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FW: Behind the scenes...
- From: Jim Fleming
- Date: Sat Feb 22 13:55:01 1997
From: Jim Fleming[SMTP:JimFleming@unety.net.]
Sent: Saturday, February 15, 1997 11:32 AM
To: 'New Newdom'
Subject: Behind the scenes...
For over 20 years I have been designing serious
online information systems. I was fortunate to
spend much of that time at AT&T Bell Laboratories
as an employee and a consultant. I am proud of
the fact that I was able to help launch the Videotex
industry and that some of the technology that AT&T
patented on my behalf was used in the early Prodigy
For the past couple of years, I have become more
involved in the behind the scenes activity of the
Internet. Like many people, I have used the facilities
for many years without much concern for who handled
the governance needed to keep the network moving in
a positive direction that benefits all people on earth
and does not discriminate and degenerate like many
societies on earth.
I am disappointed to report that the behind the scenes
Internet of 1997 looks more like a communist/fascist
republic than the democratic system in the U.S. that
helped to create the Internet. In my opinion, this is
partly because a few individuals have been allowed to
rise to positions of visibility and power without the
normal checks and balances that are present in a
We now have a situation where the so-called "leaders"
of the Internet support people who run around "blacklisting"
and denying service to people at the drop of a hat. We
see the U.S. Government, via the NSF, funding people
who are clearly the Internet equivalent of the mafia. We
see prominent Internet societies endorsing people who
openly and publicly suggest that people's parents be
"killed with fire axes". We see those groups claiming
to have the support of the Whitehouse, which I doubt
endorses such violence. The list goes on.
When I first observed this situation, I will admit that I
was naive. I assumed that society would see these
problems and quickly correct these situations. I am
disappointed to report that not only is this not happening,
it is getting worse.
It appears that the only solution for rational adults
(especially in the U.S.) is to turn and walk away. As
this happens, the problem increases, because, what
remains are these ego-maniac dictators who now infect
the young people launching their careers in the tele-
communications industry. Some of these young people
then become ISPs, capture the attention of the public,
and continue to propogate a system that will clearly
lead to large scale social problems around the world.
Another solution is to create a new Internet that is
"rooted" in democratic governments that have served
great countries like the U.S. for many years. It is
somewhat ironic that such a new system would have
to be created as an alternative to the dictators currently
being funded by the U.S. taxpayers via NSF grants
and non-profit, tax-avoiding, companies. The system
would also have to be created in the face of wide-spread
opposition from young people who have already been
polluted to think that everything the U.S. does is not
in their interest, except for their tuition and salaries
paid via government grants.
To create a new Internet, new servers and networks
are not required. What is required is democractic
governance. Because I believe in the U.S. system
of democracy and I truely believe that 99.9% of
society wants to "do the right thing", I still have
hope that democratic societies will take a hard
look behind the scenes of the Internet to see the
"society" that is pulling the strings. I have faith that
the real society and real governments will soon
step forward to cut the ties to the dictators and
their societies. This will help to ensure that children
and adults everywhere have a chance to enjoy
the wonderful resources that the Internet can
provide in a truely democratic Internet society (small s).
Thank you for your time...
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