|News from May 1-5, 2003|
NIST Announces ATP Grants
5/5. The Department of Commerce's (DOC) National Institute of Standards and Technology's (NIST) Advanced Technology Program (ATP) awarded seven grants, three of which are information technology related. See, release.
One grant is for the Mobile Systems Verification Corporation. The NIST stated in a release that this grant is "to design, fabricate, and test the Advanced Mobile Application Testing Environment (AMATE). This is a prototype for an end-to-end automated testing system that will improve the reliability and effectiveness of the national mobile information technology infrastructure. The environment will consist of software components, user devices, computers, micro-controllers, network hardware, mobile transmitters and receivers, and radio-signal conditioning equipment. AMATE will simulate millions of mobile users, their movements, airlink variation, and network operations under extreme conditions without disrupting an active network or its customers."
Another grant is for the Valaran Corporation, of Princeton, New Jersey, "to develop the software infrastructure that will overcome problems associated with low or unpredictable bandwidth and diverse communication appliances, to enable secure collaboration among multiple parties using mobile devices in constrained environments." The NIST further stated that this would assist "first responders, law enforcement agents, and field engineers". See, release.
Another grant is for the RAPT Industries, of Livermore, California, "to develop and test a prototype system for etching and polishing optical and semiconductor materials 10 to 10,000 times faster than current methods while causing significantly less sub-surface damage. The 2.5-year project will focus on the process chemistries and control system needed to extend the capabilities of the reactive atom plasma (RAP) technique, first demonstrated on a laboratory scale at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory." See, release.
Supreme Court Rules Fraud Actions Against Telemarketers Do Not Violate First Amendment
5/5. The Supreme Court issued its opinion [28 pages in PDF] in Illinois v. Telemarketing Associates, holding that fraud actions by states against telemarketers does not violate the First Amendment.
Background. Telemarketing Associates is a for profit fundraising corporation. VietNow is a non-profit corporation organized for the benefit of veterans of the war in Viet Nam. TA contracted with VietNow to raise funds for it by telephone solicitations. The contracts provided that TA would keep 85% of the gross receipts. TA represented to prospective donors that "a significant amount of each dollar donated" would go to VietNow. TA also made false statements to prospective donors.
Proceedings Below. The state of Illinois filed a complaint in state court alleging common law and statutory claims for fraud and breach of fiduciary duty, based on misleading statements by TA to prospective donors.
The Supreme Court of Illinois held that the state attempted to impose prior restraints on fundraising that were incompatible with the First Amendment.
Supreme Court. The Supreme Court reversed. Justice Ginsburg, writing for the Court, stated that "Our prior decisions do not rule out, as supportive of a fraud claim against fundraisers, any and all reliance on the percentage of charitable donations fundraisers retain for themselves. While bare failure to disclose that information directly to potential donors does not suffice to establish fraud, when nondisclosure is accompanied by intentionally misleading statements designed to deceive the listener, the First Amendment leaves room for a fraud claim."
Prior opinions of the Supreme Court have overturned prohibitions on telephone solicitations that are based solely on the percentage of funds raised that are retained by the telemarketer. The Court distinguished this case on the basis that it involved claims of fraud, supported by a variety of facts.
Also, while this case involved telephone solicitations, the analysis applied by the Court in this case might similarly be applied to state actions taken against senders of bulk unsolicited e-mail that contains fraudulent statements.
FCC Sets Deadlines for Comments in NOI Re Interference Immunity Performance Specifications
5/5. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) published a notice in the Federal Register regarding its Notice of Inquiry (NOI) pertaining to the possibility of incorporating receiver performance specifications into the FCC's spectrum policy. The FCC adopted, but did not release, the NOI at its March 13 meeting.
Comments are due by July 21, 2003. Reply comments are due by August 18, 2003.
This NOI follows the recommendations of the FCC's Spectrum Policy Task Force (SPTF) report [PDF] of November 15, 2002. See also, story titled "FCC Announces NOI Re Receiver Performance Standards" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 624, March 17, 2003.
See, Federal Register, May 5, 2003, Vol. 68, No. 86, at Pages 23677 - 23686. This is ET Docket No. 03-65, FCC 03-54. For more information, contact Hugh Van Tuyl at the FCC's Office of Engineering and Technology (OET) at 202 418-7506 or email@example.com.
People and Appointments
5/5. The Senate confirmed Deborah Cook to be a Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals (6thCir) by a vote of 66-25. See, Roll Call No. 139. She is a Justice of the Ohio Supreme Court. Senate Democrats had held up her confirmation for years.
5/5. The Senate confirmed Cecilia Altonga to be a Judge of the U.S. District Court (SDFl) by a vote of 91-0. See, Roll Call No. 141.
5/5. The Supreme Court denied certiorari in Core Communications v. FCC, S.C. No. 02-980. See, Order List [14 pages in PDF] at page 1. This petition pertained to the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) reciprocal compensation order.
5/2. The Department of Justice's (DOJ) Antitrust Division released its Evaluation [19 pages in PDF] recommending that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approve Qwest Communications' Section 271 application to provide in region interLATA service in the state of Minnesota. Hewitt Pate, the Acting Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Antitrust Division stated in a release that "The available evidence suggests that generally, Qwest has succeeded in opening its local telecommunications markets in Minnesota ... Competitors, particularly those using entirely their own facilities, have made progress in penetrating the business and residential markets in the state, and the Department believes there are no longer any material obstacles to residential competition using unbundled network elements created by Qwest." See also, Qwest release.
5/2. The U.S. District Court (DC) dismissed a complaint filed by the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) against the Office of Homeland Security under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). See, DOJ release.
5/2. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released its Memorandum Opinion and Order and Third Report and Order [50 pages in PDF] in its proceeding titled "In the Matter of The 4.9 GHz Band Transferred from Federal Government Use". The FCC announced, but did not release, this item at its April 23, 2003 meeting. This is WT Docket No. 00-32.
5/2. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) General Counsel William Kovacic gave a speech titled "The Modern Evolution of U.S. Competition Policy Enforcement Norms".
Sen. Ensign Introduces Bill to Impose Moratorium on Mandating Stock Option Expensing
5/1. Sen. John Ensign (R-NV), Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA), and other Senators introduced S 979, the "Broad-Based Stock Option Plan Transparency Act of 2003''. The bill is a reaction to a tentative decision of the Financial Accounting Standards Board's (FASB) in April to mandate the expensing of stock options. The bill would place a three year moratorium on the mandatory expensing of stock options. Specifically, it would temporarily prevent the Securities and Exchange Commission's SEC's from recognizing any accounting standards related to the treatment of stock options that it did not recognize on April 1, 2003. The bill would further require the SEC to adopt rules requiring companies to report information regarding their stock option plans. And, after three years, the SEC would be required to prepare a report. See, full story.
USTR Proposes to Liberalize Trade in Telecommunication and Information Services
5/1. Jonathan McHale and other representatives of the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) spoke at a luncheon in Washington DC regarding the USTR's Initial Offer" [120 pages in PDF] to the World Trade Organization (WTO) regarding opening access to telecommunications, information, and other services.
The draft of the Initial Offer in the USTR website as of May 2 states that "the United States proposes the following new commitments" for the "Basic Telecommunications Services" sector, for the "Information Services (Value added services)" sector, and for the "Other Communications Services" sector. (Parentheses in original.)
Basic Telecommunications Services. The U.S. proposes, for "basic telecommunications services", no limitations on market access for "Cross-border supply", or for "Consumption abroad". For "Commercial presence", the U.S. proposes no limitations on market access, "other than Ownership of a common carrier radio license", in which case, for "indirect" ownership, there would be no limitation, while for "direct" ownership, there would be the following limitation: "May not be granted to or held by (a) foreign government or the representative thereof (b) non-U.S. citizen or the representative of any non-U.S. citizen (c) any corporation not organized under the laws of the United States or (d) U.S. corporation of which more than 20% of the capital stock is owned or voted by a foreign government or its representative, non-U.S. citizens or their representatives or a corporation not organized under the laws of the United States." Finally, for "Presence of natural persons", the U.S. proposes the following: "Unbound except as indicated by horizontal commitments".
The U.S. proposes, for "basic telecommunications services", no limitation on national treatment, except for "Presence of natural person, for which the U.S. proposes "Unbound except as indicated by horizontal commitments".
The U.S. Initial Offer also provides a description of the term "basic telecommunications services". It states, "The transmission between or among points specified by the user, of information of the user's choosing, without change in the form or content of the information as sent or received, as defined in 47 U.S.C. 153. Services can be supplied on either a public or private basis, regardless of the facilities used."
It also states, "Services include: a) Voice telephone services the representative thereof (b) non-U.S. citizen or the representative of any non-U.S. citizen is required to employ transparent procedures in developing rules (including notice and comment) and is empowered to enforce regulations through sanctions, b) Packet-switched data transmission services (note: packet switched services classified as information services are not considered basic telecommunications services.) c) Circuit-switched data transmission services d) Telex services e) Telegraph services f) Facsimile services g) Private leased circuit services". (Parentheses in original.)
The U.S. Initial Offer also includes several "Additional Comments" to the section on basic telecommunications services. It states, first, "Maintain an absence of national government ownership in public telecommunications service suppliers". It also states, "Maintain a national telecommunications regulatory body independent of executive and legislative branches, which is required to employ transparent procedures in developing rules (including notice and comment) and is empowered to enforce regulations through sanctions, including fines and revocation of licenses; and Permit licensed suppliers of basic telecommunications services choice of technology used in the supply of services, subject to requirements necessary to fulfill legitimate public policy objectives."
The U.S. Initial Offer also states "In addition, subject to the national regulatory body's appropriate exercise of forbearance authority under 47 U.S.C 160, and subject to exemptions for certain rural carriers, the United States also commits, with respect to suppliers defined under 47 U.S.C. 153 as local exchange carriers to:
"Ensure that local exchange carriers, provide dialing parity;"
"Maintain measures prohibiting local exchange carriers from imposing unreasonable or discriminatory conditions or limitations on the resale of public telecommunications services;"
"Ensure that local exchange carriers provide number portability where technically feasible;" and
"Ensure that local exchange carriers provide access to poles, ducts, conduits and rights of way at just and reasonable rates and on non-discriminatory terms and conditions to competing basic public telecommunications service suppliers."
Information Services. The Initial Offer next addresses
the "Information Services (Value added services)" sector. It described this as
"The offering of a capability for generating, acquiring, storing, transforming,
processing, retrieving, utilizing, or making available information via
telecommunications, as defined in 47 USC 153. Services include, but are not
-on-line Information and/or data base retrieval
-Electronic Data Interchange (EDI)"
For information services, the U.S. proposes no limitations on either market access or national treatment, for either cross-border supply, consumption abroad, or commercial presence. However, for presence of natural person, it states, "Unbound, except as indicated in the horizontal section".
Other Communications Services: Cable, Satellite, and Broadcast. Finally, the Initial Offer next addressed "Other Communications Services", which it described as "Cable services provided over cable systems, as defined in 47 U.S.C. 522 and 47 U.S.C. 522", "One-way satellite transmission of DTH and DBS television services and of digital audio services", and "Radio and Television Broadcast Transmission Services".
It proposes no limitations on market access for cross-border supply, or for consumption abroad. However, for "commercial presence" it proposes no limitations, "except that a single company or firm is prohibited from owning a combination of newspapers, radio and/or TV broadcast stations serving the same local market. Radio and television broadcast licenses may not be held by: a foreign government; a corporation chartered under the law of a foreign country or of which more than 20 per cent of the capital stock is owned or voted by non-US citizens; a corporation chartered under the laws of the United States that is directly or indirectly controlled by a corporation more than 25 per cent of whose capital stock is owned by non-US citizens or a foreign government or a corporation of which any officer or more than 25 per cent of the directors are non-US citizens." Also, for "presence of natural person, it proposes, "Unbound, except as indicated in the horizontal section. In addition, US citizenship is required to obtain radio and television licenses."
It proposes no limitations on national treatment for cross-border supply, for consumption abroad, or for commercial presence. For presence of natural persons, it proposes, "Unbound except as indicated by horizontal commitments".
Jonathan McHale, and other representatives of the USTR, reviewed the meaning and significance of each of these proposals in detail at the May 1 luncheon. He also described the responses and proposals of other nations, and the USTR's assessment of them. He also answered questions, and received public comments regarding the U.S. proposal from U.S. and foreign parties.
Tech Law Journal (TLJ) spoke with the organizer of the event, who asserted that the event was "off the record" for TLJ. Hence, TLJ has not published here any of the statements made by the representatives of the USTR, or any of the public comments made to the representatives of the USTR.
See also, TLJ story titled "USTR Submits Proposal to WTO Regarding Trade in Services", March 31, 2003.
House Science Committee Approves Bill to Authorize Funding for Nanotech Research
5/1. The House Science Committee amended and approved HR 766, the Nanotechnology Research and Development Act of 2003. This bill would authorize the appropriation of over $2 Billion over three years for nanotechnology research and development programs at the National Science Foundation (NSF), Department of Energy (DOE), Department of Commerce's (DOC) National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The majority of the funding would go to the NSF.
The bill is sponsored by Rep. Sherwood Boehlert (R-NY), Rep. Mike Honda (D-CA), and others.
The Committee approved four amendments. It approved an amendment offered by Rep. Nick Smith (R-MI), Rep. Melissa Hart (R-PA) and Rep. David Wu (D-OR) that requires interdisciplinary research centers to exchange technical information and best practices, to partner with states and industry, and to accelerate commercialization.
The Committee approved an amendment offered by Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) that adds a new section pertaining to Science and Technology Graduate Scholarships for Service programs.
The Committee approved an amendment offered by Rep. Sheila Lee (D-TX) and Rep. Wu that requires that research programs include minority serving colleges and universities.
The Committee approved also an amendment offered by Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA) that clarifies that research on societal and ethical concerns includes a study of environmental implications, and the implications of possible development of non-human intelligence.
Senate Commerce Committee Holds Hearing on Nanotechnology
5/1. The Senate Commerce Committee held a hearing S 189, the 21st Century Nanotechnology Research and Development Act.
Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) is the sponsor of the bill. Sen. George Allen (R-VA) is one of ten cosponsors of the bill. However, Senators Allen and Wyden are the bill's two most vocal promoters. Sen. Allen presided at the hearing. Sen. Wyden and Sen. John Sununu (R-NH) also participated in the hearing.
Sen. Allen (at right) quipped that when he and Sen. Wyden first addressed this issue in the 107th Congress, "many of our colleagues thought that nanotechnology was too small of an issue".
He continued that "we must continue to lead the world in the nanotechnology revolution". He said that "we are falling a bit behind in so far as our research and development in nanotechnology." He cited competition from Japan, the European Union, Russia, Korea, and China.
He said that the government should "foster the conditions precedent for researchers and innovators to compete, contribute and succeed, both domestically and internationally." He added that "the government's role is to make sure that the field is fertile".
He said that "this is why Sen. Wyden and I introduced S 189, to provide in an organized and collaborative way, an approach to nanotechnology research and commercial economic development. Our strategic goal is logical and very clear. We want to leverage the government, academic, and corporate research capabilities and assets ... to compete and succeed worldwide."
He explained that "our legislation authorizes $678 Million for grants to support basic fundamental research and development, and establish research centers of excellence that will bring together experts the various disciplines, agencies and private sector, as well as universities."
The Subcommittee heard from two panels of witnesses from the federal government, universities, and commercial entities. See, prepared testimony of James Murday (Chief Scientist of the Office of Naval Research), James Roberto (Oak Ridge National Labratory), Clayton Teague (National Nanotechnology Coordination Office), Davis Baird (University of South Carolina), Jun Jiao (Center for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, Portland State University), Kent Murphy (CEO of Luna Innovations), and James Von Ehr (CEO of Zyvex Corporation).
Von Ehr of Zyvex stated that "Our most competitive industries are also our least regulated -- semiconductors, personal computers, software, and the Internet, to name just a few. S.189 has a light regulatory touch, and I urge you to follow the example of the Internet, and avoid premature regulation while the industry develops. There will be pressures from the usual anti-technology voices to ban or limit nanotechnology, but we should continue on the path of progress that has always been our nation’s strength. We also need to inject private sector competition into our nanotechnology program."
Murday, of the Office of Naval Research said that the Department of Defense (DOD) has an interest in nanotechnology in three areas. The first is "nanoelectronics, phontonics and magnetics". This includes "information technology devices, sensors to acquire information, the logic to process it, memory to store it, communicate and transmit that information". He predicted that "the electronics industry, I believe, by the end of this decade, essentially every electronic device that you, myself, and the defense acquisition will want to buy, will be enabled by a nanostructure".
He elaborated that these new devices will be central to information warfare, network centric warfare, uninhabited combat vehicles, automation, and training through virtual reality. (He also discussed the DOD's other two uses of nanotechnology: nanomaterials and bionanotechnology.)
The bill would create a National Nanotechnology Advisory Panel that would be made up of persons "who are qualified in the science of nanotechnology and other appropriate fields". It would advise the National Science and Technology Council, which in turn, would oversee federal nanotechnology research and development program.
Sen. Wyden stated at the hearing that this is a matter on which there has been some debate. He stated that he favors having guidance from nanotechnology experts. Another proposal would give the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology the oversight role. Sen. Wyden stated that this group, while highly qualified, lacks people with a background in nanotechnology.
Sen. Joe Lieberman (D-CT), is a cosponsor of the bill, but not a member of the Commerce Committee. He submitted a statement in which he advocated that "The task of providing an advisory role for the overall direction of the program should not be a top-down process, but rather should fall to a group of members from both academia and industry that represents the range of nanotechnology disciplines and who are well-versed in the difficult challenges facing this emerging field."
USTR Releases Annual Special 301 Report
5/1. The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) released its annual Special 301 report. It identifies the Ukraine as a priority foreign country, and China under Section 306. The nations on the priority watch list are Argentina, the Bahamas, Brazil, the EU, Indonesia, India, Lebanon, the Philippines, Poland, Russia and Taiwan.
The Trade Act of 1974 requires the USTR to identify annually foreign countries that deny adequate and effective protection of intellectual property rights or fair and equitable market access for U.S. persons that rely on intellectual property protection. These are known as "Special 301" designations.
USTR Robert Zoellick stated in a release that "This report reflects the Administration's continued commitment to ensure effective intellectual property protection around the word. While we are heartened that many countries now have the necessary legislation in place that recognizes intellectual property rights, it is important that these laws be enforced."
The report identifies the PR China under Section 306. It states that "China's WTO accession, and the concomitant entry into force of its intellectual property rights (IPR) obligations have resulted in improvements in China's statutory system for the protection of intellectual property. However, significant concerns remain, particularly with respect to enforcement of IPR. The TRIPS Agreement requires China to implement effective enforcement procedures and provide remedies that have a deterrent effect. Although China has revised its IP laws and regulations to strengthen administrative enforcement, civil remedies and criminal penalties, violations of IPR are still rampant. The lack of transparency and coordination among Chinese government agencies, local protectionism and corruption, high thresholds for criminal prosecution, lack of training and weak punishments all hamper enforcement of IPR. China remains one of the last countries in the world that fails to use, in practice, its criminal law to go after commercial copyright pirates and trademark counterfeiters."
The Business Software Alliance (BSA) stated in a release that "Enforcement practices and the need for additional legal reforms continue to slow software development in China. As a new member of the WTO, it is critical that China continue its work on bringing its copyright law into compliance with international obligations and increase its enforcement efforts against software piracy, including corporate end user piracy. China's software piracy rate, at more than 90 percent, is among the highest in the world, discouraging further investment and economic development."
The report identifies the Ukraine as a priority foreign country. The report cites the "Ukraine's failure to adopt and enforce adequate Optical Disc (OD) media licensing legislation." The report also places Taiwan and Russia on the priority watch list for their inaction on optical disc piracy.
Jack Valenti, Ch/CEO of the Motion Picture Association of America, praised the report in a release. He stated that "Optical disc piracy obliterates the value and vitality of the American film and TV industries. ... When so much of the industry’s revenues come from overseas, it is critical that the U.S. Government uses every resource in its power to persuade these countries to confront piracy or ensure that they face the consequences of trade sanctions".
See also, International Intellectual Property Alliance (IIPA) release [7 pages in PDF].
DOJ Addresses First Amendment and Antitrust Enforcement Against Newspaper and Web Publishers
5/1. The Department of Justice's (DOJ) Antitrust Division filed a Response to Public Comments with the U.S. District Court (NDOhio) in the proceeding titled USA v. Village Voice Media and NT Media. It addresses the First Amendment and antitrust enforcement against publishers of city newspapers and web sites.
The two companies, Village Voice Media and NT Media, publish weekly city newspapers and associated web sites. They entered into an agreement to allocate markets. The agreement also provided that they would redirect internet traffic to their closed newsweeklies' web sites to the remaining newsweeklies' web sites.
In January, the DOJ filed a complaint alleging violation of antitrust law. The two count complaint alleges both per se and rule of reason violations 15 U.S.C. § 1. The DOJ and the two companies settled the matter. The DOJ also prepared a Proposed Final Judgment that requires the companies to terminate their agreement.
As required by 15 U.S.C. § 16, the DOJ published in the Federal Register a Competitive Impact Statement and Proposed Final Judgment, and solicited public comments.
In the present Response to Public Comments, the DOJ addresses, among other things, the effect of the First Amendment upon the antitrust actions against publishers. The DOJ wrote that "The restraints imposed by these private arrangements are not protected by the First Amendment."
The DOJ continued that "Neither news gathering nor news dissemination are being regulated by the Proposed Final Judgment, which addresses only the Defendants' per se illegal restraints on certain business or commercial practices. The Defendants' unreasonable restraints on competition -- which the Proposed Final Judgment remedies -- comport neither with the antitrust laws nor with the First Amendment."
The DOJ then quoted from the Supreme Court's opinion in Citizen Publishing Co. v. United States, 394 U.S. 131 (1969), which in turn quoted from Associated Press v. United States, 326 U.S. 1 (1945): "It would be strange indeed ... if the grave concern for freedom of the press which prompted adoption of the First Amendment should be read as a command that the government was without power to protect that freedom. The First Amendment, far from providing an argument against application of the Sherman Act, here provides powerful reasons to the contrary. That Amendment rests on the assumption that the widest possible dissemination of information from diverse and antagonistic sources is essential to the welfare of the public, that a free press is a condition of a free society. Surely a command that the government itself shall not impede the free flow of ideas does not afford nongovernmental combinations a refuge if they impose restraints upon that constitutionally guaranteed freedom."
See also, story titled "DOJ Files Antitrust Complaint Against Newspaper and Web Site Publishers for Allocation of Markets" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 592, January 28, 2003. See also, DOJ's notice in the Federal Register of its proposed Final Judgment and Competitive Impact Statement (Federal Register, February 12, 2003, Vol. 68, No. 29, at Pages 7132-7147).
PPI Recommends Network Government
5/1. The Progressive Policy Institute (PPI), a Democratic think tank, hosted a panel discussion titled "Next Steps for Reinventing Government". The speakers were Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA), Will Marshall (PPI), and Robert Atkinson (PPI). Atkinson also released a report [58 pages in PDF] titled "Network Government for the Digital Age". See also, executive summary.
This report contains numerous recommendations, including "Reinvent government agencies, particularly through information technologies" and "Create information-driven, network governance". It adds that "The ability of IT to enable all kinds of information to be cheaply collected, widely shared, and available in real time makes it possible to govern in fundamentally new ways."
The speakers, and the report, criticized old "command and control" methods of regulation. The report elaborates that "The federal government likes to maintain the illusion that it can control what goes on within these myriad programs by erecting a long list of regulations on what they can and cannot do. ... The result of rigid bureaucratic rules is that program managers are often constrained from doing what they need to do to make their programs effective."
The report states that the government should "support a host of new public private partnerships and alliances". It also states that the government should "foster bottom-up complex adaptive systems" or "CASs". The report recommends a "shift from a rigid governance system based on top-down management (mainframe governance) to an adaptive system based on widely distributed information power (Internet governance). Where bureaucracy relies on rigid, broadly applied rules to get desired results, CAS's rely on ubiquitous, real-time information feedback systems to continually adapt to get results." (Parentheses in original.)
While the report contains generalized recommendations, it offers few details on how these recommendations would be implemented in specific areas of regulation. Tech Law Journal asked the speakers what would be the implications of these recommendations for how the government regulates spectrum use. They offered no analysis.
5/1. Rep. Kenny Hulshof (R-MO) and Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-CA) introduced HR 1927, a bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code to include wireless telecommunications equipment in the definition of qualified technological equipment for purposes of determining the depreciation treatment of such equipment. The bill was referred to the House Ways and Means Committee. See also, S 895, an untitled bill, and HR 1232, the "Technology Investment Incentive Act of 2003".
5/1. Rep. Jerry Kleczka (D-WI) and others introduced HR 1931, a bill to protect the privacy of the individual with respect to the Social Security number and other personal information. It was referred to the House Ways and Means Committee.
5/1. Rep. Doug Ose (R-CA), Rep. Mike Thompson (R-CA), and Rep. Butch Otter (R-ID) introduced HR 1940 [14 pages in PDF], the "Medicare Telehealth Validation Act of 2003". The bill would expand Medicare reimbursement for telehealth technology, and authorize the appropriation of $40 Million for the development of telehealth networks for rural communities. See also, statement by Rep. Ose. The bill was referred to the House Commerce Committee and the House Ways and Means Committee.
People and Appointments
5/1. The Senate rejected a cloture motion to end the Democrats' filibuster of the nomination of Judge Priscilla Owen to be a Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit by a vote of 52-44. See, Roll Call No. 137. Under Senate Rule 22, a cloture motion requires a super majority of 60 votes to pass. The vote broke down along party lines. However, Sen. Nelson and Sen. Zell Miller (D-GA) voted in favor, and Sen. Lieberman and Sen. Graham did not vote.
5/1. The Senate confirmed Edward Prado to be a Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit by a vote of 97-0. See, Roll Call No. 138.
5/1. The Copyright Office (CO) published a notice in the Federal Register requesting public comments on "proposed regulations that set rates and terms for the use of sound recordings in eligible nonsubscription transmissions for the 2003 and 2004 statutory licensing period, and for the use of sound recordings in transmissions made by new subscription services from 1998 through December 31, 2004, in addition to the making of ephemeral recordings necessary for the facilitation of such transmissions." The deadline to submit comments is June 2, 2003. See, Federal Register, May 1, 2003, Vol. 68, No. 84, at Pages 23241 - 23249.
5/1. Rep. Maurice Hinchey (D-NY) introduced HRes 212, a resolution pertaining to the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) media ownership proceeding. It states that "the FCC should not weaken any current media ownership rules that protect people's access to diverse sources of information", and that "the FCC should allow for extensive public review and comment on any proposed changes to current media ownership rules before issuing a final rule". He also spoke in the House regarding this resolution. See, Congressional Record, May 1, 2003, at page H3538.
Go to News from April 26-30, 2003.