This new form of net-activism heralds a change in direction. In the beginning, net.wisdom held that netheads should remain aloof from politics, first to keep from sullying themselves, but more important because the net was immune to regulation, due to its radical, decentralized nature. Traditional, horse-trading Beltway politics had no place online. But as regulators turned their eyes netwards, proposing laws like the Communications Decency Act — a broad and probably unconstitutional censorship bill that would have “protected” adults and kids alike from “indecent” material — the Internet got politicized. The fights to keep the Internet open and free are crucial; the Internet can’t serve as a conduit for independent analysis if it’s being regulated by those it calls to task.