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Bruce Schneier: Government and Industry Have Betrayed the Internet, and Us

Bruce Schneier in an op-ed piece published in the Guardian on Thursday writes: "Government and industry have betrayed the internet, and us. By subverting the internet at every level to make it a vast, multi-layered and robust surveillance platform, the NSA has undermined a fundamental social contract. The companies that build and manage our internet infrastructure, the companies that create and sell us our hardware and software, or the companies that host our data: we can no longer trust them to be ethical internet stewards. This is not the internet the world needs, or the internet its creators envisioned. We need to take it back."

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Taking Back Tthe Inernet Frederick Harris  –  Sep 10, 2013 1:45 PM PDT

Bruce has identified a huge and maybe intractable problem. Intractable means internet can't be taken back because it can't be uninvented. We see here unintended consequences when governments, meaning in this instance U.S. Commerce Department (NTIA),created an impossible-to-adequately-oversee regulatory model.

It is chaos! And, for that reason, internet governance will continue to be chaotic until the web fails completely. One can not regulate trust.

At that point, sooner perhaps rather than later, questions will again be asked about a governance model which was transformed by U.S. government, compromised by an absurd regulatory model (ICANN); and, now, completely upended by government because a model that nobody (in their right mind) trusts is unworkable.

What to do? Nothing can be done. The Internet is a mess. There will be huge financial losses all around. Internet likely will muddle through for some years until it collapses entirely. Possibly (probably?) one or more private entities will try to split off from the internet by creating private versions.

At that point, world public opinion will perhaps demand that the U.S. government a) dissolve ICANN entirely, b) get out of the way, c) let the internet community go back to the drawing board and d) hope that next time around a regulatory model reinforced by appropriate security standards, will emerge.

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