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Jonathan Zittrain On the Future of the Internet 216

Posted by Soulskill
from the take-back-the-tubes dept.
uctpjac writes "Jonathan Zittrain, Professor of Internet Governance and Regulation at Oxford and renowned cyberlaw scholar, gave a lecture explaining that the Internet has to be taken out of the hands of the anarchists, the libertarians, and the State, and handed back to self-policing communities of experts. If we don't do this, he believes the Internet will suffer 'self-closure' — the open system will seal itself off when the inability to put its own house in order leads to a take-over by government and business. The article summarizes Zittrain's points and notes, "Forces of organized interests that do not play by the rules, like malware peddlers, identity thieves and spammers are allowing another army of interests — corporate protectionists, often — to demand centralized, authoritarian solutions. This is the future of the Net unless we stop it.'"
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Jonathan Zittrain On the Future of the Internet

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  • I didn't get it. (Score:3, Informative)

    by cyxxon (773198) on Sunday March 09, 2008 @01:19PM (#22693218) Homepage
    Hm, article contains word blogosphere. Stopped reading there. And up to that word, I did not really get what "JZ" wanted to say anyway, it sounded more like an incoherent ramble by TFA's author. Anyone care to elaborate?
  • by pandrijeczko (588093) on Sunday March 09, 2008 @01:56PM (#22693450)
    PS. It's amazing how easy it is to avoid making a total ass of yourself if you spend a minute on Google to get your facts straight.

    According to this "Harvard Unversity that just happens to be in the USA" link Jonathan Zittrain [harvard.edu] is a visiting professor at Oxford - it looks like he's just another "know-it-all" Yank after all.

  • Anarchism (Score:5, Informative)

    by sohp (22984) <{snewton} {at} {io.com}> on Sunday March 09, 2008 @02:07PM (#22693508) Homepage
    Zittrain lost me on his own misuse of the word anarchist. Politically, an anarchist is someone who simply rejects a society controlled by a coercive state. This, of course, is exactly what his 'communitarian corner' supports. His taxonomy distorts the debate by relying on the pejorative use of anarchy as a term for moral and political disorder.
  • by Cal Paterson (881180) * on Sunday March 09, 2008 @02:44PM (#22693706)

    anarchy means no laws
    I'm not sure this is true. Anarchy is generally agreed to mean the absence of government, and this is different from "no laws". Wikipedia agrees [wikipedia.org]

    Having a "self-policing community" means having laws.
    Not true either. Anarchists (including prominent ones like Chomsky) have often put stated that their form of government does include rules, though I don't know enough about anarchism to state exactly what. One interview I've read is with Peter Jay [chomsky.info] and this includes some clarification about some anarchist views on the rule of law.

    Anarchism is probably the most misrepresented of all political creeds, even more than fascism or communism. While I am certainly no expert (nor anarchist) you're putting forward statements that are clearly untrue, even at a glance.
  • That's okay (Score:2, Informative)

    by Jane Q. Public (1010737) on Sunday March 09, 2008 @03:07PM (#22693824)
    Second Life is for people who don't have a First Life anyway.
  • Re:okaay (Score:5, Informative)

    by ultranova (717540) on Sunday March 09, 2008 @03:23PM (#22693950)

    That article sure uses a a lot of words to say 'the web should be communist'.

    Communism is an economic system where the workers own the means of production; the practical implementations usually had the state owning everything. It has nothing to do with the issue at hand.

    All analysis like these are missing a huge, huge point. The wider web may well end up under the control of powerful, agenda ridden groups. This isn't that important, no really, it isn't. They are trying to control something which is already on its way to being obsolete as a means to disseminate information between ordinary people.

    Why not? Because the net will contain sub-internets within game worlds. sub-internets will be the new places to hang out. We may even see clones of our current Internet hosted entirely inside game worlds (or whatever game worlds become).

    I use the Web mainly for reading text and looking at pictures. The current Web is absolutely superior in this compared to any imaginable virtual world.

    The cyberspace - a simulation of real 3D world - is a fun thing for playing around, but when you need to get information, it is pathetically inefficient. Besides, it takes obscene amounts of resources to host a virtual world compared to simply hosting a website, so not surprisingly every virtual world in existence is tightly controlled by agenda-ridden groups. Add the fact that there is only a handful of them, and getting started in a new virtual world requires an absurd amount of effort - installing the client, at the absolute minimum - compared to simply going to a new website with the good old browser, and it is quite clear that the Internet's future lies in the lair of the spider queen.

  • by psychodelicacy (1170611) <psychodelicacy@gmail.com> on Sunday March 09, 2008 @03:26PM (#22693980) Homepage
    Oh, come on! He's not saying that Libertarians = Anarchists, but that they have a similar place on the top-down/bottom-down and Hierarchical/Polyarchical system which he is using to analyse this issue. The types of Libertarians he's talking about are specifically those who live their cyber-lives outside communities. Some FOSS developers, for example, who prefer not to be associated with particular projects or communities. He's not saying that "quadrant" in his model is necessarily a bad thing, but that it doesn't have the same power as the communitarian model to help resist the shutting down of the internet by top-down governmental regulation.

    If you read TFA, you might see the author's final comments on communitarianism - that it is a model which is built more on micro-institutions than hippy communes. This isn't a communist model, but one which asks for community expertise to be allowed to police net freedom rather than a totalising imposition of "solutions" from above.
  • by psychodelicacy (1170611) <psychodelicacy@gmail.com> on Sunday March 09, 2008 @06:37PM (#22695022) Homepage
    I'm getting tired of saying this, but you're trash-talking someone who is well-respected and well-qualified, based on what someone else thinks he said! Look at Zittrain's biog - he's a principal investigator for the Open Net Initiative [opennet.net] and closely involved with Chilling Effects [chillingeffects.org]. Do you really think that he's arguing against internet accessibility and freedom? Or is it more likely that the article's author has misinterpreted him?
  • by kesuki (321456) on Sunday March 09, 2008 @07:42PM (#22695536) Journal
    "ea, really. Name a famous hospital, one doing cutting edge work..... that isn't in the US"

    name one eh? well these are only facilities doing STEM CELL Research mind you, but I removed all the US ones.

    North America

    U Toronto; Robarts Research Inst.; McMaster U, Ontario; Ottawa Health Research Institute

    South America

    U São Paulo
    Instituto Nacional de Cardiologia Laranjeiras
    U Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte
            United Kingdom & Republic of Ireland

    Hammersmith Hospital, London; Imperial College London; King's College London
    Medical Research Council (MRC); Regenerative Medicine Institute, Galway
    Roslin Institute, Edinburgh; U Birmingham
    U Cambridge; U College London
    U Durham; U Edinburgh
    U Glasgow; U Liverpool
    U Manchester; U Newcastle
    U Oxford; U Sheffield; U York

    Continental Europe

    Genopole, Evry, France; INSERM, Reims, France
    IRB, Montpellier, France; U Valencia, Spain
    Geneva U Hospitals, Switzerland; San Raffaele Scientific Institute, Italy
    U Dusseldorf, Germany; U Cologne, Germany
    Max-Planck Institute, Germany; Fraunhofer Institute, Germany
    Hubrecht Laboratory, The Netherlands; Catholic U Leuven, Belgium
    Norwegian Center for Stem Cell Research; Odense U Hospital, Denmark
    U Goteborg, Sweden; U Lund, Sweden
    Karolinska Institute, Sweden; Mendel U, Czech Republic
    Oulu U, Finland; U Tampere, Finland
    U Helsinki, Finland
            Mideast

    Istanbul Memorial Hospital, Turkey; Hadassah Medical Center, Israel
    The Technion, Israel; Jeddah BioCity, Saudi Arabia
    Royan Institute, Iran
            Asia-Pacific

    U Beijing, China; Peking Union Medical College
    Stem Cell & Regenerative Medicine Ctr, Beijing; Shanghai Second Medical University
    Chinese National Human Genome Center Shanghai; Shanghai Huashan Institute
    Xiangya Reproduction & Genetics Hospital, China; Sun Yat-sen U, China
    National Health Research Institutes, Taiwan; Biomedical Engineering Center, Taiwan
    Seoul National U, Korea; Miz-Medi Medical Research Center, Korea
    Maria Biotechnology Institute, Korea; Stem Cell Research Centre, Korea
    RIKEN Institute, Japan; Kyoto U, Japan
    Mitsubishi Kagaku Institute, Japan; Keio U, Japan
    Osaka U Medical School, Japan; Genome Institute of Singapore
    Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology, Singapore
    U Kebangsaan, Malaysia; Mahidol U, Thailand
    NCBS Bangalore, India; National Centre for Cell Science, India
    Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, India
            Australia

    Australian Stem Cell Centre; Howard Florey Institute
    Monash U Stem Cell Labs; Murdoch Childrens Research Institute
    NSW Stem Cell Network; Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre
    U Adelaide; U New South Wales
    U Queensland; Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute
  • Re:No No No (Score:3, Informative)

    by tomhudson (43916) <barbara...hudson@@@barbara-hudson...com> on Sunday March 09, 2008 @09:31PM (#22696204) Journal

    To save others from looking around ...

    http://nl.newsbank.com/nl-search/we/Archives?p_product=PI&s_site=philly&p_multi=PI&p_theme=realcities&p_action=search&p_maxdocs=200&p_topdoc=1&p_text_direct-0=0EB2A320ADE94F0E&p_field_direct-0=document_id&p_perpage=10&p_sort=YMD_date:D&s_trackval=GooglePM [newsbank.com]

    THE SYSTEM: "IT SERVES NO PURPOSE EXCEPT TO CONSUME ITSELF."

    Source: Tim Weiner, INQUIRER WASHINGTON BUREAU

    The United States is on the verge of building a Star Wars missile defense system. But the project's in-house critics say it has become a "feeding frenzy" of contractors building an expensive system of questionable worth. After nine years of research and $30 billion, with little to show for the time and money, Congress has ordered the Strategic Defense Initiative Organization (SDIO) to build something: an elaborate system of missiles, radars, command

    Published on March 23, 1992, Page A01, Philadelphia Inquirer, The (PA)

    http://www.doubletongued.org/index.php/dictionary/self_licking_ice_cream_cone/ [doubletongued.org]

    self-licking ice cream cone n. a process, department, institution, or other thing that offers few benefits and exists primarily to justify or perpetuate its own existence. Also in the form self-licking lollipop.

    The guy's name is "Johnny Zit-train." Sounds like a character out of a Clearasil commercial.

"There is hopeful symbolism in the fact that flags do not wave in a vacuum." --Arthur C. Clarke

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