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Friday, June 8, 2012, Alert No. 2,393.
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House Judiciary Committee Approves RAPID Act

6/6. The House Judiciary Committee (HJC) amended and approved HR 4377 [LOC | WW], the "Responsibly And Professionally Invigorating Development Act of 2012", or "RAPID Act".

The HJC approved an amendment in the nature of a substitute (AINS) [31 pages in PDF] offered by Rep. Dennis Ross (R-FL). The vote on passage was 14-8. It was straight party line vote. All of the yes votes were cast by Republicans. All of the no votes were cast by Democrats.

The HJC rejected five amendments to the AINS offered by Democrats. See, amendment [1 page in PDF] offered by Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA), amendment [1 page in PDF] offered by Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), amendment [1 page in PDF] offered by Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), amendment [1 page in PDF] offered by Rep. Sheila Lee (D-TX), and amendment [15 pages in PDF] offered by Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN).

Each amendment failed on a straight party line vote. The lack of support from HJC Democrats does not bode well for the bill in the Senate, which has a Democratic majority.

Four California Democrats did not participate in any of the roll call votes: Rep. Howard Berman (D-CA), Rep. Zoe Lofren (D-CA), Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA), and Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA).

Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), the Chairman of the HJC and a cosponsor of the bill, wrote in his opening statement that "The federal regulatory process remains an obstacle to job creation and business expansion. For example, our outdated and overly burdensome environmental review process keeps jobs and workers waiting for approval from government agencies in Washington. Employers and investors can't move forward without the necessary permits, and without confidence in the process."

He said that this bill would make the "federal environmental review and permit process more efficient and transparent".

This bill is primarily directed at the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), which was enacted in 1969, and which is now codified at 42 U.S.C. 4321, et seq.

However, the RAPID Act would also impact information and communications technology (ICT) in several ways. For example, it would streamline the permitting processes for the extraction of rare earth minerals, which are used in a wide range of ICT devices and equipment, including fiber optic cable, disk drives, satellites, and smart phones.

Molycorp Minerals, which operates the Mountain Pass facility in California, is planning to resume extraction of rare earths. Molycorp announced in an April 9 release that there are "18.4 million short tons of rare earth ore" at Mountain Pass.

Also, the NEPA requires all federal agencies, including the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), to identify and take into account environmental effects, such as the impact on migratory birds, when deciding whether to authorize or undertake a major federal action, such as the licensing of communications towers.

For a more detailed discussion of the impact of the RAPID Act on ICT, see story titled "House Judiciary Committee to Mark Up RAPID Act" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 2,388, June 1, 2012.

Former National Security Officials Urge Senate to Pass Cyber Security Bill

6/6. A group of former senior defense, national security, and intelligence officials (Michael Chertoff, Michael Hayden, Mike McConnell, Paul Wolfowitz, James Cartwright and William Lynn) sent a letter to Senate leaders Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) and Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) urging them to "bring cyber security legislation to the floor as soon as possible".

These former officials wrote that "Various drafts of legislation have attempted to address this important area -- the Lieberman/Collins bill having received the most traction recently. We will not advocate one approach over another -- however, we do feel strongly that critical infrastructure protection needs to be addressed in any cyber security legislation."

The continued that "Where market forces and existing regulations have failed to drive appropriate security, we believe that our government must do what it can to ensure the protection of our critical infrastructure. Performance standards in some cases will be necessary -- these standards should be technology neutral, and risk and outcome based. We do not believe that this requires the imposition of detailed security regimes in every instance, but some standards must be minimally required or promoted through the offer of positive incentives such as liability protection and availability of clearances."

Moreover, they wrote that "Any legislation passed by Congress should allow the public and private sectors to harness the capabilities of the NSA to protect our critical infrastructure from malicious users."

Michael Michael Chertoff (at left) is a former Secretary of Homeland Security. He is now of counsel to the law firm of Covington & Burling, and head of the Chertoff Group, a security consulting firm.

Mike McConnell is a former US Navy officer, former Director of the NSA and former Director of National Intelligence (the last two years of the Bush administration). He now works at Booz Allen Hamilton.

Paul Wolfowitz is a former Deputy Secretary of Defense. He is now a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), and Chairman of the US Taiwan Business Council.

Michael HaydenMichael Hayden (at right) is a former US Air Force officer, former Director of the NSA, former Director of the CIA, and former Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence. He now works at the Chertoff Group.

James Cartwright is a former US Marines officer, and former Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (2007-2011).

William Lynn was Deputy Secretary of Defense (2009-2011) and a senior DOD official in the Clinton administration.

McConnell, Chertoff and Lynn wrote a piece titled "Chinese Cyber Espionage: How to Combat the Growing Threat" that was published in the Wall Street Journal on January 27, 2012.

There are numerous cyber security related bills pending in the House and Senate. However, few have been passed by the House of Senate.

The House passed HR 3523 [LOC | WW], the "Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act of 2011" or "CISPA", a bill that would incent cyber threat information sharing, on April 26, 2012. See, stories titled "House Passes CISPA" and "Amendment by Amendment Summary of House Consideration of CISPA" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 2,380, April 25, 2012.

The House passed HR 2096 [LOC | WW], the "Cybersecurity Enhancement Act of 2012", on April 27, 2012. This bills pertains to cyber security research and development, and education, and federal cyber security standards. See, story titled "House Passes Cybersecurity Enhancement Act" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 2,281, April 30, 2012.

The House passed HR 3834 [LOC | WW], the "Advancing America's Networking and Information Technology Research and Development Act of 2012", also known as "NITRD". See, story titled "House Passes NITRD Bill" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 2,281, April 30, 2012.

Bernanke Addresses Economy and R&D

6/7. Federal Reserve Board (FRB) Chairman Ben Bernanke testified before the Congress's Joint Economic Committee (JEC) on June 7. He wrote in his prepared testimony that "Real gross domestic product (GDP) rose at an annual rate of about 2 percent in the first quarter after increasing at a 3 percent pace in the fourth quarter of 2011".

Ben BernankeBernanke (at right) said that "To the fullest extent possible, federal tax and spending policies should increase incentives to ... promote research and development ...".

The research and development (R&D) tax credit expired on December 31, 2011. The Congress has repeatedly enacted short term extensions of this credit. It was last extended at the end of 2010. See, story titled "Tax Bill Enacted With R&D Tax Credit Extension" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 2,182, December 18, 2010.

On Friday, June 8, the House Ways and Means Committee's (HWMC) Subcommittee on Select Revenue Measures will hold a hearing on expiring tax provisions, including the R&D tax credit.

This credit, which is codified at 21 U.S.C. 41, is also in need of modernization in order to incent newer companies, including tech companies, to conduct more R&D.

Bernanke also stated that "Economic growth appears poised to continue at a moderate pace over coming quarters". He also noted that "the demand for U.S. exports has held up well. The U.S. business sector is profitable and has become more competitive in international markets."

OMB Memo Addresses Administration's Research Priorities

6/8. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released a memorandum [PDF] titled "Science and Technology Priorities for the FY 2014 Budget".

This memorandum instructs the heads of executive departments and agencies to focus their research activities on areas listed in this memorandum. It lists the Obama administration's interest in manufacturing technology, clean energy technology, global climate research, nanotechnology, STEM education, and biotech.

It also lists two information technology research fields -- big data and cyber security.

It states that "Within the interagency Networking and Information Technology Research and Development initiative, agencies should give priority to investments that address the challenges of, and tap the opportunities afforded by, the Big Data revolution -- the fast-growing volume of large and complex collections of digital data to advance agency missions and further scientific discovery and innovation."

It also states that "Within the initiative, agencies should give priority to investment in data analytics and management and to fundamental research in computer science and engineering above funding for the development and procurement of large-scale high performance computing systems."

See, Networking and Information Technology Research and Development's (NITRD) Big Data web page.

The memorandum adds that "Agencies should also give priority to research guided by the Trustworthy Cyberspace: Strategic Plan for Cybersecurity R&D Programs to develop technologies that can protect our systems against current and future cyber-attacks."

See, the paper titled "Trustworthy Cyberspace: Strategic Plan for Cybersecurity Research and Development Program", released by the Executive Office of the President's (EOP) Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) in December of 2011.

People and Appointments

6/8. Rama Elluru, John Evans, Larry Hume, Ulrike Jenks, Hyun Jung, Brett Martin, John Martin, Brian McNamara, Annette Reimers, Sheridan Snedden, and Michael Strauss took the oath of office as administrative patent judges on the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's (USPTO) Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences (BPAI). See, USPTO release.

6/7. The Senate Judiciary Committee (SJC) held an executive business meeting at which it approved the nominations of Robert Bacharach (to be a Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit), Paul Grimm (U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland), John Dowdell (USDC/NDOkla), and Mark Walker (USDC/NDFl). The SJC held over consideration of the nomination of Brian Davis (USDC/MDFl). His nomination is again on the agenda for the SJC's executive business meeting of June 14.

6/6. The Senate confirmed Jeffrey Helmick to be a Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, by a vote of 62-36. See, Roll Call No. 116. See also, Congressional Record, June 6, 2012, at Page S3801.

6/6. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) published a notice in the Federal Register (FR) that announces the members of it Performance Review Board: Eileen Harrington, Willard Tom, Pauline Ippolito, Richard Feinstein, and Mary Engle. See, FR, Vol. 77, No. 109, Wednesday, June 6, 2012, at Page 33460.

In This Issue
This issue contains the following items:
  House Judiciary Committee Approves RAPID Act
  Former National Security Officials Urge Senate to Pass Cyber Security Bill
  Bernanke Addresses Economy and R&D
  OMB Memo Addresses Administration's Research Priorities
  People and Appointments
Washington Tech Calendar
New items are highlighted in red.
Friday, June 8.

The House will meet at 9:00 AM for legislative business. It will consider HR 5882 [LOC | WW], the "Legislative Branch Appropriations Act, 2013". See, Rep. Cantor's schedule.

The Senate will not meet.

9:30 AM. The House Ways and Means Committee's (HWMC) Subcommittee on Select Revenue Measures will hold a hearing on expiring tax provisions, including the research and development (R&D) tax credit. It is codified at 21 U.S.C. 41, but expired on December 31, 2011. It was last extended at the end of 2010. See, story titled "Tax Bill Enacted With R&D Tax Credit Extension" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 2,182, December 18, 2010. See, notice. Location: Room 1100, Longworth Building.

Day two of a two day event hosted by the American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA) titled "Legal Secretaries & Administrators Conference". For more information, contact aipla at aipla dot org or call 703-415-0780. Location: USPTO, Alexandria, VA.

Deadline to submit comments to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in response to its Patents External Quality Survey. See, notice in the Federal Register, Vol. 77, No. 68, Monday, April 9, 2012, at Pages 21086-21087.

Monday, June 11

The Senate will meet at 2:00 PM. It will resume consideration of the motion to proceed to S 3240 [LOC | WW], a huge bill pertaining to agriculture. It also includes provisions related to rural telecommunications, broadband and telemedicine. See, story titled "Senate to Take Up Farm Bill with Rural Broadband and Telemedicine Provisions" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 2,391, June 6, 2012.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) National Coordination Office (NCO) for Networking and Information Technology Research and Development (NITRD) will host an event titled "National Symposium on Moving Target Research". The purpose of this symposium is to examine whether there is scientific evidence to show that moving target techniques are a substantial improvement in the defense of cyber systems. See, notice in the Federal Register, Vol. 77, No. 45, Wednesday, March 7, 2012, at Page 13656. Location: Historic Inns of Annapolis, Annapolis, MD.

Deadline to submit to the Department of Health and Human Services' (DHHS) Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONCHIT) nominations to its Health Information Technology Standards Committee (HITSC) and Health Information Technology Policy Committee (HITPC). See, notice in the Federal Register, Vol. 77, No. 106, Friday, June 1, 2012, at Pages 32639-32640.

Tuesday, June 12

9:00 AM. The Department of Commerce's (DOC) Bureau of Industry and Security's (BIS)Regulations and Procedures Technical Advisory Committee (RPTAC) will hold a partially closed meeting. See, notice in the Federal Register, Vol. 77, No. 103, Tuesday, May 29, 2012, at Pages 31567-31568. Location: DOC, Hoover Building, Room 3884, 14th Street between Constitution and Pennsylvania Avenues, NW.

10:00 AM. The Senate Judiciary Committee (SJC) will hold a hearing titled "Oversight of the Department of Justice". The witness will be Attorney General Eric Holder. The SJC will webcast this event. See, notice. Location: Room 226, Dirksen Building.

12:00 NOON. The National Press Club (NPC) will host a class titled "Social Media Trends for Social Media Managers". See, notice. The price to attend ranges from $62.50 to $125. Location: Bloomberg Room, NPC, 13th Floor, 529 14th St. NW.

2:30 PM. The Senate Intelligence Committee (SIC) will hold a closed hearing titled "Intelligence Matters". See, notice. Location: Room 219, Hart Building.

5:00 PM. Deadline to submit speaker applications to the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) for the 2013 International CES to be held in Las Vegas, Nevada, on January 8-11, 2013. See, notice.

6:00 - 8:15 PM. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will host an event titled "The FCC in the Courts". Richard Welch, FCC Deputy Associate General Counsel, will give a presentation titled "How the Agency Fared Over the Last Year". Jacob Lewis, FCC Associate General Counsel, will give a presentation titled "FCC Litigation on the Horizon". CLE credits. See, notice. The Federal Communications Bar Association (FCBA) asserts that this is an FCBA event. Location: Bingham McCutchen, 2020 K St., NW.

Wednesday, June 13

10:30 AM - 12:00 NOON. The Heritage Foundation (HF) will host a panel discussion titled "Export Control Reform: What's Next?". The speakers will be Patricia Cooper (Satellite Industry Association), Remy Nathan (Aerospace Industry Association), William Reinsch ( National Foreign Trade Council), Baker Spring (HF), and Derek Scissors (HF). See, notice. Free. Open to the public. Location: HF, 214 Massachusetts Ave., NE.

10:30 AM. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will hold an event titled "Open Meeting". See, agenda. Location: FCC, Commission Meeting Room, Room TW-C305, 445 12th St., SW.

12:00 NOON - 1:30 PM. The DC Bar Association will host a presentation titled "Impact of AIA on The Choice Between Patent and Trade Secret Protection". The speakers will be Griffith Price and Jia Lu (both of Finnegan Henderson). The price to attend ranges from $89 to $129. Reporters are barred from attending most DC Bar events. No CLE credits. See, notice. For more information, call 202-626-3488. Location: Finnegan, 901 New York Ave., NW.

12:30 - 2:00 PM. The DC Bar Association's Media Law Committee will host a closed brown bag lunch meeting to discuss media and communications law developments. Free. No CLE credits. Reporters are barred from covering this event. For more information, contact the DC Bar at 202-626-3463 or Kurt Wimmer (Covington & Burling) at kwimmer at cov dot com or Jim McLaughlin at mclaughlinj at washpost dot com. See, notice. Location: Covington & Burling, 1201 Pennsylvania Ave., NW.

Thursday, June 14

8:45 AM - 2:30 PM. The U.S. China Economic and Security Review Commission will hold a hearing titled "The Evolving U.S.-China Trade & Investment Relationship". Location: Room 2118, Rayburn Building.

10:00 AM. The Senate Judiciary Committee (SJC) will hold an executive business meeting. The agenda includes consideration Brian Davis (to be a Judge of the USDC/MDFl). See, notice. Location: Room 226, Dirksen Building.

POSTPONED. 12:00 NOON - 2:00 PM. The DC Bar Association will host a presentation titled "Social Media: Legal Considerations For Corporate Counsel". The speakers will be Brent Kidwell (Jenner & Block), Paul Meyer (Towers Watson), Blair Vietmeyer (E*TRADE Financial Corporation), Michael Lowman (Jenner & Block). The price to attend ranges from free to $15. Reporters are barred from attending most DC Bar events. No CLE credits. See, notice. For more information, call 202-626-3488. Location: Jenner & Block, 1099 New York Ave., NW.

2:30 PM. The Senate Intelligence Committee (SIC) will hold a closed hearing titled "Intelligence Matters". See, notice. Location: Room 219, Hart Building.

6:00 - 8:15 PM. The Federal Communications Bar Association (FCBA) will host an event titled "US and EU Privacy Regulation: An Overview". CLE credits. See, notice. Location: Mayer Brown, 1999 K St., NW.

Deadline to submit reply comments to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in response to its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) [85 pages in PDF] regarding the 800 MHz cellular service. The FCC proposes, among other things, to issue geographic area overlay licenses through competitive bidding in two stages. The FCC adopted and released this NPRM on February 15, 2012. It is FCC 12-20 in WT Docket No. 12-40. See, notice in the Federal Register, Vol. 77, No. 52, Friday, March 16, 2012, at Pages 15665-15681.

Friday, June 15

8:30 - 11:30 AM. The Technology Policy Institute (TPI) will host an event titled "The Future of Internet Economics". See, registration page. Location: 7th floor, Newseum, 555 Pennsylvania Ave., NW.

8:30 AM - 4:00 PM. The Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) Consumer Advisory Committee will meet. The FCC will webcast this event. See, notice in the Federal Register, Vol. 77, No. 103, Tuesday, May 29, 2012, Pages 31611-31612. Location: FCC, Commission Meeting Room, 445 12th St., SW.

5:00 PM. Deadline to register to attend the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Privacy Office's June 20 event titled "Privacy Compliance Workshop". See, notice in the Federal Register (FR), Vol. 77, No. 102, Friday, May 25, 2012, at Page 31371.

Deadline to submit to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) oppositions to the petitions for reconsideration of the FCC's latest Low Power Radio Service order. The FCC adopted and released this Fourth Report and Order and Third Order on Reconsideration on March 19, 2012. It is FCC 12-29 in MB Docket No. 99-25. See, notice in the Federal Register, Vol. 77, No. 105, Thursday, May 31, 2012, at Page 32075. See also, petition of the Educational Media Foundation, petition of Hope Christian Church of Marlton and others, petition of Corner Media, and petition of Kyle Magrill. And see, story titled "FCC Releases Two Items Regarding Local Community Radio Act" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 2,351, March 20, 2012.

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