It’s not everyday you get an email from Vnt Cerf, a.k.a. the father of the Internet.
His email yesterday read: “You spoke out and showed that, when we stand together, we can prevent bad policies from hurting the Internet. You proved we can stop something, but now it’s time for us to start something.”
He was probably referring to my joining in on the online petition in January, in support of massive, worldwide protests against SOPA and PIPA. Some 7 million people signed that petition. Apparently such widespread laws could ‘break’ the Internet.
Now, since there is talk of a renewed attempt to get those laws passed (read the recently published White House Intellectual Property Report) Vint is calling for you and me and your next-door who walks around with her face buried in her tablet, to do something about it.
The newly worded act talks, among other things (such as fear of China) that “U S innovation and creativity (needs to be) protected around the world and allow Americans to do what they do best—out-innovate, out-compete, and continue to lead in the global marketplace in this decade..” yada, yada, yada.
We’ve heard this blathering before. Funny how other nations are out-innovating, out-competing, and out-thinking us –sans such laws.
Vint makes a good point. It’s not enough for us to be always reacting to legislation. We ought to be demonstrating to the people pushing for these laws that the value of openness outweighs the value of putting handcuffs on every node of the Net.
The call to action is a tad too simple, if you ask me. It is a web site called Start Something. Basically you are asked to complete the sentence “The Internet is the power to…” You could have your say on Twitter, Google or Facebook.
I am not convinced that adding to the noise as to what the Internet is, will make the lawmakers do a double take. The content creators of this world, the thought-leaders, and social media evangelists ought to come up with a deeper, richer conversation.