The Internet’s Revolution

In the midst of worldwide change, there is a recurring theme: The role of the Internet.

What has happened lately?

Where does this leave us? For one, there is the ongoing debate in the U.S. regarding the FCC’s proposed net neutrality laws, which have found an opponent in Republican House Speaker John A. Boehner. As mentioned above, although the “internet kill switch” bill has recently been renamed and amended to try and appease opponents, the debate goes on about the extent to which the internet should be in the hands of the government. On the opposite side of the debate, those who are concerned about internet security issues continue to argue the necessity of such a bill. Case in point: A proposed federal government shutdown on March 4th has been tied to concerns of a possible cyberwar emergency.

There is the sense of a looming threat to the democratic, open nature of the internet. On top of the issues of government and private censorship and control over the Internet, a recent controversy has been the use of “astroturfing,” a process designed to drown out dissenting opinions on open internet channels. Software creates internet personas which are then used to promote certain ideas an opinions, especially in places like forums, which are designed to provide access to the masses.

With threats both internal and external to the freedom and democracy of the internet, the ongoing discourse about the internet’s role in the US could not come at a more appropriate time.

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