The Open Internet Under Attack

The Internet is special because any two people on the ends of the network can connect, with no central authority in the middle having a say in it. Openess has allowed competition in the ultimate free-market. That marketplace of goods, services and ideas has sparked social, political and economic revolution. Centralised political control would destroy what makes the Internet special.

Burdening businesses

Now isn’t the time for new burdens on businesses. The recession is back and austerity not yet started.
ACTA, the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement obligates online businesses to police the web on behalf of a dying industry of copyright owners.
They say they “need” it, but that sentiment violates the ecomonic rights of the majority for the sake of a minority of special interests.

Acting creepy

Invented by Blair’s authoritarian government, the Communications Data Directive requires ISP’s to record everything you do online.
The “Communication Capability Development Program” is the stuff of science fiction: shadowy figures watching what you’re doing in real time leaving users no space to think, and seek information in private.

Disconnecting your broadband

The Digital Economy Act threatens broadband ISPs with fines and prison, forcing them to take part in a special system of copyright law enforcement. That process could disconnect your family from the Internet and endanger livelihoods and education.
No one should get special rules for their benefit. That is the rule of an elite, not the rule of law.

Neutralising middlemen

Individual Rights exist for every individual, equally

Strict network neutrality is the egalitarian idea that infrastructure providers in the middle of the Internet should offer their networks to everyone on identical terms.
This is well intended but it violates the rights of service providers who put up their own money to build effective networks.
Neutrality will block the development of new services. TV and telephony must be fast, other services, like massive data transfers for astronomers, must be slowed down to preserve the network for other uses.
Owners have a right to manage this their way.

Having your cake, and eating my cookies

It is obvious that web users are tracked by advertisers. “Cookies” used for tracking increase advertising revenues for publishers. Users can choose to stay away, or opt-out of tracking by changing a simple setting on their browser.
The EU’s Cookie Directive obligates websites to implement silly yet expensive pop up health warnings whilst offering little clarity about what those pop ups must look like.
Only a minority of users care about tracking, but the Directive threatens revenue for entrepreneurs.
Meanwhile users are encouraged to consume the benefit of free websites without having the cookies that help to pay for them.

Instead, we believe:

  • Liberty requires one set of objective laws that apply equally to all.
  • Innocent people should be left alone, not spied on.
  • No one deserves special laws that lumber their problems onto others.
  • Proper respect for property includes the right to choose how to employ assets, like networks.
  • Blanket surveillance puts everyone at risk of a miscarriage of justice.
  • We have a right to due process in open court.
  • Patents and copyright enforcement should respect individual rights.

 

Simon Gibbs

Simon is a London based IT contractor and the proprietor of Libertarian Home. Working with logic and cause-and-effect each day he was naturally attracted to nerdy libertarianism and later to harshly logical Objectivism. Find him on Google+ 

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  2 comments for “The Open Internet Under Attack

  1. Paul Marks
    Jun 12, 2012 at 12:30 am

    A very good post, both in content and presentation (well laid out).

    • Jun 13, 2012 at 11:11 am

      Thanks. The original leaflet was even prettier though.

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