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Software Pioneer Quits Board of Groove

Mitchell D. Kapor, a personal computer industry software pioneer and a civil liberties activist, has resigned from the board of Groove Networks after learning that the company’s software was being used by the Pentagon as part of its development of a domestic surveillance system. Mr. Kapor would say publicly only that it was a “delicate subject” and that he had resigned to pursue his interests in open source software. The company acknowledged the resignation last week when it announced that it had received $38 million in additional financing. “Mr. Kapor resigned from the board to focus 100 percent of his time on nonprofit activities,” said a spokesman for Groove Networks, whose software has been used to permit intelligence analysts and law enforcement officials to share data in tests of the surveillance system, Total Information Awareness. However, a person close to Mr. Kapor said that he was uncomfortable with the fact that Groove Networks’ desktop collaboration software was a crucial component of the antiterrorist surveillance software being tested at the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency’s Information Awareness Office, an office directed by Vice Adm. John M. Poindexter. Full Story

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