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The Internet must die so the Internet can live

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Posted by Anirudh on May 19, 2012 at 8:21 AM

We are used to the idea of the Internet being free – free as in Freedom, though not always in price. It is difficult to accept government control over something we have so carefully guarded. But it is coming whether we like it or not. You may be in a democracy (the United States, India) or you may be in a dictatorship (China). Governments everywhere are trying to take control. Along with the government, powerful organisations (MPAA and RIAA, for eg.) will also get control. We do our best to prevent our loss of control, but over time those with power will win. We have to accept this fact.

Having accepted the fact what can we do about it? Rewrite. It is time we moved towards the new Internet. The new Internet will have many challenges to solve. Censorship is only one of the many challenges. Connectivity is another. While average Internet speeds have increased over the years, we still haven’t seen the huge jumps promised by the next big improvement (TM). Connections are unreliable – be it in the skyscrapers of New York or the villages of Africa. The are many technical challenges to solve.

While those with power have many weapons at hand – court orders to new laws – we have one weapon they don’t have. We are smart. We know science. Before it’s too late, before they take away the Internet from us, we must fight back. The new Internet needs to grapple with all these issues. It must be deliberately decentralised so that any attempt at censorship would be technically infeasible. We are taking baby steps, but we have light years to go before we sleep.

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