The Federal Trade Commission’s move last week to help the Internet auction site eBay enforce its user agreement and privacy policy is generating mixed reactions from Internet lawyers and consumer rights advocates.

Internet attorneys applaud the action, asserting that on their own, Web operators cannot stop individuals from using their sites to defraud their subscribers. Consumer rights advocates, however, say it is not the government’s job to enforce private contracts. They also worry that the FTC could ultimately start regulating the content of Internet communications.

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