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Beware the Internet 314

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the first-they-came-for-the-telegraph dept.
frost_knight writes "Washington Post opinion writer Robert J. Samuelson writes 'If I could, I would repeal the Internet. It is the technological marvel of the age, but it is not — as most people imagine — a symbol of progress. Just the opposite. We would be better off without it.' It is his belief that the dangers of the Internet outweigh its benefits." The reason? Cyberwarfare of course.
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Beware the Internet

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  • Washington Post (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Error27 (100234) <error27@@@gmail...com> on Tuesday July 02, 2013 @05:05AM (#44163171) Homepage Journal

    In all fairness, Washington Post opinion pages are normally very stupid so this is not out of line with what's expected.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by arbiter1 (1204146)
      It lets everyone see the truth instead of what governments try to filter from the rest the world.
      • Re:Washington Post (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 02, 2013 @05:33AM (#44163313)

        "Truth" being defined, of course, as:
        - opposite of whatever the government says
        - whatever I feel the government is trying to hide from me
        and
        - whatever that ranting guy was shouting about the government yesterday at the bar, which was truth because he was too drunk to lie. I know because I was just as drunk.

        Sigh.

    • Re:Washington Post (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 02, 2013 @05:13AM (#44163213)

      Yes, we would repeal the Internet because we want a return to the halcyon days of high profit margins for newspaper ads and classifieds.

      We used to have a monopoly on the distribution of information. People used to do our bidding. Now, we're irrelevant and it really hurts our feelings.

      • Re:Washington Post (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Z00L00K (682162) on Tuesday July 02, 2013 @05:42AM (#44163361) Homepage

        The internet today is what was the motorway system in the later half of the 20th century, the propagation of telephone net in the early half and the railroad in the 19th century.

        Or if we go back further - the invention of the printing press was a revolution where the hand-copying of books suddenly became obsolete.

        Either you adapt or you will be another victim of the steamroller of progress.

      • by Mashiki (184564)

        Quite true. Of course in order to maintain relevance they have no problems with ripping stories from bloggers and citizen journalists without attribution.

    • Re:Washington Post (Score:5, Insightful)

      by FriendlyLurker (50431) on Tuesday July 02, 2013 @05:19AM (#44163245)

      Agreed. Since when did some old guys ignorant opinion become news for nerds, especially when such opinions flow almost 24/7 in all major newspaper opinion sections... old guys or indoctrinated young-uns lamenting the loss of hierarchical information flow?

      Oh silly me, it is news for nerds since Washington Post stepped out of line [washingtonpost.com]. All part of the discredit the messenger(s) campaign. Carry on then...

      • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 02, 2013 @05:25AM (#44163279)
        uid 50431 calling people old... lol
      • by Yetihehe (971185)

        Agreed. Since when did some old guys ignorant opinion become news for nerds, especially when such opinions flow almost 24/7 in all major newspaper opinion sections...

        It's good to know your enemy. I WANT to know when someone wants to take my series of tubes away.

        • by hairyfeet (841228)
          Not gonna happen, too many major corps making mad money on the net to allow it to get turned off. Sadly we have a country run by whores and corps like Google can just whip out their checkbook and having them dropping to their knees faster than you can say campaign contributions.
      • You are reading too much into things.

        I give WashPo credit for their coverage of NSA and for going where other US based news sources fear to tread. Of course, I'd give them even more credit if they had been a bit more bold and not lost the exclusive [theatlanticwire.com].

        This however, does not give them a free pass if they publish silly articles.

        In any case, most of the comments here I see are directed at the article and the writer, not the newspaper.

    • by mythix (2589549) on Tuesday July 02, 2013 @05:23AM (#44163269)

      I which he got his way, then I wouldn't be able to read his stupid opinion...

    • Re:Washington Post (Score:5, Insightful)

      by squiggleslash (241428) on Tuesday July 02, 2013 @05:44AM (#44163371) Homepage Journal

      Oh FFS people! Just because it's a newspaper doesn't mean it's not a troll. Newspapers were trolling long, long, long, before the Internet was invented.

      The scary stuff isn't articles like this one, it's what they write when they're being serious.

    • Terrible article (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Camael (1048726) on Tuesday July 02, 2013 @06:00AM (#44163417)

      Let me explain.

      First he admits the benefits the Internet brings :-

      I grant its astonishing capabilities: the instant access to vast amounts of information, the pleasures of YouTube and iTunes, the convenience of GPS and much more.

      Then he explains why he thinks the Internet is bad :-

      But the Internet’s benefits are relatively modest compared with previous transformative technologies, and it brings with it a terrifying danger: cyberwar. By cyberwarfare, I mean the capacity of groups — whether nations or not — to attack, disrupt and possibly destroy the institutions and networks that underpin everyday life. These would be power grids, pipelines, communication and financial systems, business record-keeping and supply-chain operations, railroads and airlines, databases of all types (from hospitals to government agencies). The list runs on. So much depends on the Internet that its vulnerability to sabotage invites doomsday visions of the breakdown of order and trust.

      Take note of his key objection - he fears that essential utilities/services would be easily disrupted because they are connected to the Internet.

      Point 1- Easy solution, disconnect these essential utilities/services from the Internet!
      Point 2- If these essential utilities/services cannot be disconnected from the Internet without some loss of function, they would not have been able to enjoy the same function if the Internet never existed.

      I do not blame the writer for this article, he is primarily an economics reporter [washingtonpost.com]and appears to have been taken in by the fearmongering flogged by all those who have an agenda to promote cyberwarfare capabilities. I do however blame the Washington Post for allowing such drivel to be posted under their name. They should have known better.

      • I do however blame the Washington Post for allowing such drivel to be posted under their name. They should have known better.

        Unfortunately many online news papers have started to have 'opinion posts' or 'writer blogs' which completely seem to bypass any kind of editorial guidelines, fact checking etc and allow writers to post their opinions, often unsubstantiated, on anything seemingly as a news item.

        It allows for random drivel like this to go viral and increase page views and potentially advert revenue whi

        • by khallow (566160)

          Unfortunately many online news papers have started to have 'opinion posts' or 'writer blogs' which completely seem to bypass any kind of editorial guidelines, fact checking etc and allow writers to post their opinions, often unsubstantiated, on anything seemingly as a news item.

          So what? The point of an opinion post is to communicate an opinion, which despite your complaints has long been one of the useful functions of newspapers. Lack of editing, logical fallacies, not being based on actual fact, and similar errors are great warning signs.

          whilst letting them dodge any kind of journalistic Codes of Ethics.

          And how would that "Code" apply to an opinion writer's opinions? It's clear that the work in question is an opinion. Any such Code is satisfied at that point.

    • Re:Washington Post (Score:5, Insightful)

      by bluefoxlucid (723572) on Tuesday July 02, 2013 @08:38AM (#44164123) Journal

      Child pornography--which is not dangerous, but rather a symptom of a pre-existing form of child abuse which is considered dangerous and which cannot be called a symptom or byproduct of another physical, harmful action (it's a symptom of a psychological condition, which is internal to a person and harmful to no one else until an action is taken).

      Grooming and enticement of children--the real danger that precedes (and, often, doesn't precede) the above. Easier and safer in real life, since you tend to know a lot of children and you know they're not FBI agents and it's harder to monitor everyone arbitrarily in real life. Proliferated with the Internet to greater incidence anyway.

      Identity theft--which occurs in the real world easily enough, but is much easier to profit from and has a greater market with the Internet.

      Stupid people--getting stupider all the time, now twice as stupid with Internet, going out to vote based on their stupidity. Stupid enough to threaten their own privacy and post pictures of their friends everywhere and talk about shit openly about their friends, so they threaten everyone else's privacy.

      People selling you shit.

      The list goes on and yet the biggest threat of the internet is CYBERWARFARE?!

  • by meta-monkey (321000) on Tuesday July 02, 2013 @05:06AM (#44163173) Journal

    Me? I'd repeal the Baby Boomer generation. The Internet's only scary when you're still dealing with a scarcity-based mindset. Otherwise, you're trying to figure out how to make the real world more like the Internet (minus goatse, natch).

  • Uh, duh? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by wonkey_monkey (2592601) on Tuesday July 02, 2013 @05:08AM (#44163177) Homepage

    By cyberwarfare, I mean the capacity of groups — whether nations or not — to attack, disrupt and possibly destroy the institutions and networks that underpin everyday life. These would be power grids, pipelines, communication and financial systems, business record-keeping and supply-chain operations, railroads and airlines

    Hey, guess what? Ordinary warfare can disrupt and destroy those things as well. Guess we'd better "repeal" those, too.

    a terrifying danger: cyberwar

    I don't know about anyone else, but compared to actual war, I find cyberwar to be about as terrifying as getting up in the night to go to the toilet.

    • Re:Uh, duh? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by wonkey_monkey (2592601) on Tuesday July 02, 2013 @05:09AM (#44163185) Homepage
      I also like this bit:

      I don’t know the odds of this technological Armageddon. I doubt anyone does. The fears may be wildly exaggerated

      Wildly exaggerated, you say? Who would do such a thing?!

    • It's possible that Samuelson has spent a little too long living in Bethesda, MD, proud home to a metric fuckton of defense contractors and private sector spook shops...

    • by clemdoc (624639)
      Also, we should think again about whether we really need that round thingie, the wheel.
      Sure, it's really useful, but considering how much harm can be wrought with it... better leave it uninvented.
    • I don't know about anyone else, but compared to actual war, I find cyberwar to be about as terrifying as getting up in the night to go to the toilet.

      To me it's as scary as getting up in the middle of the night to shuffle a server in and out of service. The NSA has all the data, they could make mad bank notifying folks of malware / hacker traffic BEFORE they put on pajamas...

    • by FudRucker (866063)
      what happens is some enemy wipes out a few computer's software, and within an hour some IT guy can re-image a backup copy on all the servers plus a more hardened firewall and blacklist of a few more IP-Addresses and BAM! it is as if that cyber war never happened
  • by Lonewolf666 (259450) on Tuesday July 02, 2013 @05:10AM (#44163187)

    I grant its astonishing capabilities: the instant access to vast amounts of information, the pleasures of YouTube and iTunes, the convenience of GPS and much more.

    Hello? GPS is not a feature of the internet.

    Also, I think he is totally wrong when he quotes cyberwar as a reason for removing the internet. Any organization that does not want the risks that come from connecting systems to the net can disconnect theirs. Simple, isn't it?

    • If I were feeling charitable, I might imagine that he's never used a 'pure' GPS device, only the (sometimes internet connected, sometimes non-IP cellular data) A-GPS gear.

      I'm not feeling charitable.

    • by Jon_S (15368)

      Yeah, I was reading this in the dead-trees paper over breakfast this morning and as soon as I got to the part about GPS being a part of the internet I stopped, figuring this guy obviously had no clue what he was talking about.

  • by mythix (2589549) on Tuesday July 02, 2013 @05:11AM (#44163197)

    First of all he starts by telling us what the internet has brought us:
    - vast amounts of information
    - youtube
    - itunes
    - GPS

    Wait, what? GPS?

    second, the problem with the internet is not the internet. the internet is not obligatory, not everything people put on it is truth, it is not a reliable information source for personal data.
    I am not scared of it, nor should I or anybody else be.
    The problem with the internet, as with everything on this planet, is the nature of human kind.

    • by rvw (755107)

      First of all he starts by telling us what the internet has brought us:
      - vast amounts of information
      - youtube
      - itunes
      - GPS

      Wait, what? GPS?

      Yes! GPS! Global Piss and Shit! [youtube.com]

    • by TheP4st (1164315)

      - GPS

      Wait, what? GPS?

      The mention of GPS is the reason why I sprayed my monitor with coffee and stopped reading halfway through the first paragraph. If you are going to suggest that a technology should be repealed then at least make sure you at least understand the very basics. If you don't, stick with what you do know and get of our lawn.

    • by loufoque (1400831)

      how is itunes related to the Internet?
      I thought it was a bloated media player and iThing management application from Apple.

  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Tuesday July 02, 2013 @05:12AM (#44163199) Journal

    Is the good Mr. Samuelson aware that 'the internet' is not actually a binary thing(except in certain architectural senses)? It's not like somebody in the control room flips a switch and *boom* TCP-rays fan out, brutally penetrating previously secure systems. You. Have. To. Connect. Things. To. The. Internet. To. Make. Them. Vulnerable. Are there plenty of things connected, that really ought not to be, because people are insufferably cheap and lazy? Sure, hard to argue with that. Does it somehow follow that we would be 'better off without the internet?". Only if you live in a curious universe where you have to shut down the entire internet just to get a few dumb fuckers to airgap their retro SCADA system.

    (One might also argue that, if the people who are actually victims of internet attacks, the various companies and banks and things he cites, aren't willing to give up the convenience and low cost of the internet in favor of greater security, it is possible that the alarmist bullshit of people who want a wider remit to expand their paranoid security state online is alarmist bullshit... There is an argument to be made that people who haven't yet been attacked are illogically discounting the costs of future attacks in favor of present savings; but people who are being attacked today are weighing the costs and the benefits of being networked today, and generally staying networked. Go figure...)

  • And that asshole doesn't even know what he's afraid of but he's going to publish his opinion.

    Something something and remove all doubt.

  • by Dynamoo (527749) on Tuesday July 02, 2013 @05:18AM (#44163229) Homepage
    Let's time-travel back to the 1980s and try to research a topic. You might need to allot a whole day for this.

    Where would you start to look? Well, probably the library. If you really know nothing about a topic you might want to start with one the Encyclopaedia Britannica, something that hardly anybody would be able to afford to own at home. Then, if you want more specific information you might find out the Dewey classification for the topic area and check out the books on the shelves, or rummage through index cards. Perhaps (if you are lucky) the library has a computerised index. Want to look up something more topical? We used to have the Times Index, a printed index of what had been published in the Times (of London). Then it was a trip to the microfilm collection to look up back issues. Perhaps if you weren't making much progress you would have to ask around to see if someone had some pointers, maybe a contact of a contact. You *could* use the Internet and post a question to Usenet, perhaps someone would give you an answer in a few days. Maybe after a hard day's work you might be able to tease the nugget of information you wanted out of the library. Perhaps not.

    Today? Well, you either Google it or look it up on Wikipedia. You'll have your answer in minutes and you can then get on and apply that knowledge. Now, tell me how that is NOT progress?

    • by aliquis (678370)

      Today? Well, you either Google it or look it up on Wikipedia. You'll have your answer in minutes and you can then get on and apply that knowledge. Now, tell me how that is NOT progress?

      But please also think off how it empowers people, bring freedom, true information, equal rights and all other sorts of nasty things to people.

      Someone need to restrict them. What would happen with authority and power if everyone was equals? The horror.

    • It's not quite that stark a comparison. People would normally ask their friends about a topic first, to see if they know something about it. This isn't that uncommon even today, as topics of interest tend to come up in conversations, which usually involve people who might be friends or colleagues. Then there's the difficulty for many people to find stuff on the internet even now - you need to know how to use a computer at a minimum. Finally, if you have the resolve to go to a library to research a topic, y
    • While I'm a great supporter of The Internet, there's a downside to having all of that information so readily available. The information doesn't stick. There's no cost to obtain it. No effort required. The process of obtaining the information is part of what makes it stick.

      • I disagree (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Tuesday July 02, 2013 @07:27AM (#44163665)

        And if you want to argue that, then you want to actually argue against the printing press. I cannot remember the book or author, Vonnegut I think, had a good bit about how prior to the printing press knowledge was something like the martial arts: You had to work on it,sweat, spend your time and effort, often a lifetime to attain it. Your mastery died with you. For each person, learning something required an apprenticeship, basically.

        The printing press changed all that. Now ideas could be made permanent, and disseminated. Now people didn't have to discover everything themselves or learn from what masters they could, they could get information and then build on it. They could stand on the shoulders of giants, as Newton said. So when a genius like Newton came along and advanced the knowledge of mathematics, physics and optics by probably 100 years or more, it wasn't something just limited to him and perhaps those that studied with him, the world could learn.

        If you think that there needs to be a lot of effort for information, well then the printing press is your enemy, because that is what it became easy. Not as easy as it is now, but pre and post printing press was a bigger difference than pre and post Internet.

        It is also necessary if you want to keep advancing things. There's really only so much time one person has to learn, only so much information they can soak up so fast. So if things are going to continue to get more complex and require more information, then we are going to need easy access to that information.

      • Gosh darn it, if you start using this new-fangled "writing" to write everything down, you'll forget how to remember anything! (And as far as we can tell, yes, this was an argument made at the time)

    • by Esteanil (710082)

      Let's time-travel back to the 1980s and try to research a topic. You might need to allot a whole day for this.

      A whole day to build a time machine? Man are *you* slow! ;-)

    • by grouchomarxist (127479) on Tuesday July 02, 2013 @06:39AM (#44163539)

      The other day I had a flashback of writing a report in elementary school. The teacher would make everyone do a report on the same subject and the industrious students would then go to the library and check out all the books on the subject, leaving the slacker students with nothing.

      Well, you can't check out the internet.

    • Obligatory modified Simpsons:
      There's the right way, the wrong way, and the Wikipedia way!
      Isn't that just the wrong way?
      Yes, but faster!
    • by Danathar (267989) on Tuesday July 02, 2013 @07:38AM (#44163715) Journal

      Actually, in the 80's you probably (unless you were at a MAJOR university) did not have access to the Internet as it was a pure research network, and even if you did it was text based only (for the post part). Most people (like myself) would of logged onto a BBS and posted to FidoNet. I can't remember but there probably was a FidoNet to Usenet gateway. Once you posted a message it took DAYS for it to propagate across the planet, and more days for a response to come back.

      People don't realize how much more productive they are due to instant access to information.

      In the 80's if I wanted to fix my washer machine (and I didn't know how) I could pay somebody, try to find a general purpose book at the library, etc.

      Now I just type in the model number of the dryer and I can probably download the maintenance manual for the darn thing. On top of that there probably is a message board dedicated to people JUST TRYING TO FIX THEIR WASHER MACHINE.

      Perspective can illuminate how much things have changed since then

    • Today? Well, you either Google it or look it up on Wikipedia. You'll have your answer in minutes and you can then get on and apply that knowledge. Now, tell me how that is NOT progress?

      All that progress and yet people seem to be about as uninformed as ever. In some cases they are worse off since the opinions of charlatans and cranks are more available than ever. We'll leave the tendency of people to avoid unpleasant facts for another time.

      • People are not uninformed. They are selectively informed. I know next to nothing about Justin Bieber. Also I can't tell you one good or bad thing about .Net and C#. Finally, I am blissfully unaware of the politics of Switzerland. There are plenty of people who want to be informed of these topics and can become so within minutes. This does not mean that I am uninformed or that they are superior in some way.

    • In the 1980's I could have used this thing called the Internet (in fact I did) ... it has been around since at least 1969 ...it was not very accessible, had less on it, and most people did not have a connection but it was there

      You may be thinking of the WorldWideWeb which is built on top of the internet, that only started in the 1990's ....

    • Encyclopaedia Britannica, something that hardly anybody would be able to afford to own at home.

      Not really, I grew up in the 60's, most middle class households with school aged kids had a set of encyclopedia, the expense would compare well with a good PC and internet connection. Second hand sets were dirt cheap but somewhat outdated.

  • I think the author longs for the bygone era when journalists were the primary source of how the majority of people shaped our personal views of the world. I for one, am glad that the veil has been lifted.
  • by discord5 (798235) on Tuesday July 02, 2013 @05:20AM (#44163251)

    If I could, I would try to convince the Romans of the past to stop building roads. The reason for this is that I've discovered that since the advent of roads, there has been such a phenomenon as road-side bandits, highway robberies, and even standing armies using this newly found infrastructure to lay siege to our vast empire.

    Ever since the Romans came along and deprecated our glorious and superior dirt infrastructure, we've been carelessly hooking up critical systems to this "road"-system: tax-collection, food transportation, even up to the point where we are now moving cattle over these infernal cobblestones instead of using the much safer glorious dirt infrastructure. We've hooked up entire towns, cities, even castles and palaces to this infrastructure we can barely contain and are surprised when those of malicious intent use it to our disadvantage.

    Back in the good old days of our vastly superiour dirt infrastructure we had no such troubles with malcontents, criminals and foreign armies. It was a pleasant land of peasants toiling about in our magnificent dirt.

    In conclusion, the Roman empire was a detriment to all of society. While seemingly introducing a convenient mode of transportation, and making all of our society dependant on our infrastucture, they clearly have introduced this concept with the intent of ending civilization as we know it. I therefor call out to you, citizens, fellow countrymen: Tear down these "roads" that threaten us all! Go back to rolling around in our glorious dirt, and burn down anything even remotely Roman (even if it contains water, such as aquaducts, don't even get me started on those).

    • Man, where are the mod points when you need them most. I would mod you up into the stratosphere for this funny, finely sarcastic and well-informed comment ( being, btw, a great admirer of ancient roman culture and engineering ). Of course, one could imagine writing something similar about weaving textile ( origins lost in time ), first successful domestication of animals ( idem ditto ), or printing books ( central and western europe, end of the middle ages ). Best comment of the year, sofar.
    • by Required Snark (1702878) on Tuesday July 02, 2013 @05:42AM (#44163359)
      Thag say fire bad.

      Fire hurt Thag.

      Thag see fire make sharp stick harder. Even after fire gone, fire still hurt with sharp stick.

      Thag like rock. Have rock for long time, everyone good. Rock good for Thag father, and Thag father father, and father father father.

      Keep rock, all stay good.

      Have fire, all get bad.

      Fire bad.

    • by c0lo (1497653)

      If I could, I would try to convince the Romans of the past to stop building roads. The reason for this is that I've discovered that since the advent of roads, there has been such a phenomenon as road-side bandits, highway robberies, and even standing armies using this newly found infrastructure to lay siege to our vast empire.

      They are also the reason for not being able to deliver larger rocket boosters [snopes.com].

  • Meh (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    The net was awesome until the barrier to entry got too low... (aol)

    That got every fucktard in the world online. And then came the marketing scum...

    And here we are.

    • You do, I hope, see the irony in your comment.

      Its pretty funny.

    • by instagib (879544)

      Eternal September sure changed things, but you had ways to avoid the derp. The real problem is what I call the "Cult of Mediocrity", which got born through "Web 2.0".

      Before that, people would have hobbies, having fun with them, and get inspired by professionals.

      Today, everyone is a writer, photographer, musician, etc., posts online and gets cheered upon by other wannabies, celebrating their mediocre hobbyist results as the ultimate achievement. Consequences of this are rampant narcissism and arrogance on th

  • by Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) on Tuesday July 02, 2013 @05:23AM (#44163267)

    So you want to suppress the internet because of cyber-warfare? How about suppressing cars because there are car accidents? Or suppressing humanity because humans get diseases?

    When something new comes to light, new problems appear with it. Intelligent people try to solve the problems. Idiots try to suppress the new thing.

    Incidentally, this guy's opinion is published far and wide thanks to the internet. Oh the irony...

    • by msauve (701917)
      "So you want to suppress the internet because of cyber-warfare? How about suppressing cars because there are car accidents? Or suppressing humanity because humans get diseases?"

      Or suppressing firearms because there are criminals.
  • by RogueyWon (735973) on Tuesday July 02, 2013 @05:25AM (#44163277) Journal

    Having read TFA, I am forced to conclude that if I could, I would repeal the printing press.

    See, the printing press gave rise to mass publishing. Mass publishing gave rise to newspapers. Which in turn led to the Washington Post. Which in turn led to the ability of somebody as atrociously stupid as Robert J. Samuelson to find a mass audience for his idiocy.

    Or is that not going far enough. If we're going to be truly safe, do we need to repeal writing?

    • by Meneth (872868)
      And speech. And sign language. Might as well repeal all of humanity, while we're at it. We'll be dead, but at least the Earth will be safe. :)
  • The reason? Mass blindness of course.

    Fixed that for you.

  • by Chrisq (894406) on Tuesday July 02, 2013 @05:42AM (#44163363)
    From HHGTG [heretical.com]:

    Many were increasingly of the opinion that they'd all made a big mistake in coming down from the trees in the first place. And some said that even the trees had been a bad move, and that no one should ever have left the oceans.

  • Utilities connected to the public internet? Make doing that except on a one time, emergency basis a felony and threaten to charge the entire management with felony murder if anyone dies because of a "cyber attack." The possibility of facing the death penalty for criminal negligence leading to homicide will cause them to suddenly find a way to invest whatever resources are needed to get off the internet post haste.

    Stolen trade secrets? Just build a private company network with no internet access. ZOMG it's s

    • Make doing that except on a one time, emergency basis a felony and threaten to charge the entire management with felony murder if anyone dies because of a "cyber attack."

      While youre at it, lets get rid of murder and all violent crimes by making them capital offences where the presumption is guilty until proven innocent. Lets get rid of that pesky jury trial and time wasting right of appeal as well. That should scare off them criminals from even thinking about carrying out crimes.

      Since we're relying on exces

      • presumption is guilty until proven innocent

        Because it's unfair to try an innocent man! - Q

        However I agree the OP is an idiot who has never seen the inside of a corporate server room and is way too enthusiastic about giving the state the power to kill it's own citizens.

  • A New Era (Score:4, Interesting)

    by vikingpower (768921) <exercitussolus@g ... m minus caffeine> on Tuesday July 02, 2013 @05:59AM (#44163413) Homepage Journal
    My father grew up during the '30s, amidst nation-states all on an ineluctable course for war. Information was scarce, could take weeks before reaching citizens, and was always colored. Until he recently died, such was his mindset: nation-states, triumphing nationalism, shifting alliances, scarce and coloured information. And I remember, when growing up during the last 2 decades of the Cold War, that I sometimes went to bed realizing that nuclear war might and could break out overnight. That, in that case, I would either never wake up again: our family's home was close to a piece of infrastructure important for routing supplies to armies fighting in the Northwest-European plains, or otherwise might wake up as a radiation victim. The Cold War: information was not as scarce. We had newspapers, radio, television - but information was incomplete. We later learned that information on much of what happened behind the Iron Curtain had simply been suppressed to us, ordinary citizens, and that the same was true for the citizens "on the other side".

    The Cold War passed, and exactly 12 years of prosperity, along with unbridled & blooming innovation, followed. Until 9/11/2001. We have, since, been sliding into what seems more and more to become as much of a status quo as the Cold War was: the Information War.

    Many are struggling to adapt to the new mindset required to cope with this new paradigm, as German Federal Chancellor Merkel illustrated by likening the US eavesdropping and bugging practices to "Cold War practice". The Information War is taking up speed: information is nearly free-flowing over the internet - and at the stake of conflict itself.

    I can imagine, hence, the confusion and revulsion of Samuelson, who must have somehow - like most of us did - settled for a world in a state of seemingly permanent Cold War. War has never, or hardly ever, been about infrastructure, and such Samuelson's text is far off the mark. War has always been about either assets or power, and the asset now at stake is: information. It must be hard, for people of Samuelson's generation, to get that into their heads, although they better do - lest they lose fundamental understanding of what our world has become, and is becoming ever faster: an always-shifting patchwork of information sinks and sources.

  • there's usually just one cable to cut.

  • 'If I could, I would repeal the Internet. It is the technological marvel of the age, but it is not â" as most people imagine â" a symbol of progress. Just the opposite. We would be better off without it.'

    That makes about as much sense as:

    'If I could, I would repeal the fire. It is the technological marvel of the age, but it is not â" as most people imagine â" a symbol of progress. Just the opposite. We would be better off without it.'

    Why not do that instead. It would certainly have ended a lot of conflicts if we didn't have fire. Actually, you could reference just about any man made technology as contributing to man's demise. Anything can be perverted to be a weapon. Where do they find these idi

  • Dear Internet:
    you've been trolled

    Dear NSA:
    fuck off you nosy bastards

    sincerely yours, The Fud
  • by PopeRatzo (965947) on Tuesday July 02, 2013 @07:31AM (#44163677) Homepage Journal

    Rather than repeal the internet, we should just roll back the monopoly on it that the handful of service providers have claimed on it.

    Though there is a case to be made that the internet lost much of its value when it was opened to commerce.

  • Yet another influential person, for whom, like for the German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the Internet is "Neuland", Terra Incognita, a "Here Be Dragons" place, foreign and scary.

  • The problems outlined in the opinion piece is to me only evidence that governments, economy isn't build on massive information disclosure and the changes in society it brings. Instead of repealing the Internet as it is, I think it's more effective for said governments and economies to evolve and reform to cope with the changes in our daily lives because of the Internet (let's start with freedom of information in the form of fixing the defective patent system by altering default business models of old busine

  • by Grashnak (1003791) on Tuesday July 02, 2013 @09:24AM (#44164591)

    If I could, I would repeal the internal combustion engine, for it has lead to the scourge of drunk driving which claims thousands of lives a year. Sure, people claim that the infernal explodo box is valuable because it makes possible the rapid transport of people and goods around the world, but won't someone think of the children?

    Life was better back in the day. Bah Humbug.

"Whoever undertakes to set himself up as a judge of Truth and Knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of the gods." -- Albert Einstein

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