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The INQUIRER, Intel, embargoes and NDAs

The indefinite article
Tue Mar 05 2002, 18:45
I HAVE A DELIBERATE policy never to sign non disclosure agreements (NDAs) for several very good reasons.

One reason is that when Intel attempted to sue me some years ago, they frantically hunted around to see if I'd ever signed an NDA with them - because they're rather all embracing, you see.

Last week at the Intel Developer Forum I met George "Xanadu" Alfs, who showed me a sample of a Northwood Pentium 4, and who offered to tell me more if I'd agree to sign an NDA. I declined, preferring to get my information from other sources than the manufacturers, and waiting for the press release.

Today, the INQUIRER found itself in yet another tricky situation. Our contributor Andrew Thomas was sent a sample of a 2.40GHz processor from Intel, with no mention of an embargo date for the part.

I didn't know Andrew, who works for the Independent, IT Week even had a sample Pentium 4 2.40GHz, until I noticed a posting he'd made on our Hermit's Cave forum.

I didn't even know whether he had a part from Intel itself - for all I know another manufacturer might have sent him a sample.

So when he sent me a review, I posted it on our site only to receive frantic phone calls from Intel telling me I was breaking an embargo.

As I didn't know about any embargo, I wasn't breaking one. I will, from time to time, decide whether to give my word of honour that I won't talk about something until a given date - the decision to do that is based on whether it's the right thing to do on any occasion.

I have talked to Intel about this matter. Its position is that this is an unannounced product and that anything we have placed on the site must be regarded as speculative.

It requested that we remove the page from the entire site, which I have declined to do.

I have now removed this review from the front page of the INQUIRER. That's not under pressure, but really just as a gesture. It really isn't my job to be an Intel proxy and self-police embargoes or NDAs, as Asus will remember when it made a mistake and sent out a press release about Nforce just a few weeks ago. µ


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