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Tech Briefs

Gore Speaks on Digital Divide
At Morgan State University

BALTIMORE — In a campaign stop at Morgan State University, Vice President Al Gore preached that every household nationwide should have access to the Internet and every child should be computer literate by the eighth grade.
“It’s time to set clear national goals to close the digital divide,” Gore said last month, as he warned that Blacks and low-income Americans are at risk of being technologically left behind.
He went on to say that Internet access and technology education are key to providing economic opportunity for poor Americans and minorities and closing the gap between the rich and the poor.
The digital divide that Gore warned of during his speech was clearly illustrated by the high school experiences of Morgan State students.
Dervin Lindsey, 19, had access to computers and the Internet at his suburban Baltimore County school and at home.
Meanwhile Tyrone Thorpe, 22, a product of the Baltimore City schools, worked on outdated computers that were not connected to the Internet. Even as a student at the historically Black college, his access is limited.
“The Internet is only available to me when I’m on campus,” Thorpe said. “When I’m at home, it’s not.” 

Dartmouth Professor Leaving in
Midst of Cybercheating Scandal

HANOVER, N.H. — A visiting Dartmouth College professor from North Carolina who says more than 60 students cheated in his computer science class is leaving the Ivy League School. It was not clear whether he quit or was asked to leave.
The announcement came as he increased his list of suspected cheaters by more than a third.
Last month, Professor Rex Dwyer said he had removed security measures from a portion of his course Web site while explaining the assignment to his introductory computer science class. He said he forgot to reprotect the site and someone got the answers.
Initially, he said between 25 and 40 students copied answers, but after reviewing computer codes, he believes that more than 60 students cheated and that some of them copied answers from classmates.
Dwyer forwarded his list of suspected cheaters to administrators. Eventually, the case might be heard by the college’s Committee on Standards, which deals with violations of the school’s honor code. Sanctions range from disciplinary measures to expulsion.

Mass. Student Faces Hacking Charges

BOSTON  —  Federal authorities charged a Northeastern University student last month with breaking into government and military computers, linking him to attacks retaliating for FBI raids last year against fellow hackers.
The U.S. attorney’s office accused Ikenna Iffih, 28, of Boston, of breaking into computers run by NASA, the Defense Department and the Interior Department in Washington. Iffih was charged in a three-count criminal information, or statement of charges.
The Interior Department Web site — one of those Iffih is charged with vandalizing — was hit in May by a hacker known on the Internet as “DigiAlmty,” who wrote; “It’s our turn to hit them where it hurts… We’ll keep hitting them ’till they get down on their knees and beg.”
The Interior Department attack was one of several against high-profile government and military Web sites in early 1999 retaliating over FBI raids nationwide of several prominent hackers, including one who ultimately pleaded guilty to breaking into the White House computers.
Iffih is a student at Northeastern’s College of Computer Science. Northeastern spokeswoman Janet Hookailo says, “We have been cooperating with authorities since last fall. We’ll continue to do so.”  

—Compiled by Jamilah Evelyn

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