The Guardian Newspaper in the UK is featuring a seven-day investigation “Battle for the Internet” into the escalating struggle for control of an open Internet. In an interview kicking off this series Sergey Brin, founder of Google, says the threat comes from “very powerful forces that have lined up against the open Internet on all sides and around the world”.
He explains how a combination of governments trying to control their citizen’s access to and communication of information, the entertainment industry cracking down on piracy, and the rise of restrictive “walled gardens” like Facebook and Apple is responsible.
Five years ago Brin did not believe that China or any other country could restrict the Internet for long, but now he says, “I am more worried than I have been in the past... it’s scary”. What with more governments in the developed world like the US, Italy and the UK trying to clamp down, the film and music industries wanting to introduce bills like SOPA and PIPA, and Facebook, a social network that’s seeing explosive growth, as well as Apple, both tightly controlling what software can be released on their platforms, the result will be the stifling of innovation and fragmenting of the web.
This is the exact opposite of the principles of universal access and openness underpinning Brin’s brainchild.
In addition to the interview with Sergey Brin, the Guardian Series will run features on the militarisation of cyberspace, the new walled gardens, IP wars, ‘civilising’ the web, the people working to keep the Internet open as well as running an exposé of who knows what about us. and what they use the information for.
J M Leitch is author of The Zul Enigma, a factual futuristic thriller looking back at a cataclysmic event that occurs on 21 December 2012, end of the Mayan calendar.
Download the Kindle edition of The Zul Enigma for FREE from Amazon on Thursday 19, Friday 20 and Saturday 21 April 2012