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the nature of content.

            Today’s freedom of speech discussion has come a long way and has many dynamic elements which it seems as though both the media and the general populous are seemingly ambivalent to.  Anti-hate speech advocates are encouraging congress to put limits on the un-viced freedom present in the internet; in pursuit of neutrality which protects fundamental rights.  In response, free speech advocates are in public outcry over the potential of regulation in the virtual world without any laws.  Additionally, congress is working to insure investment in both infrastructure development and intellectual property media by taking a hybrid of the anti-hate speech advocates.            Not to get too technical, but ISPs (companies like Time Warner and AT&T) give internet to consumers in what is known as packets.  Historically, these packets could be delivered in any form and held very little requirements (for instance the speed of cable internet could vary based upon how many users in your neighborhood used it).  Little regulation was put in place because not only is the unsuspecting public generally absent minded when it comes to these affairs, but the technology kept growing so regulations seemed as though, like all technology, to be outdated by the time any agreement was reached.

            Among other things, the new legislation requires that ISPs work more intensely with the delivery of ‘packets’ to consumers, giving them a dynamic of censorship.  This causes companies like skype and apple TV to face legal regulation when delivering their products.  Today, companies like Time Warner, a putting pressure upon consumers to conform to new standards in the internet world, which creates a dynamic dilemma.

            Media Consumers on the internet are a dynamic beast because with a limited understanding of the internet have evolved their skills to become proficient in what they are interested in.  Their limited understanding can be demonstrated in the seeming lack of interest in the internet related bills in congress.  With applications, which media consumers know little about, companies like Time Warner are triangulating the relationship by placing the expectation for applications inner workings to be common knowledge for consumers (with a threat of legal pressure as a result of ‘breach of contract’).  Aside from the apparent (but not necessarily) injustice, this seems to present two opportunities.

            One opportunity is a third party endorsement system, which notifies consumers whether products that they are using are in conformity with regulations.  Ideally, someone who was placing the restriction would offer a product like this, but with so much questionable content on people’s computers it may be hazardous for a corporate giant to scan your computer with copy right infringing software.  In the age of open ware (free media), maybe some altruistic programmers will go to work.

            A second opportunity is for consumers to start taking an interest in the regulations which affect them (or will very soon).  This confronts a much larger question of apathy, which every person should be entitled to, if they so choose.  To clarify, I’m not suggesting that what is going on isn’t fully deserved.  Governmentally protected Copy Rights, Patents and Privacy have been grossly infringed upon through the development of both technology and bandwidths (higher connection speeds – phone lines V. DSL).  The internet has become a lawless virtual environment which infringes upon rights of companies whose investment is being threatened by a faceless entity they cannot directly confront.  In the interest of protection of investments (which is essential in the stability of a country), something needs to be done.  An anti-establishment wave has ridden the opposition to this legislation but it seems as though this same wave has made piracy legitimate. 

            My point is simply this, it is clear that the lawless nature of the internet is a mounting national concern; which unquestionably must be confronted.  Furthermore, in regards to hate speech, there are certain parameters in regards to what should be distributed on the mass level.  However, the outcry of consumers for a dynamic market place, in which they can use cost-saving services (like skype), has little to do with ensuring any of the aforementioned points.  Dynamic services have naturally been developed in the market place to use advertising as a way to compensate content providers for their efforts. 

To learn more, read Harvard Business Review’s Saving The Internet

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Written by Joe

10 June at 10 am

Posted in learn

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