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Media Can Recover from its Missteps

21/04/2019

Media Can Recover from its Missteps posted: 20/04/2019

by Andy Marken

Howw nice of you to join us tonight and add COLOR to these monochromatic proceedings! - Dr. Arliss Loveless, Wild Wild West, Peters Entertainment, 1999

Gawed, they were naive.

It seems like eons ago that we consulted with a bunch of equally young idealists in San Diego who were going to build the western U.S. part of the intergalactic network. The goal was to let people - initially just scientists, engineers, big thinkers - exchange data, information and share computer resources to streamline advances and produce a better world.

Couldnt remember our login with so many numbers and letters that we didnt need a password because no one could remember it. Even had it written on a piece of paper in our billfold.

First, it was Arpanet (Advanced Research Agency Network), then the DOD wanted to oversee it to save information flow from them and then simply Internet.

The San Diego arm was dubbed the California Educational Research Federation Network. They shortened it to CERFNET; but before it became official, Vint Cerf, recognized as one of the fathers of the Internet, was asked if it was okay with him.

The infrastructure was robust, he liked what he saw and BAM! CERFnet it was.

Two of the key people at CERFnet, Pushpendra Mohta and Manny Robles, drove around the states educational institutions and military/industrial complexes in a beat-up VW with tons of cable connecting computers and minds to pool ideas, speed discussions and make the world a better place.

Back in the late 60s,Vint Cerf and the folks I worked with for 10 years at CERFnet had no freakin idea how awesome the internet would be.

Two of the key people at CERFnet, Pushpendra Mohta and Manny Robles, drove around the states educational institutions and military/industrial complexes in a beat-up VW with tons of cable connecting computers and minds to pool ideas, speed discussions and make the world a better place.

Back in the late 60s,Vint Cerf and the folks I worked with for 10 years at CERFnet had no freakin idea how awesome the internet would be.

Okay, it has become immensely popular, but things havent worked out exactly as planned.

Who knew folks - especially kids - would be telling the world their deepest secrets, where theyre at, what theyre doing, who their doing it with and documenting it all with photos on top of photos on top of ...

No one could imagine that wed be plugging everything into the internet - smartphones, microwaves, refrigerators, cars/trains/planes, power grids, screens of every shape/size and yes; computers for hackers, digital criminals, countries looking for ways to exploit, expose, eradicate each other with it.

Instead of a free and open exchange of information, the internet and its siblings on the Web where data collection, use and sale became the central focus.

Half Way There - About half of the worlds population is now connected to and active on the internet. Of course, there are some who will never get online and others who wish they could get off.

Chinas population is big-1.4B big. And with 30M new internet users in the first half of the year, the total number of internet users has hit 800M.

While Chinese tech firms used to copy Silicon Valley, organizations have taken off in a number of ways with short videos, podcasts, blogs, streaming TV--all on the social media players who know how to play.

Watched over by tens of thousands of censors and without the concerns of Europes GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation); Tencent, Alibaba, Baidu, ByteDance and others have clear guidelines how data is collected, stored and shared.

Money Makers - If youre one of the recognized social media stopping points it can almost be like printing money as long as you abide by governmental rules of the road.

Creatvity is in full swing. The one simple rule they have is dont undermine the State!

Stuff people might post that is even tinged as anti-government disappears.

Everything else is fair game, including making money. That includes taking on the old, arthritic state-run businesses - media, finance and healthcare.

Okay, its true; they do expect a piece-of-the-action and a little oversight of management; but its mostly hands off if content isnt creepy, kinky or weird.

It could be worse.

According to Freedom House, the international watchdog organization, internet freedom has declined around the globe for the 7th year in a row.

Internet Freedom Defined - While the internet was initially developed to ensure free, open and fast exchange of information and ideas; freedom has become a relative term. There were always commonly accepted rules of acceptable and unacceptable traffic

Thats idealistic perhaps, but they feel everyone should have access to the same online experience, including free/open internet access.

The biggest abusers include Russia, Syria, Cuba, Iran, Vietnam , Egypt and China.

Even free nations like the U.S. saw a decline in their internet freedoms as governments balked at things like encryption security, VPNs (virtual private networks), manipulation of online posts, service disruptions, etc.

Governments are all for freedom of speech, assembly, etc.

Funny, they dont really like unbreakable encryption, and the inability to increase data surveillance/retention and checking folks/stuff out for citizens protection.

Person of Interest - Initially, it was a fictional TV show; but increasingly, tracking; facial recognition and surveillance services are gaining popularity with a number of governmental agencies around the globe

It is estimated that Brits have their photos taken an average of 300 times a day - not including GPS identified selfies - with cameras installed ... everywhere.

The great thing is that you can quit taking all the selfies they do it for you!

While the internet was developed and
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