JCL Blog

Golden Age of the Internet (ending now?)

About a year ago I argued in this post that the Internet would eventually be regulated and we should work to regulate it in a way that works.  I still think that someday the government will get its hands on the Internet and the outcome will most likely be bad.  For that reason I propose that we are currently watching the sun set on the golden age of the internet.  Soon government regulation will be added to the ever suffocating weight of security issues and we will no longer be able to have free access to all web sites or the pace of innovation that we have enjoyed over the past 15 years.

I site the Protect IP bill currently working its way through the halls of Conress as support for my argument.  If passed, this bill will allow the government broad powers to prevent citizens from accessing certain web sites. This affront to free speech would undoubtedly be used by rights holders (entrenched businesses) to prevent innovation.  If you are interested in this subject at all, please visit:  www.demandprogress.org.

Leo Laporte and his guests on TWIT had a great segment at the end of the show on Sunday about this.  Go to the last 7 minutes of the show.  Soon we could be saying: Remember when we used to be able to [your favorite online activity here] on the Internet?

I happen to think that if an Internet dark ages does come about, the overriding maxim of information wants to be free will eventually prevail.  Maybe we would have another round of offshore pirates like we did in the '60s as depicted in the movie Pirate Radio.  A new Internet, located in the ocean and not in any country, beaming its signal directly to the users without government interference.