cr> A QUESTION: will the open net survive?


Richard Moore

I suggest that a fundamental question has been raised on the list, that
conflicting views have been expressed, and that we could benefit from a
thread on this topic.

        The question:  Will open, Internet-style communications survive
                       the commercialization of cyberspace?

I'm convinced survival is unlikely, not because the two _couldn't_
co-exist, but because of strategic political considerations -- the
potential threat is too great that Internet could enable large-scale,
grass-roots, political orgnanizing.  The "establishment" doesn't want a
technology-enabled New Left (or whatever) on its hands, and the tools are
being put in place to clamp down.

Arun is confident that the future is too slippery and dynamic for telco
conglomerates or governments to pin down, and that Internet will survive
somehow -- perhaps by escaping to new transport techologies. (I hope that's
a fair characterization.)

I'm not proposing a debate to stir up entertainment (like on many lists),
nor is it necessary for us to have consensus on every issue.  But this
particular question is so fundamental to how we imagine the future, and to
what political positions make sense today, that I suggest we could benefit
from some discussion, clarification of views, and perhaps partial