While the challenge that anything that reaches the ears or eyes of a human could be recaptured digitally is fundamental because humans cannot be modified for technological or business convenience, the challenge of identical computers is not fundamental. For example, each piece of computer hardware could encapsulate a unique secret key and run only appropriately encrypted object code.
For detailed information on U.S. laws relating to computer security and crime, see <http://www.cybercrime.gov/>.
The Federal Trade Commission's initiatives in consumer privacy are described in depth at <http://www.ftc.gov/privacy>.
Full information on the safe harbor principles for the protection of privacy for European citizens in dealing with U.S. companies can be found at <http://www.export.gov/safeharbor>.
Mergers are prohibited if their effect "may be substantially to lessen competition, or to tend to create a monopoly" (15 U.S.C. Section 18, 1988), if they constitute a "contract, combination or conspiracy in restraint of trade" (15 U.S.C. Section 1, 1988), or if they constitute an "unfair method of competition" (15 U.S.C. Section 45, 1988). The merger guidelines referred to are available at <http://www.ftc.gov/bc/docs/horizmer.htm>.
The standard guidelines for acceptable collaboration among competitors from the U.S. Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission are available at <http://www.ftc.gov/os/2000/04/ftcdojguidelines.pdf>.
For further details on IBM Research's initiatives for working with customers, see <http://www.research.ibm.com/about/work_customers.html>. The IBM Institute for Advanced Commerce is described at <http://www.research.ibm.com/iac/>.