Monday, December 01, 2008

Internet moving from open systems to closed?

I'm going to talk about Jonathan Zittrain later in the week, but here's part his latest take on the "narrowing" of the Internet.

The new closed models that represent the likely future of consumer computing and networking are no minor tweaks. We face wholesale revision of the Internet and PC environment of the past 30 years. The change is coming partly because of the need to address security problems peculiar to open technologies, and partly because businesses want more control over the experience that customers have with their products. The trend from open systems toward closed ones threatens the culture of serendipitous tinkering that has given us the Web, instant messaging, peer-to-peer networking, Skype, Wikipedia and a host of other innovations, each of which emerged from left field. It will produce a concentrated set of new gatekeepers, with us and them prisoner to their limited business plans and to regulators who fear things that are new and disruptive.

From Newsweek's December 8 print edition.

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