Tech Law Journal Daily E-Mail Alert
August 18, 2009, Alert No. 1,978.
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Obama Extends Export Regulation

8/13. President Obama issued another in a long series of perfunctory declarations of emergency with respect to regulation of exports. These declarations are issued to justify the continuing enforcement of the export regulations of the Department of Commerce's (DOC) Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS). These regulations implement the Export Administration Act of 1979, which expired in 2001.

The White House news office also announced a forthcoming review of export regulation, to be conducted within the Executive Office of the President (EOP).

There were serious efforts to write an export control statute in 2000 and 2001. Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WY) was active in the Senate. Rep. David Dreier (R-CA) was active in the House. However, no bill was enacted, and there has been little effort since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Hence, the U.S. maintains a regulatory regime without a statute. Former President Bush, and now President Obama, perpetuate this regime with their annual declarations.

The BIS regulates, among other things, exports and "deemed exports" of dual use items, such as computers, software, and encryption products, as well as some employment practices.

The just issued declaration states that "On August 17, 2001, consistent with the authority provided to the President under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.), the President issued Executive Order 13222. In that order, he declared a national emergency with respect to the unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States in light of the expiration of the Export Administration Act of 1979, as amended (50 U.S.C. App. 2401 et seq.). Because the Export Administration Act has not been renewed by the Congress, the national emergency declared on August 17, 2001, must continue in effect beyond August 17, 2009. Therefore, in accordance with section 202(d) of the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1622(d)), I am continuing for 1 year the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13222." See, notice in the Federal Register, August 14, 2009, Vol. 74, No. 156, at Pages 41323-41325.

The White House news office also issued a release, which states that "Today, the President extended the authority for Department of Commerce-administered export controls. In addition, the President has directed that the NEC/NSC launch a broad-based interagency process for reviewing the overall U.S. export control system, including both the dual-use and defense trade processes. The aim of the review is to consider reforms to the system to enhance the national security, foreign policy, and economic security interests of the United States. The US has one of the most robust export control systems in the world. But, it is rooted in the Cold War era of over 50 years ago and must be updated to address the threats we face today and the changing economic and technological landscape."

The NEC is the National Economic Council. The NSC is the National Security Council. Both are within the EOP.

Neither the declaration nor the notice reference regulation of encryption products. See also, stories titled "Obama Picks Encryption Opponent for ODNI General Counsel", "What Robert Litt Had to Say About Encryption" and "TLJ Coverage of Encryption Policy Debates: 1998-2000" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 1,929, April 20, 2009. The Senate confirmed Robert Litt in June.

More Export Regulation News

8/14. The Department of Commerce's (DOC) Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS), which regulates exports, announced in a release that it fined RF Micro Devices, Inc. $190,000 for exporting spread spectrum modems to the People's Republic of China.

8/11. The Department of Commerce's (DOC) Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) published a notice in the Federal Register that announces, describes, recites, and sets the comment deadline (September 25, 2009) for, it proposed rules changes regarding the export of crime control items. These proposed rules pertain pertain to non-information technology related items, including as "Gallows and guillotines" and "electric chairs". This notice also announces that "In one or more subsequent stages, BIS intends to address more complex Commerce Control List matters such as whether, and, if so, the extent to which biometric measuring devices, integrated data systems, simulators, and communications equipment should be listed on the Commerce Control List; the degree to which software and technology related to commodities on the Commerce Control List should be listed and how such software and technology should be described; and general policy issues such as whether the range of destinations to which crime control license requirements apply should be modified." However, this notice does not request comments, or announce any hearings, on these matters. See, Federal Register, August 11, 2009, Vol. 74, No. 153, at Pages 40117-40121.

Pioneer of Offshore Internet Gambling Pleads Guilty to RICO and Wire Act Charges

8/13. Gary Stephen Kaplan pled guilty in U.S. District Court (EDMo) to violation of the RICO Act and Wire Act in connection with his operation of an offshore and unprotected gambling business. It took bets online and via telephone.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation's (FBI) John Gillies stated in a Department of Justice (DOJ) release the Kaplan was "one of the pioneers of illegal online gambling". Gillies also boasted about taking down someone who was "making it too easy for people to gamble away their hard earned money".

Yet, while Kaplan was targeted for his gambling operation, he was taken down on RICO Act and Wire Act charges. Gambling is legal, protected, and regulated in the U.S.

The DOJ stated in its release that Kaplan's business, BetOnSports, or BOS, "was highly successful", employed as many as 1,700 people, and in 2004 had "close to one million registered customers". The DOJ added that in 2004 "Kaplan made a successful public offering of the stock of BetOnSports on the London Alternative Investment Market that netted him over $100,000,000."

Although, BOS failed following Kaplan's arrest and indictment in 2007. He has been held without bond since then.

He pled guilty on August 13 to conspiracy to violate the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act, which is codified at 18 U.S.C. §§ 1951-1960, conspiracy violate the Wire Act, which is codified at 18 U.S.C. § 1084, and violation of the Wire Act.

The DOJ added there is a plea agreement under which Kaplan will pay $43,650,000 to the government, and serve 41 to 51 months in prison. He has already served about 30 months.

The DOJ stated that Kaplan located his business first on the Caribbean islands of Aruba and Antigua, and later in the Central American nation of Costa Rica.

It continued that he provided gambling services to U.S. residents "through Internet Web sites and toll-free telephone numbers". Moreover, the DOJ explained, "BetOnSports-related entities controlled toll free numbers and domain names advertised by BetOnSports. Technologically, Kaplan’s toll-free telephone lines terminated in Houston or Miami, and then were forwarded to Costa Rica by satellite transmitter or fiber-optic cable. Some of Kaplan’s Web servers were located in Miami and were remotely controlled from Costa Rica. U.S. residents became customers of BetOnSports by depositing funds on account and placing wagers over U.S. toll-free telephone lines and via the Internet using the deposited funds. Funds were sent from the U.S. customers to BoS operations outside the United States and BoS sent winnings from outside the United States to its U.S. customers."

The Wire Act does not illegalize gambling. No federal statute illegalizes gambling. The subject is left to the states. In some states the gambling sector is a major component of the local economy, and supplies a critical part of the tax revenues. Many states and localities are providers of gambling services, which raise substantial revenues for government operations. Offshore internet gambling operations compete with these protected forms of gambling.

The Wire Act only illegalizes the use of interstate wire communications in gambling businesses. It provides, in part, 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 or information assisting in the placing of bets or wagers on any sporting event or contest, or for the transmission of a wire communication which entitles the recipient to receive money or credit as a result of bets or wagers, or for information assisting in the placing of bets or wagers, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than two years, or both."

The U.S. has also carved out exceptions. This has resulted in a World Trade Organization (WTO) holding that the U.S. gambling regulatory regime, which carves out no exceptions for offshore gambling businesses, discriminate against foreign internet gambling businesses in violation of the U.S.'s WTO obligations. 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, and "WTO Allows Offshore Nation not to Enforce US IPR as Damages for US Protection of Onshore Internet Gambling" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 1,692, December 21, 2007.

Some Senators and Representatives worked to enact legislation beginning in the late 1990s to illegalize internet gambling. Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) and Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) were active in these efforts. They failed, even after conceding numerous limitations and exceptions in their bills.

Proponents of some form of regulation did succeed in enacting the "Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act" (UIGEA) in the 109th Congress. The UIGEA attempts 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". It was enacted as part of a large bill, HR 4954 (109th), the "Port Security Improvement Act 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.

With the passage of the UIGEA and the Democratic takeover of the House and Senate, all significant efforts to further limit or regulate internet gambling died. Moreover, Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA), the Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, which has jurisdiction over bills such as the UIGEA, is an outspoken libertarian on gambling issues. Similarly, Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee (HJC), which has jurisdiction over bills related to crimes, has differed with Rep. Goodlatte (also a HJC member) on gambling issues.

In This Issue
This issue contains the following items:
 • Obama Extends Export Regulation
 • More Export Regulation News
 • Pioneer of Offshore Internet Gambling Pleads Guilty to RICO and Wire Act Charges
 • More News
Washington Tech Calendar
New items are highlighted in red.
Tuesday, August 18

The House will not meet. It will return from its August recess on September 8.

The Senate will not meet. It will return from its August recess on September 8.

6:00 PM. Deadline to submit applications to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to participate in Auction 86. See, notice in the Federal Register, July 30, 2009, Vol. 74, No. 145, at Pages 38018-38033. Auction 86 pertains to licenses for unassigned Broadband Radio Service (BR) spectrum. This auction is scheduled to begin on October 27, 2009.

Wednesday, August 19

Deadline to submit reply comments to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in response to its Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking regarding reinstating an exemption for 4.9 GHz band applications from coordination via a certified frequency coordinator. This item is FCC 09-29 in WP Docket No. 07-100. See, notice in the Federal Register, May 21, 2009, Vol. 74, No. 97, at Pages 23816-23822.

Thursday, August 20

1:00 - 2:30 PM ET. The American Bar Association will host a panel discussion by teleconference and webcast titled "Upgrade to Outlook 2007 and Upgrade Your Client Retention". See, notice. Prices vary.

5:00 PM. Extended deadline to submit applications under the Broadband Initiatives Program (BIP) and the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP). This extension only applies to electronic applications pending as of 5:00 PM ET on August 14, 2009. See, notice in the Federal Register, August 18, 2009, Vol. 74, No. 158, at  Page 41676.

Friday, August 21

Deadline to submit comments to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) in response to its Notice of Inquiry (NOI) regarding implementation of the Commercial Spectrum Enhancement Act (CSEA) and relocation of federal systems in the 1710-1755 MHz band. See, notice in the Federal Register, July 7, 2009, Vol. 74, No. 128, at Pages 32131-32138.

Deadline to submit initial comments to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in response to its notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) regarding authorizing channels with bandwidths of as much as 30 MHz in the 6525-6875 MHz band, and allowing conditional authority on additional channels in the 21.8-22.0 GHz and 23.0-23.2 GHz band. The FCC adopted and released this NPRM [22 pages in PDF] on June 29, 2009. It is FCC 09-58 in WT Docket No. 09-114 and RM 11417. See, notice in the Federal Register, July 22, 2009, Vol. 74, No. 139, at Pages 36134-36139.

Monday, August 24

Deadline to submit comments to the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) regarding "the E-Verify Program Designated Agent Process under which a participating employer may choose to outsource submission of employment eligibility verification queries for newly hired employees to a Designated Agent". See, notice in the Federal Register, June 23, 2009, Vol. 74, No. 119, at Page 29711.

Tuesday, August 25

6:00 - 9:15 PM. The DC Bar Association will host an event titled "How to Recognize Critical Software Intellectual Property Issues in Everyday Practice". The speakers will be David Temeles (Bean Kinney & Korman) and Todd Trivett (Jeff Parmet & Associates). The price to attend ranges from $89 to $129. Most DC Bar events are not open to the public. See, notice. Location: DC Bar Conference Center, 1101 K St., NW.

Deadline to submit comments to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) regarding complaints concerning invention promoters and responses from the invention promoters to these complaints. See, notice in the Federal Register, June 26, 2009, Vol. 74, No. 122, at Pages 30528-30529.

Wednesday, August 26

No events listed.

More News

8/13. The National Institute of Standards and Technology's (NIST) Computer Security Division (CSD) released its draft SP 800-73 -3 titled "Interfaces for Personal Identity Verification". September 13, 2009, is the deadline to submit comments.

8/12. The Copyright Office (CO) published a notice in the Federal Register that announces, describes, and attaches four agreements which set rates and terms for the reproduction and performance of sound recordings made by certain webcasters under two statutory licenses. This notice adds that "Webcasters who meet the eligibility requirements may choose to operate under the statutory licenses in accordance with the rates and terms set forth in the agreements published herein rather than the rates and terms of any determination by the Copyright Royalty Judges." See, Federal Register, August 12, 2009, Vol. 74, No. 154, at Pages 40614-40628.

8/11. The National Institute of Standards and Technology's (NIST) Computer Security Division (CSD) released its draft NIST IR 7581 [32 pages in PDF] titled "System and Network Security Acronyms and Abbreviations". September 11, 2009, is deadline to submit comments.

8/10. The Copyright Office (CO) published a notice in the Federal Register that announces, describes, recites, and sets the effective dates for, its interim rule regarding "Special Handling of Pending Claims Requiring Expedited Processing for purposes of Litigation". This rule is effective from August 10, 2009 through July 1, 2011. See, Federal Register, August 10, 2009, Vol. 74, No. 152, at Pages 39900-39903.

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