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Magaziner to resign

The White House's chief Internet adviser is planning to step down by the end of year.

The White House's chief Internet adviser, Ira Magaziner, is planning to resign by the end of the year, his staff said today.

Magaziner is expected to leave once his staff has completed a follow-up to the Clinton administration's Framework for Global Electronic Commerce white paper, which was issued in July 1997.

"He is planning to leave, but has not announced a fixed date," Greg Chang, Magaziner's special assistant, said today.

During the past year, Magaziner has been separated from his family in New England. He apparently broke the news of his decision to step down to the interagency working group on e-commerce weeks ago.

"He has been one of the longest serving senior aides in the White House--it has been almost six years," Chang added. "He was one of the originals from the 1992 campaign, and started working on health care reform. He has been through three chiefs of staff--and we're now on our fourth. The average life expectancy of a top aide is usually 18 months."

Magaziner has led the Clinton administration's policy efforts to bolster e-commerce and transfer government control of the Net address system to a global nonprofit corporation. He also has been entrenched in negotiations with the European Union over its strict privacy directive that threatens to cut off digital communication between companies in the European Union and in the United States.

The plan to transfer control of the Net's domain-naming system has yet to be finalized, and likely won't be completed until next year. Magaziner is the second key player that will be missing from the negotiating table when the transition plan goes into effect. IANA founder Jon Postel died October 16 due to heart problems, and his guidance will be missed as well.

Moreover, the administration still is negotiating with the EU over conflicting privacy standards for database companies and Web sites that collect or store sensitive information about peoples' identities.