Thursday, November 29, 2012

Get ready....say good-bye to the Internet as we now know it.

For the record, my love affair with computers and the Internet dates back to 1986 when a friend gave me an IBM XT PC with massive 20-meg. hard-drive (yes, 20-meg) and a 5.25 inch floppy drive. It sat in my office for six months because I didn't have a clue how to use it or what to do with it. At the time, I thought it would take me forever to fill-up the 20-meg hard-drive 

One day my friend, Mark (Thank-you Mark Ziminsky for being so persistent) pops in my office, sees the computer sitting there gathering dust and says, "Dale, if you aren't going to use that thing, I'll take it back." I told Mark I didn't know how to use it, and he proceeded to show me and teach me DOS (the basic disc operation system that underlies Windows, even today). With Mark's help, I became quite proficient in the use of DOS, so much so that when Windows 1.0 appeared on the scene, I was resistant to adopting it because I was doing just fine with DOS, thank-you very much!

Finally, with the arrival of Windows 3.0 in 1990, I slowly transitioned to Windows. A year earlier, I had signed on to Compuserve, the first online service to connect to the web. There wasn't much to connect to other than forums, bulletin boards, etc. There were no fancy websites with streaming music or videos in 1989.

I also remember the introduction of Realplayer in 1995, when I tuned into its initial test broadcast from Seattle. The quality was really bad, but then again, we were dealing with dial-up and really slow speeds at the time. Honestly, I didn't think Realplayer as an idea would last, but now looking back, it was the forerunner of our Pandora,  Spotify, Netflix and Hulu. 

So with that background info, I want to remind you (not that you need reminding) that the Internet has grown and prospered without the help or funding or regulation of governments. The Internet is self-regulating which means that no one has to ask for permission to launch a website, and no government can tell network operators how to do their jobs. The Internet (the world-wide web) is a permissionless society. 

But as I stated in an earlier post last May, the United Nations organization, ITU, wants to take over the Internet. In their 200-page proposal, they want to charge you for sending emails overseas (sort of a tax, so they can make some money off of you). Also, if any internet traffic is routed through countries like Russia, Iran, China, etc., they want the ability to eavesdrop or block internet access. This is the same UN that can't even control nuclear weapons, yet they want to control the Internet. (See article by L. Gordon Crovitz "The U.N.'s Internet Sneak Attack" in the Wall Street Journal for more background info).

The U.N. wants control over the Internet so they can make money off of everyone using it as well as control what information is transmitted. They want to tax firms like Google and Facebook which eventually would mean that you, the user would also be taxed or have to start paying Google or Facebook a user fee. 

My fear (and it is a well-founded one) is that the Obama administration will once again lead from behind and capitulate, giving in to the U.N. and allowing it to control the Internet. Why? Because in the name of multiculturalism, Obama believes that the U.S.'s values of freedom, democracy, and freedom of speech, etc. are no better than any other countries' values, including North Korea, Iran, or Russia. 

Far too many liberals, including Obama himself, believe that government should be able to censor and sanction speech in order to keep people "in line." This is the same political correctness that prevails on most of our university campuses today (just ask someone like Ann Coulter who is banned from a number of university campuses). 

I sadly predict that we are about to see the end of the Internet as we know it. This news will probably be greeted with cheers and cause for celebration by most liberals and leftist professors as well as the Hollywood crowd. 

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