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  Report: Fact and opinion construction(think tanks)

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  Think Tanks and the Internet

As think tanks try to push policy making in their desired direction in such diverse fields as health, education, taxation, regulation and national security it is not surprising, that also the Internet has entered their issue list:

RAND, a center-right U.S. think tank not only argues for the usage of certain guidelines concerning the use of e-mail, but has also released a research report - sponsored by the Office of the Secretary of Defense - entitled "Strategic Information Warfare: A New Face of War". In November 1999 RAND has furthermore launched a co-operation with the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) aimed at combating the threat of cybercrime. ICCs practical expertise and RANDs research and analytical capacities shall aid at finding solutions to fight hackers, industrial spies, and other criminals who may exploit the Internet to attack commercial and public-sector systems.

Another of the big players in the elite of think tanks, the conservative Washington D.C. based Cato Institute quite surprisingly has started to defend human rights in Cyberspace. Jonathan D. Wallace' "Nameless in Cyberspace: Anonymity on the Internet." sees the constitutionally guaranteed right of freedom of speech and expression in the United States under attack by proposals to limit or restrict the use of anonymity on the Internet.

Yet another conservative think tank, the U.S. based Center for Strategic and International Studies in June 1999 has initiated a Conference (Global Information Infrastructure Commission) to accelerate the development of E-Commerce in India. Among the Conferences participants were not only government representatives from India and the United States, but also the CEO of Global TeleSystems Group Inc., the vice chairman of Fujitsu and the executive president of Siemens A.G., as well as the World Bank and the World Intellectual Property Organization.

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Fact and opinion construction(think tanks)
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RAND (an acronym for research and development) is a non-profit institution that tries to "improve public policy through research and analysis". RAND was created at the urging of its original sponsor, the Air Force (then the Army Air Forces) and employs more than 500 people. Most work in RAND's Santa Monica, California headquarters, others are based in Washington, D.C. Some operate from RAND's Council for Aid to Education in New York City and from RAND Europe in Delft, the Netherlands. Areas of research are: Foreign relations and diplomacy, security and defense, economic issues, regional studies, social issues, health and welfare, education, labor and human resource development, science and technology.