End of the internet?

Again "Rough brother" and the "Coarse media" could lock the Internet spirit back into his bottle

In the last two years, an increasingly pessimistic view has become an increasingly pessimistic view when it comes to the future of freedom and freedom of expression, especially in connection with the Internet. This is a completely reversal of almost limitless optimism, which I felt between 1994 and 1999. During this time, the public access to the Internet grew and innovative new forms of communications appeared shortly in a short time. In this epoch, I was completely convinced that the universal access to the Internet was a weapon that was compensated for the centralization and concentration of governments and mass media, which continued to secure the freedom of expression and unlimited access to information. In addition, the Internet was able to use it, which was reasonably useful, even preventing personal freedoms operated jointly by governments and mass media by using information by the Internet behind the barriers, which totalitar and autorite regimes had built around the waistband of mainstreamers.

So convinced I was from the potential of the Internet as a means of global unregulated and direct communication between persons that I spent the big part of three years to develop Speak Freely for Unix and Windows: a free (public domain) Internet telephony program with one Coding, as you used the militar. Why I did that? Because I believed that a world in which everyone with internet access with one’s completely private and a fraction of the cost, which devours a common phone call, a better world ware as a world without this communication.

Computers and the Internet, like all technologies, are a double-edged sword: whether they improve or worsen the framework conditions for people, depends on who controls these technologies and how they are used. The coarse part of Science Fiction, which computers treated and written in the 50s to the start of the personal computer in the 1970s, served with the potential advent of tyrannyies (worse than those so far in the history of humanity given), with societies controlled by centralist computers, and the risk of establishing computer and central databases, with the best intentions, also unintentionally drove to the emergence of such dystopia.

The advent of the personal computer returned these dims scenarios to the opposite. The Mooresche Law was relentlessly proven: The performance of the computers doubled almost every two years, while the costs remained the same. So this time was expected that within a few years the majority of the computers worldwide in the hands of individual goods. And indeed – rough organizations that have so far been a fast monopoly on computer, often used outdated gates whose performance compared to those used to using teenagers for computer games. In less than five years, computers were used equally decentralized as best televisions.

But there is a rough difference between a computer and a TV: the TV can only receive what is selected by the broadcasters. But the computer can be used to create content – programs, documents, images: media of any kind that can be exchanged with other computer users (as soon as the problem is the problem of countercompatibility, maybe sometime in the next five centuries).

A dream becomes reality

Personal computer, formerly isolated, began almost immediately more immediately to the means of communication than "computer" to develop – and truly is the communication, not the calculation, their true determination. Online Services such as CompuServe and Genius provided file archives, access to data and discussion forums in which computer users (with appropriate modem and after registration) could make, communicate and exchange data. BBS (BULLETIN BOARD SYSTEMS), FIDONET and UUCP / USENET stored decentralized communication between PC users in the form of mail or newsgroups or. Introduced this further, which culminated in the explosive growth of individual Internet access in the spatements of 90s.

Finally the dream had become truth. Individuals around the world now had the power to produce and exchange information of any kind and spontaneously virtual "Communities" to build; and all in a decentralized form, free of any restrictions or regulations (apart from the already defined criminal activities, in which pursuit it is irrelevant, whether they were committed with or without the help of the computer).

The actual structure of the Internet seemed to be technical proof for trials "Bottle spirit back to his bottle to banish", Futless ended. "The Internet Treats Censorship Like Damage and Routes Around IT." (This observation is currently attributed to John Gilmore and John Nagle; I did not like to enter this debate here.) Surely, authoritar companies that lose the awesome of the control of the information provided to the population, could scrap or filter access to the Internet. But by doing this, they were simultaneously narrowing their competitiveness towards other states, which has unrestricted access to worldwide information. In any case, the Internet, as well as censored books, videos or satellite firing, has enough paths to penetrate even into the most oppressive societies, at least superfless.

Without a doubt, this explosive technical and social phenomena was something that the many institutions, which are primarily a reduction in their control over the flow of information as well as the possibilities of interaction between people, with discomfort. Suddenly press freedom was not only respected those who so far enjoyed as a privilege, it was succinctly almost omnipresent: media and news, which could only be strewn to a limited audience (and associated with coarse difficulties and high costs), could now be provided worldwide almost free of charge. They not only avoided the mass media, but overall limits; Without zensch, censorship or regulation.

To be honest: Of course, there were also attempts of "Responsible," The power you lost so suddenly to restore. For example, attempts to redeem the dissemination and / or use of closure techniques, Key Escrow, the fiasco of the clipper chip, content restricted laws such as the computer decency act and the successful action against Napster. But most of these efforts failed or proved to be ineffective, because the internet "An avoidance route searched", So other ways to finished the idea begun.

Ultimately, it was the increase in useful, international opensource alternatives to the commercial software that seemed to guarantee that control was based on the computer and the Internet outside the possibilities of a government or a software manufacturer. Any attempt to provide commercial software with more restrictions has been made of open source alternatives only readersome and accelerate its acceptance.

So I saw things on the euphoric highlight of my current optimism. Just as the transition between expansion and contracting in a universe with o gross as 1 a proof of this was that the big bang has exceeded only very slowly the threshold to a rough collapse, but this was always more compelling through the events. I had thought so soon, there was no way to give the "Bottle spirit internet back to his bottle to banish". In this essay, I put a timetable for just this entry. This is probably the prerequisite for a political authoritarian, intellectually dark age, which is global in the exhaust and self-preservation. There will be a disempowerment of the individual, which, what so many tyrannies in the past has been put together, decreased again: innovation and manifold of thought.

An indication of the style I use in this article: as well as in my earlier work Unicard, I will present many of the arguments by using the same phrases, the same short-sighted views and the same shorts of shorts, the commutation of these arguments Undoubtedly use to go to legislation and publicity. I use this kind of language only to demonstrate how mandatory these arguments can be made for each individual puzzle pieces, which is placed in its place, without ever revealing the whole picture. As already at "Unicard" I will probably be attacked by herself-striking semi-monkey again, just rubbing the sentences from the context. Be it drum.

The Internet for the consumer arises

The original form of the Arpanet, which the Internet inherited, was "Peer to peer" (So users to users). I use the term "Peer to peer" here is not as euphemism for swapping files or other related activities, but in its original architectural sense that all hosts are logically the same. Surely the connections to the Internet differ in terms of bandwidth, availability and reliability, but apart from these physical properties, each machine that is connected to the Internet can serve as a client or server. Or neither nor – in this case only as a node for the machines they communicate with. Each internet dethost can offer the other hosts any services and in turn use their services. New services can be developed, if necessary, which must be compatible only to the upper protocol layers (such as TCP and ADP).

Because of this architecture, the Internet was something that has never been done in the history of humanity in this form: the first "Many-to-Many"-medium. I want that a little export. Technical innovations in terms of communication have been divided into two categories since the print media. The first category – here are exemplary the print media (newspapers, magazines, bookers) as well as radio and television called – were the "One-to-MANY"-Mass media. The number of transmitters (publishers, radio and television stations) was compared to the tiny and the high costs that you had to raise to bring a new publication on the market or finance a broadcasting station, made a significant barrier for Novice.

The second category, for example the classic mail, telegrams or the phone, was that "One-to-one"-medium. One could (as soon as the respective technique came out of the child’s shoes) with almost every worldwide communicating, which was able to use the same service, but communication ran on person-to-person base: point to point. In front of the Internet, no other medium had the potential to give every individual to the possibility to present a global audience material. (Of course – when someone creates a website that attracts a coarse audience are the cost of bandwidth and hosting under circumstances considerable; compared to the capital that it is needed to finance a printed publication or a broadcasting station, as many People reach, but they are negligible.To)

This had the effect that the traditional barriers around the "Arena of ideas" have been reduced. The playing field was increased, so to speak, that a single one could now inspire such a rough audience for his work, as was previously only the coarse, firmly rooted in the early media; Only through its performance and mouth-to-mouth propaganda.

Far beyond the direct analogy for radio, the Internet’s peer-to-peer architecture allowed to create fully new media forms – discussion forums, archives for scientific pre-printing, weblogs with the possible commentary by reader, joint development of open source software, audio and video conferencing, online auctions, swapping music files, open hypertext systems and a variety of other spontaneous human interactions.

Restoration of traditional role distribution

Such a profound change that fulfilled in less than a decade (although the Arpanet is back to the 70s, it was only the translucent Internet of the 1990s, which was enthusiastic about the Groben audience, which was the social and economic importance of the new medium became significant), for those who had previously built their communication strategy on the traditional media (or who had invested in these media), undoubtedly uncomfortably appear. No conspiracy theories needed to notice that many newspapers, music labels and governments mock some nostalgia in relation to the good old days in front of the internet. At that time, when there were producers (publishers, broadcasters, telephone services) and consumers (subscribers, book and disk buyers, television viewers and broadcasting horizers), everyone knew where his place was. Governments did not have to worry about in masses and universal wake up the limits of over-cross-comprehensive data nor rebellious groups, which were assembled, anonymous and certainly communicated and operated outside the field of vision and control through traditional state security organs.

Despite the "Arrivals" the Internet built the traditional media and governments further out their far-reaching power. Which is not surprising, as each organization will try to consolidate and expand its power, and not simply passively accept the power accumulation. In fact, cooperation between companies providing network infrastructure and increasing monitoring of activities in the network by the government’s potential "Control points" Building in the once decentralized network. These control points can be used for any purpose that those who built them have in mind.

The trend seems to be clear: within the next five to ten years we will see how the "Bottle spirit Internet should be returned to its bottle again", To restore the traditional role distribution (producer / consumer, government / individual) interrupted the Internet.

Technologies that either exist or are currently being completed, unless used to establish the classic producer / consumer model on the Internet, as long as grossly large, and thus regret the central control that saw the traditional media and governments through the Internet at risk. Each of these required technologies can be funding that they cause acute problems of the current Internet Lost. It is expected that you as this "Solution" also advertised and established. In the next part we will be with these "Technical ways" take.

John Walker, Mitbengrunder of Autodesk Inc., Programming and earlier internet enthusiasts, lives after the juxmalism from the company in Switzerland. On his homepage, in addition to the well-known Hackerdiat, he offers a mixture of science fiction stories, scientific treatises and programs (like the "Anagram Finder") at. In his text written in September 2003 "The Digital Imprimatur" is about a nearby future. Walker wants to show how Digital Rights Management, Trusted Computing, Censorship and Monitoring the Internet can become increasingly deprived of its possibilities as a democratic and global communication instrument. A necessary overview of technical developments that can increase the network culture deeply.

The text is an authorized translation, the original has published John Walker on his website. Translation of Twisters and Jurgen Buchmuller.

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