Information Can Be Controlled

from the maybe-it-doesn't-want-to-be-free dept

A very interesting article in MIT’s Tech Review trying to disprove the old notion that “information wants to be free”. They set up a number of assumptions that people make that support the free information idea and then tear them down to show that information can be controlled. Of course, the argument really only works if you buy into the assumptions they put forth – which I don’t. Even within the article there are plenty of examples where their arguments don’t hold up – but they are brushed off with things like “but there’s no evidence anyone will use something like FreeNet”. The article also seems to focus on “information” as being “music, movies, and occasionally books” – which is a very limited scope. The problem isn’t that information doesn’t want to be free – or that it can be controlled, but rather that the distribution/searching mechanisms are controllable. Once the information is out there, it’s next to impossible to get back. But, companies (and countries) that can control the distribution methods can put some blocks in place that make it so only the most persistent people can get the info.

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