Well, we had a good run, people

Oh well, it seems like the honeymoon's over. A UN summit in Tunisia is meeting over the next three days to discuss what to do with the Internet. For too long, apparently, the Internet has been uncensored and uncontrolled - the ultimate expression of free speech and international discourse. But the question may be settled as to who "owns" the World-Wide Web.

The Bush administration, of course, wants the whole thing to be controlled from the US. Other countries - mostly those that heavily censor their citizen's access - want there to be more centralised control under the UN. The EU may well play the trump card and break any deadlock.

I notice, however, that the idea of just leaving it alone isn't surfacing. At the moment, countries are able, through the use of products produced by companies like Google, Microsoft and Yahoo!, to decide exactly how much or how little their citizens are exposed to. Any country that values freedom of speech will - theoretically - leave it alone. Any country that wants exacting government control can do so.

Most of us who like to keep one foot in the reality pool knew that the ride wouldn't last forever, and it wouldn't be too long before this, too, became "sanitised" by the few for the greater profit of the few, under the guise of safeguarding the many.

It was fun while it lasted.

No comments: