Tuesday, May 30, 2006

net neutrality

I've been hearing a lot of buzz lately about Net Neutrality. I have a vague idea of what this means, but I hope to look into it more. The way I understand it (which I may be wrong), is that the internet as we know it may be under "attack" in the near future... by corporations. It's funny... I was on the web before it was the web. There were NO photos or pictures at the time. Just good ol' ascii text. During those early days, there was a large subculture (the well) who wanted things to remain open and free, a sort of wild west of the internet. When the corporations started getting on the whole "internet" thing people started getting worried. Well... I believe we're only a few steps away to it all being either government or corporate controled. Every day "we" loose a little more, and give up a little more in the guise of features, security, or speed.
Net Neutrality is the new line in the sand... For example... I have my home internet access through Verizon. I also am enjoying the new Skype free calling. Well, If I use Skype to call long distance, then guess who is losing money on my phone call... Verizon. So what's to prevent Verizon, from putting a "block" on all skype traffic? Nothing. You see the dilemma? Pretty soon, the company that you pay to access the internet will someday have control over what you can and can not read or use. Kinda lame.
I don't know what the answer is. Because it seems to point to government stepping in. So, more laws, more limitations, more lobbying, etc... I miss those old wild west days of the internet. Yet I also admit that I don't know what I'd do without Google. So, hopefully there will be a middleground.
More: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Network_neutrality

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