Thanks to John Hamerlinck for the heads up on this one – it’s an interesting look at the need to protect the Internet. The Mozilla blog talks about their campaign to get people to realize that the Internet is essential for everyone. They are looking at Net Neutrality, censorship and ownership – whereas I often focus on accessible infrastructure and digital inclusion. It’s important to have people focusing on both ends.
We all need access – again both to the infrastructure and the tools (and funding) to use it – but we all need freedom to use it not only as consumers but also as producers. Without the power to produce, the Internet is only akin to television with the ability to produce, the Internet gives everyone a voice.
Here’s a snippet from the blog…
Not everyone agrees that the health of the Internet is a major priority. People think about the Internet mostly as a “thing” other things connect to. They don’t see the throttling or the censorship or the surveillance that are starting to become pervasive. Nor do they see how unequal the benefits of the Internet have become as it spreads across the globe. Mozilla aims to make the health of the Internet a mainstream issue, like the environment.
Consider the parallels with the environmental movement for a moment. In the 1950s, only a few outdoor enthusiasts and scientists were talking about the fragility of the environment. Most people took clean air and clean water for granted. Today, most of know we should recycle and turn out the lights. Our governments monitor and regulate polluters. And companies provide us with a myriad of green product offerings—from organic food to electric cars.
But this change didn’t happen on its own. It took decades of hard work by environmental activists before governments, companies and the general public took the health of the environment seriously as an issue. This hard work paid off. It made the environment a mainstream issue and got us all looking for ways to keep it healthy.
When in comes to the health of the Internet, it’s like we’re back in the 1950s. A number of us have been talking about the Internet’s fragile state for decades—Mozilla, the EFF, Snowden, Access, the ACLU, and many more. All of us can tell a clear story of why the open Internet matters and what the threats are. Yet we are a long way from making the Internet’s health a mainstream concern.
We think we need to change this, so much so that it’s now one of Mozilla’s explicit goals