Your Internet Candidate

Your success has politicians salivating. Politicians sniff out contributors the way French hunting dogs sniff out truffles.

Juicy controversies demanding action are the bait for their hook. You, sir or madam, are the fish, the big game in the Great Game, and for the year 2000 the game is already afoot.

Al Gore has claimed (erroneously) that his Senate votes “invented” the Internet. Steve Forbes has made a big deal out of announcing his second bid for the Presidency online, as a RealAudio file. He is also calling himself “The Internet Candidate.”

But what is an “Internet Candidate?” I would think an Internet Candidate would take positions on Internet issues. So it’s important that, right now, all of us involved in e-commerce get clear on what we want the next government to do, and (just as important) what we want it not to do.

Since Mr. Forbes claims to be the Internet Candidate, maybe his staff will know that many references to his name in this file might draw it to the top of the search engines. Here are some of the questions I might ask him:

Mr. Forbes, do you stand with users or America Online when it comes to Internet privacy?

Mr. Forbes, should corporations have the right to control their employees’ e-mail traffic?

Mr. Forbes, should cyber-nanny software be mandated on school, library and corporate computers, and if so whose values will be censored?

Mr. Forbes, what about sales taxation of Internet purchases?

Mr. Forbes, should AT&T be allowed a monopoly on Internet access via cable?

Mr. Forbes, is a call on the Internet to be defined as local or long distance?

Mr. Forbes, is Microsoft a monopoly?

These are just some of my top-of-the-head questions. The point is you probably have your own questions. Let’s talk about them. Then let’s make sure we get some answers.

What do you think? Let’s talk about it.

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