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Tech leaders form relief initiative

A week after the attacks, companies including Microsoft, Cisco and Amazon bring the tech industry's disparate private relief efforts under one umbrella.

A week after the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, the technology industry has brought its disparate private relief efforts under one umbrella.

Software giant Microsoft, networking heavyweight Cisco Systems and online notables AOL Time Warner, Amazon.com, eBay and Yahoo on Tuesday announced the American Liberty Partnership, an Internet-industry initiative that is using the Web to connect people who want to help to the different companies' relief organizations.

On the partnership's Web site, visitors will find ways to support these organizations, as well as general information about how the relief effort is progressing and what needs might arise in the future.

President George W. Bush cited the initiative at a press conference Tuesday that outlined the many volunteer efforts in support of the relief effort across the country.

These technology companies "have joined together in a private effort to encourage online giving so that we can funnel resources to help our citizens in need," Bush said in a statement. "If a concerned American wants to help a neighbor in need, even though the neighborhoods might not be right next to each other, they can get on 'Libertyunites.org' and find out how to help. And I urge my fellow Americans to do so."

The new initiative follows a week of individual efforts to assist the victims of the attacks on New York and Washington, D.C. All together, the tech industry so far has funneled more than $25 million in funds and technical assistance to relief organizations.

In total, the president said, Americans have donated more than $55 million through charity Web sites over the past seven days.