Losing Control

Recently I have been seeing a lot of news blurbs about the changing nature of the internet.

I read things that talk about growing global internet governance where ICANN Takes First Step to Becoming a Global Content Regulator . This international body will have the power to decide which newly created global Top Level Domains (gTLDs) – domain names being represented as .edu, .gov, .org, etc. – will be appropriate for use. The domain names themselves are subject to scrutinization as stated:

must not be contrary to generally accepted legal norms relating to morality and public order that are recognized under international principles of law

Or coming accross reports that companies we trust to keep our personal data private and secure turning over to the next company like Google being Told to Turn Over User Data of YouTube, relinquishing millions of subscribers viewing records…which I didn’t know they kept records of that in the first place.

Or finding out that social networking site Facebook is able to track the buying habits of its users on affiliated third-party sites even when they are logged out of their account (via /.)

There is also debate on whether the Internet is Bad For Science. In the class I just completed -Libraries, Information and Society – this was a major issue. Some professionals believe that having academic journals available via open source publishing or articles availbe through databases online would decrease their credibility or their chance at having their work peer reviewed…if their idea isn’t stolen first. Having so much information at your fingertips as a researcher can as easily hinder or help your work.

Beyond this quick snap at recent dialogue, how else has the way we share, find, create information been affected? There seems to be a certain push in requiring some kind of control either through policy, access restriction, or filtering content. This may not be good for the democratic nature of the Internet.

I would rather see more tools being developed and implemented that would allow and empower the users in how they choose the use the resources available through the Internet. As we have the freedom to hold our own perceptions of the world, we should also be able to shape our own individual experience through our intellectualy shared resource.

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