When the internet first landed on computers across the country, there was little to surf across that didn’t have crazy repeating background images and erratic gifs winking in-and-out of existence, all clamoring for your attention like a casino on the Vegas strip. Despite this decidedly disorganized origin, the internet has gone on to define an entire generation, drive business, and shrink the world like nothing ever before in history. But this joy-ride is destined to end, so what will be the destination?
The Wild World Web
As the internet has grown, human nature—in all its forms—has taken over to bring a host of delight, potential, and harm. From Cyberattacks to YouTube millionaires, the internet is responsible for bringing a digital wilderness—where anything and everything can happen—to our doorsteps.
With this openness and universal access, borders dissolve and the world shrinks. Open democracy, though appealing and tantalizingly close, is still a pipe dream. And nothing makes this clearer than the authoritarian control that is the SplinterNet.
Freedom isn’t welcome here
Totalitarian regimes seem to be all the rage outside our borders, but where this story comes into American relevance is with tech companies and how they work with these regimes. As Google’s Dragonfly takes a seat at the table in China, it’s understandable that the tech giant is playing nice for the business. But what happens when China’s behavior destroys human freedom? Is Google then supporting this philosophy by maintaining a limiting platform like Dragonfly?
We’ve been here before
When Redemtech (Sage CEO Bob’s, and owner Jill’s, previous company) was started in the late 90s, there was a hot market for used fax machines. One of the countries many US companies were selling these fax machines to, as it turns out, had a political resistance who found that communication via fax was an ideal way around governmental firewalls.
Redemtech eventually discovered that freedom fighters were purchasing these devices to fight against oppressive regimes. The lesson here is that—whether we like it or not—our tech has political ramifications which we need to observe. Tech is both a liberating and a controlling force, and the SplinterNet is the darker side of that.
Image ©: The Creativity Post