Do you own your identity online? The answer may surprise you.
For the past few months, in the United States, a fight has been brewing over how the pipes that control the Internet would be ruled. On one side, activists and large Internet companies felt that access to the Internet should be neutral and that all sites should be accessed in the same fashion. On the other side, large cable and phone companies have been arguing that they should have a chance to charge different rates for different types of services. The whole fight was embodied into a campaign called Net Neutrality and made its way into the American congress. Today’s news that the Net Neutrality bill was defeated may create future problems for American internet businesses but will not kill the Internet, as some have claimed. Instead, it will probably dictate, in the long run, the death of the very proponents of a ban on net neutrality: phone and cable companies which have been trying to overreach in their attempt to fatten up their bottom line. Looking at the stakes At issue in this debate is how bandwidth is distributed and whether it should be metered in any fashion. At the current time, in the US, most people who get…Read More
Mac-a-ronies does a good roundup on the digital divide questions raised by the recent Pew Internet Trust study. I suspect those of us who have been online for a long time can hardly fathom why people would get online and then eventually leave. After all, what’s not to love about the Internet? I could go on an rehash the popular arguments as to why being online is important but somehow, I suspect that I don’t need to do this as people reading this site are obviously not part of the online dropout crowd (if you are, then could you please explain to me why you came back?) Based on my own informal study (meaning, I talked to 1-2 people about this), here are some counter-arguments you can make to people who poo-poo the value of being on the Internet: Untrustworthy Many people still feel that the Internet cannot be trusted. This is somehow due to the fact that many opinions are available on the Internet, some coming from large corporations, others coming from individuals. With each opinion comes an agenda (my own being how do we keep increasing the spread of the Internet so I can keep getting cool jobs…Read More