House leader calls for 'e-Contract'

By Nancy Dillon, Computerworld |  Government

Following a lunch meeting with Microsoft Corp. Chairman Bill Gates, House
Majority Leader Dick Armey (R-Texas) announced plans to spearhead a new manifesto
regarding the technology industry. Armey called his plan an "e-Contract."

"Mr. Armey believes that we need a specific contract for the [electronics]
industry," said Jim Wilkinson, press secretary for Rep. Armey in Washington. "We have a
definite fear of government interfering in the technology industry with burdensome
regulation. And we need to be sure that creativity is not stifled."

In a href="http://www.freedom.gov/library/technology/s990615.asp">press release, Armey
stated that the e-Contract will follow in the footsteps of the House
Republicans' "Contract with America," a 1994 campaign platform that called for tax
cuts, a balanced budget, changes to Social Security and other reforms.

"I believe we need an e-Contract that ensures that the hands of government stay off
the levers of economic expansion," Armey said.

Concrete details of the e-Contract were scarce yesterday, but Wilkinson promised
further explanation of Armey's high-tech agenda on June 22.

The Clinton administration has also repeatedly called for little government
regulation of e-commerce as a cornerstone of its Internet policy, with a major
exception for encryption technology exports.

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