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November 01, 2005

World of Ends Under Fire

In an interview for the upcoming issue of BusinessWeek, SBC CEO Edward Whitacre relays concerning remarks that attack the fundamental and inherent openness of the Internet:

The Internet can't be free in that sense, because we and the cable companies have made an investment and for a Google or Yahoo! (YHOO ) or Vonage or anybody to expect to use these pipes [for] free is nuts!

Can you imagine what happens if these rude upstarts don't adhere? Well, we'll block'em, right?

This is a nightmare far worse than the Pusblishing Industry vs Google Print, another recent attack on the individual's freedom to obtain information, in most democracies considered a basic human right (think public education; think public libraries). It's even worse than the blocking of ports for competitive applications like VoIP that SBC joint venture partner and fellow incumbent Bellsouth has flagged it's clear right to do.

Is this the age of Web2.0? You gotta be kidding. This is the age of control. Incumbents are being gagged and their only self-defence is limit and control at the clear expense of the customer.

I think it's time for all of us revisit David Weinberger and Doc Searls' excellent 2003 essay World of Ends.

Information wants to be free. Get over it.

Posted by Nikolaj Nyholm at November 1, 2005 10:42 AM

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