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The battle to control the web: SOPA, LulzSec, and Organized Chaos

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Michael Joseph Gross outlines what he sees as the fundamental sources of internet conflict in the 21st century, and makes a plea for "Organized Chaos," which he sees as a middle way.

SF security camera privacy stock 1024
SF security camera privacy stock 1024

At the end of 2012, diplomats will meet to renegotiate the International Telecommunications Regulations, deciding whether the UN treaty should be expanded to cover the internet. According to Vanity Fair's Michael Joseph Gross, such a decision would force countries to consider whether the web should remain the way it is — "run by a small group of technical nonprofit and volunteer organizations, most of them based in the United States" — or whether global governments should be able to place restrictions on how citizens access information.

In a more general sense, however, this battle has been going on for years between parties with different methods and vastly divergent aims. Repressive governments, copyright holders, anonymous users, and hackers are in a complicated conflict that Gross loosely describes as "Control versus Chaos." Often ignored, he says, are the forces of "Organized Chaos," who include internet and Domain Name System experts like Jeff Moss and Dan Kaminsky.

Supporters of Organized Chaos, Gross says, are united in preserving "what the forces of Order and Disorder, in their very different ways, are both intent on undermining: the integrity of the Internet itself as a reliable, independent, and open structure." Go ahead and read the full piece for a comprehensive overview of the issues that all web users must deal with, regardless of where they fall on the spectrum.