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Re: <nettime> The Economist: Geolocation
Jim Carrico on Sat, 18 Aug 2001 04:52:14 +0200 (CEST)


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Re: <nettime> The Economist: Geolocation


>
>Now, find the users
>
>In parallel with all this effort to obscure the physical location of data on
>the Internet, there is growing interest in determining the location of its
>users.


Especially the ones posting to the indymedia newswire!

That this is brazen meme-mongering is demonstrated by the fact that the
author describes Akamai (for which the physical location of users is
significant) at great length, without mentioning the parallel and
explosive growth in P2P services, which range from being fundamentally
uninterested in users' physical location (gnutella) to being specifically
designed to obscure it (freenet.)

The article presents a hypnotic mantra of inevitability - you can run but
you can't hide.  Mentioning Lessig is a good one -


>According to Lawrence Lessig, a Stanford law
>professor, „the notion that governments can't regulate hangs upon a
>particular architecture of the Net.¾ As the Internet's architecture changes
>and becomes more complex, with the addition of services like filtering and
>geolocation, the idea that the Internet is beyond the reach of local laws
>and government regulation looks less and less tenable.


nice bait-and-switch there!  Lessig makes the first point, in order to
sound the alarm that the freedoms we take for granted (like anonymous
speech for instance) are being eroded by governments who are bent on
changing the internet's architecture specifically for this purpose. The
second statement suggests that Lessig's attitude is harmonious with the
point of the essay (that internet regulation is inevitable) - while in
fact Lessig is wearing out his shoes and his voice travelling the world
with the opposite intent. The point is to ask what kind of internet we
want, and what we need to do to get it:  there is no inevitable.

Jim Carrico
http://www.potlatch.net




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