Several interesting articles have just been published that are beginning to analyze the limits being placed on Internet access in places like China and Egypt. These are quick reads that aren’t overly technical and well worth the time. I’ve linked them below. But I also believe that compromises that have been made by the FCC with regard to open Internet access in the U.S., formally called Net Neutrality, and especially proposals now being made in the U.S. House to further disband Net Neutrality, amount to the same thing. The only difference is that instead of governments directly participating in restricting Internet access, we’ve given corporations the power to do so in expectation of spurring on further innovation. But whether done by governments or corporations, ultimately restricting Internet access amounts to those with power using their authority to limit the power of others. Of course, corporations may choose to only use their increased powers for the good of all. The U.S. is heading down a dangerous path.
- Egypt Leaders Found ‘Off’ Switch for Internet, by JAMES GLANZ and JOHN MARKOFF, New York Times, Published: February 15, 2011
- Decentralizing the Internet So Big Brother Can’t Find You, By JIM DWYER, New York Times, Published: February 15, 2011
- Can the Internet Tame Governments? – Part I , James Cowie, YaleGlobal , 9 February 2011
- Can the Internet Tame Governments? – Part II, Borje Ljunggren, YaleGlobal , 11 February 2011
- Net Neutrality, New York Times Topic, Updated: Dec. 22, 2010
- Republicans seek to quash ‘net neutrality’ rules, AFP, Published 17 February 2011