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News from ISOC


After nearly three years of negotiations, the European Union 
has approved the "safe harbor" data privacy accord with the 
United States. U.S. Commerce Secretary William W. Daly called 
it a "landmark accord for e-commerce because it bridges the 
differences between EU and U.S. approaches to privacy protection." 
The "safe harbor" agreement would allow U.S. companies in some 
industries to use personal data collected from European consumers 
if the companies meet certain U.S. privacy standards -- notifying 
consumers of the purpose of data collection, giving them access 
to their personal information, and letting them deny companies 
permission to share their data with third parties. American 
financial, insurance, tourism, and airline companies pushed 
for the agreement. The European Parliament and the EU's executive 
body must now approve the plan before it becomes official. 
(Wired News, 31 May 2000)


The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is 
the subject of a report by the U.S. General Accounting Office (GAO) 
due on 30 June. Among other issues, the GAO will examine the legal 
foundations for 
(1) the selection of U.S. representatives to ICANN's interim board, 
(2) U.S. participation in ICANN proceedings, and 
(3) the government's transference of control of the authoritative 
root server to ICANN. The study was requested in a 1999 conference 
report attached to the Fiscal Year 2000 appropriations bill for the 
U.S. Commerce, Justice, and State Departments and the federal judiciary. 
For the study, the GAO has been contacting people close to ICANN and 
has been examining readily available public documents. (The Filter, 
No. 3.1, 7 May 2000; The New York Times on the Web, 2 May 2000)

Howard Flack        http://www.unige.ch/crystal/ahdf/Howard.Flack.html
Laboratoire de Cristallographie               Phone: 41 (22) 702 62 49
24 quai Ernest-Ansermet             mailto:Howard.Flack@cryst.unige.ch
CH-1211 Geneva 4, Switzerland                   Fax: 41 (22) 702 61 08

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