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July 28, 2008, Alert No. 1,801.
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Senate Takes Up Omnibus Bill with Tech Provisions

7/28. The Senate briefly considered S 3297, [LOC | WW], the "Advancing America's Priorities Act", on Monday, July 28, 2008.

This is a huge omnibus bill that incorporates many previously introduced bills. This omnibus bill contains components that address a wide range of unrelated areas of law. However, several components are technology related.

The Senate rejected a cloture motion Monday afternoon by a vote of 52-40. It was a nearly straight party line vote, with Democrats voting yes. See, Roll Call No. 189. A super majority of 60 votes is required to pass a cloture motion in the Senate.

Invoking cloture is the only method for terminating a filibuster. Pursuant to Senate Rule XXII, a cloture motion requires a three fifths majority for passage. See, Senate memorandum [27 pages in PDF] titled "Filibusters and Cloture in the Senate"

S 3297 includes the "Broadband Data Improvement Act", at Sections 5101-5106. The Senate Commerce Committee (SCC) approved this as a stand alone bill, S 1492 [LOC | WW], on July 19, 2007.

See, story titled "Senate Commerce Committee Approves Broadband Data Bill" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 1,612, July 19, 2007.

S 3297 also includes the "Enhancing the Effective Prosecution of Child Pornography Act of 2007", at Sections 2501-2503. The House passed a different version of this bill, HR 4136 [LOC | WW], on November 15, 2007.

Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) introduced the Senate version, S 2869 [LOC | WW], on April 16, 2008. See, "More New Bills" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 1,755, April 28, 2008. No action has been taken on the Senate version of the bill.

S 3297 also includes the "Providing Resources, Officers, and Technology To Eradicate Cyber Threats to Our Children Act of 2008", or "PROTECT Our Children Act", at Section 2801-2841. It includes numerous provisions related to "internet crimes against children" or "ICAC". It would create a "National Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force Program", a "National Internet Crimes Against Children Data System", and an "ICAC Grant Program".

It would also provide for more "computer forensic capacity to address the current backlog for computer forensics". This would include support for child related investigations, but would not be limited thereto. Hence, this bill, if enacted into law, might also assist the investigation of computer and intellectual property crimes.

It would also makes several changes to substantive pornography laws.

It would also require that the DOJ's "National Institute of Justice shall prepare a report to identify investigative factors that reliably indicate whether a subject of an online child exploitation investigation poses a high risk of harm to children".

The House passed a different bill with the same title (PROTECT Our Children Act), HR 3845 [LOC | WW], on November 14, 2007. See, story titled "House Passes Schultz Internet Crime Bill" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 1,676, November 14, 2007.

Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) and others introduced this omnibus bill on July 22, 2008. His statement on introduction is published in the Congressional Record, July 22, 2008, at Page S7021.

WTO Doha Talks Continue in Geneva

7/28. The World Trade Organization (WTO) hosted the eighth day of its latest Doha round meeting in Geneva, Switzerland. Participants have not publicly stated that this meeting, like many before, is unsuccessful in reaching agreement.

The WTO issued a release on July 26 and a release on July 28 describing activity at the meeting.

Agricultural issues remain a stumbling block. However, a successful conclusion of Doha talks has the potential to benefit information technology and communications.

The U.S. Trade Representative, Susan Schwab, last released a statement [PDF] on July 25. She stated then that "We have a tentative agreement on a path forward. There are a number of significant issues to be resolved, and each one of us have to see how the final modalities package concludes before we can pass judgment on whether to support a final modalities package but I think the biggest concern we have is that a handful of large emerging markets threaten this round for the rest of us and for the other developing countries who are so critically dependant on a successful development outcome of this development round."

"Tomorrow we take a next, vital step in the direction of what we hope will continue to be a successful modalities process, and that is in the services signaling conference. That is another basis on which the United States will assess the success of a modalities package. We look forward to that development tomorrow.

She concluded, "And in the meantime, the United States will continue to play a leadership role that we have played this week. We will work with our trading partners and work with the WTO Secretariat to be a part of the solution. I look forward to seeing you over the weekend and into next week."

President Bush stated in his radio address on Saturday, July 26, 2008, that "America is promoting free trade and open investment. Over the long term, we know that trade and investment are the best ways to fight poverty, and build strong and prosperous societies."

Bush added that "We have put eleven new free trade agreements into effect since 2001. And we're striving to make this the year that the world completes an ambitious Doha Round agreement, so we can tear down barriers to trade and investment around the world."

Trade Bills Introduced In House

7/17. Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY) and Rep. Sander Levin (D-MI) introduced HR 6530 [LOC | WW], the "Trade Enforcement Act of 2008", a huge bill that would amend trade related laws. It has some limited provisions related to the enforcement of intellectual property rights (IPR) in the context of trade. It would, among other things, create a Director of Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement at the Department of the Treasury (DOT) to coordinate DOT activities. However, this is a bill drafted to fall within the exclusive jurisdiction of the House Ways and Means Committee bill. It does not address IPR enforcement by other agencies that are involved in IPR enforcement. Nor does it affect substantive copyright, trademark or patent law. Nor does it amend the criminal code.

7/17. Rep. Brian Baird (D-WA) introduced HR 6540 [LOC | WW], a bill that would create a Trade Agreement Enforcement Commission. This would be a Congressionally appointed body that would monitor and investigate the executive branch, and report to the Congress. It would be created on the premise that in trade negotiations, promotion of trade should be convoluted with promotion of "worker rights". It was referred to the House Ways and Means Committee. See also, Rep. Baird's release.

7/10. Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-TX) introduced HR 6452 [LOC | WW], the "Trade and Environment Enforcement (`Green 301) Act". (Parentheses and quotation in original.) This bill would amend the Trade Act of 1974 to involve the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (OUSTR) in initiating consultations with foreign governments regarding their environmental policies. It would also require the OUSTR to "identify those foreign country trade practices that cause negative environmental impacts on the protection of human, animal, or plant life or health, or the conservation of exhaustible natural resources in the United States, the foreign country, a third country, or internationally".

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Washington Tech Calendar
New items are highlighted in red.
Monday, July 28

The House will meet at 11:00 AM in pro forma session only. See, Rep. Hoyer's schedule for the week of July 28.

The Senate will meet at 3:00 PM. It will resume consideration of HR 3297, [LOC | WW], the "Advancing America's Priorities Act".

12:00 - 2:00 PM. The DC Bar Association will host a panel discussion titled "MySpace, Facebook, and the Workplace". The speakers will be Micah Salb (Lippman Semsker & Salb), Michael Songer (Crowell & Moring), Lily Garcia (Washington Post columnist), and Anne Donohue (SRA International, Inc.). The price to attend ranges from $20 to $30. For more information, contact 202-626-3463. See, notice. Location: DC Bar Conference Center, B-1 Level, 1250 H St., NW.

Tuesday, July 29

The House will meet at 10:30 AM for morning hour, and at 12:00 PM for legislative business. Votes will be postponed until 6:30 PM. The House may consider numerous items under suspension of the rules, including HR 5170 [LOC | WW], the "Department of Homeland Security Component Privacy Officer Act of 2008", HR 5983 [LOC | WW], the "Homeland Security Network Defense and Accountability Act of 2008", and S 3295 [LOC | WW], an untitled bill to provide that the Secretary of Commerce, in consultation with the Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), shall appoint administrative patent judges and administrative trademark judges, See, Rep. Hoyer's schedule for the week of July 28.

10:00 AM. The Senate Finance Committee (SFC) will hold a hearing titled "The Future of U.S. Trade Policy: Perspectives from Former U.S. Trade Representatives". See, notice. Location: Room 215, Dirksen Building.

10:00 AM. The Senate Judiciary Committee (SJC) will hold a hearing titled "Music and Radio in the 21st Century: Assuring Fair Rates and Rules across Platforms". The witnesses will be John Simson (SoundExchange), John Ondrasik (singer & songwriter), and Jeffrey Harleston (Geffen Records). Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) will preside. She is the sponsor of S 256 [LOC | WW], the "Platform Equality and Remedies for Rights Holders in Music Act of 2007". See, notice. Location: Room 226, Dirksen Building.

11:00 AM. The Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT) and Ernst & Young will hold a news conference to release a study titled "The State of Telecommuting: Privacy and Security". For more information, call Brock Meeks (CDT) at 202-6377-9800 x114. To participate by phone, call 866-247-4356. Location: CDT, Suite 1100, 1634 Eye St., NW.

11:30 AM - 12:30 PM. The Heritage Foundation will host a program titled "The Attorney-Client Privilege: Repairing the Damage". The speakers will be Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA) and Michael Franc (Heritage). See, notice. Location: Heritage, 214 Massachusetts Ave., NE.

The U.S. International Trade Commission's (USITC) is scheduled to transmit its report for the House Ways and Means Committee regarding government policies affecting trade with the People's Republic of China (PRC). The USITC is examining, among other sectors, semiconductors and telecommunications. See, notice in the Federal Register, July 31, 2007, Vol. 72, No. 146, at Pages 41773-41774, and USITC release. This proceeding is titled "China: Government Policies Affecting U.S. Trade in Selected Sectors" and numbered Inv. No. 332-491.

RESCHEDULED TO AUGUST 13. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will commence Auction 78, the AWS-1 and Broadband PCS auction. See, Public Notice (DA 08-1090) and notice in the Federal Register, May 29, 2008, Vol. 73, No. 104, at Pages 30919-30938.

Wednesday, July 30

The House will meet at 10:00 AM for legislative business. See, Rep. Hoyer's schedule for the week of July 28.

TIME CHANGE. 10:00 AM. 9:00 AM. The Senate Judiciary Committee (SJC) will hold a hearing titled "Politicized Hiring at the Department of Justice". See, notice. Location: Room 226, Dirksen Building.

10:00 AM. The Senate Commerce Committee (SCC) will hold a hearing titled "Improving Consumer Protection in the Prepaid Calling Card Market". This hearing will also address S 2998 [LOC | WW], the "Prepaid Calling Card Consumer Protection Act of 2008", sponsored by Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL). Sen. Nelson will preside. The witnesses will be Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY), William Kovacic (FTC Chairman), Sally Greenberg, (National Consumers League), Gus West (Hispanic Institute), and Barry Smitherman (Chairman, Texas Public Utility Commission). See, notice. Location: Room 253, Russell Building.

10:00 AM. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) will hold a meeting. The agenda includes an interpretive release to provide guidance regarding the use of company web sites under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and the antifraud provisions of the federal securities laws. Location: SEC, Auditorium, Room L-002. 100 F St., NE.

10:15 AM. The House Judiciary Committee (HJC) will meet to mark up numerous items. The agenda includes HR 6353 [LOC | WW], the "Ryan Haight Online Pharmacy Consumer Protection Act of 2008", and HR 2140 [LOC | WW], the "Internet Gambling Study Act". The HJC will webcast this meeting. Location: Room 2141, Rayburn Building.

12:00 NOON - 1:30 PM. The Alliance for Public Technology (APT) host a panel discussion titled "Broadband in Low-income Communities: From Access to Adoption". The speakers will be Rep. Edolphus Towns (D-NY), Joy Howell (APT), Austin Bonner (One Economy Corporation), and Alec Ross (OEC). A box lunch will be served. Location: Room HC-6, Capitol Building.

Thursday, July 31

The House will meet at 10:00 AM for legislative business. See, Rep. Hoyer's schedule for the week of July 28.

9:00 AM - 4:30 PM. Day one of a two day meeting of the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Homeland Security Information Network Advisory Committee. See, notice in the Federal Register, July 2, 2008, Vol. 73, No. 128, at Page 37975-37976. Location: Bolger Center, 9600 Newbridge Drive, Potomac, MD.

9:30 AM. The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee's (SHSGAC) Subcommittee on Federal Financial Management, Government Information, Federal Services, and International Security will hold a hearing titled "Offline and Off-budget: The Dismal State of Information Technology Planning in the Federal Government". See, notice. Location: Room 342, Dirksen Building.

10:00 AM. The Senate Commerce Committee (SCC) will meet to mark up several bills, including S 3274 [LOC | WW], the "National Nanotechnology Initiative Amendments Act of 2008". See, notice. Location: Room 253, Russell Building.

10:00 AM. The Senate Judiciary Committee (SJC) may hold an executive business meeting. The agenda once again includes consideration of S 2746 [LOC | WW], the "OPEN FOIA Act of 2008". The SJC rarely follows its published agendas. Location: Room 226, Dirksen Building.

10:00 AM - 12:00 NOON. The House Science Committee (HSC) will hold a hearing titled "Oversight of the Federal Networking and Information Technology Research and Development (NITRD) Program". The witnesses will be Chris Greer (NITRD), Daniel Reed (Microsoft), Craig Stewart (Indiana University), and Don Winter (Boeing Company). Location: Room 2318, Rayburn Building.

10:00 AM. The House Small Business Committee (HSBC) will hold a hearing titled "Cost and Confidentiality: The Unforeseen Challenges of Electronic Health Records in Small Specialty Practices". Location: Room 1539, Longworth Building.

10:30 AM. The House Judiciary Committee's (HJC) Subcommittee on Commercial and Administrative Law will hold a hearing on HR 5884 [LOC | WW], the "Sunshine in Litigation Act of 2008", a bill to amend 28 U.S.C. 111 to limit the use of protective orders and the sealing of cases and settlements. The HJC will webcast this hearing. Location: Room 2141, Rayburn Building.

12:30 PM. The House Judiciary Committee's (HJC) Subcommittee on the Constitution will hold a hearing on HR 5607 [LOC | WW], the "State Secrets Protection Act of 2008". The HJC will webcast this hearing. Location: Room 2141, Rayburn Building.

Extended deadline to submit initial comments to the Copyright Office (CO) in response to its proposed rule changes regarding retransmission of digital television broadcast signals by cable operators pursuant to 17 U.S.C. 111. See, notice of extension in the Federal Register, July 14, 2008, Vol. 73, No. 135, at Page 40203, and original notice in the Federal Register, June 2, 2008, Vol. 73, No. 106, at Pages 31399-31415.

Friday, August 1

The House will meet at 9:00 AM for legislative business. See, Rep. Hoyer's schedule for the week of July 28.

8:30 AM - 4:30 PM. Day two of a two day meeting of the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Homeland Security Information Network Advisory Committee. See, notice in the Federal Register, July 2, 2008, Vol. 73, No. 128, at Page 37975-37976. Location: Bolger Center, 9600 Newbridge Drive, Potomac, MD.

10:00 AM. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) may hold an event titled "Open Commission Meeting". See, FCC agenda and story titled "FCC Announces Tentative Agenda for August 1 Meeting" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 1,795, July 18, 2008. Location: FCC, Commission Meeting Room, 445 12th St., SW.

Deadline to submit reply comments regarding broadband availability mapping (BAM) to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in response to its Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FNPRM) regarding BAM and modifications to the FCC Form 477 data collection. The FCC adopted this FNPRM on March 19, 2008, but did not release the text [81 pages in PDF] until June 12, 2008. It is FCC 08-89 in WC Docket No. 07-38.See, notice in the Federal Register, July 2, 2008, Vol. 73, No. 128, at Pages 37911-37922. See also, story titled "FCC Adopts Order Regarding Broadband Data Collection" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 1,734, March 20, 2008.

Deadline to submit initial comments regarding issues other than broadband availability mapping (BAM) to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in response to its Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FNPRM) regarding BAM and modifications to the FCC Form 477 data collection. The FCC adopted this FNPRM on March 19, 2008, but did not release the text [81 pages in PDF] until June 12, 2008. It is FCC 08-89 in WC Docket No. 07-38.See, notice in the Federal Register, July 2, 2008, Vol. 73, No. 128, at Pages 37911-37922. See also, story titled "FCC Adopts Order Regarding Broadband Data Collection" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 1,734, March 20, 2008.

Monday, August 4

10:00 AM. The U.S. Court of Appeals (FedCir) will hear oral argument in Lexicon Medical v. Northgate Technologies, App. Ct. No. 2007-1420. This is an appeal from the U.S. District Court (NDIll) in a patent infringement case involving the post KSR v. Teleflex obviousness standard. Location: Courtroom 201, 717 Madison Place, NW.

10:00 AM. The U.S. Court of Appeals (FedCir) will hear oral argument in Griffin Broadband Communications v. U.S., App. Ct. No. 2008-5032. This is an appeal from the U.S. Court of Federal Claims in a 5th Amendment takings case involving government termination of a contract relationship regarding the provision of communications services on a military base. Location: Courtroom 402, 717 Madison Place, NW.

2:00 - 3:00 PM. The President's National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee will hold a partially closed meeting by teleconference. See, notice in the Federal Register, June 19, 2008, Vol. 73, No. 119, at Pages 34945-34946.