Renting Keys to Walled Gardens

Barbara Fister, ARCLog, Dec 15, 2008
Commentary by Stephen Downes

The Pew Report is published from a strictly American perspective, but the implications of a walled-garden internet are of concern to all users. The prediction that "the mobile phone (or its descendant) will be the primary access point to the Internet by 2020" is of particular concern since the handset is controlled by the content provider, and this provider can (and will) remove applications or content that violates its (commercial) terms of use. This blog post looks at the Pew Report from the perspective of librarians and observes, "our libraries are full of enormously expensive walled gardens. How did we let that happen?" How, indeed. People looking at their own narrow interests are sleepwalking toward a closed and commercial internet.
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