Stories by Patrick Thibodeau

Y2K rumour-control centres in the works

The White House and private businesses are developing year 2000 command centres to respond to problems and prevent rumours and myths from prompting panic buying or rash financial decisions.

Russians, US senators to meet on Y2K

A delegation of high-level Russian officials will soon meet with the US Senate's Y2K committee to discuss year 2000 issues, including defence-related problems, and are expected to seek financial help from the US to help pay repair costs, the chairman of the US Senate's Y2K committee said.

US government seeks vendor accountability

US Federal agencies, which have begun spending millions to upgrade information security in response to a presidential directive, said protecting computer networks will also mean finding ways to hold software vendors accountable for the quality of their products.

E-commerce guidelines may be too specific

Federal officials believe that a set of consumer protection guidelines for electronic commerce, developed by an international treaty organisation, may help spur trade by fostering consumer confidence. Industry officials aren't disagreeing, but they say the guidelines may be too specific and could ultimately force companies to make Web site changes to comply with them.

CIA latest to predict Y2K supply-chain ills

The lack of year 2000 preparations at many small to medium-size businesses located overseas may lead to supply-chain problems for larger enterprises, especially those dependent on "just-in-time" distribution, a CIA official testified at a congressional hearing last week.

US Congress hears about telecommunications threat

Forget the Y2K problem. A congressional committee is looking into the ability of emerging nuclear states, such as North Korea, to hold the US hostage by threatening to unleash an electromagnetic pulse (EMP).

Global Y2K damages to cost $US1.1 trillion

The lack of year 2000 preparations at many small to medium-size businesses located overseas may lead to supply-chain problems for larger enterprises, especially those dependent on "just-in-time" distribution, a Central Intelligence Agency official testified at a congressional hearing yesterday.

NRC: Nuclear industry Y2K ready

The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has concluded there are no Y2K problems affecting the ability of nuclear power plants to safely shut down. However, that assessment met with skepticism from one watchdog group that says the NRC is exerting only minimal oversight.

U.S. Defense Audit Reveals IT Security Problems

Information systems at the U.S. Department of Defense suffer from "serious weaknesses" and are vulnerable to hacker attacks and fraud, warned the General Accounting Office this week after conducting an audit of the department's massive array of unclassified systems.

Record-management issues haunt archives

When President Clinton leaves the White House in January 2001, his legacy will include an e-mail system with some 40 million messages in it. Those records, by law, must go to the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA).

Satellite date change has users on guard

For the 24 satellites that make up the Global Positioning System (GPS), the "new year" is arriving next weekend. The internal clocks in those satellites will reset for the first time since the government started launching them in 1978. And that's prompting users to take precautions, ranging from GPS system shutdowns to simply warning employees to be ready for potential problems.

A Sign of the Times

Many companies don't use digital or electronic signature technologies because electronic signatures don't carry the same legal weight as a pen-and-ink signature. It's a problem that's hindering e-commerce, and it has prompted national efforts to change existing laws.