Tech Law Journal Daily E-Mail Alert
January 15, 2009, Alert No. 1,884.
Home Page | Calendar | Subscribe | Back Issues | Reference
Martin Announces Resignation

1/15. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Kevin Martin announced his resignation, effective January 20, 2009. Martin will join the Aspen Institute in Washington DC. See, FCC release and Aspen release.

Julius Genachowski is President elect Obama's likely choice to replace Martin. See, story titled "Julius Genachowski" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 1,882, January 13, 2009.

The FCC release also contains a 13 page summary of Martin's activities at the FCC.

Kevin MartinFCC Commissioner Michael Copps offered kind words for Martin (at right) in a reflection [2 pages in PDF] on their years together as FCC Commissioners.

Copps wrote that "There were frequent instances when, I am pleased to say, we were able to find common ground. The now famous -- and eventually infamous -- Triennial Review brought us together as we fought for what we thought Congress meant when it instructed the Commission to encourage competition in the telephone industry."

Martin, a Republican, and Copps, a Democrat, joined together in the triennial review order. Then, as expected, the U.S. Court of Appeals (DCCir) overturned key parts of that order.

Copps continued that "We developed, early on, a shared concern over the excesses of violence and family-unfriendly fare on the broadcast airwaves. We each had a special interest in public safety and we found common ground on ways to move it to the forefront."

He also wrote that "We made progress together on instituting and enforcing Internet Openness Principles and took first steps down a road toward a network neutrality regime. We pushed for a more open wireless marketplace."

Copps concluded that "None of this is to paper over our very real differences on many matters of substance and process, with media consolidation, broadband competition policy and Commission transparency coming immediately to mind. But this is not the time or place to revisit things divisive."

Commissioner Robert McDowell praised Martin in a release, and listed some major accomplishments: "our actions to eliminate unreasonable barriers to entry into the video marketplace, to classify wireless broadband internet access as an information service, to help rural healthcare providers and to open the TV white spaces for new wireless services".

Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein wrote in a release that "Martin deserves thanks for his leadership, hard work and many years of public service".

Walter McCormick, head of USTelecom, stated in a release that "Chairman Martin presided over a pivotal period in the still-early story of our broadband nation.  During his tenure, the nation reaped the many diverse benefits of unprecedented private capital investment in modern communications infrastructure throughout the nation. It is estimated that the nation’s nearly 1,400 broadband providers invested roughly $120 billion in the last two years alone."

He added that "The state of U.S. broadband is better for his leadership and his pro-investment policies. His is a record to build on in the years to come."

David Rehr, head of the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), stated in a release that "The FCC chairman's job is one of the most difficult in Washington. On behalf of the broadcast industry, I want to express our thanks to Kevin Martin for his public service. NAB respects Kevin Martin's intellect and his belief in the lifeline role played by local broadcasters. We wish him well."

Jobs to Take Medical Leave of Absence

1/15. Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple, stated in an e-mail to Apple employees that "I have decided to take a medical leave of absence until the end of June".

He did not disclose any health information. He merely stated that "during the past week I have learned that my health-related issues are more complex than I originally thought".

He added that during his absence, Tim Cook will "be responsible for Apple's day to day operations". See, Apple release.

See also, Jobs' statement of January 5, 2009, in which he stated that he has a "hormone imbalance".

Patrick McGoohan Died

1/14. Patrick McGoohan died. He was a co-creator, co-writer, and actor in a British television series titled "The Prisoner", that was originally broadcast in late 1967 and early 1968.

This series dealt with detention without trial, phone intercepts, camera surveillance, foreign intelligence surveillance, sci-fi surveillance techniques, identification, identity theft, television, data aggregation, and other topics relevant to current policy debates.

This TV series was a seminal fictional treatment of the privacy, autonomy and liberty interests of individuals in an environment in which government officials deploy new information and communications technologies to surveil and manipulate the lives of individuals.

This series ran only one season, but is available on DVD [Amazon] and by video streaming.

The Supreme Court issued its 1967 opinion in Katz v. U.S., 389 U.S. 347, applying the 4th Amendment to phone wiretaps, during the original broadcast of The Prisoner.

DOJ Fines AT&T for Violating AT&T Dobson Merger Orders

1/14. The Department of Justice's (DOJ) Antitrust Division filed a show cause petition [8 pages in PDF] in U.S. District Court (DC) in US v. AT&T and Dobson alleging violation by AT&T of two divestiture orders entered in 2007 and 2008 in connection with AT&T's acquisition of Dobson Communications Corporation.

The parties simultaneously filed a proposed settlement agreement and order which provide that AT&T will pay a $2,050,000 fine. See, stipulation [PDF] and order [PDF], signed by Judge Ellen Huvelle on January 14, 2009.

The DOJ alleges that AT&T was required to divest certain mobile wireless businesses in three areas in Kentucky and Oklahoma, to ensure that the divested businesses operated independently of AT&T, and to preserve the confidentiality of information material to the operation of the divested businesses and not give unauthorized personnel access to such information.

The DOJ alleges that AT&T did not fulfill these requirements. It did not separate confidential customer account information of the divested businesses from its own customer records, and it did not prevent unauthorized disclosure. AT&T personnel obtained unauthorized access to the divested businesses' competitively sensitive customer information. In addition, AT&T waived early termination fees for customers of the divested businesses to facilitate switching their wireless service from the divested businesses to AT&T.

Deborah Garza, the acting Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Antitrust Division, stated in a release that "When companies fail to comply with a court order, the Antitrust Division will take swift and certain action to ensure that companies fulfill their responsibilities."

This case is US v. AT&T, Inc. and Dobson Communications Corp., U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, D.C. No. 1:07-cv-1952 (ESH).

Former State Department Employee Pleads to § 1030 Violation

1/14. Dwayne Cross pled guilty in U.S. District Court (DC) to one count of violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), which is codified at 18 U.S.C. § 1030(a)(2)(B), in connection with his unauthorized accessing of computers of the Department of State (DOS).

While a DOS employee he accessed without authorization the Passport Information Electronic Records System (PIERS).

The criminal information [PDF] states that he accessed "confidential passport application files of various celebrities, actors, musicians, comedians, models, politicians, athletes, members of the media, family members, friends, associates, and other individuals".

The Factual Basis for Plea [PDF], signed by Cross and a prosecuting attorney, states that his purpose was "idle curiosity". It adds that he "did not download, copy, print, forward, share, market, sell, or otherwise disseminate the passport applications he unlawfully accessed".

This case is USA v. Dwayne Cross, U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, D.C. No. l:09-mj-00015-JMF-l.

In This Issue

This issue contains the following items:
 • Martin Announces Resignation
 • Jobs to Take Medical Leave of Absence
 • Patrick McGoohan Died
 • DOJ Fines AT&T for Violating AT&T Dobson Merger Orders
 • Former State Department Employee Pleads to § 1030 Violation

Washington Tech Calendar
New items are highlighted in red.
Friday, January 16

The House will not meet.

12:15 - 1:30 PM. The Federal Communications Bar Association's (FCBA) Engineering and Technical Practice and International Telecommunications Practice Committee will host a brown bag lunch titled "Satellite 201: So You Want to Launch a Satellite? Understanding the International and Domestic Regulatory Considerations". The speakers will be Tom Tycz (Goldberg Godles Wiener & Wright) and others. For more information, contact Christy Hammond chammond at wileyrein dot com or 202-719-7365. Location: Wiley Rein, 10th floor, 1750 K St., NW.

Deadline to submit comments to the National Institute of Standards and Technology's (NIST) Computer Security Division (CSD) regarding its SP 800-57 Part 3 [103 pages in PDF] titled "Recommendation for Key Management, Part 3 Application-Specific Key Management Guidance".

Deadline to submit reply comments to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (OUSTR) regarding the operation, effectiveness, and implementation of and compliance with trade agreements regarding telecommunications products and services, including the World Trade Organization (WTO) General Agreement on Trade in Services, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), free trade agreements (FTAs) with Australia, Bahrain, Chile, Morocco, and Singapore, the Dominican Republic-Central America-United States FTAs. See, notice in the Federal Register, November 25, 2008, Vol. 73, No. 228, at Page 71707-71708.

Effective date of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's (USPTO) changes to its Trademark Rules of Practice. These changes pertain to applications, intent to use documents, amendments to classification, requests to divide, and post registration practice. See, notice in the Federal Register, November 17, 2008, Vol. 73, No. 222, at Pages 67759-67776.

Monday, January 19

Martin Luther King's Birthday. See, Office of Personnel Management's (OPM) list of 2009 federal holidays.

The House will not meet.

Effective date of the Department of the Treasury's (DOT) and the Federal Reserve Board's (FRB) rules implementing the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 (UIGEA). See, text of UIGEA and notice in the Federal Register that describes and recites these rules. See, Federal Register, November 18, 2008, Vol. 73, No. 223, at Pages 69381-69411. See also, story titled "Treasury & FRB Publish Internet Gambling Rules" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 1,858, November 18, 2008.

Tuesday, January 20

Inauguration Day.

The House will not meet.

Wednesday, January 21

The House may meet at 12:00 NOON. It may resume consideration of HR 384, the "TARP Reform and Accountability Act".

12:30 - 2:00 PM. The Federal Communications Bar Association's (FCBA) Diversity and Young Lawyers Committees will host a brown bag lunch titled "Work/Life Balance". For more information, RSVP to Jessica Gonzalez at jg433 at law dot georgetown dot edu or Elizabeth Goldin at EGoldin at wileyrein dot com. Location: Georgetown University Law Center, 600 New Jersey Ave., NW.

Thursday, January 22

Deadline to submit reply comments to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in response to its notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) regarding creating a new replacement digital television translator service that will permit full service television stations to continue to provide service to viewers within their coverage area who have lost service as a result of those stations' digital transition. The FCC adopted this item on December 22, 2008, and released the text [14 pages in PDF] on December 23, 2009. It is FCC 08-278 in MB Docket No. 08-253. See, notice in the Federal Register, January 2, 2009, Vol. 74, No. 1, at Pages 61-67.

Friday, January 23

12:30 PM. Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) will give a speech. Location: Ballroom, National Press Club, 13th floor, 529 14th St., NW.

Deadline to submit to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) oppositions to the petition for reconsideration [PDF] filed on December 1, 2008 by Cohen Dippell & Everist regarding the FCC's Second Report and Order and Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking [PDF] in its proceeding titled "In the Matter of An Inquiry Into the Commission's Policies and Rules Regarding AM Radio Service Directional Antenna Performance Verification". The FCC adopted this item on September 24, 2008, and released the text on September 26, 2008. It is FCC 08-228 in MM Docket No. 93-177. See, notice in the Federal Register, January 8, 2009, Vol. 74, No. 5, at Page 810.

About Tech Law Journal

Tech Law Journal publishes a free access web site and a subscription e-mail alert. The basic rate for a subscription to the TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert is $250 per year for a single recipient. There are discounts for subscribers with multiple recipients.

Free one month trial subscriptions are available. Also, free subscriptions are available for journalists, federal elected officials, and employees of the Congress, courts, and executive branch. The TLJ web site is free access. However, copies of the TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert are not published in the web site until two months after writing.

For information about subscriptions, see subscription information page.

Tech Law Journal now accepts credit card payments. See, TLJ credit card payments page.

Solution Graphics

TLJ is published by David Carney
Contact: 202-364-8882.
carney at techlawjournal dot com
P.O. Box 4851, Washington DC, 20008.

Privacy Policy
Notices & Disclaimers
Copyright 1998-2008 David Carney. All rights reserved.