8 Reasons Why the Internet was Doomed from the Beginning.
To recap our most recent eblast: While campaigning back in the 2000 Election, Al Gore made a comment that he invented the internet. In reality, Al Gore did not invent the internet. The internet evolved from the 60’s Arpanet, then the TCP/IP in the early 80’s, to the format from the early 90’s that we all recognize as the world wide web.
I often consider all of the challenges the web has for society and I ask this question:
“If I had the knowledge and power to start over, what would I change?”
There are so many good things about the internet that far outweigh the negative effects, however consider these blunders:
- Y2K problems
- Unsecure Email
- Open information available on the web for easy access
- Needs move faster than infrastructure can support
- The death of window shopping
- Hacking as a business
- Global secrets revealed
- Who wants Privacy?
Reason #1 Y2K– Maybe this was not really the internet. This was a problem where many engineers thought the clocks on computers would not roll from 99 to 00 successfully. Our entire society knew about Y2K and tried to find a fix for this. At the moment it happened had very little effect, but with the internet you could simply predict our society would have stopped the use of the world wide web.
Reason #2 Unsecure Email– Email can be sent to anyone from anyone and this can be spoofed. I can send email to firstname.lastname@example.org and say it is from email@example.com. The email concept is great, however it is unsecure. I can make up false information without consequences. Of course you could use a service to say “only allow these approved email senders”, but you would be constantly reviewing the list. Email is one of the top marketing engines in the world today.
Reason #3 Open Information– Simply stated, open information on the internet has led to hacking. Hacking businesses, other individuals, and government organizations. Yahoo is one of the single biggest news outlets in the world and they put all of their information online for us to use. 99% of society looks at Yahoo and appreciates the information source we get from them. The other 1% are trying to find ways to get money from them. They are hacking anything public facing. Imagine you went to the state prison, picked up all of the inmates, drove them to your house and said “Ok I am going to lock the door and you should not try to get in, but I keep a million dollars inside.” How would that work?
Reason # 4 Infrastructure– Ever heard of Google Fiber? Do you have it? The internet grew far faster than anyone could have predicted and the Internet Service Providers are still playing catch up. The internet is free and so should the access be to this. Consider it part of your tax just like the roads we drive on. This is just the beginning argument behind net-neutrality.
Reason #5 Shopping– Try to think about a mall on black Friday now and then think about it in 1985. The internet created so many problems for location-based retailers. Today’s consumer is better educated, spends less, and does not support local business nearly like they have in the past. Everything about the way we buy has changed due to the internet.
Reason #6 Hacking as a Business– Identity theft was on a very small scale prior to E-Commerce. The government created multiple different laws trying to protect consumers, however these are too weak and too late. Hackers are after our private information to sell for money. Hackers are tracking our activity to drive us to specific sites. Hackers are extorting money from us by using ransomware. The internet is unsecure and we have to be aware of our risks.
Reason #7 Global Secrets Revealed– Alan Turing created a code breaking machine in World War II to spy on all of Germany’s transmissions. He could only do this when they sent information from one station to another. In today’s digital age, all of our systems are tied to the internet, Hackers know this. Once someone wants information, they are going to use hacking techniques which are available on the internet to try to hack their way in. We put our lives into a computer and stare at them all day to only have the information compromised by hackers. This is not a society problem. This is a global security problem.
Reason #8 Privacy is dead– Facebook, Twitter, hacked iCloud accounts, and other social media made us so connected nothing is confidential. We can access information about other people with just a quick Google search. If you don’t think this happens, Google yourself or your phone number and see what happens. I don’t have any social media accounts and I was listed on the fifth link with my family details.
So I ask “Was Al Gore Right for creating the internet?”
Are we better as a society? Are you safe?
This might be a fun blog post to consider but you might think about how you can be safe and secure on the internet. We can help if you need more info.