The way Tim Wu is presenting the internet’s future is quite daunting, an internet that is no longer open and free for all but controlled by commercial entities like Google, AT&T or even Steve Jobs. This a truly grim picture of our future.
His book The Master Switch starts with a description of the “Miracle” of wireless phone, an invention made by AT&T in the 1960 and brought them the market dominance for years to come. it also stands out that the way communication was handled in america those days was in the spirit of UFO and Spaceships, less in the spirit of technology and achievement that we have today.
Fears expressed in his book are partially intimidating, when our recent history shows us how governments just shut the internet down partially or fully as in Egypt and China. This is a fear inspiring book to read which raised a question in my mind, is the future of the internet to be controlled in this way? are we stepping in the verge of the end of information flow and freedom of speech?
I believe not.
I have a feeling that the Author is abusing our innate fear of technology and big companies to instill fear into us. he also abuses the lack of knowledge about the internet structure, making people think it is that easy to just shut it down in places where there is no single point of entry controlled by a single entity. The case of China, Egypt, Libia, Syria and Yemen is the latter one where the backbone connection is through a single junction controlled by the national company of telecommunication.
But the trut is that when you are aware of initiatives like http://buythissatellite.org/ making the access to the internet pat of your basic rights, you get the picture that this Master Switch is nowhere to be found and that information accessibility is becoming that basic human right.
No i am not covering my head in the sand screaming your wrong. i am just opening my mind and looking at the world with the highest resolution i can get. the way it looks in the more modern world it seems that with the rate of adoption of network technology the future is open and may i dare to say free. We will institute the internet as part of the basic human necessities, as education should be, some where in the future.