Why isn't Internet free for everyone yet?

Discussion in 'Science and Technology' started by Dream, Aug 31, 2012.

  1. RB_Kandy

    RB_Kandy Commander Red Shirt

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    Well, that is an argument, however, freedom of speech only applies to an act of congress, no other branch of government. Example: The FCC is certainly government, and their job is primarily shutting down people who speak the wrong things (mostly nudity, gore, profanity).
    It's true that one day all ISP's might be required to have a license to transmit data, and that it gets regulated by the FCC. The FCC has tried and failed numerous times to get control over the US internet system http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703395204576023452250748540.html
    Again, your first amendment right would only be constitutionally valid for the internet if the internet was controlled by congress. But if congress made another FCC and called it "The Internet Safety Commission" which controlled all telecommunications, that organization is free to make any and every law it wants, because congress is not silencing your speech, and because judiciary is not punishing you for it.


    Nope, we have net neutrality. If the phone and cable companies have over turned it recently, I would appreciate a link.

    While that doesn't really surprise me, or even bother me that much considering there's a billion email service providers, and they are a third party data storage and retrieval medium (as opposed to being the only physical means to transport raw data). I would still like to see a link.


    There are no obscenity laws governing the internet. Many politicians and protest groups have tried, only one of those bills were ever passed, called CIPA (Children's Internet Protection Act). This applies to schools and libraries only, and is not "enforced" but "encouraged" through a funding project called E-rate funding. Here is the official FCC government link http://www.fcc.gov/guides/childrens-internet-protection-act

    If there is some other obscenity law that has gotten passed, I would appreciate a link.

    Can you show me a current example of ISP censorship? As I truly could care less about google, yahoo, youtube's individual corporate policy and User Agreement. If youtube says "a video of a woman performing sexual acts with animals will be a violation of our terms of service" that is a million miles away from an ISP intercepting the data of said video, and blocking it.
    It's really the difference between Wal-Mart telling you that you must wear shoes on their property, vs a federal law that says all US citizens must wear shoes when leaving the house.

    The government can already monitor your emails, and web surfing habits, just like phone tapping. And like phone tapping, they only do this as an official police investigation or if homeland security believes you have terrorist links. If they controlled it directly they wouldn't even need warrants, and their ability to really reach down deep into your system retrieving and planting data would be extremely easy.
     
  2. Methos

    Methos Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Can't speak for wherever Alidar Jarok is, but in England, ISP Censorship is quite prevalent...

    ISP can, and do, go out of their way to block various websites... They use the Cleanfeed database for censorship, and have an 'opt in' policy for their advanced censorship, where any website having adult terms in the name, or tags of the website, will be blocked from viewing on your account.

    M
     
  3. Methos

    Methos Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I'm not meaning to be disrespectful here, but that's both hilarious and so wrong it's pathetic...

    Again, let me point to England... Here we have both the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008, and the Obscene Publications Act 1959...

    Both of which are used, and abused by the government and police, to blanket censorship on the internet and email systems...

    here's CJIA 2008 - LINK

    here's OPA 1959 - LINK

    Now, the legal jargon there pretty much speaks for itself... but let me break it down for people into broad strokes...

    Yes, I am going to be discussing porn and adult images here, because that is what these laws are being used to censor...

    There have been several cases lately, prominently dealing with adult images and pornography, where the government / police is using these acts to censor and curtail what is viewable on the internet.

    These acts aim not only to censor adult images on the internet, but actually enforce jail sentences for people viewing these images, even though the images depict legal acts.

    Yup, let me re-enforce that statement... doing these things IS PERFECTLY LEGAL, but viewing images of them, even photos of yourself doing these acts on the internet or email IS ILLEGAL and will end with a 5 year jail sentence...

    And for those who don't believe me here, here's the latest trial of this BS censorship put into effect...

    Again, link deals with legal jargon and discussion of an adult nature, just to warn you :)

    http://obscenitylawyer.blogspot.co.uk/2012/07/porn-trial-this-time-its-extreme.html

    And you can actually see how bad this went, by doing a twitter search for the tag #porntrial

    https://twitter.com/#!/search/#PornTrial

    So, let me give you a brief run-down of this trial... The defendant was arrested for having emails of an adult nature in his hotmail account... note, again, these pictures showed perfectly legal acts, they were not available for public viewing, nor were they on any public server... they were on a private email account and were sent between him and a friend... no one else saw or witnessed these pictures in the public domain.

    So, the police, using this 'extreme pornography' law, covered by the Obscene Publications act, and under the cover of the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act, arrested the defendant for possession of the images, and proceeded to take him to trial for them.

    Now, the defendant was found innocent on all counts here, but i'm using this case as a way to explain the censorship in England... not only have i outlined 2 laws here that the government enforces to a degree where public pictures of legal acts are now illigal... but to a point where even private pictures that aren't discussed on a public forum, can be prosecuted under the obscene publications act.

    If people would like, i can post 5 more trials covering these laws in the past 4 years, all of which deal with the same sort of law and legal ramifications, of images and literature being censored, and the defendant being prosecuted and facing jail time, for photographs or video private, consensual and legal acts.

    Not only does censorship exist on the internet, but it exists to a frightening, and often life changing degree for those who are charged, and blanketed with the governments censorship programs.

    M
     
  4. Alidar Jarok

    Alidar Jarok Everything in moderation but moderation Moderator

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    Actually, no. The first amendment absolutely applies to executive action. Although I'm trying to remember a case specifically, I think New York Times v. United States is at least relevant. The justification for the FCC power isn't that the first amendment doesn't apply to the executive but that, because broadcast airwaves are a limited resource, the government can regulate it more in the name of the public interest. This was decided in the Pacifica case in 1978, but there's been talk of reconsidering it in light of recent changes. Either way, the FCC can only regulate broadcast television and only for indecency (as opposed to the normal first amendment standard of obscenity outlined in Miller v. California.

    Actually, while phone companies are common carriers and are bound to carry communications fairly, internet service providers are not. There's been no Supreme Court case to declare this, but the Brand X from the 9th Cicuit did squarely hold this. While there have been calls for net neutrality laws, there is no current net neutrality.

    Link regarding yahoo censoring emails

    Well, there's the general 18 U.S.C. § 1465, which prohibits distribution of obscene materials for the purpose of sale. Otherwise, there's no specific law covering obscenity on the internet, but they have the power to do so under first amendment jurisprudence (Reno v. ACLU covered indecency, not obscenity and was properly struck down). It's also valid for state laws to ban pornography on the internet and I'm not about to check all 51 jurisdictions to see if there's one on the books.

    The example I have an internet link for is for email service. I can cite a book for an example of comcast censoring in its capacity as ISP, but you would have to acquire the book to confirm my information.

    No. This is factually wrong. The Fourth amendment applies to government searches. Under the USA PATRIOT Act, they can only search your emails if a substantial purpose is foreign intelligence (not just terrorism and generally not terrorism). However, under Title III of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act, phone tapping can be done for any criminal investigation. Either way, they need probable cause to believe a crime is being committed and approval in advance of a magistrate (or FISA court judge). DHS is actually not involved, since wiretaps are under the purview of the Attorney General.

    Internet searches fall under the same principle. There might even be stronger protections because it's analogous to mail cases, but this hasn't been fully hashed out. Generally, the contents are protected, though, without legal justification. This is the same whether or not the government owns the service. For example, the post office can't open your mail without legal cause.
     
  5. RB_Kandy

    RB_Kandy Commander Red Shirt

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    Methos, all my proclamations about the internet and government vs corporate censorship applies to USA laws.
    I do not know anything about the legal system in the UK, China, Israel, Iraq or even Canada. I'm sure all of those different territories have drastically different laws, methods of enforcing laws, laws of rights and of communication rights.
    Because I am only American, I am only familiar with the corporate and government structure in my country.
    I thought it would be obvious from the post between me and Alidar Jarok, that we were referring only to American politics and rights. After all, there is no first amendment right (of free speech) in the UK, nor is there an FCC, Homeland Security, Tea Party, and GOP.
    I'm not even sure if there is a congress in the UK. You people got something called Parliament. I know nothing about the corporate or political atmosphere over there.
    I've heard about something called Cleanfeed when the Australian government dictated the kangaroo internet over there and decided to block websites that might offend people, and the bill passed under the guise of protecting children.

    All the citations I ask for from Alidar Jarok, are citations of occurrences in the USA. After all, I'm sure ISP's can block rivals and anything else in nations like Iraq and China. I have no doubt to these things.
    So when I talk about legal rights on the internet, I mean your legal right as an American citizen; not all of the various laws that exist for ISP's, businesses, advertisers, consumers, servers, hosts, for all the countries of the world with a telecommunications infrastructure.
     
  6. RB_Kandy

    RB_Kandy Commander Red Shirt

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    I'm not sure I understand what you mean when you divide telephone companies and ISP's. All ISP's (that I am aware of) are telephone companies and cable companies. I am 90% positive that the moment a cable company supplies internet or telephone services they are bound by all laws the telephone companies are bound by. But I am going to look into that to make sure.


    As for there being no active net neutrality law, I guess I have to look into that. And because I was the one that made the proclomation, the burden of proof is on me.


    As for the link, I found it very interesting. It reminds me of that Google "Islam is" auto search or auto complete search field function.
    If you don't know what I am talking about, it was where if you go to google and type something like "Christianity is " it gives you search suggestions like "Christianity is a religion, is wrong, is good, is true, is false, is a cult" and so on. And you could do this with all the major religions. Type in "Islam is" and you got nothing.
    Well Google fixed that and proclaimed they were not protecting Islam, it was an error in their search algorythm. Which is pretty much what yahoo said. Here is a video by youtuber The Amazing Atheist demonstrating that all the religions have search recommendations but not Islam http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qott73xMyLk


    A lot of people will say that a corporation blocking something like a search suggestion autocomplete or an email that contains a politcal agenda that might have a repatative phrase, is complete censorship and not the result of an error in spam filters and algorythms.
    However, there was a thing on Youtube where the word "sneeze" would only give you an error message when searching for it. All other words displayed results, just not the word "sneeze". I can't see a motive for blocking that word for a day.
    Then there was another word, that was also completely pointless as it had nothing to do with controversy or politics, that Youtube would not display for a day. So there actually can be errors.
    I've also had my mail and other peoples mail on yahoo and hotmail get stuck in limbo for a day, and the message contained nothing political. If I recall, it was just a few pictures of my rottweiler.
    So strange glitches have been known to happen. But OK, there might actually be censorship going on.
    I appreciated the link, and I will look more into it.


    So what you are saying is, you have no proof that any current obscenity law in the US is being enforced in regards to the internet?
    If so, that's what I just said.



    I am aware of this. They throttle bandwidth not as a result of what you are viewing, but of how much data you are consuming at any given moment. Some times they slow you down for a few hours, some times they cap you after 50 gigs for the rest of the month, and slow you down to dial up speed, and get away with saying "unlimited" broadband because they don't actually disconnect you. This is not only true for Comcast but for all ISP's. When users plugged into a node are consuming far more bandwidth than anticipated, the system overloads, hits its limit, and certain people must be throttled. This happens in areas that have a poor system, and Comcast doesn't feel like upgrading their system. When enough people complain that they are going to FIOS for internet service, Comcast upgrades their system so that they don't need to throttle customers bandwidth. I can honestly say they've never throttled me, and I am the sort of dude who downloads a 100 gigs from a bit torrent, on Monday, and then spends the rest of the week watching hi definition youtube and netflix movies, while having a 3 way video chat. i.e. I am an ISP's worst nightmare. Thank god I don't pay by the gigabyte, and be broke in a heart beet and crying "I want free internet!" But yes, I am aware of there bandwidth throttling and how they aren't very fourth coming with this information. But it doesn't violate the principal of net neutrality because it does not go by the source of data, just the amount of data. It's no different than a cell phone cutting you off because you went over your bandwidth limit, not because you were talking to your white supremacist pals or talking about the joys of Islam, or having dirty talk with the girlfriend.


    Well I might be wrong about Homeland Security then. However, I will argue that the Patriot Act, in spite of any wording such as a "in extreme cases" "with probable cause" "strong evidence" that this law has been used, put into practice, to mean "any damn time we feel like it", or in some cases "because you were a Ron Paul supporter".
    Would you like links to examples of law abiding citizens being detained without legal rights, having their computer activities monitored, all because they belong to an unpopular or politically incorrect organization?
    As a friend of mine used to say "it is less important what rules are on the books, and more important is the people who interpret their meaning".
     
  7. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Not all humans do this, even if it's common in the majority of countries. Bulgarians do a short nod up for "no", and a sort of head wobble for yes.
    [yt]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e-kqD1Wo5gU[/yt]
    In many parts of the Indian subcontinent a side-to-side head "bobble" is a sort of indeterminate "yes/no/maybe".
     
  8. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

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    Well whilst it is true the UK doesn't have a written constitution, Freedom of Speech falls under several areas

    The Universal Declaration of Human Rights
    The Euopean Convention of Human Rights

    Sure some of them include provisions that restrict it, such as you are not allowed to incitement to racial hatred.

    As for Parliament, it serves more or less the same function as your congress. It debates bills and votes on them becoming law. Now I'm not saying there aren't differences between the two because of course there will be.
     
  9. gturner

    gturner Admiral

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    Very interesting. I guess that exception sort of "proves the rule" because they have to make videos to explain it. :)

    Regarding free speech and the internet, I don't know if it's been brought up but the Internet and text messaging might have profoundly different effects in very free societies and very censored societies.

    Since people can communicate more freely and easily because of these technologies, but governments can also more easily monitor what the people say (via automated searches), the effects will vary profoundly based on how different governments act. In the analog era of the old Soviet block, such as East Germany, the government depended on having people report things they overheard their neighbors say, or had to have an agent listening to a wiretap or bug in real-time. Nowdays such a government could just sit back and collect text messages and e-mails, allowing the discontented members of society to freely and unequivocally incriminate themselves, and then move on to the purges.

    It's yet another case where making collective action or industrial production easier could be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on the circumstances. Railroads made it easier to move food, vacationers, or armies. Machine guns made it easier to employ fewer soldiers or kill more people.

    If we're hotly debating whether our railroad cars should allow strippers to give lap dances, we're probably in the safe zone.
     
  10. Alidar Jarok

    Alidar Jarok Everything in moderation but moderation Moderator

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    No they are not. It actually was a Supreme Court case, though. Nat'l Cable & Telecomm. Ass'n v. Brand X Internet Servs., 545 U.S. 967 (2005).

    No. I said the law currently exists to prevent obscenity on the internet (at least for sale) and that the official Republican Party Platform says that these laws should be enforced. In fact, obscenity prosecutions took place in 2005 with the Obscenity Prosecution Task Force. You claimed that the government could only prevent obscenity if they own the internet services but can't do it now, which is wrong.
     
  11. publiusr

    publiusr Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    On the subject of politics and finance--I thought the story Ayn Rand's Lord of the rings amusing.

    You may not agree with the political bent of this blurb--but you may find it amusing none the less:

    "There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs."
    — John Rogers
     
  12. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I kinda WAS making it a racial thing, insofar as it's a self-diagnosed problem of deep concern to the black community in particular. When you're part of a demographic that historians have occasionally described as "The labor reserve" this sort of thing becomes a hell of a lot more important.

    Overall point taken, though.
     
  13. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Oh, I agree with that blurb all right!! :techman:
     
  14. RB_Kandy

    RB_Kandy Commander Red Shirt

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    You are 100% right. It appears I was mistaken. I do know for a fact that DSL was considered telecommunications, but it appears that changed in 2005 with that ruling as well.

    From http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0411/53314.html

    From that wiki article it says
    The citation on Wiki leads here http://www.pcworld.com/article/135057/us_man_faces_online_porn_charges.html

    and says (the first part is the distribution charge, the second part is)
    Which translates to "that woman on Girls Gone Wild who exposed her breasts in public in front of hundreds, can we see her ID to verify she wasn't under 18?"

    I do remember that case, and how the entire issue was "failure to prove all girls were over 18"

    After searching online about this task force, I am unable to find even one example of them winning a case for adult obscenity; all of it is attacking child porn, or more accurately, attempting to tackle adult porn using "child exploitation" as the flimsy pretense.

    Furthermore, the line here between obscenity law and distribution law is blurred. It seems to me, just by reading articles about the Obscenity Prosecution Task Force such as this http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0411/53314.html

    That all charges, that were anything other than blatant child porn, were for the sales/distribution of materials (attacking the method of records keeping and ID verification).

    And as you've admitted, this is not an internet (communication/speech) specific law. Actually, let me rephrase that, Obscenity Prosecution Task Force is a group, not an actual law. Because it is next to impossible to nail a citizen in the US for crimes of speech, they resort to using other laws that are not specifically speech, such as sales and distribution, child exploitation, etc.

    The 18 U.S.C. § 1465 law, to the best of my knowledge, after a couple of hours of reading it and googling it, is an archaic distribution law who's only purpose today is to assist in child porn cases. "we'll drop the child porn wrap if you plead guilty to this"

    Which would seem to go right along with what I quoted earlier, that all persons charged under this law, are charges as a result of plea bargaining in a child porn case.


    After all, if this were an active and effective law, doctors couldn't send you a prescription for birth control pills by mail, you could not receive pornography by mail, condoms, or pamphlets about getting an abortion. Again, I say it's an archaic law who's only purpose was in 1977, when child porn first became illegal, existed as a plea bargain when the prosecution didn't feel confident they could nail you with child porn.

    When it comes to obscenity, I think it is interesting that as an American man, I am not allowed to walk down the street naked, but I can walk around my house naked and broadcast it over the internet. Hmm, I got more freedom on the web than in real life?

    I'd like to now respond to this part of your statement. "You claimed that the government could only prevent obscenity if they own the internet services but can't do it now, which is wrong. "

    I don't recall saying that. I recall saying that if government owned the internet (or more accurately owned America's internet access) it would be "easier" for them to control "speech" too and from their own citizens.

    Let me explain, with a bit of melodrama and exaggeration, how things in America work. You have "the people" which are dived into two groups: the politically correct Left, and the bible thumping Right. They form noisy protest groups that politicians suck up to for votes. Both groups want the same thing; to limit the freedom of citizens so that everyone acts and thinks like they do.

    Politicians, who only care about money and power, are more than happy to take away every last drop of freedom America has. A left wing group may say pornography should be illegal because it objectifies women. And then a right wing group says "pornography should be illegal, because sex is the devil's work" and each use a "think of the children" speech. But then there are rich greedy corporations who says things like "I got a million dollars worth of campaign funds that says pornography is a first amendment right. If you don't agree, I'm sure your opponent will."

    And sometimes a politician walks up to a company and says "My administration feels that only companies that fit our family friendly image, should receive a 50 million dollar tax break in the form of our new family values insentive. You guys aren't doing or supporting anything that would conflict with our family values, are you?"

    And far to complicated to explain is the roll advertisers have on the media, and the effect the media has on politicians. Put it all together and fanatic civil rights groups, bible thumpers, politicians, corporations, advertisers, and media, all exchange words and cash, to make any and every law that governs us. And citizens who are "easily offended" tend to have the loudest voices. Freedom seldom makes a profit, but safety often does.

    Point being If corporations control ISP's we the average user have at least a fighting chance of retaining freedom (for a while at least).

    If the US government controls it, we can kiss our internet rights good bye the moment someone stands up and shouts "won't someone think of the children".

    And this is why I am glad I pay $55 a month for unlimited internet access.

    And also, of all the things working class tax payers should have to pay for via taxes, for non working people to get for free, I think "free porn on the interwebz" ought to rank pretty low.

    In regards to my earlier claim of net neutrality, it appears you are right and I am mistaken. There is no law to enforce net neutrality. However, for all intents and purposes, we do have net neutrality, just not one big powerful law enforcing it.

    Here is something really interesting. On the wikipedia article about net neutrality

    Which law did they violate? This one: From the FCC website: http://www.fcc.gov/topic/open-internet

    The above also disproves something you said in your first post to me, that ISP's are free to block competitors.

    As you can see, the FCC states they are not free to do so.

    The level of authority the FCC and FTC have over the internet is an extremely complicated one to figure out. The FCC does not regulate ISP's http://www.fcc.gov/encyclopedia/faqs-internet

    Yet as with the above quote, they are forcing some level of net neutrality, in spite of there being no official net neutrality bill passed by congress.

    But here is something interesting I just realized from reading through all that stuff, if corporations, namely ISP's had unchallenged control over the internet, there would be no net neutrality at all. And I believe that without the level of neutrality that we have now, the internet would be a very expensive place to do business, because not only would consumers pay to get on the web, big corporations would have to pay extra cash for data transfer speeds. So assuring consumers could view their product, means they'd have to pay even more cash to compete with their competitors. This would hurt both free speech and especially newly developing mediums such as Yutube, Blip.tv, and Netflix. These corporations could never have developed from the ground up, because of unfair competition practices. Only corporations with the billions behind them could start up a new service and compete. The ISP's greed would strangle the free web market.

    So in away, the best system for the internet would be corporate controlled, with fair business practices being enforced by the FCC and FTC.

    I personally think a government controlled internet would be good for businesses, but bad for free speech. But corporate controlled and unregulated would be bad for business and good for free speech.

    So again, I am happy to pay $55 a month for unlimited broadband access.

    I enjoy the fact I can come to a forum like this and use the "F" word, and that is my legal right. I realize on some other forums I may not. And I realize that on some forums I can be banned by a mod/admin for profanity, or having a politically incorrect point of view. I can deal with that for one simple reason, your forum, your rules. It's different than the FCC hammering someone with a fine.

    And I know that some websites don't allow profanity because their host has a no profanity rule. This too is acceptable to me, because I can always go with another host. When building my own website, one of the things I did was examine the Terms Of Service and User Agreement, I made sure there would be no rule against political incorrectness, or profanity, because when I review an episode of Voyager, you know I am going to have to use some profanity to express my feelings on some of their bad episodes :guffaw:
     
  15. Alidar Jarok

    Alidar Jarok Everything in moderation but moderation Moderator

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    The problem here is that the government has the legal authority now. All that has to happen is someone says "won't someone think of the children." All your research has shown that they haven't used it to target adult pornography, not that they can't. If the government subsidized it, it would be the same (they still can, not that they would).
     
  16. RB_Kandy

    RB_Kandy Commander Red Shirt

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    I understand this. What I am saying is, ISP's being corporate makes it harder for such a bill to pass. Not impossible, just more difficult.

    I also warn everyone to appreciate the internet as it is now, this is the golden age my friends. When our children are our age, there won't be this kind of freedom on the web.
     
  17. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Just because someone makes a video about it to explain it is a silly, specious argument. The population of the Indian subcontinent is 16% of the world total, so even assuming not everyone there does it, we're still talking maybe 1 in 10 humans who don't do exactly the same head gestures you consider universal.
     
  18. Alidar Jarok

    Alidar Jarok Everything in moderation but moderation Moderator

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    It's hard to say. I tend to agree with you because censorship will get easier (as proven by Iran during the Green Revolution). On the other hand, at least in the United States, the first amendment law is getting more favorable to free speech. I suspect that cases regarding indecency will eventually be overturned and it'll become even harder to enforce obscenity laws.
     
  19. Gary7

    Gary7 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Radio is free. At least, at the moment... Many years from now, we may find ourselves at a point where most quality radio stations have shut down their radio transmitters in favor of Internet streaming. You'll still be able to pick up AM/FM broadcasts, but they'll be tiny grassroots operations with comparatively short range.

    So, why wouldn't the Internet be free? Well, it is facilitated through an infrastructure that is owned in various segments, some by large telecommunications companies and some by the government. Eventually there will be plenty of broadcast towers located throughout the country whereby Internet access through wires will be unnecessary. Will Wi-Fi become free? Well, it's already "free" in some locations, but that's because it's sponsored by local agencies. Who knows... down the road, maybe it'll all be consolidated and we'll be paying an Internet access tax to the government, a flat rate for unlimited access.

    The scary thing is that privacy will be practically eliminated. When you're on the Internet, your access will be resolved to a specific identifier that points directly to YOU... not a household, public computer, or generic access point. The government will know exactly when you're on the Internet, at any time, as well as keeping a record of that throughout your lifetime. You can still bypass it to a degree (you don't have to be logged onto sites like Google or YouTube to use them), but eventually when you check e-mail or log onto Facebook, the record is there. Brave new world...
     
  20. Alidar Jarok

    Alidar Jarok Everything in moderation but moderation Moderator

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    Location:
    Norfolk, VA
    Radio is free to the listener, but it isn't costless either. It's not free to the broadcaster (both because of the limited range of frequencies requires renting a frequency and because the infrastructure needed to broadcast costs money). I suppose the future you imagine is close to free, although it will still cost the price of the equipment to broadcast (and the electricity to power it).

    If the question is about making the internet costless to the consumer, there needs to be a viable mass-use revenue source for people like commercials are for radio. This would have to be on top of the revenue sources for individual websites. Things in the past like pay per impression ads generally have not been the solution.