The Buzz: October 28, 2002

By eweek  |  Posted 2002-10-28

Tech Council Rates Legislators

U.S. Sens. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., And Joe Lieberman, D-Conn., are among the most tech-friendly members of Congress. Sen. Jesse Helms, R-N.C., is not.

So says a report released last week by the Industry Information Technology Council, which reviewed the voting records of all members of Congress on legislation important to the industry, from cyber- security to free trade.

In the report, "High Tech Voting Guide for the 107th Congress," Feinstein and Lieberman were among almost 150 members who voted with the industrys views 100 percent of the time.

Helms score was 25 percent. At the bottom of the list, at 0 percent, was Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis. However, Feingolds Democratic senatorial colleague from Wisconsin, Herb Kohl, got a score of 100 percent.

In addition, all four members of Congress from Idaho scored 100 percent, according to the report, released two weeks before the Nov. 5 elections.

Judge Rejects Disabilities Suit

The Americans With Disabilities Act does not extend to the Internet, according to a U.S. District Court judge.

Judge Patricia Seitz ruled this month that Southwest Airlines does not have to make its Web site more handicapped- accessible, saying the ADA covered only physical spaces, such as restaurants, movie theaters and public buildings, not the Internet.

As written, the law "governs solely access to physical, concrete places of public accommodation," Seitz said in her 12-page ruling.

Robert Gumson, who is blind, and Access Now, an advocacy group for the blind, had sued Southwest, asking the court to force the airline to redesign its site to make it easier for blind people to make their way around it.

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