-763 MHz and 788-793 MHz). It was to have been auctioned in the 700 MHz auction (the FCC's Auction No. 73) as one nationwide license, subject to a Public/Private Partnership.

The plan was for a commercial licensee to build a nationwide broadband interoperable network for use by public safety entities. This licensee would then have had preemptible secondary access to the spectrum.

The FCC closed this auction on March 18, 2008. However, no bidder bid the reserve price for the D Block.

The public safety sector already has 97 megahertz of spectrum, much of which is unused. But, this sector has not developed an interoperable broadband network.

On May 14, 2008, the FCC adopted a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) regarding reauctioning the D block. See, story titled "FCC Announces NPRM for D Block Auction" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 1,766, May 14, 2008.

The FCC later released the text [101 pages in PDF] of this NPRM. It is FCC 08-128 in WT Docket No. 06-150 and PS Docket No. 06-229.

Initial comments are due by June 20, 2008. Reply comments are due by July 7, 2008. See, notice in the Federal Register, May 21, 2008, Vol. 73, No. 99, at Pages 29581-29623.

Bill Summary. Rep. Harman's bill is directed to "the nationwide license" issued to the "Public Safety Broadband Licensee", or PSBL. The bill would require the FCC to require the PSBL to "collaborate with a commercial entity to establish a nationwide, interoperable broadband public safety communications network", "be broadly representative of the public safety community", "operate as a not-for-profit organization", and "have no participation in its management by commercial entities or interests"

The bill would further mandate that this PSBL "submit an annual budget" to the FCC, and "submit a report" to the FCC and certain Congressional Committees, "not later than 30 days after the end of each fiscal year documenting all income and expenditures made in such fiscal year".

The bill would further provide that the FCC "shall make grants, not to exceed $1,000,000 per fiscal year for each of fiscal years 2009 and 2010, to the PSBL to fund administrative and operational costs". And, the bill authorizes appropriations for this purpose.

The bill was referred to the House Commerce Committee (HCC). Rep. Harman is a member.

GAO Reports on PRC's Noncompliance with Trade Agreements

5/13. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report [64 pages in PDF] titled "U.S.-China Trade: USTR’s China Compliance Reports and Plans Could Be Improved".

The report finds that the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative's "annual reports to Congress do not have the systematic analysis needed to clearly understand China’s compliance situation."

For example, it finds that the "USTR’s narrative reports make it difficult to understand the comparative level of progress China made in each trade area in a given year and identify overall patterns or trends over time." It adds, "For instance, the reports do not describe how much progress is being made in the area of agriculture relative to the progress being made in intellectual property rights or services."

The report also finds that "China has made more progress in some commitment areas -- such as trading rights and distribution services, agriculture, and internal policies -- having resolved over 30 percent of all issues mentioned in each area, and less progress in other areas such as services and intellectual property rights, where less than 10 percent of issues have been resolved."

It continues that while there is more progress in areas such as agriculture, "other trade areas such as intellectual property rights have seen less progress, with the smallest proportion of issues, less than 10 percent, reaching resolution and a sizable proportion of issues, over 30 percent, not making any progress from 2003 to 2007. In addition, there are an increasing number of compliance issues mentioned in this area, with a peak in 2006. USTR noted in its 2007 annual report that while China has put in place a relatively good set of laws and regulations aimed at protecting intellectual property rights, some critical measures still need to be revised, and China’s overall enforcement of these laws has been ineffective. Thus, while many of the intellectual property laws have been rewritten, there are still many outstanding issues, and more complex issues related to enforcement continue to arise."

The GAO report also states that "our analysis revealed that China’s progress in resolving compliance issues appears to be slowing over time, especially since 2003 and 2004, when most progress was made. We also found that China’s progress on resolving individual issues varies significantly by trade area. For instance, USTR reported that the highest proportion of issues on which China either made progress or resolved the issue were in the agriculture section, and the lowest proportion of progress was in import regulation."

More News

5/21. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report [62 pages in PDF] titled "Information Security: TVA Needs to Address Weaknesses in Control Systems and Networks". It finds that the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) "has not fully implemented appropriate security practices to protect the control systems used to operate its critical infrastructures. TVA’s corporate network infrastructure and its control systems networks and devices at individual facilities and plants reviewed were vulnerable to disruption. For example, on the corporate network, one remote access system we reviewed that was used for the network was not securely configured, and individual workstations we reviewed lacked key patches and had inadequate security settings for key programs."

5/21. The Copyright Office (CO) published a notice in the Federal Register that announces, describes, recites, and sets the effective date (May 20, 2008) for, its new rules regarding the payment of interest on late or underpaid royalty fees under the Copyright Act to clarify when interest for late and underpayments is
due in light of the CO's electronic funds transfer requirement, and regarding satellite carrier requirements to recognize changes made to 17 U.S.C. § 119 in 2004. See, Federal Register, May 20, 2008, Vol. 73, No. 98, at Page 29071-29073.

5/21. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) published a notice in the Federal Register that announces, describes, recites, and sets the effective date (July 7, 2008) for, its amendments to its rules implementing the Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act of 2003, also known as the CAN-SPAM Act. See, Federal Register: May 21, 2008, Vol. 73, No. 99, at Pages 29653-29680.

5/19. The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (OUSTR) released a statement [PDF] regarding ongoing Doha round trade negotiations. "We are going to be studying these revised texts in the days ahead. The U.S. is committed to concluding a successful Doha Round this year that achieves new market access for agricultural and industrial products and services in both developed and emerging market economies. We are prepared to make the tough political choices necessary to conclude an agreement, as others will need to do as well. Specifically, we will be looking to see how the world’s largest and fastest growing economies are going to make market-opening contributions commensurate with their increasing participation and role in the world economy."

5/16. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report [52 pages in PDF] in presentation slides format titled "Information Technology: Agriculture Needs to Strengthen Management Practices for Stabilizing and Modernizing Its Farm Program Delivery Systems".

Washington Tech Calendar
New items are highlighted in red.
Wednesday, May 21

The House will meet at 10:00 AM for legislative business. See, Rep. Hoyer's schedule for the week of May 19, and schedule for May 21.

The Senate will meet at 9:30 AM for morning business.

10:00 AM. The House Education and Labor Committee will hold a hearing titled "The National Mathematics Advisory Panel Report: Foundations for Success". Location: Room 2175, Rayburn Building.

10:00 AM. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) will meet. The agenda states that the SEC "will consider whether to propose amendments to provide for mutual fund risk/return summary information to be filed with the Commission in interactive data format". Location: SEC, Room L-002, 100 F St., NE.

11:00 AM. The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee will hold a business meeting to consider the nomination of Paul Schneider to be Deputy Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). See, notice. Location: Room S-216, Capitol Building.

12:30 PM. The Federal Communications Bar Association's (FCBA) Young Lawyers Committee will hold a brown bag lunch to elect officers and plan. E-mail nominations to Chris Fedeli at chrisfedeli at dwt dot com and Tarah Grant at tsgrant at hhlaw dot com by Friday, May 9, 2008. See, notice online registration page. Location: Hogan & Hartson, 1st floor litigation center, 555 13th St., NW.

1:30 PM. The House Judiciary Committee's (HJC) Subcommittee on Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security will hold a hearing titled "The FBI Whistleblowers: Exposing Corruption and Retaliation Inside the Bureau - FBI Counterterrorism Agent". This hearing will be webcast by the HJC. See, notice. Location: Room 2141, Rayburn Building.

? 3:00 PM. The House Judiciary Committee (HJC) may hold a closed meeting regarding HR 5889 [LOC | WW], the "Orphan Works Act of 2008". Location: Room 2226, Rayburn Building.

Day one of a two day closed meeting of the Department of Defense's (DOD) Defense Science Board regarding undisclosed topics. See, notice in the Federal Register, April 23, 2008, Vol. 73, No. 79, at Pages 21919-21920. Location: Pentagon, Arlington, VA.

Thursday, May 22

The House will meet at 10:00 AM for legislative business. See, Rep. Hoyer's schedule for the week of May 19.

9:00 - 10:30 AM. The New America Foundation (NAF) will host an event titled "Google Unwired: Expanding Broadband Access and Allocating Spectrum More Efficiently". The speakers will be Larry Page (Google) and Michael Calabrese (NAF). See, notice and registration page. Breakfast will be provided. Location: Ronald Reagan Building, Atrium Ballroom, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave., NW.

10:00 AM. The Senate Judiciary Committee (SJC) may hold an executive business meeting. The agenda includes consideration of the nomination of Elisebeth Cook (to be Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Office of Legal Policy), William Lawrence (U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana), and Murray Snow (U.S.D.C., District of Arizona). See, notice. The SJC rarely follows its published agendas. Location: Room 226, Dirksen Building.

10:00 AM - 12:00 PM. The House Science Committee's (HSC) Subcommittee on Investigation and Oversight will hold a hearing titled "American Decline or Renewal? -- Globalizing Jobs and Technology". The witnesses will be Ralph Gomory (NYU Stern School of Business), Margaret Blair (Vanderbilt University Law School), Bruce Scott (Harvard Business School), James Copland (Copland Fabrics), Joseph Fehsenfeld (Midwest Printed Circuit Service), and Wes Jurey (Arlington Chamber of Commerce, Arlington, Texas). Location: Room 2318, Rayburn Building.

10:00 AM. The Senate Finance Committee (SFC) will hold a hearing on S 1919 [LOC | WW], the "Trade Enforcement Act of 2007", a bill to amend the Trade Act of 1974. It would require the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative to report to the Congress on trade enforcement priorities and actions. It would also create a "WTO Dispute Settlement Review Commission". It also contains provisions specific to the People's Republic of China. See, notice. Location: Room 215, Dirksen Building.

12:15 - 1:30 PM. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will hold an event titled "FCC Wireless Legal Advisors Discuss Recent and Upcoming Matters". The speakers may include Aaron Goldberger (FCC Chairman Kevin Martin assistant), Bruce Gottlieb (FCC Commissioner Michael Copps assistant), Renée Crittendon (FCC Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein assistant), Wayne Leighton (FCC Commissioner Deborah Tate assistant), and Angela Giancarlo (FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell assistant). Lunch will be served. The price to attend is $15. See, notice and registration page. The Federal Communications Bar Association's (FCBA) web site states that this is an event of the FCBA's Wireless Practice Committee. Location: Sidley Austin, 6th floor, 1501 K St., NW.

Day two of a two day closed meeting of the Department of Defense's (DOD) Defense Science Board regarding undisclosed topics. See, notice in the Federal Register, April 23, 2008, Vol. 73, No. 79, at Pages 21919-21920. Location: Pentagon, Arlington, VA.

Deadline to submit initial comments to the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau in response to its Public Notice regarding the request for clarification filed by Hawk Relay that internet protocol speech to speech (IPSTS) is a form of Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS). This item is DA 08-292 in CG Docket No. 08-15. See, notice in the Federal Register, April 7, 2008, Vol. 73, No. 67, at Page 18796.

Deadline to submit initial comments to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in response to the Media Bureau's public notice (DA 08-752) regarding changes to its annual reporting forms that request certain employee data from multichannel video programming distributors (FCC Form 395-A) and broadcasters (FCC Form 395-B). See, notice in the Federal Register, April 21, 2008, Vol. 73, No. 77, at Pages 21346-21347.

Extended deadline for voting equipment manufacturers to submit requests and executed letters of understanding to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). See, notice in the Federal Register, April 22, 2008, Vol. 73, No. 78, at Pages 21590-21591.

Friday, May 23

Rep. Hoyer's schedule for the week of May 19 states that "no votes are expected in the House".

Deadline to submit reply comments to the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau (CGAB) regarding the National Exchange Carriers Association's (NECA) proposed compensation rates for interstate traditional TRS, interstate speech-to-speech (STS), interstate captioned telephone service (CTS) and interstate and intrastate internet protocol captioned telephone service (IP CTS), interstate and intrastate IP relay; and interstate and intrastate video relay service (VRS). See, notice in the Federal Register, May 12, 2008, Vol. 73, No. 92, at Page 26992-26993. This proceeding is CG Docket No. 03-123.

Saturday, May 24

Deadline to submit comments to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) regarding proposed changes [PDF] to the December 8, 2006, .ORG Registry Agreement. See, ICANN notice.

Monday, May 26

Memorial Day. See, Office of Personnel Management's (OPM) list of 2008 federal holidays.

Day one of the House Memorial Day recess. See, Rep. Hoyer's 2008 calendar [4.25 MB PDF].

The Senate will begin its Memorial Day recess. See, Senate 2008 calendar.

Tuesday, May 27

The House will not meet.

The Senate will not meet.

12:15 - 1:45 PM. The Federal Communications Bar Association's (FCBA) FCC Enforcement Practice Committee will host a brown bag lunch titled "FCC Indecency Enforcement: Reviewing the Current Landscape". See, notice and registration page. Location: Wilmer Hale, 1875 Pennsylvania Ave., NW.

2:00 - 4:00 PM. The Department of State's (DOS) Advisory Committee on International Economic Policy (ACIEP) will meet. See, notice in the Federal Register, May 9, 2008, Vol. 73, No. 91, at Pages 26463-26464. Location: Room 1107, DOS, 2201 C St., NW.

6:00 - 8:15 PM. The Federal Communications Bar Association's (FCBA) Cable Practice and Intellectual Property Committees will host an event titled "Legal and Regulatory Issues Related to Internet Video Services". Prices vary. This event qualifies for continuing legal education (CLE) credits. See, notice and registration page. Location: Dow Lohnes, 1200 New Hampshire Ave., NW.

Wednesday, May 28

The House will not meet.

The Senate will not meet.

12:15 - 1:30 PM. The Federal Communications Bar Association's (FCBA) HLS/Emergency Communications Committee will host a brown bag lunch titled "Results of the FCC’s Commercial Mobile Alert System Rulemaking under the WARN Act: Establishing the Protocols and Requirements for Providers that Elect to Transmit Emergency Alerts to the Public". The speakers will be Lisa Fowlkes (FCC Public Safety & Homeland Security Bureau) and Jim Bugel (AT&T). See, notice. Location: Wilmer Hale, 1875 Pennsylvania Ave., NW.

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