106th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. R. 1686

To ensure that the Internet remains open to fair competition, free from government regulation, and accessible to American consumers.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

May 5, 1999

Mr. GOODLATTE (for himself and Mr. BOUCHER) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary, and in addition to the Committee on Commerce, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned


A BILL

To ensure that the Internet remains open to fair competition, free from government regulation, and accessible to American consumers.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the 'Internet Freedom Act'.

TITLE I--ANTITRUST AND CRIMINAL PROVISIONS

SEC. 101. PROHIBITION ON ANTICOMPETITIVE BEHAVIOR BY INCUMBENT LOCAL EXCHANGE CARRIERS.

    In any civil action based on a claim arising under section 1, 2, or 3 of the Sherman Act (15 U.S.C. 1, 2, 3), evidence that an incumbent local exchange carrier that has market power in the broadband service provider market has willfully and knowingly failed to provide conditioned unbundled local loops when economically reasonable and technically feasible under section 715(a) of the Communications Act of 1934, or restrains unreasonably the ability of a carrier to compete in its provision of broadband services over a local loop, shall be sufficient to establish a presumption of a violation of such section 1, 2, or 3 of the Sherman Act.

SEC. 102. PROHIBITION ON ANTICOMPETITIVE CONTRACTS BY BROADBAND ACCESS TRANSPORT PROVIDERS.

    In any civil action based on a claim arising under section 1, 2, or 3 of the Sherman Act (15 U.S.C. 1, 2, 3), evidence that a broadband access transport provider that has market power in the broadband service provider market has offered access to a service provider on terms and conditions, other than terms justified by demonstrable cost differentials, that are less favorable than those offered by such operator to itself, to an affiliated service provider, or to another service provider, or restrains unreasonably the ability of a service provider from competing in its provision of broadband services, shall be sufficient to establish a presumption of a violation of such section.

SEC. 103. PROHIBITION ON ANTICOMPETITIVE OR DISCRIMINATORY BEHAVIOR BY BROADBAND ACCESS TRANSPORT PROVIDERS.

    It shall be unlawful for a broadband access transport provider to engage in unfair methods of competition or unfair or deceptive acts or practices, the purpose or effect of which is to discriminate in favor of a service provider that is affiliated with a broadband access transport provider or to restrain unreasonably the ability of a service provider that is not affiliated with a broadband access transport provider from competing in its provision of any of the services provided by a service provider as set forth in section 105(3).

SEC. 104. PROTECTION FROM FRAUDULENT UNSOLICITED E-MAIL.

      (1) in subsection (a)(5)--

        (A) by striking 'or' at the end of subparagraph (B); and

        (B) by inserting after subparagraph (C) the following new subparagraphs:

      '(D) intentionally and without authorization initiates the transmission of a bulk unsolicited electronic mail message to a protected computer with knowledge that such message falsifies an Internet domain, header information, date or time stamp, originating e-mail address or other identifier; or

      '(E) intentionally sells or distributes any computer program that--

        '(i) is designed or produced primarily for the purpose of concealing the source or routing information of bulk unsolicited electronic mail messages in a manner prohibited by subparagraph (D) of this paragraph;

        '(ii) has only limited commercially significant purpose or use other than to conceal such source or routing information; or

        '(iii) is marketed by the violator or another person acting in concert with the violator and with the violator's knowledge for use in concealing the source or routing information of such messages;

      (2) in subsection (c)(2)(A)--

        (A) by inserting '(i)' after 'in the case of an offense'; and

        (B) by inserting after 'an offense punishable under this subparagraph;' the following: '; or (ii) under subsection (a)(5)(D) or (a)(5)(E) of this section which results in damage to a protected computer';

      (3) in subsection (c)(2), by adding at the end the following new subparagraph:

      '(D) in the case of a violation of subsection (a)(5)(D) or (E), actual monetary loss and statutory damages of $15,000 per violation or an amount of up to $10 per message per violation whichever is greater; and';

      (4) in subsection (e)--

        (A) by striking 'and' at the end of paragraph (8);

        (B) by striking the period at the end of paragraph (9); and

        (C) by adding at the end the following new paragraphs:

      '(10) the term 'initiates the transmission' means, in the case of an electronic mail message, to originate the electronic mail message, and excludes the actions of any interactive computer service whose facilities or services are used by another person to transmit, relay, or otherwise handle such message;

      '(11) the term 'Internet domain' means a specific computer system (commonly referred to as a 'host') or collection of computer systems attached to or able to be referenced from the Internet which are assigned a specific reference point on the Internet (commonly referred to as an 'Internet domain name') and registered with an organization recognized by the Internet industry as a registrant of Internet domains;

      '(12) the term 'unsolicited electronic mail message' means any substantially identical electronic mail message other than electronic mail initiated by any person to others with whom such person has a prior relationship, including prior business relationship, or electronic mail sent by a source to recipients where such recipients, or their designees, have at any time affirmatively requested to receive communications from that source; and

      '(13) the term 'Internet' means all computer and telecommunications facilities, including equipment and operating software, which comprise the interconnected network of networks that employ the Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol, or any predecessor or successor protocols to such protocol, to communicate information of all kinds by wire or radio.'.

      (5) in subsection (g), by inserting 'and reasonable attorneys' fees and other litigation costs reasonably incurred in connection with civil action' after 'injunctive relief or other equitable relief'.

SEC. 105. DEFINITIONS.

    For purposes of this title:

      (1) BROADBAND- The term 'broadband' refers to a transmission capability in excess of 200 kilobits per second in at least one direction.

      (2) BROADBAND ACCESS TRANSPORT PROVIDER- The term 'broadband access transport provider' means one who engages in the broadband transmission of data between a user and his service provider's point of interconnection with the broadband access transport provider's facilities. Such term shall also include a service provider who provides to itself, over facilities owned by it or under its control, the broadband transport of services between itself and its users.

      (3) SERVICE PROVIDER- The term 'service provider' means a person who provides a service that enables users to access content, information, electronic mail, or other services. The term may also include access to proprietary content, information, and other services as part of a package of services offered to consumers.

      (4) INTERNET- The term 'Internet' means all computer and telecommunications facilities, including equipment and operating software, which comprise the interconnected network of networks that employ the Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol, or any predecessor or successor protocols to such protocol, to communicate information of all kinds by wire or radio.

      (5) BROADBAND SERVICE PROVIDER MARKET- The term 'broadband service provider market' includes the provision of broadband services over a single broadband access transport provider's facilities.

TITLE II--ADDITIONAL PROVISIONS

SEC. 201. ACCELERATED DEPLOYMENT OF BROADBAND SERVICES.

    Title VII of the Communications Act of 1934 is amended by adding at the end thereof the following new section:

'SEC. 715. ACCELERATED DEPLOYMENT OF BROADBAND SERVICES.

    '(a) BROADBAND SERVICES PLANS-

      '(1) PLAN REQUIRED- Within 180 days after the effective date of this section, each local exchange carrier shall submit to the State commission in each State in which such carrier does business a plan to provide broadband telecommunications service in all local exchange areas in which such carrier has telephone exchange service customers as soon as such broadband telecommunications service is economically reasonably and technically feasible. The plan shall include all terms and conditions, including pricing, under which the services shall be provided. The test of economic reasonability and technical feasibility shall be made separately by the local exchange carrier for each local exchange, and the plan shall be considered certified 45 days after submission unless the State commission rejects the plan within such 45 days. Upon rejection of a plan, successive plans shall be submitted until approval is obtained. The plan shall be implemented within 180 days of the certification of the plan in each local exchange in which the provision of the service is both economically reasonable and technically feasible. Upon certification of its plan, the carrier shall be obligated by terms of the plan (including any modifications that it requests that are thereafter certified) but shall otherwise provide such services free of Federal and State price, rate, rate of return, and profit regulation. Upon a determination by the State commission that a local exchange is served by another provider of broadband telecommunications services, or any broadband Internet access transport provider, or upon a determination by such State commission that the local exchange carrier makes broadband telecommunications services available to 70 percent of the access lines in an exchange, a local exchange carrier shall no longer be obligated by the terms of any such plan in such local exchange.

      '(2) STATE MODIFICATIONS PROHIBITED- Except upon request of the carrier, the State commission shall have no authority to modify any plan submitted pursuant to paragraph (1).

      '(3) NO COMMISSION AUTHORITY- The Commission shall have no authority with respect to the terms of any plan and shall have no authority with respect to the approval or rejection of any such plan.

    '(b) SUPERSESSION OF OTHER REQUIREMENTS- An incumbent local exchange carrier's provision of broadband local telecommunications services shall not be subject to the requirements of sections 251(c)(3) and 251(c)(4) of the Act in any State in which that carrier certifies to the State commission that--

      '(1) in central offices in which it provides local loops that are conditioned for broadband services, it provides such loops to other carriers at least as quickly as it provides them for its own customers;

      '(2) in central offices in which it does not currently provide local loops that are conditioned for broadband services, but in which such service is economically reasonable and technically feasible, it will provide such loops within 120 days of a request for such conditioning from another carrier; and

      '(3) conditioned loops are provided upon such prices and other terms and conditions as the parties shall agree, or in any event of disagreements, as are determined through commercial arbitration, in which the commercial arbitrator shall establish the price based upon the cost of the loops and the costs for such conditioning that have been incurred by the local exchange carrier plus a reasonable profit.'.

SEC. 202. ACCELERATED DEPLOYMENT OF INTERNET BACKBONE.

    (a) INTERLATA INTERNET SERVICES- Paragraph (21) of section 3 of the Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 153(21)), relating to the definition of interLATA service, is amended by inserting before the period the following: ', except that such term shall not include services that consist of or include the transmission of any data or information, including any writing, signs, signals, pictures, or sounds related to the transmission of such data or information, by means of the Internet or any other network that employs Internet Protocol-based or other packet-switched technology'.

    (b) VOICE INTERLATA INTERNET SERVICES- Neither a Bell operating company, nor any affiliate of a Bell operating company, may provide, by means of the Internet or any other network that employs Internet Protocol-based or other packet-switched technology, two-way voice-only interLATA telecommunications services originating in any of its in-region States until such time as the Federal Communications Commission approves the application of such company for such State pursuant to section 271(d) of the Communications Act of 1934. The terms in this subsection shall have the same respective meanings given such terms in sections 3 and 271 of such Act.
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Spyware has many ways of getting onto your computer, such as:

When you download programs - particularly freeware, or peer-to-peer sharing programs.

More covertly, spyware can install itself just by you visiting certain sites, by prompting you to download an application to see the site properly.

ActiveX controls. These pesky spyware makers will prompt you to install themselves while using your Internet browser