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US Senator Slade Gorton (Republican, Washington State) took to the airwaves with a polemic rant defending his beloved Microsoft from malevolent federal regulators and judges, during the weekly Republican radio address which he delivered on Saturday. "Unfortunately the Clinton-Gore Administration does not get it. Look at the case it brought against Microsoft. This Administration believes that nobody should be free to succeed too much," Gorton declared.

"So, what are the consequences of this suit to us, our children and our future?" According to Gorton nothing less than the twin horrors of denying "freedom of companies and entrepreneurs around the country to innovate, succeed, and continue expanding our economy," and "more government regulation and more litigation." Damn, that sounds serious.....



Europe may be ready to bless the AOL/Time Warner nuptials, but the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has dug in its heels over language in a memo of understanding from the pair related to broadband access for third-party small fry, and could go so far as seek a preliminary injunction if its concerns are not addressed adequately. This could get tricky; while the betrothed have the right to appeal any such action, if the appellate court rules against them, a lengthy trial would have to commence. And even more sticky, regardless of the fallout with the FTC, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is waiting in the wings with its own magnifying glass.....



The federal government risks competing unfairly with the private-sector in on-line commerce, according to a

new report

by industry front group the Computer and Communications Industry Association (CCIA). The report proposes rules which industry would like to see the government following as it ventures into cyberspace backed by vast war chests of public money. The study cites the United States Postal Service's

eBillPay programme

as a prime example of the government treading on commerce's patch. Other federal services are ranked from good, to potentially threatening, to clearly intrusive.....



The spam wars are heating up in state courts, and may soon boil over into the federal circuit. Most recently, New Hampshire fax, voice and imaging software outfit Black Ice is suing a California spam scrubber called Mail Abuse Prevention System (MAPS) for appending them to a "Black Hole List" which screens junk e-mail. "The wrongful listing of Black Ice on MAPS and the labelling of Black Ice as a 'spammer' by MAPS resulted in a substantial loss of Black Ice's Internet and e-mail services and damaged Black Ice's business reputation," the company wrote in its court filing.

"MAPS is, by its nature, a magnet for lawsuits," the defendant observes. With this in mind the organisation has started a legal defence fund to which it hopes concerned Netizens will contribute.....



Libertarian Party Presidential hopeful Harry Browne spoke at Microsoft's Redmond campus on Friday, addressing a sympathetic audience. Browne has often criticised the US Department of Justice for pursuing an antitrust action against the company, while the Libertarian Party distrusts antitrust enforcement in general. Funny how these guys have the wisdom not to trust the government, yet the stupidity to trust Big Business.....



Internet gambling (or 'gaming', according to the industry's preferred euphemistic spin) has come to Nevada, much to the chagrin of Congressional opponents. The slick

Virtgame.com

Web site is the first licensed on-line gambling joint, enabling (we nearly wrote 'empowering') victims to squander their hard-earned fortunes on sporting events. The Nevada Gaming Control Board (note euphemism) approved the deal after the company, Coast Resorts, persuaded officials that its advanced software security techniques would prevent out-of-state fools from placing bets from beyond state boundaries. We can't wait to see what the hacking underground will make of this one.....



Legendary phreaker Kevin Mitnick suggests that the federal government should curb identity theft by developing a central database of DNA or other biometric data so nasty people can't pretend to be someone else. "I think the government has to establish some sort of central database that uses biometric identifiers, such as your DNA, that can label you as you. This might eliminate a lot of identity theft, because anyone can apply for credit by supplying information over the phone," Mitnick told

Yahoo! Internet Life

during an interview. He hasn't changed much since his incarceration; he's still exceptionally bright, and still incredibly foolish.....



The Senate on Thursday voted in favour of a House bill called the National Defence Authorization Conference Report (HR 4205) which would reduce the time Congress would get to review changes to computer export controls, from 180 to 60 days. The Senate also obstructed legislation passed in the House to increase penalties for export control violations. Someone, apparently, wants to sell supercomputers to China so they can continue to design way cool nuclear warheads just like ours.....



Senators Jon Kyl (Republican, Arizona) and Dianne Feinstein (Democrat, California) introduced the Cyber Security Enhancement Act (S-3188) Wednesday, calling for 'greater protection' of critical US infrastructure against malicious crackers, cyber-terrorists and hostile foreign governments. The legislation would allow companies to 'fess up to disgraceful weaknesses in their on-line networks without fear of having their trousers pulled down in public by concerned busybodies trying to use the Freedom of Information Act against them..... ®

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