Online Lobbyists

Watch out Congress, the Internet giants are coming to Washington.

Nine of the largest Internet companies plan to announce today the formation of NetCoalition.com, a District-based group that will lobby policymakers on Internet-related issues.

Founding members will include America Online Inc., Amazon.com Inc., eBay Inc., Lycos Inc. and Inktomi Corp. While there already are many politically oriented technology groups, this one claims to be the first public policy organization where members are all pure Internet companies.

Issues likely to be of interest will be high-speed Internet access and Internet taxation.

NetCoalition.com's mission statement said its goal is "building user confidence in the Internet through responsible market-driven policies."

Registering a Complaint

It was a fraud, we're told, but it had a fair number of people going along with it.

A Post reader last week was shocked to read in a broker's report that on July 4, one of the companies he invests in, Amazon.com Inc., had registered the domain name "saynotogod.com." A quick search on Herndon-based domain name registrar Network Solutions Inc.'s home page seemed to confirm the suspicion, showing that name registered to the online bookseller.

But it turns out that the person listed as registrant does not work at Amazon.

"Somebody fraudulently registered it in our name," said Kay Dangaard, chief spokeswoman for Amazon.com. Dangaard said the company's legal department is working with Network Solutions on the issue, and the domain's page, which had a satanic theme, has since disappeared from the Web.

Chris Clough, a spokesman for Network Solutions, said people can easily give fraudulent information when registering domain names. But someone usually -- and quickly -- blows the whistle on the trickster. "Typically, when something like this happens, it has a very short shelf-life," he said.