The golden age of the Internet

“Atticus Finch” writes on BlogTruth that we should enjoy the Internet while we can because its Golden Age, which we’re living in, won’t last forever.  The Internet makes possible a free flow of information and ideas that it is against the interests of the world’s governments to tolerate.

I’m not sure that the casual Internet user fully appreciates the true Internet “golden age” we are experiencing right now.  I mean consider it – we can access information, from any country, about any subject, at any time – with a few strokes of the keyboard.  If that’s not monumental to you, then you don’t fully appreciate the greatest thing to happen to mankind, perhaps ever.  It’s true and completely free, almost instant, multi-source, discussed – knowledge.

Perhaps never has a population been so connected and so empowered.  We no longer have to accept what the media or our own government tells us.  We have instant access to blogs and websites coming from multiple perspectives (even the perspective of the “enemy”) that can paint almost a crystal clear picture of the world that we live in.  You can be more culturally knowledgeable in an evening in your living room than most of mankind was in their entire lives.  This is true power.

Revolutions can be formed, fueled, and organized in moments.  Underfunded and disperse – ideas have power like never before.  All because of this network we have created that spans the earth.  Yet, we think that shopping on Amazon.com or checking our email is the real gift the Internet has provided us.  Don’t let your apathy fool you into believing the Internet and its users aren’t more important than that.  The information we have at our fingertips, no matter how we use it, is power – and Governments all over the world know it.

It’s about control.  How long do you really think this modern day wild west is going to last?  Do you honestly believe that no one is going to try to control the most powerful invention ever created?  How long do you really think you will be able to freely access websites that promote anti-government or even terroristic ideas?  How long do you think sites that offer free music and movie downloads will be able to run?  What about those sites that appose the Government or suggest that we overthrow it?  Will those last?  It won’t be long before the Government says it should be controlled – all to “protect Americans” from things like terrorism and child pornography.

via BlogTruth.

Although the Stop Online Piracy Act and the Protect Internet Privacy Act are now on hold, John C. Dvorak, a columnist in PC Magazine, thinks it is only a matter of time before the United States government imposes the same controls over the Internet that the Chinese and Iranian governments have.

Instead of the free global Internet as we know it, John Dvorak says, the world will come to be divided into regulated national Internets.

In the future, all sites will be subject to immediate takedown orders. You can count on it.  You can just see this trend moving forward with very little resistance.  Nobody, especially in the U.S., wants to face the political implications of any of this.  We just trust our officials to an extreme.  …

Watch over the next few years as the idea of a national Internet evolves from a tool used to suppress opposition to a good idea whose time has come.  Yes, this will be sold as a great new idea.

It will be the way we can protect ourselves from alien sites that recruit homegrown terrorists and bomb makers.  It will stop offshore piracy web sites from ruining our movie and record industry.  It will block international child pornography rings from making [in]roads into our nation.  It will keep al Qaeda operatives in Pakistan from easily communicating with terrorist cells in the U.S., probably preventing another 9/11.  It’s a clear winner.

It will also have other benefits.  It will protect the nation from spying Chinese eyes.  It might prevent the cyber war that everyone is fretting about.  If it is a closed system, then any attack has to take place from within and that’s easier to catch.  I’m telling you, I can explain for days why this is a great idea.  I’m almost convincing myself.

I can assure you that it will take very little effort to convince Congress and the public that a national Internet in the U.S. is brilliant.  Then, see what happens next. Complete government control.  You won’t like it, but it will be too late.

via PCMag.com.

Based on the intensity of the U.S. government’s responses to various uses and abuses of the Internet, the real concern is less terrorism or child pornography or even intellectual property than to put a stop to organizations such as WikiLeaks, which threaten government power by undermining the power of secrecy.  The U.S. government and its allies have succeeded in effectively shutting down WikiLeaks, which is now putting all its efforts into fund-raising to overcome the government-organized financial blockade.  Obviously they want to prevent WikiLeaks from being revived or imitated.

Sometimes I hope to live long enough to be proved wrong about things like this.  Other times I’m glad I probably won’t live long enough to be proved right.

Click on WikiLeaks for updates on that organization’s status.

Click on Why SOPA Is Dangerous for a computer programmer’s analysis of the Stop Internet Piracy Act.

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One Response to “The golden age of the Internet”

  1. Atticus Finch Says:

    Great Analysis. Thanks for the quote!

    Like

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