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Russia: Gorbachev To Testify At Computer Hearing

Washington, 17 October 1997 (RFE/RL) - Former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev is scheduled to appear today before a U.S. congressional panel studying potential computer failures that may occur in the year 2000.

Gorbachev is a on a lecture tour of the United States. He plans to meet with members of the House of Representatives Government Reform and Oversight Subcommittee.

The subcommittee has been investigating the threat of computer failures in the federal government and private industry because of problems that may develop when the year 1999 changes to the year 2000. The subcommittee has expanded its investigation to the international level.

John Hynes, a spokesman for the subcommittee says Gorbachev will speak as a concerned citizen of Russia. Hynes says Gorbachev has had a longstanding interest in technology. He is said to be especially concerned about Russia because the majority of its computer software is not licensed and cannot be serviced.

The hearing is being held in Beverly Hills, California, not far from where California's sophisticated technology industry is based.