Saturday, November 20, 2010

Jonathan Zittrain: How to Save the Internet

New World Notes News
Vol. 3, No. 47 -- November 20, 2010

This week in New World Notes, radio program #142, November 23:

Jonathan Zittrain:
How to Save the Internet

The inventors of the Internet (25 years later).
L to r: Jon Postel, Steve Crocker, Vint Cerf.
Most graphics: Click to enlarge.

In brief

A sharp & funny presentation by Internet Law expert Jonathan Zittrain. The more we depend on the Internet, the scarier is its very real vulnerability to malicious attacks. However, Zittrain argues, the "solution" urged by government and Big Telecom--"top-down" control of the network by themselves--would ruin the Internet.

A better solution is continued "bottom-up" control by users--but control of a more "communitarian," consensus-seeking sort than is typical now. Examples of this approach are working well in practice, among them Wikipedia.

Not to mention the time Pakistan kidnapped YouTube. A bunch of mid-level server operators--personally unknown to one another--joined together and rescued the site within a couple of hours.

Top: Jonathan Zittrain

Notes, credits, & links

Zittrain spoke at The University of Hartford on October 20, 2010. This installment comprises selections from his long presentation. Recorded and edited by Kenneth Dowst.

Jonathan Zittrain is Professor of Law at Harvard Law School.

Zittrain's recent book, The Future of the Internet--And How to Stop It (Yale University Press, 2008) is available in print and also as a free download.

New World Notes is produced under the auspices (Latin for "oppressive yoke") of WWUH-FM, a community service of that beacon of light in darkest Connecticut, the University of Hartford.

You can listen to any installment of New World Notes online or else download it (as an mp3 audio file) for later listening. The show is archived at both and (from #90 onwards) The Internet Archive. Either link should get you a reverse-chrono listing of available installments. Or browse the show's Web site: Each installment has a page, and each page has links to the recorded audio.

Series overview: Political and social commentary in a variety of genres. Exploring the gap between what we want ... and what they're trying to make us settle for.

Top: If AT&T had designed the Internet, data would be much more
secure. But would the world have
Not likely! Shown: "kitler" #5448.

Coming soon (Tuesday air debut dates shown)

  • November 30 -- Betrayed!
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