Keep your hands off the Net: Magaziner warns govts

The Internet revolution is the mechanism to re-invigorate world economies and all world governments need to do is sit back and watch.

Ira Magaziner, a former senior policy adviser on the Internet to US President Clinton, issued the advice here on Friday, claiming government bureauracy is too slow to cope with the technology.

Speaking at Cisco's Australasian Networkers '99 forum, Magaziner said governments must create an environment where the "forces" of world economies can work and establish a code for buying and selling over the Internet.

"But other than that, you leave it alone, let the market function," he said. "Government actions should be minimal and targeted."

Magaziner compared the "Internet revolution" to the industrial revolution as one of the most significant developments of our time, labelling it simply as "the future".

Aside from the productivity and economic benefits, he said the Internet will continue to redefine the employment marketplace.

"Middlemen" or retail type jobs will struggle to maintain significance, while educated technology professionals will create new Internet-related positions.

"The good news is, there are going to be more jobs created than lost," Magaziner said.

Magaziner's claims continued growth in the US economy is already showing the signs of Internet-related "improvement".

Over the last four years, he said 40 per cent of US economic growth came from the Internet. That figure has jumped to 50 per cent over the last two years, he said.

By adopting an Internet-centric approach, Magaziner indicated other economies around the world have the opportunity to experience similar growth.

"What countries are going to embrace the future?," he asked.

Despite officially completing his duties at the White House last December to pursue a career in consulting, Magaziner reports he still occasionally discusses Internet issues with President Clinton.

Mark Jones travelled to Networkers '99 as a guest of Cisco.

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