Ronda Hauben on Sat, 10 Apr 1999 00:04:05 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> History and Future of Internet becoming a public question

Someone sent me this quote from a recent interview that Noam
Chomsky did. So somehow the word is out it seems that there
is a battle on :-)

"Handing over the digital spectrum, or for that matter the Internet, to
private power -- that's a huge blow against democracy. In the case of
the Internet, it's a particularly dramatic blow against democracy
because this was paid for by the public. How undemocratic can you get?
Here is a major instrument, developed by the public -- first part of
the Pentagon, and then universities and the National Science
Foundation -- handed over in some manner that nobody knows to private
corporations who want to turn it into an instrument of control. They
want to turn it into a home shopping center. You know, where it will
help them convert you into the kind of person they want. Namely,
someone who is passive, apathetic, sees their life only as a matter of
having more commodities that they don't want. Why give them a powerful
weapon to turn you into that kind of a person? Especially after you
aid for the weapon? Well, that's what's happening right in front of
our eyes."
"Could the system be different? Of course it could be different. This
[the Internet] could remain what it ought to be: just a public
instrument. There ought to be efforts -- not just talk but real
efforts -- to ensure Internet access, not just for rich people but for
everyone. And it should be freed from the influence of Microsoft or
anybody else. They don't have any rights to have anything to do with
that system. They had almost nothing to do with creating it. What
little they did was on federal contract."

The history and vision for the future of the Internet is becoming 
a public questions :-)


             Netizens: On the History and Impact
               of Usenet and the Internet

            in print edition ISBN 0-8186-7706-6 

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