|News from December 11-15, 2003|
FCC Publishes Notices Regarding 10th Circuit Universal Service Remand
12/15. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) published two notices in the Federal Register regarding its Order on Remand, Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, and Memorandum Opinion and Order in CC Docket No. 96-45. It revises the FCC's high cost universal service support mechanism.
This item follows the July 31, 2001 opinion of the U.S. Court of Appeals (10thCir) in Qwest v. FCC, 258 F.3d 1191, which reversed and remanded the FCC's Ninth Order "because it does not provide sufficient reasoning or record evidence to support its reasonableness." See also, the FCC web page titled "Tenth Circuit Remand".
The FCC announced, but did not release, this item on October 16, 2003. See, FCC release [PDF]. See also, story titled "FCC Announces Order on Remand Regarding High Cost Universal Service Support Mechanism" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 761, October 20, 2003.
The FCC released the text of this item on October 27, 2003. It is FCC 03-249.
The first notice summarizes the Order on Remand and Memorandum Opinion. It also states that its effective date is January 14, 2004. It is published at Federal Register, December 15, 2003, Vol. 68, No. 240, at Pages 69622 - 69627.
The second notice summarizes the Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FNPRM). It also states that the deadline for comments is January 14, 2004, and that the deadline for reply comments in February 13, 2004. It is published at Federal Register, December 15, 2003, Vol. 68, No. 240, at Pages 69641 - 69647.
For more information, contact Katie King at 202 418-7400 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
DOJ Settles With First Data and Concord EFS
12/15. The Department of Justice (DOJ) settled its civil antitrust lawsuit against First Data Corporation and Concord EFS, Inc.. The DOJ had sued to stop the merger of these two personal identification number (PIN) debit networks. First Data has now agreed to divest its entire interest in NYCE Corporation in order to proceed with its proposed acquisition of Concord EFS.
On October 23, 2003, the DOJ, seven states, and the District of Columbia filed a complaint [28 pages in PDF] in U.S. District Court (DC) against First Data and Concord EFS, alleging that First Data's planned acquisition of Concord would violate Section 7 of the Clayton Act.
The complaint alleged that "Concord operates STAR, the nation's largest PIN debit network. STAR currently handles approximately half of all PIN debit transactions in the United States. First Data owns a controlling interest in NYCE, the nation's third-largest PIN debit network." Hence, "First Data's acquisition of Concord would combine the largest and third-largest point-of-sale ("POS") PIN debit networks in the United States".
See also, story titled "DOJ Sues to Stop Merger of PIN Debit Networks", also published in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 765, October 24, 2003.
The proposed Final Judgment submitted by the parties provides, in part, that "Defendant First Data is ordered and directed, within one hundred fifty (150) calendar days after the Court's signing of the Hold Separate Stipulation and Order in this matter, or five (5) days after notice of the entry of this Final Judgment by the Court, whichever is later, to divest NYCE Holdings in a manner consistent with this Final Judgment to an Acquirer acceptable to the United States in its sole discretion, after consultation with plaintiff states."
See also, Hold Separate Stipulation and Order and the United States' Memorandum Regarding Procedures for Entry of Final Judgments, both filed on December 15.
The trial had been scheduled to start on December 15 in the U.S. District Court (DC).
Hewitt Pate (at right), the Assistant Attorney General in charge of the DOJ's Antitrust Division, stated in a release that "This settlement is a victory for American businesses and consumers ... The Division was prepared to show at trial that the acquisition, as originally proposed, would have caused merchants to pay higher prices for PIN debit transactions, which could have forced them to pass on those price increases to consumers. This settlement ensures that American businesses will pay competitive prices for PIN debit transactions and that consumers will benefit from that competition."
Concord EFS stated in a release that "In connection with the DOJ settlement, the two companies also agreed to new financial terms, with a new value of approximately $6.9 billion, based on First Data’s closing price on Friday, December 12, 2003, of $39.30. The revised merger agreement also extends the original January 31, 2004 end date to April 30, 2004 to allow sufficient time to obtain the necessary shareholder approvals of the revised terms. The revised agreement increases transaction certainty by eliminating many, but not all, conditions to completing the merger. The boards of both companies have approved the revised agreement."
This case is USA v. First Data & Concord EFS, Inc., U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, D.C. No. No. 03-2169 (RMC).
California Supreme Court Rules in Orloff v. Pacific Bell
12/15. The Supreme Court of California issued its opinion [MS Word] in The People ex rel. Thomas J. Orloff v. Pacific Bell, a case regarding the authority of the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), and state prosecutors, to regulate telecommunications carriers. The Court held that carriers may be subject to simultaneous and overlapping proceedings before the CPUC and in the state courts.
The District Attorneys for the Counties of Alameda, San Mateo, and Monterey filed a complaint in California Superior Court against Pacific Bell and others alleging violation of California unfair competition law in connection with their offering of telecommunications services.
Pacific Bell is also regulated by the CPUC. It was conducting a parallel proceeding to investigate the same practices that were the subject of the prosecutors' Superior Court action.
The Superior Court of Alameda County, and the California Court of Appeal, both held that the District Attorneys' action in state court was barred by California Public Utilities Code section 1759. The California Supreme Court reversed.
The California Supreme Court wrote that "section 1759 provides that only this court and the Court of Appeal possess jurisdiction to review decisions of the California Public Utilities Commission (PUC) or ``to enjoin, restrain, or interfere with´´ the PUC in the performance of its duties. Thus, an action filed in superior court against a public utility subject to the jurisdiction of the PUC can be precluded by section 1759, where the action would ``interfere with´´ the authority of the PUC. Here, several district attorneys filed a civil action in superior court, alleging that a public utility violated the law by engaging in false advertising and unfair business practices. An administrative enforcement proceeding involving some of the same allegations of misconduct by this utility was pending in the PUC at the time the civil action was filed, and the superior court and the Court of Appeal concluded that because the present action might result in conflicting rulings with the parallel PUC proceeding, the action would interfere with the authority of the PUC and thus was barred by section 1759."
It concluded that the lower courts erred in determining that the prosecutors' action is barred by Section 1759. It elaborated that "the PUC does not have exclusive jurisdiction over all actions against a public utility" and "the mere possibility of, or potential for, conflict with the PUC is, in general, insufficient in itself to establish that a civil action against a public utility is precluded by section 1759".
The Supreme Court continued that "a number of statutory provisions expressly authorize public law enforcement officials (in addition to the PUC) to initiate civil enforcement actions against public utilities in instances of alleged misconduct by such utilities." (Parentheses in original.)
It concluded that "In expressly establishing overlapping enforcement authority against public utilities by both the PUC and public prosecutors, the Legislature has demonstrated that it contemplates that public prosecutors and the PUC will coordinate their enforcement efforts -- and that the superior court in such a civil action can tailor its proceedings and rulings -- to avoid any actual conflict. Nothing in the present action brought by public prosecutors inevitably would lead to conflicting rulings that would interfere with or undermine the regulatory authority of the PUC, and indeed the PUC itself has filed an amicus curiae brief in this matter, eschewing any suggestion that the initiation and prosecution of this civil action would interfere with the performance of its duties and instead maintaining that civil actions brought by public prosecutors are an important complement to the PUC’s consumer protection efforts. Under these circumstances, we conclude that the superior court erred in dismissing this action under section 1759, and we reverse the judgment of the Court of Appeal upholding the dismissal."
12/15. World Trade Organization (WTO) Director General Supachai Panitchpakdi (at right) gave a speech regarding the the Doha Development Agenda (DDA). He stated that "I have continued with my intensive programme of contacts with Ministers in capitals and elsewhere. ... I come away from these contacts with the deep impression that there continues to be a strong willingness and determination to move the Doha Development Agenda forward." He continued that "In the last couple of months I have met with Ministers in Asia, Africa, Central America, the Caribbean and South America. I have also seen many other Ministers as they pass through Geneva and I have also spoken to quite a number by telephone. As I have reported previously, every Minister I have spoken to wants to see progress. They have also expressed a recognition of the need for flexibility in order to achieve this progress. The message that I have received from Ministers has been clear, consistent and encouraging. They are all committed to the multilateral trading system. They do not want the DDA to be sidelined or neglected and are willing to resume the negotiations at the earliest opportunity on the basis of the Derbez text."
12/15. Deputy U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Linnet Deily gave a speech [3 pages in PDF] regarding the Doha Development Agenda (DDA) and the Cancun Ministerial, stating that "The United States remains firmly committed to the successful conclusion of the DDA.
12/15. The Department of Commerce's (DOC) Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) fined Sun Microsystems and two of its subsidiaries $291,000. The BIS stated in a release that these payments "settle charges involving illegal exports of computers to military end-users in China and Egypt, and for failing to comply with conditions on eight Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) export licenses". The BIS release continues that Sun Microsystems exported an Enterprise server to the Changsha Institute of Science and Technology (CIST) in the People's Republic of China, which offers courses specializing in missile and rocket research and development technology.
12/15. The Department of Commerce's (DOC) Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) fined TLC Precision Wafer Technology $35,000. The BIS stated in a release that TLC "committed five violations of the Export Administration Regulations when it exported aluminum gallium arsenide/gallium arsenide epitaxial wafers to Israel and Brazil without the required export licenses and failed to file the necessary Shippers Export Declarations (SEDs) for the transactions. The company also provided false information on the SED for a shipment of oscillator chips to Israel."
People and Appointments
12/15. Sen. John Breaux (D-LA) announced that he will not seek reelection to the Senate in 2004. He has represented Louisiana in the Senate since 1986. Before that, he a member of the House of Representatives. He is a member of the Senate Commerce Committee and its Communications Subcommittee. He is also a member of the Senate Finance Committee. See, Sen. Breaux release and statement by President Bush.
12/15. Torie Clarke (at right) was named Senior Advisor for Communications and Government Affairs at Comcast Corporation, effective January 1, 2004. She was previously Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs. She has also worked for Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), the Chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee. She is also a former VP of the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA). See, Comcast release.
12/15. Three new members were appointed to the National Institute of Standards and Technology's (NIST) Information Security and Privacy Advisory Board: Bruce Brody (Associate Deputy Assistant Secretary for Cyber and Information Security at the Department of Veterans Affairs), Rebecca Leng (Deputy Assistant Inspector General for Information Technology and Computer Security at the Department of Transportation), and Howard Schmidt (VP and Chief Information Security Officer at Ebay).
12/15. Merit Janow was sworn in as a Member of the Appellate Body at the World Trade Organization (WTO). Janow's background includes teaching at Columbia University, working as a Deputy Assistant U.S. Trade Representative, and working for the law firm of Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom. See, WTO release.
12/15. Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT), the ranking Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee, named Russ Sullivan Democratic Staff Director. He has been Democratic Chief Tax Counsel since 1999. From 1995 through 1999 he was Tax Counsel and Legislative Director for Sen. Bob Graham (D-FL). Before that, he worked for the law firm of Vinson & Elkins. Sen. Baucus also named Bill Dauster Deputy Staff Director. He has worked for the Committee as Democratic General Counsel since April of 2003. Sen. Baucus also named Patrick Heck Chief Tax Counsel.
12/15. The Supreme Court granted certiorari in F. Hoffman-LaRoche v. Empagran, No. 03-724. See, Order List [7 pages in PDF at page 1]. This is an antitrust case involving vitamin companies. At issue is whether the Foreign Trade Antitrust Improvements Act of 1982, which is codified at 15 U.S.C. § 6a, provides jurisdiction under the Sherman Act over the claims of a foreign plaintiff injured by a conspiracy having direct, substantial, and reasonably foreseeable anticompetitive effects on U.S. trade or commerce, when the foreign plaintiff's claimed injury does not arise from those domestic effects. See also, January 17, 2003 opinion of the U.S. Court of Appeals (DCCir) in Empagran v. F. Hoffman-LaRoche, No. 01-7115.
Bush Signs Intelligence Authorization Bill
12/13. President Bush signed HR 2417, the "Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2004," which authorizes appropriations for intelligence related activities of various federal agencies. See, White House release.
The agencies with intelligence related activities include the Department of the Treasury (DOT), Department of Energy (DOE), Department of State (DOS), Department of Justice (DOJ), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and Coast Guard.
The covered agencies also include defense agencies, such as the Department of Defense (DOD), Department of the Army, Department of the Navy, and Department of the Air Force.
Finally, the covered agencies include intelligence agencies, such as the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), National Security Agency (NSA), National Reconnaissance Office, and National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency.
This bill authorizes appropriations. Although, there is little budgetary detail in the bill. Other information is "specified in the classified Schedule of Authorizations" that accompanies the bill, but is not available to the public.
However, the bill does have numerous substantive provisions. Four sections of the bill require reports to the Congress pertaining to information technology. Nevertheless, much of the content of these reports will likely be classified, and hence, not be available to the public.
Vulnerability of Intelligence Related Computer Systems. First, Section 351 of the bill requires that "The Director of Central Intelligence and the Secretary of Defense shall jointly submit to the appropriate committees of Congress a report on the risks to the national security of the United States of the current computer security practices of the elements of the intelligence community and of the Department of Defense."
This report must address the "vulnerability of the computers and computer systems of the elements of the intelligence community, and of the Department of Defense, to various threats from foreign governments, international terrorist organizations, and organized crime, including information warfare (IW), Information Operations (IO), Computer Network Exploitation (CNE), and Computer Network Attack (CNA)."
It also must include the "risks of providing users of local area networks (LANs) or wide-area networks (WANs) of computers that include classified information with capabilities for electronic mail, upload and download, or removable storage media without also deploying comprehensive computer firewalls, accountability procedures, or other appropriate security controls."
The report is due by February 15, 2004. However, it is not likely to be made public. The bill provides that this report "may be submitted in classified or unclassified form, at the election of the Director" of the CIA.
Dependence on Foreign Made Computers and Software. Second, Section 356 provides that "the Director of Central Intelligence shall submit to the appropriate committees of Congress a report on the extent of United States dependence on computer hardware or software that is manufactured overseas."
This report is due by February 15, 2004. The bill further provides that it "shall be submitted in unclassified form, but may include a classified annex."
DHS/IAIP. Third, Section 359 of the bill provides that "The President shall submit to the appropriate committees of Congress a report on the operations of the Directorate of Information Analysis and Infrastructure Protection of the Department of Homeland Security and the Terrorist Threat Integration Center".
See also, White House release of January 28, 2003 announcing the creation of the Terrorist Threat Information Center.
This report is due by May 1, 2004, and "shall be submitted in unclassified form, but may include a classified annex."
TSC Database. Fourth, Section 360 of the bill provides that "the President shall submit to Congress a report on the establishment and operation of the Terrorist Screening Center, established on September 16, 2003, by Homeland Security Presidential Directive 6".
On September 16, President Bush issued Homeland Security Presidential Directive/Hspd-6. It directs the Attorney General to develop a single terrorist screening database to support various federal, state and local screening processes. Also on September 16, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Department of State, and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) announced the establishment of a Terrorist Screening Center (TSC). See, story titled "Presidential Directive Creates Terrorist Screening Database" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 741, September 17, 2004.
The report required by the bill must include an analysis of the operations of the TSC, a "description of the architecture of the database system" of the TSC, a "description of the protocols in effect to ensure the protection of classified and sensitive information" contained in the TSC database system, a description of the extent to which the TSC "makes information available to the private sector and critical infrastructure components", a description of "the process by which databases in the Terrorist Screening Center database system are reviewed for accuracy and timeliness of data and the frequency of updates of such reviews", and the impact of the TSC on "individual liberties and privacy".
This report is due by September 16, 2004. It "shall be submitted in unclassified form, but may include a classified annex".
Iranian Trade Embargo Does Not Prohibit the Importation or Copyrighting of Iranian Movies
12/12. The U.S. Court of Appeals (9thCir) issued its opinion [15 pages in PDF] in Kalantari v. NITV, a copyright infringement case in which the Appeals Court held that a person who imported and copyrighted three films from Iran did not loose copyright protection as a result of the trade embargo on Iran.
Masood Kalantari obtained by contract the rights to copyright, distribute, and exhibit three Farsi language films in the United States. NITV, Inc., d/b/a National Iranian TV, broadcast the three films in the U.S. without Kalantari's permission.
Kalantari filed a complaint in U.S. District Court (CDCal) against NITV and others alleging copyright infringement. The defendants/copiers moved for summary judgment, arguing that Kalantari holds no valid copyright because he allegedly violated the U.S.'s trade embargo on Iran by purchasing the rights in the three films. The District Court granted summary judgment to the defendants.
The Appeals Court reversed. It wrote that the Iranian trade embargo, which is codified at 31 C.F.R. Part 560, is based upon the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, which was passed in 1977, and is codified at 50 U.S.C. §§ 1701, et seq. However, it contains an exemption for information (which was amended in 1994).
50 U.S.C. § 1702(b) provides that "The authority granted to the President by this section does not include the authority to regulate or prohibit, directly or indirectly ... (3) the importation from any country, ... whether commercial or otherwise, regardless of format or medium of transmission, of any information or informational materials, including but not limited to, publications, films, posters, phonograph records, photographs, microfilms, microfiche, tapes, compact disks, CD ROMs, artworks, and news wire feeds."
The Court also noted the legislative history. This language was introduced by Rep. Howard Berman (D-CA), who is now the ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet and Intellectual Property, "to prevent the executive branch from restricting the international flow of materials protected by the First Amendment".
The Appeals Court held that "The Iranian embargo does not prohibit the commercial importation of an Iranian movie, the copyrighting of the movie, or the assignment to a United States person of rights to obtain and enforce such a copyright."
Judge Susan Graber wrote the opinion of the Court. Judges Betty Fletcher and Pam Rymer joined.
This case is Masood Kalantari v. NITV, Inc., et al., U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, No. 02-56592, an appeal from the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, D.C. No. CV-01-05447-PA, Judge Percy Anderson presiding.
Federal Court Lacks Federal Question Jurisdiction in Tower Citing Case
12/12. The U.S. Court of Appeals (1stCir) issued its opinion in Metheny v. Kembel, a dispute involving a local zoning board's issuance of a variance permitting Omnipoint Communications to construct a wireless telecommunications tower. Although, the present opinion addresses only the issue of federal question jurisdiction.
The Appeals Court held that, notwithstanding 47 U.S.C. § 332, and especially, 47 U.S.C. § 332(c)(7)(B)(i)(II), the federal courts lacked jurisdiction over this case. This case involved the preclusive effect of a prior federal judgment.
Judge Howard wrote the opinion of the Appeals Court, in which Judges Boudin and Lynch joined. This case is Karen Metheny, et al. v. Katherine Becker, et al., U.S. Court of Appeals for the 1st Circuit, No. 02-2424, an appeal from the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, Judge William Young presiding.
People and Appointments
12/12. Jack Johnson was named Chief Security Officer at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). He is a 20 year veteran of the Secret Service. His job responsibilities include providing support for the Chief Information Officer in the area of security policies and procedures as they relate to classified information technology. See, DHS release.
12/12. David Wajsgras was appointed to the Board of Directors of 3Com Corporation. Wajsgras is SVP and CFO of Lear Corporation, an automotive interiors supplier. See, 3Com release.
12/12. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) published a notice in the Federal Register that describes a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) regarding "Changes to Representation of Others Before the United States Patent and Trademark Office". Comments are due by February 10, 2004. See, Federal Register, December 12, 2003, Vol. 68, No. 239, at Pages 69441-69562]
12/12. The Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) Wireless Telecommunications Bureau's (WTB) Auctions and Spectrum Division denied the petition of Southern Communications Service, Inc. and the United Telecom Council to postpone Auction No. 55, pertaining to Specialized Mobile Radio (SMR) Service licenses in the 896-901 MHz and 935-940 MHz bands, which is scheduled to commence on February 11, 2004. See, FCC Order [PDF].
12/12. Lucent Technologies stated in a release that "it received final district court approval of its agreement to settle pending shareowner and related litigation against the company, certain of its current and former officers and directors, and certain other defendants." This is In Re Lucent Technologies Securities Litigation, U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey, D.C. No. 00-CV-621, and consolidated cases.
12/12. The U.S. District Court (DMass) issued an order [14 pages in PDF] in In Re Lernout & Hauspie Securities Litigation.
Greenspan Addresses Trade, Jobs, Info Tech, and Creative Destruction
12/11. Alan Greenspan, Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board, gave a speech in Dallas, Texas, in which he addressed employment, trade, new technologies, and creative destruction.
As is usual for Chairman Greenspan, he advocated the benefits to society of free markets and free trade. He said that jobs are continually being eliminated, while new jobs are being created. Moreover, the U.S. is continually moving away from manufacturing towards information technologies. He argued that imposing protectionist barriers to imported manufactured goods would harm the U.S. economy.
Greenspan (at right) stated that "A million workers leave their jobs every week, two-fifths involuntarily, often in association with facilities that have been displaced or abandoned. A million, more or less, are also newly hired or returned from layoffs every week, in part as new facilities come on stream."
"We can thus be confident that new jobs will displace old ones as they always have, but not without a high degree of pain for those in the job-losing segment of our massive job turnover."
He continued that "In the United States, conceptual jobs, fostered by cutting-edge technologies, especially information technologies, are occupying an ever increasing share of the workforce and are gradually replacing work requiring manual skills. Those industries in which labor costs are a significant part of overall costs have been under increasing competition from foreign producers with labor costs, adjusted for productivity, less than ours."
"This process is not new", said Greenspan. "For generations American ingenuity has been creating industries and jobs that never existed before, from vehicle assemblers to computer software engineers. With those jobs come new opportunities for workers with the necessary skills. In recent years, competition from abroad has risen to a point at which our lowest skilled workers are being priced out of the global labor market."
Greenspan suggested that the appropriate policy response is not protectionism, but retraining workers "for new job skills that meet the evolving opportunities created by our economy has become so urgent in this country. A major source of such retraining has been our community colleges, which have proliferated over the past two decades."
He stated that if the U.S. imposed protectionist policies with respect to manufactured goods, "our overall standards of living would fall".
He also applied Joseph Schumpeter's theory of creative destruction. Greenspan summarized this as "the continuous scrapping of old technologies to make way for the new."
"Standards of living rise because the depreciation and other cash flows of industries employing older, increasingly obsolescent, technologies are marshaled, along with new savings, to finance the production of capital assets that almost always embody cutting-edge technologies. Workers migrate with the capital. This is the process by which wealth is created, incremental step by incremental step. It presupposes a continuous churning of an economy in which the new displaces the old, a process that brings both progress and stress", said Greenspan.
Finally, Greenspan discussed trade negotiations. He stated that the U.S. has had four decades of more or less successful trade negotiations, but that the U.S. so far has picked the "low-hanging trade agreement fruit". He added that "Current trade negotiators, accordingly, now must grapple with the remaining, more difficult issues, such as intellectual property rights".
GAO Reports on DOD Procurement of Satellite Bandwidth
12/11. The General Accounting Office (GAO) released a report [39 pages in PDF] titled "Satellite Communications: Strategic Approach Needed for DOD's Procurement of Commercial Satellite Bandwidth".
The report states that the "The Department of Defense (DOD) relies on a vast network of ground and space-based systems to meet its telecommunications needs -- both for military and business operations. Over the past 12 years, DOD has experienced a ten-fold increase in the demand for telecommunication bandwidth from satellites to support the war-fighting combatant commands, the military services, and defense agencies, and some experts predict another fivefold or sixfold jump in demand by 2010. Currently, DOD-owned and -operated satellites cannot satisfy all of DOD’s telecommunication requirements, and both DOD and other sources project sizeable shortfalls in bandwidth capacity needed by the year 2010. As a result, DOD has been leasing bandwidth on commercial satellites to support a variety of critical missions such as surveillance being performed by unmanned aerial vehicles and communications between commanders and field units."
The report concludes that the "DOD’s process for acquiring commercial fixed satellite bandwidth services is fair to both its vendors and their subcontractors, which are the ultimate commercial satellite bandwidth service providers."
It adds that "Some major DOD users of commercial satellite bandwidth services, however, are dissatisfied with the DOD’s process, which is managed by the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA)."
The report also identifies several management and oversight weaknesses. It states that "Little attention is paid to collecting or addressing customer complaints; business processes are inefficient; and oversight is poor. In fact, DOD does not know exactly how much it is spending on commercial satellite bandwidth services, nor does it know much about its service providers or whether customer needs are really being satisfied. Without this knowledge, DOD cannot take steps to leverage its buying power, even though it is the largest customer for commercial satellite bandwidth. Further, neither DOD nor DISA is making a concerted effort to collect forecasts of bandwidth needs from users and ensure those needs can be met by the commercial sector."
People and Appointments
12/11. Narda Jones was named Deputy Division Chief of the Telecommunications Access Policy Division of the Wireline Competition Bureau (WCB) at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). She will will oversee the policies and procedures governing the e-rate subsidy program. See, FCC release [PDF]. She has worked for the FCC since 2001.
12/11. Scott Bergmann was named Deputy Chief of the Competition Policy Division of the Wireline Competition Bureau (WCB) at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). He was previously Interim Legal Advisor to Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein. Before that, he was Legal Counsel to the Chief of the WCB, advising the Bureau Chief on competition policy and broadband issues. And before that, he was an Attorney Advisor in the Industry Analysis Division. He previously worked on, among other things, the now completed Section 271 applications to provide in region interLATA services. See, FCC release [PDF].
12/11. Jeremy Miller was named Special Counsel to the Competition Policy Division of the Wireline Competition Bureau (WTB) at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). He was previously an Attorney Advisor for the Competition Policy Division, and Acting Assistant Chief of the Competition Policy Division. He previously worked on, among other things, the now completed Section 271 applications to provide in region interLATA services. See, FCC release [PDF].
12/11. The General Accounting Office (GAO) released a report [38 pages in PDF] titled "Human Capital: Key Principles for Effective Strategic Workforce Planning". This report addresses workforce planning for the federal government.
12/11. The General Accounting Office (GAO) released a report [60 pages in PDF] titled "Law Enforcement: Better Performance Measures Needed to Assess Results of Justice’s Office of Science and Technology". The report states that "The mission of the Office of Science and Technology (OST), within the Department of Justice’s National Institute of Justice (NIJ), is to improve the safety and effectiveness of technology used by federal, state, and local law enforcement, corrections, and other public safety agencies." It concludes that the "OST has been unable to fully assess its performance in achieving its goals because it does not measure the extent to which it achieves the intended outcomes of its programs." Hence, the report recommends that "the Attorney General instruct the Director of NIJ to reassess OST’s performance measures to better focus on outcome measures." The report, which is dated November 14, 2003, was prepared for Rep. Jane Harman (D-CA).
12/11. A grand jury of the Circuit Court of the Loudoun County, state of Virginia, returned an indictment charging Jeremy Jaynes with four felony counts of using fraudulent means to transmit unsolicited bulk e-mail in violation of Virginia's anti-spam statute. This is Virginia's first prosecution under its recently enacted spam statute. See, Attorney General's release. See also, story titled "Virginia Makes Sending Certain Spam a Felony" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 652, April 30, 2003.
12/11. Donald Nicolaisen, the Securities and Exchange Commission's (SEC) Chief Accountant, gave a speech to the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) regarding recent developments in financial reporting and auditing. He stated that "I am looking for suggestions for improvements to the current accounting model. It is strained and I am willing to consider how we might use additional performance measures, technology solutions ..."
12/11. Computer Associates International stated in a release that "the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York has approved the settlement of all outstanding litigation concerning past accounting issues including shareholder and ERISA class-action suits and related derivative litigation. The company announced the settlements in August 2003."
Go to News from December 6-10, 2003.