Jul 27, 2001

Taming the Wild, Wild Web
Corporations contend the Internet's freewheeling design kills moneymaking opportunities. But others fear controls would curb open access.

Bud Michels has given up on the Internet.

"We don't have any control over the Internet," said Michels, president and chief executive of Maryland-based CSP Inc., which helps big clients protect priceless corporate data in the event of an earthquake, computer network outage or other disaster. "If something goes down, you don't even know who's accountable. The Internet is, like, 'Who ya gonna call?' "

That's an example of how the Internet's leading virtue, its unruliness, is increasingly getting cursed by business executives and economists as its worst flaw. After years of fruitless efforts to make money selling goods and services over the Web, many entrepreneurs and other businesspeople are starting to blame the system's fundamental design for their failures.


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