CYBER NOTES

Case Seeks to Lift Anonymity On Computer Networks CHICAGO Anonymity and freedom of speech in cyberspace are being challenged by a Caribbean resort owner in a lawsuit that could dramatically restrict the rights of computer network users. The resort owner and a scuba instructor claim they were defamed on a computer bulletin board by a user who went by the name Jenny TRR. She claimed she had a bad experience while learning to dive at the resort and that the dive instructor used drugs. They asked a judge this week to force America Online to reveal the true name of the subscriber so they can sue the person for libel. If Arnold Bowker, the owner of the Carib Inn in the Netherlands Antilles, and John Joslin, the dive instructor, are successful in obtaining the name, it could have serious implications for millions of people who use the Internet to think, write, and debate in a world where they are identified by their ideas, not their names. Technology experts fear a morass of court cases that would hold computer users accountable for what they say anonymously. - Associated Press Computers link Russian, Connecticut classrooms NEW BRITAIN, CONN. Thanks to an educational grant, high school students in Farmington and New Britain, Conn., are taking advantage of a ''cyber-exchange program,'' to learn Russian directly from teachers in Russia. A $50,000 state grant called ''Linking Schools Through Language and Technology'' will develop their language skills through after-school computer links over the Internet to classmates in Russia. - Associated Press PC sales grow abroad NEW YORK Personal computer sales to the expanding home market are expected to grow faster in the Asia-Pacific region and in Europe than in the United States this year, according to new study released by Link Resources Friday. The market research firm said it expects consumer PC shipments to reach $21.5 billion in Asian-Pacific and European countries in 1995, outpacing US sales by 34 percent. By 2000, consumers overseas will spend more than $48 million on home PCs, exceeding spending in the US by nearly 80 percent, Link said. The three main factors driving the demand are children's education, working at home, and online services/communications. - Reuters Vietnam seeks to control Internet on security grounds HANOI, VIETNAM Vietnam is citing national security concerns in a bid to control e-mail and Internet access on the country's two independent computer networks. The effort reflects the government's concern that Vietnam's increasing links with non-communist nations could undermine the ruling Communist Party's grip on power. - Associated Press CompuServe wants to buy Sears's stake in Prodigy NEW YORK CompuServe Inc. is interested in buying half of the competing Prodigy on-line service, Advertising Age reported Monday. CompuServe and its parent, H&R Block, in recent weeks have made overtures to Sears, Roebuck & Co., which co-owns Prodigy with IBM Corp, according to the magazine. Sears is reported to be interested in relinquishing its 50 percent stake, which analysts value at $500 million, but CompuServe has not made a formal offer. Prodigy is the No. 3 on-line service behind CompuServe and America Online. - Associated Press

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