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Web giants team-up to combat legislation

Shaping the Internet in a non-regulatory sort of way, apparently...

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Nine of the Web's top companies have formed a lobbying group to inform and educate legislators about the Internet. This will be done in Washington, apparently, as so far there's no obvious sign that the new outfit, NetCoalition.com, has heard of Brussels. The outfit claims sites run by its member companies are visited by 90 per cent of Web users at least once a month. Members include AOL, Amazon, Yahoo, eBay, Excite-@home, DoubleClick, Inktomi, theglobe and Lycos, but further information was hard to come by this morning, as www.netcoalition.com still seemed to be demanding user names and passwords for access. The absence of various other companies with major Web operations (e.g. Microsoft) from the membership doesn't however seem to be an accident, as the outfit wants to keep membership tight, and highly focussed on the major issues that concern current members, which are defined as online privacy, intellectual property and protecting children online. In pushing its views on these to legislators, it will be attempting to promote 'non-regulatory solutions.' So basically, it would appear that the big boys are banding together to try to stop Washington passing laws that will make their lives more complicated. In that case, they're bound to notice Brussels sooner or later. ®

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