Internet may not remain free, fear US technophiles

A pair of Supreme Court rulings this week is stoking fears that the internet is becoming an ever-more centralised platform for entrenched corporate interests, the antithesis of the digital commons envisioned by technophiles and civil libertarians.

But others predict that innovation will actually be encouraged by the rulings, since they create a framework of sorts for how to build businesses in the digital age.

The American Civil Liberties Union argues that the rulings portend a worst-case scenario in which oligopolistic broadband giants control websites, e-mail and internet telephone services. That could turn the internet into the opposite of what it is today: an inexpensive forum for public expression easily accessible to independent voices, from bloggers to unaffiliated political candidates.

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