Death of the Internet, Film at 11

Ronald F. Guilmette rfg at
Sun Oct 23 22:05:20 UTC 2016

In message <CAC6=tfYKBWBXMFHJo617q_qOMuOjEtoTDGK2pepfrMw3CybFuw at>
Josh Reynolds <josh at> wrote:

>And then what? The labor to clean up this mess is not free...
>The ISPs won't do it because of the cost to fix... The labor and potential
>loss of customers.

Yes, and yes.

Unfortunately, the economics of the current situation are rather clearly
and rather sadly broken.  And I feel sure that the same "cost" arguments
were also advanced, in the 1970s, against the Clean Air Act and the Clean
Water Act.  More recently, I'm also fairly sure that banks have pushed back
strongly against anti money-laundering regulations, based on similar or
identical "cost and loss of customers" arguments.

Nonetheless, government regulation in these areas has advanced, and has
resulted in a salutary leveling of the playing field.  All players in
the affected industries must comply, and thus none can undercut the
others by reducing their costs, in a relentless race to the bottom,
by simply shirking their social responsibilities.  And since all players
across an industry must bear the same costs, all should find it equally
possible to pass along these costs their respective customer bases.
(This answers the question of who is going to pay to clean up this
whole mess we call the Internet.)

To those who would advance the argument that government regulation simply
will not work and/or that such is not actually possible on a globally
dispersed Internet, I would only note that essentially the same concerns,
issues and arguments apply equally to the globally interconnected banking
system, and that although there still remain major challanges, mostly now
isolated to a few specific locales, the global fight against money
laundering has made impressive advances in recent years, and continues
to make steady progress.  I cite this fact simply to point out that
globally interconnected industries are not inherently immune to prudent
cross-border regulation in the interests of the common good.

Given the Internet industry's abject, long-standing, and ongoing near total
abdication of any resposibility for even a modicum of self-regulation,
I, for one, look forward to the Clean Internet Act, whenever that may

Ronald F. Guilmette
(DDoS'd off the Internet, to little or no public fanfare, 2003)

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