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Topic: Opposition to Clinton's Internet Plan
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Jerry P. Becker

Posts: 16,576
Registered: 12/3/04
Opposition to Clinton's Internet Plan
Posted: Oct 12, 1998 11:53 PM
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Southern Illinoisan (Nation Section), Carbondale, IL October 11, 1998

Group fights Clinton plan for Internet

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) Fearing commercial interests may co-opt cyberspace,
scores of educators, activists and computer professionals gathered Saturday
to marshall forces in a battle against privatizing the Internet.

The two-day meeting, organized by Computer Professionals For Social
Responsibility, is aimed at bringing together dozens of organizations with
a stake in cyberspace.

"Like it or not, decisions are being made, strategies are being set up that
will determine how we interact as a society, and it's not just a matter of
getting government out of the way," said Harry Hochheiser,
director-at-large for CPSR, based in Palo Alto, Calif.

Among the topices at the two-day conference was a Clinton administration
proposal that would largely hand over management of Internet addresses, or
domain names, to a non-profit corporation yet to be named.

The public has about a week to commment on the plan before a decision is
made by the White House.

Harvard Law School professor Lawrence Lessig, an expert in cyberspace law,
criticized the plan. He said it places critical decisions about Internet
development in the hands of a commercially minded corporation with a
potentially self-perpetuating board.

Such an entity is unlikely to pay much heed to democratic values such as
privacy, free speech and due process, he said.

"If government doesn't protect those values, who will?" he said.

Lessig also spoke of the broad challenges facing policy makers.

"We're building the most significant jurisdiction since the Louisiana
Purchase, but it's outside of the control of traditional Constitutional
values," Lessig said.

Jerry P. Becker
Dept. of Curriculum & Instruction
Southern Illinois University
Carbondale, IL 62901-4610 USA
Fax: (618)453-4244
Phone: (618)453-4241 (office)

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