An eleven-year old the other day told me “ the internet is a place somewhere in ‘outer-space’ and it’s bigger than the planet earth.” The internet or World-Wide-Web, I explained is a conglomeration (a network or web) of computers that send and receive information between each other. The child uttered a nonchalant/unattached “OH” and walked away.
The ‘outer-space’ concept of my young friend (explained), actually started with dedicated space(s), or servers maintained by telephone companies, through which numerous computers enter to communicate with each other.
J.C.R. Licklider of MIT in 1962 started ‘social networking. A global community of interconnected computers for everyone to access shared data and programs. Licklider’s imagination and effort were noble; as useful as the internet has become would make him proud. The ‘NET’ nuetrality Licklider envisioned, now threatened with monopolization, would make him turn over in the grave.
The United States Department of Defense wasted no time getting in the act. It is currently hypothetical that Internet without net neutral rules, consumers would pay more for the so-called “fast lane” services. At stake is ISPs monetizing subscriber bases instead of providing an open pipeline. What started as policies to protect the internet has now turned into favors for corporate friends of the Congress.
We now see, net neutrality, service providers police those who use the networks, how they use it, and what messages the system carries. The assumption is that innovators can reliably, without interference reachesout to consumers (anyone interested in purchasing the London Bridge?). A free and open internet is the greatest technology of our time, and control should not be at the mercy of corporations.
What we about to witness is repression of competition and entrepreneurship, free speech and ideas, unfair pricing. Any advice for our eleven-year old friend who believes outer-space is wide and free? Please leave your comments here.