Net Neutrality and Future Legacies

I’d like to comment quickly on the net neutrality issue. The Web thus far is a system–that from the beginning–essentially anyone could access in a like manner. A few companies have a strong interest in changing that though, in making, what I understand, are something like tiers of accessibility. Considering the life and social changes that have taken place as provoked by the new sorts of creative innovation the Web has fostered, I think changes limiting Net interoperation are incredibly bad ideas. A basic idea Tim Berners-Lee puts forward is

“Freedom of connection, with any application, to any party, is the fundamental social basis of the Internet, and, now, the society based on it.”

This may sound abstract to some but Bob Frankston wrote an entertaining piece that illustrates the unsavoury results of losing such freedom. For a thorough and technical analysis, I find Daniel Weitzner’s text on The Neutral Internet: An Information Architecture for Open Societies interesting.

The thing is, whatever starts taking place, technologically or in government policy now is going to be around for a while. People will adapt, install, and use software that is based on or otherwise enforces such technologies and policies. That means we have to imagine the consequences of a future saddled with the legacies we’re creating now. I hope we act to keep our liberty intact.

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