Final Word from Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Minister Jaroslav Bureš told Ekonom magazine that every company should be required to have an email address. If the business community wants the government to speed up the paper flow, he said, it should accept this in return. Taken alone, this looks like mere silliness from a minister with nothing to do. Coupled with the IT minister's new law on information services, though, it appears that the cabinet is under the sway of large internet providers and portals. The information law gives a virtual monopoly on email advertising to a small group of e-commerce firms, because they already have permission from their millions of customers to send it. And the requirement to have an email address would force tens of thousands of small businesses to add a service they might not need or want, so that they too would have to start paying someone a monthly fee. e-mail electronic


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