Who's Internet is it? Mine! Mine! Mine!
July 26, 2006
Latest news out of Information Week is on who owns the Internet. If you haven't given this much thought - perhaps you should.
The Internet was invented by scientists here in the U.S. It wasn't what it is today, nor was it invented to become what it is today. But, it was invented here.
ICANN, the Internet naming group that controls the dot-coms and dot-nets and dot-edus, to name a few ways of identifying websites on the net, is U.S. based. It's a public org, but some folks think it's time to make it a private org.
Here's a quote from the article by Johanna Ambrosio, "The European Union has been particularly vocal in its criticism of the way ICANN runs now. In fact, lots of foreign voices have been raised in support of the privatization idea, pointing out that something as critical to worldwide commerce as the Internet shouldn't be dominated or controlled by one country. Others, though, say the U.S. government invented the Internet (back when it was Arpanet, a packet-switched network used to share research among universities), and so it's only fair that America retain control over a resource it created to begin with."
What does that mean? What if...control of the Internet was part of an international group - how would that change our lives? How would that change the medium? if you don't know...if you don't even have an opinion, I suggest you hop over to this link, and give it some attention.
While it's nice to think you own what you own, online - the truth is vastly different. At risk is control of everything you own online, and everything I own, and so on and so on. Who gets to say how the Internet works? You or me? The folks at ICANN or a national consortium of European professionals? Or, Big Brother? If I'm reading these articles correctly, the kinds of changes being considered could turn the whole Internet world upsidedown.
Bears thinking about. So far, there are only male respondents to Johanna's article. Ladies, we need to speak up. It's OUR Internet, too!
I'm off to Blogher. See some of you there. To all others - hop back tomorrow for the continuation of the woodsy trip. And, see here where some others are posting about it, too!
Thanks for bringing this great article to our attention. I was recently speaking about this very subject with a good friend of mine. We were talking about what it would take to build another Internet that's not owned by the government. It's an interesting question to ponder. I, too, noticed the need for female commentary so, I posted my comment, which I'll share here as well.
My $2 mil,
Lena L. West
Here's the deal:
The US government thinks they own the Internet just like they think they own everything. And, for the first time in my life, I agree with them. Here's why:
The US government is stubborn. Once it declares ownership, there's going to have to be a jihad or an Internet sit-in to convice them otherwise. Plus, there's no doubt that the technology was invented in the US. But, it would be NOTHING without the global communities it serves to connect. It's like slavery, slave masters owned the land but the land would be worth nothing if it weren't for the slaves who developed it. But, I digress...
So, I say, let's "give" the Internet to the US government. But, let's be open to rising countries, like India or China, developing another Internet.
Unbeknownst to many people in the US (and other places), there is already Internet 2. They say it's used for schools and some government use but, who knows? The US government has said a lot of things that turn out to be untrue. The Internet 2 is backed by major universities (NYU, Columbia, etc.) and major corporations (Sun, Microsoft, etc.) but no one talks about it really. Hmmm...
So, I'm getting off my soapbox now and I say all this to say:
The US government may own the Internet and I say we let them have it. But, I'd support India or China or many countries getting together and creating an alternate Internet anyday.
Posted by: Lena L. West | July 29, 2006 at 12:28 PM