Friday, March 21, 2014

What's the Future of Internet Access? Do You Fear Censorship?

 

The Internet Archive 's mission is Universal access to knowledge, something important for all writers who research for their work.


The Internet Archive is a non-profit that was founded to build an Internet library. Its purposes include offering permanent access for researchers, historians, scholars, people with disabilities, and the general public to historical collections that exist in digital format. Founded in 1996, the Archive has been receiving data donations from Alexa Internet and others. Now the Internet Archive includes: texts, audio, moving images, and software as well as archived web pages in our collections, and provides specialized services for adaptive reading and information access for the blind and other persons with disabilities.  
402 Billion web pages saved over timeDONATE
 
 
Have you ever wondered about the future of the web, and access to the stored information?

The past twenty-five years of the World Wide Web has seen many changes. 

 

John Hayduk, who is President and Product Management of Service Development at Tata Communications, talks about the future of the web and possible exponential growth.  Read more facts about the web’s history performance as he outlined   HERE.

 More interesting reading is the concerns for the future of the world wide web by its inventor Tim Berners-Lee

Exactly 25 years after writing the first proposal for what would become the World Wide Web, Tim Berners-Lee wants a digital bill of rights to protect Internet users from surveillance. Berners-Lee, a British computer scientist, told the Guardian the Web had come under increasing attack from governments and corporate influence. He said new rules, or an online "Magna Carta" is needed to safeguard independence of the medium he invented.He believes the Web should be "accessible to all, from any device, and one that empowers all of us to achieve our dignity, rights and potential as humans." He hopes to re-invent the Web through the "Web We Want" initiative, which would create a universal "Internet Users Bill of Rights."

 There are other conversations going on in the news as well. 

Many are concerned about the USA giving up its rights to the ICANN to monitor domains, previously done by US. Here is an article from Wall Street Journal  by Gautham Nagesh about immediate concerns vs long term possible concerns. Others also have concerns -
“Giving up control of ICANN will allow countries like China and Russia that don’t place the same value in freedom of speech to better define how the Internet looks and operates,” Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) said Monday.
 Read more HERE.  

It is planned to take place September 2015.  


Next week discussions will begin about the details regarding the transfer of key internet domain name functions from the US government to the "global multi-stakeholder community"  Read more of the article by    HERE.  
Find out more about Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers or   ICANN HERE.
 
All these uncertainties may change the view of the future. The importance of having and maintaining an Internet Archive is now magnified. The future of the world wide web, with the change of hands for its overseeing and rules, brings some shadows over the possible future worldwide web. 
It is good to know that history is preserved and that the truth is still out there if for any unforeseen reason, the web begins to get censored of its content. 

More thoughts...

here in the USA we have different standards for freedom of speech than other nations. Some believe we have a more open society, others disagree. 

We have had our share of 'book burning' even Harry Potter books, and we also have many exercising their right of free speech, as done in the famous 'boobie case'. The fact that within our own country we have disparity only reinforces the possibility that worldwide monitoring and surveillance will somehow be gatekeepers of content. 
The governing members are only human, each bringing with them their own cultural and personal history, their own story and outlook on life.

My point in sharing this post is to remind us all that history can only be erased if we allow it to be, and that your support and contributions of material to non-profit organizations like Internet Archive and Gutenberg Project, is crucial to preserve past written words.

 As writers, history is important to us – 

we depend on it for our research, as well as access to good books for reading pleasure, and viewing great art. Support:

Keep reading - Keep writing!