Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Regulate the Internet!

There have been many movements designed to wrest control of the internet away from private interests.

Visions of usage fees, desires to stamp out ideologies, and a simple hankering to control all things human are the chief forces behind these movements.

The UN, Congress, and now the G8 are huddling in their palaces devising strategies in which to control, further regulate, and curb our human thoughts in this newest of human frontiers.

This quote in the New York Times got my attention, spoken by one who is considered one of Europe's most conservative statesmen:

[...] Mr. Sarkozy, who convened a special gathering of the global digerati in Paris on the eve of the G-8 meeting. Calling the rise of the Internet a “revolution,” Mr. Sarkozy compared its impact to that of two previous transforming episodes in global history: the age of exploration and the industrial revolution.

The Internet revolution “doesn’t have a flag, it doesn’t have a slogan, it belongs to everyone,” he said, citing the recent uprisings in the Arab world as examples of its positive effects.

Before an audience that included top executives of some of the world’s largest Internet companies, including Google, Facebook, Amazon and eBay, he added, however: “The universe you represent is not a parallel universe. Nobody should forget that governments are the only legitimate representatives of the will of the people in our democracies. To forget this is to risk democratic chaos and anarchy.”
No, it doesn't have a flag and it doesn't have a slogan. And yet, Nicolas Sarkozy sees the internet, while being unowned by anyone, as a conduit for government control because government is the only legitimate representative of the people.

So much for the electronic economies that have burgeoned because of the internet outside of government control, the millions of jobs they have helped create, the efficiencies that have grown, the new sciences that have been expanded because of it, and the expansive personal freedoms that have exploded as a result of switches, routers, and the home computer.

All completely illegitimate.

Pipe it through the government and those geniuses in charge of it (such as Mr. Sarkozy himself,) and you might get his blessing. Otherwise, get bent.

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