How did we end up with a centralized Internet for the NSA to mine?

Andy Oram, CyberAlert, Jan 08, 2014
Commentary by Stephen Downes

I covered the Wired article about NSA spying this week. Now Andy Oram writes, "my question today is: How did we get such industry concentration? Why is a network famously based on distributed processing, routing, and peer connections characterized now by a few choke points that the NSA can skim at its leisure?" I think this is a good question. Perhaps instead of saying that the NSA is killing the internet, we should be suggesting that centralized services like Google, Facebook, and the rest, are killing the internet. And that the NSA spying is a symptom, not a cause. Now we are moving to the cloud, with even more risks. "The question to ask is how free and decentralized the cloud can be. Private networks can be built on virtualization solutions such as the proprietary VMware and Azure or the open source OpenStack and Eucalyptus. The more providers there are, the harder it will be to do massive data collection."

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