[governance] Cerfing the Web, or Serfing the Web? (Understanding Google's Internet Evangelism against Internet Access Rights)

Paul Lehto lehto.paul at gmail.com
Tue Jan 17 07:56:21 EST 2012

On Tue, Jan 17, 2012 at 7:23 AM, Daniel Kalchev <daniel at digsys.bg> wrote:

> But, just like with religion, where the experience and belief are strictly
> private, the same can be said about Internet. Different people see
> different things in Internet (even as technology) and they use Internet for
> quite different things. Even the same individuals at different points in
> time.
> I really doubt that Vinton Cerf, as chief Internet evangelist for Google,
Inc., has any difficulty understanding or supporting *property rights* on
the Internet, at least when he speaks officially as the "public face" of
Google.  Indeed, many business figures in relation to the Internet support
an aggressive expansion of property rights and property rhetoric in what
might be called their "Occupy Cyberspace" movement.

Despite such aggressive assertions of property rights on the Internet,
suddenly, when it comes to human rights on the Internet, Google and others
have great difficulty conceptualizing rights in cyberspace?

What gives, when property rights are "natural" to cyberspace but human
rights are not?  Of course, at one level, property rights concepts flow
smoothly onto something seen as a mere "technology" or "tool", while human
rights concepts do not flow quite as smoothly.  Yet, as I think we all
know, understanding the Internet as mere technology is an
over-simplification of the phenomena of the Internet, to say the least.

But, this oversimplification definitely works for the present purpose of
facilitating the business expansion of entities such as Google by
protecting their property rights and business expectations against any
"infringement" by human rights claims regarding the Internet.
Unfortunately, as I see it, Vinton Cerf is leveraging and thus bastardizing
his status as a "Founding Father" of the Internet in service to Google's
bid to dominate future cyberspace as its own fiefdom and Lordly domain.

Paul Lehto, J.D.
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