A whole batch of technology related legislation will become US law in a month after being passed by Congress last week.
President Clinton has signed a bill giving $3.4 billion for fixing Year 2000 problems in US government computer systems, but it also contained provisions for a whole host of hi-tech legislation.
And it is expected that 1999 will see an even greater emphasis on new legislation regarding the Internet.
The Digital Millennium Copyright Act will make it a criminal offence to bypass copyright protection measures and bans the manufacture, import or sale of devices that would enable this.
The act was heavily criticised by civil liberties and industry bodies which believed it would hinder those obtaining information electronically from libraries and universities.
Another controversial measure was the Child Online Protection Act, which prohibits the distribution over the Internet of commercial material considered harmful to minors. Civil liberties advocates challenged the bill, saying it violates free speech.
The Internet Tax Freedom Act bans new state and local taxes for three years on products and services bought via the Internet. The idea behind the measure is to push ecommerce by co-ordinating the 30,000 state and local tax jurisdictions.
The Paperwork Elimination Act will establish preliminary guidelines for the federal government?s user of digital signatures for forms submitted via the Net.
The shortage of hi-tech workers brought about the American Competitiveness Act, which will temporarily increase the number of visas allowed for non-US workers in technology industries.
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