Beltway Biz

Think Tank Goes Live<@VM>Tutornet Teams with HUD<@VM>Hello, Voter

The Internet Policy Institute made its debut Nov. 9 at an event that drew key players such as Esther Dyson, president of EDVenture Holdings; Vint Cerf, senior vice president for Internet architecture and engineering at MCI WorldCom, and Jim Barksdale, former Netscape chief executive officer .

Billing itself as a nonpartisan think tank that concentrates purely on societal issues, the group was officially launched at the press briefing held at the Willard Intercontinental Hotel in Washington.

"We need a set of facts we can agree on," said Dyson, who also serves as the interim chairwoman of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers. She was joined by Cerf, a newly elected ICANN board member, who told the gathering policy "is becoming as important, if not more important, than the technology."

The institute boasts an impressive group for its board of directors. Members include: Michael Daniels, president of Network Solutions, the Internet domain name registration company in Herndon, Va.; Ira Magaziner, former White House adviser; Harris Miller, president of the Information Technology Association of America in Arlington, Va.; and George Vradenburg, senior VP of global and strategic policy at American Online, Dulles, Va.
Tutornet.com Inc., Vienna, Va., will partner with the Department of Housing and Urban Development to begin online tutoring in 10 HUD housing facilities as part of the agency's after-school programs in Neighborhood Networks computer centers and other public housing sites.

The pilot will begin in 10 sites around the country, including three still to be named. Students who need help with homework or who are challenged in certain subjects can connect with Tutornet.com for one-on-one instruction or to enter a virtual classroom.

A new Web site to help reconnect voters with candidates and issues and interest "through e-mocracy" can be found at www.voter.com. Known as Voter.com, the nonpartisan site allows candidates and organizations to communicate with voters and offers news feeds and extensive personalization. The site already covers the 2000 presidential race, and soon will add congressional, gubernatorial and state elections.

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