I picked up a copy of the June 2007 issue of Release 2.0 at OSCON’s Executive Breifing – Lawrence Lessig is interviewed in there and it is SCARY.
What are you most worried bout now? That 9/11 event on the Net …what comes after it. Recently I was talking to a senior government official, someone who used to be close to policy decisions in the White House. WE were talking about the Patriot Act, how it was written in the 10 days between 9/11 and when it was passed by Congress. It was there, waiting. I asked him whether there was a similar act for the Internet. He said, “Yes- and Vint Cerf won’t like it.” Such radical policy making would change the character of the network. I am also worried about who is paying attention. All the progress in the Net happened when no special interest groups were rallying against its core values. First the content industries and now the phone and cable companies have strong financial interest in corroding the core values of a neutral network. Thanks to the economy of influence in Washington, it’s easy to buy cover for any ridiculous idea these industries would present. So many of their ideas would destroy the Net as an engine of economic growth. This imbalance between innovative technology on the one side and an extraordinary amount of money against that architecture on the other really terrifies me. These companies have no long-term interest in the success of the Internet. They just want a larger part of a smaller pie. We need bipartisan common sense around what makes the Internet work.
I got good news from my friend Karri Winn – Lawrence Lessig is going to be speaking at this years San Francisco Green Festival. Hopefully he will inspire the community gathered there to get more involved in these issues.
One of the things talked about at BlogHer by a few of us was organizing around technology/policy issues with. I also think that the tech community must be more politically aware and active.
This was also highlighted at OSCON with a presentation by Rick Falkvinge about freedom and the policial party fighting for net freedom in Sweeden – The Pirate Party. They have now got a wedge slice of the seats in the parliament and are seeking to weild power by giving the priministership to which ever party will give the cyberrights and policies they need for a free society. It is really cool.
WE NEED TO ORGANIZE POLITICALLY AND FAST!!!!