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The web wars

The internet is being privatised, which raises the awkward question of who should lay down its operating rules. The US wants to keep as much control as possible, the EU wants international regulation, and Britain can't make up its mind

By Mike Bracken   May 1998

Britain has one of the highest proportions of computer per schoolchild in the world, a deregulated telecoms industry, a new generation of net-conscious graduates flowing out of its universities and a fast growing net industry. The country is well positioned to benefit, culturally and commercially, from the expansion of the internet. But something is happening in the politics of cyberspace which may jeopardise this advantage. A battle over future control of the net is being fought between the US and Europe. And Britain has, broadly speaking, sided with the US-with potentially disastrous consequences for its ability to control its digital…

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