09.01.08

Another Microsoft Shill: Americans for Technology Leadership (ATL)

Posted in America, Antitrust, Europe, Microsoft at 4:03 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Letter and characters
They see dead people, writing on their behalf

The information presented here is by no means new, but for the record and for future use we shall make an accumulation of resources that connect various pressure groups we are already aware of. Moments ago we wrote about CAGW and recently we also studied DCI and the Carlyle Group.

There seem to be some connections between all or some of the above. They are not totally independent as overlap exists also in terms of funding sources and investments (and thus interests). The following Wiki page from SourceWatch covers DCI, but it also used to say:

But Microsoft has also created new trade groups, the Association for Competitive Technology (ACT) and Americans for Technology Leadership (ATL), to generate support for the company through Web sites and a sophisticated and largely hidden grassroots lobbying campaign.

As highlighted in the IRC channel, they just keep changing names, shuffling umbrellas, and shifting their AstroTurfing budgets. Based on SourceWatch, ACT, one of the most disgusting among the lobbying arms, already seems to have moved between Web sites (it was called “defunct”). Once they get exposed for their interests, they can trivially morph by changing names and then seem more credible again. That’s why it’s important to keep track of immutable names of actual individuals. In the case of ACT:

  • Jonathan Zuck
  • Steve DelBianco
  • Morgan W. Reed
  • Mark Blafkin
  • Braden Cox
  • Melissa Moskal
  • Allison May Rosen

The people above are responsible for subversion of justice in the hands of corporations (notably Microsoft), so even in case they move between the ‘shells’ or ‘buckets’, their purpose is likely to remain the same.

Some people change roles, whilst other people swap hats or obtain several hats simultaneously for broader control. Another ‘sister’ umbrella, as alluded to at the top, would be Americans for Technology Leadership (ATL). According to Source Watch, it’s merely an ACT ‘morph’, a rename if you like.

ATL’s domain name, techleadership.org, is registered to the Association for Competitive Technology. The site is hosted by Thomas E. Stock and Thomas J. Synhorst’s LLC, TSE Enterprises. Synhorst is a founding member of the DCI Group, a Washington DC-based strategic consulting and lobbying firm which has counted Microsoft as a prime client for a number of years.

Joshua Micah Marshall reports in the July 17, 2000 American Prospect: “[W]hile Microsoft did confirm that Synhorst’s DCI had been retained as a consultant, it insisted that another DCI employee, Tim Hyde, and not Synhorst, was handling the company’s account. In any event, the web of connections among DCI, ATL, and Microsoft is striking. While working for Microsoft, DCI has also provided consulting services to ATL. And Josh Mathis, the man [ACT president Jonathan] Zuck installed as ATL’s executive director, is also an employee of DCI, who still works out of the same Washington, D.C., office as Synhorst and Hyde.”

The overlap here may resemble that of CompTIA and ECMA [1, 2]. Zuck created some sort of sub-groups while employed by DCI.

Noteworthy here is the DCI connection and the fact that ATL was founded to serve as another shell by Jonathan Zuck of ACT. How long before they hide under a new ‘umbrella’ with a new name to do their job more stealthily? Here is what Wikipedia says.

Americans for Technology Leadership is a coalition of technology professionals, companies and organizations that advocates limited government regulation of technology. It has been described as a Microsoft front organization and has been cited as an example of astroturfing.

Did ATL also fight against OpenDocument format? Why, of course it did! So did Zuck’s other ‘umbrella’, ACT. Perhaps they just nym-shift in order to create the illusion that several independent ‘organisations’ representing ‘different’ populations (never mind if all are funded by Microsoft) are adverse to open standards.

Last September, the sparring took an odd turn when Jim Prendergast, executive director of Americans for Technology Leadership, wrote an opinion piece for Fox News criticizing the ODF movement. Prendergast claimed it would be a burden to taxpayers.

It seems like Zuck (et al) appointed Jim Prendergast as head this bogus thing he had created. Keep track of the names because they are likely to walk around and escape the shell as soon as it gets ‘too’ exposed. There are many other examples of lobbying arms in several different countries. Malaysia, for example, needed to keep track of similar scams such as the ISC and IASA. It’s frustrating, as the following remark shows.

Every single negative letter on ODF received by the Malaysian standards organization was written either by Microsoft, or a Microsoft business partner or a Microsoft affiliated organization (Initiative for Software Choice and IASA).

A Memo to Patrick Durusau

Here is another old article (from Joe Wilcox of Microsoft Fans Watch). It shows CompTIA, CAGW, ATL and ACT, all of which are known Microsoft pressure groups, aligning in their fight against a Microsoft breakup. Just how many such organisations does Microsoft have running around and corrupting politicians’ minds?

Two trade groups closely allied with Microsoft later today will release a study showing Americans oppose breaking up the software giant, in essence backing the software giant’s contention in its long-running antitrust trial.

Mason Dixon Polling & Research conducted the study on behalf of Americans for Technology Leadership (ATL) and the Association of Competitive Technology (ACT).

[...]

ATL, which was founded on Oct. 30, grew out of the work started by ACT. That group and its president Jonathan Zuck have been vocal and aggressive allies of Microsoft and its right to innovate without government interference. Microsoft and ACT, along with Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW), Clarity Consulting, Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA), CompUSA, Staples and others, founded ATL.

ATL’s formation demonstrates how Washington-based policy-influencing organizations are intertwined. CAGW, for example, is a long-standing Microsoft supporter against the government.

Regarding Microsoft’s pressure groups, there’s plenty more coming. Eventually, we shall make an index that makes it easier to identify corruptible groups. It deserves to be unlawful if it isn’t already.

‘But when Noorda raised the possibility that Washington might block a merger anyway, Gates replied, according to Noorda: “‘Don’t worry, we know how to handle the Federal Government.”‘ (Gates strongly denies this. “Are you kidding?” he snaps. “The Department of Justice makes their own decisions.”)’

More: Going after Microsoft: the FTC didn’t know what Bill Gates did – but they were sure he must have done something wrong – investigation into alleged collusion between Microsoft and IBM to control computer operating software systems; CEO William Gates – Cover Story

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This post is also available in Gemini over at:

gemini://gemini.techrights.org/2008/09/01/americans-for-technology-leadership-atl/

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A Single Comment

  1. Karsten said,

    September 1, 2008 at 4:46 am

    Gravatar

    I believe it is important to make a point. It is nothing wrong when a United States company lobbies Congress or Senate but certainly they should be kicked out of the European Parliament. They shall go home and communicate via the US business representation in European matters.

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