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Re: [IFWP] History and vision for the future of Internet - Public Question

 Date: Fri, 9 Apr 1999 13:13:01 -0400 (EDT)
 From: Ronda Hauben <ronda@panix.com
 Subject: [IFWP] History and vision for the future of Internet - Public
 Someone sent me this quote from a recent interview that Noam
 Chomsky did. So somehow the word is out it seems that there
 is a battle on :-)
 "Handing over the digital spectrum, or for that matter the Internet, to
 private power -- that's a huge blow against democracy. In the case of
 the Internet, it's a particularly dramatic blow against democracy
 because this was paid for by the public. How undemocratic can you get?
 Here is a major instrument, developed by the public -- first part of
 the Pentagon, and then universities and the National Science
 Foundation -- handed over in some manner that nobody knows to private
 corporations who want to turn it into an instrument of control. They
 want to turn it into a home shopping center. You know, where it will
 help them convert you into the kind of person they want. Namely,
 someone who is passive, apathetic, sees their life only as a matter of
 having more commodities that they don't want. Why give them a powerful
 weapon to turn you into that kind of a person? Especially after you
 aid for the weapon? Well, that's what's happening right in front of
 our eyes."
 "Could the system be different? Of course it could be different. This
 [the Internet] could remain what it ought to be: just a public
 instrument. There ought to be efforts -- not just talk but real
 efforts -- to ensure Internet access, not just for rich people but for
 everyone. And it should be freed from the influence of Microsoft or
 anybody else. They don't have any rights to have anything to do with
 that system. They had almost nothing to do with creating it. What
 little they did was on federal contract."