by Steve Watson
April 16, 2007
Researchers funded by the federal government want to shut down the Internet
and start over, citing the fact that at the moment there are loopholes in
the system whereby users cannot be tracked and traced all the time.
Time magazine has reported that several foundations and universities
including Rutgers, Stanford, Princeton, Carnegie Mellon and the
Massachusetts Institute of Technology are pursuing individual projects,
along with the Defense Department, in order to wipe out the current
and replace it with a new network which will satisfy big business and
One challenge in any reconstruction, though, will be balancing the interests
of various constituencies. The first time around, researchers were able to
toil away in their labs quietly. Industry is playing a bigger role this
time, and law enforcement is bound to make its needs for wiretapping known.
There's no evidence they are meddling yet, but once any research looks
"a number of people (will) want to be in the drawing room," said
Jonathan Zittrain, a law professor affiliated with Oxford and Harvard
universities. "They'll be wearing coats and ties and spilling out of the
The projects echo moves we have previously reported on to clamp down on
Internet neutrality and even to designate a new form of the Internet known
This would be a faster, more streamlined elite equivalent of the Internet
available to users who were willing to pay more for a much improved service.
Providers may only allow streaming audio and video on your websites if you
were eligible for Internet 2.
Of course, Internet 2 would be greatly regulated and only "appropriate
content" would be accepted by an FCC or government bureau. Everything else
would be relegated to the "slow lane" Internet, the junkyard as it were.
techie rulers are all too keen to make us believe that the Internet as we
know it is "already dead".
Google is just one of the major companies preparing for
Internet 2 by
setting up hundreds of "server farms" through which eventually all our
personal data - emails, documents, photographs, music, movies - will pass
However, experts state that the "clean slate" projects currently being
undertaken go even further beyond projects like Internet 2 and
National LambdaRail, both of which focus primarily on next-generation needs for
In tandem with broad data retention legislation currently being introduced
worldwide, such "clean slate" projects may represent a considerable threat
to the freedom of the Internet as we know it. EU directives and US proposals
for data retention may mean that any normal website or blog would have to
fall into line with such new rules and suddenly total web regulation would
become a reality.
In recent months, a chorus of propaganda intended to demonize the Internet
and further lead it down a path of strict control has spewed forth from
numerous establishment organs:
In a display of bi-partisanship, there have recently been calls for all
out mandatory ISP snooping on all US citizens by both Democrats and
Republican Senator John McCain recently tabled a proposal to introduce
legislation that would fine blogs up to $300,000 for offensive statements,
photos and videos posted by visitors on comment boards. It is well known
that McCain has a distaste for his blogosphere critics, causing a definite
conflict of interest where any proposal to restrict blogs on his part is
During an appearance with his wife Barbara on
Fox News last November,
Bush senior slammed Internet bloggers for creating an "adversarial and ugly
The White House's own recently de-classified strategy for "winning the war
on terror" targets Internet conspiracy theories as a recruiting ground for
terrorists and threatens to "diminish" their influence.
The Pentagon recently announced its effort to infiltrate the Internet and
propagandize for the war on terror.
In a speech last October, Homeland Security director
identified the web as a "terror training camp," through which "disaffected
people living in the United States" are developing "radical ideologies and
potentially violent skills." His solution is "intelligence fusion centers,"
staffed by Homeland Security personnel which will go into operation next
The U.S. Government wants to force bloggers and online grassroots activists
to register and regularly report their activities to Congress. Criminal
charges including a possible jail term of up to one year could be the
punishment for non-compliance.
A landmark legal case on behalf of the
Recording Industry Association of
America and other global trade organizations seeks to criminalize all
Internet file sharing of any kind as copyright infringement, effectively
shutting down the world wide web - and their argument is supported by the
A landmark legal ruling in Sydney goes further than ever before in setting
the trap door for the destruction of the Internet as we know it and the end
of alternative news websites and blogs by creating the precedent that simply
linking to other websites is breach of copyright and piracy.
The European Union, led by former Stalinist and potential future British
Prime Minister John Reid, has also vowed to shut down "terrorists" who use
the Internet to spread propaganda.
The EU data retention bill, passed last year after much controversy and with
implementation tabled for late 2007, obliges telephone operators and
Internet service providers to store information on who called who and
emailed who for at least six months. Under this law, investigators in any EU
country, and most bizarrely even in the US, can access EU citizens' data on
phone calls, sms', emails and instant messaging services.
The EU also recently proposed legislation that would prevent users from
uploading any form of video without a license.
The US government is also funding research into social networking sites
and how to gather and store personal data published on them, according to
the New Scientist magazine.
"At the same time, US lawmakers are attempting
to force the social networking sites themselves to control the amount and
kind of information that people, particularly children, can put on the
We are being led to believe that a vast army of maniac pedophiles or
terrorists are on the loose and we must do away with all forms of privacy in
order to stop them.
This is akin to saying that blanket
CCTV prevents crime.
As if to say,
"if we film everyone all the time, even innocent people, then
no one will ever commit any crimes."
Increasingly we are seeing this in every aspect of our lives.
tracking and retaining our data in the name of keeping us all safe. Everyone
is now treated as guilty until proven innocent.
Make no mistake, the Internet, one of the greatest outposts of free speech
ever created is under constant attack by powerful people who cannot operate
within a society where information flows freely and unhindered. Both
American and European moves mimic stories we hear every week out of State
Controlled Communist China, where the Internet is strictly regulated and
virtually exists as its own entity away from the rest of the web.
The Internet is freedom's best friend and the bane of control freaks.
eradication is one of the short term goals of those that seek to centralize
power and subjugate their populations under a surveillance panopticon
prison, whether that be in Communist China, Neoconservative America or the