Internet future uncertain under new Bush administration



As George Bush was finally declared the winner of the hotly contested U.S. presidential election, a new research paper has concluded that the Texas...



As George Bush was finally declared the winner of the hotly contested U.S. presidential election, a new research paper has concluded that the Texas governor will assume a hands-off approach to the Internet and technological initiatives.

"The top items on the Bush policy list are not of high priority for the Internet," Dave McClure, chief executive of the US Internet Industry Association, wrote in a report."They include an expansion of H1-B visas, promotion of biotechnology and reform of the technology export rules. Even in these areas, technology will not be a legislative priority."

It is though difficult to tell how Bush's non-interventionist theories will play out during the next congressional session, which could be full of important initiatives on copyright, Internet gambling, unsolicited commercial email and infrastructure issues such as open access, reports news.com.

"Generally, we can expect these issues to reflect a business orientation," McClure wrote of Bush's hands-off stance on the Internet and technology. "The consumer issues that have been the hallmark of the Federal Trade Commission and the Federal Communications Commission under the Clinton administration will not go away, but the hard line taken against businesses--such as the antitrust actions against Microsoft and the hard stances taken in merger reviews--are far less likely."

Bush's approach is a stark contrast to the stated goals, track record and public perception of electoral opponent Al Gore.

At a recent lecture at the University of London, Vinton Cerf, co founder of the Internet and senior vice-president for Internet architecture and technology at MCI WorldCom, outlined how Gore had played a crucial role in guiding Internet enabling legislation through Congress.

Cerf also confirmed that Gore had not claimed to have founded the Internet as political opponents had suggested during the electoral campaign.

This was last published in December 2000

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