The federal government is promoting university research into using a “clean slate” to build a new Internet to replace what we’re using today. Although being touted as the pursuit of something more efficient, the underlying concept is more government control and monitoring.
Welcome to The Matrix.
As a practical matter, this was inevitable. The Chinese and Russian governments are making vain attempts to wall off and control parts of the Internet. During the last U.S. presidential debates, President Bush referred to the “Internets” (plural) in response to a question. For Department of Defense (DoD) purposes, there is likely an Internet Two (I2)…with more to follow for civilian purposes.
If government can replace the existing Internet infrastructure with something that it can completely control, then individual rights are jeopardized. What little privacy remains online will disappear. Taxation and regulation will stifle economic opportunity.
While I wish our government the best of luck in developing tech for national security purposes, I truly hope that any attempts to reach beyond that scope to regulate private use of the Internet fail miserably.
Hat tip to Anick Desdanun at the Associated Press.