Tuesday, April 18, 2006

The Future of the Internet

Although this article on the future of the Internet begins with the standard "gee whiz" stuff about pervasive networking and being constantly connected, it ends with a couple of interesting new ideas.

First, there is the idea that America will lose it's current control of the Internet because american companies keep pressing for legislation to "tighten their grip on the food chain." Basically they are saying the Telcos and RIAA are going to shift innovation to places where they still allow free enterprise. This is even more reason to despise these groups.

The second idea is that it's best for any Internet governing body to be weak, so governments can not use the body to further censorship and such. There is much wisdom in that. The Internet exists as it does only because there is no strong central authority.

RED HERRING | The Future of the Internet: "America’s perceived control of the Internet is likely to change, but not for the reasons people think, says Israeli tech entrepreneur and investor Yossi Vardi. He predicts that many U.S. corporations will continue to lobby Washington to tighten their grip on the food chain—including pieces like music, movies, software, and telecoms—and the natural result of that will see the center of Internet gravity shift to countries where the grass roots is more powerful and operates more freely.

Others, such as Ms. Dyson, founding chairperson of ICANN, hope that ICANN will retain the authority it has today but will continue to be seen as illegitimate, which is “a desirable state of affairs,” she says, “because it means it can do very little.”

The moment any Internet governing body is seen as legitimate and gains power, governments will use it only to further censorship and other nefarious aims, she argues. It would be better, she says, if ICANN stays in place, and everyone watches it like a hawk."

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