Developers worry Web too controlled

Monday, 24 June 2002, 10:43 AM EST

At the annual Internet Society conference this week, the engineers who built the Internet and many of the policymakers who follow its development urged caution as governments try to exert control and businesses look to maximize profit.

"We're at a turning point in the evolution of the Internet," said William Drake, a fellow at the University of Maryland. A wrong turn means "robbing it of its real democratic potential."

Vint Cerf, co-developer of the Internet's basic communications protocols, worries that big, traditional businesses could gain unprecedented control through technical manipulation of the next-generation, high-speed services that are delivered over cable and phone lines.

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