Evolution of the internet: How the internet lost its free spirit: Book Review – Splinternet: How Geopolitics and Commerce are Fragmenting the World Wide Web

Rarely has a manifesto been so wrong. “A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace”, written 20 years ago by John Perry Barlow, a digital civil-libertarian, begins thus: “Governments of the Industrial World, you weary giants of flesh and steel, I come from Cyberspace, the new home of Mind. On behalf of the future, I ask you of the past to leave us alone. You are not welcome among us. You have no sovereignty where we gather.”At the turn of the century, it seemed as though this techno-Utopian vision of the world could indeed be a reality. Entertainment and information, once extravagantly priced or locked away in dusty government offices, became instantly accessible. Brilliant youngsters set out to “organise the world’s information” and “make the world more open and connected”. It was easy online communication that helped Egyptians organise to topple Hosni Mubarak.

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