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The Internet Privacy Coalition offers news,
alerts, legislation information, and affiliated organization links
regarding the promotion of security and privacy through protecting
encryption rights.

Here you can find out all about the SAFE bill (the Security and Freedom
Through Encryption Act) and other pending acts, monitor relevant court
cases, read congressional committee reports, and identify and
communicate with members of Congress and industry players who support or
oppose the continued availability of encryption technology.

You can also link to — and join — Americans for Computer Privacy, a coalition that opposes new federal
restrictions on encryption products.

Encryption is a type of technology that encodes computer data so that
they cannot be read by unauthorized persons, promoting electronic
commerce and protecting the privacy of anyone with any sort of personal
information available anywhere online–credit card numbers, identifying
information, medical records, whatever.

For some time now, notoriously, the FBI has been trying to acquire the
right to view any and all secure (encrypted) computer files — whether
corporate, individual, even governmental — without the owner’s knowledge
or permission.

If you break out in a cold sweat at the thought of your Uncle Sam–not
to mention your Aunt Sylvia who got on the Internet last month; not to
mention corporate America in its most big-brotherly
manifestations — breathing down your neck as you surf, shop, and
otherwise accomplish your personal goals online, I suggest you make it
your business to check out these sites.

Cancer research online

In the wake of the media frenzy surrounding a promising new line of
cancer research, during which its hapless developer, Dr. Judah Folkman of
Boston’s Children’s Hospital, has been driven into a defensive
near-seclusion by a barrage of pleas and inquiries clogging his fax and
phone lines, it has become deflatingly clear that the treatments on
which Dr. Folkman and his colleagues are working will not be
available — or even definitively shown to be effective in human beings
– for some years.

Several avenues of investigation now available on the Web, however, may
do something to partially appease the frustrations of many information
seekers on this subject.

EntreMed, the company developing Dr Folkman’s
experimental anti-angiogenesis compounds, reassures online visitors that
it is working hard on “bridging the gap from concept to clinic” — in
other words, alas, there remain substantive barriers to be surmounted
before the drugs in question can be brought into use (or even, in some
cases, into clinical trials). The technologically savvy site provides
information and updates on current and/or future clinical trials of
thalidomide, the much-lionized angiostatin and endostatin, and
2-methoxyestradiol.

Various other types of cancer treatment are now in clinical trials. To
locate such trials online, begin at the National Cancer Institute.
It offers accessible information for
individuals considering trial participation as well as a helpful guide
to using its professional clinical trials database and registry, PDQ
(Physician Data Query). You can also call NCI’s Cancer Information
Service at 1-800-4-CANCER for a customized PDQ search.

The CenterWatch Clinical Trials Listing Service(TM) offers a
notification service, FDA updates, and, of course, clinical trials
listings
, not only for cancer but for a broad range of other diseases as
well; its cancer
section is usefully organized by type of cancer, with flags on newly
updated areas.

Pharmaceutical companies as well as research hospitals and/or their
affiliated universities post information about ongoing clinical trials
on their own sites from time to time–particularly those that are
actively looking for participants. Try the Lombardi Cancer Center in
Georgetown. Or use a
search engine, such as Yahoo or Excite (type in “cancer clinical
trials”), to troll for leads. Information changes daily.

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