Author: JT Smith
The deadline for public comments on the proposed DoJ/Microsoft settlement is January 28, 2002. If you believe Microsoft deserves harsher penalties than the Department of Justice has proposed, you’d better speak up now or forever hold your peace…
Let’s start with a petition. Dan Kegel has put together a pretty good one. It’s really more of a letter with mulitple signers than a petition. I was the 6th person to sign it. Dan has done a lot of research and makes many points quite well. I urge you to sign (and thank Dan for his hard work). Signing instructions are part of the page.
Better than signing Dan’s letter (although you should do that too) is a personal email direct from you to the DoJ at email@example.com. Be polite, state your reasons for opposing the proposed settment clearly, and sign with your full name and (ideally) mailing address.
I wouldn’t worry about privacy in this case; if the DoJ is mad at you they already have your vitals on file somplace. And it is still legal to talk to your government if you are a U.S. citizen. People who live outside the U.S. (or who live here and are not citizens) are also allowed to communicate with U.S. goverment officials in any reasonable way. So communicate, already. You’d better believe the DoJ — and the entire Bush administration — is hearing plenty from Microsoft and their lobbyists. They might as well hear from you as well.
I don’t know if you want to address your email directly to Renata Hesse, the DoJ trial lawyer on the case, but please make sure your subject line says “Microsoft Settlement.”
Faxes often have greater impact than emails. The two fax numbers the DoJ says should be used to submit comments on the Microsoft settlement are 202-307-1454 and 202-616-9937.
Remember, if you feel Microsoft should not get a mere slap on the wrist for its anti-competitive behavior, you are not alone, and it is not just individuals who feel this way. AOL Time Warner has filed its own civil suit against Microsoft.
Will any of this do any good? It’s hard to say. But it’s better to try and fail than not to try at all.