Recent internet governance is ambiguous at best as it’s no longer just the domain of that strange guy you see on the bus. It’s the domain of anyone who wants to try and take control of it. Conspiracy theorists have tried to yell and scream over the years that the governments of the world are attempting to use their tentacles to ensnare the internet and take it over like some strange Japanese porn flick, and it turns out they were right.
As we can see from recent legislation in the UK, the government is attempting to force internet providers to make all information about email messages and web history available to police for approximately one year. And we all know about internet restrictions in China and Iran. In fact, even little Ethiopia is getting in on the act as they attempt to bring in more restrictions to bring the internet under the control of the state.
What’s clear is this: internet governance is now a very real possibility.
Is there anything we can do about it though? The answer is absolutely. We can take on the governments of the world because we know that they are slow and clunky. If one of their security fields can be bypassed then it will take them months, and sometimes years, to sort out the problems again. I’m not worried for the conspiracy theorists or the computer geeks out there because people like us laugh in the face of the state’s attempts at restricting access to certain areas. Just look at the recent Pirate Bay ban. One proxy later and I’m back in my lovely bay of brothels, seadogs, rum, and questionable downloads.
Can the government take the whole thing over?
My answer is absolutely not. The only way that they could do this is if they turned into a dictatorial state where they directly admitted that they were controlling the internet. At the moment we are still playing a guerrilla game as they still pretend that they are doing this in the interest of justice and law. And as any good computer user knows, that couldn’t be more wrong. Those who deal in crime will not be fooled by some minor blocking techniques. All this will catch is the novices and the innocent, so in other words it’s a complete waste of time. And it’s not just a waste of time, it’s a £1.8 billion waste of time from the UK taxpayer.
For now, I can confidently say that the freedom of the internet still lives on and internet governance has not yet come into force in the western world, but I do have my fears. Those computer novices will be suffering already, but those with even the slightest nugget of knowledge will still be safe. I don’t think that there will be any outright control over the internet anytime soon. However, our freedom will be steadily eroded away in the coming years.
Get those tinfoil hats out, conspiracy theorists and normal people alike!