Friday, September 25, 2009

For those familiar with recent history it is, of course, a truism that the internet began as a melding of the authoritarian needs of the US military and the libertarian needs of the international scientific community Despite the nonsense spewed out by many so-called 'anarchists' in the USA there is no more libertarian enterprise afoot in the world today than the scientific enterprise-decentralist, internationalist, egalitarian, without dependency upon a central authority. And, for those who wish to be fashionable, without any of the "isms" that right thinking graduates of political science departments are taught to consider as heresy deserving of the modern equivalent of witch hunting. Well, there is always the "law of unintended consequences" and in a few short decades the internet became what it is today, far outside of the control of the military and far removed from the concerns of science.
Today there are those who want to reign in this anarchic enterprise, to establish corporate and governmental control over it. Governmental attempts to censor the internet are the merest tip of the iceberg. The real threat to internet freedom comes from corporate control. To read more about this threat see Noam Chomsky on 'Microsoft and Corporate Control of the Internet' and the Canadian website 'Save Our'. There are. of course, thousands of other examples that I could adduce. The following, from the Petition Site, is an online campaign to promote internet freedom. I have to admit that it is rather 'empty' in that it fails to identify the enemies of such freedom, but it may still be worthwhile for public awareness of the issue. Here's the pledge that they would like you to take. The first thing to do is to educate yourself about who exactly is the enemy of internet freedom. See One Web Day to sign the pledge.
Free the Internet and End the Digital Divide:
Sponsored by: OneWebDay
The Internet belongs to everyone, yet all over the world, government regulators as well as powerful corporate entities, are making important decisions about the future of the Web. Are you at the table ?

The Web is a vital resource, but many people around the globe cannot breach the barriers to access.

Right now, governments, corporate entities and technical elites decide the fate of the most powerful, inclusive communications platform ever created. They're making decisions about who will have access, at what speeds, and at what price. They're deciding how to invest in training and education in 21st century communications.

Even the principles that make the Web an open platform for the creativity of every user are in question. The global economy is in crisis, and the open Internet is a pathway to economic opportunity. Everyone should have access, and everyone should help in deciding the future of the Web.

Sign the pledge to free the Net and increase Internet access to all citizens around the world!
The Pledge:
I pledge to work to extend access to the Internet -- the open, free Internet -- to all, across boundaries of place, culture and class.
Very nice, but it should have a lot more content than that-Molly.

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