Federally Funded Boffins Want To Scrap The Internet
By Steve Watson
Apr 20, 2007, 09:06
Researchers funded by the federal government want to shut down the internet and start over, citing the fact that at the moment there are loopholes in the system whereby users cannot be tracked and traced all the time.
Time magazine has reported that several foundations and universities including Rutgers, Stanford, Princeton, Carnegie Mellon and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are pursuing individual projects, along with the Defense Department, in order to wipe out the current internet and replace it with a new network which will satisfy big business and government:
One challenge in any reconstruction, though, will be balancing the interests of various constituencies. The first time around, researchers were able to toil away in their labs quietly. Industry is playing a bigger role this time, and law enforcement is bound to make its needs for wiretapping known.
There’s no evidence they are meddling yet, but once any research looks promising, “a number of people (will) want to be in the drawing room,” said Jonathan Zittrain, a law professor affiliated with Oxford and Harvard universities. “They’ll be wearing coats and ties and spilling out of the venue.”
The projects echo moves we have previously reported on to clamp down on internet neutrality and even to designate a new form of the internet known as Internet 2.
This would be a faster, more streamlined elite equivalent of the internet available to users who were willing to pay more for a much improved service. providers may only allow streaming audio and video on your websites if you were eligible for Internet 2.
Of course, Internet 2 would be greatly regulated and only “appropriate content” would be accepted by an FCC or government bureau. Everything else would be relegated to the “slow lane” internet, the junkyard as it were. Our techie rulers are all too keen to make us believe that the internet as we know it is “already dead”.
Google is just one of the major companies preparing for internet 2 by setting up hundreds of “server farms” through which eventually all our personal data – emails, documents, photographs, music, movies – will pass and reside.
However, experts state that the “clean slate” projects currently being undertaken go even further beyond projects like Internet2 and National LambdaRail, both of which focus primarily on next-generation needs for speed.
In tandem with broad data retention legislation currently being introduced worldwide, such “clean slate” projects may represent a considerable threat to the freedom of the internet as we know it. EU directives and US proposals for data retention may mean that any normal website or blog would have to fall into line with such new rules and suddenly total web regulation would become a reality.
Read the rest, including specific proposals and source references, here.