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March 25, 2010, Alert No. 2,064.
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House Subcommittee Approves Calling Card Consumer Protection Act

3/24. The House Commerce Committee's (HCC) Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection amended and approved HR 3993 [LOC | WW], the "Calling Card Consumer Protection Act". The Subcommittee approved a manager's amendment by voice vote, and then approved the bill as amended by voice vote. The bill next goes to the full Committee. This bill requires that prepaid calling cards disclose certain information.

See, bill as introduced [16 pages in PDF] on November 3, 2009, manager's amendment [5 pages in PDF] approved on March 24, 2010, and TLJ edit of bill [HTML] showing changes made by the manager's amendment.

Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY) introduced this bill on November 3, 2009. The Subcommittee held a hearing on December 3, 2009.

S 562  [LOC | WW], titled the "Prepaid Calling Card Consumer Protection Act of 2009", is a related bill in the Senate. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) introduced it on March 10, 2009.

HR 3402 [LOC | WW] was a related bill in the 110th Congress that did not become law.

Rep. Engel (at right) stated in a release that "Calling cards are an invaluable resource for people without long distance telephone, or those who make frequent overseas calls. Students, military, those with family abroad, and others who cannot afford long distance service can save a great deal of money with the cards".

He added that "Calling card fraud harms those who are among the most vulnerable; poor, minority, and immigrant populations as well as our military serving overseas"

The HCC's Memorandum [PDF] of March 22, 2010 regarding this markup states that this bill "is intended to prevent fraud and abuse in the prepaid calling card industry and to provide consumers with accurate and understandable information about the rates, fees, terms, and conditions associated with particular cards".

It continues that "many of the prepaid calling cards sold in the marketplace today have numerous hidden costs such as connection fees, maintenance fees, disconnect fees, and inconsistent rate-per-minute surcharges, and they fail to deliver the full number of advertised calling minutes. One study found that consumers could expect to receive only 60% of the minutes promised on the card. In short, consumers often find that because of misleading information, inconsistent claims, and hidden fees, they do not get the minutes they were promised and essentially are left with a worthless piece of plastic, without any recourse." (Footnotes omitted.)

Bill Summary. This bill, as amended, provides that "Any prepaid calling card provider or prepaid calling card distributor shall accurately disclose" certain information regarding "the terms and conditions of the prepaid calling card", including the name and customer service telephone number of the card provider.

It also requires disclosure on the card of "The number of domestic interstate minutes available from the prepaid calling card and the number of available minutes for all international preferred destinations served by the prepaid calling card at the time of purchase; or ... the dollar value of the prepaid calling card, the domestic interstate rate per minute provided by such card, and the applicable per minute rates for all international preferred destinations served by the prepaid calling card at the time of purchase."

It also requires disclosure of "Any applicable fees", "A description of any additional charges ... and the amount of such charges", "Any limitation on the use or period of time for which the promoted or advertised minutes or rates will be available", "A description of the applicable policies relating to refund, recharge, and any predetermined decrease in value of such card over a period of time", and "Any expiration date applicable to the prepaid calling card or the minutes available with such calling card."

The bill also requires that for prepaid calling cards purchased via the internet, the above described disclosures must also be displayed "in a clear and conspicuous manner and location on the Internet website that the consumer must access prior to purchasing such card".

The bill also contains a ban on "false, misleading, or deceptive representations relating to the terms and conditions of the prepaid calling card".

This bill gives rulemaking and civil enforcement authority to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), and provides an exception to common carriers' exemption from FTC regulation for the purposes of this bill.

The bill requires the FTC to write implementing regulations within one year of enactment, and directs that the FTC follow the rulemaking procedure set forth in the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), rather than the Magnusson Moss Act procedure that governs many FTC proceedings. APA rulemaking procedure, which the Congress periodically directs the FTC to follow in specific proceeding, provides for less openness and procedural fairness to the public and affected parties.

The bill provides that the FTC can write rules regarding the format of the disclosure, but rates, terms and conditions.

It states that the FTC "may prescribe requirements concerning the order, format, presentation, and design of disclosures required by this Act and may establish and require the use of uniform terms, symbols, or categories to describe or disclose fees and additional charges, if the Commission finds that such requirements will assist consumers in making purchasing decisions and effectuate the purposes of this Act. The Commission shall not issue regulations that otherwise specify the rates, terms, and conditions of prepaid calling cards."

What constitutes "rates, terms and conditions" is not always clear to regulators and judges. Neither the bill's section on FTC authority, nor the definitional section, provide any clarification.

In addition to FTC rulemaking and enforcement, the bill leaves numerous other entities with authority to engage in potentially redundant activities.

First, the bill does not preclude the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) from conducting a redundant rulemaking proceeding under the Communications Act. It merely requires that if the FCC does so, it "shall coordinate with the Federal Trade Commission to ensure that any such requirements are not  inconsistent with the requirements of this Act and the regulations issued under" it.

Second, the bill gives states, including their public utility commissions and consumer protection agencies, authority to enforce this Act. It provides that states "may bring a civil action on behalf of the residents of that State in a district court of the United States of appropriate jurisdiction, or any other court of competent jurisdiction to --- (A) enjoin that practice; (B) enforce compliance with this Act; (C) obtain damage, restitution, or other compensation on behalf of residents of the State; ..."

It further provides that if a state brings an action under this Act, the FCC may intervene, participate, and remove to federal court, but not block the action. However, if the FCC is the first to file an action, then no state may initiate an action under this Act during the pendency of the FCC action against the defendants named in the FCC action.

This limitation language in the bill is weak. If the FCC initiated an action against one company, a state could act against a parent or subsidiary company, or officers, for the same underlying conduct. If the FCC proceeds against a card provider, a state could proceed against a card distribution for the same underlying conduct. Also, states are free to proceed before or after the pendency of a federal action.

The bill could have given the FCC authority, in its discretion, upon the filing of its own action, to direct the court to dismiss the state action. But, it did not.

Also, the bill does not preempt state laws. The bill merely precludes a state from establishing or continuing a law "that contains requirements regarding disclosures to be printed on prepaid calling cards or packaging unless such requirements are identical to the requirements of section 3." States are free to write laws that create state causes of action, and set state remedies.

The bill is silent on private rights of action for violation of the bill, or state law.

Finally, the bill requires studies to be conducted by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) and FTC, in consultation with the FCC.

The manager's amendment made numerous changes to the bill. Among the more important changes are the preemption language, and the addition of a ban on false, misleading, or deceptive representations.

House Passes Federal Peer to Peer Bill

3/24. The House passed HR 4098 [LOC | WW], the "Secure Federal File Sharing Act", by a vote of 408-13. See, Roll Call No. 183.

This bill provides that the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) "shall issue guidance on the use of peer-to-peer file sharing software ... to prohibit the download, installation, or use by Government employees and contractors of open-network peer-to-peer file sharing software on all Federal computers, computer systems, and networks, including those operated by contractors on the Government's behalf", unless approved by a process set by the OMB. See also, See, House Report No. 111-431.

Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), who represents a Silicon Valley district, voted present. Her position is that the idea of the bill is good, but that the bill is poorly crafted, and could be overbroad.

Rep. Edolphus Towns (D-NY), the Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee (HOGRC), introduced this bill on November 17, 2009. He stated during floor debate that this bill "is intended to improve the cybersecurity of Federal systems in response to a series of troubling breaches of confidential information". See also, Towns' release.

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), the ranking Republican on the HOGRC emphasized security, and threats from spyware. He said that "those who market this software to the public, usually for free, do so with backdoors deliberately there that make it enticing to those who want access, and that's how their revenue comes."

Rep. Issa continued that "the very players who will provide you peer-to-peer for free so that you can get thousands of videos, plenty of music, and exchange pictures often do so specifically so that you unwittingly open up all of your information."

Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-NY) stated in the House that "this bill reduces the risk to our government computer systems of downloading malicious software that could infect other systems within the government. It is well documented that peer-to-peer applications are regularly used by hackers to incorporate spyware, viruses, Trojan horses, or worms onto the downloader's computer. Not only does this expose a person's personal information to exploitation, but could put sensitive information about our government resources into unfriendly hands."

Rep. Yvette ClarkeRep. Clarke (at right) continued that "peer-to-peer software is frequently used to illegally download software or documents that are otherwise protected by intellectual property laws. Allowing Federal employees to use this software to download pirated materials not only puts them at risk of prosecution, but puts the Federal government in a precarious position of having passively supported illegal acts."

No one spoke against the bill. Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA), who voted against the bill, demanded a roll call vote.

All of the 13 votes against the bill were cast by Republicans. Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) voted no. He consistently, and often solitarily, votes against bills that limit individual freedom, or increase federal government power.

The other votes against the bill were cast by members with strong libertarian, anti-government, and/or conservative leanings, some of whom frequently vote against bills passed by huge majorities. Some have been casting frequent no votes in the 111th Congress.

A block of Georgia Republicans voted no: Rep. Broun, Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-GA), Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA), Rep. Tom Price (R-GA), and Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (R-GA). A block of Texas Republicans voted no; Rep. Paul, Rep. Kenny Marchant (R-TX), Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX). Two other Southern Republicans voted no: Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO) and Rep. John Duncan (R-TN). Three others voted no: Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI), and Rep. Don Young (R-AK).

There are agendas other than cyber security. Copyright based industries, and particularly, movies and recorded music, seek to limit revenues lost as a result of peer to peer systems. Limiting government employee's access to free music and movies via peer to peer systems is one of many ways to pursue this goal.

Perhaps it should be noted that that when federal employees spend time using peer to peer applications at work for personal reasons, they are spending less time performing their governmental functions. The same could be said for online shopping, poker, and porn. Also, use of these peer to peer applications can lead to harm to federal computer systems. All of these things can diminish agencies' ability to regulate the lives of individuals. Limiting such regulation is a goal of anti-government libertarians. Thus, under this perspective, the more that peer to peer systems clog up and bog down federal regulatory efforts, the happier certain freedom loving people would be.

Senate Commerce Committee Amends Cybersecurity Act

3/24. The Senate Commerce Committee (SCC) amended and approved S 773 [LOC | WW], the "Cybersecurity Act of 2009". See, SCC release.

This is a huge bill that addresses the development of a skilled cyber security workforce, cyber security of federal government systems, collaboration between the federal government and the private sector in promoting cyber security, and federal authority and powers with respect to cyber security. It does not criminalize any conduct, contain any criminal law provisions, or provide any resources for law enforcement agencies. It does not mandate or address authentication, except to require two reports on the subject.

Sen. John Rockefeller (D-WV), Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME), and Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) introduced this bill on April 1, 2009.

On March 17, 2010, Senators Rockefeller and Snowe released a revised draft [62 pages in PDF] of the bill. For a summary of that draft, see Senators' summary [6 pages in PDF], and story titled "Senate Commerce Committee to Mark Up Revised Cyber Security Bill" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 2,060, March 20, 2010.

Summary of Amendments. The SCC approved numerous amendments at its executive session of March 24, 2010. It then approved the bill as amended. These amendments are presented below, alphabetically by sponsor, and numerically, rather in the order in which they were considered.

Also, new language is shown in red. Deleted language is shown in strikethrough. Readers whose e-mail services or applications change certain HTML source code may receive an altered and less comprehensible version of this article.

Cantwell 1 [1 page in PDF]. The SCC approved an amendment offered by Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA) that amends the definition of "information system" to also include "industrial control systems".

Cantwell 7 [1 page in PDF]. The SCC approved an amendment offered by Sen. Cantwell pertaining to Section 204 and "NIST Cybersecurity Guidance". It extends the deadline by which federal departments and agencies must measure their risks.

Cantwell 8 [PDF]. The SCC approved another amendment offered by Sen. Cantwell pertaining to Section 204 regarding the deadline for compliance.

Cantwell 12 [2 pages in PDF]. The SCC approved an amendment offered by Sen. Cantwell that relates to her amendment 1. This amendment also creates a grant program to fund education in "cybersecurity in modern industrial control systems". It also authorizes appropriations totaling $4 Million for this purpose.

Hutchison 1 [PDF]. The SCC approved an amendment offered by Sen. Kay Hutchison (R-TX) that amends Section 4. As amended, this section would require a rulemaking proceeding to "establish a procedure for the designation of any information system the infiltration, incapacitation, or disruption of which would threaten a strategic national interests have a debilitating impact on national security, including national economic security and national public health or safety as a critical infrastructure information system under this Act". This amendment broadens the reach of this bill.

Hutchison 2 [PDF]. The SCC approved an amendment offered by Sen. Hutchison.

Hutchison 3 [1 page in PDF]. The SCC approved an amendment offered by Sen. Hutchison that contains a minor technical amendment to the language in Section 102 creating a program that would give federal cyber security scholarships to students going to work for the government, with the authorization of appropriations of $300 Million over five years.

Hutchison 4 [1 page in PDF]. The SCC approved another amendment offered by Sen. Hutchison which changes the Section 102 scholarship program. This amendment provides that for students to be eligible for scholarship money, they must "have demonstrated a level of proficiency in math or computer sciences".

So perhaps, this money is not meant to subsidize French Lit majors.

Hutchison 5 [1 page in PDF]. The SCC approved an amendment offered by Sen. Hutchison that deletes language regarding the use of unspent funds for the prizes in cyber security competitions in Section 103.

Hutchison 6 [1 page in PDF]. The SCC approved an amendment offered by Sen. Hutchison that changes a key provision of the bill.

Section 201(b) of the bill, as amended by Hutchison 6, requires that the President, "in collaboration with owners and operators of United States critical infrastructure information systems, sector coordinating councils and relevant governmental agencies, regulatory entities, and nongovernmental organizations, develop and rehearse detailed response and restoration plans that clarify specific roles, responsibilities, and authorities of government and private sector actors during cybersecurity emergencies; emergencies, and that identify the types of events and incidents that would constitute a cybersecurity emergency".

However, the SCC further modified this amendment, and TLJ does not have the language of that further modification. Moreover, Klobuchar 1 further amends this Section 201(b)(1). See, below.

Hutchison 7 [PDF]. The SCC modified and then approved an amendment offered by Sen. Hutchison pertaining to Section 301 and cyber security education.

Hutchison 8 [PDF]. The SCC modified and then approved an amendment offered by Sen. Hutchison regarding Section 402 and federal assistance to state and regional cyber security centers. The amendment pertains to precluding federally assisted centers from competing with private sector entities.

Klobuchar 1 [1 page in PDF]. The SCC modified and then approved an amendment offered by Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) which amends several sections of the bill to elaborate on the meaning of "government agencies". Her amendment provides the term "government agencies", here and elsewhere, includes "Federal, State, and local law enforcement entities".

Klobuchar 2 [1 page in PDF] The SCC approved an amendment offered by Sen. Klobuchar regarding an FCC study. The March 17 draft includes a brief requirement that the FCC do a "Broadband Cybersecurity Review". The amendment replaces this language with the following: the FCC "shall report to Congress on effective and efficient means to ensure the cybersecurity of commercial broadband networks as related to public safety, consumer welfare, healthcare, education, energy, government, security and other national purposes. This report should also consider consumer education and outreach programs to assist individuals in protecting their home and personal computers and other devices."

Udall 1 [PDF]. The SCC approved an amendment offered by Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM) to provide that cyber security research also examine "consumer education and digital literacy initiatives".

Warner 1 [PDF]. The SCC modified and then approved an amendment offered by Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) regarding authentication. The March 17 draft, at Section 210, requires a study "on the feasibility of an identity management and authentication program".

Sen. Warner's amendment, as modified, adds a new Section 211, that provides as follows:

SEC. 211. REPORT ON EVALUATION OF CERTAIN IDENTITY AUTHENTICATION FUNCTIONALITIES.

(a) IN GENERAL. Not later than 90 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the National Institute of Standards and Technology shall issue a public report evaluating identity authentication solutions to determine the necessary level of functionality and privacy protection, based on risk, commensurate with the level of data assurance and sensitivity, as defined by OMB e-Authentication Guidance Memorandum 04-04 (OMB 04-04).

(b) CONTENTS. The report under this section shall

(1) assess strategies and best practices for mapping the 4 authentication levels with authentication functionalities appropriate for each level; and

(2) address specifically authentication levels and appropriate functionalities necessary and available for the protection of electronic medical records and health information.

In This Issue
This issue contains the following items:
  House Subcommittee Approves Calling Card Consumer Protection Act
  House Passes Federal Peer to Peer Bill
  Senate Commerce Committee Amends Cybersecurity Act
Washington Tech Calendar
New items are highlighted in red.
Thursday, March 25

The House will meet at 10:00 AM for legislative business. It will consider several non-technology related items. See, Rep. Hoyer's schedule for week of March 22, and schedule for March 25.

The Senate will meet at 9:45 AM. It will resume consideration of HR 4872 [LOC | WW], the "Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act".

8:30 AM - 4:30 PM. Day two of a two day meeting of the Department of the Interior's (DOI) U.S. Geological Survey's (USGS) National Geospatial Advisory Committee (NGAC). See, notice in the Federal Register, March 5, 2010, Vol. 75, No. 43, at Page 10309. Location: One Washington Circle Hotel, 1 Washington Circle, NW.

10:00 AM. The Senate Judiciary Committee (SJC) will hold an executive business meeting. The agenda includes consideration of S 3111 [LOC | WW], the "Faster FOIA Act of 2010", a bill to create a powerless commission that would write a toothless report on why federal officials do not comply with the federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), which is codified at 5 U.S.C. 552. The agenda also includes consideration judicial nominees: Sharon Coleman (to be a Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois), Gary Feinerman (USDC/NDIll), and William Martinez (USDC/DColo). The SJC rarely follows its published agendas. The SJC will webcast this event. See, notice. Location: Room 226, Dirksen Building.

10:00 AM. The House Commerce Committee's (HCC) Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, and the Internet (SCTI) will hold a hearing on the FCC staff report [376 pages in PDF] titled "A National Broadband Plan for Our Future". See, HCC notice, and story titled "FCC Releases National Broadband Plan" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 2,058, March 15, 2010. Location: Room 2123, Rayburn Building.

11:00 AM - 1:00 PM. The Democratic Leadership Council (DLC) will host an event titled "What Can the U.S. Do to Spur Job Creation?". The speakers will include Gary Locke (Secretary of Commerce), Karen Mills (Administrator of the Small Business Administration), Rep. Betsy Markey (D-CO), Xavier Williams (AT&T), and Bruce Reed (DLC). For more information, contact Marc Dunkelman at mdunkelman at dlc dot org or 202-608-1243 or Conor McKay at cmckay at dlc dot org or 202-608-1232. Location: Newseum, Knight Conference Center, 8th floor, 555 Pennsylvania Ave., NW.

2:00 PM. The House Appropriations Committee's (HAC) Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, State and Related Agencies will hold a hearing titled "USPTO FY 2011 Budget Overview". The witness will be David Kappos (head of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office). Location: Room H-309, Capitol Building.

6:00 - 8:00 PM. The Federal Communications Bar Association's (FCBA) Young Lawyers Committee will host an event titled "Happy Hour". For more information, contact Nguyen Vu at nguyen dot vu at bingham dot com or Micah Caldwell at mcaldwell at fh-law dot com. Location: Mackey's Public House, 1823 L St., NW.

Friday, March 26

The House will meet at 9:00 AM for legislative business. See, Rep. Hoyer's schedule for week of March 22.

RESCHEDULED FOR MARCH 31. 9:00 AM. The Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau (PSHSB) will hold a meeting regarding the public safety and homeland security related portions of the FCC's March 16, 2010, staff report [376 pages in PDF] titled "National Broadband Plan". Location: FCC, Commission Meeting Room.

9:30 AM - 12:00 NOON. The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) and the Embassy of Sweden will host a event titled "Health IT Seminar". See, notice. Register with RSVP-hos at foreign dot ministry dot se. Location: Embassy of Sweden, 2900 K St., NW

10:00 AM - 12:00 NOON. The Department of State's (DOS) International Telecommunication Advisory Committee (ITAC) will meet by teleconference to prepare for an April 19-30, 2010, meeting of International Telecommunication Union's (ITU) Telecommunication Standardization Sector's (ITU-T) Study Group 13 (Future networks including mobile and Next Generation Networks). See, notice in the Federal Register, March 9, 2010, Vol. 75, No. 45, at Page 10860.

12:00 NOON. The American Bar Association's (ABA) Antitrust Section will host a brown bag lunch titled "60 Minutes with the Antitrust Division". The speakers will include Christine Varney, William Cavanaugh, and Molly Boast. Location: Wilmer Hale, 1875 Pennsylvania Ave., NW.

10:00 PM. 5:00 PM. Extended deadline to submit to the Department of Commerce's (DOC) National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) applications for Comprehensive Community Infrastructure (CCI) projects under the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP). See, notice in the Federal Register, March 8, 2010, Vol. 75, No. 44, at Page 10464, and notice in the Federal Register, March 24, 2010, Vol. 75, No. 56, at Page 14131.

Monday, March 29

Passover begins at sunset.

The House will not meet the week of March 29 - April 2, 2010, or the week of April 5-9, 2010. See, 2010 House calendar.

The Senate will not meet the week of March 29 - April 2, 2010, or the week of April 5-9, 2010. See, 2010 Senate calendar.

3:00 PM. Deadline to submit to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) a "Letter of Intent" to request grant money under the NIST Construction Grant Program for FY 2010. This $50 Million program subsidizes the construction of research science buildings of colleges, universities, and non-profit science research organizations. See, notice in the Federal Register, March 2, 2010, Vol. 75, No. 40, at Pages 9392-9397.

5:00 PM. Extended deadline to submit to the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) applications under the second round Notice of Funds Availability (NOFA) for the Broadband Initiatives Program (BIP). See, notice in the Federal Register, March 8, 2010, Vol. 75, No. 44, at Pages 10455-10456.

Deadline to submit comments to the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) in response to its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) regarding changing the requirements for Emergency Restoration Plans (ERPs) to include compliance with the requirements established by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for public assistance grant eligibility in the event of a declared disaster. See, notice in the Federal Register, January 26, 2010, Vol. 75, No. 16, at Pages 4006-4007.

Tuesday, March 30

8:45 AM - 5:00 PM. Day one of a two day meeting of the National Nanotechnology Coordination Office (NNCO) and the Executive Office of the President's (EOP) Office of Science and Technology Policy's (OSTP) National Science and Technology Council's (NSTC) Nanoscale Science, Engineering, and Technology (NSET) Subcommittee. The meeting will address "science related to environmental, health, and safety aspects of nanomaterials". See, notice in the Federal Register, February 26, 2010, Vol. 75, No. 38, at Pages 9007-9008. Location: Holiday Inn Rosslyn-Key Bridge, 1900 N. Fort Myer Drive, Arlington, VA.

9:00 AM - 5:00 PM. Day one of a two day meeting of Department of Energy's (DOE) Office of Science's Advanced Scientific Computing Advisory Committee (ASCAC). The agenda for March 30 includes "Exascale Computing". See, notice in the Federal Register, March 4, 2010, Vol. 75, No. 42, at Page 9887. Location: American Geophysical Union, 2000 Florida Ave., NW.

2:00 - 3:30 PM. The Department of Justice's (DOJ) Antitrust Division will host a seminar presented by James Roberts (Duke University) titled "Entry and Selection in Auctions". For more information, contact Patrick Greenlee at 202-307-3745 or atr dot eag at usdoj dot gov. Location: DOJ, Liberty Square Building, 450 5th St., NW.

Deadline to submit reply comments to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in response to its Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (2ndFNPRM) regarding the Emergency Alert System (EAS) The FCC adopted this item on January 12, 2010, and released the text [23 pages in PDF] on January 14. It is FCC 10-11 in EB Docket No. 04-296. See, notice in the Federal Register, January 29, 2010, Vol. 75, No. 19, at Pages 4760-4768.

Wednesday, March 31

8:00 AM - 4:00 PM. Day two of a two day meeting of the National Nanotechnology Coordination Office (NNCO) and the Executive Office of the President's (EOP) Office of Science and Technology Policy's (OSTP) National Science and Technology Council's (NSTC) Nanoscale Science, Engineering, and Technology (NSET) Subcommittee. The meeting will address "science related to environmental, health, and safety aspects of nanomaterials". See, notice in the Federal Register, February 26, 2010, Vol. 75, No. 38, at Pages 9007-9008. Location: Holiday Inn Rosslyn-Key Bridge, 1900 N. Fort Myer Drive, Arlington, VA.

9:00 AM - 12:00 NOON. Day one of a two day meeting of Department of Energy's (DOE) Office of Science's Advanced Scientific Computing Advisory Committee (ASCAC). See, notice in the Federal Register, March 4, 2010, Vol. 75, No. 42, at Page 9887. Location: American Geophysical Union, 2000 Florida Ave., NW.

9:30 - 11:30 AM. The Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau (PSHSB) will hold a meeting regarding the public safety and homeland security related portions of the FCC's March 16, 2010, staff report [376 pages in PDF] titled "National Broadband Plan". Location: FCC, Commission Meeting Room.

1:00 - 5:00 PM. The Federal Communications Bar Association's (FCBA) Mass Media Committee will host an event titled "Media Regulation and the First Amendment in the 21st Century". The price to attend ranges from $50 to $350. This event qualifies for continuing legal education credits. Location: Newseum, 555 Pennsylvania Ave., NW.

5:00 PM. Deadline to submit nominations to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for National Medal of Technology and Innovation awards. See, nomination form [MS Word].

Deadline for the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (OUSTR) to issue its Section 1377 report regarding the operation, effectiveness, and implementation of, and compliance with, the telecommunications provisions of 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, Oman, Peru, and Singapore, and the Dominican Republic -- Central America -- U.S. Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR). See, notice in the Federal Register, November 17, 2009, Vol. 74, No. 220, at Pages 59339-59340.

Deadline to submit initial comments to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in response to its Public Notice (PN) requesting comments on the Petition for Rulemaking [18 pages in PDF] regarding 700 MHz band mobile equipment design and procurement practices. This PN is DA 10-278 in RM No. 11592. The FCC released it on February 18, 2010. The Petition was filed on September 29, 2009, by four lower 700 MHz Band A Block licensees. See, notice in the Federal Register, March 1, 2010, Vol. 75, No. 39, at Pages 9210-9211.

Deadline for facilities based carriers that provide international telecommunications services to file a Circuit Status Report with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). See, notice.

Thursday, April 1

9:00 AM - 6:00 PM. Day one of a two day meeting of the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Advisory Committee for Mathematical and Physical Sciences. See, notice in the Federal Register, March 5, 2010, Vol. 75, No. 43, at Page 10328. Location: NSF, RM 375, 4201 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA.

10:00 AM - 12:00 NOON. The Department of Health and Human Services' (DHHS) Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology's (ONCHIT) HIT Standards Committee's Privacy & Security Workgroup will meet by webcast. See, notice in the Federal Register, March 17, 2010, Vol. 75, No. 51, at Page 12753.

Friday, April 2

Good Friday.

9:00 AM - 3:00 PM. Day two of a two day meeting of the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Advisory Committee for Mathematical and Physical Sciences. See, notice in the Federal Register, March 5, 2010, Vol. 75, No. 43, at Page 10328. Location: NSF, RM 375, 4201 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA.

9:30 - 11:00 AM. The New America Foundation (NAF) will host a panel discussion titled "Can You Hear Me Now? Why Your Cell Phone is So Terrible". This event is free and open to the public. See, notice and registration page. Location: NAF, 1899 L St., NW.

Deadline to submit comments to the National Institute of Standards and Technology's (NIST) Computer Security Division (CSD) regarding its draft NIST IR-7628 [305 pages in PDF] titled "Smart Grid Cyber Security Strategy and Requirements".

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