As we can see in Iran, Tunisia, Egypt, and what is being debated in the US now…internet kill switches! The communications infrastructure should not be controlled by anyone! It should be allowed to function no matter what. We have to trust in people…that is the basic premise around a democracy…that the voice of the people is going to be the message we can most agree with. We cannot leave the control of the infrastructure to corporations, they just fold and wilt when any power entity tells them to pull the plug.
So I ask, how can we protect and own the internet and communications infrastructure that we rely on?
One of the stories I loved reading about was the gang who setup their own cell tower base stations at burning man. Do we need government to routinely shaft us in the name of security? Surely, we only want peaceful demonstrations, and no looting, vandalism. However, we need to stop listening to their cries of security and terrorism, because the tools that they unleash on the terrorist, come home to be unleashed on us. Ditch your fear of your neighbour, try to understand their grievances, if they are legitimate, your own innate sense of morality will want to correct injustices. Shams, such as US/Israel negotiations with Palestine, can only occur when there is information blackout.
People give credit to Facebook for helping to topple the Tunisian autocratic regime, but it’s not just Facebook, it’s the whole technical landscape that is allowing people to talk to people and organize. Cell phone towers beget SMS, fiber trunks beget ISP’s, and Open Source Software begets Facebook. Therefore look at the links in the chain of keeping channels open between you and I and don’t let a small power elite have control over it. Lets work towards taking these things back…and so preserve humanity in our world.
I know there are technologies like Tor, but is it possible to setup these networks in a pinch, make them all pervasive, with no central points of control. What about mesh networks? Lets let consumerism and commercialism drive technology that ultimately feeds human struggle for freedom. And vice-versa.
Lets resolve to have peace and freedom in the world. Lets aim to devolve power, not concentrate it. Lets learn to have faith in the democratic process.