Tim Berners-Lee recently wrote a piece on Scientific American, about the demise of the web, calling for continued net neutrality. The Web is an integral part of society and as important as electricity to the modern user. The web was built on open standards and in order to maintain the innovation it should remain open.
The first bad rumblings of the companies trying to meter out connections was Comcast slowing P2P traffice in 2008. Lately we have Google and Verizon trying to say that wireless internet isn’t really internet at all, and should be under different rules.
Today Level 3, which carries video traffic for Netflix, stated Comcast was asking for fees to carry video to Comcast subscribers. This would go against the net neutrality legislation to be issued by the FCC before Christmas. Comcast is also in a bid to purchase NBC Universal, which will give the company a monopoly on not just the content, but also the transmission of content.
Are we heading to a more Chinese version of the web, where we will not be able to create a web page. But will have to go through a service and get permission depending on the content. Is Facebook the future of the web? Or just a social network on the web?
I don’t agree with everything that’s on the web, the same way I don’t love all books. But I am against burning books, even the ones I find repulsive. In order to learn about the weird people and things in our world we may have to read or watch video about things we disagree with. Law enforcement can study strange groups, that may be a threat to us; because they use the web.
Knowledge is power, and I believe in the free flow of knowledge and innovation; which means we don’t charge for it! I believe the web is part of our infrastructure at this point, and should be protected under national security. Our civilization in the US has to a great part become dependent on THE WEB! It would be crazy to complain to other countries who monitor their citizens web, only to move in that direction ourselves. But in place of Government control, we will have Corporate control. I actually trust the government more, at least they go for a vote every few years.
Last note is I read that Facebook may want to patent the word Face, I hope this is a bad dream and that the US Patent office doesn’t let companies Patent words in the dictionary. If it happens I will patent Elbow, maybe I can make money from Tennis players!