The Internet may be too unsafe for trading on-line and filled with morally dubious material, but it's planet Earth's best hope for world peace. That is the opinion voiced by digital visionary Nicholas Negroponte, head of MIT's Media Laboratory, in Boston, Massachusetts, who has claimed that both the US and Europe have vastly underestimated the power of the Internet. He has proposed that because the Net abolishes national borders, it has the power to bring about world peace. He added that 20 years from now, children learning about other countries by clicking a mouse will not know what nationalism is. Negroponte recently endeared himself to Europeans by claiming we are not leaping aboard the Internet bandwagon fast enough and, as a result, are on a par with the Third World. "I have never seen people miss the scale of what's going on as badly as they are doing now," he complained, slamming certain European telecoms giants for raising local phone rates. "Access by kids to the Internet should be like kids breathing clean air." In his predictions, Negroponte forecasts that electronic commerce will be worth $1 trillion by 2000, much higher than the US administration's prediction of $300 billion by 2002.
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