SmoothSpan Blog

For Executives, Entrepreneurs, and other Digerati who need to know about SaaS and Web 2.0.

Archive for January 28th, 2011

Should We View Internet Censorship as a Human Rights Violation?

Posted by Bob Warfield on January 28, 2011

This is an uncomfortable topic because it sounds petty.  Lori Kozlowski must feel uncomfortable too when she starts by saying, “Without being dramatic, it makes one wonder if access to the Internet at this point in history is actually a human right.”

After all, much worse things are being done to people in this world than Internet censorship.  Why even consider it for the list?

The Internet is certainly up in arms about Egypt being taken off the Internet.  There’s a Monster long tail of articles on Techmeme about it.  GigaOm tells how it was done.  It only took about 2 hours to completely isolate the country.  That’s pretty scary, and there is talk of an Internet Kill Switch for the US too, although more to stop cyber terrorists than to use as Egypt has, one would hope.

Is this just the Digerati contemplating their navels, or is it something truly important?  Does it rise to the level of Human Rights?

Our Founding Fathers were very keen on the right to free speech.  It is an essential freedom in our culture.  The Founding Fathers understood that it is silence and isolation that lead to tyranny getting away with it.  That’s where I’m coming from on this.  That’s what makes it an essential human right.  It isn’t the speech itself, it’s what’s being talked about.  Think about what it would mean to you to suddenly be cut off completely amid violence over the span of 2 hours. 

I have been a bit disturbed when we look too greedily at lists of where the Internet growth is highest and make those our targets without wondering what else is going on in those places and whether their Internet is our Internet.  Fortunately, there seems to be only one entry on that list where this is a concern, but it sure is high up the list.  Do you want to do business with a place like that?  Can you make a buck some other way?  Despite some of my recent negativity towards Google (no link on purpose), you have to give them their props for pulling out of China, even for a time.

Postscript

Sounds like President Obama views the Internet as a basic human right.  Good for him.

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

13 Reasons Not to Go to the Cloud

Posted by Bob Warfield on January 28, 2011

This weeks sponsored InfoBoom post is something a little different for me.  As long time readers will know, I am a total Cloud fanatic.  However, Michael Coté wrote a note saying he’s been researching reasons not to go to the Cloud.  I’ll bite.  There is almost always a lot to be learned by considering the reverse of any proposition, no matter how good it may seem.  If nothing else, you will discover things are never as rosy as they seem or you may discover a way to eliminate a negative and make it better than ever.

Check out the article, therefore, for 13 reasons not to go to the Cloud.  I didn’t set out to make it 13, but given my preference for the Cloud, it was just Karma that made it such an unsavory number!

PS May be a busy day for Smoothspan.  I’ve got a couple of other posts I want to get out and I’m not sure I can wait!

Posted in cloud | 1 Comment »

 
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