EDUPAGE> Edupage, February 12, 2003

  • From: Gleason Sackmann <gleason@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
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  • Date: Thu, 13 Feb 2003 07:33:01 -0600

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Subject: Edupage, February 12, 2003
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 Harsh Response to PATRIOT II Act
 Red Hat Earns Government Certification
 EDUCAUSE Broadens Criteria for Obtaining .edu Addresses
 MIT Lifts Race Restrictions on Summer Programs
 Increasing Restrictions Annoy and Frustrate Researchers
 Schools Moving to End Paper Records

A leaked draft of the Domestic Security and Enhancement Act of 2003 has
sparked an uproar among privacy groups and civil libertarians, as well
as some members of Congress. The draft bill, a follow-up to the USA
PATRIOT Act, expands the powers of the government to conduct
surveillance, detain citizens, deport non-citizens, and use secret
evidence. Included in the bill are provisions to create a DNA database
of suspected terrorists and to allow the government to access credit
reports without a subpoena. The so-called "PATRIOT II" bill was
criticized by privacy advocates who said it "guts the Fourth
Amendment." A spokesman for the American Civil Liberties Union argued
that the government should wait to enact more legislation, saying, "It
doesn't make sense to expand their powers when we don't know how they
are using the ones they've got." Patrick Leahy, the ranking Democrat
on the Senate Judiciary Committee, expressed concerns over "the
administration's lack of responsiveness to Congressional oversight."
Leahy said, "As recently as just last week, Justice Department
officials have denied to ... the Judiciary Committee that they were
drafting another anti-terrorism package."
Wired News, 12 February 2003,1283,57636,00.html

The Advanced Server platform from Linux vendor Red Hat has been
certified compliant with the Defense Department's Common Operating
Environment (COE) standard. COE was created in 1993 to identify
security and interoperability requirements for software used by the
Defense Department, and Red Hat's certification marks the first such
approval for a Linux product. Officials from Red Hat said the company
worked for nearly a year to achieve the certification and that their
success will address some lingering concerns over "the
enterprise-readiness of open source software." Analysts agreed, saying
the COE certification will reassure many businesses that might
otherwise have been reluctant to use Linux products.
NewsFactor Network, 12 February 2003


Responding to comments it received last year, EDUCAUSE in April will
expand eligibility requirements for obtaining a name in the domain to
include any institution accredited by national and specialized
accrediting agencies. Currently the domain is limited to institutions
accredited by one of six regional agencies, which offer accreditation
to most traditional colleges and universities. Under the new rules,
schools that are accredited by organizations on the U.S. Department of
Education's list of Nationally Recognized Accrediting Agencies will be
able to apply for Internet names in the .edu domain. These agencies
often offer accreditation to institutions and programs dedicated to
more specialized areas of study, such as health professions or
technology. Steven Worona of EDUCAUSE said that most of the comments
submitted during the comment period on the policy change supported
expanding the requirements. The U.S. Department of Commerce, which has
final jurisdiction over the domain, approved the recommended change,
which was submitted in November.
Chronicle of Higher Education, 12 February 2003

Fearing a legal challenge, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
(MIT) will accept students of all races in two summer math and science
programs created for minority students. Geared to high school students
and incoming freshman, the programs have enrolled only
African-American, Hispanic, and Native-American students since their
inception. Two conservative groups, the Center for Equal Opportunity
and the American Civil Rights Institute, are forcing the policy change,
having argued in a letter to MIT that the current policy does not
"square with the law" under Title VI of the civil rights code. The
groups plan to investigate race-based programs and policies at Cornell
and other universities, although no other complaints have been filed to
date. The letter to MIT was prompted by the mother of a white high
school student who wanted to enter one of the programs. Robert Redwine,
dean of undergraduate education, wants to continue MIT?s commitment to
serving minority students, but feels the university ?had no choice? in
the matter.
New York Times, 11 February 2003 (registration req'd)

As concerns grow over U.S. national security, citizens of other
countries are having increasing difficulty entering the United States
as students and researchers, frustrating academics and stalling some
research projects. Everett I. Mendelsohn, a professor at Harvard
University, relayed a story about students trying to attend Harvard who
grew so frustrated with attempts to obtain visas that they decided to
study in Paris instead. Brendan O'Brien of Cornell University said
delays with visas have prevented 15 Cornell students from returning
since going home for the holidays. In another case, two physicians from
Bangladesh were supposed to have entered the United States to conduct
research at Cornell. One arrived on schedule in September, but the
other man remains in Bangladesh after his visa, which had been
approved, somehow vanished. Researchers involved in the Cornell project
have appealed to their Congressman for assistance. In the meantime,
officials say a lot of time-sensitive research is at risk.
The Scientist, 11 February 2003

Oak Park High School in California is using a new system to transmit
student transcripts electronically to colleges and universities. Other
high schools around the country are using similar systems from
different vendors, all in an effort to eliminate the printing, signing,
certifying, and mailing of paper transcripts. Some schools in Texas and
Florida tried electronic transcripts more than 10 years ago, but those
efforts succumbed to high costs and complicated applications. The
system that Oak Park is using, which roughly 100 colleges and
universities have agreed to accept, is free for high schools and
charges students $3 per transcript ordered electronically. Other
projects are under way in Colorado, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania.
Replacing paper transcripts is generally seen as the way of the future.
Los Angeles Times, 11 February 2003 (registration req'd)


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