Friday, March 16, 2007

Subcommittee on Internet Law

From Hank Judy, Co-Chair of the Subcommittee on Internet Law:

The meeting of the Subcommittee on Internet Law featured a presentation on the US SAFE WEB Act of 2006 (the "Undertaking Spam, Spyware, And Fraud Enforcement With Enforcers beyond Borders Act of 2006") by Shaundra L. Watson who serves as a Counsel for International Consumer Protection in the Federal Trade Commission’s Office of International Affairs. The Act was enacted in December of 2006 and grants the FTC broader authority to pursue foreign spammers, phishers and other online fraudsters and scammers. Now the FTC has authorities similar to those granted the SEC, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and federal banking agencies. Hank Judy, who chaired the meeting, noted that cross-border online fraud of all kinds is a rapidly expanding threat to business and consumers alike and that, while the Act was largely procedural in nature, it is a key protection for the online world and will become an even more important protection in the future. He said that this fact, plus the fact that the Act has not received the public notice that it deserves, are reasons why the Act was a topic of importance to the Internet Law Subcommittee.

Ms. Watson's presentation covered the Act's provisions dealing with pre- and post-judgment enforcement litigation in foreign courts, information sharing with foreign law enforcement agencies, investigative assistance to foreign law enforcement agencies, enforcement relationships, reporting requirements under the Act and the Act's sunset provision. She emphasized the extent to which the Act clarified existing authority rather than adding new authority. Here is a copy of Ms. Watson's excellent PowerPoint and a copy of the Act.