Federation of American Scientists
307 Massachusetts Avenue N.E.
Washington, D.C. 20002
October 12, 1999
Hon. William M. Daley
Secretary of Commerce
U.S. Department of Commerce
Washington, DC 20230
via fax: (202) 482-2741
Dear Secretary Daley:
I am writing to urge you to preserve one of the Department's endangered treasures: the World News Connection (WNC).
We have subscribed to this incomparable service for many years, and we have come to depend upon it for information and "intelligence" about international affairs.
Lately, however, the WNC has been eviscerated by eliminating its most valuable component-- its coverage of those countries on the embargoed countries list.
This is potentially a death blow to the WNC. After all, the WNC is hardly needed for access to the South China Morning News or Der Spiegel, which have their own web sites. But comparable access to press coverage from Iran, Iraq, and other embargoed countries is largely unavailable from any other source.
We urge you to find a way to restore the status quo ante at the WNC, perhaps through the establishment of an escrow fund for unpaid royalties on the published articles. We believe that the public interest in the availability of the kind of information that WNC used to provide justifies extraordinary efforts to save this remarkable service.