There is a real danger of a Virtual Curtain dividing the Internet, much as the Iron Curtain did during the Cold War, because some governments fear the potential of the Internet and want to control it.
This entire book is about how the sustainable network is changing the world and laying the foundations of our future. And it’s all because of access and the power that this access creates. But what if you don’t want that access? What if your task is to block it? There may be some legitimate reasons to block Internet traffic. For example, you may wish to protect your children and block pornographic and other nefarious sites on your home computer. Businesses may want to prevent nonbusiness bandwidth consumption and protect themselves from potential lawsuits relating to “unfriendly” work environments. These considerations aside, the real value of the network comes in unfettered access to information.
But is this openness of the network concept a singular view? And, as long as we’re asking so many questions, how open do you really want it to be?
It is clear that there are parts of the world and many governments that don’t view unfettered access as a value, and they are going to great lengths to stifle and restrict the connections to the world’s resources. In principle, this is nothing new, but it is counter to how the network has been ...