On behalf of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Danny O’Brien launched a series of articles on the Public Interest Internet. Starting with “Introducing the Public Interest Internet“, “The Enclosure of the Public Interest Internet“, and “Outliving Outrage on the Public Interest Internet: the CDDB Story“, he outlines the best parts of the internet and how they’ve thrived even in light of the dominant, dystopian, profit-driven parts of the ‘net. It’s a great read for getting situated about how our world can be improved with the internet.
Say the word “internet” these days, and most people will call to mind images of Mark Zuckerberg and Jeff Bezos, of Google and Twitter: sprawling, intrusive, unaccountable. This tiny handful of vast tech corporations and their distant CEOs demand our online attention and dominate the offline headlines.
But on the real internet, one or two clicks away from that handful of conglomerates, there remains a wider, more diverse, and more generous world. Often run by volunteers, frequently without any obvious institutional affiliation, sometimes tiny, often local, but free for everyone online to use and contribute to, this internet preceded Big Tech, and inspired the earliest, most optimistic vision of its future place in society.“Introducing the Public Interest Internet“
[T]he modern internet, buffeted as it is by monopolies, exploitation, and market and regulatory failure, still allows people to organize at low cost, with high levels of informality, in a way that can often be more efficient, flexible and antifragile than strictly commercial, private interest services, or the centrally-planned government production of public goods.“Outliving Outrage on the Public Interest Internet: the CDDB Story“