The U.S. is actually quite threatened by the net. I don't know if our government doesn't know it yet, or if they do and that's why they keep attacking technology freedom. But it's only just starting.
People haven't really pushed the "I'll just move my business off of U.S. soil so they can't tell me what to do." We're beginning to see it with internet gambling and whatnot, but the US is still trying to break that up, mostly with loopholes. Eventually they'll have to prosecute the consumer, which history has shown us doesn't really work (see 'prohibition'). I expect to see illegal drug sales on the net eventually, as well as any other contraband you can think of. Should be interesting to see if it has strong effects on society.
And since you know that the 'moral' U.S. won't bow to allowing these businesses to operate here until it's too late, you'll see a bunch of third world countries striking it rich by taking in illicit businesses.
Which might be good - since a more global economy would probably be better for everyone.
But basically I'm beginning to think that if the U.S. doesn't react soon, then the net is actually going to be the undoing of the U.S. empire. Not that we'll collapse and disappear like most other empires, but I think we'll stop being the primary controllers of the globe.
Consider software pirating - I could just find another country that doesn't bow to copyright laws, and setup an internet connection that sells software like beyond.com, but without paying the manufacturers. The only way to stop that is to arrest all the consumers who get the software, or else go to war with the country. You could try sanctions, but chances are this country is going to be getting rich through these types of sites and won't care about sanctions. What are you going to sanction anyways, shipments of coconuts? You can't really sanction net sales, that's the whole point here.
The OpenSource movement is interesting because it's insulated from this. Sometimes I wonder if maybe they were more than just lucky and this was a subconscious maneuver against what is going to happen on the net.