Daniel Halliday
Aug 24 · Last update 4 mo. ago.

What were the early philosophical issues facing the Internet, and have any of them been resolved 3 decades later?

The internet has changed the face of the world, but arguably in the early days of its creation the possibilities of this new concept seemed even more endless, as a distinct culture built around the pioneers and early adopters of this technology with high hopes for how the Net could influence the world. However many of the current philosophical issues, disputes and difficulties facing the internet were problems shared and discussed by early adopters, arguably becoming more complex as it was adapted to accommodate more users in the coming decades. What were the early philosophical and social issues affecting cyberspace, and how have these issues progressed until present?
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Hacking
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Online utopianism
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Hacking

Hacking had become a distinct underground subculture in the 1980’s, evolving from the hobby of telephone network “phreaking” or what we would now understand as hacking. In the late eighties hacking groups such as The 414s, Legion of Doom, Masters of Deception prompted the US government to pass legislation against computer intrusion as a divide arose in the hacking community. Decades later such divides still land many hackers in trouble as some become involved in criminal cases despite innocent intentions. The scale and scope of hacking has also escalated, as cyber warfare, electron interference and misinformation campaigns have become a common reality, and the future seems to be open to this becoming a bigger problem, for example a US voting machine was hacked into by an 11 year old in 2018.

time.com/5366171/11-year-old-hacked-into-us-voting-system-10-minutes telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/4320901/Gary-McKinnon-profile-Autistic-hacker-who-started-writing-computer-programs-at-14.html biztechmagazine.com/article/2015/02/why-hacking-big-problem-small-businesses express.co.uk/news/world/774609/NATO-Russia-act-of-aggression-cyber-war-election-interference

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Daniel Halliday
Dec 17
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Online utopianism

A popular view of the new online world that was beginning to emerge on the internet in its early years was that of a Utopian world, free from the influence of those in power – governments and big business interests. In 1996 John Perry Barlow, an early internet advocate and founding member of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, published his manifesto ‘A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace’ online, essentially telling politicians to keep out of this new online world, a world he saw as an alternative to old systems of power. This early vision of the internet dominated the early culture and communities that grew around this technological revolution, but has now largely and clearly failed to materialism. Instead the issue of a governing power structure online has essentially transferred the real world system directly into cyberspace, with government surveillance, government censorship and the abundance of power of just a few massive multinational corporations, Barlow's vision is gratefully dead.

web.archive.org/web/20090903075735/http://www.reason.com/news/show/29236.html theguardian.com/technology/2018/feb/08/john-perry-barlow-open-internet-dream-dying

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Daniel Halliday
Aug 28
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