Technology Vendors Rule On Capitol Hill

Framingham, MA — January 12, 2000 –IDG's newly enhanced CIO magazine (January 15, 2000) reports that in the face of increasing numbers of proposed information technology-related laws, it is the providers of IT products and services who represent technology interests on Capitol Hill — not the companies that buy, use and manage these products. The nation’s chief information officers (CIOs) — executives charged with overseeing America’s computer systems across all industries — are left out of the legislative process, as vendors spend time and money on concerted lobbying efforts.

Government Affairs: The Influence Peddlers Post Y2K, lawmakers are poised to debate hot-button technology issues like e-commerce and intellectual property regulations. However, CIOs, who represent corporate America’s interests in the use of technology, don’t have access to key decision-makers. According to Abbie Lundberg, Editor in Chief of CIO magazine, Capitol Hill is ill-prepared to hear, understand and effectively legislate technology issues from the user side, conducting business as usual with high-tech vendor associations and business groups lobbying for their vested interests. CIOs should not only know what’s being bantered about by lawmakers, they should be part of the dialogue.

Senior Editor Tom Field reports on IT trade associations, key legislative players and the top ten issues for the upcoming 107th Congress. The top issues: Encryption, Y2K aftermath, Internet taxation, intellectual property, privacy, telecommunications, IS staffing, research and development tax credit, the Information Technology Agreement (tariffs and customs duties on IT-driven products) and critical infrastructure protection.

The Customer Information Backlash: New Economy In his column, directed at survival in the Internet economy, John J. Sviokla asks: "Will you give your customers’ information back to them?" As the novelty of doing business on the Web wears off, customers are beginning to tire of the amount of information repeatedly demanded by the Web sites they visit. They are beginning to understand that their navigation patterns and buying preferences are valuable assets being sold to other Web companies for as much as $1,000 per subscriber. What’s more, breaches like the recent theft of customer credit card numbers from CD Universe raise consumers’ concerns about leaving such valuable information in the online databases of various merchants across the Web. Sviokla proposes that consumers be able to box up their information and ship it to different sites on an as-needed basis. "Under this scenario, consumers would manage their own data — or entrust it to just a few brokers whose security measures and usage practices they would understand and trust," says Lundberg. "These concentrated collections of large amounts of consumer data would be the Fort Knox of online information."

Intelligence Tests: Privacy In Europe, U.S. agents have been intercepting e-mail messages for years. Now, as Art Jahnke reports, they want the computer industry to help them achieve similar intrusions domestically. The purpose, according to officials, is to alert law enforcement agents to possible network attacks that might cripple government operations or the nation’s economy. There are two proposed government surveillance systems — the Federal Intrusion Detection Network (Fidnet), which has been stalled in Congress, and Echelon, organized by the National Security Agency (NSA), the existence of which has yet to be officially acknowledged. These surveillance systems could impinge on businesses’ confidential correspondence and enhance the capability of government intelligence services to eavesdrop on personal conversations.

Equity: Workplace Diversity (cover story) In the United States, 13% percent of the population is African American, yet less than 2.5% are in senior management positions in the private sector. While companies are making efforts to eliminate discrimination in the workplace, the fact is that at the dawn of the new millennium, discrimination is still pervasive if less blatant than in the past. This special report by Senior Editor Todd Datz identifies the barriers to entry and advancement and shows why eradicating this inequity is not only the right thing to do, it’s good for business.

Newly Enhanced & Expanded CIO The January 15 issue is the first edition showcasing CIO magazine’s enhanced editorial content, sleeker design and larger format. Says Lundberg, "When we started the magazine twelve years ago, chief information officers were mired in back-office data processing. Today, these executives are at the center of an economic and social transformation. The stakes are high and no one knows that better than the men and women leading IT. They brought us out of the recent Y2K darkness and into the new millennium. Now, CIOs hold the key to aligning technology advances with profitable business strategies. Our mission is to help shorten the cycle time for high-risk decisions, and our editorial changes reflect our intention to take a stand on the issues that matter most."

What’s New: · More feature stories, with a better mix of article topics, lengths and formats · More opinion, including a dedicated six-page section on individual points of view · More soul, exploring the social implications of technology innovation · Plenty of CIO voices, including CIO Confidential, authored by an anonymous CIO (appears in Jan. 15, 2000) and Platform (debuts Feb. 1, 2000) · Regular coverage of legal and legislative issues (e.g., the aforementioned Influence Peddlers in this issue) · An enhanced Emerging Technology section

CIO Communications, Inc. was formed in 1987 to help chief information officers (CIOs), information technology (IT) executives and other senior management executives succeed in their enterprises through the use of information technology. In addition to publishing the award-winning magazine, the company also produces the Web site and develops and produces CIO Executive Programsa series of conferences that provide educational and networking opportunities for corporate and government executives who want to expand their knowledge of technology, business management issues and innovative products and services. CIO is a subsidiary of IDG, the world's leading IT media, research and exposition company.

IDG publishes more than 290 computer magazines and newspapers and 4,000 book titles and offers online users the largest network of technology-specific sites around the world through (, which comprises more than 250 targeted Web sites in 55 countries. IDG is also a leading producer of 168 computer-related expositions worldwide, and provides IT market analysis through 49 offices in 42 countries worldwide. Company information is available at

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