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Al Gore threatens IT industry leaders

Fall into step over morality issue, or else

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US vice president Al Gore has been accused of using strong-arm tactics against IT industry leaders in an attempt to gain support for his crusade to promote moral decency on the Internet. His threatening behaviour and "abuse of power" was allegedly directed at those IT top dogs who were undecided about attending the launch of the One Click Away Internet resource. The child-friendly Net resource was set up in the wake of the killings in Littleton, Colorado. A report by the The Washington Times claims that one of Gore's top policy advisors "threatened to demonise computer on-line industry executives in the media if they didn't attend a press conference where Mr Gore claimed credit for creating an Internet child protection tool". The Washington Times reported that Mr Kohlenberger, Gore's aide, told industry execs: "The vice president has invited high-tech leaders to this press conference and looks forward to your participation." "If you do not show up he will notice, and he has a very long memory for these things. If you don't come, the way it will play out in the press will make the industry look very immature." The threats were allegedly made last Tuesday two days before Gore announced One Click Away. The Washington Times didn't reveal its sources but said that the story had been corroborated by several different sources. A spokesman for Gore refused to comment on the allegations and accused the people behind the story of playing politics. Senator Bob Kerrey, a Nebraska Democrat, told The Washington Times: "If he did that, it is an abuse of power." "I don't care who you are, anyone who would do that is abusing their power." ®

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