Dawn of new Internet causing conflict in U.S.

Graham C Wheat, Contributing writer


We are on the edge of a new generation. A new way of thinking, and truly a new way of living is about to unfold upon the world. The edge of the precipice that we as a global society face to scale is now upon us, and the decisions we make today will ultimately determine how hard of a climb we must undertake and the slope where we may all plummet.

This impetus that is upon us, perhaps even driving our global society, is the Internet and worldwide web, and more specifically how we decide to treat it along with all the occurrences in the medium for the future and beyond.

It is already so much a part of the modern world’s life, and reaching ever closer to those without it. Tendrils of information seeking out anything that will absorb it. It is inorganic, yet somehow seems to grow as a weed does in a fertile garden.

Without it many of us are left incompetent and knowledge-less, bordering on assisted thinking. Remember something with a heavy resolution. This lifeless, yet organic tool is only getting bigger, faster, stronger and more important every second.

So many of us are now familiar with the prospect, and actuality, of “Big Brother.” What we read is not a foreboding tale of science fiction anymore. Simply, that your own government spying on you is anecdotal dinner conversation should speak volumes to the path that our future is taking.

We have seen the dramas played out on television, print, and the very medium of the web itself. Bradley Manning, Julian Assange, Edward Snowden. These are now names that are synonymous with Internet espionage, treason, and to some a symbol of freedom on the web. Every one of the global happenings that these three facilitated occurred on, and because of the Internet and the web. It is no longer in some smoky room with shadowy figures, although I’m sure that this does still occur, where policy-shaping secrets are changing hands. It is online that worlds are changing and shaping, and we are all very important factors to the way it is happening.

Entire regimes have been toppled because of the quickness and effectiveness of political and social decry expressed through the net. Whatever your views on The Arab Spring, it happened because of, and on the web for the entire world to witness. Yes people, the web changes the world and we had all better start caring about what happens on it and the people who are attempting to control it.

Our government and others in great power know this, and they are attempting to shape it in the image that they wish it to be, consequently not the image of the people who are doing the most creating and most affected by what it is and is to be. Use your trusty Internet knowledge to search the bills CISPA or SOPA and you will begin to see what actions our government is taking to control and monitor the traffic of ideas and data.

The recent issue of net neutrality, which is the free-flowing traffic of all data regardless of user, combined with the recent “fast lane” proposals from gigantic telecom conglomerates is an effort to further control and separate the internet and the web into have and have-nots.

We cannot allow algorithms to segregate data that is deemed unfavorable, as was the case on Facebook during the recent Ferguson, Missouri incidents as opposed to Twitter’s explosion of information on the events.

We must not allow governments to inherit total control and impose archaic regulation on something so organic that people change its very nature on a daily basis.

While companies like Time Warner Cable and AT&T merging and creating an Internet monopoly in the US is bad idea, more so is the fact that there would be no other better, faster services for people to choose from. Do a quick web search on fiber Internet and you will find globalized companies actively lobbying to, and creating precedent setting laws to block cheap, efficient Internet service. Something that is a near necessity for all Americans should not be stifled by profits and bottom lines of companies that have only one interest in mind.

Precedence is everything in this country.

The laws that are being created regarding the Internet and World Wide Web today will be reviewed for the next generation’s important legal dramas and tribulations. Our attitudes toward the regulation, infrastructure, and usage of the Internet and World Wide Web will create the foundation that it sits upon for generations.

If we do not actively insist on an open, fairly distributed Internet and web that is afforded all the rightful freedoms of speech we will end up with none of those things.

We must recognize that what we see as the Internet and web today will be vastly different from what our grandchildren will recognize it as. The creation of legislation today must foster its growth for tomorrow, not constrict and monetize it.

Laws are being made, policy is being written. It is no longer a matter of “when the time comes.”

The future of our new world is growing and molding whether you are ready for it or not, it is no longer some far off fable of hackers, or authoritarian rule, or electric sheep.

Let us all have some foresight and create our own future.