29 February 2000
The Honorable Trent Lott
Dear Senator Lott:
I am writing on behalf of The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers - United States of America (IEEE-USA) to urge your support for passage of the Networking and Information Technology Research and Development Act (NITRD, H.R. 2086) which the House of Representatives recently passed with strong bipartisan support and 49 co-sponsors.
Recent findings by both the Congressional Budget Office and the Presidents Information Technology Advisory Committee (PITAC) report that federal investment will play a crucial role in maintaining American leadership in the information technology sector. H.R. 2086 would authorize appropriations totaling $6.9 billion for FY2000-2004 for research and development activities of the High-Performance Computing Program which is carried out by several agencies including the National Science Foundation, National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the National Institute of Standards and Technology. NITRD bolsters math and science education through the inclusion of $95 million for universities to establish a for-credit internship program for research at IT companies. This legislation will provide authorized funds directed at much needed long-term basic research on networking and information technology and provide grants for the development of major research equipment.
NITRD also requires the NSF to report to Congress on the availability of encryption technologies in foreign countries and how they compare with similar technologies subject to export restrictions in the United States. We believe that U.S. restrictions on the export of strong encryption technologies position U.S. companies at a worldwide competitive disadvantage. Strong encryption technology has legitimate commercial uses and the demand for encryption will be satisfied, if not by U.S. companies, they by non-U.S. companies.
As the PITACs February 24, 1999 Report noted, the basic computer science research underlying todays applications is more than a decade old and is fast becoming outmoded, and the necessary high-risk research with associated long-term effects is not likely to be performed by the private sector. We believe H.R. 2086 directs the necessary resources towards achieving the next generation of information technology.
We urge you to support passage of H.R. 2086, the Networking and Information Technology Research and Development Act.
IEEE-USA promotes the careers and public policy interests of the nearly 230,000 U. S. members of The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc., the worlds largest technical professional society.
If you have any questions or would like further information, please contact Raymond Paul at (202) 785-0017 x 8331.
Merrill W. Buckley, Jr.
(Note: This letter was also sent to each Member of the United States Senate).
The Institute of Electrical
and Electronics Engineers - United States of America
Last Update: 29 Feb. 2000
Copyright © 2000, The
Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc.