cr> re: QUESTION of open net survival


Richard Moore

Date: Tue, 23 Jan 1996
Sender: Korac <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Re: cr> A QUESTION: will the open net survive?

On Tue, 23 Jan 1996, Richard K. Moore wrote:

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

        I would hope that free exchange of information would always be
possible somehow.  If organized power groups could get total control of
everything, everywhere it would be an Orwellian hell-on-Earth I want
nothing to do with.   Such a surveillance state with limited free thought
allowed goes against all I value.  There are alternatives....

        Set up a packet network via spread spectrum digital radio that
doesn't transmit on any one frequency long enough to triangulate a fix
on, use anonymous id's as headers on the packet and ensure enough cheap
radio-routers that even if a few % get destroyed on a monthly basis (they
will always have limited budgets for that kind of work) the network
routes around it.  Combine this with encryption and possibly
steganography and you could maintain a list like this one easily.  Of
course that begs even harsher methods from the neo-gestapo like licensing
of computers,radios,cable connections and electronics parts as well as
periodic, random inspections.   Life in such a state would not be fun at
all.  The only way it could go down is by suspending the Constitution
under some executive order and having a permanent state of emergency, or
by slowly heating the water until the frog boils as it were (which could
be what we are seeing now as the Bill of Rights slowly gets more
irrelvant and "exclusionary".
        What to do?  Keep fighting, make the public hear all sides as
long as you are allowed to express them, and keep your powder dry :)  .
As with most bad things (McCarthyism, bellbottom pants, etc.) they will
eventually simmer down as the pendullum swings.   I hope this particular
phase goes quickly, though, as the thought of a Christian Coalition led
surveillance state or theocratic oligarchy frightens me into thinking
about emmigrating to Europe or Australia (I know, its just as bad or
worse there, but there are no more frontiers left due to political
shortsightedness in funding space/ocean exploration).  Speak now or
forever hold your peace.

        "Those that give up essential liberty for a little
        security, deserve neither liberty nor security."
                                        - B.Franklin

        "When ID's are mandatory, its time to leave the planet."
                                        - Lazarus Long
                                          (a.k.a. R. Heinlein)

Date: Tue, 23 Jan 1996
Sender: Jason Wehling <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Re: cr> A QUESTION: will the open net survive?

On Tue, 23 Jan 1996, Richard K. Moore wrote:

> 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?

Obviously this question is important, and at the same time, really
impossible to answer yet. Perhaps a better question to start with is
whether commercialization of cyberspace is a threat? I think it is,
perhaps others disagree. The next question, then, is if it is a threat,
how is it a threat and how large of a threat is it?

> 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.

Well I think we have to distinguish between two seperate threats here:
commercialization and government intervention and control. Both
institutions (ie. corporations and government) are threats, but for
different reasons. Corporations pursue profit, while the Net is based
more on cooperation and free exchange. This is a real potential conflict.
As for the government, it tends to want control, especially over content.
So it's more of a threat to what people say, whereas corporations
(commercialization) are more of a threat to the mechanics of Internet
communication. IMHO, of course.

As for the how the government or corporations feel threatened by a
techno-powered New Left -- I think that's obvious. Does this necessarily
mean that cyber-activism is dead? I don't think so. It really depends on
whether that threat is real and credible enough. If not, cyber-activism
is probably doomed. If it is strong enough, then such a movement can
fight back -- and, yes, perhaps win.

My $0.02 anyway,

"We are convinced that freedom without Socialism is privilege
and injustice, and that Socialism without freedom             Jason Wehling
is slavery and brutality."                        Email: <•••@••.•••>
-- Mikhail Bakunin.                     Home:


 Posted by Richard K. Moore (•••@••.•••) Wexford, Ireland
 Materials may be reposted in their entirety for non-commercial use.