|More info on ZapMe!|
February 8, 2000
President Bill Clinton
The ZapMe! Corp. issued a news release on February 7, announcing that you have appointed ZapMe! CEO Rick Inatome to the Board of Directors of the National Campaign Against Youth Violence.
ZapMe! is a corporation that seeks to turn the public schools into little shopping malls and market research factories. It puts computers in the schools and then snoops on how schoolchildren use the web in order to gather market research data so that they can more effectively sell products to these children via the company's Internet "ZapMall." So doing, the company represents an egregious violation both of the privacy of unsuspecting schoolchildren, and of the purpose of schools in our society.
Schools are for learning, Mr. President, not shopping or snooping. They should not be used to corral captive audiences of impressionable schoolchildren to force them to watch advertising or to extract market research from them. Yet that is what ZapMe does, and you have given this venture the imprimatur of your office with this appointment. You are helping this company use the problem of violence in the schools in order to give legitimacy to its highly questionable business plan.
According to the ZapMe! news release, Jeff Bleich, Executive Director of the National Campaign stated that "Both the President [Clinton] and I are deeply grateful to have Rick [Inatome] as a member of the Campaign's Board. Rick Inatome brings with him not only the ability to reach out to middle schools and high schools around the country with ZapMe!'s Internet media network resources but also his intelligent leadership to this effort to prevent youth violence."
We regret that you have made this appointment, and urge you to retract it immediately.