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Is it right for governments to be able to shut down the internet?

At Campus Party in Brazil last month, Al Gore called on the public to act in preserving what he believes is a system vital for democracy.

"Defend the internet," he said.

"Do not let it be controlled by governments or by large corporations. It is a network of people."

But there are signs that the web is becoming dominated by the few.

According to web analytics firm Compete, the top 10 websites were responsible for 31% of US page views in 2001, rising to around 75% in most recent estimates.

Facebook alone accounts for around a quarter of all US internet traffic.


Large social networking sites are walling off information posted by their users from the rest of the web
Tim Berners-Lee, creator of the web

"Al Gore's comments sound nice in theory but I just don't see how they will work out in practice," says Evgeny Morozov, author of The Net Delusion: The Dark Side of the Internet.

"It's inevitable that governments will be active online, simply because so much of public life happens online - and governments are there to enforce laws guiding public life.

"Likewise, I don't see how you can keep the corporations out - certain things can be done on the cheap and with the help of peer-to-peer [systems without a central infrastructure] alternatives but we surely can't expect that each of us will be laying internet cables to our own houses."


Asked by tasches at 7:47 PM on Mar. 17, 2011 in Politics & Current Events

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Answers (6)
  • No its not right!

    Answer by kalynskorner at 7:49 PM on Mar. 17, 2011

  • Governments? Or the United States? I don't want the internet regulated in the US. There is a good amount of pending legislation you may want to make yourself aware you can tell your reps to vote against it. As far as the other countries go, they don't have our Constitution or our freedoms.

    Answer by lovinangels at 1:20 AM on Mar. 18, 2011

  • Its not right when I'm paying a bill for the internet, so you better believe that if it gets shut down by the man in the WH then I'm going to complain because I'm paying for it so either he pays my bill or leaves it alone.

    Answer by usmc0351wife at 7:54 PM on Mar. 17, 2011

  • So we should wait until after they do it to start worrying about it Janet? I have absolutely no fear of any kind of corporate takeover of the internet. You are obviously blind to the fact that Obama wants our government to be able to shut down the internet at his bidding.

    Answer by itsmesteph11 at 10:37 AM on Mar. 18, 2011

  • Heck no! If I'm paying for it you have no right to !

    Answer by MaterialGirl198 at 9:29 AM on Mar. 20, 2011

  • I don't see that it is an issue at the moment . There is more to fear from corporate control than govt. control , outside of dictatorships . To the best of my knowledge , the only closures by elected governments have been of pedophile and possibly other criminal sites .

    Answer by janet116 at 9:47 PM on Mar. 17, 2011