Iran Permanently Cuts Off Internet. Afgans Build Their Own. Opinions and Futures.
I’m straddling the line here between dork stuff and the pretentious socio-political junk I try to stay away from in everyday conversations. I don’t like politics, it’s an ugly subject. But in todays world, especially the middle east last summer, technology and the internet were instrumental for people who felt they were being treated unfairly by their goverments. I remember hearing some things about scattered protests in Egypt, but it didn’t get serious until the government shut-off the internet. I couldn’t help but think of what would happen in the U.S. if our government did the same (or more accurately, force ISP’s to flip the switch. More on this later).
Now that we have that out the way; Iran is imposing a multi-point plan to permanently cut off it’s entire nation from the internet. I actually remember hearing about a similar idea sometime in the early 2000’s in Wired magazine. Internet2 was originally conceived for a lot of the same reasons Iran is making the change to “intranet”. The internet is dirty. Virus’s, malware, hackers, identity theft; all the kinds of dangers that can scare the crap out of the majority of casual internet users. The internet can be a big, confusing place for sure.
Lying at the heart of all these reasons to switch is the fact that the internet itself and how we access it, was never really meant for the masses. It started as a military application and grew from there. Since we started using the internet, people have been thinking of and implementing ways to sweep the messy parts under the digital rug. But it’s all a big patch-up operation. The only way to truly fix the internet is to start over. But it’s far too late for that. It was far too late for that in the year 2000.
This type of thing in Iran scares me. In the last 3 years or so, governments are finding out that their citizens can use the spread of information to their advantage. This flow of information is good. It keeps everyone in check (see Amazon reviews/Angies List/Wikileaks). Any government regulation of the free flow of information is a bad thing. I’ll always be against it with a passion. It’s a shame to have to put together a rulebook for something so liberating, but even if it takes baby steps its going to happen eventually. We may be telling our wide eyed grandchildren of the days when you could download an entire discography or movie for free. The wild west days of the internet are coming to an end. And just like the wild west; the law is (and has been) trying to tame the internet. I don’t think it should be.
The most exciting thing about all this is that people will always stay a step ahead. I had a futurist friend telling me about webservers that fly around in the air like drones, moving from place to place to avoid regulations and whatnot. All I could do was shrug – why not? Here’s an article about some Afghans who literally built their own open source internet out of trash. Inspiring stuff .
Keep your eyes open. And keep the 1′ and 0’s flowing freely internet friends.
© 2012 – 2014, Nathan Chojnacki. All rights reserved.