Förderverein Informationstechnik und Gesellschaft
Friday, 1 September, 2000, 20:44 GMT 21:44 UK
Governments told: 'Hands off internet'
By BBC News Online internet reporter Mark Ward
Governments should get out of the way and let the internet revolution roll on says a report by an influential net analysis group.
The US Internet Council's "State of the Internet 2000" report was released on Friday and it said that unless Governments are careful they will do more to harm the net than help it.
It warns that heavy-handed attempts by government to make the net a safer place for consumers and companies risks stifling its growth.
The 60-page report is a round up of data about the internet and aims to be a snapshot of the changes it is bringing about and the direction it might take.
"Governments need to recognize the amazing benefits of the internet and do nothing to cripple it," says the report.
It says the internet has potential to educate, bring people together, foster new forms of communication and radically change the economics of business.
It adds that although governments can see the benefits of the internet, too many are concentrating on efforts to control cybercrime.
The result, warns the report, could be restrictive policies that deter people from going online rather than encouraging them to use it more.
Instead, it says, the internet should be left to regulate itself.
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