Sunday, December 05, 2010

The Future of the Internet...

Ah, another book to read as if I have enough time to read the latest one I bought titled What Technology Wants, a  tome written by Kevin Kelly, a writer who's work I respect a great deal as one who gets it, something not able to be said of entities such as Congress, the RIAA and numerous related others who view an untamed web as a reality to be fought against above all else as it's a "dangerous place out there" and "we need protection if we are to survive".

Well it is a dangerous place out there to the incompetent but so are driving and drinking, pastimes that have been tolerated by the powers at be for generations but not the net because information is power and god forbid if we the public get unfettered access to it.

"When you type an address into a browser, the browser doesn’t just know where to take you. For that it counts on the globally distributed DNS system, which takes you to the specific IP address where the site is hosted. The DNS system is built on a basic foundation of trust -- a DNS provider can’t manipulate the results to stop you from going where you want to go on the Web.

COICA would subject DNS operators to government and industry pressure to intercept and block traffic to sites they don't like, and gives the Department of Justice the power to sue DNS operators to effectively disappear a site from one-click access on the Internet. There are some sites out there that are devoted primarily to posting copyrighted material, like torrent-tracking Web sites, but serious concerns have been raised the dragnet could be extended to file-storage utilities like Dropbox or to services like Facebook where large amounts of copyrighted material are easily stored and posted by users. Moreover, DNS blocking inherently targets entire Web sites, not just specific offending content, raising the troubling possibility that legal content and protected political speech on those websites would be censored in the United States."

This is a bill the RIAA supports as it would protect us from rampant theft of music "and loss of profit" to the record companies it serves, corporations increasingly trapped in the twilight zone of the last century.

“We are proud to lend our voice to the chorus of supporters of this important bipartisan legislation. In a world where hackers and copyright thieves are able to take down websites, rip off American consumers and rake in huge profits operating rogue businesses built on the backs of the American creative community, the committee has taken a strong step toward fostering a more safe and secure online experience for consumers."

The problem with this rosy scenario is the fact it won't work.

"U.S. Government Seizes 82 Websites: A Glimpse at the Draconian Future of Copyright Enforcement?"

... the seizures also show why this kind of enforcement doesn’t work; seized sites were available at other domain names within hours. If the United States government increases interference in critical DNS infrastructure to police alleged copyright infringement, it is very likely that a large percentage of the Internet will shift to alternative DNS mechanisms that are located outside the US. This will cause numerous problems — including new network security issues, as a large percentage of the population moves to encrypted offshore DNS to escape the censoring effects of the procedures outlined in COICA. Presumably the DOJ and the DHS should be committed to improving network security — not undermining it.

When viewed through the lens of tech, the RIAA doesn't get it as the web is not a Sony or Columbia Records company pushing out cds, it is a distribution environment separate from the physicality of hard copy and not subject to corporate control unless you get government involved through stupid legislation, a frightening concept to say the least.

Hip recording artists understand this but, as stated before, government and organizations stuck in the 20th century don't. To whit...

"Casey Rae-Hunter, a communications director and policy strategist for the artist advocacy group Future of Music Coalition (FMC), illustrates why an open Internet is, ultimately, much better for musicians in the long run:

“The two things that are most important to today’s musicians and creative entrepreneurs are innovation and access... For a decade, Future of Music Coalition has called for a straightforward Internet framework that lets artists compete in a legitimate digital music marketplace alongside the biggest companies. Open access to the Internet has led to tremendous innovations in the marketplace and inspired countless examples of creative enterprise.”

"For every moment of triumph, for every instance of beauty, many souls must be trampled"
- Hunter S. Thompson

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