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The Jehoshua Novels


The Future Of Your Internet

A few people wondered how the new wireless carrier rules the FCC will adopt today will affect them. Here’s a preview:

Trudy Muller, an Apple spokeswoman, said the company had removed the app ”œbecause it violated our developer guidelines.” Ms. Muller added: ”œApps must comply with all local laws and may not put an individual or group in harm’s way.”

Get it? It’s not censorship, per se, but it is corporate control over what you see, what you read and what you hear. Wikileaks has broken no laws that the New York Times hasn’t broken. The Pentagon and Biden and The State Department have all said no one has died as a result of the leaks. But it has embarrassed our leaders.

I remember what Numerian said last year in response to my predictions in forty years time post, that we would see a continuing drift towards corporate feudalism. I confess, I had a hard time wrapping my head around this idea at first. But in the last twelve months I’ve seen it more and more. Free speech will not be regulated by the Federal Government. The Bill Of Rights guarantees it won’t. But there is nothing in the constitution to stop corporations from regulating speech. This is exactly what is going to happen. Most people get their internet from wireless devices these days, so expect more and more rigid firewalls.

19 comments to The Future Of Your Internet

  • quiet Bill

    My understanding of what you are predicting from this is:

    “You as consumer will be charged extra to see blogs you choose

    According to SP’s interpretation, it’s not all about ads on blogs.

    Like cable TV, you will have a choice of content you can view for free.

    If you want content not approved by the carrier’s corporation, you will have to pay extra.

    So, if he is correct, Agonist will not be visible, eventually, unless you pay extra to see it.”

  • Sean Paul Kelley

    Bad decisions make good stories.

  • quiet Bill

    or are you saying what they have authorized so far will eventually let regular Internet ISP companies charge extra for whatever content they deem not subscriber content?

    Or that plans are underway to do that and will follow on this legislation so far?

  • Joaquin

    Yes, you can get your book published in obscure book stores even if Ingram doesn’t carry your book but mass audiences won’t see it. Suppose you are an independent bookseller, how much of your inventory can you afford to devote to independently published books? That is how censorship is done; it’s like baseball; a game of statistics.

  • Sean Paul Kelley

    this sets a terrible precedent, and if the recent past is anything to go by in all aspects of our economy is that the telcos will collect their rent, any way possible. Sure, one can hope they won’t, but hoping is a fool’s errand these days.

    Bad decisions make good stories.

  • steeleweed

    The more I see of the mainstream – politics, economics, business – the more I think we need to develop an alternate country. If enough people got onboard, it would make the current system meaningless. A shadow economy (barter, localized private lending); community-based businesses; doing without most government functions.

    We need to be able to say to the Corporations and Financiers and Government, “Go away – we don’t need you”.


    Retired Mainframe maven, active curmudgeon, poet, writer.

  • canuck

    can you seriously believe that the world would accept AT&T, or company like it, as a censor? Take a deep breath and rest assured that the world will still be revolving in the morning!

  • someofparts

    a cancer. I wish I could just wake up and find it was all a horrible dream.

    So what about access overseas? Canada? Europe? South America?

  • canuck

    AT&T or like enterprise was able to get control of the wireless network, they’d only have it for a very, very short period of time before new legislation relieved them of it.

    The United States is a very powerful country, but it couldn’t take on all the countries in the world. China or other countries would immediately impose trading conditions that would reduce AT&T to insect size! The population of the United States is 330 million compared to a world population in the billions. US companies aren’t big enough to be world-wide censors.

    i.e. a little company like Wikileaks (who may respect no forms of government?) was able to penetrate lies.

  • nihil obstet

    New technology gives a short period of free speech before the powerful realize what’s happening and figure out how to control it. This was as true of cheap printing technology (which was rapidly made more expensive) as it is of the internet.

    I remember feeling most sick about it in the early 90′s when the large coastal newspapers (NYT, WaPo, LATimes, et al.) refused to take ads on the health care debate going on at the time.

    Based on history, the best we can do is slow down the reach of control for a little while.

  • justadood

    Corporations are already permitted full control over storage under their ownership.

    Storage they ‘rent’ out to lessees can fall under Riders that would allow the owner access, or the right to limit access, as they deem necessary and proper for the operation of their enterprise.

    in other words, they own the storage, they own the pipes, therefore they feel they can control the traffic using the storage and the pipes……..hardly surprising (especially in light of recent activity)

    “Everything Free is worth what you pay for it”…never truer–either it’s to cheap to be worth having, or bought with the blood sweat and tears of those willing to sacrifice for it.

    I expect to see affairs devolve into a Corporate Feudal-state, since Feudalism is really the only culture Conservatives seem to understand (almost instinctively)….and since they have the Money and the Guns, they’ll make it happen (cue up Jay Gould) as they tee up the working Class against itself, so as to take advantage of the chaos to their advantage.

    Depressing, but all too likely

    “It’s the American Dream—because you have to be asleep to believe it.” — George Carlin

  • someofparts

    calling the IT help desk to fix a problem with this computer. Chatting with the IT fellow taking my order, I mentioned the net neutrality ruling.

    He explained to me that this must happen so that business has room on the internet without being crowded out by unimportant personal stuff. I asked him why everybody overseas has faster internet than we do without these measures. He explained that by telling me that Americans are stupid, so we want television and internets with ads and no content.

    When I said it was too bad school was too expensive, because it would be nice to learn more about the internets, he explained that schools are toast because of the teachers unions. He said that unions are out of date and have no value anymore.

    Then the told me to stop drinking the koolaid.

    I really need to find a way to work online so I can get out of this country.

  • Celsius 233

    The government often blocks sites for various reasons. Youtube has been blocked many times, but with a proxy one can get around that. All in all the Inet here works fine (government censorship aside).
    If one is degreed and has an education degree; international schools (universities) pay very well ($3,000-4,000 USD/mos). It would be easy to bank 75% of that.


    Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them,and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows,or with both~FDouglas

  • Bolo

    every day. It’s as if there’s a forcefield of terribly damaging ideas around most other people and it’s impossible for me to get through it to try and talk sense.

  • Bolo

    proposed by the Pirate Bay might help a little bit. That and anonymizing services like iPredator would, I believe, make many sites difficult to shut down and their data difficult to analyze and trace. I’m not an expert on this stuff though, so I could just be getting my hopes up…

    Edit: Oh, and Ars Technica has some additional commentary too.

  • JustPlainDave

    For compact stuff like text and stills, just can’t see it.

    Let us overthrow the totems, break the taboos. Or better, let us consider them cancelled. Coldly, let us be intelligent. ~ Pierre Trudeau

  • Bolo

    content is going to be increasingly important in the future. Text and stills will always be there of course, and it does seem likely that they won’t take his far enough to prohibit text-heavy sites.

    But I think high bandwidth is where the growth is and these rules could enable “capture” of that growth via excessive rents, to the detriment of the larger public.

  • JustPlainDave

    …sure. However, if you mean intrinsic importance – particularly in the context of a marketplace of ideas, well I’m a lot more skeptical about that. High bandwidth stuff is just too damned slow and information sparse to matter to folks that are high grade stakeholders in that domain.

    Cambodia: A Book For People Who Find Television too Slow. ~ Brian Fawcett (old prof of my wife’s)

  • Bolo

    I think the intrinsic importance will start to take off too. We may stream youtube videos with cats playing pianos right now, but two-way, real-time video interaction and more immersive virtual environments with their own internal text, pics, videos, and other such means of interaction will become more common.

    Basically, I don’t think we’re using much of the potential of high bandwidth, but I can’t tell you exactly what parts of that potential will play out. I have Ghost in the Shell in mind to some extent I suppose.

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