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Controlling the Internet

May 12, 2006 • Volume 16, Issue 18
Can it survive as an uncensored global network?
By Marcia Clemmitt

Introduction

A sunny day lures a laptop user to Union Square, one of 801 public sites in San Francisco with wireless Internet access, 368 of them free.  (Getty Images/Justin Sullivan)
A sunny day lures a laptop user to Union Square, one of 801 public sites in San Francisco with wireless Internet access, 368 of them free. (Getty Images/Justin Sullivan)

Governments and corporations are increasingly concerned about political and economic threats posed by a freewheeling, global Internet. Many experts warn the “Net” may fragment into “walled gardens” that block users' freedom to communicate and innovate. In the U.S., telephone and cable companies already have won the right to block competing Internet service providers like Earthlink from using their high-speed broadband lines. Now advocates for an open Internet worry that broadband providers will use their market power to slow or block access to controversial Web sites or competing businesses like Internet telephone. The activists want Congress to require the companies to treat all Internet content the same. Abroad, more nations are expanding broadband access for economic reasons, even as they crack down on citizens who access controversial material or express dissenting opinions via the Net. In the face of such turmoil, civic groups worldwide are seeking new forms of governance to keep the Internet secure and uncensored.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Computers
Feb. 15, 2013  Improving Cybersecurity
Apr. 13, 2012  Internet Regulation
Sep. 16, 2011  Computer Hacking
Sep. 24, 2010  Impact of the Internet on Thinking
Feb. 26, 2010  Cybersecurity
Aug. 01, 2008  Internet Accuracy
May 02, 2008  Cyberbullying
Jul. 28, 2006  Cyber Socializing
May 12, 2006  Controlling the Internet
Jun. 10, 2005  Identity Theft
Sep. 17, 2004  Cyberpolitics
Sep. 26, 2003  Cybersecurity
Apr. 12, 2002  Cyber-Crime
Oct. 27, 2000  Computers and Medicine
May 26, 2000  Future of Computers
Jan. 28, 2000  The Digital Divide
Feb. 05, 1999  Digital Commerce
Jun. 30, 1995  Regulating the Internet
May 21, 1993  Software Piracy
Sep. 30, 1988  Management's High-Tech Challenge
Jan. 09, 1987  Power Surge in Personal Computers
Feb. 13, 1981  The Computer Age
Nov. 03, 1978  America's Information Boom
Jan. 06, 1978  Computer Crime
May 12, 1971  Reappraisal of Computers
Jul. 25, 1962  Approach to Thinking Machines
BROWSE RELATED TOPICS:
Internet and Social Media
Regulation and Legal Issues
Telecommunications and Wireless Technologies
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