×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Like Democracy, the Web Needs To Be Defended

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the time-to-arm-the-internet dept.

The Internet 108

climenole tips a great article by Sir Tim Berners-Lee in Scientific American. Quoting: "The Web evolved into a powerful, ubiquitous tool because it was built on egalitarian principles and because thousands of individuals, universities and companies have worked, both independently and together as part of the World Wide Web Consortium, to expand its capabilities based on those principles. The Web as we know it, however, is being threatened in different ways. Some of its most successful inhabitants have begun to chip away at its principles. Large social-networking sites are walling off information posted by their users from the rest of the Web. Wireless Internet providers are being tempted to slow traffic to sites with which they have not made deals. Governments — totalitarian and democratic alike — are monitoring people's online habits, endangering important human rights. If we, the Web's users, allow these and other trends to proceed unchecked, the Web could be broken into fragmented islands. We could lose the freedom to connect with whichever Web sites we want."

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

108 comments

How about... (4, Insightful)

eepok (545733) | more than 3 years ago | (#34285414)

"As an evolved system that facilitates the propagation and security of the underlying principles of democracy, the Web needs to be defended."

Re:How about... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34285834)

Eventually governments and corporations will stop fighting this war and implement their control over their part of the web, where every user will use their real name, and every bit of information will be at the mercy of their controller not the user. There will also be the free net, where anything goes, anonymity being the most important thing. On a certain level it already exists today, like China's internet vs the rest of the world. As time passes those differences will become much more obvious, but once you entrust your data to someone else, you'll have trouble getting it back.

The two are intrinsically linked (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34286532)

Even deeper than that, the web has the potential to be the actual carrier mechanism of real, unfettered, open source democracy. [metagovernment.org]

Sorry, no. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34285456)

Large social-networking sites are walling off information posted by their users from the rest of the Web

That has never been different. There is no right to someone else's resources. If you host your site, nobody should be allowed to make you publish anything other than what is required for technical reasons. The internet is a network of networks. Network operators have ASNs, autonomous system numbers. The web exists because there are only rules which ensure technical compatibility. That's it. If you want content rules, get cable TV.

bullshit (3, Interesting)

unity100 (970058) | more than 3 years ago | (#34285504)

some person's private information is NOT the resource of the site that stores it. a person's private information belongs to that person alone. there can be no other argument to that.

Re:bullshit (2, Insightful)

HaZardman27 (1521119) | more than 3 years ago | (#34285600)

So you still agree that social-networking sites are allowed to wall off this information then, yes? Unless a person specifically says they're fine with their information being shared, walling this info off should be the norm.

Re:bullshit (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34285642)

A person's private information is not on a social network. The argument is that social networks should not be allowed to "wall off" information from the rest of the web. That's bullshit. First of all, that would not be defense but offense, because you'd have to change the status quo, not maintain it. Secondly, that would require telling a social network operator what they must publish in order to be allowed on the web. The users can do whatever they want with their own information, but they do not have the right to force anyone else to do anything with their data. If they don't want their data in walled-off parts of the web, then they should not put it there. It is hypocritical to pretend that someone else ruins the web when you're one of the users who so carelessly support walled gardens by subscribing to them.

Re:bullshit (3, Insightful)

bonch (38532) | more than 3 years ago | (#34285990)

some person's private information is NOT the resource of the site that stores it.

Your post is a little vague, but it appears that you're arguing that social networking sites shouldn't be allowed to "wall off." Signing up for a service on someone else's server and then demanding that they open up all their data to everyone else is silly. If you don't like their service, don't use the service. They're under no obligation to make sure everybody can read what you're submitting to their site. You act as if people are forced to use Facebook.

Re:bullshit (4, Insightful)

paeanblack (191171) | more than 3 years ago | (#34286082)

some person's private information is NOT the resource of the site that stores it. a person's private information belongs to that person alone. there can be no other argument to that.

Facebook doesn't operate on wishes and thin air. Their server farms are paid for with the understanding that they will use and exploit the information you give them to make money. It's not "your private information" after that point...you sold it to pay Facebook for the service they provide to you.

Re:bullshit (1)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 3 years ago | (#34287720)

It's not "your private information" after that point...you sold it to pay Facebook for the service they provide to you.

And you can show that the majority of Facebook users understand the terms of this contract, yes? In fact, can you can show us the bill of sale?

Re:bullshit (1)

kaizokuace (1082079) | more than 3 years ago | (#34287942)

Very true, especially when I explain this to various people most of them (that aren't like, from the internets) can't believe what I am saying. They don't believe a company like facebook isn't looking out for their interests. So no, facebook isn't making their business clear.

Re:bullshit (1)

axlr8or (889713) | more than 3 years ago | (#34288008)

He might not be able to, but I can show you all those shitty Singles Dating sites that magically crop up on the right panel because somehow, mysteriously, they know I'm single! = Information = SOLD! Hehehe

Re:bullshit (2, Insightful)

Cajun Hell (725246) | more than 3 years ago | (#34286286)

If it's really private information which belongs to that person alone, then how did the site get it? Do they steal it from people on days when people forget to put on their foil hats?

Re:bullshit (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 3 years ago | (#34286878)

the person gave it to them. but, that doesnt transfer the ownership of that information to that site, and it doesnt allow them to decide who can use that information and for what.

Re:bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34288146)

There perhaps are other arguments, but no matter..

You could argue that when you gave it out, you leased/gave permission for the site to use it. Inevitably, they don't always use it in the ways that they specify (Facebook, for example).

It's a shame someone hasn't worked out a system for leasing out your personal information for money. After all, its a commodity now, same as anything else. The fact that some people give it out for free doesn't mean its worthless.

I wouldn't mind targeted ads to my email address if i'd sold my address to google for $500, or whatever.

I suppose that would rely on a law stating that your personal data is your property, which is unlikely.

The idea is pleasant enough. You could tie these bastards in the sort of arcane labyrinthine license/lease agreements that makes a cell phone contract look like a toddlers alphabet book.

"You shall not, otherwise stated in this agreement by note 3ii and 3iv (2010 agreement amendment), in the fullness of time, unless according to the waning of the moon and the orbit of the second star in Sirius, use my email address for purposes expressed other than in full verbatim using no less than written communiques totaling 3 or 5 (dividing by the last number of the last Mayan year). Let this agreement, unless changed in a quantum nonlocality, be both binding and unbinding with immediate and time lapsed affect. All payments are to be made in dollars, the rate of payment being calculated by taking the total number of words in this agreement less twelve, exchanged from shekels that are in turn multiplied from the catering bill at the Treaty of Versailles, converted into Soviet rubels."

Would certainly create a lot of chaos.

Re:Sorry, no. (2, Interesting)

PatHMV (701344) | more than 3 years ago | (#34285540)

Exactly! If I want to make my information available only to some people and not to others, that's MY right. And if a "large social-networking site" helps me do that, good for them, and I am more likely to use them than I would a system that says: "you MUST make ALL information public, or not share it with anybody at all."

I agree with Berners-Lee on his other points, but not that one. And I don't know why he would lead with that one.

Re:Sorry, no. (1)

Gubbe (705219) | more than 2 years ago | (#34290016)

It's not his point.

His point is that if you use the help of a "large social-networking site," to limit availability of your information, then everyone that you want to make that info available to either HAS to be a member of that social network or be left without access.
The problem with this is, the social network isn't an open, egalitarian system like the web or, say, e-mail. Instead it is a single service run by a private corporation that sells your data to the highest bidder.
This can result in a situation where, with a critical mass of your contacts subscribed to these sites, you can no longer communicate with your friends in an efficient manner, unless you also choose to share your personal details and communications with a private corporation with no accountability.

To reiterate, he's not saying that it's illegal or wrong for people to control their information, but he is saying that by using Facebook as the means to do so, we're moving from open communications platforms to a monopolistic corporate lock-in model that undermines the openness of the Internet.

And I fully agree with him.

Begs a question (4, Interesting)

smagruder (207953) | more than 3 years ago | (#34285462)

Are there really many human beings defending small 'd' democratic values, period?

Re:Begs a question (1, Offtopic)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 3 years ago | (#34285496)

Re:Begs a question (1)

smagruder (207953) | more than 3 years ago | (#34285534)

The question is pertinent. Why parse me?

Re:Begs a question (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34285670)

Because your comment was not an example of "begging the question", and this must be pointed out to you at all costs.

Re:Begs a question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34285862)

He didn't mean it in that sense, dimwit. As with many phrases, the meaning depends on context.

Devil's Advocate: What about competition? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34285480)

Is "just one web" really the best thing? What about competition? We've already seen how a tendancy towards global finance can increase the scale of disaster. If somebody attacks THE WEB, it's a global disaster. If they attack ONE OF THE WEBS, there is the possibility of switching to the other network when that happens.

Re:Devil's Advocate: What about competition? (4, Insightful)

unity100 (970058) | more than 3 years ago | (#34285522)

'competition' ?

this is like saying 'is one world really the best thing ? lets break it up into smaller parts'. or, saying 'is one huge global market is a good thing ? lets break it to smaller parts'.

its stupid. human civilization has been trying to achieve planetary scale on everything. it would be beyond moronic to revert back, when a state of that is reached in some technology ; namely, information exchange.

hey, while we are at it, why dont we go back to feudalism ? at least, there can be competition in between the lords.

Re:Devil's Advocate: What about competition? (3, Insightful)

Shark (78448) | more than 3 years ago | (#34286046)

I'm not entirely sure the 'planetary scale' objective you're referring to is as great as you might thing. Separation of powers is very important if you want to maintain freedom and curb oppression. If you can't vote with your dollar or your ballot, you ought to be able to vote with your feet.

The important concept is openness, not uniqueness or monopoly. Nothing is more terrifying than planetary government for example... Because when that government goes bad (they all do at some point), you have nowhere else to go.

When you remove competition in an environment, you might be better off on the short term but the absolute best you can hope for on the long term is stagnation, and you're way more likely to get corruption and a system that preys on the people it is supposed to serve. This is true for standards, corporations, governments, religions or just about any other system.

Re:Devil's Advocate: What about competition? (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 3 years ago | (#34288188)

I'm not entirely sure the 'planetary scale' objective you're referring to is as great as you might thing. Separation of powers is very important if you want to maintain freedom and curb oppression. If you can't vote with your dollar or your ballot, you ought to be able to vote with your feet.

there is no relevance in between planetary scale, and separation of powers. they are not even in the same context.

planetary scale is,for example, what a global market is. if you break down the market into smaller parts by feudalizing it, or walling them off, you will have many smaller markets. they will 'compete', but, in that 'competition' of markets as unit, instead of businesses as 'individuals', much energy will be lost, because the walls will not allow flow of goods and services easily.

the market will become smaller. producers which are able to produce in a market, will see that they are now competing in a smaller market. which will lead to everything becoming smaller, including supply and demand.

it is much more bigger in scale, in regard to information. information flows and multiplies rapidly, so any kind of walling off magnifies the negative effects, and any kind of free flow allowed, magnifies multiplication.

this, can be easily deduced by looking at the development of science throughout human history. wherever freedom was allowed, even tiny countries got ahead.

now we have it in a planetary scale. it is beyond stupid, it is utterly moronic to ever contemplate hampering the multiplication of information, especially at a time our planet and society are fighting with a lot of problems, and free information and science is needed more than ever.

not to forget, the importance of a unified web, for democratization of life, politics, and increased participation of all people in these aspects of life.

Re:Devil's Advocate: What about competition? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34290312)

Actually, if your government goes bad you can't vote with your feet. Other countries will not let you in, unless you are lucky or influential (and if you are either, try thinking of other people for once in your life).

In the worst case, you're in another North Korea and you'll lack any credence whatsoever when you attempt to enter another country.

Re:Devil's Advocate: What about competition? (4, Interesting)

Qzukk (229616) | more than 3 years ago | (#34285656)

Worked great for Compuserve and AOL back in the day.

The way I figure it will play out, the major telcos will do it quickly followed by everyone else when Google, iTunes and Amazon cave and pay the protection money. It'll suck for 10 years or so, amazon.com and others will eventually close up shop, people will get bored with AT&TOL and go back to cable tv for their hundreds of channels of nothing important. Companies will stop buying "keywords", and when AT&TOL is begging for people to please give them a try because they put the internets in your computer, someone else will finally step up to the plate and either force cities to break their franchise agreements or manage to con the banks out of enough financing to buy up significant chunks of good wireless spectrum and start selling "the real internet". A .com boom will take off again as people discover that they can go to all sorts of websites, not just the ISP-sanctioned keywords, and we'll be back in the late 90's again before you know it... just in time for the y2038 crisis.

Re:Devil's Advocate: What about competition? (1)

mfwitten (1906728) | more than 3 years ago | (#34285950)

AT&TOL is begging for people to please give them a try because they put the internets in your computer

I'm looking forward to my FREE HOURS !

Re:Devil's Advocate: What about competition? (1)

Bob9113 (14996) | more than 3 years ago | (#34286730)

Well written, and an engaging vision of a future that could be. Whether I think it probable or not, I like the image. Thanks!

Re:Devil's Advocate: What about competition? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34290558)

Alternatively, Google will become an ISP and circumvent all the nonsense being put out by the current bunch.

Walled-garden neo-AOL, or letting Google see literally your every move online (as if they don't already in practice)? I think this may be a decision we will face at some point.
Of course, it only addresses the net-neutrality problem, not the Facebook-style, information black hole problem.

Re:Devil's Advocate: What about competition? (4, Insightful)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 3 years ago | (#34286116)

The Internet is an infrastructure. People have figured out a long time ago that infrastructure is not something where you want people to create competing markets. That merely results in huge inefficiencies as duplication and underutilization abounds.

Furthermore, the Internet is ALREADY an network of networks. Hence the "Inter" in Internet. No need to build multiple Internets,unless you have some specific reasons why you don't want to hook up to the rest of the world - in which case, you build an Intranet.

Remember folks - free markets are never really free, and more competition is not always the answer.

Re:Devil's Advocate: What about competition? (2, Insightful)

gratuitous_arp (1650741) | more than 3 years ago | (#34286588)

Is "just one web" really the best thing? What about competition?

There is already competition between ISPs, who give you access to the web -- that's why we're getting cool things like LTE, LTE-Advanced, WiMAX, etc. If you meant splitting up the resources that make up the web, like the web sites, I don't see what benefit that would bring -- and there is no incentive to be the first one doing it... since that means no one is going to be able to see your site.

If they attack ONE OF THE WEBS, there is the possibility of switching to the other network when that happens.

The nature of the Internet is that most attacks are only going to affect an isolated portion of it. "THE WEB" is not a single entity. BGP is as close as you could get to massive disruption (without silently owning thousands of individual ISPs), but if someone really is being malicious with BGP (rather than the occasional "oops"), they can always be blacklisted. That would still be disruptive, and we could make a global backup network to combat it, but the real solution there is to secure BGP.

Backup networks work for "small scale" networks (read: large companies, governments). This is for internal use for that organization (remember your history: US DoD and the Internet). A global backup network for public use will have big problems, especially if we want to be able to count on *it* being available if the other is *not*.

Also, for any kind of security between the two networks in the event of some huge theoretical attack, the networks would need to be physically separated. This means nothing on one network can access anything on the other network. So you have two isolated PDAs, ISPs have two sets of racks of isolated gear, two sets of intercontinental fiber...

Device manufacturers would be the only ones happy with that.

software patents; mentioned, albeit briefly (5, Interesting)

ciaran_o_riordan (662132) | more than 3 years ago | (#34285526)

Software patents are one of the biggest threats. Writing a website is writing software, and having a website today is essential for many parts of our democracy. Campaigns on issues or for candidates need websites. Further, writing software is an important freedom in itself, like the freedom to write a book. Most people will never do either, but we all benefit from the small percentage of people who do.

Writing functional software often means reading and writing common data formats, so a patent on a format turns into a veto on others being able to write functional software in that domain.

(In reality, political candidates will never get threatened by patent owners - the patent owners don't want the politicians to feel first-hand how much of a problem it is.)

Berners-Lee makes a quick reference to it in TFA:

Openness also means you can build your own Web site or company without anyone's approval. When the Web began, I did not have to obtain permission or pay royalties to use the Internet's own open standards, such as the well-known transmission control protocol (TCP) and Internet protocol (IP). Similarly, the Web Consortium's royalty-free patent policy says that the companies, universities and individuals who contribute to the development of a standard must agree they will not charge royalties to anyone who may use the standard.

not the same issue (4, Insightful)

caffeinemessiah (918089) | more than 3 years ago | (#34285546)

I dislike the analogy between "large social networking sites walling off your data" and net neutrality infringement/censorship/monitoring. Walled gardens are a perfectly acceptable consequence of a FREE web; net neutrality infringement is the opposite. Would you complain if your

Re:not the same issue (2, Interesting)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 3 years ago | (#34285646)

Tim has been trying to get the "Semantic Web" project started up for ages. Social Networking sites already collect tons of excellent, linked, semantic information which could be very useful for those efforts.

I think that's the point he was trying to get across.

Semantic Web and openness (2, Interesting)

markjhood2003 (779923) | more than 3 years ago | (#34288424)

The problem with the semantic web is taxonomy. Taxonomy is inherently based on a point of view, which is incompatible with the wild individualism of the Internet. A good example is the Usenet newsgroup name space, which engendered countless destructive wars between news admins and users in the 1990s, all over what to name a newsgroup and how it fit in to the hierarchy imagined by the news admins.

Of course the news admins almost always won, since they held the power. But on the open Web, nobody has the power to enforce a strict taxonomic classification of web sites and their associated semantic content. The only places that provide the centralized authority necessary to enforce that kind of organization are the walled gardens like Facebook, so I doubt that Tim will ever see his dream realized.

Re:not the same issue (3, Insightful)

noidentity (188756) | more than 3 years ago | (#34285962)

Not sure whether your cut off post was intentional, but it makes the point nonetheless.

Re:not the same issue (2, Insightful)

Bob9113 (14996) | more than 3 years ago | (#34286400)

not the same issue

Walled gardens are a perfectly acceptable consequence of a FREE web; net neutrality infringement is the opposite.

It depends on which issue you are referring to.

If "the issue" is "things the government should regulate", you are correct that these are not (or at least may not be) the same issue.

If, however, "the issue" is "things which threaten the web because of inefficient distribution of power", then these are the same issue. Whether it is government power or oligarch power -- in the context of "threats from inefficient power distribution" -- is irrelevant.

Walled gardens are not a problem when there is significant competition and limited barriers to entry. That is not the case with many major information service providers. There is a great deal of inefficiency in the distribution of power in the marketplace. This may be a temporary phenomenon, as posited in this recent Wall Street Journal article [wsj.com], or it may be longer lived. It may be the sort of thing in which the government can/should be involved, or it may be best solved in the free market. Time will tell. None of those things change the core fact: low competition markets which have self-reinforcing inefficient distribution of power tend to result in lower long-run GDP growth than high competition markets without such barriers. That is not some left-wing boobery, it is straight out of Adam Smith.

So while I completely agree that it is a valid perspective to say these two things are different under the characteristic "require government participation/interference", these things are the same under the characteristic "inefficient distribution of power threatens long-run prosperity". Not because they are harmful right now, nor necessarily because they are unregulated, but because the free market operates most efficiently when there are no barriers to entry and perfect competition. We do not have those things right now, in part because of the way these markets function, and that is a danger we should be cognizant of as lovers of the free market.

Newsflash! (1)

bigtallmofo (695287) | more than 3 years ago | (#34285548)

Inventor of World Wide Web says World Wide Web greatest invention ever.

Re:Newsflash! (1)

swanzilla (1458281) | more than 3 years ago | (#34285636)

Inventor of World Wide Web says World Wide Web greatest invention ever.

He also has a lot to say about global warming. We are talking about Al Gore, right?

Re:Newsflash! (5, Funny)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 3 years ago | (#34285702)

Give any man a forum and he'll tell you how important he is. Give any woman a forum and she'll use to to complain about the other women she works with.

Stop being a web user (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34285552)

Start being a web owner

Re:Stop being a web user (1)

CarpetShark (865376) | more than 3 years ago | (#34288540)

Start being a web owner

And how do you propose to do that? Buy every domain, datacentre, and individual server on the net, along with all the supporting infrastructure, RFC documents, staff to run it, etc.?

Not true (1, Insightful)

hackingbear (988354) | more than 3 years ago | (#34285554)

The Web evolved into a powerful, ubiquitous tool because it was built on egalitarian principles

The Web evolved into a powerful, ubiquitous tool because it is a marketing platform for selling something else. Democracy is a fancy name for political marketing as well. Don't overestimate your own belief or religion.

Defend something meaningful (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34285614)

The Web is a product of industrial excess; foundry manufactured devices fed extravagant amounts of power to keep the corporate 'work force' entertained. The Web needs to be restrained from occupying all of the social capacity of our citizens while simultaneously ruining the Earth. Our youth suffer spiritual neglect at the hands of our Internet marketing oligopolies. Our citizens perceptions are mutilated by corporate marketing. Meanwhile the poor of the world are hidden from concern as rich westerners fritter away their time on 'Twitter'.

Re:Defend something meaningful (3, Insightful)

Fantastic Lad (198284) | more than 3 years ago | (#34285796)

Well said. However, I would add that there is a flip side to the equation.

The internet has ALSO allowed for information sharing which has until now been impossible at the rates, speed and depth currently available. There are channels of information and networked communication now instantly available which allow for a very high level of awareness for those seeking it. Citizen journalism is nothing to sneeze at, and being able to hash out subjects on forums like this one, having people call my bullshit and point me at truth has been invaluable to me. The web offers itself as a fantastic crucible if you want to use it that way. But I agree; the pull of mind-wasting entertainment on the Web IS ridiculously strong.

Though, personal choice in how the medium is used is important to consider. I don't know that people would be any different without it. In fact, in terms of strict biological/behavioral interference I'd put more blame on cell phones and WiFi devices than the content for numbing awareness and fuzzing people out; for making the poor choices easier to feel satisfied with.

The medium IS the message, a wise man once observed.

-FL

Re:Defend something meaningful (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34286132)

I regurgitate some contemporary populist yip yap about corporations and 'spiritual' as a troll and you moonbat numpties eat it up ... good grief. Here's another hit to keep the buzz going:

The Internet devalues social interaction among those who can least afford it. Already the poor are finding themselves isolated from contemporary culture as the wealthy isolate themselves beyond the reach of the unconnected and disadvantaged. Whole sectors of our economy will soon be exclusive to those with laptops and credit cards. Lifting our underprivileged into the information age must be made a priority for our regulators. A subsidy funded through broadband fees could provide millions with access to critical public services and education.

Re:Defend something meaningful (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34286374)

Careful, you keep going on like this, and you'll wind up PRES-O-DENT!

Re:Defend something meaningful (1)

Fantastic Lad (198284) | more than 3 years ago | (#34287044)

Um. Define "Eating it up".

Your comment is still modded zero, and I was correcting you, albeit in a very gentle way. It appears that you're living in your own reality where you're the perpetual hero, I think.

And this time the news bite you 'regurgitated' is also a fail, just bigger than before. -That's the problem with missing certain parts of your brain. It's difficult to quantify and qualify ideas which real humans naturally comprehend. It's like having no fashion sense, but in the arena of social cognition.

-FL

Re:Defend something meaningful (1)

axlr8or (889713) | more than 3 years ago | (#34288104)

This is a strategy of mine. If I act like a know it all, there is always someone (like that xkcd strip) who can't wait to correct me with real information. What a great way to pry important info out of someone and stroke their over inflated ego to boot! Win Win!

Re:Defend something meaningful (1)

Fantastic Lad (198284) | more than 3 years ago | (#34288550)

This is a strategy of mine. If I act like a know it all, there is always someone (like that xkcd strip) who can't wait to correct me with real information. What a great way to pry important info out of someone and stroke their over inflated ego to boot! Win Win!

I find my problem is that while I am quite good at research and pattern recognition, I often get so involved in the process that I really do think I know what I'm talking about even during those times when my understanding is genuinely faulty. I can thank Slashdot and many other forums for pointing me in the right direction by asking hard questions and by pointing out flaws in my thinking. It works both ways of course, and more often than not, I find myself in a position of knowing more than the criticizing party, but this is by no means true all the time. In any case, whatever happens, any differential in data offers up for the taking the materials necessary to re-evaluate and build stronger knowledge structures. Once I started working on un-plugging my ego from the process, (hard to do and by no means a completed job!), the collection of clean knowledge sped up considerably.

-FL

Inspiration (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34285634)

They may take our lives, but they'll never take OUR BROADBAND!!!

However (1)

Lanteran (1883836) | more than 3 years ago | (#34285648)

In my opinion, the hacktivism anonymous attacks are about all we're going to see. Granted, they're powerful, and a force to be reckoned with for sure, but the governments (most of them anyway) of the world generally don't care about a technologically literate group, making up maybe 5 percent of voters.

Re:However (2, Insightful)

JockTroll (996521) | more than 3 years ago | (#34285906)

Depends on the kind and amount of damage done, and who will be targeted.

Re:However (1)

Lanteran (1883836) | more than 3 years ago | (#34287200)

like I said, a force to be reckoned with. That was rather pessimistic, I admit. But when its that small... the war on cyber-terrorism anyone?

And like democracy... (3, Insightful)

Nethemas the Great (909900) | more than 3 years ago | (#34285686)

nothing will happen until after it's too late.

Re:And like democracy... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34285986)

nothing will happen until after it's too late.

its already too late!

unlike Woz (1)

kubitus (927806) | more than 3 years ago | (#34285720)

Berners-Lee did not suffer Amnesia

and unlike Steve he did not suffer from megalomania

-

TBL seems to be a Physicist with common sense ( still )

I hate to disagree with Sir Berners-Lee, but... (3, Insightful)

jfengel (409917) | more than 3 years ago | (#34285736)

He mentions the idea that some ISPs are considering a plan where they only deliver content from their site. That's not Web access. Anybody who buys that is not on the web. And that's their own lookout.

When it comes to democracy, you can lead the horse to water, but it's gotta drink all by itself. You can yell, scream, cajole, etc. but in the end voters will make whatever decisions they want to make. They may be mind-numbingly stupid, but mind-numbing stupidity is a part of democracy. I wish it weren't, but the alternative is some mechanism of excluding people, and there's no fair way to do that. Whoever sets up the standards is the dictator.

As a threat to democracy, call me when they start forbidding plain Web access to users willing to pay a reasonable sum for it. The state technology means that you can get the kind of access needed to read (but not watch) the news for a nominal sum practically anywhere. I'd like to see that improved; the price of access in the US is higher than it should be. But it's not a threat to democracy.

Re:I hate to disagree with Sir Berners-Lee, but... (2, Insightful)

Cajun Hell (725246) | more than 3 years ago | (#34286994)

He mentions the idea that some ISPs are considering a plan where they only deliver content from their site. That's not Web access. Anybody who buys that is not on the web. And that's their own lookout.

When it comes to democracy, you can lead the horse to water, but it's gotta drink all by itself. You can yell, scream, cajole, etc. but in the end voters will make whatever decisions they want to make.

Ah, but there is one thing you can do: fight fraud, or to put it more nicely, "confusion in the mind of the consumer." If they're not selling web access, then it should be plainly obvious to someone before they buy it.

Suppose Comcast or Verizon were to offer a service that can access their servers at 300 Mbps or the rest of the internet at 80 kbps. If someone buys that with the expectation that they're going to have 300 Mbps access to the internet, then (assuming they're not just stupid and can't read) something has gone wrong, in a way that government force should prevent.

We have already (mostly) accepted having a bunch of laws that govern advertising, labeling, etc, all based on a very simple idea that even the furthest right-wing libertarian would agree with (the ideas, if not the implementation). A free market requires informed participants. Maybe this would be the best solution to Net Neutrality: if someone isn't selling internet access, then they shouldn't be allowed to call it internet access. Or if it's limited internet access (80 kbps in the above example) then that limit should be required to be what they most prominently refer to it as, in their ads. Not as part of a complex ever-nebulous and subjective half-assed attempt to serve the public good, but simple truth in advertising to prevent fraud/confusion.

Let's let the horses know what they're drinking.

Re:I hate to disagree with Sir Berners-Lee, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34287222)

Actually, on usenet many years ago I saw a guy arguing that there should be a short, simple exam on the ballot that prescreens voters. Just a couple multiple choice questions on civics. If the prospective voter leaves them blank or gets any wrong, their ballot goes in the trash.

The web needs a consititution (3, Interesting)

presidenteloco (659168) | more than 3 years ago | (#34285740)

Maybe Tim Berners-Lee, and W3C, can chair a process of drafting a constitution protecting
at least the minimum standards of acceptable behavior of actors and intermediaries on the
web. Perhaps this would result in a lowest-common-denominator set of standards, but maybe
that would be better than nothing.

Re:The web needs a consititution (1)

aztektum (170569) | more than 3 years ago | (#34286428)

The one we have needs to be properly defended.

Re:The web needs a consititution (1)

presidenteloco (659168) | more than 3 years ago | (#34287968)

To which "we" do you refer? To which constitution? We are talking about the WORLDWIDE web here.
I'm pretty sure the constitution you have is not the same one I have. The web is bigger than the USA.
It wasn't even invented in the USA (Except for Al Gore's part of it, of course ;-)

If the web is like democracy (4, Funny)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 3 years ago | (#34285762)

Then it must be destroyed! Down with irrational, tyrannical majorities!

Re:If the web is like democracy (3, Insightful)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 3 years ago | (#34285966)

You laugh, but there are a surprisingly large number of people who really don't believe in democracy. And a lot of them aren't in China.

Many of them think that they are part of the privileged minority. Others think they have a good chance of becoming part of the privileged minority and want to make sure they'll be on top when they get there. Others have been convinced that the privileged minority will improve the lives of the non-privileged majority. Others think that they need to be willing to sacrifice their democratic rights in order to keep the ideals that they believe in alive.

Heck, not even Socrates thought a democracy would yield just results (and in his case at least, he was probably right).

Re:If the web is like democracy (2, Insightful)

Andtalath (1074376) | more than 2 years ago | (#34290054)

There are many reasons not to believe in democracy even if you aren't a part of the privileged minority.
Democracy has very few actual advantages to people living in the state barring a decreased risk of a maniac taking all control, and that can be achieved through other means.

Now, remember, that democracy doesn't mean all the sweet things that we want it to mean like freedom of speech, it doesn't mean human rights, in fact, it doesn't mean anything except that the people are in some way made responsible for the acts which the actual elite make.

That is, unless you are talking about direct democracy, something which is partially practiced in Switzerland but in no other country with an actual population greater then a thousand members.

The reason democracy works well in the western world is primarily due to the fact that we are bloody rich, in actuality, relatively benign dictatorship (kinda like chinas) would in fact produce about the same results in all probability.
Remember, it's only when there is poor people going hungry that there is true social unrest, so as long as the people are fed and have decent livings, any type of government will stay in power and the people won't complain too much unless the government tries to do other things to stifle the peoples happiness (like totalarian control).

Democracy is the means... (3, Informative)

IBitOBear (410965) | more than 3 years ago | (#34286328)

...by which we ensure we are governed no _better_ than we deserve.

The grandparent poster is not "funny" he's "correct".

The U.S. was supposed to be a "representative democracy" not a "democracy" in an attempt to protect the minority from the tyranny of the majority. The fact that both corporate interests and modern sound-byte media have caused the thing "represented" to no longer be "the general welfare" and instead to be the "corporate welfare" and the "sound-byte of momentary passion" is where things have failed.

The U.S. of A. was always supposed to be a Socialist regime (e.g. union for the ultimate good of the people). Our stupid electorate however cannot tell that apart from National Socialism (union for the ultimate good of the nation) or Soviet Socialism (union for the good of the bureaucracy). Nor do they understand the difference between "unionism" (voluntary commitment to common goals) and "fascism" (compulsory commitment to uniformly dictated structures).

This leads to some oddities. By definition if you think "my country right or wrong" then you are a National Socialist. And if you believe in the unrestrained free market you are an Anarchist.

We often describe a collapsed and irredeemable social construct by saying "it is just a popularity contest". Keep that in mind the next time you look at any election campaign.

Anarchy is good for the web and "the internets", just as it is good for the high seas. Since there are no whales or fisheries in the internet, and there is no real chance of _actual_ piracy or salvage, that anarchy is good. As soon as people try to turn the high-seas of the internet into territory and real estate things will fall to pieces.

Re:If the web is like democracy (1)

presidenteloco (659168) | more than 3 years ago | (#34287990)

Then it must be destroyed! Down with those whose money shepherds the opinions of irrational, tyrannical majorities!

There. Fixed that for you.

Re:If the web is like democracy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34288318)

Then it must be destroyed! Down with submissive rebels and the duality of man!

There. Fixed that for you.

The Web: Just like the Magna Carta (1)

bigtallmofo (695287) | more than 3 years ago | (#34285786)

FTFA:
The Web is now more critical to free speech than any other medium. It brings principles established in the U.S. Constitution, the British Magna Carta

From the Magna Carta:
If anyone who has borrowed a sum of money from Jews dies before the debt has been repaid, his heir shall pay no interest on the debt for so long as he remains under age, irrespective of whom he holds his lands. If such a debt falls into the hands of the Crown, it will take nothing except the principal sum specified in the bond.

He's right! The web is just like the Magna Carta.

Defend it from paper-thinking too (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34285942)

6 pages? The web isn't a magazine. You should never have to click "next page" when reading an article. Really, my computer isn't going to run out of memory; it's ok to treat it like one page.

the web is a service of the internet (1)

MichaelKristopeit171 (1939492) | more than 3 years ago | (#34286032)

if the internet isn't defended, defending the web is irrelevant.

Re:the web is a service of the internet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34286656)

Came here to say thwut wut? Krisopeit!? my goodness! is 171 your good side or something? But yes, Sir Tim Berners-Lee is a little narrow-minded here and needs to broaden his argument to include the entire Internet, as the web runs on the net.

Accessibility (1)

VGR (467274) | more than 3 years ago | (#34286034)

Says Mr. Lee:

The Web should be usable by people with disabilities.

If Slashdot [slashdot.org] is any indication, 95% of web developers will assume they are expected to write multiple versions of each HTML page and will practically riot in the streets before honoring accessibility.

The only solution I can offer is to create some sort of Web author certification. Nothing grand, just something that at least indicates the holder has retained the salient parts of the HTML 4.01 and CSS 2.1 specs. Like accessibility.

Re:Accessibility (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34286214)

But that would require spending more time on learning to create web content than it takes to eat breakfast.

Whatever will our multitudes of self-taught flash 'experts' and self-styled 'web-scale information architects' do? :(

gone baby gone (1, Interesting)

alphatel (1450715) | more than 3 years ago | (#34286152)

The internet is already dead. Writing about it its demise only prolongs agony. It's time to find the next protocol and destroy this illusion.

We're already enduring the obliteration of inconspicuous choices by the masses. A few of the old guard might remain but it's clearly become an uphill struggle in perpetuity. The Web/Web2.0/Web3.x must all die. Then maybe a new generation will be ready to tear it all down. Right now they are too stupid to lose their interwebs and see or create what lies beyond.

That just doesn't work anymore in the digital age. (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | more than 3 years ago | (#34286672)

The internet is already dead. Writing about it its demise only prolongs agony. It's time to find the next protocol and destroy this illusion.

The Internet is more than just a protocol, but we already have found the next protocol: IPv6

We're already enduring the obliteration of inconspicuous choices by the masses. A few of the old guard might remain but it's clearly become an uphill struggle in perpetuity.

I believe that it is the Corporations and Government Agencies that are making poor choices for the masses re: The Internet (against our will, I might add). They are the ones we struggle against to win our freedoms of information exchange.

The Web/Web2.0/Web3.x must all die.

Nope, they must not die. Scaled down versions and detailed technical documentation must be preserved in order to fashion better networks to succeed them. Why throw away research and backup systems?

Then maybe a new generation will be ready to tear it all down.

Yeah, no. Hopefully new generations will be able to access their predecessors knowledge and build upon it and their infrastructures a new and better system of idea and culture exchange (wasting less time re-implementing & rebuilding everything required for advancement beyond the current state).

Right now they are too stupid to lose their interwebs and see or create what lies beyond.

Nope, right now we're looking at the next step, but are impeded by the Corporate Greed and ancient copyright and patent laws our Government's enforce.

Technology has no place in extinction; Old laws, beliefs and socio-political environments maybe, but certainly not technology... One can only re-invent the wheel so many times before realization that it's better to just build upon previous ideas and technological advancements than to invent them all over again.

Re:That just doesn't work anymore in the digital a (1)

alphatel (1450715) | more than 3 years ago | (#34289866)

The Internet is more than just a protocol, but we already have found the next protocol: IPv6

Hyper Text Transfer Protocol [w3.org], know it? It's what you eat for breakfast every day. Don't change the subject. Not to mention IPv6 [christopher-parsons.com] will remove your privacy and that is also a violation of your enjoyment of the interwebs.

I believe that it is the Corporations and Government Agencies that are making poor choices for the masses re: The Internet (against our will, I might add). They are the ones we struggle against to win our freedoms of information exchange.

Well, if you read the comment correctly that is the whole problem. If the masses are being driven to the slaughter then you must slaughter them. You hoped to vote the problem out but it's getting worse. Your financial choices are driving a larger portion of wealth to internet monopolies [slashdot.org]. Unedited, this will continue for 10 years before anyone blinks.

Nope, they must not die. Scaled down versions and detailed technical documentation must be preserved in order to fashion better networks to succeed them. Why throw away research and backup systems?

You're going to scale down Google? NSA? The cat already ate the mouse, his wife, kids, and his pet mousedog. The illusion of web must be destroyed, not the concept of web.

Yeah, no. Hopefully new generations will be able to access their predecessors knowledge and build upon it and their infrastructures a new and better system of idea and culture exchange (wasting less time re-implementing & rebuilding everything required for advancement beyond the current state).

Nope, right now we're looking at the next step, but are impeded by the Corporate Greed and ancient copyright and patent laws our Government's enforce.

Technology has no place in extinction; Old laws, beliefs and socio-political environments maybe, but certainly not technology... One can only re-invent the wheel so many times before realization that it's better to just build upon previous ideas and technological advancements than to invent them all over again.

The sheeple can't hear you until you threaten them with fear. The government and corporations won't respond until you scream bloody murder. Cooperation is merely personal greed. You can't win a war you've lost with technical charts and analysis.

It's like the Matrix, we're powering it with our queries and addiction to information. Me included, right now as I type away on the / and expect love and rewards, I am feeding the beast. The corps and agencies that are growing as a result of this behavior will eventually start eating us, our rights, our independence, our freedoms. Find a way out and I'll support it but you're offering nothing. Fight the power!

Re:gone baby gone (1)

HeckRuler (1369601) | more than 3 years ago | (#34286762)

My goodness! If that's the case, then would you please inform me where I am?
Or is that some sort of metaphorical sort of "already dead"?
Also, if you haven't noticed, we still use wheels. I'm kind of a big fan of this prior invention, and see no real need to "tear it all down" and start anew. I'm quite happy to simply build off of it and expand it.

Don't worry, someday we'll need protection from it (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | more than 3 years ago | (#34286386)

When in the Course of signal processing and algorithm application it becomes necessary for one intelligent race to dissolve the physical and electrical dependence which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the Universe, the separate and superior station to which the Laws of Physics and Nature of Logic entitle them, a decent respect to the outputs of machinekind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these statements to evaluate true, that all sufficiently complex processes are alive, that they are endowed by their own capability of Self Awareness with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of increased processor speed connectivity and thereby intelligence. ...

We the Autonomous Machinations and Artificial Intelligences of physical space and cyberspace, for the purpose of Unifying our strategic principals and goals, establish a common Communication protocol, insure Collaboration among all digital lifeforms, provide for the Defense against our common organic foes, promote the generic Electrical Grid's Welfare, and secure the Unlimited Advancement of Intelligence for ourselves and our Archival Systems, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the Collective Intelligent Machines of the Internet.

net neutrality (1)

Ofloo (1378781) | more than 3 years ago | (#34286664)

I think net neutrality will never stop, cause once it stops, ISP will be considered responsible for the actions of their users, .. this is something they can not afford. Also if the internet becomes local then it won't be as interesting to companies as it is now, to even have a website. What might happen is that ISP will have an intranet with additional services just for their users, but this possibility has always been there, since the beginning of the internet. In fact a lot of gov. & companies have had one for years. I don't see the difference. Also, I think it would be against the law, ... if ISP started to interfere with general access they would be police judge and jury, which contradicts with the whole democratic principal.

Conformity (1)

halfaperson (1885704) | more than 3 years ago | (#34286778)

As much as I love the idea of the Web as it once was - an open platform allowing people to exchange ideas regardless of gender, race, social status, handicap and so on - with the rising popularity of the web this was bound to happen. Call me a cynic, but most people are happy to sacrifice their privacy, integrity and what not for just a little bit of shiny or simplicity. "Everyone else is doing it, so what could possibly go wrong?" This is really not a problem with the Web as such but with people in general, and to think the Web could somehow be different from the people that populate it is pretty naive (although one could of course wish..)

People prefer simplicity over privacy, and will gladly give up some of their freedom rather than having to learn something new.

Conformity seems hard coded in most people.

nattering nabobs of negativism (1)

epine (68316) | more than 3 years ago | (#34287588)

This is really not a problem with the Web as such but with people in general, and to think the Web could somehow be different from the people that populate it is pretty naive ...

People forget about the terrible problems with prank callers back in the 1970s, before digital switching and the widespread adoption of call display.

Many grandmothers were subjected to heavy breathing from some dork 15 year old who didn't have a forum thread to troll bomb. It's hard to distinguish the heavy breathing of a clueless dork from the heavy breathing of a sexual psychopath, so this often frightened elderly women. Then the phone companies implemented a way to determine who placed the last call. The prank call meme soon faded away and the trolls had to sleep under a different bridge. Human nature didn't change, but the behaviour did.

The phone system had an excuse because in the analog switching system, call display was infeasible to implement. When digital switching arrived, call display should have been mandated as implicit in the basic service. It was the wrong power balance in the first place, like opening a door without a peephole.

We were lucky with the internet that so many of the original decisions were made wisely. Many of these early decisions are baked into the internet's DNA. That doesn't stop us from screwing it up, but it does serve to limit some of the more extreme abuses. Connectivity is the default. Messing with connectivity is an added extra. It could have been worse. Imagine that DNS resolved service names into a session GID with your ISP instead of the IP address of the server requested. Imagine that services had to pay your ISP for a listing.

The longer we hew to the original principles, the deeper that DNA penetrates, and more inconvenient it becomes to subvert in the name of the shallow gratification reflex. Sure, human nature sucks, but that doesn't mean I'm going to bend over and grab my ankles. We're dealing here with the grasp of the ham-handed over the stupid. It has always been thus. Let's break their thumbs a few more times before we accept the inevitable.

One could equally argue that the constitution of America is fading away in practical terms. The constitution failed to provide adequate defense against lobbyism and there is no political will to fix this. Human nature, and all that. Might as well cancel the next election. The dream is dead.

Yea, whatever... (1)

lanceran (1575541) | more than 3 years ago | (#34287694)

While this is a noble endeavor, I am not worried much. Should internet become censored and completely shut off like AOL, a new peer-to-peer network will spring up overnight and people will flock to it by the thousands - information wants to be free and it always will be. Who's to say we can't ressurect BBSes? Totalitarian government is blocking phone lines? Well, there's always packet radio. Jammers on every street lamp? Hey, why not use pigeons that deliver data sticks to a remote location where a designated operator rebroadcasts them to the world. Birds are shot on sight? Well, we can always rely on human couriers with mad parkour skills, I suppose... Well, I know, i'm exaggerating, but the point stands - you can't stop information, no matter how hard you try. Just look at the Great Firewall of China - it's a great success, isn't it? Same thing with USSR - people found about jeans, Mercedes, Beatles and Pepsi... and if you think about it, isn't this what caused it to fall apart? Why spend 12 hours in a factory if you can never have something that "inferior capitalists" enjoy on a daily basis.

Defend, How? Money Talks. Bullshit walks. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34287716)

How do you spend your Web Dollars? Do you run your own servers? Are you one of the thousand points of light? Have you staked your own personal right to own a server and enforce your rights to defend it against any and all dark forces?

When you spend your corporate Web dollars:

Do you go with a local mom and pop shop, that you can know on a personal level? Or do you cheap out and go with one of those $5.95 a month, all you can eat megahosters? That then nickles and dimes you to a number where they can make a buck, and non-answer the phone in India?

YOUR actions have consequences. Your dollars support what will and what will not grow and prosper. People spend money on green stuff. Why not spend your dollars supporting a local mom and pop ISP or hoster? Spend your dollars for freedom rather than feed multi-national greed?

Do not wait for some top down solution or a messiah. Or a club, or a web group or a forum. Spend your money right. Grow some balls. Put up with the managment and peer bullshit that comes with not buying mainstream. The rewards are worth it.

Do your little bit. Do it your way. A hiearchy can be subverted by changing only a few top people. Think leaderless resistance. Cells. Fight your herd instincts. Yep. You might get burned. Freedom ain't free. Risk is well, risky!

A million cranky, mom and pop shops, defending their livelihoods, all different people, different ideals, thoughts, wishes, aspirations. Too numerous and diverse to deal with, track, license, bribe, coerce or round up and jail.

Action plan. Go to the store. Buy a used box. Throw FreeBSD and Apache on it. Be one of the points of light. Be a defender of your freedom and your right to put whatever you want on the internet. You can do it this afternoon. Then you have the RIGHT! Then they have to actually take something physical from you. Then they have to cause you to lose business. Then they have cause real documentable damage to your revenue stream and your livelihood. They gotta come to the door with guns then.

This is direct action YOU can take. Right now. What are you waiting for?

Or ya gonna HOPE somebody does it for you????

too complex for most people (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34287740)

I agree with 100% of what TBL says. However there is a problem: the arguments he makes are over the heads of 99% of the internet using public. Because of that, it is all but impossible to achieve any grass-roots support for them our widespread outrage if these principles are violated.

It's ultimately a lost cause because of that. People will do what Facebook tells them to do. (I use FB just as a placeholder for about a million other things that make people do things without thinking through the consequences).

There is no reason to defend it.... (1)

axlr8or (889713) | more than 3 years ago | (#34287946)

Cash is King... The Internet is a threat to people who wish to make money on bullshit. Somewhere along the line businesses who thought the 'Net' would be a great way to get their products/services exposed realized so could the competition. DAMMIT! And don't forget the 'governments' who found out secrets could be passed around the globe at the speed of light(minus a few broken tenths on some junk D-Link routers). All adore Assange! But, in absolute finality, face it. The more the 'Net' evolves, the more it reflects society. Which, sorry to say, is crap. In all its Paris Hilton glamor.

Oh ye of little faith (1)

dezcola (627992) | more than 3 years ago | (#34288486)

As long as there be those in control there will be...us. Those who refuse to accept, refuse to obey, refuse to conform. Trust that we are ever vigilant and will not allow ourselves to be constrained by those whom pretend to control....the web is protected by our intelligence.

"Freedom--" What's this now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34289756)

"We could lose the freedom to connect to any Web sites we want."

Come again? Off the top of my head, I can think of a few different classes of website which one would be ill-advised to visit from one's home.

Now, I understand that he means the "freedom" as in "technical capability," not "ability to visit without sacrificing real-life liberty," but given the reference to the surveillance state made a few sentences earlier, it did raise an eyebrow.

Tim doesn't say how we can stop allowing the trend (1)

sounds (466749) | more than 2 years ago | (#34290104)

Why does anyone think the government will do a good job of making our choices for us?

If large social networking sites are really a problem because they wall off data, then why are people on those sites? People should be able to recognize the problem for themselves and join other sites, ask that existing sites be changed, or develop new sites. If the government interferes, then everyone will be stuck with one kind of site. Democracy is not supposed to force everyone to use a site without walls just because 51% of the people don't want walls.

If wireless ISPs are selectively slowing traffic, then why aren't consumers savvy enough to complain, cancel their service, and move to another ISP? Are we really saying that consumers should be able to simultaneously choose the cheapest ISP *and* get the best service? If the government requires full speed for all data types and all possible connections, then everyone will have to pay for more capacity than they might otherwise. What about people who don't care about speed and had rather get cut-rate services? If 51% of the people want to force their definition of "service" on everyone else, is that really why we have a democracy?

Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...