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Networking: background and future

[Ese articulo fue traducido al castellano (español). Pincha aqui para leerlo.]

The creation of networking back in the 1960s, through both private and U.S. investment in military research created robust, fault-tolerant, and distributed computer organisms. Eventually this system grew into the largest and most effective way of global communication.

Internet has become so important in our lives that we now live in two different, but connected worlds; one life as an “internaut” and another in the physical world . These two are connected in such a way that all one does online neccesarily affects the other.

Networking is present in almost every country in the world since it started in the US. English is the main language used (28% of Web visitors) followed by Chinese (23%), Spanish (8%), Japanese (5%), Portuguese and German (with 4% respectively). It has recently grown into radical new ways of social interaction, manifested through web sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Myspace.

Users are able to add a wide variety of facts to any kind of web-pages, as well as share it with others for free. It is from this freedom to share information that the controversial concerns arise in the areas of privacy, marketing, and copyrights. This ongoing conflict, born with computing (see open source vs. closed source debate), has recently resulted in censorship. Countries like China, Iran, Myanmar and the United States, who have blocked some web pages that focus on subjects that contend their authority, contravene their ideals or that they deem goes contrary to their general beliefs. This censorship is relatively common in China and other authoritarian regimes. However, the attack perpetrated by the United States against Wikileaks, for doing the job it’s domestic media should be doing, is unique as it demonstrates the hollowness of the much stated concept of western democracy. Freedom of speech is not something that should be taken for granted, it is something that must be earned.

The growth of social networks has been so accelerated that in a few years time they have reached an extraordinary number of users. Facebook, for example, by July of 2010 it had more than 500 million active users. It is working in almost every single country and in many different languages. Social networking has become the biggest and fastest form of global communications, a fact with vast implications. On one hand, it is probably the biggest market tool ever fathomed by corporations to increase sales. This has led to a race to colonize the possible profits, and to achieve them a system is being created, from the inside, to control the Net in a capitalist fashion and ultimately, to achieve a sort of political control. It is an idea that as of now remains unstable, as many companies find it hard to capitalize on such a free and open space. The result of this is takeover is detrimental to our view of a free Internet.

Our virtual lives are replacing the way we commonly interact, and our space for freedom, knowledge and exchange is shifting on it’s axis. We must find a way to preserve it. If the people before us fought with weapons to defend these rights, we must also do it on the Internet, using information as our ally. The way to stop this corporate and institutional takeover is to understand that their own secrets are being read, watched and known by all.  With a transparent flow of information we can fight together to maintain net neutrality and reap the benefits of a free Internet.

Categories: Articles, English
  1. January 16, 2011 at 2:12 am

    “Beauty is not in the face; beauty is a light in the heart.” ~ Kahlil Gibran

  2. January 16, 2011 at 10:55 am

    “The ignorant mind, with it’s infinite afflictions, passions, and evils is rooted in the three poisons: greed, anger, and delusion.”

  3. January 18, 2011 at 3:45 pm

    “No object is so beautiful that, under certain conditions, it will not look ugly.” ~ Oscar Wilde

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