June 2006 Archives

What if they gagged Gutenberg? Big telecom is trying to throttle free access to democratic Internet

Five-hundred years ago, we had Johann Gutenberg, a German metalworker and inventor who pioneered the precursor to the Internet. His printing press became the first practical mass communications medium utilizing what was then an advanced memory technology -- paper.

Soon after, there was Martin Luther, a German theologian and priest who fervently believed the church had departed from the teachings of the Bible. In 1517, Luther began printing pamphlets condemning the church, and within several months his 95 Theses was being read all over Europe.


Imagine if the leaders of 16th century Germany, feeling threatened by the democratizing forces of the printing press, had taken Gutenberg's invention and limited its use to those they politically agreed with -- or if Luther had to pay licensing fees for nailing up his 95 Theses on every church door in Germany.

That's what big telecom is trying to do: shut the democratic architecture of the Internet. By creating two "tiers" -- one that is fast and charges fees to Web site owners -- and a second class Web that is cheaper and slower and could limit access to independently run sites -- big telecom is hoping to make a larger profit off the Internet.

In other words, opponents to the Internet's open and free access are trying to change the rules -- and they're trying to mislead you, claiming that they're against regulation and that they only want you to pay for the rising cost of their "pipes." That's information warfare.

By Mentor Cana, PhD
more info at LinkedIn
email: mcana {[at]} kmentor {[dot]} com

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