Question: I would like to call your attention to a [federal] Legislative Act that was passed on September 28, 1998 concerning Y2K statement liability. It is the “Year 2000 Information and Readiness Disclosure Act”....You need to look at this and correct your statements [in January TBC] to your readers....My own county government announced last week that none of their computers will be Y2K ready. Our hospital announced that they will not be ready for Y2K. The Emergency 911 system will not be ready....You need to do more research....I appreciate The Berean Call and I thank you for it.
Response: We sincerely appreciate our readers being Bereans and correcting us when necessary. However, I was already familiar with the Act to which you refer and it changes nothing we have said. It only prevents liability for statements made concerning Y2K preparedness—it does not absolve anyone from failure to be Y2K compliant in time.
It would be unconscionable (and probably illegal) for Congress to enact a law removing the responsibility, for example, of an electric utility to provide the power customers need on January 1, 2000. And why should anyone be absolved of criminal negligence? That is exactly what failure to be Y2K compliant on January 1, 2000 amounts to! There is no excuse!
The problem, how to solve it and the deadline have been well known for more than 20 years. It is therefore gross negligence for the hospital or 911 system or county government to which you refer not to be ready. They can be sued (the Act of Congress does not prevent that) by anyone suffering damages due to the failure which you claim they are announcing in advance. Something doesn’t sound right. That anyone a year in advance would make such pronouncements (none of their computers will be ready?) when there are plenty of techniques available for fixing the problem in a fraction of that time (and they should have fixed it long ago), makes no sense. I would very much appreciate receiving a copy of these statements if you can provide them.
As for more research, my research has been thorough. I have stated the facts, as developments will prove. The 1/11/99 Wall Street Journal quoted the latest North American Electric Reliability Council (NERC) report saying that Y2K will have only a “minimal operational impact” on America’s power grid. (Future reports will be even better.) Worried about Russia? Computer World 1/14/99 reports that an American software developer, Relativity Technologies, Inc., has been awarded a multimillion-dollar contract to help the Russian government and businesses become Y2K compliant. CNN Headline News on January 15 took its cameras to Dugway Proving Ground in Utah inside a huge nerve center connected to thousands of military computers declaring that they were all Y2K compliant. According to the Associated Press, 1/15/99, the Pentagon says that all computer systems critical to U.S. national defense, including those linked to nuclear weapons, will be safe from Y2K bugs before year 2000: “We will be 100 percent ready....” Such announcements will increase.
Those who warn of Y2K tell us embedded chips pose the greatest problem and it can’t be solved in time. Yet those who design and install embedded systems seem unconcerned. Embedded Systems Programming is the premiere trade magazine on this subject. Its subscribers, the true experts, daily work in this field. Its January 1999 edition carried an editorial which stated, “Ten months ago I asked for those of you who have encountered year 2000 (Y2K) problems in embedded systems you’re developing to let me know...[and] no one cited a verifiable problem.” The articles planned for 1999 (including their December issue) will not even address Y2K. If the danger is as great as we are being told, why aren’t the real experts concerned?