Monthly Archives: February 2012

Google to EU: don’t break the internet

Google took the opportunity at Davos to warn the European Union that their plans to re-vamp privacy laws could “Break the Internet”.

According to this report in the Globe and Mail, David Drummond from Google issued the bleak warning.

By the way there’s an interesting quote from Eric Schmidt as well. He says Google does everything it can do prevent piracy “within the confines of free speech”. I always thought free speech was a freedom, not a restriction, but it seems not. Now it’s a confining thing, a limit on Google’s ability to deliver on its goal of preventing piracy (or at least stopping piracy being “prominent” in search results).

How odd.

Doctorow: SOPA is evil

This is an absolutely absurd rant attacking SOPA and PIPA. Full of ridiculous claims:

“Making one link would require checking millions (even tens of millions) of pages”

“The contempt for human rights on display with SOPA and PIPA is more than foolish. Foolishness can be excused. It’s more than greed. Greed is only to be expected. It isĀ evil, and it must be fought.”

Even by Cory Doctorow’s reliably overstated and partisan standards, it’s a humdinger.

What could possibly Break the Internet?

Hard though it is to understand, it seems that the internet is under constant threat from things which will break it.

Surprisingly often we are told, by those who are in a position to know, that some proposed change or law will Break the Internet, be the end of free speech or otherwise cause catastrophic and enormous consequences.

Although I always thought the internet was robust and fault tolerant, it appears to be fragile and vulnerable.

I set up this site to find and record these threats in one place so that they can be seen and evaluated. If someone makes a scary sounding prediction about the end of the internet as we know it, check here (and let me know about it too!)

Most of them, by the way, are overstated and nonsensical, disguising a self-interested agenda with sweeping and portentous claims, designed to create fear in the hearts of those who might otherwise damage the interests of the people making the claim.

For an excellent potted history of claims of doom, see this post by Terry Hart (from whom I have sourced many of the initial links on this site.