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The internet has been under relentless attack from business interests and their proxies in Washington for about 15 years and from the intelligence community for about 25 years.

Some of it you just can't make up - I don't have a link but I remember senator Orrin Hatch, one of the more corrupt US senators, stating publicly that he wanted the ability to remotely "zap" (and thus physically destroy) computers that had been "shown" to have copyright infringing material on them. That was around 2003 give or take. The level of hatred for the openness of the internet in Washington is nearly all consuming. It's a natural institutional response - bureaucracies like closed systems. It isn't just a matter of business interests buying politicians.

On the commercial side - from the point of view of consumers who don't want to be thrown in jail for downloading music and have a reasonable expectation of being able to access any website on the internet - I'm not worried. The draconian stuff that continually gets pushed forward in bills written by industries trying to save the old artificial scarcity business models are now limited by the damage that would be done to internet megacorps (amazon, google, MS, Apple etc) - as the latter are now about equal with the former in terms of political influence. Even with this comical mission creep of the DHS shutting down piracy sites for Hollywood - this afternoon I was able to access all my usual torrent sites. It's a "drugs on the table" stage show. It does nothing for Hollywood.

Wikileaks maybe changes things a tiny bit in that there is going to be a little more military / state department / intelligence community pressure and success in going after individuals who threaten their own "business models."

JakeS posted a link on facebook (maybe here as well) that gets into the war / narrative that Assange is fighting. I recommend reading it. Up until now we've been mostly considering internet issues in terms of the dynamic between business interests, consumers, and elected officials; the wikileaks business centers around bureaucracies, the intelligence community, and the rights of citizens. Napster was to the former as wikileaks is to the latter - shutting down either means exactly nothing.

Also note that the NSA already has access to effectively ALL internet traffic. The time to declare the sky was falling in terms of privcy and free spech rights was when this came out in 2006. The wikileaks business is to me just a sign that the catalyst has finally crystallized. I'm surprised this didn't happen a decade ago, it was feasible then.

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Sat Dec 4th, 2010 at 09:29:56 PM EST

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