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Is Big Business Killing the Net Bill Thompson. Of course it is Killing one way of building a public network The TCP/IP network The one I love.

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Presentation on theme: "Is Big Business Killing the Net Bill Thompson. Of course it is Killing one way of building a public network The TCP/IP network The one I love."— Presentation transcript:

1 Is Big Business Killing the Net Bill Thompson

2 Of course it is Killing one way of building a public network The TCP/IP network The one I love

3 Thank you suckers We’d be nowhere without business In 1990 the academic net had run out of steam –Few hundred thousand users –File transfer, , USENET Not clear the Internet -> Information Superhighway

4 Other Networks Value Added Network Services –Telcos and X.25 Open Systems Interconnection –OSI –Seven layer model TCP/IP not seen as a player

5 The ISPs Greed of the commercial ISPs –Leased lines –Routers –Class C address –Money! Dialup providers –Quick and dirty TCP/IP –Winsock and K9Q

6 The Web Tim Berners-Lee 1989 –Academic hypertext –Nobody wanted it – not even the physicists Eric Bina/Marc Andreesen 1993 –Mosaic – tag

7 Commercialisation From 1995 –The Net was viable and global –Stupidity, greed and technical illiteracy of the venture capital community –Duplicitousness of banks and finance houses All paid for the Internet infrastructure –Say thankyou to the suckers –Say thankyou to Gilder and Negroponte

8 All not perfect Not everything is sorted –Major threats to net’s growth –Internal contradictions ripping it apart The Net needs to reinvent itself –A bit like capitalism

9 IP vs IP Net architecture embodies liberal values –No central control –Support freedom of speech –Open to innovation –Resistant to monopoly End to end –About what programs can do –Not an abstract principle

10 No guarantees Today’s Net is very porous US culture is aggressive The Net cannot resist Californian ideology dominates Not the real problem: –The real problem is that companies and governments want to take away the open net

11 Easy to do What programmers build programmers can take away The owners of the Net want more control The operation of IP is against the interests of the owners of Intellectual Property The network is being redesigned –Trusted processors, signed code, DRM

12 Trusting trust Trusted computing can be good or bad –The current crowd cannot be trusted They are making technologies and laws to control the Net They want to be in charge The clampdown is coming The commons is being enclosed and destroyed This is a tragedy for all who value public space

13 Time to fight back The copyright bargain must be restated Moral rights can be asserted Total control over use is unacceptable Seize back the means of reproduction Fight for fair use: DMCA and EUCD must go Work with the IT industry –Encourage it to lobby and fight the RIAA

14 Future creativity If IT wins over Hollywood what happens? –Don’t know –Will we miss Schwarzenegger, Clancy or Robbie Williams? I don’t think so We can have trusted systems without total copyright control –And we will benefit

15 More than © Freedom is not just the freedom to rip Need freedom of expression –As much online as in real life Not an unregulated Net Not a differently regulated Net An appropriately regulated Net –Serve the needs of the many not the few –Not just for cyberlibertarians and netheads

16 A regulated Network Not an online police state Under democratic control –So resist opression –Fight unust laws like USA PATRIOT –Retain belief in government

17 Don’t reify Too easy to see Network as a separate universe –It is just a new part of this world Too easy to ascribe essential qualities to Net –There are none –It is what we make it –I agree with Lessig The Net is a place not a channel –It is not a separate space

18 A new word The Internet started 1/1/83 Perhaps it should end 1/1/03 Call it something new s/Internet/????/gi What? –Spew? Metaverse? –Big Brother? –Bentham’s Panopticon? –The Matrix?

19 Working for the Clampdown The new network will be regulable Current systems don’t allow it –We like this –It will disappear by 2007 –People will choose the ‘safe’ net It will be breakable –Ross with an electron microscope –NTK to publicise new toys and hacks Most people will not want or need to break it –Do not be arrogant and dismiss these people

20 Complete Control Who runs the regulated network? –Corporations or governments? P2P shows how bad it can be –A real revolution –A return to real computing –An excellent opportunity Blown by greed and stupidity –The unregulated market can’t work

21 The Hidden City There is hope. It lies with the coders –Like the diggers –Like Neo without leather coat and guns (except Raymond,natch) –Shape the land to serve the interests of the people Need to resist government –Not all governments are good –Not all governments are wise and sensible

22 Resistance Need space for activism Need to subvert control systems Need to resist bad law Need to fight the system Need to do illegal and unethical stuff –Otherwise we cannot make the world better

23 The City The Net is a city –Needs schools, offices, shops –Needs parks and CCTV-patrolled areas Needs downtown too –Seedy dives –Places to buy recreational drugs –Meeting places to foment revolution –Hotel rooms by the hour

24 Making it work Trusted networks Linux Virtual Machine –Signed code –Linux File System registered type Run a kernel –Communicate with others over IPv4 OVER SSH or somesuch A virtual Internet on top of the Matrix

25 And Finally Time to embrace the regulated network Exert democratic control –Or leave it to the corporations The new net will not be a nice place –Unless we make it a nice place We can see the future –It is time to shape it and ensure that governments can run it – for all our interests Surely that is worth fighting for.


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