As someone who is an extensive user of many of the services the Internet offers, I am proud to be one of the few these days who gathers news and entertainment from non-traditional media outlets. Unfortunately it looks as if our current e-freedoms may be under attack from the corporate giants.
For some time now news has been released about ‘the new internet’, the information has included techie tidbits about the type of technology being used to develop the next generation of world-wide communication, as well as some of the potential rich media content we will be seeing on the web in the years to come. But nothing prepared me for this article passed to me by a co-worker. Take a minute and read this for yourself, I can guarantee it will paint a very scary picture of the future.
I have been noticing some very scary trends in our global society these days, in particular the growing commoditization of our planet’s resources. This article led me to realize that it is not only our physical resources which are being hungrily snapped up by corporations, but now increasingly it is our intellectual properties and freedoms which are being consumed to raise profits. This is a perfect example of corporations trying to take over something which should be inherently free and unregulated.
As a heavy user of the net, I am somewhat of an idealist. I have always been one to believe that the internet would be a force to help unite humanity and promote free speech globally. Unfortunately over the past decade or so we have watched as slowly but surely the internet has been taken over by corporate pimps and pornographers. Whether it be Google selling out to the Chinese government and helping them to censor the net, or the 260 new porno sites that go online daily, the Internet has been the most revolutionary communications tool of the past century, and for the most part we have squandered it’s wealth of information and communication tools.
As an example check out this video from GOOD Magazine, as it has some interesting statistics on internet pornography.
The fact that the corporate machine has now set its eyes on the wide open spaces of the web is a scary thought for me, especially as a web developer. The idea of moving the internet to a subscription-based model would destroy personal freedoms, while lining the pockets of ISP’s worldwide. Gone would be our ability to freely and openly communicate. Our ability to access information outside of the normal media outlets will be utterly decimated.
If the mere thought of this doesn’t scare you, it should. This is the type of Orwellian big-brother like control we have all been warned of. In a time such as this, when our world is succumbing to the ravages of environmental degradation, soaring food and fuel prices, and ever increasing levels of conflict in countries around the world, freedom of speech is more important now than it ever has been before. Free and open communication inspires innovation, and putting a corporate stranglehold on the freedom and flow of global information leaves little hope for this.
Jeannine Kenney, Senior Policy Analyst, Consumers Union:
“The network neutrality nondiscrimination principle, which protects competition, maximizes consumer choice, and guarantees fair market practices, is one step closer to being abandoned with the Senate Commerce Committee’s vote. This endangers the most important engine for economic growth and democratic communication in modern society. Nondiscrimination made possible the grand successes of the Internet. Its removal can take them away.”
Whether you are a regular user of the net or not, you cannot deny that the internet has helped promote global communication and free speech. As many people around the world have fought for their own personal freedoms and liberties, we too must fight for our freedoms.
Where can you start? Well, start at places like savetheinternet.com, internetfreedom.org and by simply making yourself and others aware of the issues. Please share your thoughts and insights with us all.