Wednesday, September 26, 2007

09 F9 11 02 9D 74 E3 5B D8 41 56 C5 63 56 88 C0

Although Galloway proves that the Internet is not chaos but a highly structured system, the amount of control inherent in this system is still limited. The solitary unit - a person, an IP address, a domain - is vulnerable to the hierarchy of TCP/IP protocol that Galloway presents; it is easily cut off from the rest of the network, but information, which is by its nature not confined to one source or one branch of a network, supersedes any hierarchical structure and is uncontrollable. It has the characteristics of a virus, and once it has spread out from its origin, lopping off one branch is futile; the entire tree must be cut down.

I point to the recent HD DVD encryption key controversy that erupted on the Internet this summer. In an effort to suppress the key, the Motion Picture Association of America and the Advanced Access Content System consortium began sending cease and desist letters to websites that had published the encryption key, demanding that the information be removed. However, instead of controlling the information, these cease and desist letters sparked a riot in which the encryption key was copied over to thousands of other sites. From the primary event of copying, secondary accounts of the encryption key arose as news sources began reporting the copying. One user driven news site, Digg, became yet the third reincarnation of the encryption key when the main page of its website was taken over by reportings of the key. Digg began to censor the stories and faced such a backlash from its users that the censoring of the reporting of the copying made headlines in other sources. While all this was happening, the encryption key, which was once merely text, had evolved into images, T-shirts, videos, and even a song…

No comments: